Jeena Weber Langstaff from Goucher College in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Hey guys, my name is Jeena Weber Langstaff. I am studying to get Bachelor of Art degree from Goucher College located in Baltimore Maryland in the USA. My major is business management with a concentration of international business and minors in Spanish and psychology.

I first heard about the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) from my college. Goucher College has a partnership with USC. In the beginning of September and October with a lot of help from the Assistant Director of Global Education, Mark Bladel, multiple forms were submitted at a timely fashion. Firstly, was choosing the place in which I wanted to study. I have always wanted to go to Australia, since my father grew up in Papua New Guinea and went to school in Brisbane for 13 years. I knew I wanted to study in Australia, and I wanted a school that could help with both my business major and my psychology minor. I then had to fill out applications on timing of leaving, what courses to take, and getting the approval on every end from my major and from USC. Then I had to apply for an Australian visa. After that, time went by quickly, and before I knew it, I had finished a long flight and had arrived in Australia!

The teaching style in Australia is very different from that of Goucher College. We would call it a reverse classroom teaching style in which the students learn the material on their own and then do workshops and group work in class. Goucher also does not have a second one-hour class for doing the workshop or for the discussion. As well as, we do not have one subject only once a week. Goucher has each subject in one class over multiple times during the week, and the learning is taught and done by the professor. All group projects are done outside of class and are expected to find times to meet on their own.

After I had to return early from USC, I had time on my hands to start new things. I learned how to cook a few meals. I have gotten really into making Rice Kimchi Bowls, it is my favourite dish to make. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes having a blend of rice with both spicy, vegetables and different tastes coming together to compliment one another.

I created my own blog website. One day, I wanted to find a way to express the way I feel, so I created a blog website about adulthood. If you’re interest in it, you can check it out through my instagram jeena_life777. I wanted to explore the ways to navigate and maneuver oneself from childhood to adulthood. To write about what that means and what it looks like from my own personal experience. I’ve created different topics for my blog, and plan to explore them all. Currently, I’ve been introducing the various topics, and hopefully soon, I can start writing each week different things that I am passionate about and have affected me personally.

As well as, to further enhance my understanding of business, I have been part of a Rhode Island organization that helps refugees plant themselves and get rooted into Providence by hiring them and giving them support with the resources they need. This organization is called Beautiful Day, and they sell granola in all different flavors, and additionally fair-trade coffee and granola bars. Due to COVID, it has been a remote internship, however I really enjoyed working with them, and understanding better how small businesses work.

Currently, I have restarted school. It is my first week. I am still figuring out how my schedule will be like, being all online again. As well as, starting to plan and create online programs for the Garam Gophers Bollywood Fusion Team and the South Asian Student Association (SASA). I wish everyone best of luck and to stay safe this year during the challenges life brings our way.

Peace, Love and Staying Safe,

Jeena

Amanda Zablonski from SUNY Fredonia in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Amanda ZablonskiIMG_9076

Studying a Diploma in General Studies

From SUNY Fredonia in Fredonia, New York, US

My school at Fredonia made the application process extremely easy to complete. The international office was available for any questions I had and also gave great tips for my semester abroad. Mrs. Willis was fantastic and even held a great informational pre-departure lunch with parents and other students.

Studying at USC was very different than studying back home. The main difference was only having lecture one day a week at USC compared to 2 or 3 back home. I actually really enjoyed the format at USC and found it to be an easy adjustment. Studying abroad in Australia was a great decision for me because I enjoyed the weather and being able to study and complete assignments outside all over campus. It was a nice change to the snow and freezing temperatures back at home.

My tip for future students studying abroad would to jump right into things when you get there. I found myself very nervous and anxious when I first arrived but made friends and booked little weekend and day trips within the first couple days. Most of them were through Student Guild which were all very nice. I’m so fortunate that I jumped right in and started to explore right away. My time in Australia was cut short due to Covid-19 and although I left 12 weeks earlier than I planned, I am so fortunate to have experienced what I did. In my short time, I tried many new foods, visited beautiful places, and met many new people. If I didn’t jump right in when I got there, I’m not sure I would’ve seen half the things I did in the short time. Life can throw totally unexpected things your way, so jump in as quick as you can because these experiences will change your life no matter how short or long. I hope to one day return to Australia and continue my adventure but for now I reminisce on the beautiful landscape, friendly people, and unforgettable memories.

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Amira Eissa from Salve Regina University in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

1Amira Eissa, Bachelor degree in Psychology and Marketing, from Westchester, New York

When applying to USC, the application process was simple and straightforward given that my home school, Salve Regina University, is sister schools with USC. After applying and being accepted, Salve began its preparation stage of studying abroad (exchange) by giving me plenty of resources to inform myself about USC and Australia. I was introduced to an older student who had already studied at USC and she helped me navigate the more specific questions I had in regard to how to set up a phone plan, a bank account and transportation. All in all I was so ready to embark on my abroad experience thanks to the easy transition courtesy of USC and Salve.

Although I only had two weeks of in person classes, USC education was better than I could ever imagine. From professors who really showed they cared about students success, to interactive lectures and easy to understand class layouts, it was made clear from the get go that I was going to succeed at USC. Back home I am used to small intimate class sizes and was intimated entering USC knowing it was a bigger school and I’d be attending classes in big lecture halls, something we don’t have at my home institution. On the first day of classes I was relieved when I saw how interactive lectures were and how in a room of 50+ students I still felt heard. Even when classes transitioned to online I still felt as though professors wanted to go above and beyond to make the remark on easy for us. Zoom classes were still interactive, professors took time to ask how we re doing, the blackboard outline was easy to navigate, all in all I felt cared for and eager to continue to strive for success in my classes.

Although my study abroad experience was far from traditional and not according to plan, my friends and I managed to make the most of our time on the Sunshine Coast. Post isolation my friends and I decided that the best way to travel around Queensland and still feel as though we saw as much as we could, was by doing a road trip up the coast. After finals we planned a two week road trip starting in Sippy Downs and ending up north in Cairns. We rented two cars and me and my six friends begun our trip. We started in our college town of Sippy Downs, went to Rainbow Beach, Hervey Bay, Agnes Water, Airlie Beach, the Whitsundays, Bowen, Townsville, Mission Beach, Palm Cove and ended in Cairns. Along the way we stopped and explored what the coast had to offer and I can confidently say that there was never a dull moment. Although our semester was turned astray by covid, we made the most of the time we have left by driving way over 1,000 miles to see what our state of Queensland had in store. Along the way we hiked many trails, saw as many ocean lookouts as possible, snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef, walked through the oldest rainforest in the world, cooked a lot of meals, shared a lot of stories, sang a lot of great tunes and made some memories that’ll last a lifetime. This has been my favourite part of my abroad travels and I couldn’t be more grateful for the group of people who were alongside me. Although I didn’t get to do the trips I had planned originally, it all worked out and Australia still managed to steal my heart.

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Marta Cholewa from Grand Valley State University in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_0108Hello! My name is Marta Cholewa and at USC I studied General Studies but at my home university, I major in Exercise Science. My home university is Grand Valley State University which is near Grand Rapids, Michigan, but I am originally from Palatine, Illinois which is close to Chicago. I have been wanting to study abroad ever since I heard all my sister’s study abroad experiences and travel stories.

The decision to study at USC was an easy one because I knew I always wanted to go to Australia and I did not have to stress about not knowing the language. Grand Valley State University helped me throughout my process as there was so many people to talk to if I had questions or concerns. I did a lot of the planning myself since I am a big planner, but I was able to get all my questions answered about my specific country and school by talking to a previous student who studied at USC. There were plenty of meetings to attend that gave advice about safety, adapting to culture, education, and travelling. My school definitely helped me feel prepared for my journey.

All the classes I took fulfilled my general education requirements, and it was really interesting to see how differently they teach subjects that I have taken in high school. The most fascinating class I took and the class I learned the most in was the History of Australia, which consisted of engaging discussions and it opened my eyes to a lot of the topics the country faced that I did not know about. The most creative class I took was Topics of Design. I am not the most artistic person, but that class allowed to get out of my comfort zone just enough to have fun with what I was doing. It was also an opportunity to learn about the popular designs, brands, and advertisements in Australia what may not be well-known in the states. The most thought-provoking class I took was An English Tradition. Not only is English difficult for me in general but trying to write a paper in ways that are very different than how I was taught to write is difficult. Nonetheless, I learned some new ideas and read some great material by new authors.

The most entertaining class I took was Coastal and Marine Ecology because my professor was an engaging individual who liked to crack jokes and tell us about his experiences. This class I took randomly because I thought it would interest me and I was right. Classes are much more hands-on and interpersonal than back at home. The professors genuinely try to get to know you and are very engaging in group work. The building itself made me feel like I was at an outdoor mall and the kangaroos hopping around are something I never got tired of seeing. I was also fortunate enough to travel before school and before quarantine and have seen very beautiful, memorable places. I was able to travel to the north of Australia near Cairns. My friend and I rented a car, which was a thrilling experience getting used to driving on the other side of the road and getting used to new rules, while we drove around the Atherton Tablelands and ended up at the Daintree Rainforest. I have seen stunning waterfalls, cute animals, and even had the chance to snorkel and scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef.

After school started, I was still able to visit the Steve Irwin Zoo and the Gold Coast where I tried surfing. If I had to pick a favourite spot, I would choose the Daintree Rainforest area because I loved the jungle feeling, after I got used to the giant spiders of course. The moment I will never forget is looking up at the stars on the beach because it was the most amazing thing I saw. I could see the whole milky way and it was because the rain forest area has very few lights and service in general, so I was able to live away from my phone. An amazing experience that was cut too short. I strongly recommend and urge everyone to take a trip to Australia because it is a beautiful country filled with amazing nature, people, food, culture, and animals. Hopefully I have the chance to go back one day.

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Stephanie Jessiman from Rider University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

5Australia has marked the start of my new life. This may sound a little cheesy, but this is coming from someone who has never left her home country by herself, let alone leaving her state by herself. My name is Stephanie, and I am from New Jersey, where you don’t really have to leave the state to find anything you need.

Upon reading myself to leave for the planned 5 month semester abroad, my home institution eased any and of all my worries, no matter how drastically preposterous they were. Once I arrived in Australia, I immediately met so many great people from all corners of the world, everyone was so kind and so friendly. I guess because all of us were thinking and feeling the same way. I would definitely say the first 6 weeks at the University were some of the best, not to say the second half was not as good, corona hit the world pretty badly. USC was very quick to respond to the issues on hand and tried to help each and every single one of its students. I do not think I would be able to make it through the semester if I were still at my home state to be honest. Australia has so many incredible views, beautiful hikes, luscious beaches, that when the stress of everything got too much to handle, a simple mind getaway was not too far to reach.

Towards the end of the semester, my friends and I were fortunate enough to go away on a road trip up to Cairns, and I honestly think that is the most fun I have ever had in my whole entire life. The people that we went with kept us laughing, the food we were eating kept our bellies full, and the places we went to, created some of the best memories that I will always remember. Australia has been a beautiful gift that I will hold on to as long as I live.

– Stephanie Jessiman

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Chelsea Keister from Shippensburg University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

AU zoo roosMy name is Chelsea Keister and I am studying Biology at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania (USA). I made the decision to take a semester away from home to go down under at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), and it was the best decision of my life. My university at home offered me a variety of options to choose from when I decided I wanted to study abroad, and right away I knew that Australia was where I wanted to spend my semester. From there, I enrolled directly to USC and my home university helped me with that process whenever I needed it.

I found that my courses here at USC were a lot more relaxed than the courses I had at home. For my science courses at home, I can expect to have four exams throughout the semester along with lab work and other smaller assignments and quizzes. Here, however, most of my courses consisted of one project and a final exam which gave me so much more time to explore.

Before I came to Australia, I made a list of all the places I wanted to see in Australia as well as the other countries I wanted to visit while I was here. Unfortunately, I was unable to do everything I wanted to do because of the corona virus, but that just forced me to dive deeper into the Sunshine Coast and discover all of the amazing things the area had to offer. My favourite things about the Sunshine Coast include:

  1. kangaroosNoosa National Park: This was my absolute favourite place on the Sunshine Coast, and one of my favourite places I have ever been to. The views here are phenomenal and there is so much wildlife to see every single time you go here—I even saw a wild koala! I was lucky enough to skydive over Noosa, and it’s even prettier from the sky which I didn’t think was possible.
  2. The Australia Zoo: I heard so many amazing things about the Australia Zoo before coming here, but my expectations were blown out of the water. Every day I spent at the zoo was a good day, whether I did an animal encounter with a rhino, cheetah or giraffe, watched a croc show at the Crocoseum, or just hung out with the kangaroos at Roo Heaven it was always the best time.
  3. Glass House Mountains: I climbed Mount Ngungun and while it was a pretty tiring hike, the view from the top made it all worth it.
  4. Tim Tams: I don’t think anyone who hasn’t tried one will truly understand how good they are. I am obsessed.
  5. The wildlife: The Sunshine Coast has so many amazing different species of wildlife. I spent so much time taking pictures of all the different animals and I will cherish them forever.

While my time here in Australia is finishing up, I am planning last minute trips to the Whitsundays and Sydney, but the Sunshine Coast will forever hold a special place in my heart.  My experience studying at USC is unforgettable and I am so blessed that I was able to experience this beautiful country.

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Steven Ranweiler from Minnesota State University – Moorhead in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

How ya goin’ mate? My name is Steven Ranweiler, and I’m visiting from Minnesota in the United States. Back home I’m studying visual arts education, and this semester abroad has been an incredible opportunity to explore more subjects and expand my horizons! I’ve dreamt of visiting Australia for years and the study abroad partnership between my home university (Minnesota State University – Moorhead) and the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) helped me to make that dream come true.

I’d heard that Australian culture has a more relaxed pace than life in the US, and I found that to be true in my courses. I was concerned at first to see just a few major assignments making up my grades rather than the many smaller assignments I was used to back home. However, I soon realized that with the time, resources and awesome support provided at USC, those few big projects were great for my learning and less stressful. My professors and tutors have been fantastic, and it was a joy to walk out of classes greeted by sunshine and kangaroos! After courses moved to online learning, I was able to spend even more time in the great Australian outdoors while I attended classes remotely.

By traveling the area with new friends, I’ve gotten to enjoy experiences like surfing, mountain climbing. and swimming under waterfalls! Learning about the cultures and experiences of local Australians and my fellow international students has been enlightening and meaningful.

The pandemic brought some pressure in terms of returning home earlier than expected, but I wasn’t ready to leave the dream. Travel opportunities became limited, but that wasn’t too much of an issue considering I was already in such an extraordinary place. I spent weeks examining and photographing the incredible plants, animals and fungi which are unique to this region. The birds here are impressively loud and several of them remind me of dinosaurs.

I’ve been especially enchanted by the wonders of the local tide pools. One day I counted over 100 sea cucumbers, and by snorkelling I’ve encountered 1000s of charming fish just off the shore! Experiences in beautiful and vulnerable ecosystems like these motivate me to keep pushing for conservation to protect them. I enjoyed the opportunity to volunteer with the Sea Shepherd conservation group in a beach clean-up project, and it’s been awesome studying on a campus surrounded by a wildlife reserve.

 As my time here comes to end I don’t want to leave! I’m excited to see friends and family back home and share stories of this amazing experience with them, but even with great things to get back to it’s hard to leave this paradise and the wonderful new friends I’ve made.

Studying abroad at USC has been an incredible opportunity, and I enthusiastically recommend it to anyone who has the chance to do it!

Wishing you all the best,

Steven 😊

USC Student Georgia Duffy Studying Overseas at the University of Mississippi in the US

img_7035.jpegHotty toddy! I’m Georgia and I’m studying abroad for a semester at Ole Miss, as it is affectionately referred to. Mississippi has been one of the best experiences of my life. Ole Miss has one of the most beautiful campuses in America and it is HUGE. I firmly believe that no campus could outdo Ole Miss but each to their own.

If you are on the edge about studying abroad, all I can say is do it! The south is like nothing I have ever known, I have also never seen so much fried chicken. I got to do a bit of travelling during weekends, visiting Nashville, New Orleans and Atlanta which were all beautiful and a bit hectic in the best way. I’d have to say that the people I met at Ole Miss are without a doubt the best part. I have made so many life-long friends that made this experience just that much better!

I recommend living on campus as transportation is a bit unreliable and being on campus is so much more convenient. The football season was mind-blowing, and I firmly suggest coming here in the fall. Football is no joke here (also they have no idea what ‘footy’ means which I found amusing). Remember to consider the exchange rate and costs that you easily forget about such as bathroom amenities and even cutlery and plates! If you do choose to study abroad, don’t stress the little things, they will work out.

Ole Miss is quirky and beautiful, and I would 100% recommend coming here. The experience is daunting, but it definitely paid off. Finally, be grateful for the staff at USC! I had a little fall while over here and sprained my ankle, USC were quick to respond and assist which I will be forever thankful for.

– Georgia Duffy

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High Performance Student Athlete and Surfer Mason Schremmer from Hawaii studying a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) at USC Sunshine Coast

1.v1Hi, my name is Mason Schremmer and I’m 19 years old. I’m originally from Florida but moved to Hawaii when I was 11, and that’s when I started surfing. I’ve been competing for almost 7 years now, and this is my second year on the WSL Longboard Tour.

When I first started competing, I entered junior contests and worked my way up to state and national titles, and won three national titles for longboarding. Winning my first national title is what really inspired me to want to keep competing and stick with surfing. One of my biggest goals since then has been to win a WSL world title, which is not an easy task.

Competing comes with quite a few ups and downs and lots of learning how to lose, and taking something away from it each time. Sometimes your biggest competitor can be yourself, and I think I’m still trying to overcome that aspect of competing. Last year, the WSL revamped the world longboard tour. We have a new commissioner, who is a
very accomplished surfer himself, and we now have three to four events per year instead of just one event to determine the world champion. This is really exciting to be a part of because now there are so many more opportunities for long boarders to have a chance to showcase their surfing in different types of waves around the world and in more than just one event.

2For longboarding, the best training you can have is just going out in the water and practising maneuvers or feeling out new boards, that’s why I like to surf as often as possible. Of course, it’s always good to stay fit for those moments when you just need to paddle, surf a bit further or a bit faster, and I like to do this by running when I can.

Between the new WSL events and a few invitational contests throughout the year, it’s really easy to have an overwhelming schedule, which is why I was so glad to find out about USC’s HPSA program which helps me to accommodate the travelling that comes with competing. This year I’d really like to keep up with my classes as much as possible while also trying to work my way up through the WSL rankings.

– Mason Schremmer

Do you want to know more about the USC HPSA Program? Click here.

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Philip De Simone from Bridgewater State University in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

CaptureHi, My name is Philip De Simone, and I am from the United states. I am studying Communications and Business at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. I am currently studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC Sunshine Coast) Below are my top 5 things you need to do when you get to Australia!

5 things you MUST do during your time abroad in Australia!

1. Surf in Noosa Heads

Noosa Heads is a coastal town and suburb of the Shire of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. It’s about a 2 hour bus ride or 45 minutes with a car to get to the Noosa beaches. These beaches are some of the most beautiful beaches i’ve ever seen and the surf is amazing for a beginner surfer! You can find cheap used surfboards on Facebook or an APP called Gumtree, a community marketplace where you can buy and sell items! You can also rent surfboards and get lessons in Noosa. I recommend getting a longer board if your first starting. Try around 7-8 foot because they’re more buoyant and easier to learn on.

2. Visit Ocean Street’s ‘The Post Office’

One of the biggest questions you may ask yourself when getting ready to study abroad is “Will I fit in?” USC offers tons of events and an orientation week where you will have the chance to meet fellow Uni students. If you’re living at the Varsity or Uni Central apartments you will have the opportunity every Thursday night to get a free ride to Ocean street! Thursday nights is Uni night and the nightlife on Ocean street is popping. I recommend going to The Post Office for the best music. The community there is local, friendly and accepting to all!

3. Visit Australia Zoo

Don’t sleep on Australian Zoo! The Australia Zoo is a 1,000-acre zoo located in the Australian state of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast near Beerwah/Glass House Mountains. The zoo has a bunch of things to do like the Crocoseum where you can watch the world-famous Wildlife Warriors show at noon with all the slithering, swooping, jaw-snapping action of saltwater crocodiles, birds and snakes. And yes, you can get the best Instagram selfie with a Kangaroo! at Roo Heaven and Hand-Feed the Kangaroos. But if you don’t make it to the Zoo you can find these guys hopping all around the Uni.

4. Travel to Surfers Paradise

 Surfers Paradise is a bit of a hike from USC but it’s definitely worth sending it out there with a good squad of friends! While At Surfers paradise you can get wrecked at the beaches by huge waves or walk through hundreds of shops in the area. The Gold Coast is famed for its long sandy beaches, surfing spots and inland canals and waterways. It’s also home to theme parks such as Dreamworld, SeaWorld and Wet’n’Wild!

5. Try Vegemite

This is the most Australian food there is. Chances are if you’re like everyone else, one whiff of this stuff and you’ll turn it down. This was not the case for me though, I learned to love the stuff! I think it’s best prepared in the following way.

  • vege.jpgStep 1: Get a nice piece of bread from the Red Frogs (you’ll understand who they are later.) – Toast it
  • Step 2. Take a fat chunk of butter and season the toast with it
  • Step 3. Is the most important step! Spread a small layer of vegemite on toast! DO NOT OVER DO IT!
  • Step 4. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top!
  • Step 5. Enjoy 😉

Vegemite is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacturing, and various vegetable and spice additives. The taste may be described as salty, slightly bitter, and malty.

– Philip De Simone @philipdesimone

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USC student Sophie Alvsaker studying overseas at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY

78238715_534863160400043_6457880394967547904_n.v1My name is Sophie Alvsaker, and I studied Bachelor of social science (psychology)/ Bachelor of Criminal Justice at Canisius College, Buffalo, NY for 1 semester.

Studying overseas is an incredible experience, it forces you out of your comfort zone and into a culture of new attitudes, values and beliefs. It’s a huge opportunity for personal growth and development but most importantly. it’s so much fun.

I chose to study abroad because I wanted to travel for an extended period of time, but didn’t want to change my degree, so I combined the two 😊. I think the reason it’s been such a great experience is because you don’t just spend time in a new place, you’re completely immersed in it and so you learn so much about the area in a way you couldn’t through travelling alone.

Compared to USC Sunshine Coast, the education at Canisius College is relatively similar, the classes are small and the teachers are really helpful. I think if you’ve seen any American college movies you’ll be well equipped for what to expect at Canisius. Fraternity parties are comically similar to the films, as are the sports games and residence halls.

Buffalo is right next to Niagara Falls, only a few hours from Toronto and a bus ride from New York City. There’s also a lot of national parks in the area and places to ski or snowboard. Because I was here from August to December, I got to experience the end of summer, fall and the start of winter- I’d definitely recommend doing the same as the season changes are beautiful.

One tip I’d give to people planning to study abroad in the US is to come for fall semester, that way you get to experience the change in seasons, as well as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and all the Christmas markets.

–  Sophie Alvsaker

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Jason Librock from Niagara University in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

20190831_145348My name is Jason Librock, and I am a fourth year Communications Bachelor at Niagara University in New York State, United States. Currently, I’m studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for one semester, and its been the best experience of my life.

Like many students preparing to study in a different country, I was extremely nervous. Studying abroad on the Sunshine Coast was literally the furthest place I could possibly study away from my home. I had never shared a living space with anyone and I was going to be “on my own” for about 5 months. All of my fears melted away as soon as I got to my living accommodations. Almost every person I interacted with were cool, nice, and had an interesting perspective on the world, since many were from a variety of different countries. Glimpsing the USC campus the first time during orientation week seemed to be a magical experience. Never in my life have I seen a campus with such natural beauty and exceptional weather, especially when kangaroos are grazing in the morning sun just off the pathway. Yet, the campus is only a taste of the true beauty that studying abroad has to offer.

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Throughout my time here, I have gone to many places on the Sunshine Coast and beyond that have given me experiences that I will never forget. Noosa had great beaches, a majestic coastal walk, as well as magical fairy pools. The Hinterlands have incredible hiking as well as views of incredible mountains that will take you breath away. But if someone ever needs a break from the hiking and just want a chill day at the beach, there are a crazy variety of amazing beaches like Mooloolaba or King’s Beach close to campus that incapsulate the Sunshine Coast’s laid back feeling.

Beyond the Sunshine Coast is a myriad of wonders that I never even knew were on my bucket list. Going to Byron Bay was incredibly cool, with the town having incredible views via the lighthouse walk and it felt like the most “laid back” style of life that I have ever experienced. Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast was an excellent mix of gorgeous beaches and crazy night life. Diving in the Great Barrier Reef was like entering an alien world, and has sparked my passion for snorkeling and diving, probably for the rest of my life. Sydney felt like the Australian version of NYC, with so much to do in the city that it was mind boggling just to choose what my group was going to do very day. After experiencing all of these unique places, I felt like I had a feeling of accomplishment, as if I had just crossed off something on my bucket list and now could look back on it with a feeling of bliss.

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All in all, I have one piece of advice for anyone studying or thinking about studying abroad at USC. Just do it! Go on the Noosa Trip, explore Byron Bay, dive at the Great Barrier Reef. These experiences will change how you look at the world around you for the better, they definitely have for me. Every person I have talked who has studied abroad says they love it and none of them ever regret it. Im glad to say that I absolutely feel the same way. If you come here, you will feel that way too. Thanks for reading this.

– Jason Librock @jlibrock

Do you want to know more about studying at USC? Click here and enquire now!

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Ali Hannah from Rider University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

ACS_0143Hello Hello! My name is Ali Hannah and I am from New Jersey, and no, I do not sound like our infamous reality TV-star, Snooki! I attend Rider University back home and there I am studying Marketing. I have been at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) since early July and I will be staying here until late November of 2019!

While at USC, I have been fortunate to explore a lot of the east coast. The location of USC is perfect because it is pretty much in the middle of the east coast, you can head down to Sydney for a weekend or go up to Cairns very easily with just a short flight.

On the Sunshine Coast, my favourite places to explore are the Glasshouse Mountains and Noosa. The Glasshouse mountains are STUNNING! They are a set of mountains that tell a story – or well so the Glasshouse Aboriginal Legend says… but that is a story for another day. Noosa is unarguably the prettiest beach on the Sunshine Coast. It is made up of coastline and trails that lead to the ever-so-popular fairy pools (definitely a must-see)! If you have the chance to explore the north shore of Noosa, put riding horses on the beach on the to-do list! Noosa Horses is a great company to do it with.

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South of the Sunshine Coast, I have been to Brisbane, Byron Bay and Sydney. Brisbane is an amazing city, it isn’t too populated, but populated enough to feel urban. Brisbane is much cleaner than cities I’m used to (Philadelphia and NYC). The crime rate is lower than what I am used to too so I felt comfortable exploring. A cool thing about Brisbane is that you can rent e-scooters all around the city and they are a ton of fun! Byron bay is another great town. It is very laid back and relaxed. I also got to see Byron Bay from exciting heights while skydiving! (I would 2000% recommend!!) Sydney is another fantastic city. Sydney’s Opera House is on everyone’s bucket list as a must see! It was very beautiful. Aside from that, the city itself has great views, restaurants, and places to explore. Bondi Beach is only a short drive away and this beach was my favorite part of my trip to Sydney! Not only are the lifeguards REAL from the popular show “Bondi Rescue”, the beach itself is even prettier in person. There is a walk along the coast that will take you to more secluded beaches as you go.

Over my semester break, I travelled up to Cairns which is located in Northern Queensland and is very tropical! While in Cairns, I went to the lagoon (pool) which Cairns is known for. It is the only place to publicly swim because there are crocodiles in the water… yeah… scary! Crocodiles in the ocean is definitely something I was not used to as a resident of New Jersey! I also went to explore the Daintree Rainforest which was very pretty and historical as it is the oldest rain forest in the world – but again, you have to watch out for the crocs! Another item to cross off the bucket list was snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef! The reef was so beautiful and that was one of my favourite days of my whole experience in Australia. The sky rail in Cairns is also a must-do while you are there. It takes you to new heights and a new perspective to explore the rainforest. It will take you by some unbelievable scenery.

I hope anyone who wants to come here can get the opportunity to. You will not regret it!!

– Ali Hannah @ali_hannah2

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Danielle Black from Rider University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

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Hi everyone! My name is Danielle Black and I’m from the United States studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC)! I am studying Communications and Public Relations. At home, I attend Rider University in New Jersey and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Australia!

Growing up, Australia always interested me and was somewhere that I always wanted to go. When I was applying to different colleges in high school, schools with study abroad programs really stuck out to me because I knew it was something that I wanted to do. IMG_3495After a rough first semester away from home during my first year of college, I wasn’t so sure if I’d ever be able to study abroad if I couldn’t even live an hour and a half drive away from home. As the semesters went on, I grew to love Rider and felt at home there, so I soon realised that studying abroad would be possible for me!

Before coming here, I had so many mixed emotions. I was super excited for what was to come, but I was also terrified to leave home and live in a whole new culture for five months. I had no idea what to expect, and honestly, that was good for me. I didn’t come here with many expectations and once I was here, I kind of just went with the flow and kept an open mind, which led me to meet many wonderful people and see many amazing things!

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While being here so far, I have done so many memorable things that I will cherish forever. Some of them are little moments, like seeing a beautiful sunset on Mooloolaba beach with friends, spending the day in Caloundra at the markets and the beach, hiking up to the Fairy Pools in Noosa for a swim, or even heading to Sunshine Plaza for some food and shopping.

Aside from the little things, I was able to cross some pretty big things off of my bucket list while being here. I went skydiving in Byron Bay with Skydive Australia, held a koala at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, went to the Australia Zoo and fed a kangaroo, and even went snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef! One of my favourite things I’ve done so far was a two-night boat trip around the Whitsundays Islands, which I totally recommend everyone does at least once! It was so relaxing and beautiful and I met so many new people from all over the world. Australia has so many new experiences and views to offer, there are endless opportunities all around!

Studying abroad on the Sunshine Coast is something that I truly will never forget. I am already so sad to leave this beautiful place! I have learned so much about myself and others through this process and I am forever grateful to have this opportunity. If you are considering studying abroad, DO IT!!! You will not regret it!

– Danielle Black @danielleblack

USC student Jessica McKenna studying overseas at Pace University in the US

IMG_2659Hi, my name is Jessica McKenna and I am a second year student studying a Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) at USC Sunshine Coast. I took my abroad semester at Pace University in New York City.

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.

– Jessica McKenna

Michael Poling from Towson University in the US studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG-1377 My name is Michael Poling and I am an international student from the United States. Back home, I attend Towson University in Towson, Maryland. Over the course of one semester, I am studying to obtain the Diploma in Business.

Studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) has been an incredible opportunity that will always hold a special place in my heart. The people I have met and the places I have visited have made this an unforgettable experience. USC does an exceptional job at helping international students adjust to their new surroundings. There are various planned trips and events that introduce the international students to one another. From an educational standpoint, the tutors and course coordinators have been amazing at helping me with any questions that I have. They truly want their students to understand the material and be successful. Overall, I am grateful for the awesome social and educational aspects of USC.

IMG-1444    There are many challenges when it comes to studying abroad in a foreign country, but I am going to try and provide some tips for students wanting to study abroad. Personally, I think the most important tip is to step out of your comfort zone. This is important because it opens the door to a multitude of opportunities that you might have missed out on if you were not willing to take a chance. One crucial tip is to set a weekly budget and do your best to stick to it. I try to limit my expenses as often as possible, which allows me travel and see more of the beautiful IMG-1497places Australia has to offer. Another tip is to immerse yourself in all the different cultures that you will experience. I have met people from all over the world and I love learning about their culture and how it differs from mine. It is also awesome when others want to learn about my hometown because it helps me cope with any homesickness that I may be experiencing. The last tip I have is to stay on top of your schoolwork. You will constantly be distracted and tempted to procrastinate. However, it is better to finish your work sooner than later because it will decrease potential stress. Hopefully these tips are insightful and will be able to help other students as they begin their journey studying abroad.

Overall, I am forever appreciative of the University of the Sunshine Coast because it has allowed me to study and live in Australia for over 5 months. This experience has helped me grow as an individual by making me step out of my comfort zone and try new things. I recommend that if you are looking to study abroad in Australia, definitely consider USC because I can assure you that you will not regret it.

– Michael Poling @m.poling

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