Oda-Maria and Kajana, studying overseas at Konkuk University (Seoul, South Korea)

We are two Norwegian students who are studying a complete Business degree at USC. Going into the third year of our program we decided to study abroad for one semester at Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. This was for us an interesting choice because we barely knew anything about the country prior to going there, all we knew was that the culture is very different to our own. This was actually the main reason for us going there, the culture differences. We wanted to learn from a culture that is different from what we are used to.

When we first came to Seoul we were a bit nervous about how it would be to start at a completely new university, but it didn’t take long to settle down. The university has something called a buddy system for all exchange students. When you arrive the first day of orientation week all students are divided into groups that has one buddy each. A buddy is a Korean voluntary student who is there to help exchange students settle down and get to know the university. They are available to their students throughout the semester, and occasionally they group together everyone for dinners and karaoke, or even sightseeing. In addition to this, there are all kinds of student communities to join. They have communities for a wide range of sports and other activities such as drawing and singing. This makes it very comfortable to start at Konkuk as an exchange student, and we had nothing to fear.

However, there is more to Seoul than the university. Seoul is a huge city that has so much to offer. Most people imagine a big crowded city surrounded by buildings everywhere, but you don’t have to go far to find beautiful parks and mountains. They have several national parks, both in Seoul and outside of the city. Next to this, South Korea is very famous for their love for coffee, and there are small cosy coffee shops everywhere around the city. Seoul is also famous for their nightlife, and that’s with good reason. The city is never quite, and there are always places to go, whether your looking for a restaurant, bar or nightclub. There is always something happening in Seoul, and you will never get bored.

All in all, studying abroad was for both of us a great experience. We have gathered many good memories and experiences during our semester abroad, and definitely recommend others to do the same.

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Katja Maier from OTH Regensburg studying at USC

Are you keen, mate? The following text provides some important information and advice for any international planning on studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast!

Uni life:

The university has a completely different structure compared to my home university in Germany. Students do not just study for one exam at the end but are regularly asked to prove their knowledge through different assessments such as presentations, multiple choice tests, exams, assignments or workshops. This kind of system makes you study constantly and therefore it is easier to remember what you have learned. It also improves your grades and teamwork ability.

The relationship between lecturer and student is also completely different. Lecturers and tutors are called by their first names. There is no shame in asking any questions via mail or in class. The tutors and lecturers are way more helpful, emails are answered thoroughly within 24 hours and the feedback provided pushes you to bring out the best in you.

USC Activate:

Activate is a club of the university, which organises outdoor trips to the most beautiful parts of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. The yearly fee is only 30 AUD and definitely worth it! Hiking, rock climbing, camping at the beach or in national parks, going to waterfalls. There are all sorts of different things they do. The biggest trip was to Fraser Island, I had the luck to be part of it.

Accommodation:

There are different kinds of student accommodations. They are called Uni Central, the Village and Varsity. I highly recommend students that are staying at the USC for only one semester to stay at a student accommodation. It is the easiest way as your spot is assured and you do not have to do inspections once you get to Australia. I spent my first semester at Varsity and I had a really good time there. One cannot compare it to the student’s accommodation in Germany. Varsity has an equipment of two pools, a volleyball court, a tennis court, you can play basketball, Ping-Pong, pool, listen to music or watch movies in the rec room, have a BBQ on one of the several stations and make hundreds of new friends from all over the world. Varsity also hosts all sorts of different events as in the O-Week, a volleyball competition and has free buses to the Helm, the closest club to the accommodation. At the same time, you are still able to study as there is security and no loud noises after a certain time at night.

Travel:

Sunshine Coast is the perfect spot to see many beautiful places such as:

  • Fraser Island as mentioned (2h drive)
  • Brisbane (1h drive)
  • Gold Coast (2.5h drive)
  • Byron Bay (3h drive)
  • Noosa (40 min drive)
  • multiple waterfalls, national parks and mountains to go hiking in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Public transport is not as good as in Germany and therefore a car may be worth buying even only for one semester or hire it for a short time!

If you did not get enough after you have travelled all over Australia in your almost 4 months summer semester break you can easily go over to New Zealand and explore another beautiful country. The flight is only 3 hours and if you book it early enough not even that expensive from Brisbane.

I myself went to the outback for two months during the semester break to work and earn some money for traveling. It was a great experience and I ended up saving a lot which is something that I can recommend to anyone who does not have the money at that time to travel.

This past year has been one of the best ones I have had so far. Not only did I improve my English and knowledge in business through the different courses but also learned a lot about working and studying with people from different cultures. I am so happy I was given the chance to explore such a beautiful country with new friends from all over the world.

 

Ksenia and Alina from FH Upper Austria studying at USC

Hi everyone!

We are Ksenia and Alina and are studying in a master’s program at the University of Applied Sciences in Steyr, Upper Austria. We have just completed our second semester at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Our time in Australia was amazing! It was a life-changing experience. During these several months we dived deeply into the ‘laid back’ Aussie culture with its active lifestyle and sincere and open-minded people. This is all framed by the most beautiful nature, wildlife and a never-ending summer.

We really enjoyed studying at USC. The workload was manageable and the easy access to study materials, the online library and the supportive academic environment made the process really enjoyable. During this semester we improved our English writing skills greatly since we had several assignments for each subject. We loved the big campus with lots of cafes, spots to study or relax and the sport facilities. Also, you will always be entertained by the many cute and furry Aussie friends, like kangaroos!

Our first trip was to an Ed Sheeran concert in Melbourne. We loved the vibe and the city which looked like a smaller version of Manhattan. The city offers lots of parks, great places to eat, cafes and secret bars. One evening we went to the St Kilda Pier where after the sunset you can see small penguins returning home.

Another trip that we would never forget was to Whitsundays during the Easter break. As we did not check the weather during this season we encountered a cyclone there. We had booked a 2-day trip and only several boats including ours did not cancel it. So, what we experienced was a bit different from what you see in the pictures. It was raining the whole time and on the second day our snorkelling trip was cancelled as all the boats had to return to the coast because of the oncoming cyclone. But nevertheless, we had a lot of fun and even though the weather was not exactly how we imagined, it still was an amazing trip.

Byron Bay is another ‘must see’ place. It is a place with small cosy cafes, street musicians and beautiful beaches. The walk to the lighthouse and the most Eastern part of Australia was breathtaking, we stopped almost every five minutes to take pictures of everything and were lucky to see dolphins on our way.

We can write and write about all the amazing places to go to in Australia, but it is much better just to come here and see everything with your own eyes. And we are sure everyone would fall in love with this country!

After these several months the hardest part for us was to go back and leave our new friends, life next to the ocean and Sunshine Coast behind. But as our friend said in Australia it’s never a ‘goodbye’ it is always a ‘see you soon’!

Olivia Rainnie, studying overseas at the university of Tennessee

I spent a semester studying at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and it was honestly the best four months of my life! From the moment I arrived on the 16th of August, I knew my exchange was going to be such an amazing experience. I shared a room with another Australia girl from Sydney, which worked out to be excellent because now I have a friend for life who lives quite close and we were both so excited to explore everything together. All the international students were placed in the same hall which made it wonderful to meet people from other countries and learn about their cultures.

Going to classes overseas was actually fun (surprisingly) because you are in a new environment and meeting American students who become your friends to help you out. ‘The South’ is notorious for being very friendly and I can attest that is definitely the case; people always up for a chat, being welcoming, and holding doors open for you. This made it excellent for travelling as they had cars and would happily show you around the area. The famous Great Smoky Mountains were only 30 minutes away with over 1000 km of walking tracks with incredible views overlooking the valley.

The highlight of my exchange were the football games, where the college stadium could hold 102,000 people and the entertaining all-day tailgating activities prior to the game. Fraternities would host parties on game days/nights which was incredible to be apart of the Greek life and is identical to what you see on those classic American movies. Basketball games began towards the end of my semester, but those were so much fun to watch as well and the atmosphere inside the arena was crazy. Concerts were also held regularly in the arena which made my weekends always busy.

During my breaks I was able to travel to other parts of America such as Las Vegas, Zion Park in Utah, Georgia, and North Carolina. As flights are quite cheap over there it enabled me see more of America and learn about the different states.

I am so glad I came during the Fall (first) semester to Knoxville as I was able to experience different seasons and festivities. Halloween in America was an unreal weekend full of celebrations with your friends and dressing up in costumes. A bunch of us internationals were taken in by our American friend for Thanksgiving at their family house, which we ate ridiculous amounts of food and were able to learn about Tennessee traditions.

I could ramble on for hours about how much I love the University of Tennessee but overall, my exchange was the best time of my life and I seriously adored every second of it! My trip was that enjoyable that I want to go back after I finish my degree and live in America.

 

Janine Schulz from HS Stralsund studying at USC

Before I came here, I was really worried if studying abroad was the right decision for me. I had to leave all my friends and family behind in Germany, travelled all around the world, and yes, studying abroad also is a bit costly. So why should you do this?

Because it’s going to be the best experience of your lifetime!

Already on the first day, I got to know so many new people at the international barbecue from all over the world. I got to know people from Italy, Sweden, France, America and from Australia of course! And with most of the people, I became really close friends in such a short time!

Another amazing thing is that the USC is so centrally located and there are a lot of travel opportunities. I swam with Nemo at the Great Barrier Reef, visited the largest sand island, Fraser Island, surfed at Byron Bay and had lunch next to the Sydney Opera House. Where else can you do that? Added to that, the USC itself offers numerous activities- not just unlimited sports activities, but also social events such as Netflix and pizza nights or hiking trips.

But the best thing about studying abroad is that you really will change yourself in a positive way! Getting to know another culture will make you so much more open-minded, coping with challenges of all kind will make you stronger and you will definitely grow a lot as a person!

So for me, I can say, it was definitely the best decision to come here and I am so thankful for all the experiences I made here which I definitely will never forget!

Cheers,

Janine

 

Kajana and Oda Maria, studying overseas at Santiago de Queretaro

We are two students from Norway who are studying a complete Bachelor of Business degree at University of the Sunshine Coast. In our fourth semester of our program, we decided to study abroad for one semester at Tecnológio de Monterrey campus Querétaro in México. Before going to Mexico, most of our friends and family told us a million reasons why not to go to Mexico, because Mexico was a dangerous place, we could get robbed, killed or kidnapped. However, there were several factors that influenced our decision to study in Mexico. We have always had a strong interest in exploring and learning about different cultures, more specifically the Latin American culture. So we figured, what better time is to travel, live, and study at one in a different country such as Mexico. So, our best opportunity was now, and we just decided to not listen to everyone else and two months later we were in Querétaro to study at Tec de Monterrey.

Santiago de Querétaro or Querétaro as Mexicans refer it to is the third largest city and is known for being one of the safest cities in México, and for fact we felt pretty safe wandering around most of historic centre at any hour of the night, and most other parts of the city as well. Our university Tecnológio de Monterrey is one of the prestigious universities in Mexico, and have in total 31 campuses throughout the country. When we arrived to Querétaro we were super exited and a bit nervous about how it would be to start at a new university in a country where English is not the main language.

The week before university started the university had set up an orientation week where we met other international students and a student group at Tec called Ami. Ami is a group of national students where they help exchange students with settling down, get to know about the university, and to hang out throughout the whole semester. Furthermore, during the semester Ami also arranged trips to other cities and places, which was a great opportunity to travel and see more of Mexico and the culture. In addition to this, there are various student communities to join. There are loads of association and activities for students to participate in beside the studies as well. This was a great way for us to meet other students and an easy start at Tec de Monterrey.

Queretaro itself is a rich, colourful and vibrant city, and the traditions and customs of the Mexican people are varied and diverse. The Mexican people are so friendly and helpful, and it was really easy to meet new people. Words cannot describe how amazing our stay in Queretaro was. We also got the opportunity to travel a bit around in Mexico, where we got to see the beautiful nature and history of Mexico. Mexico is truly a country with vivid cultural experiences and numerous sights to see. Study abroad for both of us was an unforgettable experience full of good memories, and we recommend other to do the same. Grab the opportunity while you can!

 

Lea and Fiana from OTH Regensburg studying at USC

 

Hey everybody!

We are Lea and Fiana from Regensburg, Germany currently studying two semesters abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast.  Our university back home, the OTH Regensburg, and the USC offer students the opportunity to participate in the Double Degree Program. This means we’ll get two degrees when we complete our studies at home, one from the University of the Sunshine Coast and one from the OTH Regensburg.

As we’re studying business, all of our courses are business related. We enjoyed every single one of them! The classes are interesting, the professors and tutors are competent, friendly and sincerely trying to help students where possible. The campus itself is beautiful, modern and offers a variety of high quality, yet affordable food places.

Apart from that, the surrounding area has a lot to offer as well! There are heaps of beautiful beaches, mountains to climb and national parks to explore on the Sunshine Coast. Brisbane is just a one-hour car ride away, so one thing we can guarantee is that you’ll never get bored.

Also, your class timetable gives you enough free time to go on day-trips or long weekends. There’s even an airport on the Sunshine Coast which allows you to get to some other places in Australia in no time.

All in all, our year abroad Down Under was definitely the best time of our lives so far and we can highly recommend it to anyone who’s considering studying abroad!

Cheers,

Lea & Fiana

 

Jake Morril, studying overseas at Doshisha University

Before coming to Japan I was still on the fence about studying overseas and had made a plan to leave later, however I came into contact with Ben, another student at USC, and he told me about his experiences in Japan and studying at Doshisha University. After hearing his story I immediately went to the International Office and made an admittedly 3 week late application for the Study Overseas program, and listed Doshisha as my first priority. Despite this late application the team assured me that they would get me on the plane to Japan, and here I am.

Luckily due to some knowledge in the language and preparation thanks to my sensei, I didn’t experience much culture shock after arriving in Japan. Despite this, Japan is extremely different from Australia, Kyoto especially. For example, the people are always willing to help and talk to you, and due to the country being so condensed (and public transport being immaculate) it is easy to travel and see the plethora of interesting locales that can be found within the country. The accommodation provided by Doshisha has allowed me to make plenty of international friends from all over the world, as well as new Japanese ones, and has proved to be massively useful. Speaking of Doshisha, the campus is much smaller than USC, but manages to fit more people in its space. As for the learning experience, all of the staff and teachers are working at 120% to give the students the best experience possible. There is also a wealth of information and events setup by volunteer students aimed at helping foreigners, such as speaking classes and parties. I am very glad to have chosen Doshisha University!

Thank you to the Study Overseas team and everyone at the University of the Sunshine Coast for providing this experience to me!

 

Christophe Kurkdjian from Lucerne University of Applied Sciences studying at USC

My final semester in Australia, where do I begin? If I was asked to describe Australia in one word, it would be WONDERFUL. My time spent here at the University of the Sunshine Coast has been wonderful, my course was wonderful, my lectures and tutors, wonderful, my roommates and people around here, wonderful. Studying at USC has not only allowed me to successfully complete the business side of my double degree (Engineering and Business), but it has broadened my horizons to the opportunities one has when studying abroad. So why study abroad in Australia?

Well let’s put aside the ‘studies’ for one moment and talk about Australia. Australia is a vast country that stretches quite a far. During my limited time here, I’ve had to the opportunity to see the complexity of the southern cities and the tropics of the far north. Cairns or tropical North Queensland was home to so much beauty and wonder, with the crocodiles taking most of my attention. The cities were something unique, holding great wonder. Brisbane is just a short train ride from the coast, there I got to experience the team moral of Australian football (AFL), or as my roomy calls it ‘Arial Ping-Pong’, she wasn’t a fan – but this sport is unique to Australia and is a must see. Australian’s sure know how to provide an entertaining atmosphere, the game was complex but enjoyable and very Australian. I also mustn’t forget my first-time surfing, with only the goal of standing up on the board, I had a tough day ahead. Learning to surf is just one of the many great experiences I have experienced while studying abroad here in Australia.

Bringing it back to the Sunshine Coast now, with an endless supply of sun, beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see and nature that takes your breath away, what more could you want. The uni is situated in the middle of glorious nature where kangaroos make a daily appearance; however, you never get tired of seeing them. Studying comes easy when you have an aesthetically appealing backdrop to focus on in your down time. Whether you study in the library that overlooks greenness or take a break and head to the beach, your time here will be thoroughly enjoyed. Living at a student accommodation also has its perks, proximity to the university is a plus; and you meet so many new people from Australia and across the world. Rooming with three other students opens your eyes to other cultures.

At Unicentral (where I lived) we are roomed with two international students and two Australians, just to mix it up a little. The Australians help you to fit in the local customs and traditions and are also very curious of what life is like in the northern hemisphere. Even after living with them for a semester, there are always new cultural discoveries. The best part is them complaining of their winter temperatures of minimum 10°C – and their faces when we mention our winters which go down to -15°C. Roommates are always a lottery but, in my case, I was really lucky as they went the out of their way to show me around and drive me when I needed to go somewhere.

Studying here is quite flexible, you’ll have time to both relax and work hard. The university offers much support for all international students and Australian’s are pretty friendly and happy to help where they can.

All in all, I have enjoyed my time here and I’m truly going to miss the friends I’ve made. I will never forget the memories of the time I had here in Australia.

Merci et au revoir, Christophe.

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Frances, studying overseas at Rider University, US

My name is Frances Carter, and I’m a current Psychology student at USC. During the second semester of 2017, I was granted the amazing opportunity to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams of studying in the United States at Rider University, one of the top institutions for Psychology in the country. During my time there, I made amazing friends, experienced the fast paced northeastern culture of both New Jersey and New York City, travelled throughout 11 of the 50 states, the nation’s capital, as well as Canada, and made many memories that I already cherish dearly.

As an avid adventurer, and wildlife lover, I found both the landscape and the wildlife absolutely intriguing. The endless number of parks, trails, and nature reservations kept my wild side satiated, while the engaging classes and assessments kept me involved in my academics. Another factor which made my stay at Rider very unique and enjoyable was the sheer accessibility of anything and everything I could think of wanting. Everything that I could possibly think to do was no more than a half hour from where the university was situated; bowling, shopping centers, trails, farms, restaurants, clubs, even an airport in the event that I would want to take a cheap flight to somewhere for a few days. One of my favourite places to eat, roughly 10 minutes from the University, was a small hotdog restaurant called “Paul’s Firehouse Dogs”. The people who own the place know their customers by name, and always know how to make somebody feel at home, even tens of thousands of kilometers away.

One of my favourite things about the US is the incredible number of opportunities that sit just around the corner from you at any given moment. One day I was hiking through the Canadian wilderness, then the next I was starring in a music video for a friend of mine I had met in class. The people are always looking to do something, to create, to inspire, to network, and I found that both simply jaw-dropping, and to be the complete norm of American culture.

My time abroad was life-changing in so many ways. I got to experience what it means to flourish in an environment of prospects. If you’re looking to gain lifelong friends who jump at an opportunity to work on something with you, Rider University’s students have got you covered. My creativity was never met with doubt or skepticism, but rather encouraged, and nurtured. I discovered passion, and adventure, and made real connections with both like-minded, and not-so like-minded people. My time abroad has inspired me to chase dreams that I’ve had locked away for many years now due to fear of failure. As my time at Rider University has come to a close, my mind remains more open than ever; to possibilities, opportunities, and most importantly, life.

Alexander Kaufeld from Flensburg University of Applied Sciences studying at USC

Since studying abroad for one semester is mandatory for my technical translation studies at Flensburg University of Applied Sciences I decided to make the most of it by not just doing one semester abroad but two. Conveniently my uni in Germany and USC had just agreed upon a double degree arrangement which allows me to graduate with a full Bachelor degree from both universities at the same time by studying just two semesters at USC during my studies in Germany.

USC campus is located in a nature reserve so there is heaps of wildlife that can be seen on and around campus like kangaroos and many different and exotic bird species native to Australia. The campus itself is very modern and overall gives of a very relaxing vibe, not just perfect for studying but also great for the much-needed breaks from studying where you can either just relax for a bit out in nature and watch the kangaroos or meet your friends in one of the many cafés and just socialise a little.

The lectures at USC are very well structured and the facilities like lecture theatres and computer labs are also very modern and offer easy 24-hour-access. Since most of the lectures are being recorded and can later be viewed online you have some leeway to study in a way that fits you the best. The tuts are usually held in small groups and have a very laid-back atmosphere. The tutors are very friendly and eager to support you with your efforts to successfully graduate classes. The teaching staff does in general engage with you on eye level.

Apart from the great studying opportunity Australia provided for me it is also a great place to live altogether. The climate is just great and offers tons of activities to distract you from your studies. The Sunshine Coast is a nice mix of rural and urban areas. You get the best of both worlds living here. Brisbane, one of the major East coast cities, is just an hour away and easily reachable by public transport. Or you can just get a car with some of the many friends you will make down here in no time and spend a weekend there. If you had enough of the city go climb the Glasshouse mountains that are just around the corner and offer easy hiking trails for beginners or proper mountain climbing for more experienced lovers of the outdoors.

If you, such as myself, are a fan of the sea go hang out at the beautiful beaches at Noosa or Byron Bay or take a trip to one of the islands around the Sunshine Coast like Fraser or Stradbroke. And don’t forget to bring your scuba diving gear. Australia offers some of the most beautiful diving spots in the world. Dive the former war ship HMAS Brisbane that has been sunken to function as an artificial reef just off the coast of Mooloolaba or go on diving trips with one of the many uni clubs.

Australia has so much to offer in so many aspects. It’s a beautiful continent for travelling especially. Enjoy the many different climate zones and landscapes that can be reached quickly and relatively cheap by plane. If you are a fan of a more European climate travel to Tasmania, if you want tropical heat and white beaches travel up north to Cairns or if you want to see the desert go on a trip to Alice springs and visit Uluru. Australia provides you with the unique chance to experience entirely different places and they are all located in the same country.

What are you still waiting for? Sign up for your studies at USC, start the adventure of your lifetime and make memories that you will still be talking about when you have grandchildren.

 

Cassidy Macmillan, studying overseas at Grand Valley State University in the US

I left Australia searching for some sort of excitement to continue studying, which brought me to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Specifically to Grand Valley State University. Here I lived on campus with three amazing American roommates, making a heap of friends from around the world, and immersing myself into life as a college student.

The four months I spent at GVSU were wonderful, although not without challenges. The cold was one of the hardest to get through. I’d never been in snow before and suddenly I was having to walk to class through two feet of snow. In saying that, snow was my favourite part of the whole experience, it makes you feel like you’re in a Winter Wonderland.

But my tip for walking on ice is: don’t get cocky. Ice is a lot slipperier then you might assume and you will slip over and break your elbow (or get hurt badly) as one of the British exchange students found.

Throughout this time I was able to travel to Chicago, the Windy City, and up to Charlevoix in northern Michigan. I also spent Thanksgiving in Detroit, getting to see the third largest Thanksgiving parade in the country.

After university finished I stayed to travel more, going to Toronto and Montreal in Canada for Christmas where it got down to negative 20 degrees. New Years was spent in New York City, a night I will remember forever! Next was Washington DC, then Pittsburgh (the City of Bridges), Cincinnati, Nashville and the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, and finally ending in New Orleans.

By far this experience has shaped my future, my career, and myself. It’s given me lifelong friends and a second home, making me a Laker For Life.

 

 

Bonnie, studying overseas at the Fulda Hochschule University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Guten Tag!

For four months last year I studied social work in the state of Hesse, Germany.  After travelling around Austria for a week at the end of August, I arrived in Fulda, a smallish and lovely old city which has a large cathedral, lots of cafes, and a thriving university. Upon arrival it was great to meet a diverse group of other international students who were there to study either the same course as I, or other degree programs in business or science. We had several very knowledgeable and friendly teachers who supported us during our stay and took us on exciting excursions around the country to visit historical sites and social work institutions.

While the history we learned was sometimes very difficult to comprehend, the amazing work being done by many in the sectors of immigration, education and integration in Germany is inspiring.
I also really enjoyed studying the German language twice a week and it was very useful when navigating transport, buying things or making new friends.

Because of the central location of Fulda and an international airport not far away, it was easy to travel on weekends to other countries or parts of Germany. As an Aussie who has only seen snow a handful of times, a memorable highlight was to see a significant amount of snow fall in Fulda, and to visit a local ski field. One night in December I stood under a pine tree in the beautifully decorated, old-style markets, eating a Salmon Flammach and watching the snow fall, thinking, “it couldn’t get much more European than this!”

For anyone interested in studying overseas, my advice would be to: do your research thoroughly, ask the Study Overseas team as many questions as you need to; make the most of your time overseas, and make friends with the locals while you’re there!

by Bonnie 24/1/2018

Julia Straubinger, from FH Deggendorf, Germany, Diploma in Business

 

Prior to the semester at USC, I had my internship semester and therefore not much time to think about the time in Australia. I realised what I was about to do just when I left the company on my last day and finished packing my stuff for the flight on the next day. After a total travel time of 35 hours, I finally set foot on the Australian soil and immediately fell in love with the country which would be my home for the next half year. I settled down in my apartment at UniCentral dorm soon and quickly made new friends during the orientation week. When the courses commenced, I had to write several assignments, which was quite different to university in Germany. But as the professors in Australia are really nice and helpful, it wasn’t hard to get familiar with the Australian study system. And even if you spent an exhausting day in the library writing on your assignments, you can’t help but smile if you leave the library building and see one of the campus kangaroos hopping past.

Besides university, there remained enough time to visit various spots along the Sunshine Coast or travel further, as well as to try amazing activities. First of all, I visited Australia Zoo, where you can pat and feed kangaroos, cuddle koalas and see all the amazing animals rendering Australia. I gained fantastic views of the coast when I did a skydive in Noosa and a hands-on action flight, where I could fly the aircraft myself in the company of an instructor. Australia is wonderful for doing water sports, so I attended a surf camp at Spot X in New South Wales and tried kitesurfing. I also visited Brisbane, Byron Bay and Sydney, and during the study break at the end of the semester I flew to New Zealand, where I could fulfil my dream of a bungy jump from the Auckland Bridge.

All in all, I don’t have words to express how grateful I am for this unique experience! I discovered an absolutely amazing continent, found friends for live, headed out for great adventures, and just had – without exaggerating – the best time of my life so far!

Edonis Ahmaxhekaj, Flensburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany , studying at USC

During my Bachelor program, back home in Germany I did not study abroad at all, so I definitively wanted to do one semester abroad in my Masters program. I chose Australia for this intention. One of the reasons why I chose Australia was that my home University offered a Double Degree program for Masters students together with the University of the Sunshine Coast for the first time.

Studying at the USC then turned out to be the best time of my life, even though the workload at the USC is much higher compared to my home University in Flensburg. The good thing of the high workload has been that I really learned a lot about different issues in my courses, because I had to deal very intensively with the specific topics. The lecturers at the USC contributed to this learning success as well. They always did their best to help us students by e.g. answering emails very quickly or they even met at the Brasserie with one while drinking a coffee when someone needed help with the assignments. Additionally, the University offers a modern Library and moreover excellent databases with which my assignments have been easily done. Apart from that, I enjoyed spending time on campus just by drinking coffee or meet friends, because of the beautiful nature surrounding the University – love at first sight!

Beside the University’s assignments during the semester, I had plenty of time to travel and to see the beauty of Australia. Australia has got some fascinating spots and breath-taking beaches, such as the unbelievable Whitehaven beach which is worth a visit. When I haven’t had the time to travel around, I spent my time at the student accommodations right next to the Uni. In the accommodation, I enjoyed swimming at the pool or playing some Volleyball at the Beach Volleyball Court. The accommodation offers a few more options for students, such as Tennis, BBQ spots or legendary party nights. So, there was something to do for everyone. To sum up, there hasn’t been one single boring day during my whole semester, since you get to know a lot of people and living together with them in one area makes it even easier to get rid of boredom.

 

Marie Groeller, Matthias Eisner & Simon Salzer University of Applied Sciences Vienna, Austria, Studying at USC

After successfully finishing our first year of studying in a Bachelor program in business at the University of Applied Sciences Vienna, we decided to go on an adventure. Our goal was not only to make new memories, friends and experiences on the other side of the world but also to receive the best possible education. Therefore the University of the Sunshine Coast was considered as the perfect option to get us out of our comfort zone.

USC offers a variety of courses for business students with an ideal ratio of practical and theoretical relevance. For instance, being given the opportunity to work with a local start-up on the Sunshine Coast offered us both an insight in a company’s early days but also the perfect chance to establish contacts with business owners in Australia.

Besides the great education provided by the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia has a lot more to offer. During our mid-semester break and after finishing our studies, we had plenty of time to discover the land down under. Thus, we travelled all over Australia, from Western Australia to Sydney, Melbourne including the Great Ocean Road and of course the East Coast. Because of the amazing location of USC, we did countless weekend trips either to Noosa, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Brisbane or Fraser Island just to name a few.

To sum up, the time spent at USC allowed for us to broaden our understanding of different cultures and form new friendships all over the world. On top of the lucrative education being offered, USC provides an opportunity for students to study, experience and socialise unique to any other.