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’!