Tina Haagensen from Norway studying Animal Ecology at USC Sunshine Coast and studying overseas for one semester at the University of Wyoming in the USA

Visiting the meerkats at Australia ZooAnimal Ecology at USC Sunshine Coast

In 2016 I decided to leave Norway and come to USC and Australia to study a Bachelor of Animal Ecology. I have always been interested in animals and nature and thought this degree would be a good fit. Now, 3 years later and about to graduate, I do not regret my decision. My teachers have been amazing, I have learned and experienced so much through my courses. The degree focuses on animals, their environment and conservation, and equips you with valuable skills and qualities. Whale watching, bird counting, running spiders and geckos, swimming with turtles and rays are only some of the things I have done through studying Animal Ecology. Field trips have taken me to places like Fraser Island and Heron Island, and I have been introduced to a lot of cool research. Because of this, I decided to stay at USC another year to do my Honours degree. I am exited to see where it takes me!

Holding a swamp rat at a field trip on North Stradbroke IslandUSC is a growing university and you meet people from all over the world. I now have friends from Germany, USA, Puerto Rico, Australia and many other places. Australia is also a huge country with lots of places to see. Sydney and New Zealand have been two of my favourites. Make sure to explore the country when you can but enjoy the beautiful Sunshine Coast too. Eat breakfast out with your friends, enjoy the wildlife and kangaroos on campus, go to the beach, eat loooots of ice cream, hike all the mountains and enjoy all the experiences you get when studying at USC!

Semester Overseas at the University of Wyoming, USA

Volunteering at Best Friends Animal Society with other UW students during Spring BreakIn Semester 1, 2018 I travelled across the pond to the United States of America. Doing a whole degree at USC gives you the opportunity to go overseas for a semester. The University of Wyoming is in Laramie, a small college town up in the mountains 7 220 ft (2200 m) above sea level. It is the exact opposite of the Sunshine Coast. We had winter and snow with negative degrees all semester until May started, but I loved it. The snow is so peaceful, and it was nice to put on lots of clothes and snuggle up with some blankets and a good movie in the evenings.

Zion National Park - Spring BreakEveryone is very welcoming and helpful, and it doesnโ€™t take long before you feel like youโ€™re a part of the UW family. You get the American college experience living in dorms, going to sport games and feeling that school pride. I also have to add that the gym had three floors, a bunch of group classes and was free for all students! It was love at first sight!

During my time in USA and UW I also visited New York, Boston and Philadelphia, went skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado, volunteered at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah during Spring Break, explored Wyoming and South Dakota with other internationals, and last but not least I got to experience the beautiful Yellowstone National Park!

If you are considering doing a semester overseas or a whole degree at USC, do it! It is an amazing experience and you will learn so much about yourself and other cultures. Keep your eyes and mind open and go for it!

– Tina Haagensen


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