What do you do as a windsurfer and snowboarder when you get the chance to study for a half a year on Bali? You take it and give surfing a try. The thought of another tough northern German winter and an addiction to travelling also contributed to the decision.
I was studying in the nice German town of Flensburg. Well, nice at least in summer, when there are plenty of beaches around, a nice old harbour and a few bars to hang out and meet friends. But in winter? Everybody who has been to northern Germany in winter knows what I’m talking about. And 2004 was an exceptionally cold winter so I stopped windsurfing in December for St. Nicolas and only made it down to the alps for a week or two. All in all I spent most of the winter studying inside where it’s warm and cosy. Not too bad if you have company but my passion for board sports suffered quite a bit that winter…
So I’m sitting there in my lecture theatre in march, the worst of winter is over and I hear about this institution called European Overseas Campus EOC and apparently I can take the ECTS credit of all seminars I take there towards my German degree. OK, you have to pay for it, but Bali? – Definitely worth a thought and six months later at the end of summer I find myself with 4 friends on a train from Hamburg to Frankfurt to catch a plane to Paradise…
And it was great, upon arrival we immediately got picked up by our professor who took us to our accommodation, which was located centrally on the Bukit-peninsula, convenient to get to uni as well as to the beach or into Kuta town. Everything was taken care of and we just had to relax, get used to the sun, rent a scooter and learn how to drive it (scooters are the major means of transportation on Bali) and wait till school started. Studying on Bali was quite different from my program in Germany. The lectures are organized as seminars, which means you work on one topic for one week. While this sometimes meant a lot of work as we had lectures in the morning and then had to work on group and individual assignments in the afternoon, it had the advantage that you really fully engage into one specific topic and also that when you are done with one particular seminar you are off and get time to surf or explore the island. Furthermore it’s up to you to organize your time, so if live by the tides, you can schedule your work around that to a certain extent. After all I have to say that I had a great time on Bali, and that does not only mean surfing perfect ways nearly everyday but also living and studying in such an exotic location that is so different from my European background has really extended my horizon.
The EOC offers courses in International Management and international tourism management. A complete semester awards you with 30 ECTS credit points, which can contribute to the completion of most accredited academic programs. There are two intakes each year for programs starting in March and September. If you are interested in a similar experience check out: http://www.overseas-campus.info
Next week we will go on with the next part about learning to surf in Bali. Stay tuned!
Text: Gunnar Lubahn