Carmen López-Cirera Gottinger from Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Spain studying at USC Sunshine Coast


My name is Carmen and I am currently finishing my bachelor in laws doing my last semester in the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Originally, I am half Spanish and half German, and study in the Universidad de Pablo de Olavide, in Seville. I’ve given it a lot of thought about how I’m going to write about my experience in Australia, and came to the conclusion that the best way is to write a letter to myself.

Dear myself 6 months ago – or dear anyone who is thinking about studying at USC:

You are probably scared about daring yourself and taking this step to go study and live that far away from home – well don’t be, this is going to be the most amazing experience of your life. I know you are hesitating between studying or traveling so, why don’t combine both?

I can assure you that if you come to the Sunshine Coast, you are going to visit some of the best beaches in the world such as Noosa, Mooloolaba and Maroochydore. You will for sure get a car and do some road trips, enabling you to drive around Queensland and discover its amazing islands – such as Fraser Island, Bribie Island or Moreton Island -, fall in love with the amazing nature hidden in the forests, go up to Cairns and visit the Great Barrier Reef, or drive down to New South Wales, where you will be amazed by the magic of a small ‘hippie’ town called Byron Bay. So yes, get an international driving licence!

Still not convinced? Well, traveling is not the only awesome thing you are going to experience here. You are going to discover the uniqueness of the Aussie culture. Don’t be afraid when you first arrive and see someone walking barefooted in the supermarket, you will probably even see that in the library. Who knows, maybe after a few months you will even go barefooted to Coles yourself – yes, I’ve done it. But that’s just and expression of, as I call it, the ‘Aussie personality’. Australian’s tend to be nice, loving, down to earth, humble and welcoming people, you will IMG_2126really fall in love with them. You will start to like their traditions too, such as their barbies (BBQ), but maybe not their Vegemite – be prepared the first time you try it!

Along with traveling and discovering Australian culture, you have to know that you will have the opportunity to experience so many crazy things. From jumping out of a plane on the top of the Sunshine Coast, to hugging Koalas or getting to know our on-campus kangaroos, it’s going to be a blast! – so just make sure you come before our baby kangaroo gets bigger.

-Carmen López-Cirera Gottinger @carmen_lcg


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