Esther - Technische Universität Berlin

B Architectural Design
Semester 2, 2017

Academic Experience

As an exchange student you have the freedom to take any course you wish. TU Berlin offers an extensive range of interesting subjects related to urban studies, architecture, sociology and tech ( as an Architecture student). The courses are organised into seminars and studios. This is an exciting study opportunity as you control your own projects/ research often with a small group of people and exhibit your work. Challenges include language barriers and lack of direction. In Germany the processes are extremely manual as there is no Blackboard or si-net equivalent therefore you cannot be organised in advanced. You must keep an eye on your emails and go to every introductory event or you will miss vital information.

Personal Experience

Personally I had the opportunity to participate in courses that are not offered at UQ gaining knowledge in subjects areas I otherwise would not been exposed to. I also met a lot of great people, learned a new language and was able to travel throughout Europe.

Accommodation

There are many student accomodation places available. This is similar to college. I personally found an apartment through the many Facebook communities. This is something you must organise well in advance as accomodation is extremely competitive and in Europe you will most likely be subletting (always makes sure this is legal or you may risk being kicked out).

Budget

Berlin is very cheap for rent and food. Approximately $300 per month for rent. This varies depending on location and housing. Transport is free for students (this is not the case for all European cities).

Professional Development & Employability

Language, research, exposure.

Highlights

Berlin is a very exciting city with a lot to do. My highlights were travel, making friends, taking new courses.

Top Tips

For future exchange students it is important to be very organised, there is a lot of paper work and uncertainties within the application process. Keep up to date and stay in communication with the people helping you organise the exchange and enrol in subjects.

Start learning the native language even if you are taking all English subjects, UQ offers really great language programs usually at night so it will not clash with you current work load. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to have a perfect time, go everywhere and get perfect grades. Priorities what is important for you! There will be bad times too. Do as much research as possible and participate in as many thing as you can.