Stacey Bailey from Scotland studying a Master of Health Promotion at USC SouthBank

Image-43Hi guys! My name is Stacey, I am studying the Master of Health Promotion at the USC SouthBank campus. I am from the UK and have been in Brisbane for 18 months and I am now in my final semester.

I have always dreamed of travelling around Australia and seeing the many differing landscapes – and the wildlife has always drawn me here. In 2013 my partner and I sold everything we had and spent two years doing just that and truly living the dream. I could not recommend travelling and experiencing the world enough to anyone. I loved my experiences of this amazing and diverse country, from the most magical days spent watching the whales off the coast of Hervey Bay, to the colourful sunsets in Uluru.

Image-40When I returned home to the UK, I lived and worked in London, but at the age of 33 I was not content in my career and wanted to return to the health sector. I had previously studied sports biochemistry and knew the decision was going to be a huge life-changing moment for myself and my partner. Thankfully he fully supported me in not only wanting to return to university but to study abroad. Having experienced Australia and fallen in love with the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane area, I chose the University of the Sunshine Coast to apply for my master’s degree.

The process to apply to USC was smooth and much easier than I anticipated, and in February 2018 we once again packed up and sold most of our belongings and made the 24-hour flight over here.

image-42.jpgStudying in Brisbane at the USC SouthBank campus has been such an incredibly rewarding experience. The campus is small but welcoming and friendly with lots of activities and support while thriving on student community and success. I have made friends from all over the world, which is amazing not only for the support they have given me but the variety of holiday destinations I now have on offer around the world!

The staff at USC SouthBank are such an asset to the University and help students transition to university life. This was evident in the support given to international students especially when I first arrived at orientation. During my time here I have also become a Student@Work at USC SouthBank. This was important to me as it has allowed me to become involved in orientation programs for new international students, enabling Image-45me to extend the kindness and support to others that had I received here during my first days. The academic staff in the Master of Health Promotion program are fantastic; the knowledge and support they offer is unlike any other experience I have had during my previous studies. The University offers a number of support services to ensure students are succeeding academically as well as providing Student Wellbeing support as a good work-life balance is paramount.

Image-46Whilst the studying is full time, I have also found time to continue exploring Australia, visiting new places like North Stradbroke Island and Tamborine Mountain. There are so many locations in this area that are great for walking and wildlife watching as well as lots of sporting events to enjoy.

I feel very lucky to have been able to study here and once I have graduated it will be a privilege to be a part of the University of Sunshine Coast alumni.

– Stacey Bailey

Sara Hajari from Iran studying a Master of Information and Communications Technology at USC SouthBank

5My name is Sara and I’m from Iran! I did my undergrad in statistics in my home country. Currently, I’ve been studying the Master of Information and Communications Technology (MICT) at the University of Sunshine Coast (SouthBank) for over two semesters. This program includes four semesters of study that can help me to become a data scientist after I graduate.

The USC SouthBank Campus is close to the Brisbane River and South Bank Parklands, a lively area with great bars and restaurants. As an international student, I find studying in Australia very beneficial due to multicultural communities, great universities, and nice weather.

2I have travelled a lot in Australia and have been to many cities in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. I like Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast the most due to the pleasant weather and interesting activities in these cities, such as the theme parks, mountains, zoos, and beautiful beaches.

I decided to study the MICT at USC based on the wide range of specialised courses offered through ICT. I recommend that future students follow their intuition when choosing a subject, have a look at the list of courses for their chosen subject, and read the course outlines.

Moreover, I have benefited from the interactive lectures here at USC as my lectures are not just presentations. It is important for the lecturers and tutors to make sure that students figure out the concept of each session. The assessments are also designed in a way that helps students to comprehend the course modules deeply. Also, I highly suggest my peers take a look through the lecture slides available on the online learning management system Blackboard, before they attend classes and study the course materials after that.

In the end, I am happy with my decision to go to USC because of the friendly staff, my new friends and the opportunity to experience an international education.

Clemence Mataruse from Zimbabwe studying a Master of Professional Accounting at USC SouthBank

IMG-20190406-WA0020My journey to Brisbane, Australia started in June of 2018 with a simple visit to the Koala Education Centre (my agency) in Eastlea, Harare, Zimbabwe. A friendly staff member (Kundai) sat down with me for a good consultation where I was given all the information I needed to get ready, and all the documents required for my application. Furthermore, she gave me various information about different institutions, their advantages and disadvantages, and also how coming to Australia and what it includes as opposed to other countries, which was a very good thing. Choosing The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) was a no brainer as I have an aunt who graduated from USC and she told me about its level of excellence.

IMG_20190530_103024Before coming to USC, I had studied an undergraduate degree from the University of Namibia in Banking and Finance back in 2016. Today, I am based at the USC SouthBank campus. Upon my arrival at USC in February of 2019 to study the two-year Master of Professional Accounting, I found the institution to be astoundingly superior to my former institution. My campus is in the heart of Brisbane itself, right in the middle of the city. SouthBank is the entertainment hub for the Brisbane CBD with various well-known spots, including the famous Wheel of Brisbane and Brisbane river that runs through the city.

IMG_20190302_145911_953I had visited some universities in Africa for comparison purposes, but USC was beyond measure. The facilities are exceptional and unlike the institution where I studied my undergraduate degree with 150 students in one classroom, USC has sometimes less than 30 students in each classroom which gives the lectures and students proper interaction to provide a personal experience in the learning environment. The study experience has been good, simple and direct. A combination of lectures, tutorials and practical exercises are used, including the use of an accounting software called Xero which is not available in Africa. This combination gives direct knowledge to prepare us for work upon graduation, which is exactly what employers are looking for. On a personal note, I am the only African in my class of 30, with most of my classmates coming from Nepal and India. One from the Philippines, two from Pakistan, and an exchange student from Germany thus creating a diverse group of people. This gives me pride to represent not just my country but the continent as a whole.

Traveling to Brisbane, Australia was a great experience for me as I had never left the African continent. It was and still is a great eye-opening experience to see the world from a different perspective. The differences in culture, society, advancement and development are things I thank God for every day as well for His guidance and protection.

IMG-20190429-WA0026Apart from the academic side of my experience, Brisbane is an amazing place to be; it is regarded as a great tourist city of Australia with perfect weather and great scenery. I created a proper school, work and life balance. I got my job within a month of my arrival, which I still have to date, and it helps pay for bills and even helps out my family back home. I love the transport system very much as it is efficient and reliable. Most days I have 8am classes, so my day starts bright and early. Furthermore, after classes I am off to work, all  by using the public transport system. I have visited places such as the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, and travelled as far as Winton, a small town 1500km away from Brisbane. The town is famous for the founding of Qantas, Australia’s national airline, and also a dinosaur museum.

IMG_20190226_225440_232To all future students, I would advise them to do thorough research on the different aspects of studies and places they want to go. The decision impacts their lives forever, and time lost can never be gained. Follow your heart and passion, and don’t look at what the world says.

I am very grateful that I got this amazing opportunity to study in Australia and I am thankful to my wife and son for all the encouragement and support, as they are still back home, and my family who sponsored and helped me to experience this legendary time. I am looking forward to my life journey with all this experience being bestowed upon me.