Anna Harbach: From German forests to diving with dolphins

Anna Harbach

With a love for scuba diving and marine mammals, Anna instantly fell in love with Perth’s world-class beaches and the friends she made at Murdoch.

After doing the bulk of her safety and security degree in her home country of Germany, Anna Harbach took the plunge and travelled to Australia on exchange.

“To be an international student at Murdoch was a once in a lifetime experience and will always be a part of me. I learnt a lot about myself, and other cultures… and realised the importance of seeing different perspectives and connecting with others.”

Anna describes her experience at Murdoch as unique and unlike anything else she has encountered throughout her higher education studies - feeling as though she was treated like a person, not a number, which allowed her to excel in her studies.

"It’s kind of a big family, everybody knows everyone and if you need help you can always get support. Studying at Murdoch means continuously studying and learning through assignments and workshops, which means you will always be able to pass your exams and get good grades."

Anna chose to enrol in Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies at Murdoch, the first course of its kind in Western Australia. In this degree, students explore the meaning, development and complex causes of terrorism and political violence, including the different ways governments, states and organisations have responded to the threat of terrorism.

"My experience at Murdoch has been great. I've always been supported, especially as an international student, and being able to choose the units I wanted to study was really easy. I loved that there was always the opportunity to get in touch with both fellow international students and Australian students.”

Exploring Western Australia

A highlight for Anna of her time at Murdoch was getting to explore Perth and Western Australia, including seeing the incredible scenery and animals that are found nowhere else in the world.

"Life at Murdoch is built on social interactions, and my semester abroad was full of activities around Perth and the Murdoch Village. We were offered a lot of trips in and around Perth and I feel like I got the real ‘Crocodile Dundee’ experience through getting to see the real Australia on the North West trip."

Lasting 10 days and spanning more than 4,000 kilometres, the North West Trip gives international students the chance to hike mountains, swim in gorges, and sleep under the beautiful starry night skies of the outback.

With the opportunity to snorkel in Coral Bay with humpback whales, tiger sharks, sting rays, and Nemo, Perth is the ultimate study destination for students like Anna who love nature.

"I like scuba diving and Australia has the most beautiful underwater animals in the world. For travelling and seeing a lot of beautiful places, Australia is one of the best spots ever."

Living it up in Perth

A stark contrast to the mountains and forests of her home country of Germany, Anna also loved discovering the beaches of Perth, including Cottesloe, which was recently voted the number 1 beach in the world by The Guardian.

"I loved all the beautiful beaches in Perth. There are so many sprawling beaches that seem almost untouched."

While Perth is known as the more chilled out city when compared to our east coast rivals (Melbourne and Sydney), we’ve experienced a cultural Renaissance in recent years with the transformation of our CBD to include both Elizabeth Quay and Yagan Square, plus the creation of more than 100 new bars and restaurants.

"Perth City has its own flair with lots of new bars and restaurants, while Fremantle is more for people who want to relax and start the day slow and comfortable."

A historic port-city located just 15 minutes from Murdoch, Fremantle is renowned for its laid-back attitude, vibrant cappuccino strip and internationally renowned cafes and restaurants.

Recommending Murdoch to others

Anna describes her Murdoch experience as one of the best of her life and doesn't hesitate to recommend Murdoch to others.

"Yes, I would recommend Murdoch to future students. The support and effort from the University for their students is enormous, especially if you are an international student.

"You are met with lots of positive attitudes and if you get into any problems, no matter if it’s university related or personal, there will always be support available.

"It was such a great experience and I have found friends for life."

Ready to experience Murdoch for yourself? Learn more about Study Abroad at Murdoch.
Posted on:

30 Mar 2020

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