Visit Popular Local Spots Close To The USC Sunshine Coast Campus

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

Photo: Ali Hannah

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.

We hope you enjoyed reading about some of the more popular places visited by locals and students, and don’t forget to tag us using @USC.International and #USCInternational.

Sairah Benz Alonzo from the Philippines (AMS BridgeBlue) studying a Master of Business Administration at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_0731Beep beep! *Benz Alonzo about to park!* 

Hey there – I’m Sairah Benz Alonzo. Feel free to call me Benz (yes, just like the car Mercedes-Benz). I accomplished my bachelor’s degree in University of Asia and the Pacific, Philippines. Currently, I’m taking up my master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

Healthy Habits When Visiting the Sunshine Coast Beaches

I’m surprised on how accessible it is for anyone in this state to head down to the nearest coastline. Approximately by 10-20 mins, I could find myself lost in the breeze of Sunshine Coast beaches. Later on, I’ve learned new practices which I like to apply when facing the waves of the ocean. Allow me to share these with you!

Find Peace

Discovering the hush and solitude of what the beach can offer us – silence. Silence, along with the lullaby of waves, brings in peace. If you want more of this, Sunshine Coast is the place to be.

Breathe in, breathe out… Take a deep breath for 5 mins (or up to you!). In a moment, you’ll surprisingly find yourself blending with the serenity of the waves. If it helps, think of short affirmations when breathing in (I breathe in peace) and breathing out (I breathe out confidence). This way, it is purposeful + clearer calm-seeking thoughts.

Seek Aspirations

From time to time, it’s helpful to take a pause and look far at the ocean. Begin with thinking of what you’d like to achieve in life then take note of them. Once you’ve collected your aspirations, it’s pretty cool to treat the beach as your audience. Speak out loud that truth inside yourself! What you’ll face will never judge you but listen intently.

Visualise dreams  

After repeating those dreams, start visualising the “HOW” little by little. I myself, visualise how my week will go: as small as waking up early for attending USC classes -> focusing in lectures -> working out in between breaks -> doing some self-study in another field of work -> plus so on and so forth. Practice that creativity in your imagination. Which by the way, Sunshine Coast has the best background music for this.

Sweat them off

For starters, I love to walk along the shoreline of the beach. While walking, I was able to observe how certain locals incorporate different sets of physical lifestyle: running, yoga, sports, and other fun activeness! And I reckon, anyone can do this! As Tony Robbins claim “motion creates emotion”. Truly, I’m pretty much inspired by the locals here.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Read Read Read

When in Sunshine Coast, it is always ‘beach reading season’. Pack one book in your bag. Find a great spot and enjoy your time alone reading. Reading by the beach allows us to relax at the same time explore in between pages.

Write them down

The sea won’t be throwing shade on whatever thoughts you’ll be writing down. What’s important is, we lead our actions through mindfulness. Take your notebook/journal out and begin writing down your stories. You’ll be amazed on how long-term pens and papers can affect your life.

P.S. This article is inspired by the Miracle Mornings of Hal Elrod. I highly recommend this book for everyone to read.

–  Sairah Benz Alonzo @sairahalonzo

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

 

 

Charlotte Malgrange from INSEEC Lyon in France studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

5Hi everyone,

My name is Charlotte Malgrange and I am a 21-year-old French student studying here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). When I found out that my university back in France (INSEEC Lyon) had a partnership with USC, I immediately knew I had to apply. Living in Australia had been one of the things I most wanted to do and this was the perfect occasion for it.

The University of the Sunshine Coast has so much to offer. The professor-student relationships are based on trust and help, which makes the whole academic system even more pleasant. Moreover, it is a very common thing to see kangaroos on campus which is the best way to start your day.

6

The Sunshine Coast is undeniably beautiful: it has amazing beaches such as Mooloolaba, delicious food places, amazing waterfalls and lookouts. Everyone is very friendly and outgoing, and the sunny coast vibe is an actual thing and it is amazing.

During my semester I had the chance to visit wonderful places, Noosa being my favourite by far. I went on a road trip up north, visited Airlie beach, the Whitsundays, Gladstone, Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay. I had unique experiences such as skydiving over Noosa and spending a day on a Catamaran in the Whitsundays.

Although most of the Sunshine Coast is made out of plants, kangaroos, birds and trees, it has a very relaxing vibe that makes you feel like you belong here. It is also very close to Brisbane, one of the largest cities in Australia, and the Gold Coast which is about two hours away. So, it is possible to escape the peri-urban area for a few days and see different types of environments.

I am planning on going to Sydney and Melbourne as soon as exams are done, and I am sure I will love it there as much as I loved it here.

– Charlotte Malgrange @chamlgr

1

 

Amy Zahn from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

img-0010.jpgHi, my name is Amy and I’m from Germany, but my home university is the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. I’m currently doing a Bachelor’s degree in International Business, however at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), I am completing a Business Diploma in one semester.

Coming to Australia, I had many expectations about what I would see and do, but I was also surprised by several things. For example the high grocery prices, the cold nights in the beginning, but also the amazing cheap sushi and how helpful everyone is. I was not expecting to have that many assignments in the beginning, however, I then found out later I didn’t have any exams! Nevertheless, I was able to tick so many things off my Australia bucket list, mainly because I was able to take some amazing long weekend trips, which I will be giving some tips for here.

IMG-0007My main recommendations are the big cities in the South East of Australia: Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. All offer great nightlife, and culture, but also beautiful nature which is very easily reachable from the city. If you don’t have a lot of time, going to Brisbane even just for a good night out can be worthwhile. You will be there after 2 hours on the train and can get away with a pretty cheap weekend away.

Sydney is a little further away and definitely more expensive. However you really have to visit the city at some point even if it’s only for the famous sights like the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Sydney has so much more to offer though, for example the large amount of great Asian food and amazing bars. If you have time you can go whale watching or escape the bustle at Bondi Beach or Manly Island, as well as the beautiful Botanical Gardens. For both Sydney and Melbourne, I would recommend taking a free walking tour on the first day, as your guide IMG-0014will give you many helpful tips and you will also be able to decide which part of the city you are most interested in afterwards.

Melbourne is slightly further away, but also cheaper once you get there. It’s known for its amazing coffee culture, and more alternative culture, in addition to being crowned as the most liveable city of the world (until Vienna overtook it last year). It also has a great tram network, which is free in the centre of the city. If you have more time there are many amazing things to do and see around Melbourne as well, such as visiting Phillip Island, Wilsons Promontory National Park, the Grampian Mountains, or the Peninsula Hot Springs. You could even do a road trip from Melbourne via the scenic Great Ocean Road.

DCIM/101MEDIA/DJI_0178.JPG

There are also many more great weekend trips you can do whilst studying at USC. Going to Fraser Island was probably one the most exciting things I experienced while I was here, because you get to drive over the beach and through bumpy inland roads that you can only access with a 4WD vehicle. Whether you love cities or nature, Australia has something to offer for everyone and you’ll definitely be able to find some time off from your studies to experience it with your new mates.

– Amy Zahn @littlebirdyinatree

IMG-0012

 

Brianna Tabit from Grand Valley State University in the US: 10 Things International Students Will Miss After Leaving USC!

G’day Mates! My name is Brianna Tabit and I am from Michigan in the United States. Through a partnership with my home university, Grand Valley State University, I was able to spend the last semester studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). As my time is coming to an end, I have come up with a list of 10 things that international students will miss once they have to say goodbye to the Sunny Coast.

10 things you will miss when you leave USC:

1. Taking photos of the kangaroos on campus The locals will quickly be able to spot international students on campus the minute there is a kangaroo hopping around. Within seconds, you’ll see people pulling out their phones to take photos of the roos for their social media and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Kangaroos
 2. Going to the beach on a school day The best part of the day is being able to go to the beach with your mates before or after class. Beach after uni
3. All of the beaches On that note, you will miss being able to have a variety of beaches to choose from on the Sunshine Coast. All of the Beaches
4. Having the locals make you try Aussie food While free food may be nice, make sure you do your research before you eat what you’re Australian friends give you. Do NOT let anyone feed you a spoonful of Vegemite – not my favourite..  Vegemite
5. Trying to mimic your Australian friends accents It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve asked your friends to repeat their sentences so you can try to accomplish their accent, I promise you it’s not easy. Australian Accent
6. Being surrounded by unique town names Have fun pronouncing these for the first time: Sippy Downs, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Buderim, Currimundi, Diddillibah Town Names
7. Telling people you’re going to the University of the Sunshine Coast Your friends and family may question the legitimacy of the university after you tell them the name of it. While you may spend most of your days laying on the beach in the sunshine, you can reassure them you still have plenty of assessments to work on once the sun goes down. Telling people you go to USC
8. Being so close to the Australia Zoo Being less than 30 minutes away from the Australia Zoo, is the best excuse to relive your childhood memories of watching the Crocodile Hunter. If you’re lucky, you may even get a chance to meet one of the Irwins. Australia Zoo
9. Magpies When most people think of Australia, they think of giant snakes and spiders. However, on the Sunshine Coast we only have to worry about a bird called the Magpie. Don’t let the name fool you though, these tiny birds are much more vicious than they look. While you may not miss the bird, you will miss seeing all of the unique anti-magpie-attack bicycle helmets. Magpie-season-in-Australia-the-fear-is-REAL-1024x667.jpg
10. Thinking twice before turning on the TV When you’re living on the Sunshine Coast, it is impossible to be bored. There are plenty of oceans to surf, cafes to try, mountains to climb, music festivals to go to, and barbeques to attend. Thinking Twice

– Brianna Tabit @sustainablesista

Thomas from Switzerland studying at USC

 

University of the Sunshine Coast, when I first heard the name I immediately fell in love with it and my choice was made. It is the perfect place for me to finish my studies, improving my English skills and discover the nature and culture of a beautiful country.

I am studying business on a bachelor level as a double degree in addition to my business engineer studies in Switzerland. Studying abroad has always been part of my study plan; the only question was where and how long. The opportunity to do a double degree, the modern campus, the big variety of modules, and apparently the location very close to the sea made my decision very easy and I could not be happier with my choice.

My main goal was to improve my English, especially the formal writing. Thanks to very helpful lecturers, other students and the Academic skills department, which supported me for all my reports and essays throughout the semesters, this goal was easy to achieve. Furthermore, you gain unpayable live experience by adapting to another culture, education system, economical system, and living style.

The campus has its special charm and the kangaroos, which are hopping around the campus, are only one reason. The different cafes are tempting to take a rest from studying in the comfortable library or at the numerous tables outside.

The best thing about studying at USC is the cultural exchange with other students from all over the world and of course the Australians. Especially the community of international students is very strong and you always find some friends to go to the beach, play volleyball or to have a party together.

Apart from Uni there are nearly endless possibilities to enjoy your life. I like to do day trips to National Parks, waterfalls, and beaches. In the Semester break, I visited several National parks, little towns, and enjoyed the flair of Sydney.

If you like sports, you are at the right place as well. Plenty of facilities, such as gym, swimming pool, athletic stadium and so on. With some friends, I could even represent the USC at the Snow Uni Games on Mt Buller, which is Australian wide Uni competition in snow sports. Apart from Uni sport, I act as a soccer referee at the Sunshine Coast, which provides me some insight on local sports and where I gained many new friends as well.

Thomas Nafzger, bachelor double degree in business from University of Applied Sciences Lucerne, Switzerland

Isabelle from FH Worms studying Masters overseas at USC

Testimonial Isabelle Paul

Getting closer to the end of my Master studies in International Tourism Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Worms, I decided to take one of the last chances to go abroad during my studies as I heard about the double degree Master program in International Business at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia.

With the completion of four courses at the USC and getting full credit to all my courses I have completed in Germany I will get a whole degree from the USC within one semester, how cool is that?

Studying at the USC means so much more than just attending lectures. The university’s own kangaroo mob greets you in the evening during an incredible sunset that I have never seen like this in Germany. The campus offers many cafés and eateries as well as a book shop and a STA travel agency which creates a unique campus atmosphere. Various study locations stuffed with fancy furniture invite us to study at Uni apart from attending the lectures. The university is modern and offers a huge selection of books and online resources that makes studying easy which makes me even considering completing my Master thesis in Australia instead of Germany.

Being part of the USC means getting involved in student associations if we want to be and joining great trips and free time activities. There is always something to do, grabbing a free burrito Wednesdays at the Student Guilt, attending a trip to Fraser Island with USC activate or celebrating the weekend at the BEC bar on campus.

The location of the USC could not be better. The region of Sunshine Coast offers a great environment for students. Riding a wave for a morning surf at Mooloolaba or catching up with a friend in one of various good coffee places on the Esplanade or having dinner with a sea view are just a few of many great things to discover on the coast.

I can highly recommend to join the double degree program. It is worth every penny. Not only an excellent learning environment awaits you which differs a lot from the German study culture but also great other international students and a unique country that wants be travelled while improving your English every day.