Melanie Dammerer from the University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication Vienna studying a Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) at USC Sunshine Coast

Three tips for international students studying at USC

My name is Melanie Dammerer and I am from Austria. As part of my educational career, I always wanted to study abroad in the setting of a different lifestyle. Due to the weather, the high academic reputation of the institutions across the country and the social life, Australia has become a popular destination for international students.

As the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Queensland, Australia, is a partner university of my hometown university FHWien der WKW in Vienna, Austria, I decided to enrol in a Double Degree Program. This enables me to graduate with two bachelor degrees in the field of professional communication.

After two semesters of studying at USC on campus as well as online, I have figured out three key things you should always keep in mind.

            Stay connected

Australia is a multicultural country with people from diverse backgrounds. Australian people are very warm and welcoming. The diversity has enabled them to be tolerant of other people’s views. For a student from overseas, it is the perfect environment for learning as you get to meet students from different cultures, which can show you new perspectives.

As mentioned above, Australia is multicultural, so try and keep an open mind, because you will experience new things. Also, as you are coming into a new environment, there is a chance that you will feel homesick. To deal with that, consider your new friends as a family or see a counsellor of the university.

I recommend attending the orientation weeks at university which always take place one week before classes commence. USC provides a range of activities to get to know the campus. They are ideal to connect with Australian domestics as well as with international students.

            Stay curious

Studying in Australia is about learning as well as about exploration. The Sunshine Coast has many tourist attractions to offer and places you can visit. There are museums, restaurants, parks, gardens and beaches.

I recommend visiting Australia Zoo which is famous for Steve Irwin, “The Crocodile Hunter”. Kondalilla National Park with its walking trail past rock pools down to one of the most spectacular falls on the Sunshine Coast and Noosa are both worth visiting.

If you like to go for a swim, the beaches around Mooloolaba are one of the best beach spots in Australia besides my favourite one: Rainbow Beach.

All of them have clear blue waters and golden sands, which is ideal for either a stroll or surfing. Also, you can access Rainbow Beach with a 4WD and drive on the sand.


            Stay focused

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic 2020, USC adapted teaching to continue online. When the Austrian government asked citizens to return home, I didn’t know what to do. My friend asked me what was the main reason for me to come to Australia. As I had planned to go abroad for a whole year, I decided to stay and finish my studies in Australia.

So, if there is one thing I want you to know after reading this text, always remember what you want to achieve and stick to that. Studying abroad will not always be easy and you may experience unforeseen difficulties. Either way, you have to deal with those, so start integrating a healthy lifestyle with your study duties and leisure activities as soon as you are settled in.

Like in many other countries, you have to be prepared in terms of housing as well as health care. They can be a bit expensive. However, if you are planning your stay carefully, you will get the most out of it.


Besides the high expenses and the far distance from home, you will enjoy studying in Australia as you broaden your horizon and make new friends from all over the world. If you have any questions or you are just happy to chat about personal experiences, add me on Instagram (@melanie_dammerer) or message me on Facebook.

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