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

Three tips for international students studying at USC

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

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

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

            Stay connected

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

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

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

            Stay curious

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

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

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

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


            Stay focused

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

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

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


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

Paul Martetschläger from Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

buddina-1.jpgMy name is Paul and I am studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. For my semester abroad, I wanted to see something completely different from home, so I decided to study abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). My university has a cooperation with USC, so it was easy to get useful information and how the registration process works.

After receiving my confirmation, I started to plan my journey along with two of my colleagues. We travelled several hours to Brisbane and it was totally worth it. My colleagues and I decided to rent a small apartment in Buddina next to the beach. During the first month, we used public transport to get to the university, but afterwards we decided to buy a car, especially a 4WD in order to explore the beautiful Sunshine Coast. When I first arrived at the USC campus, I immediately fell in love with all the animals. Every day, there are kangaroos jumping around or just chilling in the sun.

As travelling is one of my biggest passions, I thought I would share a few tips for weekend trips you could do while studying at the USC, especially if you have a 4WD.


1. Double island point – Rainbow beach

One of my favourite places is the double island point. At the small lighthouse, you’ll get a wonderful view to Rainbow Beach. It is also a great surfing spot there, but you can only reach it with a 4WD. It is a great trip for a weekend, just grab your buddies and you will have an awesome time there.

2. Byron Bay

Another beautiful place in Australia is Byron bay. It has an awesome flair to it which is typical for Australia. All the people there are so kind, and if you decide to travel to Byron Bay, you definitely have to visit the lighthouse which is the most easterly point in Australia.

3. Seventeen Seventy Springs Beach

We drove by Seventeen Seventy on our road trip to Whitsundays. A local told us we should definitely stop there and showed us a beautiful surf spot called Springs Beach. We had a wonderful time there.

Hope this gave you some help and you will have a great time while studying at USC Sunshine Coast. For more pictures or some questions, check out my Instagram @paul_martetschlaeger

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Martin Stadlmayer from the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

1Hello, my name is Martin and I’m from the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. I’m studying Mechanical Engineering and I will complete my bachelor next year. Why I choose Australia? Because it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world. We are three mates form Austria who decided to study on the University of Sunshine Coast (USC). Studying at USC is a one in a lifetime opportunity. The moment when I arrived in Australia, I felt in love with it.

Locals and Living

3The Australian people are one of the nicest and helpful people I know. Everyone wants to talk to you, we have received a lot of good advice from local people. We rented a house near the beach directly on the Mooloolaba canal, so we spent a lot of time fishing there. The location was perfect because we had just 5 mins to walk to the beach, so we had the opportunity to surf a lot. With the car we only need 10-15 mins to drive to the university.

4WD in the Glasshouse Mountains

2The Glasshouse Mountains is a perfect spot to hike, and get your 4WD stuck on the off-road tracks… First few days after we got our car, we tried the easiest off-road track. Three naive European guys who think they can handle this…. but glasshouse mountain showed us we can’t. We got stuck late in the afternoon in the middle of nowhere without a mobile phone reception and without water. Also, we had no recovery gear to get us out of the hole by ourselves. After a long time, a nice dude passed us with his motocross. He offered us his help, so he went back and got his truck to pull us out with the winch.

Double Island

4Double Island is a beautiful destination to surf and camp. You have the chance to camp directly on the beach and enjoy the sunrise from your tent. In my opinion, there is nothing better than waking up to a sunrise on the beach. There are also dolphins and whales, sometimes they swim near the beach so it’s easy to see them. There is a beautiful lighthouse on the Double Island Point from there you have an amazing view to rainbow beach and Noosa north shore.

– Martin Stadlmayer @stadii

Ksenia and Alina from FH Upper Austria studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi everyone!

We are Ksenia and Alina and are studying in a master’s program at the University of Applied Sciences in Steyr, Upper Austria. We have just completed our second semester at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Our time in Australia was amazing! It was a life-changing experience. During these several months we dived deeply into the ‘laid back’ Aussie culture with its active lifestyle and sincere and open-minded people. This is all framed by the most beautiful nature, wildlife and a never-ending summer.

We really enjoyed studying at USC. The workload was manageable and the easy access to study materials, the online library and the supportive academic environment made the process really enjoyable. During this semester we improved our English writing skills greatly since we had several assignments for each subject. We loved the big campus with lots of cafes, spots to study or relax and the sport facilities. Also, you will always be entertained by the many cute and furry Aussie friends, like kangaroos!

Our first trip was to an Ed Sheeran concert in Melbourne. We loved the vibe and the city which looked like a smaller version of Manhattan. The city offers lots of parks, great places to eat, cafes and secret bars. One evening we went to the St Kilda Pier where after the sunset you can see small penguins returning home.

Another trip that we would never forget was to Whitsundays during the Easter break. As we did not check the weather during this season we encountered a cyclone there. We had booked a 2-day trip and only several boats including ours did not cancel it. So, what we experienced was a bit different from what you see in the pictures. It was raining the whole time and on the second day our snorkelling trip was cancelled as all the boats had to return to the coast because of the oncoming cyclone. But nevertheless, we had a lot of fun and even though the weather was not exactly how we imagined, it still was an amazing trip.

Byron Bay is another ‘must see’ place. It is a place with small cosy cafes, street musicians and beautiful beaches. The walk to the lighthouse and the most Eastern part of Australia was breathtaking, we stopped almost every five minutes to take pictures of everything and were lucky to see dolphins on our way.

We can write and write about all the amazing places to go to in Australia, but it is much better just to come here and see everything with your own eyes. And we are sure everyone would fall in love with this country!

After these several months the hardest part for us was to go back and leave our new friends, life next to the ocean and Sunshine Coast behind. But as our friend said in Australia it’s never a ‘goodbye’ it is always a ‘see you soon’!

Michelle Reinhardt from Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi everyone,

My name is Michelle I am a student from Austria. I was lucky enough to spend one semester at USC to do my semester abroad. USC is a partner University from FH Steyr, where I study back home in Austria.

I have chosen USC as it has an excellent reputation and offered every course I needed to fulfil the requirements needed for my semester abroad. Furthermore, it is located at the beautiful Sunshine Coast, as I love to surf the location and the University itself were a perfect match for me. I decided to rent a house close to the beach with a friend of mine in a little town near USC, which is called Alexandra Headlands. This was the best decision ever, as I spent every free minute at the beach.

I had an amazing time here in Australia and wish everyone who decides to study at USC the same!

Cheers, Michelle.