Tim Halberstadt from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Germany studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG-20200220-WA0030G’day everyone! My name is Tim Halberstadt, I am from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Sankt Augustin, Germany and was able to achieve the Business Diploma at USC during my stay in Australia.

I initially heard about USC from a friend who spent a year in Australia. Luckily, the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) is a partner university of my home institution, and thus, the application process was less complex. After I chose USC as my preferred place of study, I had to hand in a motivation letter, as well as an application form. I didn’t have to contact USC directly, instead, all the communication was fulfilled through intermediaries at my university, which made the whole process easier. Furthermore, my university did a good job at informing me about possible scholarships. After my application was accepted, I needed to choose a professor as my contact person at home and the courses that interested me the most.

Since I wanted to achieve the Diploma of Business, all the courses I was able to choose were business-related. To deepen my knowledge in finance, I chose “Business Finance” as my first course. As a second course, I selected “The World of Tourism, Leisure and Events” to gain insight into the tourism branch, which is not taught at my home university. Thirdly, I chose “Consumer Behaviour”, since I have always been interested in the consumer’s psyche, and lastly “Igniting Entrepreneurial Talent”, because starting my own company is something I have been thinking about for a while now. In general, I have a good impression of all the courses I was able to attend during my stay. While I feel like Germany is more conservative to a certain degree, the Australian way of teaching felt fresh and innovative. A good example is the ability to attend courses online, blackboard with its helpful features like the discussion board, or regular Kahoot sessions during lectures. In general, organising felt more convenient. Especially after the COVID-19 breakout, being able to continue studies online, as well as being able to perform online exams became a beneficial aspect. In general, it was a huge upside that the needed infrastructure was already in place to study online at USC.

Luckily, before borders closed and restrictions were put in place, I was nevertheless able to experience exciting trips in Australia. First, shortly after my arrival in Australia, I spent a couple of days in Sydney and was able to discover it’s various beaches, the blue mountains surrounding Sydney and the city itself. In the blue mountains, I could see the immediate impact of the Australian bush fires with my own eyes and experience how fast nature is able to recover. Secondly, I spent a weekend at Byron Bay which is a small, lovely town on the western shore. At Byron Bay, I joined a walk to the town’s lighthouse and was able to try surfing for the first, but definitely not the last time. Lastly, I was able to travel to Fraser Island for a three -day camping trip. On the island, we were able to freely move with a Pick-Up truck we rented before our trip. The trip to Fraser Island was one of the most exciting things I have ever done in my life. The experiences ranged from close encounters with various animals like Dingos and lizards, swimming in one of the islands heavenly lakes, to experiencing what freedom feels like while driving a car at the beach. To put it in a nutshell, I highly recommend all the trips I have undergone to anyone who is slightly interested, especially a trip to Fraser Island.

After restrictions were put in place and uncertainty concerning COVID-19 began to spread, it became a lot harder to travel and after a lot of thinking I decided to return to Germany earlier than originally intended. Even though I had to return, I was able to finish my semester abroad online from Germany, which is kind of ironic. Luckily, COVID-19 and the shift in time didn’t turn out as problematic as I was expecting. USC made learning abroad possible since most of the lessons were recorded and the professors were kind and understanding.

All in all, even though I was a victim of bad timing, I nevertheless enjoyed my short stay in Australia and would highly encourage everyone to engage in a similar adventure.

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Laura Ebner from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

XFPK5862-minHello,

My name is Laura. I am 22 and come from Germany. I normally study at the University Bonn-Rhein-Sieg of Applied Sciences in Rheinbach. But this semester in 2019/2020 I studied abroad – here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).  Here, I completed my 5th semester in Business in Australia where my major was marketing.

In order to give you some impressions of the life here, I’ll will describe a few things a little bit closer;

First of all, I will tell you a bit about the university. USC has a really beautiful campus – the birds chirp daily, the kangaroos are on the campus almost every day and the sun shines most of the time. The campus is relatively large, but the classes have always been small. For example, in my marketing courses, I was usually only with 20 or fewer students in the lecture. As this is quite a pleasant size, I could learn effectively during class. Besides, all lectures are recorded so students can also watch it at home. In addition to the lectures, you usually also have a tutorial, which deepens the contents of the lectures. Unlike in Germany, every bachelor student here at USC has to submit 3 different tasks in each subject. These tasks can be very diverse. For example, you have to write reports, work on quizzes, create a video or write exams at the end. All tasks are weighted differently and are then part of your final grade of the subject. During breaks or your free time at university you can have a drink, or you can eat something there. At the campus, there are many cafés and also a brasserie. Besides, every student has accesses to computer rooms or tutorial rooms with their student card. In addition, there is also a huge library in the middle of the campus. At the same time, USC provides different sport facilities. Consequently, you can go to a fitness centre or you can attend different sport courses such as volleyball or rugby.

With regard to the living situation, I can only advise everyone to go to one of the student residences. They are only 5 minutes away from the campus and you can meet a lot of new people there. In total, there are two different student residences, Varsity and UniCentral. While Varsity is known as the party residence, UniCentral is quiet and cosy.
I lived in UniCentral together with 2 Australians and 1 American in one apartment. We often watch TV, eat, cook or just talk together in the evening. The rooms are also really nice here. Everyone has their own room with a small bathroom. The rooms are nice and there is everything inside, what you really need. There is a large bed, a bedside table, two big cupboards and a desk with a desk chair. Then we also have a common area with a TV, a sofa and a kitchen. Besides, every flat has a balcony or a garden, depending on which apartment you get. Furthermore, each student residence has a tennis and basketball court and a pool.  In addition, there is also a pavilion with games like billiard, air hockey IMG_0435-minand table tennis. Additionally, Varsity has a volleyball court.

Then, on Thursday and Saturday, we can party here. Oh and yeah by the way, you have read correctly – in Australia you don’t only celebrate on the weekend, but also on Thursday! Especially on Thursday, students have a free shuttle to a close-by club. Furthermore, we don’t have to pay an entry free for this club on that day. However, I believe its sometimes more expensive to go out here than in Germany.

Apart from the university, you should visit also other places around here. For example, I often went down to the beach by bus. It’s usually a 20 minutes’ drive with bus to the beach, and it is gorgeous! I usually went to Alexandra Headland beach. There is also Mooloolaba beach which can be a little bit busier during holidays. However, if you want to be alone with your friends on the beach, you should go to Buddina. The beaches there are really wide and only a few people walk along there. At the same time, this area is a perfect place for surfing as the waves are great! Besides the beach, there is also a huge shopping mall in Maroochydore called Sunshine Plaza. At the plaza you can eat, drink or you go shopping. Similarly, you can also go to Strike Bowling. There you can play Minigolf and you can bowl for 15$ on Thursday, which is always a lot of fun with friends!

Another good thing is to rent a car with friends over the weekend in order to explore the surrounding areas. Besides Brisbane, there are also beautiful places like Noosa, Glasshouse Mountains, Rainbow Beach, Gold Coast and Byron Bay. Furthermore, you should visit the Australia Zoo or the Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane. There are a lot of different Australian animals, but the best thing is that you can pet kangaroos and you can hold a koala in your arms! This is a fantastic and special experience that you will never forget! Moreover, you will have one week break in the middle of the semester. In this week, I would advise you to do something. For example, I rented a car with friends and we drove together along the coast to Sydney and back again. It was wonderful.

IMG_3996-minHowever, before I go travelling after my semester, I will have my international graduation on November 18th. There, I will get my Statement of Completion and can slip into these academic robes. I am really looking forward to this day! Later, at the end of November, I will continue travelling and will visit Fiji and New Zealand!

Now I’ve said enough. Personally, I can only advise you to spend a semester abroad at USC! During that time, you get to know so many new people; you can explore a new country and you are just having an unforgettable time here! Remember, during that time, you will live in a region where many tourists make their holidays!

I hope that this blog can give you a little insight into the university life of Australia. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me! 🙂

Best regards,

Laura @lauraa.ebner

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Jasmin Sillah from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Germany: 3 things you should stop doing whilst studying in Australia!

img_6110.jpgHi! My name is Jasmin, and I’m currently enrolled in the Double Degree Program at the the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) School of Business. I will complete two semesters in Sippy Downs which will provide me with enough credits to go back to Germany next year to write my bachelor thesis in business psychology at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. Thus, I’ll have two bachelor’s degrees shortly after the end of my stay in Australia. Speaking of which, I’ll provide you with 3 helpful tips that can make your time abroad even better, if you stop doing those things!

3 things you should stop doing when you want to enjoy your stay in Australia!

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1. Stop looking at your phone 24/7

This might be one of the hardest ones, especially for our generation! Of course, don’t forget to take lots of pictures and videos from the beautiful sceneries, beaches and animals in Australia, these are beautiful memories to look back on and cry your eyes out about when you are back home. Nevertheless, leaving your phone in your bag once in a while can help you to fully enjoy the marvellous moments you are experiencing overseas without distractions. I promise the best memories are stored in your head forever!

2. Stop speaking your native language

IMG_3651I bet we all wrote roughly the same sentence in our motivational letter: ‘I want to study abroad to improve my English communication skills’. Then do so! It is extremely easy to get carried away with a native group of students at USC as there are so many people with so many different backgrounds and you’ll find someone from your home country for sure. But this is something that hinders you a lot to experience the real Australia and not only the tourist version of it. Don’t be shy and start talking to people from other countries and especially to Australians! For sure, they will embrace it a lot, and you’ll get to know their culture from a whole new perspective.

3. Stop being too rigid about plans

IMG_6001I’m German, so I know about what I’m talking about right now. We love planning months ahead, making checklists, calculating every cent we pay and every minute we spend. Letting go of some of this control-behaviour can open up doors that were closed before. Live your life, be spontaneous and embrace change! Not everything will go according to plan and these moments are great opportunities to go with the flow and do what feels right. You won’t regret it!

– Jasmin Sillah @jasminsillah

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

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Christoph Siepen from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Germany studying a Double Degree at USC Sunshine Coast

09bed047-fed0-416a-9213-5ac4daf41e62G’day everyone! My name is Christoph Siepen. I am a business student from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Germany. Currently, I am staying at USC Sunshine Coast for two semesters to do a double degree. The double degree doesn’t extend my study time due to a full credit transfer between my home university and USC. Therefore, it’s a great way to increase employability and to gain insights into another learning environment.

Besides your studies, there is so much to do and to experience on the Sunshine Coast and in Australia. Therefore, you should use every single possibility to explore the Hinterland, Brisbane, or one of the many beaches. On the weekends, you should absolutely take some surfing lessons as well. If you got enough time, you should definitely rent a camper van and explore other Processed with VSCO with c1 presetexciting places such as Cape Hillsborough or Keppel Island. Cape Hillsborough is great to experience the most Aussie thing ever: Kangaroos at the beach! Keppel Island is excellent for snorkelling, relaxing or even exploring a lost place.  I’m sure that you will be stunned by these beautiful places.

Even if you don’t have enough time or enough budget to travel, you don’t need to worry. You can also have a lot of fun by visiting one of the numerous activities offered by the USC Student Guild or just relax with your friends at one of the student accommodation’s pools or have a BBQ!

Studying at USC is a great choice as you can combine your studies with a lot of travelling, making new friendships and having an unforgettable time. I promise that you won’t regret deciding to study at USC! It’s a fantastic time.

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

Isabell Boehmer from Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences in Germany studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

I am a business student from the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences and after having studied two years in Germany I decided to go abroad for one semester. As my home university is a partner university of the USC there was a lot of information material available and so I decided to study one semester at the USC.

I got the chance to participate in the Diploma in Business Program at the USC. This program takes two semesters, but I could apply for credit transfer from my home university due to which I was able to complete the Diploma (four courses) within one semester. The Diploma Program gives students the possibility to not only enhance their knowledge, it is also an additional qualification in addition to the general degree programs, completed within only one semester.

In general, USC offers a nice campus with modern facilities to student’s due to which a great learning experience is given. This learning experience is not only supported by the great facilities, in general the friendly tutors and lecturers provide a great knowledge and are able to provide support and give feedback concerning different assessment tasks.

Within the first week at the USC I experienced a quite different structure of studying in comparison to Germany. At the USC students have more assessments during the semester which is at the beginning quite challenging, but after having organized the time and the workload it is manageable. I would recommend every student studying abroad at the USC to structure the assessments and time from the first week on, for being able to have more time to enjoy the beautiful East Coast of Australia.

After finishing my semester abroad at the USC, I will travel around to see more of this beautiful country and I will definitely come back at some time.

Studying at the other end of the world was one of the best decisions in my life. I loved studying at the USC and living at the Sunshine Coast. The time in Australia really enriched my life, I made new experiences and met amazing people from different countries.

I can recommend it to everyone to take the chance to make the experience of studying abroad at the USC, it was one of the best times of my life.

 

By Isabell Boehmer