I decided to come to the Sunshine Coast because, first of all, I had heard many positive things from former students of my school, and I wanted to leave the city. I have lived in Paris for 21 years, and with the option to live near the beach, surrounded by exotic animals such as kangaroos and koalas, made me dream. Moreover, the campus is large and full of greenery, and living in such a place is an incredible opportunity. In the end, I didn’t hesitate once and decided to come to USC.
Places I’ve explored
It is very easy in Australia to make friends, so I was lucky enough to be able to discover several incredible places near the Sunshine Coast. Indeed, during the holidays, I was able to do a road trip to the Whitsundays, which are islands in the north of the Sunshine coast. I am surprised at the size of the country. On the map it doesn’t seem that far away. Noosa, being my favourite place for the moment, is nevertheless closer to USC, which is a huge opportunity because the beaches are heavenly.
Another of my great memories is when I first arrived at USC were being able to touch a kangaroo, a snake and a koala brought to campus by Wildlife HQ Zoo during Orientation Week. It was a wonderful welcome! Surfing at Alexandra Headlands is also one of our favourite pastimes here, and I must admit that I’m not disappointed because that’s exactly what I thought of Australian life. During our road trip, we also saw Rainbow beach, which is a huge beach, with colours on the hill, yet another breathtaking landscape. At Cape Hillsborough, we saw kangaroos on the beach, and it was once again an unexpected and feasible experience only in Australia.
Unfortunately, some of my friends will have to leave in a few months because they are here for only 6 months, but I am very happy to be here until June 2020 because leaving in a few months would have given me a feeling of unfinished business. There are so many beautiful places to discover.
When I leave, I will miss the kangaroos, the teachers (who, unlike my country, are very close to the students and really want to help them and make them progress), the kindness of the Australians, and the landscapes like nowhere else…
In conclusion, this beginning of adventure and studies in Australia is only positive and I look forward to better discover this country I love. I couldn’t have dreamt of a better way to break my Parisian routine and go on an adventure!
Bonjour! My name is Anaëlle Bouresas, I’m 20-years-old and born in France, in the middle of romantic agricultural landscapes. I am currently doing a 2-year advertising degree in the beautiful town of Nancy, the French capital of the dukes. Since I was 15 years old, I’ve always dreamed about studying for one year (or more) abroad. To reach that goal, I decided to create my own opportunity and become an international student. In July 2019, thanks to the International program of Studies UP, I jumped on a plane to the other side of the world: Australia. I left France to realise my dream and study for one year in Australia, more specifically a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Advertising at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC Sunshine Coast).
University of Sunshine Coast is located on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland, not far from beautiful beaches and amazing natural reserves. It has a very relaxed atmosphere as people are nice and open-minded, enjoying their daily life and sharing good time with their friends. Teachers are very available and desirous to help their students. And do you want to know a bonus about this student paradise? Each day you can see some adorable kangaroos jumping around on campus! Around the campus, there is also a lot to do. I advise you to visit the beautiful Noosa National Park and it’s incredible landscape, go to the zoo and travel to Brisbane, an amazing city with a lot of things to do and see.
When I first arrived here, I was of course very nervous. I was afraid that I wouldn’t meet anyone and that I would fail this year of study as it is a completely different country and it’s way of learning and studying. However, I quickly got rid of that fear. Indeed, even though I didn’t know anyone when arrived, like most of the students here, I got the chance to meet a lot of people from different countries, ethnicities and cultures. It is very easy to get to know people and make friends as everyone is very open-minded and desirous to meet new people and to share their experiences with others. The Orientation week is the perfect start to meet people. During that week, there are a lot of activities, especially designed to give you the opportunity to meet other domestic and international students. Meeting other people can also give you the opportunity to go on a road trip around Australia and even to visit countries just nearby, just like I did when I went to New Zealand during the mid-semester break!
Honestly, I warmly recommend everyone who is considering going for a year or a semester abroad to just GO FOR IT! It is one of the best experiences of my life and I’m so glad I made the choice to come to study in Australia. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn and practice English, to get an international diploma in a field of study that you enjoy, and to experience the exceptional Australian Nature. Lastly, you will also get new friends from all over the world.
My name is Charlotte Malgrange and I am a 21-year-old French student studying here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). When I found out that my university back in France (INSEEC Lyon) had a partnership with USC, I immediately knew I had to apply. Living in Australia had been one of the things I most wanted to do and this was the perfect occasion for it.
The University of the Sunshine Coast has so much to offer. The professor-student relationships are based on trust and help, which makes the whole academic system even more pleasant. Moreover, it is a very common thing to see kangaroos on campus which is the best way to start your day.
The Sunshine Coast is undeniably beautiful: it has amazing beaches such as Mooloolaba, delicious food places, amazing waterfalls and lookouts. Everyone is very friendly and outgoing, and the sunny coast vibe is an actual thing and it is amazing.
During my semester I had the chance to visit wonderful places, Noosa being my favourite by far. I went on a road trip up north, visited Airlie beach, the Whitsundays, Gladstone, Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay. I had unique experiences such as skydiving over Noosa and spending a day on a Catamaran in the Whitsundays.
Although most of the Sunshine Coast is made out of plants, kangaroos, birds and trees, it has a very relaxing vibe that makes you feel like you belong here. It is also very close to Brisbane, one of the largest cities in Australia, and the Gold Coast which is about two hours away. So, it is possible to escape the peri-urban area for a few days and see different types of environments.
I am planning on going to Sydney and Melbourne as soon as exams are done, and I am sure I will love it there as much as I loved it here.
The Sunshine Coast is a small paradise on earth. The university is located in the heart of a nature reserve, so it has become common practice to meet a few kangaroos on the way to school. Even if the setting to study is magnificent, I was looking forward to the mid-semester break to discover a little more about the Australian coast.
With 4 other friends, we embarked on the adventure and decided to organise a mini road-trip. Small problem, we remain students and had only small savings. That’s why I decided today to share with you our secrets for a…
… 6-day road trip ON BUDGET!
Day 1: We are on a bus at 7:30 am to Maroochydore airport to pick up the car we rented. After checking that everyone was on board, we drove towards Hervey Bay where we walked around on the beach. In the evening, we slept in a great backpacker in Agnes Water: Cool Bananas Backpackers.
Day 2: Wake up at dawn to start our journey to Rockhampton, a cute city far from the coast. We then set off on an adventure in the sublime Capricorn caves. A magical experience in a spectacular setting.
Day 3: We boarded a catamaran where we met up with a dozen of our friends who are also studying at USC. After two hours of sailing, we were able to admire the beauty of the Whitsundays Island seabed.
Day 4: Who said that holidays are for resting all day on a beach? Wake up at 4:30 am to watch the sunrise on Cape Hillsborough Beach. The highlight of the show, a dozen kangaroos at sunrise to magnify this extraordinary show.
Day 5: It’s time to get closer to the Sunshine Coast. What could be better than a great hike to Mount Walsh. After a meeting with a snake on the path that led us to the top of the mountain, we were able to admire the view of the Australian countryside.
Day 6: Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. We spent this last day of vacation on the beautiful beach of Rainbow Beach. A detour not to be missed!
I hope these few photos will make you want to discover the beautiful landscapes of Queensland! If you have more questions and want some insider tips, feel free to contact me! @morganelouet
Forecast announced a sunny weekend, as usual for more than 300 days a year on the sunshine coast. We decide, after 3 weeks in Australia, to organize our first “true” adventure. A few researches quickly led us toward the Great Sandy National Park, 150km North of our position.
This 200 000 km2, including the famous Fraser Island and Rainbow beach, seems to have the features that appeals to us: adventure and discovery.
Order of operations is as follow: departure at dawn on Sunday, followed by a visit of Rainbow Beach (1) before exploring the northern part of the park for the rest of the day. We would return on Monday morning, after a night at Teewah Beach (3).
I) Rainbow Beach.
After two hours on the road, we finally arrived at our first checkpoint: Rainbow Beach. Named this way due to its coloured sand dunes, holding various minerals, the city has only been accessible by road since 1969, allowing the tourism market to develop.
After a small stop at the main beach, we head out South-West towards Carlo Sandblow. From there, we went on a small hike in the rainforest. The forest came to an end. Before us, a breathtaking view. Hidden in the centre of the forest was an enormous sand expanse, stretching across hundreds of meters, reaching to the sea.
From this point of view, we see our next destination: the lighthouse on the northern peninsula of the park.
Back at Rainbow Beach and after a quick fill up of the gas tank, we drive to Freshwater Road, our entrance point in the Park.
II) Access to the beach and the lighthouse.
We enter Freshwater Road, an asphalt road relatively wide to our surprise. However, after only a few hundreds of meters, we end up on a three meters wide gravel road, still two-way.
We make halt, deflate the tires and go into 4WD mode. Relatively easy at first, the road was changing in front of our eyes to a path across the rainforest. The nature taking back what was hers as we advanced, we discover with apprehension and excitation an Australian speciality: off-road driving.
Turns become hairpins, slopes become steeper and steeper and the track, first made of dirt and rocks, turns into loose sand. Over weighed by our gear, Jerry (our Nissan X-Trail) does not yield and takes on every obstacle with success.
After roughly 10 km and half an hour in this jungle, we finally arrive at the Day Recreation Area, where we stop to deflate the tires even more.
At a few dozens of meters lied the much-wanted beach. Getting back on board, we head up towards the beach.
What a feeling. Stretching as far as the eye can see, the sandy expanse offered a breathtaking view, without anything to spoil this instant. To our left, the sand dune. To our right, the turquoise water of the Pacific Ocean. The hard sand was holding the car’s weight, providing an unmatched feeling of softness (it feels like we are in a softener ad).
A few kilometres brought us to the northern end of the beach, at the foot of the lighthouse. The incoming tide leads us to park as far as possible of the ocean, in a soft sand. After nearly getting stuck in the sand, we notice immediately that our Nissan X-Trail is the smallest vehicle on the beach, pale in comparison of the Jeep and Land Rovers.
After a quick lunch, we put on our backpacks on and follow the track leading to the lighthouse. The open view offered us the best sight of the day when whales appeared, blowing and jumping out of the water for several minutes.
Coming back down on the beach, we encountered a turtle which was diving under the incessant waves to feed.
Leaving this idyllic place, when now head out south, along the never-ending beach. After roughly fifteen kilometres, we catch sight of the entrance of Teewah Beach, where you can camp for the night. More than ten kilometres in length, the area shall be our anchor point for the night. After exploring the beach in all its length, we decide to stop under the trees lining the beach.
We are alone. The sound of the waves and wind for only company, we admire the sunset feet in water.
The night falling quickly, we prepare Jerry for the night. The bed is already set, we only need to install makeshift curtains to the windows and a mosquito net to the sunroof.
Then came the time to prepare dinner. The gas cooker boils a pot of water for our three-stars meal. Nothing innovative: a bag of pasta and a pot of bolognese sauce do the job.
The day was long, Auriane went to bed, but it is out of the question for me to sleep. The Great sandy National Park enjoys near-total darkness, with very few light pollution, allowing me to capture the totality of the night sky. My schedule for the night is tightly packed: five different targets will demand a constant work from 6pm to 3am, leaving me about two and a half hours of sleep.
The gear up and running, I start to image nights capes in the hope to pay homage to the beauty of the place.
Thus, I decide to target a part of the Milky Way, which is invisible from the northern hemisphere, rising above the forest. Later, I would target for a few dozen minutes the Eta Carinae Nebula Complex along with the Southern Cross constellation.
11pm. The moonless night should be inscrutable to the eye. In reality I can see pretty well. The Milky Way along with bio luminescent algae in the ocean gives of enough light for the human eye to see, allowing for movements without headlamp.
It is in this kind of environment that visual observation makes perfect sense. Once my eyes accustomed, I can resolve the gas clouds in our galactic core, various star clusters and even some nebulae.
Then came the moment I was waiting for. The most important target of the night was here: a conjunction between Jupiter and the Scorpius constellation. The camera is configured to automatically take sixty exposures, totalling roughly one hour of data integration. I take advantage of this time to sleep for a while.
I go on the other targets with the same scheme, in the company of the crabs that live on the beach, before finally going to sleep at 3am.
5:30am. The alarm clock goes off. We get up with difficulty in order to witness the sunrise. The scene is breathtaking. The few clouds on the ocean multiply the beauty of the dawn. We are still alone, and the view induce our minds into thinking we are alone on a desert island.
7am. After the breakfast, we tidy up our gear and prepare for the return to Sunshine Coast.
This time, Auriane drives on the forest track. Once on the rainbow beach road, I nickname her Sébastien Loeb (in reference of the nine-time French rally world champion) for her driving style and quality as well as her precision in difficult parts of the track.
Once the tank filled all the way up and the tires inflated, we leave the park, happy to have lived such an adventure.
Coming to France was probably one of the biggest transitions in my life. I’m not sure how, or when, or why, but the decision to pack up my life, ship myself off, and change what I know as normal, was one that wasn’t taken lightly. From everything from the stay in my new city, the studies, and my relationships with students, everything has been a journey and one which has changed me and helped me grow as a person.
My initial experiences in France weren’t all that positive. As soon as I had arrived, I had left my passport and wallet on the local bus. Through my tears, I had been greeted, or at least that’s what I thought, by a receptionist that spoke not one word of English. It was confronting, it was scary, it was intimidating, and at that point I was hit with the overwhelming realisation that I was now living in a different country, with a different language, and I literally had no way of communicating with these people.
I filled my first few weeks just trying to stabilise myself and gain a routine. I didn’t know anyone, it was sometimes hard to communicate, and I felt lonely from the beginning. Coming from a place of sunshine and beaches, and people who say hello just as you walk past them on the street, to a small village filled with granite architecture and a society that can be very different from home, I spent most of my days in my room, just wishing I could connect with another person to learn about this scary experience I was now a part of. However, it wasn’t until I started university at IDRACthat I learnt why I came to France in the first place. There is something about going through an experience, the emotions, the roller coaster that is moving overseas, that bonds people together for life. This is what I had with my fellow international students. You live through these moments with one another, support yourself, support each other, and grow as people amongst the chaos.
From little things like going to coffee, doing group assignments, sharing a wine when things get stressful, and having someone to hug even when you feel like your life is falling apart, are the things that make the stressful moments just that much more positive. I am so lucky to say I have made some friends that I will have for life, and even more thankful that their cultures are a far cry from what I am used to. I guess I have plenty of holiday destinations for years to come, plenty of foods to try, families to meet, and experiences to have, and that gives me a future I am excited to be a part of.
At least within the next two months I’ll be visiting, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Austria, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey and Croatia, but have already conquered Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, Belgium, England, and obviously France during the semester. Just a few countries on the list and many experiences to talk about soon…
I arrived at Brisbane airport on the 13th of July 2016, in the middle of the night, alone and full of worries.
When I arrived at Varsity, the accommodation I rented, my first reaction was “What an earth am I doing here?”. I fell asleep in a bed that wasn’t even mine, wondering what was going to happen to me. The following day, I met my two flatmates: a couple, an American girl and a 100% Aussie guy and they immediately took me under their wing. We became a little family.
Over the weeks, I discovered the « Sunny Coast »: beaches, hikes, climbing, restaurants with friends, exactly what I imagined Australian way of life would be originally. I also tasted student life in Australia: Uni-nights, volley competitions where I met people from all around the world.
Life on campus was just as pleasant, seeing kangaroos as I was going to school was a big change from Paris !
I had the opportunity to travel during the summer break: Whitsundays, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and even Bali!
Of course I had some hard times, for example driving in to my garage door. Hard times that become memories…
I have learned a lot about myself this year: I freed myself from timidity and discretion by socializing! It has been such a good thing for me. The hardest part will be going back home and leaving the Coast, my Australian family and my new friends behind.
Coming to Australia has always been my dream, a dream that came true… Thank you USC !
At some point in the second semester of my business degree, I was sitting in lecture theatre one listening to a past student talking about their study abroad experience and how it was integral to what eventually became their career. I had the idea floating around in my head about how awesome studying abroad would be, and that I had always wanted to make it part of my undergrad experience – but on that day it really hit me: I was absolutely going to miss out on a life changing opportunity if I let this pass me by. From that point on I started harassing Brenton and the USC internationals team at an alarmingly heavy rate. At this stage I knew so little about anything regarding making it happen, all I knew was that I wanted to go. Beyond that I was left with little more than question marks and a lot of blank forms to be completed, and I still didn’t know where I wanted to go. The USC internationals team helped me work my way through every stage of the process, and I began to start seeing more and more green lights, going from wondering “Could this happen? Can I do this?” to “It’s happening, it’s actually happening”.
I have been living in Paris for four months now and I can not emphasise enough how valuable the decision I made sitting in the USC lecture theatre has become. The road to getting here, and cutting out a small life for myself in Paris, has been one of the most incredibly challenging and overwhelmingly rewarding things I have ever done.
I have been studying at Novancia, a vibrant and exciting business school in the heart of Paris. I have found it to be an incredible learning experience that is hands-on, immersive, and incredibly fun. I have been studying courses under some teachers who are world renowned experts in their fields, all the while pushing myself in ways I could never have imagined. If you’re lucky like I have been, you may even have the distraction of a view of the Eiffel Tower during class! I have made amazing friendships with other internationals, as well as the local Parisian students, who love to work, and love to help us live, laugh, and party afterwards. For me, this has been one of the best things to help me embrace living in this truly ever-amazing city.
I live in the East of Paris. My day starts with coffee and a petit déjeuner from my local boulangerie. If I am not riding my bike to school, I walk coffee in hand through cobblestoned streets to Passy metro station. Crossing the River Seine, I usually don’t take my eyes off the Eiffel until its out of view. If it’s a great day, any number of amazing musicians fill the carriages with music. Novancia is a 15-minute metro ride on my line, however the school is well connected by numerous metro lines running through Montparnasse-Bienvenue, so a large majority of the city is accessible directly. Novancia is in a very modern and bright building, with fantastic amenities and even better student associations. I am regularly cutting through the social events that are constantly taking place in the school, whether it’s DJ’s spinning between classes while people hand out crepes and coffee, or bands playing music in the main auditorium. Some days I hit the school gym. Most days I hit the cafeteria.
The classes run longer than at USC, going for at least 3 hours. I came to love the longer classes however, as it meant I concentrated my energy on getting my coursework done, to free up more time to explore the city.
When I’m in no hurry to get home I usually like to pick a direction and just wander the streets, discovering new things along the way. In the warmer months, getting home normally involved a few friends from school, a few bottles of wine, a couple of fresh baguettes and some delicious fromage, and chilling in one of the parks or on the edge of the Seine. Within easy walking distance from school is the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, or Luxembourg gardens.
This is a brief snapshot of the things that make this city worth the challenge, in my personal opinion. I won’t sugar coat it. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s manageable with determination – and it teaches you to be frugal. Yes, there is the occasional communication barrier (I’m learning a bit more French every day!), but it adds to the adventure. Yes, there has been some unfortunate headlines about this wonderful city recently, but I haven’t walked any streets that have made me feel unsafe. Yes, I have felt like I was going to explode with frustration from my encounters with the various French bureaucratic and administrative entities, but between the help available from USC and Novancia, and my own persistence, these challenges have become less and less worrisome.
If you’re contemplating studying overseas as part of your undergraduate experience, I could not urge you enough to find the moment of clarity where you realise there are not very many opportunities in life to do something as profoundly rewarding as living a life in another country, another culture. Not just as a tourist, not just as a passer by, but as a living breathing part of some other part of the world. If you’re thinking about this, the same way I was thinking about it in lecture theatre one back in my second semester, I strongly insist you go talk to the USC international team and have a chat. Maybe even print out some application forms, you never know where you might just end up.
During the two weeks break, I decided to go to New Zealand: first of all, because I’m a huge fan of Rugby and the Rugby World Cup is being held over there; second, because it is a very beautiful country. I was only there for five days because that is all I could afford but, the best five days I’ve had in a long time!
It’s always good to take a good break from Uni, that way you come back stronger and with more motivation. My friends and I went to the Auckland Region on the North Island. We drove around a bit in order to get the most out of the five days and we saw some beautiful sceneries. We drove into the different wineries north of Auckland in Kumeu and tasted some divine wine! Was able to bring some back from my parents as well, so that’s good news! Of course, since I’m a big rugby fan and support my country 150%, we went to a rugby game: France – All blacks (NZ team). We lost. Still worth it though because the feeling you get being part of 60 000 other rugby fans chanting, laughing, dancing to support a team is magical!
To get over the game, we went to the French team’s hotel, thought we might see a few heads pop out of a window a few times. We were way luckier than what we thought since we were able to get more than 15 pictures and autographs!! Good day I must say! And then it was the end. But I’m glad I had the opportunity to go to such a beautiful and welcoming country. They have such a unique culture, the Maori culture, it was rewarding to learn about everything they had to teach and offer. One of the most welcoming countries I have been to!
For anyone wanting to study communication at USC, you will learn AND have tons of fun. The teachers are great; the assignments are fun and useful. I’m in my second semester into my Master’s degree in Communication. I have to do two semesters of course work and one semester of thesis which will be next semester in February 2012.
This semester is great because I was able to get a nice timetable with a lot of free time. I have Tuesdays and Fridays off. It allows me to work more hours for my job. Hopefully I will be able to get a few long weekend trips as well. Time is going by so quickly and there are still so many places to see in Australia
I’m still organising my trip to New Zealand for the semester break. I will be going to Auckland for a week. I’m pretty sure that will be great fun and that New Zealand will blow my mind away… or the French rugby team by winning! Either way (or both ways would be great) I’ll be thankful for such a trip!
My name is Carol-Anne. I’m a French 23 year old student undertaking a Master in Communication. I’ve been in Australia for 7 months now and I just started my second semester here.
I’ve been living in an ocean front unit in Alexandra Headland which has been pretty nice and it is going to be hard to leave afterwards!
During my first semester, I had a bit of time to travel in Australia. I decided to go to Sydney because the flights were so cheap. The city was really nice and hectic! I got to see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. My friends and I ate at the Fish Market and shopped at the Queen Victoria Building. We spent a weekend in Sydney, and it was great because it really changes from the Sunshine Coast. However, at the end of the day, nothing is better than an ocean front unit where you can hear the waves crash at night.
During this semester, I plan on going to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup. I should be going there during the semester break in September. Hopefully, it won’t be too cold as it will only be the beginning of spring over there.
Being in Australia, on the Sunshine Coast is such an amazing experience and I will never forget it, and trust me, you won’t either!