James Cook University is very small with around 1,500 students. As a result, the campus is also of a manageable size. The atmosphere on campus is more school-like, but the size also has advantages, as you always meet people and know your professors personally. The JCU also offers entertainment options such as table tennis and badminton, as well as a student lounge and cafeteria to pass the time. This is also necessary because the state has issued requirements for foreign students that state that you have to be on campus for 3 hours a day. The whole thing is recorded by fingerprint. However, from the time I was there, there are no known cases where a non-appearance would have had any consequences. The campus also has a library, a computer room and a copy shop.
You are looked after the entire time by the Student Service, the contact person for all possible matters. The staff are very nice and helpful. However, you should think carefully about the choice of course in advance, as a change on site turned out to be very tedious.
The introductory events lasted an entire week, during which one could get to know a lot of people through numerous activities.
A total of 4 modules are chosen per trimester. Depending on the professor, the content was either very interesting or less so. In each module there are several term papers / group work / presentations in the trimester, which take a relatively long time from the start and should not be underestimated. The level of the lectures also varies greatly depending on the professor in charge, but is below that of most universities in Germany.
Singapore is a great city with a comfortable size. The transport network is great and you can get anywhere quickly outside of rush hour. Districts like Marina Bay, Harbor Front, China Town, Sentosa and Little India are on every student’s must-see list. A nice afternoon at the beach on Sentosa or hiking in the MacRichie Reservoir will make you forget that you are in such a big city. You can also go shopping in Singapore in various malls or the famous Orchard Road. Singapore also has a lot to offer at night. Thanks to regular online guest lists, you often have free entry to the best locations such as the tallest building 1-Altitude, the Avalon or the New Asia Bar. The Ku Dé Ta, the night club on the famous Marina Bay Sands, is also open on Wednesdays and Thursdays free admission.
Singapore is of course THE starting point for traveling all over Southeast Asia. Popular travel destinations such as Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam etc. are only a few hours’ flight away and can be reached for little money if you book in good time. The cheapest way to fly is with airlines such as Jetstar, AirAsia and Tigerairways.
Living space in Singapore is limited and rental prices are correspondingly high. I would recommend looking for an accommodation on site and in the meantime a bed in a hostel, for example. to take at Clarke Quay. This is the only way to get an idea of the new accommodation and the roommates. Unfortunately, there are also many fraudsters at work in the online portals, so never transfer money in advance via Western Union. Newspaper ads are also a great way to find accommodation, and there is a large real estate section in the newspaper every Saturday.
There are generally two ways to live in Singapore, one is HDB flats (these are most of the apartments here and these are state-built apartments) and then there are condos or privately owned properties (houses and all the beautiful apartments with a pool / gym). Rooms in an HDB apartment are available for around 300-500 euros, whereas rooms in condos cost between 800-1000 euros. Many students therefore share a room in a condo in order to be able to enjoy its advantages but still stay within budget. From the residential area, it is very subjective whether you prefer to live in the city center and accordingly participate more in city life or in the vicinity of the university. The quickest way to get to the JCU from the city center is by bus in around 45 minutes.
- Learn more information about Singapore and Asia on nexticle.
Overall, I rate my semester abroad in Singapore as very successful. This was mainly due to the great city and the many people I got to know. So less so at James Cook University, which couldn’t convince me.