Onella Barthelot studying a Bachelor of Social Work at USC Hervey Bay

Hello,

My name is Onella Barthelot. I’m from a small multicultural country called Sri Lanka. I moved to Australia on the 17th of February 2020 and have been living in Hervey Bay for a year. Though, adjusting to a new environment has been a challenge amidst the ongoing pandemic, my academic journey has been great so far.

I am currently in the second year of my Bachelor’s in Social Work degree and I am keen to gain experience while studying.

I’ve visited Australia a couple of times before moving here. I loved everything about Australia, especially the small regional town of Hervey Bay. I visited USC Fraser Coast and absolutely loved it. I also had the chance to visit The University of Queensland and Deakin University in Melbourne while I was there. University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) was however my first choice when I started applying for my higher education in Australia. Some of my family living in Hervey Bay recommended USC Fraser coast as the best place for a young beginner like me who has had to adjust to major changes in life.

The past year has been a great journey with lots of new experiences. The first semester of my first year was a challenge as I had to adjust to a new surrounding amidst the unforeseen changes and online learning due to the pandemic. I had no peer support and was stressed throughout the first semester having no idea how to get through all my assignments. Being away from home also had its effect on me. My second semester was however much better. I was able to meet my peers on campus and had more peer support which led me towards better grades.

Social Work is a practice-based profession that concerns every individual in the community. Learning Social Work is very interesting and the support I get from my peers, lecturers and tutors is appreciated. Although USC Fraser Coast is a regional campus and a comparatively small campus, it has all the important facilities and is a great place to meet people and make friends.

Moreover, Fraser Island close by is a hub for tourists, the Esplanade has lodging and dining, and the ocean view walkways. You can also randomly see wild kangaroos if you drive to Point Vernon. You can always have a relaxing evening by the beach as well. Anyone who visits the amazing Fraser coast will love it for its natural beauty. If you are moving to Fraser coast for academic purposes, the best option for you might be USC Fraser coast. You will love the experience, just as I do.