2020 has been a different and unprecedented year. Therefore, with 2021 right around the corner, we thought it’s time to take a quick look back at some of the things that most of us probably did (or experienced) during 2020. Do you recognise yourself in any of these? If so, share it with your friends and family 😉
1. You low-key panicked when you saw that all the toilet paper was gone from the shelves….
2. You spent hours trying to find your old jigsaw puzzles, followed by hours putting them together…
3. To make time go by, you started exploring your home for possible renovation projects…
4. Most FaceTime conversations included little interaction and were mainly used for check-ups…
5. Your house now looks like a Queensland sub-tropical forest:
6. You still can’t find the un-mute button:
7. First day of zoom class sessions VS two months in…
8. You’re currently recycling your 2020 New Year Resolutions for 2021
9. You ended up visiting most of the surrounding mountains and trails that you usually would be too busy to explore:
10. You got something stuck in your throat and desperately tried to hold your cough when surrounded by people in public:
11. You dressed up for even the smallest occasions, like grocery shopping:
12: No matter how many times you ended up using zoom, there would always be a bunch of different W’s present:
There are many local, but also popular spots just a short bus ride or drive away from campus. Our USC Sunshine Coast (Sippy Downs) campus is lucky to have a bus stop right on campus, and only a 5 minute walk away from our student accommodation options UniCentral, Varsity and The Village.
We have listed some of the most popular spots below that our students often visit when living close to campus:
1. Mooloolaba Beach
If you want to hit the beach, you can take the 615 bus from USC which will take you approx 15 minutes to Mooloolaba. This is a popular spot for students who wants to soak up some sun on the beach but also for students who like to go for walks along the promenade and even do some shopping. Mooloolaba has some great local shops, cafes and restaurants. Not to mention, if you walk towards the Mooloolaba Spit in the arvo, you might be able to see an amazing sunset.
2. Cotton Tree Beach & Holiday Park
If you prefer to avoid some of the more popular, busy beaches, you may want to stay on the bus a bit longer after Mooloolaba and jump off at Cotton Tree, just 5 minutes down the road from Mooloolaba. Cotton Tree Beach is located just to the left of Alexandra Headland, a popular surf spot for many students and not to mention locals. Cotton tree is the perfect spot if you would like to try out Stand Up Paddle Boarding or Kayaking. There are also heaps of cosy local shops along the promenade and we can recommend checking out Cafe Envy that offers locally sourced dishes, in addition to organic coffee and smoothies. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spot a couple of pelicans who like to enjoy their time down at the beach.
3. The Glasshouse Mountains
We of course won’t forget to mention the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains, located a short 25 minute drive from campus with a car. You will have a lot of mountains tracks to choose from including some of the more popular ones such as Mt Beerwah, Mt Ngungun and Mt Tibrogargan. The Glasshouse Mountains have a lot of history behind them, and we would definitly recommend booking a tour with some local aboriginals, also known as storytelling, as they have a lot of interesting stories to tell which you can read more about here.
4. Noosa National Park + Champagne Pools
A bit further away from USC but also only a short 40 minute drive you’ll find the beautifucl Noosa National Park. This National Park is a favourite amongst the locals mostly due to the prime surf that it provides, especially in the mornings and afternoons. If you’re lucky you might spot a koala on your way to Champagne Pools, an absolute must go-to if visiting the park for the first time. The whole walk around Noosa National park is approx. 5.4 km and you can choose to start at Sunshine Beach and walk all the way to the main street in Noosa, Hasting. We recommend checking out Betty’s Burgers and some of the local Noosa shops while you’re there.
5. Mt Coolum
On the way back from Noosa and approx. 30 minutes from campus you’ll find the popular mountain Coolum. While most people will choose to follow the public walking track that has been set out and recently refurbished, there are a couple of additional but rarely used tracks that are for the more adventurous and experienced climbers. Interestingly, one of these tracks will lead you to two of Coolum’s caves. The trip to the caves starts at he same main track however if you wear off to the left it will take you to the first larger cave which is more of an overhang and is regularly used by rock climbers. This makes for a spectacular waterfall in the wet seasons and well worth a visit.
6. Double Island / Fraser Island
If you have the option to rent a 4WD while you’re here we would definitely recommend you to put some time and money aside to explore Double Island, just a short 5 minute ferry ride from Noosa North Shore. Double Island stretches all the way up to Double Island Point (well known spot for prime surfing) and Rainbow Beach, where you can further (if you’re an adventurous type) take the Mantra Bay ferry over to Fraser Island. Double Island is perfect for a short day trip however we recommend to spend at least 2 nights (camping or housing accommodation) at Fraser to experience most of what the island has to offer. Recommended spots to visit is Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek, Maheno Wreck and Champagne pools. You may also want to drive further north to Sandy Cape if you have some spare time.
My name is Ellie McLaren, I have just completed my six-month program learning Japanese at Ritsumeikan University, Kinugasa Campus. I had the opportunity to learn Japanese through the IJL track (Intensive Japanese Language) whilst studying archaeology and heritage. I wanted to be in Kyoto to explore Kansai and be able to study world heritage sites in person. Ninnaji was my personal favourite place to go.
When I first left Australia, I felt confident in my ability to get by as I felt I’d experienced a fair amount of growth before my departure. Japan certainly taught me otherwise, heavy workload, illness and conflict within my living space. However, I was also provided with a wonderful support network built from both my friends I’d made here and from home, I felt accomplishment in little things such as successfully ordering in an izakaya, speaking to the old ladies in the public bath about my tattoos, seeing Carly Rae Jepsen during the typhoon and being surrounded by beautiful cultural sites. I highly recommend this study overseas opportunity to everyone, not just Japan but the experience in itself. The turbulent highs and lows I’ve experienced made this an unforgettable experience that I believe will push anyone to understand themselves and others around them. Try to speak out, people do want to listen.
My name is Kalvin and I’m studying creative writing at USC Sunshine Coast. Right now, I’m studying overseas at the RheinAhrCampus In Germany.
I live in a little town called Remagen, which is on the glorious River Rhein. Coming to Germany was a surprise because I couldn’t have planned it. When I was volunteering for USC International during Orientation Week, I met a German professor who offered me an academic internship. This is my second exchange, but one a whole other level. Although I’m still studying, I spend half my time working for RheinAhrCampus’ own international department, Sprachen/Internationales. In fact, I managed our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SprachenIntRAC/) and even co-produce a podcast: https://www.absolutely-intercultural.com/– Episode 245 is the best 😉
Coming to a new country gave me permission to be a new person, and I love it so much I’m staying another semester. Actually, I think I’ve gone a little mad, because in a few days, I’m starting a bicycle tour through France and Italy. With a winter sleeping bag, I’ll be camping for one month in bushes and meeting new people with ‘CouchSurfing’ along the way. I wouldn’t have built the courage to try something like this if not for my five months here.
If I can offer something I’ve learned, don’t choose the easy option. If you’re going on an adventure overseas, go wild, go somewhere like Germany. Most importantly, this experience will be more valuable than any course. Come even if it means studying something outside your degree. I wouldn’t trade this for a course with Steven King; I’ll still be better off as a writer because of what this adventure has made me.
I remember hearing about the Study Overseas program and instantly deciding it was an opportunity too good to miss. I chose Japan because the culture is intriguing, and I knew it would be a beneficial step outside of my comfort zone. The possibility of future career paths also interested me, as Japan and Australia share increasingly strong foreign relations.
I decided to study at Akita International University (AIU), which is located in the countryside of Akita prefecture. Away from the neon lights and bustle of Tokyo, this seemed like an unlikely choice for me. However, I thought it might be nice to experience a quaint slice of Japanese life – and save Tokyo for the weekend trips. I’m happy I made this choice, because little did I know, I was about to fall in love with a side of Japan that I had never really thought about. And besides, it took only 30 minutes to get to Akita City which was good for getting my city fix. Akita Prefecture is renowned for its natural beauty, and if you like the outdoors, then there is a lot for you to do and see! It was lovely to see the landscape change with the seasons, and also to have my first snowy winter.
Studying at AIU was really a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it’d be very hard to find something else like it. There is always a large number of international students studying there, making the campus a wonderful cultural melting pot. It’s compulsory to live in an on-campus dorm, and international students are paired with a Japanese roommate – this helped a lot with making friends. The campus is similar in size to USC Sippy Downs, so you’re always seeing familiar faces. Most students also eat together in the cafeteria, and this quickly became one of my favourite things. AIU also offers a variety of clubs, social events and common spaces, and I can guarantee you will make lifelong friends and connections. The fact that you are always seeing and experiencing this new life with other students really builds a strong community atmosphere. I made some of my best friends through hiking, playing badminton and jamming in the music room. I will never forget the peaceful (and sometimes quite demanding) mountain hikes we did and the stunning views that Akita had to offer. After each hike we would eagerly make our way to an onsen (a natural hot spring) and ease our aching legs in the steaming volcanic water… aahhh!
I was also lucky enough to be invited to the Australia-Japan Youth Dialogue reception hosted at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo. I met some other Australian students and also some professionals who play a key role in managing the foreign relations between our countries. It was an inspirational night!
This has been one of the best and most fulfilling things I’ve done so far. If you decide to study abroad, I do have a piece of advice. You should be willing to adapt to all cultural aspects and approach it as a personal challenge. In doing so, you will get a lot more out of the experience. If studying abroad is something you’re unsure about, I would love to help out – feel free to get in touch via my student email: L_B132@student.usc.edu.au
I travelled to Norway at the end of July, and spent about 5 months living in Sogndal, Norway, which lies on the Sognefjord. I studied at HVL doing the course Outdoor Education and Nordic Friluftsliv. I’ve always wanted to go to Norway growing up, and this seemed like the greatest excuse ever to experience a country, and with my friend I met through work having previously done this course 2 years ago, it seemed like a perfect reason to go overseas.
Looking back, it’s almost insane how they basically just threw us right into the thick of it from the start, but I have absolutely no regrets about anything I did while I was there. From canoeing to kayaking, walking on glaciers to picking mushrooms, to thru-hikes to cross-country skiing, I did so many things I never would’ve done while I was in Australia.
I was the only Australian in the course, but it didn’t matter, everyone was super welcoming and we all had similar goals, to make the most of our time in Norway. From the shy Basque guys to the sweet Swiss, everyone was willing to speak English, and the Norwegians I lived with in the student accommodation are some of my favourite people I met while I was there. The friendships I developed there are something that I’ll never forget because I had the time of my life.
While on the trips, there were a lot of times when you felt like you couldn’t do something that you physically didn’t have the capability to do, and when convinced to just give it a go, what do you have to lose, would find out you could actually do it. I never thought I could kayak in 15m/s winds while its pouring down rain, but it turned out to be one of the highlights from the whole 4 days of kayaking. This showed me what you’re capable of when you push yourself.
The days we spent in the mountains, however, are some of my favourites. To the silly haka like thing we did as a group to raise moral, to sitting on the side of a mountain laughing about something while eating blueberries that are growing around us. Watching the sun rise over the fjords, sit on the side of the mountain in silence, having spent the last week sleeping under a tarp, is something I’ll never forget.
Studying overseas is something I would recommend to everyone to do, as being able to study in a completely different culture is very different from just travelling to a location for a week or two. While I was in Norway, I also travelled to Scotland during my mid-semester break,. Furthermore, after university finished, I spent 20 days travelling around central Europe before coming home after the new year. This is something you’ll never regret doing, with friends for life.
My name is Daniel Chilly, I am currently studying a Bachelor of Social Work/Criminology & Justice. I participated in theStudy Overseas program during the winter of 2019, September to December, at University of Applied Sciences Fulda, Germany. I chose to study at this university as it had a set International Social Work Course that offered an integrated internship into the study requirements. This really appealed to me as I was attracted to the practical learning element rather than the courses being wholly theoretical.
The experience studying in Germany was both excellent and confronting. It was different, and difficult at times, living and learning in a country that did not speak English as a native tongue. However, it provided myself the opportunity to learn and grow personally by overcoming the challenges of immersing myself in a culture that is very different to what I am used to. One of the highlights of the trip was having the opportunity to travel to Munich to attend the Oktoberfest. The atmosphere was electric and it was one of the first times attending an event that was big and attended by so many people, it was definitely an experience I will remember for life. The growth that occurred during this semester abroad will definitely stay with me for life and will be a reminder of what I can achieve.
If I had to provide a tip for anyone that is going to study overseas in the future it would definitely be to try and stay as flexible and calm as possible. While travelling there can be many times that carefully planned trips do not always go as planned. When this occurs, breathe, take a minute and problem solved. Dwelling on things you cannot control only leads to stress and is not helpful in getting to your destination, believe me I know.
Studying and living in Germany has been one of the best experiences of my life and I would recommend anyone thinking of studying abroad to give it a shot.
We have gathered a couple of hidden gems here on the coast, ranging from cafes to beautiful, hidden locations. Some of these places might be familiar to a Sunshine Coast local, but if you’re new to the Sunshine Coast you should definitely make some time on your schedule to visit these places!
Front page photo: Traveller photo submitted by Darren (Jun. 2017)
1. Kenilworth Bakery
Opening hours: Everyday From 6am Until SELL OUT.
Address: 8 Elizabeth St, Kenilworth QLD 4574
You might be disappointed in yourself that you haven’t heard about this before now, but for all doughnut fans: look no further. The famous bakery in Kenilworth offers a bakery experience of it’s own, with amazing doughnuts in every possible flavour you can imagine. Considering they are so popular and people often travel to Kenilworth just to get a taste of what the bakery has to offer, you’ll need to be there early in the morning to secure yourself one of these tasty doughnuts. Ranging from the apple crumble, golden gay-time, oreo and world’s first coffee in a doughnut, why not go all out and challenge yourself with the 1 kg doughnut challenge. Check them out on Instagram here!
2. Ewen Maddock Dam
Address: Mooloolah Connection Rd, Mooloolah Valley, QLD
Depending on where you live, you might not have heard of this place. Located in Mooloolah Valley, this dam is a place where you can have nice picnics while enjoying the silence. The Ewen Maddock Dam is perfect for a swim or kayaking, and it has the most amazing view over the huge watery expanse. It has seats, bbq’s and a sandy shore to enjoy. You can even walk through the forest path next to the water and enjoy the bird life. There are also some great mountain bike tracks nearby if you’re up fore some action. Bring your friends and check it out! Read more here.
3. The Strawberry Fields
Address:133 Laxton Rd, Palmview, QLD, 4553
Exit 190 off Bruce Highway
Pick your own strawberries! Strawberry Fields is a Pick Your Own Farm and the season is from May to October (not too far away!) where you get to go out on the field and pick your very own strawberries. They also have a shop, a Cafe, a playground and a gift shop. We already know this has been a popular thing to do amongst students, bu it normally takes a while before someone brings it to your attention, especially when you’re new to the coast. It’s located only 10 minutes away from the University (opposite to Aussie Worlds), so there’s no excuse not to go if you’re a strawberry lover! Check them out here.
4. THE BIRDS & THE BEANS ESPRESSO BAR
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 6 – 11.30am
Address: The old Vandy’s Garage, 114 Burnett St, Buderim QLD
This gem is situated in an old service station from 1918 and is well-known amongst Buderim locals. They make some really awesome coffee with Kai Specialty roast, and not to mention, their delicious NYC Bagels with cream cheese. Another amazing thing about this gem is that they currently donate one dollar for every kilo of coffee they sell to rescue children in developing nations. You can find them on Facebook here.
5. GURU Life
Opening hours: Every day 6am-3pm
Address: 522A Petrie Creek Rd, Rosemount QLD 4560
GURU Life Restaurant & Garden will bring happiness and enlightenment to your day through a delicious menu, served up in a relaxed garden setting. This is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious lunch or a simple cup of coffee, roasted on site. The Soloman Chicken is a favourite on the lunch menu, and the relaxing vibes make this a destination a popular spot you definitely want to check out. You can check them out here!
From 10.00 am – 3.00 pm, USC International had a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus tour where our USC Study Overseas Ambassadors took the new international students on a trip to Mooloolaba and Maroochydore. The students were introduced to some of the hot-spots here on the coast whilst doing some shopping and meeting other international students.
From 3.00 – 5.00 pm, USC International arranged a BBQ for all the students and had some great people visiting from Wildlife HQ, AdventureDudes, Skydive Australia, Student Guild and the Drop festival Noosa. The BBQ finished off with some cool prizes sponsored by AdventureDudes and the Student Guild.
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I chose to Study Overseas to experience life in one of the biggest metropolises in the world. The bustling streets of the city allowed for endless inspiration and excitement every day that made me never want to leave. During the first few months, I struggled with home sickness and called home every day, but after I established friendships with people in my classes, the longing feeling I felt for my life in Australia started to settle. I would say finding connections with people makes the whole semester abroad more enjoyable, and it also makes it easier to explore and make further connections with other people.
I would encourage everyone to study abroad because it tests you. Being in a new country, with no connections, pushes you to be more assertive and to take more risks that you normally wouldn’t. The friendships you develop are stronger because you only have each other to lean on and you become more independent and confident in yourself as an overall result of this experience.
There was a quote I was told by a new friend when I moved to New York and found everything different, unfamiliar and harder than I expected to adjust. They said to me that “New York will never adjust to your convenience. You have to let the city chew you up and spit you out a whole new person.” I believe this quote could be used for any country that is visited of an exchange semester because this experience truly does spit you out a new person and you have to ride the wave, go with the flow of the new environment and trust fate has your best interest in mind.
Sunshine Coast offers some great events throughout every semester and we have collected a few of these here on our blog. Make sure to check them out, and we guarantee you, there’s something for everyone!
Are you ready to indulge into some of the best desserts that the coast has to offer? It’s time to prepare your taste buds, and for just $10 entry, you get access toJust $10* gets you access to loads of dessert food truck, live music all day, dessert wine tasting, dessert demonstrations, and 30+ artisan markets from the Sunshine Coast Collective Markets. There’ll be brownies, chimney cakes, donuts, ice cream, dessert dumplings, crepes, lollies and much more. What are you waiting for? Join the fun!
Spicers Tamarind Retreat will be hosting the annual Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival, and you’ll get to experience some incredible Asian food, watch cooking demonstrations whilst enjoying a five Asian dishes (bookings are essential via the link above). If you’re a person interested in international food and spices, this is definitely the right event for you! Bring a picnic blanket and relax in the sun while you enjoy the beautiful taste of Asia.
Not to mention, one of our favourites! Peregian Originals is an open air community event arranged with the purpose of supporting original live music from around the community. This event does a great job on bringing the community together and is held every 2nd Sunday of each month. Bring your friends, a picnic blankets and enjoy the great atmosphere that this event offers. Check out the link above for more information.
If you’re planning on going on a day trip up to Noosa on the 20th of March, make sure to stop by this twilight market! Free entry, heaps of food stalls and great entertainment. Read more in the link above.
The Noosa Festival of Surfing is the biggest surf event in the world (by competitor numbers) with more than 900 competitors from almost 20 countries and regions. If you’re keen on adventure sports, Noosa is the place to be on these dates. With an age division for everyone and professional divisions attracting the best surfers from all over the world, the Noosa Festival of Surfing is not to be missed! Visit the link above for more information. (info)
Want to see some real action? The You Got This Tour is an explosive, high-adrenaline action sports spectacular starring the best athletes in FMX, BMX, Skate, Scooter, and more. Don’t miss your chance to see riders at the top of their sport including Ryan Williams, Vicki Golden, Blake “Bilko” Williams and many more. Find out more in the link above!
Definitely a highlight of the year. This is a celebration of our oceans, including sublime footage taken above and below the water’s surface through a collection of short films.Designed to mesmerise and enthral, the Ocean Film Festival World Tour showcases a 3 hour celebration of our oceans comprised of sublime footage taken above and below the water’s surface.Inspiring and thought-provoking, the Ocean Film Festival World Tour is filled with moving footage, touching interviews and insightful narrations. Each of the festival’s films conveys a deep respect and appreciation for the world’s oceans and the creatures that call them home. Find out more at www.oceanfilmfestival.com.au or in the link above.
Definitely a must-go, especially if you are new to the Sunshine Coast! The Big Pineapple Music Festival is an annual highly successful, award-winning live music event held at the historic Big Pineapple, in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. People are also able to camp at the Big Pineapple fields, with an inclusive ticket deal. Last year’s event sold out in record time and with 2020 shaping up to be even better, so make sure you sign up for the presale and get yourself sorted to jump when those tickets drop! You can read more about this event in the link above.
There are so many festivals in Australia that you should check out, with everything from genres such as electro, rock, dubstep, pop and indie music! We have put together a list of 15 festivals in Australia that we believe you should check out whilst studying!
Sunshine Coast’s Big Pineapple Music Festival is held every year in Mayand is the biggest festival on the Coast. With well-know local and Australian artists such as Peking duk, Broods and PNAU headlining in 2019, The festival has steadily grown in profile and popularity, and is regularly sold out. With a growing list of annual events, The Big Pineapple Music Festival is now an event of national standing, having been awarded one of Australia’s top regional music festivals!
2. Woodford Folk Festival – Woodfordia, QLD
Held every New Years Eve, Woodford Folk Festival is an annual music and cultural festival held near the semi-rural town of Woodford, 72 km north of Brisbane. It is one of the biggest annual cultural events of its type in Australia where approximately 125,000 people attend the festival every year. With approximately 2000 performers and 438 events, this festival is featuring local, national and international guests.
3. Festival X – Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne
Fairly new on the market, Festival X which kicks off on November 29th in Brisbane, will feature some huge headliners such as Calvin Harris, Armin Van Buuren and Lil Pump, the perfect mix for those who want to experience some top American artists. Australian artists such as Alison Wonderland, Anna Lunoe and Godlands will also be there to give you the real Aussie experience, so you really just have to book a ticket and see for yourself – you probably won’t be disappointed!
4. Splendour in the Grass – Byron Bay Parklands, NSW
Splendy, what should we say? This is definitely the festival for all ages and people, and there is so much to do that we could have spent a whole day writing about it. Held in the North Byron Parklands every July, the 2019 version featured some of the greatest artist on this planet. Experience some of the best Australian and American artists, visit the Tipi Forest, Global Village, The Bohemian Lounge, The World Stage, and much much more! The opportunities are endless and there’s no question about why this festival attracts people from all over Australia and even internationally. You just have to experience it for yourself, it’s something unique!
5. Falls Festival – Byron Bay Parklands & Tasmania
Starting it off with Splendour in July, there is not time for withdrawals having Falls Festival right around the corner. Similar to Splendour (except from being held in the middle of the summer and you’ll probably be sweaty all the time), Falls this year will feature Halsey, Vampire Weekends, and Peking Duk (even Lewis Capaldi!) so this might be something you don’t want to miss out on. What better way to celebrate the New Year right?
6. Listen Out – Brisbane Showgrounds, Queensland
Listen Out, this is one of our favourites! Held every September/October (yes, it’s right around the corner!), this festival will bring you dance, electro and hip hop with artist such as 6lack, Biscits, Cosmo’s Midnight, Denzel Curry and Diplo. Being a popular festival for Sunny Coast people, in addition to The Big Pineapple Festival, this festival will give you more of a city-vibe. With two stages, you can easily move from one to the other if both of your favourite acts are on! Accommodation is normally easy to find being that it’s located in the heart of Brisbane, but be quick – it’s always sold out!
7. Grass is Greener – Gold Coast, QLD
We’ve lost count in terms of how many new festivals there are this year, but we are not complaining! Event though Grass is Greener has been around since 2016, it has recently picked up here in Queensland and will be kicking off on the 19th of October in Gold Coast. Tyga will be headlining along with Amy Shark, Hermitude and The Veronicas. If you already know you won’t be able to make it to Gold Coast, they are giving you a second opportunity to experience the festival in Cairns on the 26th. To us, it is not too expensive and definitely sounds like the grass must be greener at that festival, considering their line-up.
8. Wildlands Festival – Brisbane Showgrounds, QLD
Wildlands is a brand new, unique one-day dance festival. Happening at the end of December, Wildlands is the brain child of two of Australia’s most loved festivals. Beyond The Valley and Origin Fields founders have promised the biggest and most exciting dance, electronic and hip-hop acts, both national and international. This year’s lineup will feature sets from RÜFÜS DU SOL, Tyler, the Creator, Skepta, Ella Mai and Green Velvet (info). With tickets around 170$, we believe this might be a good hit for those who don’t want to spend heaps of money on a three-day festival, but would still like to experience the best of the best right before New Years!
9. ULTRA Australia – Sydney & Melbourne
ULTRA came to Australia for the first time in 2018 featuring some big artists such as Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers and Marshmello. ULTRA originally being from America, the festival has now made itself popular on the Australian market. With March 7th & 8th on the schedule for next year, we recommend making it a long-weekend trip to Sydney or Melbourne to get the whole package!
10. Field Day – Sydney (New Years Day), NSW
Who experienced FOMO last year when missing out on Cardi B and Fisher performing? In saying that, this year might also live up to you expectations as we have Green Velvet, Dom Dolla, RL Grime, Skepta and many more performing – this is definitely scoring high on our top list of music festivals 2019! Celebrate the first day of 2020 with your friends in Sydney and experience the best of our Australian (and some American) performers.
11. Beyond The Valley – Lardner Parklands, VIC
Since it’s inception in 2014, the boutique music festival Beyond The Valley has grown into an annual party-goers haven. Running annually over the New Year’s Eve period, BTV’s carefully crafted selection of local and international artists perform across three distinctly designed, purpose-built stages. Each year, thousands of festival-goers from all over the globe travel to the lush Parklands of Lardner to experience Beyond The Valley (info). This year, (it’s unfortunately sold out), artists such as RÜFÜS DU SOL, Tyler, the Creator, 16BL and Bag Raiders will headline along with many more. Start planning for 2020 and be quick, the tickets can sometimes be hard to get a hold on!
12. Groovin The Moo – Oakbank, Bunbury, Bendigo, Canberra, Maitland, and Townsville
Ever since it’s kick-off in 2005, this festival has provided a groovy atmosphere! Held every year in May, the festival featured some big artists this year with Billie Eilish, Aurora and ASAP Twelvyy. There are heaps of locations to choose from, enabling you to literally plan your road trip everywhere! All of the shows sell out every year, so be quick if you want a hold of some tix next year!
13. Origin Fields – Perth, WA
Heads up, Perth seems to be your new NYE plan! Ring in 2020 with Tyler The Creator, Skepta, RL Grime, UK singer Ella Mai and another Aussie favourite, Golden Features. This not-to-miss-out-on festival is held from December 31st to January 1st and believe us, after reading this, you’re probably about to realise that there’s a lot of festivals around NYE. It’s definitely not a bad thing, but you now have a difficult decision to make!
14. SandTunes Music Festival – Gold Coast, QLD
Another new two-day festival which has definitely not been saving any money on artists, featuring LOGIC, Travis Scott and Dean Lewis. They have been met with some criticism being a bit expensive (would explain the lineup), and changing the venue just recently, but we believe with their new 1-day ticket, it’s definitely worth a go! However, if you’re the type of person who hates how 1-day festivals go too quick, this might be the reason to get a hold on that 2-day pass! Save some money and get amongst it, November 30th is right around the corner!
15. Laneway Festival – Brisbane, Sydney, Auckland, Adelaide & Fremantle
Last but not least, the Laneway festival in Brisbane which featured Cosmo’s Midnight, Crooked Colours, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and many more this year. It’s been around 15 years since it first kicked off, and it’s absolutely one of the favourites around Australia. Starting predominantly off as an indie music event, the festival grew in popularity and has expanded to five Australian cities, including Auckland, New Zealand and Singapore. Billie Eilish delivered a mind blowing concert this year, so there’s no reason to believe it won’t be any less next year.
🎓 International Ceremony of Completion Semester 1, 2019 🎓
On Monday 25th of June 2019, USC International held the International Ceremony of Completion which is a celebration for International students who are due to complete their Award program at USC. It is a ceremonial event held at USC’s Sippy Downs campus and is offered in addition to USC’s official Graduation.
Kai Meier from the HMKW University of Applied Science in Berlin
My amazing semester abroad at USC
And there it was, I was finally leaving Germany and once again I was on my way to Australia. After I finished my last day at university in Berlin on a Friday, I jumped onto the next plane and arrived perfectly on time for Orientation Week. It was super easy to meet new people, a lot of them were Germans of course. Quickly I had a bunch of people surrounding me and I found my new room in a shared house with 11 internationals and Aussie people. The time went fast. On weekends, we were mostly hanging out at the Varsity Students Accommodation having a beer or two in the Helm or at Ocean St in Maroochydore or just chilling at the beach in Mooloolaba. To meet more people, I decided to go on two weekend trips. One tour went to Moreton Island, which is about a 1,5 hrs away and another tour to Spot X a Surf Camp, which is a few hours’ drive down south. Both were unique experiences which I can really recommend. The semester passed by quickly and soon I had semester break which I used to visit some friends in Bali. Others travelled along the East Coast or to Melbourne. The last weeks of my 13 weeks of studying were quite intense. Since I did not have any final exams in any of my four subjects, I had to spend a few nights in the library trying to get all the reports and assignments done as good as possible. Luckily, I was not the only one, so we had some fun times and good memories in the end.
Way to fast the time had come to say goodbye again to all the people I met. One good thing about having so many Europeans here is, that the chance is higher to see them again. Even when my time at the Sunshine Coast was over in June, I still had ten weeks of travelling and fun ahead. First, four friends from USC and I went down to Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise for a week. Afterwards I made my way up to Cairns stopping at Fraser Island, Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays, Townsville and Magnetic Island. I also did a Skydive at Mission Beach and walked through the world’s oldest rain forest at Cape Tribulation (Daintree Rainforest) before I flew to Bali again. From where I took one more month to go around Bali and Jawar ending my journey in Jakarta.
Now, being back in Berlin, I am looking forward to new adventures waiting for me. But I will never forget all the new impression, the things I learned, the people I met. This truly is learning for life!
For my third Master semester I decided to say “Goodbye” to cold Germany and escape to sunny Australia. I was even happier with my decision when I found out about the USC´s Double Degree Program. By only completing one semester in Australia I would be able to get a full Masters degree in addition to my German degree. Sounds too good to be true but as the Australians tend to say “No worries”.
After completing my semester, I am very happy with my decision to study at the USC. The modern campus with huge outside areas to hang out, a big library and great spots to grab a coffee or a quick bite to eat create a relaxed environment, in which a day of studying feels more like a vacation. As far as the workload goes, it is challenging but manageable. Even though some weeks were busier than others, there was always enough time to enjoy the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Furthermore, a vast number of university clubs offers all students the chance to engage in University matters or simply get to know fellow students.
I for one decided to rather spend my spare time on traveling around the amazing east coast, going to the beach and for a surf from time to time. The Sunshine Coast is regarded as one of the most beautiful spots in Austalia by tourists as well as locals. Friendly people, great Barbecue spots and beautiful beaches can be found everywhere on the coast.
I would advise everyone who comes to the Sunshine Coast to travel as much as they can. There´s so much to see. No matter if you go down south to the touristy Gold Coast, relaxed Byron Bay or even as far as Sydney or up north to Noosa, Fraser Island or Cairns, there are beautiful places all along the coast.
For me the Double Degree Program was the perfect combination of studying and being able to see a new part of the world. I had an amazing time and would recommend this experience to everyone.