Gurleen Kaur studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) at USC

My name is Gurleen Kaur and I am from India. My program of study is the Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting). I chose to study at USC because the university welcomes students from all around the world and has a lot of diversity, which makes it a likely option for every person to be accepted in a diverse environment.

Studying at USC

Studying at USC has been a fun and delightful experience. I enjoyed my course of study thoroughly. All the staff and teachers were supportive, and I made a few friends as well which have become a part of my life. USC helped me understand the career I want to pursue through my degree. It showed me the way of doing so, and the course structure was simple and divided into parts from basic to more experienced knowledge. My overall impression of the program is great as it has given me an experience of a lifetime.

Living in Australia

Living in Australia has been a good experience for me overall. I learned from each day living here by myself. I can cherish the memories that I made throughout these three years, and I have been living in a share house since I came here. I have had to travel to USC through bus and I will never forget those days of travelling with airpods in my ears and listening music on my way to study. Attending classes is a mandatory thing (for some courses) in order to pass with good marks, so that would be my tip for future students.

Raphaela Marcella Alda from WU Vienna studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

2Hello, my name is Raphaela Marcella Alda and I graduated in Economics from USC. Through my business studies at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU) and the help of my parents, I had the opportunity to spend my semester abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

Before I travelled to Australia, I did some research about the country, the services offered at USC and the Brand Ambassador Program. With regard to the courses that are offered at the university, there is a wide range of offers. The courses I took were not only very interesting but also very informative.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that studying at USC is very different from studying at my home university. The students learn more about written work and how to put theory into practice. This also gave me more time to get to know the country while I was studying. This gave me the opportunity to explore not only Brisbane, but also Byron Bay and Noosa.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, I had to leave Australia earlier than planned, but my semester abroad was the best thing that could ever happen to me. I am more than grateful for the wonderful experiences and the friendly people who made my time even more unique.

Sophia Gollwitzer from Amberg-Weiden University of Applied Sciences in Germany studying a Master of Management at USC Sunshine Coast

d.pngMy name is Sophia and I am from Amberg-Weiden University of Applied Sciences in Germany and am currently attending a management program at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Overall, I will be staying in Australia for six months. I arrived here in July, and now I almost don’t want to think about when I have to return.

For the past three months, I have spent most of my time at USC and/or in the area. Because my German institution is quite small, I very much enjoy being back at a larger university with a beautiful campus. The open architecture of the buildings here is very different from that in Germany and gives you the feeling of being outdoors even though you aren’t. Another bonus of the campus is the wild kangaroos that can be spotted quite frequently. The overall atmosphere is a great mixture of nature and student life in a way that I have never experienced before. Besides, I love the Australian coffee culture, which is also very much appreciated on campus.


hnIf I’ m not enjoying coffee at university, I like to spend my time in the immediate vicinity. Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, and Maroochydore offer beautiful beaches as well as some small, unique cafés and shops. I cycle a lot, so I quite often “stumble” over some exciting places that are an enrichment to my everyday life. But beware of the magpies – they like to attack when you cycle past their nests and has ended up in an accident for me. So much for Australia’s life-threatening animals: lessons learned! 😉

Since the sea and the beach are my happy places, there couldn’t be anything better than to spend some moments there every day, surf or enjoy the sunset. Apart from that, the area offers waterfalls to explore in the hinterland or the possibility to climb mountains and admire nature. Unfortunately, I only managed to climb in Brisbane, so the Glasshouse Mountains are at the top of the list for a climbing tour.

nEven though Brisbane is a bit further away, the city belongs to the joys of everyday life for me as well. Due to the short distance of only 2 hours train ride, I spend time there pretty frequently and get to visit my family and friends. Apart from the fact of being able to see my people here in down under regularly, I especially like the relaxed vibe of the city. For me, it appears very liveable and always offers something beautiful to discover or delicious food at any corner.

Looking back, I’m delighted to have decided to come back to Australia. I love my everyday life here. Fascinating to see how quickly time passes when you feel at home!

– Sophia Gollwitzer @soffie_zaem

Rajkumari Karki from Nepal studying a Master of Health Promotion at USC SouthBank

QVDR2399My name is Rajkumari Karki, and I’m currently undertaking a Master of Health Promotion at USC SouthBank. I’m from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. I come from a nursing background and I was keen to get a degree in a multi-disciplinary subject that would also be closely related to health. I did my research in finding a course that was new to me and had good career prospects. The Master of Heath Promotion at USC was what I decided to enrol into because this program had lot to offer.

My journey of moving and studying abroad got started when I came to Queensland. Along with the happiness, there were lots of challenges and hurdles ahead for me. Coming from a different cultural background, ethnicity, language and very distinctive way of teaching and learning, I had to work really hard to adjust myself to a completely new environment of independent learning.

IMG_4731I’m very thankful to USC for supporting me throughout. All the lecturers, facilitators and student support staff were always there to support me to find an answer to my queries. That’s how I got to know how many resources there are to help you when needed. It wasn’t just during class times that I received support; I’ve also been able to access a range of services available online, such as Studiosity and Student Hub.

As an international student I was pleased to see there are always resources and services available to help support you; all you need to do is reach out for them. Some of these helpful services include:

IMG_E4721Australia is big and there are lots of places to travel around. Travelling around Australia is very convenient due to easy access to various modes of transportation including bus, rail and ferry. I like it here in Queensland; it’s beautiful and has a lot to offer. I enjoy my time on beaches, they are really mesmerising. Redcliffe, Shorncliffe and Moreton Bay are good places to go. One of my preferred destinations is the South Bank Parklands which are very close to our campus. Sitting at the bank of the Brisbane River and spending some quality time with family and friends is a wonderful feeling.

IMG_1251Studying in new a country has its own beauty including meeting new people from all around the world,  exploring places full of adventure, learning in a very distinctive way of teaching and much more.

I have to say I am enjoying my studies at USC SouthBank. I would personally recommend that all international students use the resources available within the campus for better health and academic outcomes.

– Rajkumari Karki




Julie Våga from HVL Sogndal in Norway – “TOP 5 Weekend Getaways” Whilst Studying at USC Sunshine Coast


My name is Julie, and I am from the Norwegian University HVL Sogndal. I am currently studying at USC Sunshine Coast and have for the last year. As travelling is one of my biggest passions, I thought I would share a few tips for “weekend getaways” you could do whilst studying at USC Sunshine Coast.


The closest city for that “big city feeling” is Brisbane, only an hour train ride away.

What to do in Brisbane? Visit the Lone Pine Sanctuary, the biggest koala sanctuary in the world, where you can hold koalas and feed kangaroos. During the hot summer days, Southbank is the place to be. Eat Street Northshore is also a must in Brisbane. Open every night Friday to Sunday, Eat Street is the best food market you will ever visit with food from all over the world and the craziest desserts you can think of.

You can also visit North Stradbroke Island or Moreton Island by ferry from Brisbane, either for the day or a few nights! Moreton Island is perfect for a day-trip and has the famous Tangalooma shipwrecks. North Stradbroke Island (or Straddie) is a beautiful island filled with wildlife and amazing beaches. Absolutely recommend the North Gorge walk, on this hike we spotted dolphins, whales, kangaroos and a turtle.

Rainbow beach (Inskip point)

Camping at Inskip point is a highly recommended weekend getaway! Either in a camper van or tent – or both. Crystal clear water and a view of Fraser Island. One of the highlights from my year “down under”.

Fraser Island (K’Gari)

A ferry ride from Rainbow beach is the famous Fraser island, the biggest sand island in the world. It was formed during the ice age by sand blown for New South Wales. It is also voted as the number seven “must seen beaches” in the world by National Geographic.

What to do? Except for the beautiful beaches, there is a shipwreck- the Maheno wreck that can be visited. As well as the famously known Lake McKenzie that is also on the island, which is a beautiful lake to go for a swim in. However, remember to respect the dingoes and follow Fraser Island rules as they roam free on the island.

Tip! Check out the courses on USC as some of them travel to Fraser Island. I went there on a school trip with OES104 (recommended for international students!)

Gold Coast

Gold Coast is a popular holiday destination, no surprise as it has a lot to offer. It has major shopping centres, more than 500 cafes and restaurants, rural hinterland, great nightlife, and is the home of several theme parks, including the Wet’n’wild and Warner Bros. Movie World. If you have the chance, you can also see the city from above in the Q1 tower.

Cafetips! I recommend “The Paddock Bakery”, a cozy backyard café with great food and a changing menu. I also recommend the vegan café “The Cardamon Pod”, offering great food and is very “insta friendly” (heheh).

Byron Bay

One of my favourite places in Australia – if not the world – is Byron. Just under 3 and a half hours by car from campus. It’s famous for the surfers, beaches, (the Hemsworth brothers) and the most powerful lighthouse in the country. I absolutely recommend the hike up to the lighthouse (alternatively an uber ride up there). It’s also the most easterly point in Australia. Look for whales and dolphins as they can be spotted from there.

Tip! If you don’t have a car, Adventure Dudes does trips with USC students a few times each semester, might be worth looking into at the International BBQ in Orientation Week.

Hope this gave you some inspiration for travelling around while studying at USC. For more pictures, check out my Instagram @julievaga, where I will also be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. You can also email for more information.

– Julie Våga

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Stacey Bailey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samira Davis from Manhattanville College in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 10.43.32 amTjena! My name is Samira Davis! I was born in Brooklyn, New York but raised in Stockholm, Sweden. My university back home in New York, Manhattanville College was able to give me the opportunity to become an International student for one semester here at USC. I’m studying for a Diploma in General Studies.

University of the Sunshine Coast is located on the beautiful Sunshine Coast only a few minutes away from some of the world’s best beaches. University of the Sunshine Coast has a really relaxed atmosphere. I’ve have had plenty of support from the lecturers and tutors who helped international students, just like me adjust to a new environment. During my time here I never felt as though I was looked at as just a number, as many big universities often do, I was treated as an equal by the helpful staff. Lecturers and tutors actually knew me by my name.

Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 10.44.55 amBeing a member of my Women’s soccer team back home in Manhattanville College I was still able to continue my passion for the sport through social sports which was provided for the students of USC through USC Sports. With that, I was able to make new friends that shared the same passion as me, as we got to travel up to Brisbane and meet new faces that also loved the game of soccer.


1) Pack Lightly

Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 10.45.13 amMAKE SURE you pack lightly when moving down under!! Australia has many affordable stores where you can buy things needed or if forgotten! For example, if you are going to live in the accommodations recommended by the university like Varsity, Uni Central or The Village be sure NOT to by the linen package! The linen package provided by these accommodations are expensive you can buy cheaper linen at Target or K-mart.


2) Follow your traveling dreams

Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 10.45.27 amI can’t stress this one enough! I encourage you all to travel as much as you can or as much as your budget allows you. You definitely should take advantage of the opportunity of living abroad and make the best out of your time here while studying here in the Sunshine Coast. It will give you memories for a lifetime and will help you make new friendships. Also, pretty much anywhere on the Coast is Insta-worthy!

3) Make sure you’re coming open minded

Being that you are coming to a new country and culture. You should be able to try new things as well as experience new things and be able to embrace the Aussie lifestyle! The Sunshine Coast it known for all of it outdoor activities available such as simply relaxing on the beach, surfing or trekking a hike up the various mountains the Coast has to offer.

4) Don’t forget that degree

However, with all of that said. My last advice is don’t forget that you’re here to finish your degree. It can be easy to get left behind in your studies when you are in a new place meeting new people.

I hope my advice made your choice for why the University of the Sunshine Coast is the right choice for you!

Best of luck,