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    Csilla Egri-Kiss: My exchange in Sydney

    Although it has been a dream for me for so many years to live in a city with a warm climate by the ocean, to be specific in Sydney, when the day of moving finally came, besides feeling naturally excited I was quite nervous to be honest with many questions popping into my mind. What if...? Well I couldn’t have wished for happier 6 months than my exchange in the land of kangaroos.


    Living in Sydney
    I arrived one week before the start of the Block Seminar in order to get used to the time-zone and the life on the other side of the world. I will never forget the moment of my first glimpse of the Sydney Opera House on the 17th of July when with other CEMSies I had the chance to listen to a (free!) concert. Such an amazing way to start living in Australia!

    I was extremely lucky that the Hungrian CEMSie who spent her exchange there in the previous semester left Sydney right before I arrived. I got her room which cost “only” 250 AUD/week and was in a perfect location, 5 min. on foot from the central station and 30 min. on foot from the CBD campus, where I had most of my classes. The average rent for a single room is around 250-350 AUD/week and I would suggest to arrive before the block seminar and spend that week finding a rent (https://flatmates.com.au).

    Social activities
    As a true Assuie experience we kicked off the semester with a surf camp leaving directly from the Block Seminar. This weekend organised by the CEMS Club Sydney definitely based some of my most valuable friendships. At this point (after my dream to surf in Australia came true) I could have not imagined how this semester can even become better.

    The almost always sunny weather, kind Aussies and their mentality made everyday life genuinely happy. With my close friends or with the CEMS Club Sydney (approx. 140 people) we never lacked activities to do in our free time in the city. Sydney offers so many opportunities, from doing sports to going out, everyone finds something fun to do. Some of my favourites were swimming in Bondi Icebergs or in the North Olympic Pool, dancing salsa (with free salsa class) on Tuesdays at Establishment or just spending a nice afternoon in Manly.

    Furthermore, the CEMS Club organises various activities as well throughout the semester (besides the surf trip): wine tasting, amazing boat parties, running cocktails, running dinner, weekend getaways etc. 

    Generally the courses were interactive and in blocks, which means we finished 1 course in 5 weeks (eg. Advanced strategy was on 5 Mondays from 9am to 5pm). I took the following courses:

    • Block seminar: With the title “The Future of Business” we mostly covered AI related topics and the final deliverable was a video presentation.
    • Advanced Strategy (mandatory) - Quite demanding, competitive course with case studies from week to week and a case study exam at the end. This was the most useful and inspiring course for me, as I improved a lot learning from my peers and it gave me a combination of skills that I will benefit from in all parts of my life.
    • Global Marketing Management – The main project was to create a market entry strategy from a marketing perspective for a global sport apparel company. During the classes we solved many short case studies. I think it was interesting to see many examples from the fields of marketing.
    • Business Tools for Management – We covered practical examples with SPSS, linear programming, simulation modelling, etc. It does not add much new knowledge if you know how to use SPSS or had econometrics before.
    • Agile Project Management: Exciting and fun course with a video project by learning and applying the tools of agile project management. This was my only course at the main campus.

    Travelling was without any doubt the highlight of the semester. Let me show you the trips I made through some of my pictures.

    Weekend trips
    Newcastle – Port Stephens, Blue Mountains, Jervis Bay

    Spring break (Autumn break in Europe)
    East Coast roadtrip from Magnetic Island to Fraser Island

    New Zealand
    5 weeks on both island with a campervan after my exams

    On my way back to Hungary I stayed in Singapore as 6 days-long layover and visited the Hungarian CEMSie spending the spring semester there.

    Finally, I cannot miss the fact how interesting it was not only to get used to driving and walking on the left side but also to get used to the everyday fear that there might be a (most likely harmless) but enormous spider in my room. 😊

    All in all my semester in Sydney was amazing! It showed me a way to follow in my professional & personal life and based so many good friendships of mine around the world. I will end this reflection by quoting one of my friends: „I’m broke but I feel richer than before.”

    In case you are interested in choosing Sydney as your CEMS host university, I recommend you to read the other blog posts about this location. I tried to cover my personal and other useful information above, that is not included in the other writings in order to have a greater overview of the Sydney-CEMS experience. If you need any help or more details, please don’t hesitate to contact me, I’d be glad to help you!