Ethan Hughes, studying at University of Milan (IULM)

Dear Future International Student,

I don’t know whether to start with the positives or the negatives of studying abroad… On one hand, there’s the awful time-zone, making it difficult to speak to loved ones at certain points in the day, but on the other hand there’s your ERASMUS family you can talk to instead (and believe me, they’ll become your family in the shortest amount of time). There’s the distinct lack of good beaches, but there’s also the snow-topped Swiss Alps, and the blue-green Venetian Canals. There’s no Vegemite (or if there is, it costs upwards of 10 bucks), there’s no Milo, there’s no Tim-Tams, but there ARE dozens of types of pizza, and pasta that you’ve never even heard of.

My experience as a European student has been nothing but positive. In the 5 months I’ve been in Europe, I’ve been to 6 countries, and countless more cities. I’ve travelled alone to many of those cities; a hard concept to grasp in the beginning, but all the more rewarding when you can acknowledge your newfound independence. I’ve also travelled with two of my best friends, and my dad, and I can honestly say there’s nothing better than having another Aussie by your side.

All in all, the positives most definitely outweigh the negatives – living a new life in a new city with new friends speaking a new language (whether that be Italian, or British-English 😉) and making new memories is refreshing to say the least, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world.

Sincerely,

Ethan

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Sandra Hollenstein from FHS St. Gallen studying at USC

The opportunity of completing a Double Degree combined with the possibility of living close to the Australian nature and beautiful beaches of the Sunshine Coast were my main reasons for studying at USC. Besides an attractive campus, USC offered several services and workshops as well as face-to-face discussions with lecturers to improve my academic progress.

As part of the university life, I participated in different social events organised by the USC Student Guild and the USC Activate club, which allowed me not only to meet other students but also to explore the surroundings.

Overall, studying at USC opened my horizon and was a unique experience for me.

Myles Kreis, studying overseas at Konkuk University, South Korea

I still remember so vividly how I felt when I found out that I was going to be studying, living and undertaking internships in South Korea for 18 months. Having won a competitive and prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarship, I knew that every part of my life was about to change dramatically. As I had lived in Australia for my whole life and rarely travelled outside of Queensland, I was experiencing a combination of sheer excitement, fear and doubt. After overcoming what seemed to be the impossible tasks of selling my possessions, moving out of my home of the last ten years, rehoming my pets, quitting my jobs and saying goodbyes to family and friends, I was on my flight out of Australia.

I left Australia on the 23rd of February which was a standard summer day in Australia which meant that it was about 40 degrees Celsius in the shade. After my 10-hour direct flight from Brisbane and experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions, I arrived in Seoul on a harsh winters night where it was -10 degrees Celsius and snowing. Luckily for me, Konkuk University (my home and host university for the next 12 months) had provided some clear instructions on how to travel from Incheon International Airport to the university campus in Gwangjin-gu. I arrived on campus at 9:30pm and Guillaume, my French roommate, at the dormitories and began settling in. Over the course of the following week during orientation I met the other 140 exchange students from all corners of the world, as well as a considerable number of Korean students who were all eager to meet the foreigners and assist us with our transition into university life in Korea.

The weeks that followed involved adapting to a new education system and culture, learning the local language, enjoying delicious Korean food at restaurants, sightseeing, bike riding along the Han River and around the city, attending start-up meetups and formal events organised by the Australian Embassy and Australian Chamber of Commerce, and of course, enjoying exchange student parties, music festivals, concerts and Korea’s energetic nightlife. There have obviously been several highlights during my time here so far. First would be hiking up Bukhansan Mountain, which is a famous mountain in Seoul covered in flaura, fauna, temples and historical sites. We made the poor decision of tackling Bukhansan during winter which meant that the mountain peak was covered in ice making it a little dangerous to climb and we could not see anything from the summit (836m in elevation) as we were in the clouds. Second would be snowboarding at the PyeongChang ski fields where the 2018 Olympic Winter Games were held. It was my first time snowboarding and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Third would be spending the weekend in Busan with friends and being on the beach from sunrise to sunset, as well as visiting some of the local tourist sites and restaurants.

Admittedly, my exchange so far has not all been sunshine and rainbows. I thought that was mentally prepared for the immense change that I was experiencing, however, that was not the case. Having lived in the same area for most of my life, I had become incredibly comfortable and moving overseas meant that every aspect of my life had become uncomfortable. First, being separated from family and friends is a bitter-sweet experience. On one hand, you have all the freedom in the world, and on the other, your support networks that have been around you your whole life are a world away. Second, culture shock is something that I did not take seriously enough. Simple things which were not a problem in my life became a problem, such as, finding where to buy groceries, how to access medical and transport services and understanding local beliefs, norms and laws. Lastly, communicating daily with non-native English speakers is physical and mentally exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I have endless respect for those who are learning English as a second, third, or fourth language (for my polyglot friends). I had just never fully understood how much I had taken being able to communicate with others with ease for granted. While these challenges may seem daunting or off-putting, they are not unique to me and my friends on exchange have expressed that they have had similar experiences in their respective host countries.

It was not my intent to deter those who are reading this from studying overseas, in fact my intentions are quite the opposite. I live by the words that our life begins at the end of our comfort zone and living overseas has truly exposed me to a life filled with challenges and rewards. Living in South Korea for the last six months has been the best time of my life and while I have encountered several challenges, I am truly grateful to have had this experience as I have learnt a lot about myself, which to me, is invaluable. I strongly encourage all of those who have ever thought about doing an exchange semester overseas to do it. Not only is it a great way to travel, immerse yourself in a different culture, learn a new language and meet new people, but i will completely change your life and you will never regret it.

Samantha Wollitzer from the University of applied sciences Augsburg studying at USC

Finally, it turned the 15th February 2018 and I could catch my flight to Australia to do my exchange semester. My destination was the Sunshine Coast – how awesome sounds that? Especially, because I came from Germany where it was minus 5 degrees to a country where it is even warm at night. I loved it.

I live at Varsity, a student accommodation which is very close to the university. If you prefer to mainly focus on your studies or would like to have a washing machine in your apartment, you better choose UniCentral or an apartment by the beach.

USC prepared an introduction week for all international students, which helped a lot. They supported us in every way they could, and tried to guide us through our studies. I never felt lost! It is possible to receive help everywhere and they even prepare barbecues for the students.

The study system is very different to Germany. I am taking four courses here, which will give me 30 ECTS in Germany. During the semester I had to write many assignments, prepare group presentations and do some mid-semester tests. These gathered points will count in the end of the semester and in two courses I don’t even have an exam. I like this system, because I can keep the information better, when I work on academic texts throughout the semester. I learned how to do research based on academic papers and how to reference correctly. I have never done it in Germany before. I really appreciate that I was able to learn it here and it will help me a lot for the future. The classes are divided in a lecture and a tutorial.

I will leave in July, but I wish I could finish my studies here. Furthermore, the campus is enjoyable. I just feel happy when I see kangaroos hopping around. Additionally, here are many cafes with good coffee and good food. The campus is quite big compared to the one in Augsburg and the people are very friendly.

In my spare time or at the weekends I traveled a lot. Australia is such a beautiful country. In the mid-semester break I went to Western Australia and saw the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Even here on the East Coast are amazing places to see. This weekend I will visit Byron Bay.

The best thing is that I saw koalas here, I swam with whale-sharks, manta rays and turtles and I don’t want to go home anymore 😊. I think it is the best destination for an exchange semester that you could choose!

Nicole Watson, studying overseas at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Japan

Hello!

My name is Nicole and I am currently participating in the Study Overseas Semester Program 2018 in Nagoya Japan.

For the past eight years I have had a dream to study in a foreign country – more specifically Japan.

During my earlier high school years, I developed a passion for many different kinds of languages from around the world such as Japanese, Italian, Swedish, Danish and Russian to mention but a few.

However it was when I entered into grade nine that I began to teach myself Japanese. The language stuck a fundamental cord and I wanted to learn more; not only about the language but also about the country and its people – but free online learning websites can only teach a person so much. Thus I began to search for a way to learn Japanese. Finally, in grade 10 I began to study Japanese via Distance Education Queensland, along with my other regular classes at high school.  Though the work load between my normal studies and those of distance education seemed overwhelming at times, I remained fully focused on my ultimate goal – learning the Japanese langue and studying overseas.

It wasn’t until my high school senior year that a USC promotor came to my school and told us about the USC’s Headstart Program (A program where you can study university courses while also at high school). I knew instantly that this was the opportunity that I had been waiting for – a way to learn Japanese and eventually a pathway to study in Japan. As I had already started to learn the langue through Distant Education, the prospect to study at university was an opportunity that I couldn’t deny myself.  I applied for the Headstart Program and was accepted to start my University education whilst completing my HSC.

After graduating Year 12 and my participation in the Headstart Program, I began my Bachelor of Arts and Science degree the following year – with joint majors in Japanese and Animal Ecology and a minor in Creative Writing.

It was during orientation week in my first year, which I sat in on an information session about the Study Overseas Program and listened to the amazing experiences from students who’ve already participated in the program. The Study Overseas Program for Japan sounded so exciting – it was everything that I had been working towards for many years.  I knew that I had to keep my grades up and work hard as most students don’t get the chance to study overseas until they have completed four semesters of a language.  When the time was right and I had maintained my grades for the four semesters I applied to the Study Overseas Program and was accepted.

This year, one of my dreams have come true thanks to the Program – I’m in Japan studying at the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies and I am fully immersed in the country’s language and its culture. The past few months here in Japan has been totally amazing. It is hard to describe all the wonderful opportunities and experiences I have already had a chance to take part in, and I look forward to what the remainder of my time here will bring to this wonderful experience.  Studying at here at NUFS has been a great opportunity.  I have met many other international students from all over the globe who have similar ideas and passions about Japan and have made many new and wonderful friends.

Having this wonderful experience would not have been possible if it weren’t for the Study Overseas Program.  I highly recommended to any student who has a passion for languages and culture to apply for this program.  There are many different opportunities that can come out of this type of program are endless.  As for my experience here in Japan…it has been extraordinary and I look forward to the possibility of returning to the country in the future with an aspect of helping their wildlife.

Neele Doepkens from HS Bremen studying at USC

Spending one semester abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast was truly the best decision I could have made. Words cannot describe how amazing this experience was!

Australia itself is just a beauty and I enjoyed the Australian lifestyle while studying at the Sunshine Coast – incredible beaches, national parks and the best surfing spots are just around the corner. Therefore, the weekend was always used to explore our new home. With friends from all over the world I relaxed in the Fairy Pools in Noosa, kayaked the Noosa Everglades, climbed Mount Coolum, celebrated in Brisbane and watched the sunrise on Fraser Island. In the Easter break we travelled to Melbourne and drove along the Great Ocean Road. I am very thankful that I met so many amazing people I can share all these memories with. In fact, the people I met made my stay in Australia so special and I can honestly say that I’ve made friends for life.

Besides the stunning nature, the Sunshine Coast also provides great education at USC. The University of the Sunshine Coast offers a pleasant and friendly learning environment in which students can develop on a professional, as well as on a personal level. I studied in the Master of Management program and USC offered me the unique opportunity to complete a double degree in only one semester. From the first day on, I felt very comfortable on campus. I really appreciate the small sized classes and the friendly interaction with professors and lecturers, making it easy to integrate and communicate. As all my lecturers had practical business experience I gathered insight into the Australian market. In every class the theoretical knowledge was applied to a business example, what I found expedient. I really enjoyed all my classes and I also liked the fact that I had three small assignments per subject instead of one big exam. USC institutions offer a business drop in and proof reading sessions to help with assignments and also the lecturer, fellow students and the library staff are always willing to help. The provided support for all students is truly unique.

Looking back, I had an incredible time with incredible people and I am really thankful for all the amazing friends I’ve made. The USC makes it fairly easy to feel comfortable and I found a second home on the other side of the world. I will have my stay in Australia in very good memories and I can only encourage everyone to seize the opportunity and study at USC.

 

Braenna, studying overseas at Masaryk University, Czech Republic

Almost one year ago I sat in USC’s international office with the idea of studying abroad. A few weeks later I excitedly signed an agreement to study at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic and booked my plane ticket to the other side of the world. Since then I have had experiences far and varied. From ice skating, to snow skiing, to mountain hiking and exploring old cities, I find it difficult to put my experience overseas into words.

I headed over to Europe two months before beginning my semester abroad and kicked off my time with an awesome Eurail experience. By train, I travelled to a number of different countries including, Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France and Italy.

At the end of the Summer, I boarded a bus for a student city in the Czech Republic. I had heard great things about Brno but was completely unaware of what would await me. I soon discovered why Brno was so positively regarded by students. Firstly, Brno is incredibly cheap. You can buy beer for less than water and enjoy a restaurant meal for only $5. The student dorm is also located close to the city center and everything you need is within a short walk. Already these qualities of a city are perfect for “economically conscious students”. The International Student Club in Brno is also well organised and hosts a wide variety of events each week. From trivia nights, to language courses, to country presentations, and parties, there is always something for international students to do. It was through these events that I was able to meet friends from different countries around the world. Masaryk University was also a wonderful university to study at. The university offers a wide variety of subjects and allowed me to study and gain credits in classes that involved learning about Czech lifestyle and culture. I use the term “study” loosely as most students including myself spent more time travelling and learning through experience. Travelling with such ease over the weekend was only possible due to Brno’s central location. From watching the snow fall in Cesky Krumlov, to visiting the Christmas markets in Krakow, to relaxing in the Budapest thermal baths, the experiences were endless.

My time abroad gave me a new perspective on the world. I watched the seasons change and experienced a white Christmas. I learnt about new cultures and discovered more about my own, and made friends all around the globe. Studying abroad well and truly exceeded my expectations and I cannot recommend the study overseas program by USC more highly.

 

Markus Knauer from HS Kempten studying at USC

Hey, my Name is Markus, I am 24 years old and I am completing my “Diploma in Business” at the University of the Sunshine Coast to supplement my studies in Germany. At home I study “Business information systems” at the University of Applied Sciences Kempten.

I chose Australia as my location for studying abroad because of the great nature and the good education system and now I know that this was the perfect choice. So, I was very happy when I was accepted at the University of the Sunshine Coast. The location of the university is even better than I expected. I remember the first time I called my family. I said: “I live paradise” and even after a few months I still have this feeling. The uni is in a national park and there are kangaroos, which I nearly see every day when I am walking to the university. We are very close to several beautiful beaches and amazing cities like Noosa or Brisbane.

There are also a lot of national parks close to uni and you can do a lot of things. I love surfing at one of the wonderful beaches, kayaking along the river in Noosa or hiking in the Glasshouse Mountains.

My aim was to improve my intercultural and language skills, but I got so much more! I really enjoy the free yoga classes on Monday and Thursdays. The staff and teachers at the university are very friendly and very competent and always there if you need any help.

I also really liked the different education system and all the support you get from the university. There are for example free busses to shops and clubs and there are a lot of free trips and events organised by the student association “Red Frogs”.

These months changed my life in a very good way. I have a different view on a lot of things and found a lot of friends from all over the world, what I think is very valuable.

I am so thankful for this time and I am very sad thinking about that this dream will end soon. I will definitely miss it and I hope I will come back soon 🙂

 

Sinae Southon, studying overseas at Niagara University

As I sit here looking back on my semester abroad, I can honestly say that my time at Niagara University was the best in my life. I will admit, in the first few days I felt overwhelmed, lonely and completely out of my depth. But as classes settled in and life-long friendships began to form, I had never felt more at home.

Although the lack of sunshine and good coffee took a bit of getting used too, nearly every day I made new friends and memories that I will never forget. With my closest friends coming from all corners of the world including France, England, Spain, Italy, India, America, Mexico and even Mauritius it was hard for us not to make every day an adventure. Even the little things like walking to the gorge, pushing through the cold and study sessions with a daily Tim Hortons coffee, snowball fights or even warming up around the on-campus fire pit for hours are some of my favourite moments.

Niagara University really did give me an authentic American college experience. Almost every week I attended a college sports game, frat party (red cups and all) or was asked if I owned a pet kangaroo. Not only that, its proximity to so many amazing travel opportunities meant that in just one semester I was able to explore Toronto and Montreal in Canada, Buffalo, Boston and even visit New York City so many times that I no longer feel like a lost tourist in the big city.

Though these trips were incredible and formed some of my favourite memories from my study abroad, undoubtedly the best part of my experience was the amazing people I have met.

I struggle to string together the words that can truly embrace how extraordinary my time at Niagara University was, I have spent nights dancing until the sun came up, walked to Canada more times than I can count and laughed till I cried whilst eating very questionable noodles in the dorms at 3am. And as I plan my next visit to little Niagara Falls I can say whole-heartedly that I have now found a home and family on the other side of the world.

 

Lukas Maier from OTH Regensburg studying at USC

Hi everyone,

my name is Lukas and I’m an international student from Germany. I study ‘European Business Studies’ at the OTH Regensburg, and it´s part of the program to go abroad for two semesters to get a double degree after finishing the first year. As the name of the program says, all partner universities are in Europe – except one, the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia!

When I had to choose if I wanted rain, snow, mud and coldness or always sun, beaches, wonderful weather and a year of summer, the decision was easy (especially after I heard, that there are kangaroos on campus).

I chose the wonderful Sunshine Coast.

But the decision was not only about the weather. The USC offers a wide range of interesting business courses every semester. In every course you have a lecture with all people in one room listening to the professor (like I knew it from Germany) and a tutorial in small groups, which helps you a lot in completing your tasks successfully.

Furthermore, as I was here for 1 year, I had a 3 ½ month break between the semesters, which was an awesome opportunity to travel. I discovered the east coast from Cairns to Melbourne, visited great national parks, wonderful beaches and also went to New Zealand.

To sum up, it was a wonderful time I had in Australia, with new friendships, amazing sights and sun (nearly) every day. Together with the good education, I can totally recommend to study at the University of the Sunshine Coast!

Riley Logan, studying overseas at Wyoming

I had never lived out of home before, let alone another country: I didn’t really know what to expect, but I felt both nervous and excited at the same time.

I didn’t really know much about Wyoming before the exchange but upon arrival I quickly began learning! The orientation days were great to further understand how my semester would play out and to meet and make friends with other exchange students in the same situation. One of the first things I learnt in Laramie was that the people there are super nice and friendly. Within the first week one of the orientation leaders took some other exchange students and I to The Hidden Falls. It wasn’t the most impressive waterfall as far as waterfalls go, however it was a cool and pretty waterfall surrounded by a beautiful natural area, which we had to walk through to reach the waterfall. That was the second thing I would learn: That Wyoming is known more as an incredibly naturally beautiful state than for any city. Less than a week later I hiked Snowy Range Pass where we went to a lookout. I also went base climbing at Vedauwoo, camping at Medicine Bow, watched American football, visited Jackson Hole, Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons, visited hot springs in Saratoga and experienced an American Halloween or two haha.

Over the thanksgiving break I was invited to stay with my roommates family where they took me to Devils Tower National Monument, Mount Rushmore, Mount Crazy horse memorial. They also took me shooting a range of guns and to see a Buffalo (Bison) ranch. Finally I visited the local ski fields at Snowy Range a few times to go snowboarding, which was some of the most fun I had on my exchange, before spending a couple of nights in Denver and coming home. Apart from the amazing places and experiences I had, I also met loads of cool people and made some amazing friends (hopefully some life-long ones), learnt lots culturally, academically and also socially and I probably became a little more independent all while experiencing the American dorm experience!

 

Linus Pohle from HS Kiel studying at USC

During my Business Master’s degree in Kiel, I took the opportunity to go to the Sunshine Coast to achieve the double degree with a Master of Business Administration. Looking forward to spending the fall term in the Australian summer made up for all things to organise in advance and I will always look back with joy and miss the study time at the USC.

The preparation for the stay at the Sunshine Coast mainly consisted in choosing the right courses and organising the visa. With my plan to stay more than one semester and to find an internship here in Australia I chose the working holiday Visa. I also took the challenge to go abroad without having organised a permanent place to live. Though, the plan to team up with people of similar intentions in the Mooloolaba Hostel didn’t go as expected and due to convenience reasons, I ended up in one of the student accommodations next to the campus. My recommendation is to find a place in a shared house or flat (www.flatmates.com.au), as it offers a much more local life. Upon arrival it is highly useful to organise an Australian Sim-card, a bank account (Commonwealth bank offers the suitable account without fees) and the GoCard, which is the pass for public transportation. Keep an eye for a suitable bus connection to the campus (www.translink.com.au).

The openly designed and modern campus offers a variety of places to have a coffee and meet up with friends. In the master’s course there are mainly assignments that need to be delivered throughout the semester, which is different to the German system. It was quite challenging to adapt to the system, but it’s easily possible to follow the course contents and accomplish a satisfying grade with some discipline and, more importantly, early motivation. Professors are always willing to support in case of individual questions and concerns. Since the assignments all end before the exam period begins, most students have more than sufficient time to travel and explore the area. Connecting with Australian fellows always helps and, if you are keen on camping and/or hiking, the University Club USC Activate is a great opportunity to meet great people, friends, and dive into awesome adventures in exciting places. Besides many fun nights being out in Varsity, the Helm (local club in Mooloolaba) or the Ocean St. in Maroochydore, I found myself on more than a dozen short- or week-long trips and am happy for how much the people and the Sunshine Coast give. For a stay that exceeds one semester I recommend buying a car on the Australian counterpart of eBay, Gumtree.

With the local and international community, paradise-like weather and a great area with possibilities to travel quickly and cheap, you will not regret the decision to come to the University of the Sunshine Coast!

 

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.

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.