Jeena Weber Langstaff from Goucher College in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Hey guys, my name is Jeena Weber Langstaff. I am studying to get Bachelor of Art degree from Goucher College located in Baltimore Maryland in the USA. My major is business management with a concentration of international business and minors in Spanish and psychology.

I first heard about the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) from my college. Goucher College has a partnership with USC. In the beginning of September and October with a lot of help from the Assistant Director of Global Education, Mark Bladel, multiple forms were submitted at a timely fashion. Firstly, was choosing the place in which I wanted to study. I have always wanted to go to Australia, since my father grew up in Papua New Guinea and went to school in Brisbane for 13 years. I knew I wanted to study in Australia, and I wanted a school that could help with both my business major and my psychology minor. I then had to fill out applications on timing of leaving, what courses to take, and getting the approval on every end from my major and from USC. Then I had to apply for an Australian visa. After that, time went by quickly, and before I knew it, I had finished a long flight and had arrived in Australia!

The teaching style in Australia is very different from that of Goucher College. We would call it a reverse classroom teaching style in which the students learn the material on their own and then do workshops and group work in class. Goucher also does not have a second one-hour class for doing the workshop or for the discussion. As well as, we do not have one subject only once a week. Goucher has each subject in one class over multiple times during the week, and the learning is taught and done by the professor. All group projects are done outside of class and are expected to find times to meet on their own.

After I had to return early from USC, I had time on my hands to start new things. I learned how to cook a few meals. I have gotten really into making Rice Kimchi Bowls, it is my favourite dish to make. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes having a blend of rice with both spicy, vegetables and different tastes coming together to compliment one another.

I created my own blog website. One day, I wanted to find a way to express the way I feel, so I created a blog website about adulthood. If you’re interest in it, you can check it out through my instagram jeena_life777. I wanted to explore the ways to navigate and maneuver oneself from childhood to adulthood. To write about what that means and what it looks like from my own personal experience. I’ve created different topics for my blog, and plan to explore them all. Currently, I’ve been introducing the various topics, and hopefully soon, I can start writing each week different things that I am passionate about and have affected me personally.

As well as, to further enhance my understanding of business, I have been part of a Rhode Island organization that helps refugees plant themselves and get rooted into Providence by hiring them and giving them support with the resources they need. This organization is called Beautiful Day, and they sell granola in all different flavors, and additionally fair-trade coffee and granola bars. Due to COVID, it has been a remote internship, however I really enjoyed working with them, and understanding better how small businesses work.

Currently, I have restarted school. It is my first week. I am still figuring out how my schedule will be like, being all online again. As well as, starting to plan and create online programs for the Garam Gophers Bollywood Fusion Team and the South Asian Student Association (SASA). I wish everyone best of luck and to stay safe this year during the challenges life brings our way.

Peace, Love and Staying Safe,

Jeena

Michaela Hasbrouck from Goucher College in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

DCIM999GOPROMy name is Michaela, and I studied abroad this semester at the University of the Sunshine Coast.  I am originally from the East Coast of the United States, and had never left the continent before coming here.  I was nervous, excited, and totally in awe at this opportunity.  Reflecting back, having the chance to explore has been the most amazing aspect of this experience.

53518765_348491418989294_8892476915873480704_nHiking through the Sunshine Coast introduced me to familiar yet foreign plants and animals.  I was also able to travel down the coast, visiting Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.  Brisbane and the Gold Coast were a lot of fun, but have more city vibes than I am usually after.  Byron Bay was more my style as it is a funky little town right by the ocean.  While I was there I went skydiving for the first time, and it took my breath away—literally. I fell so in love with the thrill that I went again just a week later when my mom came to visit!  After my second time I’m certain that I want to get certified to go on my own and maybe even become an instructor someday.

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Toward the end of the semester I had more time to go on some longer trips.  I spent a long weekend in Sydney and stayed with some family friends at Bondi Beach. Bondi is beautiful and has a more relaxed feel from the city itself.  I was lucky enough to visit during Vivid, the annual light show, which puts on different displays and programs throughout the city.  Sydney felt much bigger and busier than Brisbane, but also held a lot of history.  From the Opera House to the Maritime Museum I got a sense that the city had a big influence on the formation of Australia as we know it today.

received_442836036547685The biggest adventure of all was when I recently went to Bali.  This felt significant for me because I haven’t done much traveling, and would no longer be in an English speaking country. I was a bit concerned about how I would navigate an even more foreign place than the one I had already been living in, but it ended up being no problem at all.  At first the exchange rate and the high price tags were hard to wrap my mind around, but with technology it’s easy to figure out how much everything will cost.  I ride a motor scooter back home, and realised that this was a big thing in Bali as well.  They drive somewhat on the left side of the road, however the traffic laws are very lenient.  It’s pretty much every vehicle for themselves, and if a scooter can get in between car, down a small ally, or around traffic by driving on the right side, then that’s what will happen.  I fell in love with the erratic but functional nature of this place.  We tried to eat in lots of local family owned restaurants and everything I tried was delicious.

I would definitely recommend travelling and going as far out of your comfort zone as possible while you’re here.  These felt like once in a lifetime opportunities and have encouraged me to prioritise more travelling in my future!