Distance Learning Abroad: Studying in a caravan or on the beach

Mariel came to know and love life in Australia through her husband. She is currently spending several months with him and their two sons in his home country. Always at hand: her IUBH Distance Learning course.


My name is Mariel, I am 42 years old and come from Nordwalde near Münster. During my parental leave for my two children, I had already spent time with my family in Australia. Now – Ben is meanwhile 9 and Tom 7 – my husband and I have once again decided to live in Down Under for a longer time. For us it is important that our two sons get to know everyday life in Australia: from school life and hobbies to the country and its people.  For myself, I use the time abroad to deepen my knowledge in the field of human resources through a distance learning programme at IUBH.

Australia No compromises: Postgraduate studies and Australian sun

Many years ago I studied international business in Dortmund and Amsterdam. Then I completed a trainee programme and worked for several years for a textile retailer in sales and personnel. Since my boys are now both going to school, I have the time and desire to continue my education: IUBH gives me the opportunity to complete my master’s degree online. To be honest, it’s not always easy to find the necessary discipline and to sit down at my desk nearly every day. However, now that temperatures have cooled down a bit, I can also study very comfortably in my caravan or on the beach. I wrote all my exams online. For my degree, I only need to do two more assignments and the master thesis.

I actually met my husband in Australia. At that time a friend and I visited an Australian exchange student, with whom we had gone to school in Münster for a year. During our holiday in Australia my current husband showed us Brisbane by day and by night. Several years later he worked in England and Switzerland. At that time he regularly visited my friend in Düsseldorf – and by chance also me…And here we are, years later: married with two sons – and until now we have always had the chance to discover and enjoy the many advantages of both continents.

Home times two: Two languages, two citizenships

Fortunately, our children Ben and Tom, who both have dual citizenship, feel very comfortable in both Germany and Australia. They also are proficient in both languages, so moving to the “other” country is not overly challenging. Of course we all miss the friends and family “left behind” – sometimes in Germany, sometimes in Australia. But now that we have spent several years in both countries, the joy of living “at the other end of the world” is always amazing.  Just a few minutes after reuniting it is almost as if we had never been away.

AustraliaIn Australia, we like best to pick up where we left off during our last visit: meet old friends and spend a lot of time with “nanny and poppy” and the other members of the “Australian” family. The boys also enjoy testing other sports, such as “nippers”, training on the beach to save lives later in an emergency, and cricket. With the summerly temperatures we spend most of our time “outdoors”. During the holidays, we had a great time together on the east coast.

Anticipating the joy of reunion: Friends, family – and breakfast

When we think about returning to Germany, we look forward above all – in addition to family and friends – to an extensive breakfast with many different delicious, fresh rolls and delicious, diverse cold cuts. It will be interesting to see how Ben and Tom settle back in Germany and whether their school performance will be okay. Whatever the case, they definitely learned a lot during their time in Australia.


Mariel has been studying for a master's degree in Human Resources Management at IUBH Distance Learning since 2018. Her hobbies are playing tennis, reading, meeting friends and travelling.

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