My name is Laura. I am 22 and come from Germany. I normally study at the University Bonn-Rhein-Sieg of Applied Sciences in Rheinbach. But this semester in 2019/2020 I studied abroad – here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Here, I completed my 5th semester in Business in Australia where my major was marketing.
In order to give you some impressions of the life here, I’ll will describe a few things a little bit closer;
First of all, I will tell you a bit about the university. USC has a really beautiful campus – the birds chirp daily, the kangaroos are on the campus almost every day and the sun shines most of the time. The campus is relatively large, but the classes have always been small. For example, in my marketing courses, I was usually only with 20 or fewer students in the lecture. As this is quite a pleasant size, I could learn effectively during class. Besides, all lectures are recorded so students can also watch it at home. In addition to the lectures, you usually also have a tutorial, which deepens the contents of the lectures. Unlike in Germany, every bachelor student here at USC has to submit 3 different tasks in each subject. These tasks can be very diverse. For example, you have to write reports, work on quizzes, create a video or write exams at the end. All tasks are weighted differently and are then part of your final grade of the subject. During breaks or your free time at university you can have a drink, or you can eat something there. At the campus, there are many cafés and also a brasserie. Besides, every student has accesses to computer rooms or tutorial rooms with their student card. In addition, there is also a huge library in the middle of the campus. At the same time, USC provides different sport facilities. Consequently, you can go to a fitness centre or you can attend different sport courses such as volleyball or rugby.
With regard to the living situation, I can only advise everyone to go to one of the student residences. They are only 5 minutes away from the campus and you can meet a lot of new people there. In total, there are two different student residences, Varsity and UniCentral. While Varsity is known as the party residence, UniCentral is quiet and cosy.
I lived in UniCentral together with 2 Australians and 1 American in one apartment. We often watch TV, eat, cook or just talk together in the evening. The rooms are also really nice here. Everyone has their own room with a small bathroom. The rooms are nice and there is everything inside, what you really need. There is a large bed, a bedside table, two big cupboards and a desk with a desk chair. Then we also have a common area with a TV, a sofa and a kitchen. Besides, every flat has a balcony or a garden, depending on which apartment you get. Furthermore, each student residence has a tennis and basketball court and a pool. In addition, there is also a pavilion with games like billiard, air hockey and table tennis. Additionally, Varsity has a volleyball court.
Then, on Thursday and Saturday, we can party here. Oh and yeah by the way, you have read correctly – in Australia you don’t only celebrate on the weekend, but also on Thursday! Especially on Thursday, students have a free shuttle to a close-by club. Furthermore, we don’t have to pay an entry free for this club on that day. However, I believe its sometimes more expensive to go out here than in Germany.
Apart from the university, you should visit also other places around here. For example, I often went down to the beach by bus. It’s usually a 20 minutes’ drive with bus to the beach, and it is gorgeous! I usually went to Alexandra Headland beach. There is also Mooloolaba beach which can be a little bit busier during holidays. However, if you want to be alone with your friends on the beach, you should go to Buddina. The beaches there are really wide and only a few people walk along there. At the same time, this area is a perfect place for surfing as the waves are great! Besides the beach, there is also a huge shopping mall in Maroochydore called Sunshine Plaza. At the plaza you can eat, drink or you go shopping. Similarly, you can also go to Strike Bowling. There you can play Minigolf and you can bowl for 15$ on Thursday, which is always a lot of fun with friends!
Another good thing is to rent a car with friends over the weekend in order to explore the surrounding areas. Besides Brisbane, there are also beautiful places like Noosa, Glasshouse Mountains, Rainbow Beach, Gold Coast and Byron Bay. Furthermore, you should visit the Australia Zoo or the Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane. There are a lot of different Australian animals, but the best thing is that you can pet kangaroos and you can hold a koala in your arms! This is a fantastic and special experience that you will never forget! Moreover, you will have one week break in the middle of the semester. In this week, I would advise you to do something. For example, I rented a car with friends and we drove together along the coast to Sydney and back again. It was wonderful.
However, before I go travelling after my semester, I will have my international graduation on November 18th. There, I will get my Statement of Completion and can slip into these academic robes. I am really looking forward to this day! Later, at the end of November, I will continue travelling and will visit Fiji and New Zealand!
Now I’ve said enough. Personally, I can only advise you to spend a semester abroad at USC! During that time, you get to know so many new people; you can explore a new country and you are just having an unforgettable time here! Remember, during that time, you will live in a region where many tourists make their holidays!
I hope that this blog can give you a little insight into the university life of Australia. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me! 🙂