ISOIS ▸ Final reports

Host country:
Host institution:
Mobility type:
Program:
Faculty:
Ac. year:
Semesters:
Study level:
Language filled in:

Griffith University

Australia 2018/2019 Partner universities

Personal data
Mobility type:
study

Faculty at MU:
Faculty of Informatics

Field of study:
Applied Informatics

Level of study during period of placement:
Bachelor

Language used:
English

Summer/winter school?:
no

Period of studies:
autumn 2018

Period of placement (from-to):
2018-10-22 - 2019-02-16

Number of months:
4.00

Activities before my departure abroad
Where can information be found about courses taught at the foreign school?:
All information needed can be found on the university website.

Which documents were needed for acceptance at the foreign university?:
I was asked for a proof of English level. Because I spend two years at international school studying fully in English, a letter from my former director confirming my English abilities was enough. Otherwise, TOEFL or other certification is needed.

How far ahead did you have to organise your acceptance?:
I applied for the program in December 2017, starting the school in October 2018.

Did you need a visa?:
yes

Documents and materials needed for a visa:
Letter written in English ensuring the Australians that I’m going to Australia just to study and that I’m gonna leave and go backt o my country as soon as I finish the course (trimester). I also needed a letter from the Australian university saying that I’m enrolled. Last document was the OSHC, which is a health insurance (it’s compulsory).

Length of wait for visa:
My visa was processed within a week.

Fee for the visa:
Around 9500 CZK.

Studies
Did you have a Learning Agreement signed before your departure?:
yes

If not, why not?:

Before your departure did you know how your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
Yes. It was already agreed on my LA.

During your stay did you change your Learning Agreement?:
Yes. I asked to get more credits for individual courses as the material covered in the courses was more complex and I needed way more time and effort to finish the courses than it seemed at first.

When and how did course registration take place? Are there any restrictions? Possibilities of making changes?:
You enroll online on the university website. You can make changes at the beginning of the trimester. You can change course, enroll into a new one or drop a course.

Did you take any examinations at the foreign school?:
Most of the courses were completed by working on an assignment which you were focused in during the whole semester. But 2 of the courses had additional exams as well.

Does the school use the ECTS system?:
no

If not then explain how the credits there were recalculated into ECTS:
University system is in CP (credit points). There’s 10 CP per subject. Students need 30 CP per trimester usually. At first, I was given half of the amount of credits by my faculty. But after explaining how many hours I spent on working on assignments and also preparing for the quizzes and workshops, it was reconsidered and I was given 7 ECTS for 10 CP. I wouldn’t be also able to come back with 20 ECTS easily if I was given just 5 ECTS per 10 CP.

Describe the teaching methods (theory, practical and projects) and assessment of students:
There are lectures (2-4hours long) and workshops for every subject. Workshops are taking place in the labs usually, depends on the course. Projects are part of every course, so you get more familiar with the real issues. Also to complete the course, you work on the assessments throughout the semester and submitting this assessment at the end of semester makes the bigfer part of your grade. There’s usually an exam as well, but the weight of the exam is was lower. Many workshops include quizzes which can help you to improve your grade.

Quality of teaching in comparison with home school:
The teaching methods are absolutely amazing. The approach from university or individual teachers/mentors/professors was something I’m going to miss at my home university. There are practical workshops for every course, you get a lot of teachers attention, you work in a group on assignments, you can cooperate, help each other. Anytime you need help, you just contact the mentor and they give you time you need to understand the topic or they help you with your assignments. The teachers were more like our friends (trimester 3 in Australia is less busy as there’s summer at that time. So it also played a role as the classes were smaller). The overall quality of teaching and facilities is way higher than I’m used to.

How did you receive study materials?:
Most of the materials were online, but if we needed printed copies, it was usually given to us printed. But all the assessments and quizzes were online.

Can you recommend an interesting course/subject/teacher?:
Creative Coding - an interesting course for students to start with programming in JavaScript. You finish the course by submitting your own game in a web browser.
Information Systems Foundations - you work on a real world problem, taking a role of a project manager and working on very detailed and professional analysis of a chosen company dealing with some issues based on problems with Information Systems.

How well is the school library equipped?:
The school library is very well equipped. Apart from a huge range of studying material available, there are many computers for use, printers, there are study rooms, rooms for group studying with blackboards, quiet area, 24/7 area for studying, sofas and couches everywhere, enough places for charging your phone or laptop, gaming aread with PlayStation and Xbox.

Availability of computers, internet access, level of software needed, requirements on notebook:
There are computer labs with either iMac computers or Windows running computers. You don’t need a laptop at all, but it’s more convenient. Internet access is very reliable and fast. All the software needed was easily accessible and also running on both platforms (macOS and Windows). From my experience at MUNI, the struggle with having MacBook in Australia wasn’t an issues at all. But it was an issue back at my home university.

Options from printing and copying:
Usung your student card, you just too up the credit and you can print and cooy. Many printers are in the library, but there are printers all over the campus. So it’s very easy to access it.

Does the foreign school/student organisation arrange special events for exchange students?:
yes

If yes then what?:
At the beginning of the semester, there’s one week orientation which is full of activities as different trips, gathering, playing games, party at university bar, campus walks, barbecue, different lectures.

How would you assess your integration with the local students (evaluation like in school from 1 to 5 with 1 as highest):
1

or describe in your own words:

Practical questions on your placement
Where did you live?:
I found room in a shared house on Flatmates website. It’s the cheapest way to live. Living on the campus is almost twice more expensive.

Cost of accommodation - monthly:
480 EUR

Additional comments to the price of accommodation (as to what the price includes):
Depends on the place you stay at. Usually it comes with all the bills included (electricity, water, interner, Netflix). Sometimes there are additional costs.

Describe the equipment. Tips for future students – what should they bring with them?:
As you can buy anything here, there’s no need to bring anything special. Using Gumtree (website for used stuff - from bikes, cars, to blenders or even accommodation), you can bet many things way cheaper. I bought a bike for 1600 CZK, which would cost approximately 10 000 CZK in my home country. The houses are usually fully equipped.

How and how far ahead should accommodation be organised?:
Many places can be arranged in around two weeks period. I found the accommodation around 1 month before I came. Many people don’t like waiting for that long for someone to move in. So 1-2 weeks are enough to find a good place.

What are the catering options?:
Australia offers way more options than the Czech Republic, so unlimited.

What are the rough costs of groceries (compare with Czech prices):
Seasonal fruit and veggies is sometimes even cheaper, especially on the markets. But overall, it’s way more expensive. Per week, I would spend the same money as in the Czech Republic per month. On the other hand, the quality of food here is amazing. Restaurants are also very expensive. The prices start around $15 for a decent meal (Which is around 240 CZK). But you usually spend around $20-$25. Every restaurant offers water for free.

Transport to location of placement:
Bus. The infrastructure of transportation is not that good as in Brno. There’s nothing as buses going during the night. Last buses go around 11pm, the first ones 6-7am. There’s a tram line, but just one tram going along the coast. It’s very easy with a bike here. Also bigger cities and airports are connected by train and that’s a good way for travelling.

Rough prices for transportation:
It’s highly recommended to buy “go card” and get a student concession as you pay half the price. The austem is different than in Brno. But for one ride, it’s around 32CZK if you travel around 5-10km and if it’s within 2 hours I guess.

Tips for purchasing cheap tickets and other recommendations:
Go card. You buy it at petrol station (7 eleven) or other places where you see the symbol of the card. You can top it up on every tram station or in the bus. You can also do it online. Also ask for the student concession. Don’t be scared to call the number on the card for any help, the customer service is way more helpful than you would expect.

What are the local transport options (public transport, cycling, on foot, rough prices):
Public transport during the day is alright. Also it depends on your location, how far it is from the beach or busy areas. Walking is hard (I tried to walk to uni and back and to grocery shops for the first month, ended up with 200km distance walked in that month). I don’t recommend that. Everything is way further than it seems (the size of Australia is literally the size if Europe as I found out when i came here). Cycling is very convenient (just buy a bike on Gumtree or Facebook Market). Skateboarding is very convenient too.

What kind of formalities have to be arranged before arrival, for example residence permit?:
You don’t need any residence permit. As you’re on student visa, you don’t have to care about that.

What health insurance did you use? (rough price, advantages, disadvantages, is it necessary to arrange insurance at the university other than your home (Czech) insurance?):
The university will not allow you to enroll until you get OSHC insurance. Around 5400 CZK for semester. So you can use the university doctors and medical facilities for free. Apart from that one, I got insurance attached to my credit card.

Did you have any experience with medical treatment abroad?:
I got a few checks there. Everything was very easy to arrange.

Did you work during your studies?:
Yes

What are the conditions for working for MU students?:
As you’re on student visa, you’re allowed to work max 20 hours per week (unlimited hours during holidays). It’s handy to open an Australian bank account to get paid from your work (sometimes it’s necessary). For example Commonwealth Bank offers a bank account completely for free (offers Apple Pay as well. And they’ve got very handy phone app as well)

Tips for free-time activities:
Surfing, running, national parks, hiking, many possibilities at uni (gym, athletics, I personally joined a swimming club there).

Financial support and expenses
Total grant from Centre for International Cooperation:
80000 CZK

Monthly grant in CZK:
20000 CZK

Number of supported months:
4

Total number of months:
4

What other sources did you make use of to finance your placement?:
My own savings, my parents help, money I made in Australia.

If you received another grant, state which and how much in CZK:
My home faculty gave me grant of 25 000 CZK

 
Total fees associated with enrolment at the university:
0 CZK

a/ amount of enrolment fee:
0 CZK

b/ amount of tuition fees:
0 CZK

c/ amount of other fees (which):
0 CZK

 
What was your average monthly expenditure?:
30000 CZK

a/ of which for accommodation:
12500 CZK

b/ of which for catering:
11000 CZK

c/ travel and recreation:
6500 CZK

Any comments to the average monthly expenditure:

Recognition of foreign studies at the home faculty
How many credits did you gain during your studies (in the system of the foreign school)?:
40 CP

How many ECTS credits were recognised at MU?:
28 ECTS

Did you know in advance which of your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
Yes

What problems did you have with recognition?:
I didn’t have any problems.

Overall assessment
Assessment of personal benefit (1 = excellent):
1

Assessment of academic benefit (1 = excellent):
1

Evaluate the information and support provided by the foreign school (1 = excellent):
1

Did you encounter any serious problems during your stay:
I didn’t encounter any problems.

What would you recommend to take with you:
Take less than you think you need. As you cumulate stuff during your stay, it’s hard to pack at the end.

What most surprised you at the partner university in a positive way:
The teachers’ attitude and the huge variety of activities provided (sports and clubs included). The facilities of the university were way beyond my expectations.

What most surprised you at the partner university in a negative way:
Nothing.

Further comments: