At the beginning of my master’s degree at HS Bremerhaven, it was clear to me that I wanted to do a semester abroad in Asia. I wanted to go to Singapore and I found out about MicroEDU and quickly found the right university that offers 30 credit points during the study abroad terms, which can later be credited towards my studies in Germany. I did a bachelor’s semester abroad in Australia and visited Singapore for a few days. Since I was so overwhelmed by the city, I really wanted to spend my semester abroad there.
I studied 4 subjects at JCU. These are:
People in Organization
Current Business Issues
It was clear to me from the start that I wanted to go to Singapore and I found out about universities where I could spend my semester abroad. That’s when I came across MicroEDU. The website provided all the necessary information and so I was able to quickly get an idea of the JCU and contacted Sabine from College Contakt for additional inquiries. I was able to do the Study Abroad semester at JCU in the field of business administration and the good thing is that I was able to choose the courses myself from a wide range of courses. This semester I have mainly decided on HR major subjects.
Now that I had finally decided that I would like to spend my semester at JCU, I started the application process with the great help of Sabine from MicroEDU. For this I needed a résumé in English, as well as a photo to apply for the student pass and a translation of my birth certificate into English. I then received documents and had to fill them out and send them back to MicroEDU. The application process itself was very simple and straightforward and was relatively quick.
2. The James Cook University
James Cook University is an Australian university and has expanded its location to include Singapore. The JCU has a total of around 2000 students who come from all countries. The bachelor’s degree courses mainly take place in the Upper Thomson Campus and the Master’s students have subjects in the Upper Thomson and Ang Mo kio campuses. It was the same with me, I had two subjects in one and the other two in the other. I lived in Ang Mo Kio, which was quite centrally located, so that both campuses could be reached within 15 minutes. The UT campus is more modern and the administration of the JCU can also be found there. Overall, both campuses offer air-conditioned classrooms equipped with everything necessary with a cafeteria where you can get snacks and lunch. There is freely accessible WiFi on both campuses. However, you can only find the library on the UT Campus, which borrows books, but only for one week and only if the respective book is still in stock for the second time, otherwise you are not allowed to take it with you. Personally, I haven’t bought any books because I hardly needed any for my subjects.
3. Singapore itself!
About 5 million mainly Chinese, Indians and Malays live in the independent nation-state. English is spoken everywhere, there is a slight difference to the English that you are used to, but you can get used to the “Singlish” quickly. The Singaporeans live mainly in HDBs, which are high-rise buildings that are partly financed by the state.
I was very impressed by the developed and very well organized infrastructure, there are buses, MRT (the subway in Singapore) that operate every 10 minutes until 12 o’clock at night. With the MRT you can reach all parts of Singapore quickly and easily. A ride costs around 1.50 sing. Dollars.
- Learn more information about Singapore and Asia on insidewatch.
I definitely recommend going to the man-made beach Santosa, there are shows every day such as the “Songs of the Sea” or to the museum, or just to party, there are great beach parties ;-)!
Other districts worth seeing are Holland Village, Little India, Chinatown, and of course Marina Bay Sense.
The food offer is amazing, you can find everything from European, Asian, Australian and much more, on every corner you will find stalls with snacks, fresh fruits and freshly squeezed juices as well as the food courts, where you can get cheap (e.g. for 5 dollars) can eat.
4. Finding accommodation
First I stayed at the Bamboo House Hostel where I paid $ 500 for a double room in advance. However, I was so disappointed with the hostel because it is dirty and has no windows, so I moved out after 3 days and the money could no longer be got even with the help of the JCU. After three days I found new accommodation in Ang Mo Kio, Condo Grandeur 8, where many JCU students lived. I paid for a double room in the master room 1050 and we had our own bathroom.
I would definitely recommend looking at the room and apartment beforehand and not transferring anything beforehand. Book a hostel for about 25 dollars a night for the first week and later at university you will get to know many students with whom you can look for an apartment or a room together. I had great experiences with the Grandeur 8. You pay a little more, but you have a swimming pool, baskeball and tennis courts, and a gym.
5. Subject / subjects
I had taken 4 subjects, namely:
People in Organization
Current Business Issues
When I registered for the courses everything was in order on site, I was initially entered in a wrong course, but that was corrected in 2 weeks. All subjects that you take are recorded in JCU Online Learning and here you have access to all the necessary lecture materials, which are always uploaded by the professors and made available to the students. In this tool you can also find your grades for the homework and intermediate work you submitted.
Each course is divided into a lecture and a tutorial, each subject has a total of 3 hours a week, 2 hours is the lecture and one hour is the tutorial, in which group work is done and questions about the lecture can be clarified.
In comparison to Germany, so-called “assignments” are required for 50% of the overall grade in all subjects over the course of the semester. That means 50% are homework, presentation and group work and with 50% the final exam is important.
The housework is a lot in terms of quantity, but cannot be compared with the level in Germany and can therefore be easily managed.
6. Statement of costs and financing options
The cost of living in Singapore is very expensive. Accommodation is the most expensive part. Accommodation in a hostel costs around 500-900 dollars, in an apartment around 900-1500. I had applied for a scholarship for my semester abroad, so that these monthly costs were covered.
Apartment SGD 700-1500 (depending on the choice of accommodation)
Bus ticket, food, going out about 800 SGD
For going out I would recommend ClarQue, for example, there you can find all the clubs in one place and on Wednesdays there is always ladies night, you come as a woman in clubs free of charge, otherwise entry costs 25 dollars.
Since, if you are lucky, you have the weekends off, you can use the opportunity to visit neighboring countries such as Malaysia or Indonesia. After Indonesia you can get to the islands of Bintan and Batam by ferry in about 1 hour.
All in all, I can look back on a great and experience-rich semester abroad. I had a lot of fun and got to know many different cultures and people. In addition, the course was very interesting and I am glad that I made the right choice of subjects. Singapore offers a lot of culture and opportunities to get away, so that you can experience a lot here in one semester. In addition, you can travel to the surrounding countries cheaply during the semester or afterwards. The JCU offers its international students a lot of advice and support. I am happy to have been to Singapore and to the JCU. Herewith also a BIG thank you for the handling and support to Sabine from MicroEDU.