For me there were three main reasons to choose USC for my semester abroad. The first was a recommendation from my mother, who had studied at USC before me and absolutely loved the experience. The second reason was because USC offers the great opportunity to complete a Diploma in Communication during the course of one semester, instead of the normal two, and thereby awards an Australian degree to international students. The third reason was simply to spend more time at the Sunshine Coast, one of the most beautiful places in Australia.
For my diploma program I could pick fascinating courses in the areas of creative writing, film, and English literature. USC has wonderful lecturers in these areas, and I felt that the course content was nicely paced throughout the semester and very practically orientated. Contrary to my studies in Germany I could already complete certain percentages of the final grade during the semester, which for me lowered my stress level towards the end of the semester enormously.
What I loved about my courses was also the hands-on experience, drafting and discussing my short stories, and creating a story board for my film course.
Also, USC offers special academic writing courses for international students at the beginning of the semester to help with different writing conventions and citation styles, and there was a lot of support with essay writing during the semester as well.
The Sippy Downs campus has everything you need for a successful study experience. I spend a lot of time studying in the air conditioned library, also lovingly called “the cheese grater”, which has a variety of work spaces, sofas, and even bean bags. The cafeteria and various cafes offer a variety of good food and fuel for us coffee-junkies, which you can enjoy on the lawn watching the wild kangaroos jump by.
If you’re up for a game of chess, there were often people playing next to the library or for more physically challenging sports, USC has a sport center and even a swimming pool.
Part of choosing USC was definitely the exotic location, studying at the beautiful Sunshine Coast close to mountains, national parks, and the ocean. During my time at USC I made some new amazing friends and together we went on hikes, for example up Mt Column, or over to the Buderim waterfall which is not too far away from campus. Australia has a fascinating flora and fauna which I especially admired on our trip to Fraser Island, during our walks in various national parks, and every time I reached the ocean.
If you more of a city person, Brisbane is not too far away, which we decided to explore via kayaks. Or you could take a weekend trip down to the Gold Coast and check out Surfer’s Paradise. On our trips we were always pleasantly surprised by the relaxed and friendly mentality of Australians, who were in my experience always happy to help.
So if you’re reading this and considering to jump out of your comfort zone, let me tell you I definitely dived into an ocean of possibilities – and so can you. Lifelong friendships, amazing adventures, and a great learning experience are just waiting to be explored.