Amelie - Technical University of Berlin

B Architectural Design
Semester 1, 2023


I have always wanted to live abroad and be exposed to new ideas.

Personal Development

During my semester abroad, I was thankful to have made so many friends from different countries across the world. It feels exciting to know that I can travel to new countries and know that I will be able to visit the friends I made during the exchange.

Academic Development

In relation to my studies, I feel like this experience has changed my perspective on architecture. It was interesting studying the urban environment of Berlin and comparing it to Brisbane's. Here in Berlin it's common for old neighbourhoods to be composed of 5 story apartments that are neatly lined up against each other. These apartments have communal outdoor spaces located in the centre of the block as opposed to having backyards. The older neighbourhoods of Brisbane are comprised of detached houses with separate yards. These differences change the way open space in a city is valued and thus require separate strategies for designing.

Professional Development

Whilst studying here I began studying German at University. Although I am not yet a fluent speaker, I certainly can now see myself developing this skill even more and using it to work in this city in coming years.


For me, I did not have a very strict budget, however, Berlin is a relatively cheap city to live in so I did not worry too much about everyday expenses. For accommodation, my university has a partnership with a housing organisation in Berlin. Through this organization, I applied for a room in a three-bedroom student flat. I was luckily accepted here and the rent I pay is 287 Euro/ Month ($120/week). This rent is even cheaper than what I pay in Brisbane. For transport, I had to pay 250 Euros for a student ticket which covered every journey for the whole semester. For food, I would probably spend around 50 Euros a week on groceries. These groceries would be enough for my breakfast and dinner. For lunches, I would eat at the University cafeteria, where each meal costs around 5 Euros. For extra expenses, like clubbing and recreational activities, I would probably spend 50 Euros each week. Each month I would probably spend around 1,000 Euros. This includes extra travel which I participated in during my experience. My advice for future students would be to research the countries they can study in and work out if it's financially suitable for the kind of lifestyle you want to live. If you don't have a lot of savings like me, pick somewhere you know you won't be struggling for money.


The funding really made it possible for me to come here, I was mostly using it for living expenses. It enabled me the ability to not have to work during the semester which would have been stressful and taken time away from enjoying university.


I found out about my apartment through an email sent by TU Berlin. I originally wanted to find a shared flat somewhere in another location but I came to realize that the Berlin rental market is very competitive and so I applied for the dorm-type apartment. Fortunately, I was accepted and it took the stress away from searching for a place. I have enjoyed the place I live in because it is located nearby a lot of the nightlife in Berlin. I also have quite a spacious room and two lovely housemates who are also students at my University. One thing I don't like about my apartment is that the kitchen and bathroom are located in the middle of the flat and do not have windows. There is also no communal space otherwise, so you are forced to hang out in your rooms. My apartment is also a 40-minute train commute to the university. At the beginning of semester, I enjoyed this because the ride is very scenic however it became quite annoying towards the end of uni when I was studying late and then had to be on the train for such a long time.


When I look back on my exchange, some of the happiest moments I think of are just the times I spent hanging out with friends after class. Often after my German class, at least 10 of us would go eat lunch together in the cafeteria. Here we would sit and talk for a few hours until being kicked out by the kitchen staff.

Advice/Top Tips

Honestly, I would just tell students to not overthink going on semester exchange. Once you arrive everything will work itself out and you will grow so much as a person trying to work through the stressful administration and study that comes along with it.