Hi, my name is Sabrina Birkhofer and I am from the University of Business and Society Ludwigshafen in Germany, where I am studying a Master of International Marketing Management. Because of the recent cooperation of my home university with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) I spent my last semester in Australia studying a Double Degree Program in International Business.
The campus is located on a beautiful nature reserve where you can often find kangaroos relaxing on the grass. The staff is really friendly and always willing to support you with your studies. Besides, USC offers a modern campus and teaching facilities such as the big library. I would highly recommend participating on the orientation week before the semester starts as it helps a lot to settle down on campus and get useful information about your studies. To afford the tuition fees and get some financial support, it is advisable to apply for scholarships before coming to Australia (for German students e.g. the DAAD offers different opportunities). Moreover, two of the student accommodations, Unicentral and Varsity, are located very close to the USC campus, but there are also many other possibilities for private accommodations close to the beach.
I really enjoyed the varied sports that were offered through USC Sport and joined the USC Badminton team, where we represented USC during the one-week midterm break at the Unisport Games down in Gold Coast. It was a great experience to compete against other Australian Universities and get to know many people from all over Australia.
As the workload at the USC can be intense some times with assignments to write during the semester, it can be smart to plan some time before or after the semester to travel the country. Therefore, I decided already in the beginning of the semester to plan some weeks of travel after my final assignments and visit the the bigger Australian cities like Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. During weekends, the beautiful beaches in Mooloolaba and Maroochydore provide a great opportunity to recharge the batteries. Lastly, weekend trips to the Glasshouse Mountains and climbing Mount Coolum were a great experience where you can enjoy amazing views.
Here are some insider tips when you consider studying at the Sunshine Coast:
- Don‘t miss the amazing Australian food: Try banana bread and the Bundaberg ginger beer!
- Go to a place where you can hold a koala and stroke kangaroos (my best experience was the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane)
- Visit Fraser Island and make a stopover at awesome Noosa Beach and Rainbow beach
- Try surfing
- Travel from Melbourne to Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road and visit the Twelve Apostles, go to the Outback and visit Uluru (if you are brave sleep in a swag and enjoy the impressive starry sky), go to Perth and for one day to Rottnest Island, where you can visit the Quokkas (cutest animals i‘ve ever seen)
All in all, it was a great semester at the Sunshine Coast with lots of new experiences and kind new people and friends. For the future students- make the most of the time there and don’t forget to travel as much as you can in this beautiful country!