International at Griffith: Episode Three
My guest for this week is Meike Kocholl from Germany who is studying a Bachelor of Business Administration at Griffith University. Unlike our previous guests, Meike is an exchange student and will be returning back to Germany at the end of the trimester. She told me she recently picked up the hobby of playing the ukulele and caught the travel bug!
Ola: Hello Meike! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview.
Meike: No worries Ola, I’ve always wanted to be interviewed [laughs].
Ola: So, my first question is, why did you choose to spend a semester abroad on the Gold Coast?
Meike: Well, I always wanted to study abroad in an English speaking country, and I think the weather on the Gold Coast is awesome!
Ola: What do you think of the program you’re studying at Griffith? Do you like it?
Meike: I’m honestly very passionate about my degree, I really enjoy studying here!
Ola: Was it easy for you to find friends?
Meike: Yes! A lot of exchange students live in my apartment building. I also went on a Byron Bay trip that was organised by Griffith at the beginning of the trimester, and I met many people who became my friends.
Ola: What do you like the most about Griffith?
Meike: That’s a tough question but if I had to choose, it would be the clubs! I’m a member of the Griffith outdoor, volleyball and the handball club. I love sports, so I was happy to find all these clubs existed on Campus!
Ola: During your stay, did you notice any differences between German and Australian culture?
Meike: I think a difference would be that Australian’s have a culture of openness. Whenever I’m walking on the street here, it’s normal for people to greet me and say hello. I don’t want to clump every German into one category, but in Germany we’re a bit more reclusive and closed off.
Ola: What has been the best part of your experience in Australia so far?
Meike: Definitely the people. I’ve met great people here and formed friendships that I believe will last a lifetime. It was also amazing to see how much I’ve grown as a person. I didn’t think 12 weeks would change anything about me, but they have. I can say I’m more independent, open-minded, self-confident and trusting of myself. I feel more complete and at peace now than I did before I came here.
Ola: Honestly, that’s so wonderful! Finally, what are your dreams and aspirations for the future?
Meike: I just want to be having an impactful career I am happy and pleased with. I don’t want to live for the weekends. I want wake up every morning wanting to go to work. I hope that wherever life takes me, I am making a change in this world.
The series aims to amplify the voices of the international students at Griffith University. Providing us with the opportunity to gain an in-depth insight into the international student experience. This will be achieved by helping us catch sight of the dreams, aspirations and expectations of these young adults who left their home country behind in search of a new adventure.
If you want to read more stories from international students, or students who are engaged with the global community, you can visit Griffith International’s blog, Explore.
A little information about the author:
My name is Ola Khalil, I’m 21 years old and I came to Australia two years ago, to commence a degree in PR & Communications at Griffith. I would call myself a rap music enthusiast and someone who loves adventure.
It would be an understatement to say that these past two and a half years were a whirlwind, so it’s definitely been a wild ride. Through this series, I want to bring you the stories of those who have left home and familiarity, in pursuit of a new adventure in Australia. I hope you enjoy the series!