The best of two worlds

This is what studying here in Australia means for me – an opportunity to combine ‘The best of two worlds’. I am not even talking about all the different places, cultures and personalities I got to know over the years. For me, ‘The best of two worlds’ is to complete a PhD in a good environment at a prestigious university, while experiencing the amazing outdoor activities possible in Australia.

Three years ago, because of a collaboration between my German university (RWTH Aachen) and Deakin University in Geelong, I visited Australia to conduct an internship at the Institute for Frontier Materials as part of my master’s degree. During this period I met a lot of open-minded people and was able to perform research using world-class equipment. This is why I decided to return to Deakin as a doctoral candidate. A decision I do not regret at all.

Studying at Deakin is a great experience. Unlike the European system, the PhD candidates here conduct their experiments themselves and spend most of their time on their own research. This allows me to have a good balance between desk work and being in the lab and doing experiments. When I am in the labs, I am able to use all kinds of equipment – from furnaces to heat treat samples, to tensile testers for deformation studies and the most up-to-date electron microscope equipment that can be used to observe material structures on a nano-scale level.


Andreas enjoying the view while rock climbing

However, the good study environment is only a part of the reason why I chose Australia for my PhD. In Australia I started to surf and also became an avid rock climber. I spend many evenings after work at one of the nearby beaches, surfing or just catching up with friends and having a barbie (barbeque). The weekends are reserved for climbing trips to surrounding national parks where the only other mammals you see are kangaroos, wombats, koalas and possums. Rock climbing in Victoria is outstanding and climbers come from all over the world to enjoy the beautiful sandstone rock formations.

Melbourne, which is just an hour’s drive away, has been awarded the title of the most liveable city in recent years and is a good place to visit, but for me, Geelong is the place to live. I am close to an ocean beach, I can climb in some of the greatest locations and I can pursue my studies in a university filled with excellent people and equipped with all that is needed to conduct research at the highest level….simply ‘The best of two worlds’!

Andreas feeding a kangaroo

Andreas feeding a kangaroo

For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page. Or ask us a question by visiting our international student enquiry page – we’re happy to help you get to know Deakin better.

1 Comment

  • June 16, 2015

    Robin Taylor

    Great story and photo! You have also contributed a lot to IFM and Deakin during your years here. Best of luck in your future career.

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