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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Jesse Weippert from DHBW Mosbach studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

a9862114-a0fe-4fe9-b9ab-e07947b2a827Cheers mates,

My name is Jesse Weippert, I am from Germany and I was studying a Diploma in Business at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for one semester. Probably not the best time to come over to Australia due to COVID-19, nevertheless it was a great experience studying overseas and an enjoyable lock-down as well.

Back in Germany I am studying a dual system, which includes an iteration of studying three months and working three months. Within three years, I will finish my degree and will have a high chance of retaining at the company I am currently working for. Part of this dual system is a semester abroad, which was supported from my company. The decision-making process of applying at USC was easy, since Australia has always attracted me very much and I wanted to improve my English. The application process was easy doing as well. The biggest hurdle was the payment of the semester fees, which, however, were financially supported by my company and for which I received a discount from my university. So, I only had to fill out the application form, show my academic transcript and show my English B2 level. By completing these forms, I got a lot of support from my home university and USC. The last step was then to select my courses for the semester. In order to complete a diploma, four courses are required, which I have arranged in consultation with my course director at my home university. However, I have to note here that I would have had to take more courses during my regular semester at home, so I have to retake exams after my semester abroad.

img_7698I arrived in Australia end of January prior to governments restrictions. I started doing a road trip at the west coast of Australia for four weeks, which I can highly recommend. After my road trip I headed to the Sunshine Coast to start the semester. At the beginning of the semester I had many plans to use my long weekends every week, and I wanted to see as much of Australia as possible. Due to my choice of courses I had no lectures from Friday to Monday evening, which would have been perfect for weekend trips. So, the first weeks before the lock-down, I was in Noosa, Byron Bay and Sydney. In retrospect, it must be said that the time in the lock-down was probably nowhere in the world faster than in Australia on the Sunshine Coast. The beach in Mooloolaba was still passable despite the lock-down, so I used the free time for surfing. I learned to dive and the connection within the student accommodation in Varsity became stronger. You got to know many new people, even if a large part flew back to their home countries at the beginning of the crisis.

All in all, I had a great time at the USC and I am proud to be a part of the USCi Brand Ambassador program.

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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.

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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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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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Tom Skinner from Manhattanville College in the US: What you should experience whilst studying in Australia!

IMG_0053Hey! My name is Tom Skinner and I am from South London, England and have been studying abroad here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) from my university I attend in NY, Manhattanville College.

I want to share with you my experiences and what I would suggest doing when here in Australia.

Travel, Travel, Travel!

Weather you do this during the semester with weekends away, during the mid-semester break or after you finish; Make the most of being in this beautiful countries and near so many other Asians countries, that normally you would be so far away from. I am doing my travelling after I finish this semester, where I will travel to Sydney and Melbourne. Before finishing my time abroad, I will be meeting my friend Pablo (from my college in NY) in Bali for 10 days. I have spoken to so many people who have been to Bail and if there’s anywhere you should save your money to visit, Bali is the place!

IMG_0154I also took a weekend trip to the Gold Coast with a big group of people. The more people made it cheaper for a really nice AirBnB and we made the most of the amazing weather by spending time at Surfers paradise, a night out at the bars, followed by our first ever AFL game the following day!

Make the most out of days out too! Being on the Sunshine Coast, there are so many awesome days out you can do. From something simple as going to sunbathe at Mooloolaba Beach for the day, or going to Noosa to explore or learn to surf, you can also make a visit to Australia Zoo. Australia Zoo is of the most famous zoos in Australia due to it being the home zoo of wildlife legend Steve Irwin. The zoo had some amazing animals and shows. With opportunities to hold koalas, snakes, and even watch the famous Croc show!

Take every opportunity and speak to everyone!

C2087333-2353-4D41-BC61-4F34C3957964Everyone is in the same boat as you, so when you come out here, just speak to as many people as you can to learn as much as you can about the Uni, area etc. There’s always someone that can help you or that you can help. I have made so many amazing friends for life by speaking to everyone I can. I also got very lucky that I ended up sitting next to people on the flight into Brisbane that would become some of my best friends here. Weather you end up living at Uni Central or Varsity, everyone is so nice and there is a good mix of international students who are new like yourself or have been in your position, in addition to Australians who are always willing to help.

IMG_0034Make sure that you take every opportunity to try new things and go to new places! You never know when you will get a chance to do something like this again, so the best advice I can give is to take risks, have fun, and do as much as you can with the time you have out here.

– Tom Skinner @tom_skinner10

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.

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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

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Kaleb Corbin from Elon University in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

20191002_182219 (1)Hello, my names Kaleb Corbin. I’m a third year Uni student from the US. I go to Elon University in North Carolina. My degree is in Exercise Science with a minor in Biology and Psychology. I’ve always wanted to be a Physical Therapist, but recently I’ve been attracted to the idea of being a Neurosurgeon. I chose to come to Australia primarily because of the prominence of Physiotherapists and just overall how that type of health care is handled, compared to the states. I’m only going to be studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for this winter/spring semester, then I’ll return to the states to spread the word about USC.

20190831_103056 (1)For nearly my whole life, my family has done relatively little to no traveling. I had only been to six or seven states in the US, until a flew across the pond to Australia. I was hesitant mostly because of how a good friend of mine was to be coming along for the semester, until family issues soiled our plans before they started. Not having someone close to me was difficult because of the lack of traveling I had done in the past. I was quickly surprised by the amount of social connection everyone shared so quickly upon getting to our apartments. Immediately I was making friends from Germany, a bunch of friends from France while also living with some Norwegian and Swedish floor mates. The amount of diversity that the Varsity Apartments and USCs campus provided was exactly what I was looking for.

It’s really easy to get stuck in with your American or whichever nationality you share friend group, especially since over 30 students from my University also came along. I urged myself to try and spend as much time with my International friends as possible. Not for any special reason, but because this is the one chance I have to make the friends that will hopefully last a lifetime. I have visited some really cool places in Australia, spanning across several weekends and even a week-long trip to Indonesia. I cannot stress this enough to whomever is caught reading this, but please don’t get bogged down with your studies to the point where you Gold coast (1)stop enjoying your time in Australia. I come from a University with a rigorous academic curriculum so I immediately was spending several hours a week in the library, where I could have been spending it doing something more enjoyable. I am not saying you should blow off your classes like some of my friends have chosen to do, but don’t let the stress of Uni mask the incredible experiences you’re meant to have while studying abroad.

Thanks for reading,

– Kaleb Corbin

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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

Marc Graziano from Bridgewater State University in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

160AA006-258B-4603-9DB2-18CD6BF26B9AOy brotha! My name is Marc, I am 22 years old, and I am from Boston. Back home, I have been studying Communication at Bridgewater State University. I am currently studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC Sunshine Coast). USC has brought out the best in me, it is an excellent place to study, excel, connect with other, become more self sufficient and develop yourself as a person.

First off, everything about the Sunshine Coast is simply perfect. It has that relaxed surfer vibe to it, with dozens of beaches near by its nearly impossible to not find yourself in some sort of adventure with some great people. It’s everything I was looking for back home as for the environment, weather, and opportunities. I can literally count on one hand how many days it has rained here.

Sippy Downs is a small town, it has everything you need nearby with grocery stores like Coles and Woolworths in walking distance. Getting a ‘Go Card’ is essential. It is your transportation card for getting around, especially with a bus station right on campus. It is very cheap, id even say cheaper than having to fill up a tank here. I use to bus for getting to various places such as Sunshine Plaza, or the near by cities like Brisbane and Gold Coast.

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Friends around Varsity are always wanting to explore, with lots of them being Aussie, its easy to get rides to lots of beautiful close by places like Kondalilla, Buderim Falls, Glass House Mountains, Mount Coolum, Gardner falls, Mooloolaba Beach, Kawana, and Noosa.

This all started last January when I took a spontaneous road trip with one of my friends Phil down to Miami which was the first time I’ve really ever traveled anywhere significant. Right after that trip, I got the travel bug and set out to study abroad, and six months later we both ended up here in Australia. Coming here was actually the first time I was ever on a plane, already starting jumping out of comfort zones, I was instantly excited for what Aussie had to offer for me. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been having the best time of my life, and I would recommend this experience to anyone.

One recommendation to try and get into the class ‘OES104 Learning Australian Landscapes’ with Prof Munge. An international friend I met here recommended it to me and it is a class where you go on camping trips to places such as Cooloola, Fraser Island, and you even go kayaking and rock climbing. Its just another way to pack some amazing adventures into your abroad experience along with what all the awesome people at USC International have been doing for us.

– Marc Graziano @marcgrazz

Delaram Shah Hosseini, Sara Sajadi & Franziska Kemper from the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer in Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Us three girls from the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer in Germany, had the opportunity to choose from several partner universities to spend our semester abroad. The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) was the most attractive one due to its Diploma in Business program and excellent education rewards. With the completion of four courses at USC and getting full credit for 30 ECTS of courses we have completed in Germany we were able to complete a Diploma at the USC within one semester, instead of two.

The perks of studying at the USC were the variety of different courses one can choose from, its great lecturers that provided constant support and help as well as the general services provided to students.

Beside the university, the beautiful surroundings consisting of various beaches and national parks were also a bonus.

We can recommend everyone who wants to have a life changing experience to spend a semester abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

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Benjamin Koberstein from the University of Applied Sciences Landshut in Germany studying a Bachelor of Business at USC Sunshine Coast

G’day,

My name is Benny, I’m 26 and study International Business in Germany. The last two semesters of my Bachelor degree have been at USC and therefore in Queensland, Australia. Studying here is totally different from the system back in Germany as in addition to the regular lectures there are tutorials for every subject. Furthermore there are mostly three tasks/assignments in every course, consisting of reports, presentations and exams. Most of the lecturers know you by name and will support you with any questions you may have. There are actually kangaroos hanging around on campus almost every day which are the main attraction for all international as well as new students.

I lived in an apartment close to the beach and everything else that makes Mooloolaba and the Sunshine Coast so lovely. There are a lot of cafes, restaurants and bars on the ‘Mooloolaba Esplanade’ offering amazing views of the ocean. For a few months I worked at a German restaurant/café and enjoyed getting to know the local people and their culture as well as all the travellers around. The summer (Nov-Feb) is hot and humid; the winter is still warm and enjoyable. Queensland calls itself ‘The Sunshine State’ which perfectly describes the  lifestyle around here. In all semester breaks I’ve been travelling around Australia and enjoyed this beautiful country. I learned how to surf, went to footy-games (rugby league for non-Australians) and met koalas and kangaroos on bushwalks.

I could write another 100 pages about the amazing time here, but I would say – come Down Under and live the dream on your own.

Cheers mates!!

Benny

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