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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Samantha Zagurski from SUNY Fredonia in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

2My name is Samantha Zagurski I am from West Leyden, New York. I study International Public Relations at SUNY Fredonia College. I was given the opportunity to become an International student for one semester here at USC Sunshine Coast for my third year of uni (college).

I never wanted to study abroad somewhere close to home, so naturally I went all across the world. I have always wanted to travel to Australia since I was a little kid, now I am finally living my dream and I am loving every minute of it. Do not get me wrong, the 31 hour plane ride and travelling all the way across the world was a little nerve racking, but it has all been more than worth the long journey. Sunshine Coast has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and I can vouch for that! In addition, the relaxed atmosphere on the Sunny Coast is unlike anywhere else in the world.

5Top 5 Places I have visited so far in Australia:

  1. Mooloolaba Beach
  2. Noosa Heads (Especially the Fairy Pools)
  3. Hinterland Park
  4. Australia Zoo
  5. Eumundi Markets

 

Top 5 Tips for studying at USC:

  1. 4Make sure you save money because you WILL spend more than you think. You do not want to be limited to what you are able to experience based on money. Social activities can become pricey, so start saving!
  2. 1Come open minded: you are going to meet people from all around the world, not just Australia. I now have friends from all over just because of studying here at USC and I am forever thankful.
  3. Likely, you will be living with other people either at UniCentral or Varsity. This is a great way for you to make friends as well. Do not lock yourself in your room, hangout in the living room and do not be afraid to go outside your comfort zone.
  4. 6Make sure you carve out time in all of the excitement for rest. You can easily get sick or tired from not resting enough, especially when exploring another country, talking from my own personal experience. It feels almost like a rite of passage for international students.
  5. If you get the chance to visit other places in Australia, do so! Take advantage of not only being in Australia, but being on this side of the world. Countries like New Zealand and Indonesia are only a single plane ride away.

3There is lots of time for you to travel, so take advantage of it! I only have classes three days a week, so that means I have four-day weekends every week. It gives me lots of time to stay caught up on my world, along with being able to travel. During mid-semester break, I am going to New Zealand for 11 days. There will not be another time in my life that I will be this close to New Zealand and I am so excited! I am going to Queenstown, located on the South Island with my friend from Germany. Studying abroad has been one of the best experiences of my life, and if you get the opportunity, take it!

–  Samantha Zagurski