My study abroad semester started in the middle of July 2015 at the airport of Hamburg. With a transit in Dubai I arrived after 26 hours of travelling in Perth, the underrated capital of Western Australia.
The way from the airport to the campus and thus to the Murdoch University Village where I would live for the next 5 months was quiet easy to reach by public transport and a nice way to get familiar with the it. Murdoch University is located around a 30 minutes train ride south of Perth CBD with a good conjunction and has Australia's largest campus. There are horse and sheeps paddocks located on the campus, it has its own university garden where monthly get-together were hold with pizza and camp fire. Furthermore, there is a market once a week on the bush court in the middle of the campus. So there is always something going on on the campus. Beside all the events of course the studies are important as well and the Murdoch University has a broad offer which gives everyone the chance to fine the units matching its study agenda from back home or its interests - from theatre, acting, indigenous studies, economics, science, animal science and law (just to name a few) you can find everything.
For the accommodation I applied 3 months before semester started at the Murdoch University Village to live on campus. Even though the village was a bit more expensive than living off campus I do not regret my choice - for one semester I think living on campus is the best choice you can make. You are directly by the university, living next to all the other international students and you are also always right there when events are on or meetings are determine spontaneously. I would recommend to take it in consideration if you go abroad for one semester. In general, you should calculate with 1000 EUR per month with accommodation. With this amount you can have a good stay and enjoy Australia. But there were also events which did not cost anything or just a little. Right from the beginning there were a lot of activities and events like meet and greets to get to know other people from the village, cooking lessons or sports competitions. This programme was complemented by events of the university itself to get familiar with the big campus, the people and the units you have. Throughout the whole semester there were events over and over again. A little highlight which I like to remember was the pool party in October - so after a couple of month where everyone got already so close and became like a little family. So this was, like the Australian like to say - "heaps of fun"! To the Australian accent or better slang you have to get used to it like heaps, cheers, mate and all the abbreviations like arvo (afternoon) or brekky (breakfast). But even though at the beginning it is quiet hard to understand you will recognize that Australians are really friendly, helpful, open-minded and relaxed people.
Regarding the studies, from my point of view, the semester was much more time intense than I expected it to be. Till today I do not know if it was because of the language and that I just needed more time to do it in English or because there were many assignments due and quizzes to be done during the semester before the final exams at the end which all counted for the final mark. Although, it was time intense and I had to do night shifts in the library, like every good student does it, my law units transnational crime and law, justice and social policy have been really interesting and showed me new areas of law and a different view on a legal system.
Even though the studies were time intense there was still enough time to explore Perth and its surroundings. In Perth you can find the Botanic Garden, Kings Park, the Swan River and of course shopping. Nevertheless you should be aware that Perth is not super exciting and you should not expect too much of it, even though it is a nice, modern city to live in and a perfect place to spend a semester abroad. The people living there are diverse with so many different cultural backgrounds like european, african, american, malaysian, singaporean and so on. People from all over the world are found in Perth, so you get in contact with many different cultures which will broaden your mind. Furthermore, the beaches and its coast line is incredible beautiful and is great to spent some nice days in the hot spring with 28 degrees in Western Australia. In addition, Perth's surrounding has beautiful nature to offer which can be discovered by doing trips. Those once can go to the Pinnacles, the Lancelin sanddunes with sandboarding, Margret River, Swan Valley, Rottnest Island with the happiest animal in the world, the Quokkas and a several more. Those trips can also be done by your own with the people you get to know there because everyone is keen to get to know and see as much as they can of the country.
One of the highlights was the North-West-Trip which was organized by the university for all the exchange and study abroad students at the Murdoch University. This trip led us through the coast line of Western Australia, coral bay with an amazing beach and awesome snorkeling spots in the red sand desert of the Australian outback to the Karijini Nationalpark. Those 10 days through the northern part of Western Australia were the best days of the semester where you got so close to all the other students and gained a lot of new friends and experiences. We slept in tents without electricity and water and no showers! However, the missing showers were compensated by bathing in beautiful, clear water natural pools with waterfalls in the Karijini. This will always be a wonderful thought to remember me my whole life.
All in all I can definitely recommend doing a study abroad semester in Perth at the Murdoch University. I learned a lot about myself, my personality, about different cultures and about my limits. It was a great experience and it's going to be one of the best memories for the rest of my life that I can share with many friends made throughout this semester. Furthermore, it also helped me improving my English so I will be more confident using it later in my professional career. Even though it was a lot of money spent in this semester, I am not regretting it at any moment. Everyone who is thinking about doing it and asking me about my opinion, I would tell him to do it. It is an absolut benefit and not a loss. A semester abroad is an amazing chance which should be taken when given. I can recommend this experience to everyone.