USC Alumni Max Peters from Germany: Leading The Way Into A Corporate Position

Max Peters from Germany (Philipps-Universität, Marburg) studied a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations back in 2010-11 at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Since then, Max has gained a position as a Senior Manager overlooking the Corporate Responsibility at Cosnova who focuses on colour cosmetics, brands and essence, aiming to develop products more sustainably regarding health, the environment and social responsibility.

Why did you choose to study at USC?

I wanted to get another academic as well as social perspective of the world before I entered the work life and Australia was always high on my list. I have been there two times before and the friendly and outgoing attitude, the Aussie lifestyle and the overall atmosphere had gripped me ever since I first came to Sydney in 2000. Plus: I wanted to live right at a nice beach for once in my life.

What did you end up doing after graduating from USC?

Right after my return to Germany, I wrote my master thesis in the sustainability department of a well-known German fashion brand “s.Oliver”, examining the subject of crisis communication and communicative approaches to overcome social compliance issues in global supply chains. Since then, I was working in several roles in the field of sustainability and social compliance almost exclusively in the context of global supply chain management. From fashion at “s.Oliver” and “Zalando” to rotating specials at “ALDI stores” to colour cosmetics at my current employer “cosnova” and its well-known brands “essence” and “Catrice”, consumer goods stand in the focus of my career.

Apart from managing and conducting audits in places like Bangladesh, Indonesia, and China, managing the overall social compliance program and more and more also the defining issue of our time – reducing our corporate carbon footprint to fight climate change – I have always acted as the link between the sustainability department and Public Relations. The PR-relevant tools I got to know at USC come in very handy when working with specialized as well as consumer facing media outlets, influencers, and political stakeholders

What were some of the main things you learned from studying at USC and living on the Sunshine Coast?

From the many things I gained from studying at USC, the most important one would be confidence in myself for managing not only obtaining a degree from a foreign university but also to meet new people, network and establish friendships with mates from total different backgrounds culturally as well as geographically.

Also, I learned to approach internal as well as external audiences with transparency and an Aussie-style openness no matter who they are and what their role might be. This has not always paid off, especially in very traditional and hierarchical German corporate environments. But in the end, this gave me the opportunity to get to my current role at Cosnova, a company that is very modern in terms of management-style, transparency as well as taking sustainability seriously.

Do you have any advise to students who want to study at USC as well?

Do it! You will not regret any moment or dollar spent! It may sound cheesy, but once you are there, enjoy every moment! Go to the beach as much as you can. Spend as much time as possible outdoors and enjoy this beautiful country. Travel around, party hard but don’t let your mates down when it comes to group work for uni. Don’t hang around with just your peers. Get to know other cultures and backgrounds. These memories will shape you forever.

– Max Peters

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

WhatsApp Image 2020-07-09 at 22.07.29Hi, my name is Sofija Varlamova (@sofija_varlamova). I am from Germany, Bavaria, and I study at the University of Applied Sciences Landshut – International Business. Here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) I am studying a double degree in Business.

Here is a short summary of how I came to study at USC. USC is a partner university of my home university in Landshut. When I saw that I could go to Australia for my year abroad I already knew what to do, and the application process was easy for me. Because I am not the first person from my university going to USC, the process for application was smooth. The international office in Germany connected me to the international office of USC and I could ask them all the questions I had about the university and living in Australia. This helped a lot with calming my nerves to come to a foreign country so far away from home.

After the learning agreement was approved, the rest was done very fast. I paid for my tuition, applied for my visa, and flew to Australia! Unbelievable isn’t it!

Studying at USC is completely different compared to Germany – In a good way! In Germany, a student study for the whole semester and then write a final exam at the end. At USC, courses generally have 3 tasks that are graded. They are spread out throughout the semester and towards the end, it will form the final grade of the course. Additionally, because of the smaller exams, it helps to continuously learn for the course.

For my first semester I chose Auditing and Professional Practice (ACC321), Business Law and Ethics (BUS203), Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility (BUS320) and International Business Strategy (IBS321). The last two courses were mandatory for me. For my second semester I studied Management Accounting (ACC310), Project Management (ICT352), Managing the Small Business (MGT310) and The Power of Brands (MKG322).

I really liked each and every course I did in USC. For example, in each of these courses the professors and tutors were just awesome. They were really nice, made jokes in the lectures or tutorials. It was their priority that the learning objectives were understood and that the students gained knowledge. The professor in MGT310 even invited business professionals and owners of small business to the lectures. This was very interesting as I could see how everything I learned in the lecture was used to build up businesses. I would really recommend these courses.

In my free time there was so much to do here in Australia. First, I took surf lessons! Surfing is so cool! It does not take long to get to the beach with the bus and it is so hot here in Australia! Being in the water all the time was awesome. Other than being on the beach all the time, there are a lot of places to go hiking. Examples would be Mount Coolum or Kondalilla National Park. There are many more than these two. Back to the water: on the Sunshine Coast I also booked snorkelling and swimming with whales. Can’t wait to do these! This were all the things I could do while there were COVID restrictions. There are also so many interesting and beautiful places to drive to in Australia! So don’t lose time and see them when you can – While concentrating on your studies of course! xD

I hope that you will have a nice time, like me here in Australia!

–  Sofija Varlamova

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Nicole Ruhl from the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer in Germany studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

01Hello everybody,

My name is Nicole Ruhl. I am from Weyhe in Germany and I’m currently studying a Diploma in Business at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). My home university, the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer, is a partner university of USC. Back home I am studying International Business Administration.

Studying at USC

I chose a total of 4 business related courses for the Diploma Program. There were three to five examinations/assignments per course during the semester. This is different from what I am used to at my home university. There, I usually only had one big written exam at the end of the semester and in some cases, there was an additional exam in the form of a presentation. What is also different, is the high proportion of international students at USC. In many of the courses I enrolled in, the cooperation with them was promoted. As a result, an intercultural exchange took place.

Due to the outbreak of the corona virus, I unfortunately had to return to my home country earlier than planned. However, through the efforts of the USC staff, I was able to complete my last exams online, from home. Difficulties arose from the eight-hour time difference. I was not always able to attend the online lectures live, but all of these were recorded so that I could catch up at another suitable time.

Everyday life and leisure activities

I had a lot of leisure time that I used in a variety of ways. The Sunshine Coast has a lot to offer in terms of landscape: from large sandy beaches to dense rainforests. Places nearby that could be reached easily by car or by bus were, for example, Mooloolaba (beach, shopping), Maroochydore (Sunshine Plaza: large shopping centre), Noosa (National Park), the Glass House Mountains (place to hike), the Kondalilla Falls (walking track, National Park) and more. The big city of Brisbane could be reached by bus or train.

I visited many of these places with the Student Guild. This non-for-profit organisation plans trips and events for new students. One could book tickets for all events online in advance. These trips were a great opportunity to meet new people and at the same time explore some of the most beautiful places of the Sunshine Coast.

During orientation week, the students could register in various clubs. Examples are the Business Club, the Basketball Club, the Engineering Club, the Quidditch League, USC Activate etc. There were so many different clubs that actually every individual was able to find a suitable one and connect with people sharing the same interests.

What I also participated in, was the USCi Brand Ambassador Program for international students. This was about sharing the experiences of studying abroad at the USC, for example on social media platforms. In addition to this, all members were invited regularly to take place in workshops and events.

Furthermore, there are short trips that might be interesting for students, regardless of the university. For example, I went to Byron Bay with the Adventure Dudes (a company that organizes and accompanies short trips) on a weekend with other people at my age. It was possible to book many different alternative activities, including kayaking with dolphins, snorkelling with turtles and sharks, surfing lessons and skydiving. I decided to do snorkelling and skydiving. I would like to recommend the latter, especially for the very reasonable price in Byron Bay.

However, there were also plenty of opportunities outside of these organizations to get involved with. One could go swimming, play tennis or volleyball in the student accommodations next to the university (UniCentral and Varsity) or do sports at the USC stadium and gym, have a barbecue, go to the beach, or just take a walk across the university grounds and watch kangaroos and ibises.


All in one, studying at the USC was a great experience. I learned a lot both – professionally and personally. I have met many people from all over the world and had time to explore many beautiful places in Australia. I would recommend a semester abroad or an entire course of study at the USC to everyone. The university offers a great deal of support in a wide variety of areas and it always cares about the well-being of its students.

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).


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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Laura Ebner from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast


My name is Laura. I am 22 and come from Germany. I normally study at the University Bonn-Rhein-Sieg of Applied Sciences in Rheinbach. But this semester in 2019/2020 I studied abroad – here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).  Here, I completed my 5th semester in Business in Australia where my major was marketing.

In order to give you some impressions of the life here, I’ll will describe a few things a little bit closer;

First of all, I will tell you a bit about the university. USC has a really beautiful campus – the birds chirp daily, the kangaroos are on the campus almost every day and the sun shines most of the time. The campus is relatively large, but the classes have always been small. For example, in my marketing courses, I was usually only with 20 or fewer students in the lecture. As this is quite a pleasant size, I could learn effectively during class. Besides, all lectures are recorded so students can also watch it at home. In addition to the lectures, you usually also have a tutorial, which deepens the contents of the lectures. Unlike in Germany, every bachelor student here at USC has to submit 3 different tasks in each subject. These tasks can be very diverse. For example, you have to write reports, work on quizzes, create a video or write exams at the end. All tasks are weighted differently and are then part of your final grade of the subject. During breaks or your free time at university you can have a drink, or you can eat something there. At the campus, there are many cafés and also a brasserie. Besides, every student has accesses to computer rooms or tutorial rooms with their student card. In addition, there is also a huge library in the middle of the campus. At the same time, USC provides different sport facilities. Consequently, you can go to a fitness centre or you can attend different sport courses such as volleyball or rugby.

With regard to the living situation, I can only advise everyone to go to one of the student residences. They are only 5 minutes away from the campus and you can meet a lot of new people there. In total, there are two different student residences, Varsity and UniCentral. While Varsity is known as the party residence, UniCentral is quiet and cosy.
I lived in UniCentral together with 2 Australians and 1 American in one apartment. We often watch TV, eat, cook or just talk together in the evening. The rooms are also really nice here. Everyone has their own room with a small bathroom. The rooms are nice and there is everything inside, what you really need. There is a large bed, a bedside table, two big cupboards and a desk with a desk chair. Then we also have a common area with a TV, a sofa and a kitchen. Besides, every flat has a balcony or a garden, depending on which apartment you get. Furthermore, each student residence has a tennis and basketball court and a pool.  In addition, there is also a pavilion with games like billiard, air hockey IMG_0435-minand table tennis. Additionally, Varsity has a volleyball court.

Then, on Thursday and Saturday, we can party here. Oh and yeah by the way, you have read correctly – in Australia you don’t only celebrate on the weekend, but also on Thursday! Especially on Thursday, students have a free shuttle to a close-by club. Furthermore, we don’t have to pay an entry free for this club on that day. However, I believe its sometimes more expensive to go out here than in Germany.

Apart from the university, you should visit also other places around here. For example, I often went down to the beach by bus. It’s usually a 20 minutes’ drive with bus to the beach, and it is gorgeous! I usually went to Alexandra Headland beach. There is also Mooloolaba beach which can be a little bit busier during holidays. However, if you want to be alone with your friends on the beach, you should go to Buddina. The beaches there are really wide and only a few people walk along there. At the same time, this area is a perfect place for surfing as the waves are great! Besides the beach, there is also a huge shopping mall in Maroochydore called Sunshine Plaza. At the plaza you can eat, drink or you go shopping. Similarly, you can also go to Strike Bowling. There you can play Minigolf and you can bowl for 15$ on Thursday, which is always a lot of fun with friends!

Another good thing is to rent a car with friends over the weekend in order to explore the surrounding areas. Besides Brisbane, there are also beautiful places like Noosa, Glasshouse Mountains, Rainbow Beach, Gold Coast and Byron Bay. Furthermore, you should visit the Australia Zoo or the Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane. There are a lot of different Australian animals, but the best thing is that you can pet kangaroos and you can hold a koala in your arms! This is a fantastic and special experience that you will never forget! Moreover, you will have one week break in the middle of the semester. In this week, I would advise you to do something. For example, I rented a car with friends and we drove together along the coast to Sydney and back again. It was wonderful.

IMG_3996-minHowever, before I go travelling after my semester, I will have my international graduation on November 18th. There, I will get my Statement of Completion and can slip into these academic robes. I am really looking forward to this day! Later, at the end of November, I will continue travelling and will visit Fiji and New Zealand!

Now I’ve said enough. Personally, I can only advise you to spend a semester abroad at USC! During that time, you get to know so many new people; you can explore a new country and you are just having an unforgettable time here! Remember, during that time, you will live in a region where many tourists make their holidays!

I hope that this blog can give you a little insight into the university life of Australia. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me! 🙂

Best regards,

Laura @lauraa.ebner

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Peter Buchen from Fulda University of Applied Sciences in Germany studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

TassieHi, my name is Peter and I am studying International Business Administration at the University of Applied Sciences Fulda in Germany. During our studies we have to undertake an obligatory semester abroad, which has (fortunately) led me to study at the University of Sunshine Coast (USC) in Australia for one semester. As the name of the university already suggests, one can expect a lot of sunshine all year long.

Located on the east side of Australia, the USC campus in Sippy Downs is truly beautiful and located on a designated wildlife reserve. Therefore, it is almost common to encounter kangaroos, possums, birds and duck families when you walk to your lecture.  If you are lucky, they may accompany you on your way. But not only the campus is amazing, the nearby beaches offer the opportunity for having BBQ’s whilst watching the sunset, take surfing lessons or just to relax and enjoy life.

campus wildlife 2As an international student, and being quite far away from home, it is always challenging to adapt to the new circumstances. The peaceful Australian lifestyle and the no worries attitude definitely help to settle in quickly. The welcome events organised by USC also assisted to feel welcome and to meet new people. Furthermore, USC offers a wide range of workshops and a social sport program.

At USC, I attended three courses which consist of a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial. While the lectures focus on theoretical knowledge, the tutorials emphasise on applying the gained knowledge by working on individual problems and questions. In contrast to Germany, where we only take one exam in each course per semester, the overall grade at the USC is made up by three different tasks for each course during the semester. Therefore, it is easy to follow on how you are performing in your course.

Mooloolaba beach

For me, another huge part of my semester abroad has been travelling and exploring Australia. It is nearly impossible to explore all of Australia’s gems in only one semester. However, prioritising your favourite spots or locations which you want to visit (and checking your wallet for enough cash) definitely helps. Even though studying during the semester abroad is important – you will always find time to travel. The given one-week semester break is a great opportunity for a road trip. We used the semester break for a short trip down to Tasmania. The landscape and weather are totally different than what we were used to at the Sunshine Coast. Moreover, I can recommend visiting Fraser Island by renting a 4WD. The lakes on Fraser Island are just astonishing.

Studying at USC has truly been a unique experience, which I can highly recommend. As advice: Travel, explore and fully experience life here by challenging yourself. Step outside your comfort zone and just embrace every opportunity and you will have a wonderful time.

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Lisa Wawrzinek from the University of Applied Sciences Heilbronn in Germany studying a Master of International Business at USC Sunshine Coast


Hey! I’m Lisa and I study Business Management at the Heilbronn University Graduate School (HUGS) for my Masters.

For one semester, I am at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Australia for my double degree in International Business Management. However, I am now going to stay longer to finish my master thesis here in Australia.

My road trip experience from the Sunny Coast to Sydney:

My friends and I decided to do a ten days’ trip to Sydney. Five days of driving down, and four days consisted of enjoying Sydney and with one day driving back to the Sunshine Coast.

Surfers Paradise/ Miami:

Our trip started with a highly extensive shopping trip to the Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre on the Gold Coast. Nice brands like Victoria’s Secret, UGG and Calvin Kleins were very cheap. After the shopping escalation, we drove to Miami next to Surfers paradise. In Miami, one of the most impressed views can be seen from the skyline of Surfers paradise (insider tip).

Brekkie in Byron

Byron Bay:

I love Byron Bay! During our first night there, wea decided to stay at the backpackers hostel which is a really nice hostel to stay at while exploring Byron. Byron is very beautiful and has a special vibe of feeling free and enjoying life to the fullest. Actually, the city is well known of as there are many tourists here and a popular surfing destination. This was our second time at Byron, and we decided to do the light house walk and went to every public beach. We searched for a lonely beach, which we found between rocks and after long hike, which was magic.


Angourie Beach

Our second night of our road trip was in Yamba. It is a small fishing townm, and at first, we were disappointed of Yamba. However, after walking around and seeing the calm and beauty of the nature at Yamba and Angourie Beach, it was absolutely stunning.

In Angourie, we went to the green and blue nature pools. I don’t recommend it as there were a lot of tourists there when we came, but there might be days to visit this place when it’s less crowded.

Coffs Harbour:

After Yamba, we drove down to Coffs Harbour. The city is known as the “banana town”. We decided to do our first stop to take a photo at the “Big Banana”, located in a fun park for children (can’t be overlooked). From there, went to the Forest Sky Pier, which is a plattform up in the mountains with an amazing view overlooking the city. If you drive to the platform, you have to stop at the self-service farmers food stalls to buy fresh avocados and bananas! Next to the pier, there are many options to do a rainforest track, keep an eye out for leeches!

Port Macquarie:

The fourth night was at Port Macquarie. We visited the Koala Rescue Hospital, which I recommend! In Port Macquarie, there are also many koala statues in the city.

Enjoying Newcastle!


The last stop before Sydney was Newcastle. We did the short memorial walk close to the beach. In addition, we also had a relaxing day at the beach. One of my friends is passionate about surfing and Newcastle has some amazing surf spots.


My favorite city is Sydney! Sydney’s city district is never the same but each quarter is its own little town with their own story.

Short overview of our activities and my recommendations:

  1. Bondi beach:

Beautiful beach and amazing waves, but it is a tourist sight. The pool at Icebergs it is amazing for pictures, but the entry is about 6.50$ per person.

  1. CBD

This is a shopping paradise and a nice city district. Tip: download the app Groupon for cheaper breakfast at amazing spots!

  1. Harbour Bridge and The opera

A must visit!

  1. Botanic garden

A very beautiful and calm place to be!

  1. Woolloomooloo Bay

Beautiful city district. We lived at the Asylum Hostel. I recommend the hostel, it was super clean, nice kitchen and smaller than others.

  1. Ferry to Manly

At Circular Quay, there are many private and public ferries everywhere: use the public ones (1,20$ a day!) to get to to Many in about 30min. You will have an amazing view of Sydney, the opera and the skyline. In saying that, we were a bit disappointed of our trip to Manly because tit was a very busy day, however this again depends on the day you decide to go (Weekends are normally the busiest).

  1. Chinatown

Download the App Liven (Dining Rewards App) for free vouchers/cheap prices! There are heaps of nice boutiques for shopping, and the chinese garden is beautiful to relax by. You can also buy weird things, like kangaroo lucky balls (!).

– Lisa Wawrzinek @lisawawrzinek

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Kim Osladil & Angelina Rubow from Flensburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast


Hey everyone, we are Angelina and Kim from Germany exploring our semester abroad together at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Both of us are from Flensburg University of Applied Sciences, but here at USC we are doing a Diploma in Business, which covers the business part in our Industrial Engineering studies at home.
Right now, we are already in the final stages of our semester abroad facing our final exams soon, which unfortunately means that our time in Australia is almost over.
We have enjoyed the semester very much so far and would like to share our experiences with you!

Our Arrival


The journey from Germany to Australia was not really comfortable as one of us flew 22 hours via Abu Dhabi and the other one 26 hours via Dubai – but it’s totally worth it! We already booked a shuttle from Brisbane airport to our apartment in Mooloolaba in advance, which made the arrival quite easy. For the first week, we only booked an AirBnB accommodation to look for cheaper and more central alternatives to the student accommodations. Fortunately, the owner of the AirBnB referred us to an Australian lady who has been renting two rooms in her apartment for years, which just happened to be free and ready for us – as if she had just been waiting for us.

Our life in Australia


Together we are staying in a resort in Minyama, right next to the Kawana Shoppingworld and just a 5-minute walk from the beach, with a fantastic view! Living with an elderly Australian roommate also gave us several advantages as she could give us recommendations in any form. For example, she helped us find cheap car mechanics, recommended local restaurants, and sights. She also introduced us to many Australians and other internationals who told us interesting stories about why and how they moved to Australia and what to consider.

At first we didn’t even think about buying a car for just one semester, but as time went on and we settled, we realized how big the country really is and that you often have to travel long distances to get to the places you would like to see.
There were a few things we had to consider when buying a car, here are the most important tips:

  1. There are several Facebook groups for backpacker cars that are ready to use.
  2. Keep in mind that you are registered with the student visa in Queensland and therefore need a Queensland registration.
  3. Before buying the vehicle, you should have it checked by a mechanic and make sure that it has RWC (Roadworthy Certificate).
  4. 4WD vehicles are always a good idea in a country with many rural areas 😉

We have tried to use the weekends as efficiently as possible by driving to the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, National Parks, Hervey Bay, Brisbane, Rainbow Beach and many other areas. During the semester, we were able to make many affordable weekend trips and meet many interesting people at the campsites for chats and BBQs.

Also, here we have some tips:

  1. With apps like ‘WikiCamps Australia’ or ‘CamperMate’ you can find cheap or even complete free campsites.
  2. Note that some campsites only allow you to stay if you are self-contained (otherwise penalties are payable).
  3. The nights are getting cold, don’t forget warm clothes (except for the summer).
  4. Be prepared for adventurous roads.
  5. Never forget the iconic Australian campfire (note the danger of bushfires!).

Additional general travel tips:

  1. The Student Guild tours are a good beginning to get to know the surroundings and meet people
  2. has really good discounts and offers on trips and activities
  3. If you want to take a selfie with a Roo or with a real koala, this is much cheaper and more natural at Lone Pine Sanctuary in Brisbane than at Australia Zoo.

The official reason why we are here: Our studies at the USC

Picture8Now, let’s talk about our main activity: studying.

The study system here differs in principle from that at home. In Germany, there is only a large final examination, whilst here you have to complete several assignments during the semester. Usually there are three assessments per module within one semester. We had to take four courses for our Diploma so that you have to keep an eye on the different deadlines. In general, USC offers a lot of support in all areas, from topics like academic writing to the organisation of exams.

Quite fast we noticed that the teaching here is rather more internationally oriented, so it is not strictly thought within national borders and students are extremely encouraged to own further thinking. Due to already absolved business courses in our studies in Germany, it was possible for us to complete the Diploma, which normally lasts 2 semesters, in only one semester. For our courses, we were able to choose from an extensive range of business courses, which consists of a lecture and tutorial. Since you can create your timetable relatively freely, we could arrange our courses in such a way that we had a long weekend for activities. Other advantages of the diploma degree include a discount on public transport, an additional Australian degree and a graduation ceremony with the famous academic dress.

Picture5The USC campus is very open, offers a lot of nature and of course the popular kangaroos, which join you for a nap on the lawn. There is also a lot more: many cafes to meet up with friends, market days, restaurants, a stationery shop with university merchandise and a large library with many workplaces for individual and group work.

To sum it up

Finally, we have some last general tips for you:

  1. Use discount cards such as ‘Wowdeals’ or student offers via the ISIC
  2. Sign up with airlines like Jetstar, Virgin Australia and TigerAir for the newsletter to get cheap flight offers
  3. Opening an Australian bank account can make sense to avoid credit card charges
  4. Do not underestimate the Australian winter, also in Australia a thick sweater can be useful!
  5. Australia is not the cheapest option for the semester abroad – plan your budget accordingly.
  6. Don’t be surprised if you already see Santa Claus in July – that’s Christmas in July.

We can say that we were very happy to have experienced this ‘Australian adventure’ together. It was very helpful to have someone to share all this from the beginning.

And remember: life is always sunny at the Sunshine Coast!

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Paula Christmann from the University of Applied Sciences Worms in Germany studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_7230Hi everyone, my name is Paula, I am 22 years old and I am from Germany where I study International Business Administration and Foreign Trade at the University of Applied Science Worms. I am currently doing my semester abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Here I have the opportunity to complete a Diploma in Business in only one semester and also experience an International Australian Graduation Ceremony.

Here are 3 reasons why you will never want to leave USC after studying here:

IMG_5250University Campus and the Sunshine Coast:I don’t think there is a better environment to study than on the Sunshine Coast. Sitting in the library, looking out of the window and seeing kangaroos bouncing around on campus makes studying easier right away. As the sun is shining almost every day the best way to spend your free time is a relaxing day on one of the beautiful beaches which are only a short bus ride away. Also, there is a lot to see in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Fun and adventurous hiking trails await you!

Friends: Coming here and not knowing anybody may seem hard in the beginning but to be honest, it was the best thing I could have done! As there are so many international students it is not hard to meet new people. I met my best friends within the first week and they became my family here. We almost spend every day together exploring new places, studying, working out, cooking, partying and anything else. It is just so much having all your best friends living in walking distance from your place. I am sure we will stay friends for life even if we all go back to our home country and won’t be able to hang out every day anymore. Saying goodbye will be the hardest part but it definitely won’t be too long until we all meet up again!


Travelling: One of the best parts of my semester abroad was travelling! There is so much to see and explore around the Sunshine Coast. It is definitely worth it to pack your friends, maybe even taking a day off, and do as many weekend trips as possible! The experiences you get from traveling can’t teach you any school ;).

The best destinations for weekend trips in my opinion are: Brisbane (but you can also go there for one day), Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Fraser Island and Sydney.

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Patricia Romer from the University of Applied Sciences Fulda in Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi! My name is Patricia, I’m 21 years old and I’m studying International Business in Fulda, Germany. While studying here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Australia I had the opportunity to travel around the East Coast and explore beautiful places. Down below I have listed you my five favorite spots.

5 Top places around the East Coast of Australia

The first place I can really recommend is Byron Bay, a beautiful little city just three hours south of Sippy Downs. Not only you can enjoy the amazing view from the lighthouse, and the beaches, but also go for a snorkel and on a kayak tour where you most likely see dolphins, whales and coral reefs. The city itself offers a lot of small boutiques, cute food spots and also night clubs, where they have moto nights like paint parties. There is also a trip you can book through Adventure Dudes where you can visit Byron Bay in a bigger group, that’s what I did and I can highly recommend doing that.

Another spot you should not miss out on is Noosa, which is only a 40 min drive from USC and has amazing beaches and beach walks. When you’re interested in surfing, this is definitely the perfect spot to do so. But also relaxing in the natural stone Fairy Pools is a must do.

If you’re a beach lover, then you should explore the Whitsundays. The crystal clear blue water and the Whitehaven beach with its almost white sand gives you a Caribbean feeling. You can either book a day trip to check them out or overnight sailing trips. Also, if you have the time, you should go for a snorkel and enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.

For those of you who are more interested in mountains and hiking, the Glass House Mountains is the perfect place for you. Located 30 min away from Sippy Downs, you can go on amazing hikes through the nature and enjoy beautiful views over the countryside.


Last but not least the obvious place you should visit during your stay here at the Sunshine Coast is Brisbane. In my eyes, it is Australia’s most beautiful city. With cultural activities as well as the big Brisbane sign, and the city pools at the Southbank area, and also the city centre with amazing restaurants, shops and the botanic garden, it has a lot to offer for everyone. Just a short boat ride down the Brisbane river you can also visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary where you can pet koalas and kangaroos and also feed them.

Those are my favourite spots near the Sunshine Coast, and if you decide to study abroad at the USC you should definitely take the time to explore those spots and make the most out of your time here in Australia, because it is going to be a ones in a lifetime experience.

– Patricia Romer @patricia_romer

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Patricia Mueller from Hochschule Koblenz in Germany – 3 Places to Stay on the Sunshine Coast during your Studies

IMG_2283-triangle3 Places to Stay on the Sunshine Coast during your Studies

Hello, my name is Patricia Mueller and I’m studying business management at Hochschule Koblenz in Germany. I’m in Australia for one year for my double degree in business.

As I knew that I would stay in Australia for a really long time and I’m really interested in learning about other cultures, I had a look on what accommodation opportunities that were available next to the USC campus.

One option is three different student accommodations: Varsity Apartments, UniCentral or The Village, only 5 minutes away from campus. International students and local students share kitchen and living room with 3 roommates. The differences between the student accommodations apply, but they are minor. The application is an easy online registration.

IMG_0967Another- probably cheaper option: living in private accommodation, solo or in a shared apartment. You will meet locals and/or students, and the place might be more quiet. However, private accommodation does not include the option of security guards as the student accommodation complexes (e.g. if you lock yourself out of your room, they can open it up for you after hours).

The third opportunity is staying with a family. Two options apply: Home stay with food included and living with the family, or staying in a room in the family’s house excluding food and living on your own. This opportunity is cheaper and you will have the opportunity to get to know the Australian or family’s culture, but you might be further away from campus, depending on where you stay.

To find an accommodation, I had a look a few weeks before I left Germany on websites like Flatmates, Gumtree and Realestate. Compared to finding an accommodation at the student accommodation complexes, you have to look for a room on your own. However, regardless of where you’re gonna stay, the bus shuttle Con-X-ion is very easy to organise and it will take you to your new home from Brisbane Airport when you arrive.

IMG_2284I decided to stay in an Australian family including food, a bike and trips on the weekends. I’m really lucky with my family. The kids are in my age so we spend nice times together. We go on day trips, to the beach, small hikes or just spend the evening at home together. The family also supports me in my studies, which is really helpful the first days in terms of settling down and get some insight information about Australia and the University.

The stay in Australia has a formative influence for your personality and future career. I look forward to my second semester here at USC!

– Patricia Mueller @piiinnz

Do you want to know more about studying abroad at USC? Click here and enquire now!

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

– Sophia Gollwitzer @soffie_zaem

Fabian Hoos from University of Applied Sciences Koblenz – RheinAhr in Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Hello, my name is Fabian Hoos. I am from Germany, next to Cologne, and study sports management in my 3rd semester. Through my home university, the HS Koblenz, I got in touch with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Australia. As my university has good connections with USC, I received a scholarship to study in Australia for one semester.

Spending a semester abroad is something I can recommend to anybody. There are so many new inputs and impressions that grow your personality and your character. In the beginning, it is always a little bit scary, but it is an unforgettable experience.

Having spent one semester at USC, there are things I will never forget and miss when I get back home to Germany.

  1. 1Gym next to the Uni

As I love doing sports and working out with friends at the USC Gym, it is perfect that the gym is just 5 minutes away from the student accommodation. The staff is super nice, and it is the perfect opportunity to stay fit during the studies.

  1. 2Living at varsity

Spending a semester abroad is always about getting in touch with new people. At Vastity Apartments, there are many international students, who all have the same interest: Getting to know each other and having a great time. Having some great social events and suffering together before exams is half of the life of the students at varsity.

  1. 3Being close to Brisbane

Brisbane is one of the most beautiful cities in Australia. Besides Southbank, the city centre is a superb spot for shopping and having dinner with friends. By train, it is just one and a half hours to get there and the short travel is totally worth it. My recommendation: stay in Brisbane for a weekend in interest of having time to discover and enjoy the whole city.

  1. 4Travelling during the semester break

Studying is important, but it is also important to discover the country in which your studying in. Therefore, the semester break is the perfect opportunity for that. Travelling with friends is great fun and a guarantee for a nice time. With 4 other friends, I rented a camper and travelled to Cairns and back. Stopped at Airlie Beach, Rockhampton and Hervey Bay among many other nice places.

  1. 5Having an international environment

Whether you’re at Uni, the gym, at Varsity Apartments or travelling, there are always international people around. Living and studying together with people from all around the globe is super exciting. Sometimes challenging, but in the end a very nice and important experience.

It is very hard to find words for all the experiences and impressions of the semester at USC. I found new friends and discovered incredible places in Australia. It is definitely an unforgettable time!

– Fabian Hoos @fabian.hoos

Kristin Stefanie Peiker from the University of Applied Sciences Munich in Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_1894Wunya Ngulum! – Welcome Everyone
I’m Kristin, I am from Munich in Germany where I usually study Tourism Management at the University of Applied Sciences (MUAS). I have been studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) these past two semesters for my bachelor’s degree in business.

Where to begin? USC and Down Under have changed my life. There is without a doubt nothing better than studying abroad. Since this wasn’t my first time coming to Australia and the Sunshine Coast region, settling in was easy and stress-free for me. It almost felt like coming home. Orientation week is a must if you can get here early enough to attend. This is where you get to make your first good contacts with other students and plenty of university organisations. So, don’t miss out.

So, here’s why you should come to USC for your studies abroad:
Ever wanted to go to the beach before you head to uni? Ever wanted to share your campus with the cutest kangaroos on earth? For me there’s absolutely nothing better than grabbing a cuppa (cup of coffee) and listening to the calming sounds of swaying palm trees while studying on campus. The USC staff, and everyone else on campus, are extremely helpful and always have a smile for you; you get this instant feeling of ‘home’.
IMG_3255One of the reasons why I chose USC is the great variety of courses they offer and their good reputation for preparing their students to really be successful in their future career paths. And having been here for a while I can now say it’s true; I learned so many valuable lessons for life.

I love going to the lectures and tutorials. Here at USC we all stick together and support each other wherever we can. Teaching staff is always there to help whether it is to further explain course content, or simply for a short chat.
Of course, uni is quite different from my studies in Munich as I have reports to write, presentations to hold and exams during the semester.



Campus life! Oh, how can I best describe you? There’s nothing quite like it. Soft music melancholically playing in the backdrop at the cafes. People chatting or vigorously working on assignments; in the distance the usual clacking and roasting sounds from the coffee machines and from time to time a voice with ‘order for Kristin’ echoes. Doesn’t Balu‘s motto of the bare necessities of ‘peace and quiet’ fit perfectly? I got to meet people as crazy as me and people completely unlike me, and I became friends with all of them. I believe this is one of the perks of uni and of being abroad; you get to build this great multicultural network; the best of the very best. We suffered together when we, again started way to late on our assignments. We partied together when we finally, after long nights in front of your laptop, handed them in and we travelled together – of course, the actual reason why you study abroad.

Don’t just come here for your semester and bring some time to travel. Make sure to hop on a plane to Sydney or Melbourne. Or stay at Sunshine Coast and cruise around the hinterland. There’s plenty to see and explore for instance Noosa, the Sunshine Coasts’ golden child, is a must see! Before or after the lectures and on weekends I get to enjoy life to the fullest. Barbeques and rounds of beach volleyball at the beach, hopping from one Food & Wine Festival to the next, and exploring Fraser Island with our 4WD, the largest sand island in the world .


Despite loads of work and a healthy portion of stress, I get the feeling of being on permanent holidays. And of course, this is also thanks to the many rays of sunshine. Not for nothing else is the region called Sunshine ‘Sunny’ Coast. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start your very own study abroad adventure!

– Kristin Peiker @kristinsteffi