Ida Marie Olsen from HVL Bergen in Norway studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast


I am an education student from the Norwegian University HVL Bergen, and I got the opportunity to do one semester abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), and I absolutely love it! There is so much to do and see around here, and you will never get bored. There is a range of beaches, waterfalls, mountains, hikes, shops and cafés you can go too close to the University. It is also very easy to travel around here. Take the bus, rent a car or book a flight from Sunshine Coast or Brisbane airport.

During my time here, I have been to Noosa, Gold Coast, Brisbane, North Stradbroke Island, Byron Bay and on a road trip from Cairns to Sunshine Coast. Later this semester, I will also travel to Fraser Island, Sydney and Melbourne before I’m heading back home to Norway. Since I love to travel, I will share my 5 favourite travel destinations from the Sunshine Coast whilst studying here.

1. Byron Bay
I went to Byron Bay on an arranged tour with Adventure Dudes. Byron Bay is a small town that has beautiful beaches, good surfing, a walking trail to the lighthouse where you can spot whales on your way, and some great cafés and bars.

2. Noosa

Noosa is only a 40 minute ride by car away from campus. The beaches and national parks here are so beautiful and worth a visit! You can spot koalas, dolphins and whales. I also recommend to swim in the famous Fairy Pools.

3. North Stradbroke Island

This Island is located in Moreton Bay and is easily accessed from Brisbane. The George Walk at Point Lookout is a must if you are going to this island. This walk offers outstanding views across the ocean and you can spot whales, dolphins, turtles, koalas and wallabies.

4. Whitsunday Island

I went to a 2-days sailboat trip to the Whitsunday Islands, and it was so amazing! We went to the most beautiful beach I have ever seen (Whitehaven Beach), the famous Hill Inlet Lookout and snorkelled with so many colourful fishes in The Great Barrier Reef.

 5. Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is a short 20 minutes ferry ride from Townsville. We camped in our tent on Bungalow Bay Koala Village, and I saw so many wild koalas on this Island. We hired some cool, small cars with no roof and had a lot of fun driving them around the Island.

I would really recommend doing a semester abroad here at USC Sunshine Coast! You will get so many new friends from all over the world, see so many amazing places and just have the time of your life!

If you have any questions about studying abroad at USC, I am more than happy to answer. You can find me on Instagram @idaolsen4.

– Ida Marie Olsen

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