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

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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).

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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.

Yamba:

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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.

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Enjoying Newcastle!

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.

Sydney:

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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Yannick Blake from the University of Applied Sciences Heilbronn in Germany studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

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Cheers mates,

I am Yannick a.k.a. the cool pineapple fruit dude. I study in Heilbronn, Germany at the University of Applied Sciences. And, like literally every German, I study business at USC for one semester.

As most of you surely not only go to Australia to enjoy the academic excellence of teaching, Australia also offers the most beautiful places that you should include in your obligatory mid-semester road trip. If you want some impressions from those places, visit my Instagram @eggrem and @usc.international. But now we go:

  1. Fraser Island:

DCIM/101MEDIA/DJI_0178.JPGOne of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever been to! Don’t miss out on Lake McKenzie and Lake Birrabeen, the second is a truly hidden gem. But don’t book a tour, better do it on your own with a rented 4WD full of friends. So, with a little planning, you can miss out on all the tourist peak times, but not on the enormous fun off-roading makes (the metallic clanking is normal 😊).

  1. Keppel Island:

IMG_8348Definitely not overrun by tourists, and relatively cheap to get there by ferry (45$ return). However, not cheap to drive up there (several hundred kms up the coast), but on a roadtrip, include this place and enjoy the marvellous sea life. Little hint: They have an abandoned Luxus Resort over there- and the fence is torn down at some places.

  1. Airlie Beach:

DCIM/101MEDIA/DJI_0209.JPGVery popular, yet still beautiful. Also consider doing one of the little walks up one of the hills (but get off early enough- you gonna underestimate it!). If you do the obligatory sailing cruise to the Whitsundays, take medicine against seasickness with you. You may feel confident, but seasickness kicks in when you expect it the least.

  1. Byron Bay:

DCIM/101MEDIA/DJI_0129.JPGOnly 3 hours drive down the bay, providing perfect conditions for surfers and all those who aspire to become such. Also, the walk up to the lighthouse is worth it- and is pure beauty at the dawn. Tip: If you want to save some money, don’t do a tour, but book a car at sunsetrentacar and get your friends in!

  1. Glasshouse mountains:

IMG_7948_compressedThe activity closest to the USC. Climb up some of the mountains on a track that meets your fitness and enjoy the wide view over both the hinterland and the coast. Pro tip: Do it before bushfire season to be sure no smoke is covering parts of the scenery.

But the most important tip I can give you: Meet people, make friends, and enjoy life!Picture 1

 

Sarah Ochs from Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences in Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Hey,

My name is Sarah, I am 24 years old, and I’ve just completed my semester abroad with an integrated double degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast, in cooperation with my home university in Heilbronn, Germany. Together with two fellow students from Germany, I lived in Australia for four months. To sum up my experience in Australia; you will only regret the trips you did not do.pic5

My journey began in Germany with a stopover in Dubai, flying to Brisbane as the final destination. Brisbane is about an hour away with car from Sippy Downs, but it can also be easily reached by train from Landsborough. The public transportation card, which is called a ‘Go Card’, is provided by the public transport system of Queensland and makes it easy for you to top-up money onto your card and use the bus transportation at any time of the day. Since we only spent one semester Australia, we did not buy a car, but occasionally we rented a car for short trips, or when we had visits from Germany. A little hint here: to be on the safe side, get an international driver’s license beforehand!

Before the semester started, we have already looked for accommodation near the campus. We used www.flatmates.com.au to search for an apartment and had enormous luck in finding a beautiful house. The three of us lived in this house with a middle-aged Australian. Since he works the whole day and the house offered enough space with a pic1pool and a tennis court, he was glad that we provided some life back into the house. We especially liked the experience of living together with a ‘local’ person. Not only that, but you get to know the ‘barbie’ (BBQ) culture and speak with a local accent! The location of our accommodation also offered us the possibility to get to the university or the student accommodation complexes (which are located right next to the university with just a 5 minute walk). At the student accommodation (Varsity & UniCentral) you can hang out with your fellow students, do sports together, or simply just enjoy your time by the pool.

Let’s talk about fun facts:

By no means, your fun and free time will not be neglected during your stay at USC! pic3Especially during Orientation-week, at the beginning of your semester, it prepares you well for the time here at USC – so don’t miss out! For those who like to go out at night, you can take free shuttle buses from the student accommodations to Mooloolaba on Thursdays (about 15min drive), and on the weekend, the nightlife in Ocean Street located in Maroochydore should not be missed out on!

Furthermore, during the semester there was no shortage of travelling. Australia offers exciting nature, breathtaking beaches, and especially an excellent infrastructure which enhances the possibilities to travel around. pic2Obviously, everything needs be coordinated with your class schedules and your assignments, but if you stay organised, you can easily travel within the semester. Since the Sunshine Coast is beautifully located between Cairns and Brisbane, you can travel the entire east coast of Australia within two to three weeks with stops. Below Brisbane, there are also beautiful corners to see, such as Gold Coast and Byron Bay! We often went somewhere for weekend trips and now, including our big road trip that we went on in June.pic4

The USC campus is absolutely inviting you to spend time there, due to its nature, kangaroos and modernity. It is a great location to study! The study system is different than in Germany, since you sometimes have to take exams and may have more ‘paperwork’. In the classes that we took, we had a total of 10 reports/essays and two exams, but they help you to improve your academic English.

My whole stay in Australia was more than fantastic, and I will remember that experience for my life time. Especially the Australian culture is very positive, and many friends will accompany me in the future. So, in the end, all that remains is to say: Australia – I will miss you!