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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Friederike Heuer from the University of Applied Sciences Europe in Germany studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi, I’m Friederike Heuer (@alien_in_the_machine) and I was studying a Diploma in General Studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Just like other international students, I began my semester studying abroad but I then got the chance to upgrade and study the diploma program instead (which was one of the main reasons to why I chose USC over other Universities). Normally, I study Illustration at the University of Applied Sciences Germany in Hamburg and are now about to finish my Bachelor of Arts.

As you probably already know, the USC campus is located in Queensland on the east coast of Australia, 1 hour north of Brisbane by car. When I arrived there, Sippy Downs was facing a heat wave that continued for the orientation week, to then change for rain three weeks straight. However, after this, you will notice that the whole area is just unrealistically beautiful, and the same goes for the campus (just have a look at the photos everyone is sharing, they are no joke).

As some students have already described, there are a lot of kangaroos on campus. Unfortunately, I only came across them once on my whole stay so you either need to be around campus very early in the morning, or spend some time looking for them. Moreover, there are a lot of loud parrots living around the student accommodations and especially around UniCentral, and not to mention the magpies – be aware of those, they are no joke!

Student_Guild_Noosa_HeadsWhen settling in, my flatmates were of great help with showing me around and explaining how everything works, over and over again (don’t worry, I’m not stupid – just anxious and have a tendency to ask for the same thing over and over again, which is very typical for anxious persons – sorry guys, I hope you weren’t too annoyed by me). On the other hand: TAKE PART in the welcome events organized by USC and USC International! You’ll learn so much on those events and get even more for free, you’ll make hundreds of new friends (just don’t forget to befriend them on Instagram/Facebook 😉) and you’ll get to know who is living together with you at the same accommodation and who to contact when you have the urge to party. If you really want to get to know the most beautiful surrounding places, do yourself the favour and join EVERY event organized by the Student Guild. You’ll get the chance to see all the places cheaper than normally, have an organized trip and you won’t need to worry about transportation or food.

I undertook four courses while studying at USC and had to pass three assignments per course. This is quite a big difference, compared to studying at UE in Germany, since I was used to only having to pass one assignment per course. This difference was a challenge as I felt like I haven’t had enough time to build up new knowledge and finish the assignments in a quality similar to the one I had to stick to at my home university (note: I did three of my four courses in game art instead of illustration, so I had to learn all the programs and the industry practice).

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While studying at USC, I didn’t have the chance to travel a lot and once the Corona restrictions kicked in, I wasn’t able to visit the planned travel sites with my Flatmates anymore. Unfortunately, I continued studying online from home as I had to leave mid-semester and wasn’t able to complete my on-campus studies in Australia.

However, I really hope I’ll get the chance to come back one day and travel to all the places I wasn’t able to visit at my first stay.

Please enjoy your stay at USC, study hard and go travel whenever you can – there’s no worst regret than not haven seen those places.

Lots of love,

Friederike @alien_in_the_machine

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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.

Buddina

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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Philip De Simone from Bridgewater State University in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

CaptureHi, My name is Philip De Simone, and I am from the United states. I am studying Communications and Business at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. I am currently studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC Sunshine Coast) Below are my top 5 things you need to do when you get to Australia!

5 things you MUST do during your time abroad in Australia!

1. Surf in Noosa Heads

Noosa Heads is a coastal town and suburb of the Shire of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. It’s about a 2 hour bus ride or 45 minutes with a car to get to the Noosa beaches. These beaches are some of the most beautiful beaches i’ve ever seen and the surf is amazing for a beginner surfer! You can find cheap used surfboards on Facebook or an APP called Gumtree, a community marketplace where you can buy and sell items! You can also rent surfboards and get lessons in Noosa. I recommend getting a longer board if your first starting. Try around 7-8 foot because they’re more buoyant and easier to learn on.

2. Visit Ocean Street’s ‘The Post Office’

One of the biggest questions you may ask yourself when getting ready to study abroad is “Will I fit in?” USC offers tons of events and an orientation week where you will have the chance to meet fellow Uni students. If you’re living at the Varsity or Uni Central apartments you will have the opportunity every Thursday night to get a free ride to Ocean street! Thursday nights is Uni night and the nightlife on Ocean street is popping. I recommend going to The Post Office for the best music. The community there is local, friendly and accepting to all!

3. Visit Australia Zoo

Don’t sleep on Australian Zoo! The Australia Zoo is a 1,000-acre zoo located in the Australian state of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast near Beerwah/Glass House Mountains. The zoo has a bunch of things to do like the Crocoseum where you can watch the world-famous Wildlife Warriors show at noon with all the slithering, swooping, jaw-snapping action of saltwater crocodiles, birds and snakes. And yes, you can get the best Instagram selfie with a Kangaroo! at Roo Heaven and Hand-Feed the Kangaroos. But if you don’t make it to the Zoo you can find these guys hopping all around the Uni.

4. Travel to Surfers Paradise

 Surfers Paradise is a bit of a hike from USC but it’s definitely worth sending it out there with a good squad of friends! While At Surfers paradise you can get wrecked at the beaches by huge waves or walk through hundreds of shops in the area. The Gold Coast is famed for its long sandy beaches, surfing spots and inland canals and waterways. It’s also home to theme parks such as Dreamworld, SeaWorld and Wet’n’Wild!

5. Try Vegemite

This is the most Australian food there is. Chances are if you’re like everyone else, one whiff of this stuff and you’ll turn it down. This was not the case for me though, I learned to love the stuff! I think it’s best prepared in the following way.

  • vege.jpgStep 1: Get a nice piece of bread from the Red Frogs (you’ll understand who they are later.) – Toast it
  • Step 2. Take a fat chunk of butter and season the toast with it
  • Step 3. Is the most important step! Spread a small layer of vegemite on toast! DO NOT OVER DO IT!
  • Step 4. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top!
  • Step 5. Enjoy 😉

Vegemite is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacturing, and various vegetable and spice additives. The taste may be described as salty, slightly bitter, and malty.

– Philip De Simone @philipdesimone

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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

Olivia O’Neil from Goucher College in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_0314Hi there! I’m Olivia O’Neil and I’m from New York City in the United States of America! I got to Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland and here at USC Sunshine Coast, I’m studying a Diploma in General Studies for 1 semester.

For years I’ve dreamed about coming to Australia, and when the opportunity to study abroad at USC presented itself, I knew I had to take full advantage!

IMG_6671Being from New York City, and not really being around wildlife at all, made coming to USC and Australia in general a wild transition for me. I mean, walking to a lecture and see a kangaroo hopping around is still mind blowing to me. I could just go for a walk and never get bored of the scenery and all of the beautiful nature.

Something that had been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember, was to go to the Australia Zoo, so the second I found out about the Student Guild trip, I was thrilled! The kangaroo feeding was so amazing, and the crocodile show was so captivating! I mean, to be able to feed and pat kangaroos is crazy!

IMG_9324One of the first day trips I took when I arrived was a hike to the summit of Mount Ngungun with some friends. Mount Ngungun is 253 meters high and was so gorgeous at the top! I could see so far out at farms and the surrounding Glasshouse Mountains.

My main takeaway from studying at USC is to always put yourself out there and try new things. Now, that may sound pretty generic, or cheesy, but it’s honestly so true. You need to just take a leap of faith and have as many new experiences as you can. At the end of the day, it’s your experiences that shape you as a person, so you need to do things that excite you and let yourself be free! Before I came to Australia, I had just been to the United States and Canada, which are very cool, but flying across the globe and going to a new institution, in a completely new country and not knowing another soul, really forced me to put myself out there and meet new people. This was totally scary when I first arrived, but now, I’m so glad I did it and feel like I’ve grown so much as a person.

IMG_4773– Olivia O’neil

 

Francesca Iannacone from Elon University in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetHi! My name is Francesca Iannacone, and I am a New Yorker who studies Psychology at Elon University in North Carolina. I am currently studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC Sunshine Coast).

I want to share some helpful tips I have for anyone who is considering studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast for a semester or longer;

  1. Be flexible in your normal routine: If you are studying abroad at USC or have never attended university before get ready to switch up your normal routine. The really cool part about studying in a new environment is all the new people and places you are exposed to. Mentally prepare for spending your time in new ways. Personally, I use journaling and exercise to give myself structured time to gear up for and reflect on the new ways my time and energy is being spent.
  2. Leave your phone at home: I recently dropped my phone in the water while I was untying a boat from a dock in Mooloolaba and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I fortunately had an insurance policy on the phone so I have been able to truly enjoy this past week without a phone. I did not fully realise how my phone removes me from the present moment until I let myself have a few days without it. If this intimidates you, remember that you are not alone in that feeling, but know that it could be just the thing you need to get the most out of your Australia experience while studying at USC. I have started emailing my family and friends when I need to reach them. I honestly may never go back to using my phone the way I used to (also known as scrolling through Instagram and Snapchatting every free moment I have)
  3. NMC2ja37T7KZjTBPV+7aegGive yourself the chance to meet new people: Whether you are coming with a friend to USC or not, I suggest opening up to the idea of making new friends. Personally, I came to USC with my best friend who I also live with, but we make conscious decisions to branch off and make new friends both together and separately. It is easy to stay in your comfort zone, but is it satisfying? If the answer is no, then use that as motivation to start meeting new people who can help expand your social circle.
  4. Take advantage of the outdoors: This morning I realised I have had almost every single one of my meals at USC outside. I live in the student housing and will always have meals I make at home on my porch. The Sunshine Coast has beautiful weather year round and I try to soak it up as much as I can. I have found that spending my time outside has helped improve my mood overall. Being in good spirits while at school is vital to your studies and will help make classes less burdensome and more enjoyable.
  5. K+GFdZ2JS7agb%+sBTDrOwOpen up weekends for travel: I scheduled my classes so that my weekend begins on Thursday. Everyone has different options when it comes to class times, but I highly recommend creating space in your schedule to take long weekend trips. I have been fortunate enough to visit the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Byron Bay, and soon Bali. None of these trips would have been possible if I had classes every day of the week. You are at USC to study and as a study abroad student, consider travel as a part of your education. I have learned so much on my excursions outside of the Sunshine Coast both about myself and Australia. I encourage everyone to have these experiences.

USC is a truly inspiring place to study and I hope these tips help any reader optimise their experience while here!

– Francesca Iannacone

Jessica Mulligan from Montclair State University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

img_8866.jpgHey everyone! My name is Jessica Mulligan and I’m a junior at Montclair State University in the United States. I spent my junior year spring semester studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast. I have always dreamed about going to Australia one day and I was lucky enough to come study here for 5 months. I have had the best times in Australia and I am so sad it is coming to an end. I met so many great people and formed so many friendships that will last a lifetime. I met people from all around the world and learned so many new things from living in another country. I made so many friends in Australia that live in the United States and I am excited to continue those friendships when we return.

One of my favourite places I went during my study abroad time was the Australia Zoo. I purchased a season pass the first time I went and it was the best decision I made. I went to the zoo all the time with the friends that I met here. I held a koala, feed kangaroos, met a tortoise up close, watched the Irwin Family feed the crocs during Easter weekend, fed a giraffe, took some photos and meet the dingos and pet a cheetah. I showed my friends and family that visited the zoo as well, and they loved it just as much as I did. Every time I went to the zoo I was able to see something different.

IMG_3452I also had the opportunity to travel all along the east coast of Australia throughout my time here. I hung out on the beach in Mooloolaba, hiked to swim in the fairy pools in Noosa, spent a weekend in the Gold Coast with my friends, went on a trip to Byron Bay with Adventure Dudes and went skydiving. I spent mid semester break in Airlie Beach, Whitsundays and went to Whitehaven beach to see the swirling sands. I went to a Post Malone concert in Brisbane with some of my friends and spent the weekend there exploring the city. My best friend from home came to visit me in Australia and while she was here we went to Melbourne for the weekend and toured Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles. My boyfriend from home came to visit me in Australia as well, and we went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns. I explored Fraser Island for a weekend and saw so many beautiful things and my last adventure was traveling to Sydney to see the Sydney Opera House with my mom before we head back home to the US.

IMG_3954I am so grateful that I was able to have the opportunity to study abroad in Australia at the University of the Sunshine Coast. I met so many new people and formed some great friendships over the few months that I have been here. I saw so many beautiful places and experienced some pretty amazing adventures along the way. I had the time of my life and I will always remember this experience for the rest of my life.

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Vera Trutmann from the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons in Switzerland studying at USC Sunshine Coast

I am currently studying Tourism at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons, Switzerland. My university has a partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), where students are able to study in Australia for a year and graduate with an additional Bachelor. Thankfully, I got accepted for the double degree program and here I am.

The USC campus is located in Sippy Downs and is surrounded by nature where various animals can be seen. In contrast to most universities in Switzerland, the facilities are in one place and all the buildings are close to each other. In General, the courses are held in two hours’ lectures and one-hour tutorials. The professors are highly proficient and always helpful whenever they can. In addition to the lessons, the campus offers a variety of sports activities such as a fitness studio, an athletic facility, and an Olympic size swimming pool. Swimming in the pool after class was a great way for me to find a balance to my everyday university life.

Additionally, the beaches along the Coast are quite easy to reach by bus or car. What is a wonderful cooling down in the summer months is also wonderful during winter, as there is never snow on the Sunshine Coast.

I already travelled to Australia in the summer of 2017, so during my studies I only visit the places I liked best nearby. My favourite spots are Rainbow Beach and Byron Bay. Rainbow Beach is only 1.5 hours away and offers a beautiful campsite and sand dunes with a fantastic sea view. Byron Bay, it requires a 3-hour drive and you will arrive at a place with an open and pleasant ambience. Furthermore, the beaches and lighthouse trail are also worth a visit.

In summary, the USC offers everything I was looking for and it has been a good decision for my international degree program.

Annelin Sætre from HVL Sogndal in Norway studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi, I’m Annelin and I’m an international student at the University of the Sunshine Coast. The University I’m studying at in Norway (HVL) gave me the opportunity to take the last of six semesters in my bachelor degree abroad. This is what I am doing now, and I am so glad Iimage6 took that opportunity!

I am doing a Diploma in General Studies, and my impression of the courses, teachers and the University in general is really good. The teachers is genuine and willing to help with whatever you need help for. The campus looks new and with lots of cafes and other places to buy lunch and other refreshments. There are a wide selection of places to sit and study both indoor and outdoor, and if you need help for anything the library is ready to help. With such a nice campus it is easier to motivate to do your studies.

As an international my ambitions of this semester was to combine the studies with traveling and exploring the country. University of the Sunshine Coast has a great system for making this possible by giving the students the chance of partly fixing their own timetable and give us the overview of the whole semester plan and assessment due dates in the start of the semester. This makes it easier for us students to plan our eventures.

Australia has so much to offer and is a country of opportunities. If you like beaches, hikes, city life or outbacks, Australia has it all! So far I have had time to explore many different places in Australia and this country just keeps impressing me. I have been to image4cities like Brisbane and Sydney, lots of beautiful beaches along the east coast, hikes in national parks, camping in the outback in the Northern Territory and it is still lots to see and experience. The latter is definitely my favourite so far. Me and a friend, another international girl I got to know here in Australia, decided to do a 5 days trip to the Uluru area. From when I was a kid, I have had this picture of Australia as a dry, warm place with just lots of sand and desert. I remember I learned of this big red rock in the middle of nowhere in primary school and I remember how distant it felt like to learn about something on the other side of the world. Now I have finally got to see this place in real life, and it was so awesome!

To do a semester abroad at USC is definitely something I can recommend to everybody. It is a perfect opportunity to explore new places, experience new cultures and meet lots of wonderful people. I will never regret that I did a semester abroad in the Sunshine Coast, it has been an adventure which I am really thankful I had the chance to experience!

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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