Daniela Dung at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia

  • Daniela und eine Freundin
  • Känguru
  • Felsen

Study abroad in Australia is an adventure. I had to invest a huge amount of time in getting all the things concerning visa, flight, accommodation and studies done. But what revenue one gets!! Unbelievable…


Living and studying in Australia is a high budget experience. Tuition fees and accommodation have to be payed. I was lucky to win a scholarship USQ provides for one student per academic year that includes the tuition fees and compulsory health insurance. Assets for flight, accommodation and that little bit of travelling around the country had to come from my private purse. A well-balanced financial plan has to be in place before actually starting to plan any further.

Studies and Requirements

The way studies are done at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba is a little bit more challenging than here in good old Germany. For example in terms of time management, you are forced to do your studies self paced. In my semester in Australia I was enrolled in three courses. Only two days the week lectures, but every day filled with readings, research and writing of assignments. The beneficial part of it is that preparations for the end semester exams do not have to be that challenging and time consuming, as you are already familiar with the course content through constant engagement in the topics.

My language skills in reading and listening to the English language where helpful in keeping up with lectures and readings. I was lucky to be enrolled in one postgraduate course with a very good mixture of different nationalities. This circumstance allowed me to improve my speaking skills enormously as there was no barrier to speak freely and contributing to the discussions, as everybody's first language was another one than English. Aussie colloquialisms enriched my speaking skills after studies in chitchats with fellow students and friends from Toowoomba's community. Dealing with the numerous assessments and with the end of semester exams as the climax improved my fluency in English a lot.

Enrolling and study plan at USQ

One of the more challenging tasks at the beginning was the choice of courses to enrol for. As USQ has numerous faculties with each one having a huge amount of different attractive and innovative courses the choice is hard to make. A change of mind in the choice of courses one made far away from the actual happening on campus in Germany is dealt with very easy. I was able to drop and add courses without any difficulties in the first couple of weeks and had the opportunity to adjust my plan of study in the best possible way.

Living and travelling

Besides the possibility to live in one of the three on campus accommodation facilities, McGregor, Concannon and Steel Rudd College, where housekeeping and full catering is provided, renting a student flat near campus and catering for yourself is a low to middle budget solution for the ones that do well in balancing and managing time for studies, shopping, cooking and cleaning. I lived in McGregor College and enjoyed sharing breakfast and dinner with my fellow residents and living in a friendly community with a well balanced mixture of work and fun.

With all the studies I still had time enough to experience the beauty of the land down under. For all being able to indulge themselves in nature's beauty and enjoy almost reclusive resorts a trip to Lady Elliot Island in one of the each semester commencing inter semester breaks shall be recommended. Really adventurous and highly recommended as the low budget outback experience is self drive trips through Queensland's outback and in this relation, Germans do not need an international drivers licence, either the pink "Lappen" or the new credit card format EU drivers licence are sufficient and are accepted by Australia's police.

Overall the down under experience is definitely the one that will last a lifetime also because of a bunch of new and lovely friends, the equivalent to the great aunt down under who to visit is always a good excuse to go back to the other side of the world and see her again, down under, the beauty.

Australia – a Warm Welcome on Every Level

My name is Daniela and I am a temporary resident of Australia since February. Coming from Germany I expected Kangaroos, Koalas, Surfer Boys, Spiders, Snakes and hot weather all around the year.

I don’t have to tell you how much more your country is. I was lucky to get the chance to study one semester with the USQ as the not so desperately crowded campus gives everybody the chance to get in contact with each other easily. And this is one of the most important issues I had in mind choosing to visit Australia for an exchange program.

However, 24 hours away from home one of my first contacts was a German. Since then, my list of contacts increased week after week. India, Malaysia, Brunei, China, Japan, Zimbabwe and last but not least Australia show up with mail addresses and phone numbers.

Shared lectures and tutorials, settling down in a new environment, all this bears lots of things to talk about. One can dip deep into the thoughts and ideas other ones have by just exchanging them during a nice chit chat whilst having a cup of coffee in the warm autumn sun.

Being a resident in one of the local colleges contains the opportunity to spend nearly every parts of uni life with Australians which is a good way to get an insight in your culture, yet in a special situation. This brings me to the International Friendship Program (IFP).

I heard about IFP through my German fellow and was kind of hesitant, not knowing what the program expects from you as a student and vice versa. A night in Queenspark, Toowoomba enjoying a Shakespeare play and after that a nice conversation with Rachel Cleary changed my mind. I handed in the application form and got the chance to get to know Kate from Toowoomba during a relaxed and funny Trivia Night. A good combination worked out by the IFP team enabled the both of us to connect instantly and we had not a single awkward moment. The weekend after our first meeting we met again and I got to know Kate’s partner Peter. I more than enjoyed their company and we exchanged chess and Aussie slang against little German lessons.

As both parties involved in this friendship program have a clear picture of what their expectations are it is very easy to get to know the other culture in a very intensive way and a more normal kind of situation.

Now, after my first six weeks I can say that Australia gave me a more than warm welcome and the opportunity to develop friendships which on the other hand give me a flavour of the Australian culture and true way of life.

Thanks a lot for that.