Frida Ommundsen from Kilroy Norway studying a Diploma in Sport & Fitness at USC Sunshine Coast: ‘Moving to Sunshine Coast 101’

IMG_5813(1)Hi! My name is Frida and I am from Norway. I moved to Sunshine Coast about a year ago and I have just finished a Diploma in Sport and Fitness at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

When I first moved over to the other side of the world, there was some adjustment. So here are 12 things worth knowing if you are moving to the Sunshine Coast, just to make it a little bit easier for you.

Moving to the Sunshine Coast 101

1. There are three student accommodations around the university.

The Village: More like a share house, close to the university and the bus station. No air condition, but fans. You have access to your own washing machine, and your own outside area for drying.

UniCentral: Shared apartment. No air-condition, but fans. Your also have your own washing machine in the apartment.

Varsity: Shared apartments with air-condition in the living room only. No laundry machine, but shared laundry room which cost 2 and 3 dollars for the use of the drying and washing machines. Varisty is also known for being the accommodation complex that offers more social activities such as Volleyball competitions and Thursday Uni nights.

IMG_8012(1)All of these accommodations offer swimming pools and tennis/basketball courts.

2. There’s a free bus from Varsity every Tuesday and Thursday to Woolies, so you can do your food shopping. Also, Australians shorten every word they can. Woolies = Woolworths, which is one of the main grocery stores.

3. If you’re living at the student accommodations, you can walk to Coles (also a main grocery store) and walk with the trolley back. They will come and pick the trolleys up once a week.

4. Public transport isn’t the best (depending on what you’re used to from back home), and there can be some big distances here in Australia. If you can afford it and you think it’s worth it, depending on the length of your stay, buy a car so you can get around more easily and experience places further away.

5. The University offers different sports, and if they don’t have the sport you wish to play they are happy to help you start a team. I started an European Handball team, and we took 4th place in Unigames which was held in Gold Coast.

6. Buy a go card (bus/train card), which will only cost you 10$, and might be able to register the card and get student discount on your trips. You can buy it from a news agency or at uni. Simply tap the card when you go on the bus or train and tap it when you go off. The card can be used in Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast ++.

7. Mooloolaba is the main beach in Sunshine Coast, and it has an esplanade with different shops and restaurants. Only 15-20min bus ride away from Uni, if you take the 615 bus from the USC Bus Stop.

IMG_5012(1)8. Sunshine plaza is the main shopping centre and is located in Maroochydore. It has all stores you need + restaurants and a big cinema. There’s also a shopping centre in Kawana, which has many shops, a cinema and restaurants. It is 15 min away if you take the 607 bus.

9. Not far away from the plaza you’ll find Ocean street. This is the main bar and restaurant street. The student night is every Thursday, with free buses taking you back and forth to ocean street from Varsity.

10. If you wish to travel, there’s a small airport on the Sunshine Coast located only 20 min away from the University by car. There’s also Brisbane Airport, which is 1 hour away by car.

11. Open a bank account so you don’t get charged the percent extra every time you use your international card. It’s free to open a bank account, just remember to bring your passport for identification. Transferring money to your new Australian bank account may apply some fees. However, using TransferWise might be a good option as they charge minimal fees.

12. The Australian winter, June – August, can actually get pretty chilly. Remember to bring warm clothes, you will be surprised how cold it can get sometimes, even in Australia!

Thank you for reading and I hope these facts can help you if you are coming to the Sunshine Coast or considering studying in Australia!

– Frida Ommundsen

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Stine Milena Hansen from Kilroy Denmark studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Blog photo 6Hey y’all! My name is Stine, I’m from Denmark, I’m 24 years old – but most importantly, a student at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I’m currently studying a bachelor’s degree at Copenhagen Business School and had the amazing opportunity to study abroad for my 5th semester. With outstanding AND FREE help and guidance from Kilroy Denmark, my choice landed on the paradise of the Sunny Coast in Australia – and believe me, it was a perfect choice to escape good old grey Denmark.

This place is B-E-A-UTIFUL and the USC campus is something else! I can’t tell you how much I value this experience – but I’ll try..

Blog photo 4First of all, the USC campus has everything you could ever ask for. Kangaroos on the lawn, parrots in the trees, solar panels on the roof, a big old composting machine (how amazing is that?), free food at the student guild, the best dirty chai lattes, free yoga classes and I could go on and on. There’s an endless amount of services provided for you the moment you enrol as a student here. Even during the hard parts, when you have assessments due – you find light in all the services provided to guide you through your courses. I also find the professors here very chill, down to earth and with a lot of hands-on experience spiced up with some good Aussie humour. They are there for you when you need them, all you gotta do is ask.

Another great thing about studying at USC is the surroundings! There are so many amazing places to explore during the weekends and holidays! So, if you want to combine study and travel, this is the SPOT. I for instance went camping at Rainbow Beach a couple weeks ago and it was excellent. Spent the weekend beach cruising, moonlight ocean dipping with a couple stingrays, paragliding, chilling in my hammock, hiking and just exploring nature to the fullest …and this is just one of many crazy memorable weekends.

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So, don’t hesitate to take a semester abroad at University of the Sunshine Coast, you’ll gain knowledge, meet new friends and get experiences for life! Trust me you won’t regret it as long as you bring SUNSCREEN!

– Stine Milena Hansen @stinemilena

 

 

Kristoffer Wahome from Kilroy Norway studying a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) at USC Sunshine Coast

Kriss rooftop (3 of 12)Hi, My name is Kristoffer, I am a 25-year-old international student at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I am pursuing a Bachelor Degree of Social Science (Psychology) and I am currently in my second year of studies.

I am an adventurous, outgoing social person that enjoys photography, sports and just living life. So the fact that the USC offers a range of social clubs to take part in, it has provided me the opportunity to form friendships with people from all around the globe with different backgrounds and culture, which is a huge bonus for me.

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Moving to Australia to study at USC was a decision I pondered about for a while before pursuing it, yet when I arrived on the Sunshine Coast I knew I had made the right decision. The weather is amazing most of the time and I am lucky to live less than a 5 minute walk away from the beach, could anyone ask for more?

As an international student that has spent over a year here on the Sunny Coast, there is still plenty of things left for me to see and experience, I frankly cannot get enough of this place. However, I can recommend some essentials that any new student here should try out;

  • Kriss rooftop grain (10 of 13)A trip up the coast to Noosa National Park where you can relax in the fairy pools, and if you’re lucky, spot a Koala making its way up in the trees
  • Visit Byron Bay, the most iconic little Australian town in my mind, you just have to experience it for your self
  • Some early mornings at the beach watching the sunrise while you’re out on your surfboard in the water
  • Trying to climb any of the nearby mountains for a chance to see a spectacular view over the coast
  • Make your way to any of the waterfalls around the coast, for a fun adventure
  • USC International - Brand Ambassador event 2 (61 of 65)Camping trips to the national forest, bonfires at night while watching the most starry sky I have found on my travels

I recommend anyone to come study at USC if you are interested in pursuing an authentic Australian experience while reviving a great education with like minded students from all around the word.

– Kristoffer Wahome @kristofferwahome

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Nathalie Bergstrom from Kilroy Sweden studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

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Hi!! My name is Nathalie, I’m from Sweden and I am doing my exchange semester here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I study Intro to Film and TV studies, Creative Advertising, New Venture Growth, and Learning in Australian Landscapes. Kilroy Sweden was a great help for me when applying to USC, they answered all the questions I had at the time of applying.

I love the Sunshine Coast, it is just an amazing place to live and I am so happy I chose this school. The school is nice and is located around beautiful nature where you can find kangaroos jumping around which is just amazing to see every time. I enjoy my accommodation, it is just 5 minutes walk to school which is great if you’re running a bit late to class. I have my own bedroom and bathroom which I love so I can have my stuff where I want and clean myself.

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With the course Learning in Australian Landscapes, we go on four field trips during the semester which is just amazing. First trip was paddling at Noosa, it was so beautiful and a fun day trip. Next up was abseiling and climbing at Mount Ngungun which I was a bit nervous about, mainly because I had never climbed before and I am scared of heights. However, I was proud of myself that I did it. The third trip was an overnight trip to Cooloola National Park. The fourth and last trip was to Fraser Island which is about two hours from here. When we came to the island my group started biking on the sand and it was great and so much fun biking on the beach looking at the waves. After that, we changed groups and we got to pick up trash on the beach!

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The next day we went to the rainforest on the island and walked for a bit which was so beautiful! We also learned more about the vegetation on the island. Later on, we went to Lake McKenzie which had the clearest water I’ve seen, it was so beautiful. On the third day we did some stops and then went back home to the coast. I was so tired the days after the trip but it was so worth it!

I have also been to Brisbane and the Gold Coast which are both great places to visit for a more ‘big city’ feeling. Before I go home, I have planned to go to Cairns, Whitsundays, and Sydney. During my time here, I have seen so much already and I have some trips still coming after school. I really think it is worth coming here to study if you’re considering it, as it is just amazing and there’s so much to do and see. I really recommend studying at USC and experience the Sunshine Coast.

– Nathalie Bergstrom @nattisbergstrom

Espen Foss Skavlem from Kilroy Norway studying a Bachelor of International Business at USC Sunshine Coast

fullsizeoutput_b25My name is Espen Foss Skavlem and I am a Norwegian student at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I am currently in my second year undertaking a degree in Bachelor of International Business, minoring in Supply Chain Management. Considering my degree, I could not think of any better option than moving to the other side of the world to get educated. However, the process of moving across the globe to study can be challenging. Kilroy in Norway is assisting students that wants to study abroad, and they were really helpful and assisted me with everything I needed and made the process as comfortable and easy as possible.

I moved down under in July 2018 with the expectations of meeting new and interesting people from all around the world, and I can IMG_1174fairly say that my expectations were exceeded as this has been one of the most memorable years of my life. I have made many friends from all around the world and have been able to travel and work with students from many different cultures, and I am only half way there!

The Sunshine Coast lives up to its name, however, keep in mind that the winter mornings and evenings can get pretty chilly so bring enough sweaters. Living on the coast also brings many travel opportunities to several IMG_0877close distances. Byron Bay is one of my favourite places to travel and is only a three-hour drive south from the sunny coast. Two hours north of the coast you can also find Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island, which are some of the most unique places I have ever been. Fraser Island is almost completely made of sand and you can rent a four-wheel drive car and camp at amazing spots on the Island, a great experience!

fullsizeoutput_f58As you now know, studying at USC and living on the Sunshine Coast is an amazing experience and I am happy for anyone that has the chance to do it! I am going to study overseas in the US next semester and I know that one of the things I am going to miss the most is the opportunity to just drive to the beach, enjoy a morning swim, and hang with my friends just having a couple of cold ones!

– Espen Foss Skavlem

Mariann Brubakken from Kilroy Norway studying a Bachelor of Nutrition at USC Sunshine Coast

1-bicubic (2)Hi, my name is Mariann and I am a student at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

After high school I wanted to experience more of the world as well as I was eager to start my study. I had heard about Kilroy form a friend that was studying in Australia at the moment, and I decided to have a look at their website.  I ended up messaging Kilroy about study options abroad. I wanted to live somewhere close to the ocean and was advised about some great universities in Australia, including USC, where I am now currently studying.

I wanted to have the opportunity have electives with my course, and was advised that I was able to do that at USC, which also contributed to me choosing to study at USC where I was able to combine my Bachelor of Nutrition with a Minor in Journalism in addition to some Public Health electives. Kilroy was very helpful with assisting me finding a university that had what I was looking for, and also helped make the application process as easy as possible.

2Living on the Sunshine Coast is absolutely amazing, and it has some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in my life. There are heaps of local cafés and opportunities to get new experiences, such as surfing and climbing which is something that I really enjoy doing whilst living here on the coast. The semester summer breaks are also pretty long here at USC which have given me the opportunity to do some travelling around Australia and to Bali, booked through Kilroy’s website. Deciding to do a bachelor in Australia has given me so many great memories and friendships that I will treasure for life.

Doing a heavy science-based course, I really appreciate all the support USC have had to offer as well as the chill vibe that the Sunshine Coast has. I would absolutely recommend studying at USC!

Margrethe Johansen & Sofie Gamst Holm from The Arctic University of Norway studying at USC Sunshine Coast

 

IMG_5043Hello, we are two Norwegian girls studying abroad from The Arctic University of Norway. Our names are Margrethe and Sofie. We are currently studying psychology in Norway and we got the opportunity to do one semester abroad. Both of us enjoy the beach and warmer temperatures, so Sunshine Coast here in Australia was an easy choice.

Here in Australia we are doing a program called Study Abroad. Both of us got a lot of help from Kilroy during this process. They helped us throughout the whole process and gave us helpful information about the different universities in Australia. When we decided to apply for The University of Sunshine Coast, they helped us with the application, tuition fees, visa etc.

As we both love the beach life we decided to share with you our top 5 favourite beaches here on the Sunshine Coast.

  1. Mooloolaba

This beach is located only 15 minutes by bus from uni. It is the closest beach, but also our favourite. This is the beach where we have spent most of our time during the past five months. From Mooloolaba you can walk along the coastline towards Pt. Cartwright, which has a nice view. There are also located a lot of nice bars, cafes, restaurants, and shops along the esplanade. We especially love the acai bowls at Acai Brothers and the coffee at Hustle & Flow Espresso. Mooloolaba is always patrolled by lifeguards which means that you can enjoy a nice swim in the ocean.

  1. Little Cove Beach

This little beach is located in Noosa Heads, which is 40 minutes away from the university by car and approximately 1.5 hours by bus. The beach is very close to Noosa Main Beach, but not nearly as crowded. The water is crystal clear, and you can do a bit of surfing here as well. If you feel like it, you can continue to walk along a wooden path to some beautiful rock pools named Fairy Pools. There are also a lot of cafes, restaurants, and shops in walking distance from this beach.

  1. Kings Beach

It is located in Caloundra, which is approximately 50 minutes away from the university by bus and 25 minutes away by car. It is a beautiful beach, where you both can surf and swim. From Caloundra you can watch the sun going down behind the beautiful Glass House Mountains. In addition to this, Caloundra often has street fairs with lots of good food and small shops.

  1. Dicky Beach

This beach is located about 40 minutes away from the university by bus and is close to Caloundra. From Dicky Beach you can watch beautiful sunrises and there are a couple of cute coffee shops nearby where you can enjoy a break from the sun. Our favourite is The Pocket Espresso. There are also some good waves for surfing, and the beach is less crowded than Kings Beach. If you like dogs or have you’re own dog, there is a dog beach called Moffat Beach right next to this beach.

  1. Alexandra Headland

This beach is located about 20 minutes from the university by bus. The beach is right next to Mooloolaba, but more suited for surfing than Mooloolaba is. You can walk along the esplanade between these two beaches, and it is a beautiful walk. From Alexandra Headland you can watch beautiful sunsets while watching a lot of talented surfers. You can get delicious ice cream at Cold Rock which is located right next to the beach.

We hope you enjoyed reading about our favourite beaches. We have not regretted for one split second that we decided to study at the Sunshine Coast and at USC. It has been an incredible semester filled with lots of good food, new friends, tons of sunshine and traveling. If you have any questions about USC, Australia, accommodation or studying abroad in general, we are more than happy to answer. You can find us at Instagram @maggi95 and @sofiegam.

Oliver Siewertsen from Kilroy Denmark studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Hey everyone, my name is Oliver and I’m 20 years old. I’m currently a Study Abroad student from Kilroy because I’m having a gap-year in Denmark and wanted to do something different than just travelling around.

I had many different universities in Australia in mind but decided to choose USC because of the program, the location and their effort to make international students feel welcome.

Studying at USC was way above my expectations and definitely the best time of my life, even the weeks with a lot of uni-work. It’s just amazing to have the opportunity to sit in the sun and watch kangaroos jumping around when doing assessments or homework.

USC is a modern university with new facilities and the newest technology, which is a thing I really appreciate. USC also offers various kinds of sports and clubs, both competitive and social sports, which is fun to try – and also a great opportunity to meet other students and build up friendships.

Top 5 must do while studying at USC

Noosa Heads:

pjimageNoosa Heads located 30-45 minutes north of USC. This area is amazing and gives a bit of the “Miami Beach vibe”, you have a lot of small cozy cafés and restaurants, shopping opportunities and one of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast.

One out of two Everglades in the world is also located in Noosa and the national park with various hiking trails. You can get to Noosa by car or by bus. It cost approximately 5$ from USC to Noosa.

Surfing at Alexandra Headlands:

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One of the must do when studying or visiting Australia is surfing! Surfing is a huge thing in Australia, and you will be able to see surfers at every beach. I recommend surfing at the Alexandra Headlands beach because it’s close to USC and board hire is approximately 30$ for 3 hours.

PS: Surfing is way harder than it looks like – so don’t give up after a few tries!

Wings Wednesday at Taps:

Every Wednesday, the restaurant “Taps” at Mooloolaba is offering 10 chicken wings with a burst of flavors for 5$. This is a place with a great atmosphere, a lot of people especially uni-students and a great place to catch up in the midweek. Besides for the cheap and delicious chicken, beer-taps are located at each table so you can pour your own beer!

Australia Zoo:

pjimage (2)25 minutes south from USC is the world-famous Steve Irwin zoo located, also called Australia Zoo. This is an absolute must do and a great experience. Daily buses to Australia Zoo are available and it’s easy to get there. Steve Irwin’s vision has always been to make Australia Zoo the biggest and best wildlife conservation facility in the entire world. It is also at the Australia Zoo you get a chance to pet and feed kangaroos, carry a koala, pet a wombat and many other animals.

Fraser Island:

Fraser islandFraser Island is 2 hours driving north from USC, and it is the world largest sand island. It was inscribed as a “World Heritage Site” in 1992 and is especially known for the Lake McKenzie, the wildlife and the champagne pools. Fraser Island has rain forests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths.

Also, throughout the semester, there’s a study-break midway the semester and a few public holidays, where it is possible to arrange trips to destinations all around Australia. Students are often going to places like Sydney, Melbourne, The Whitsundays, Uluru, and some are even going to New Zealand or Bali. The opportunities are endless.

Advice to future students:

Intro pictureFor myself, going to a new country by myself to study, was definitely a cross-border experience and it can be thrilling. But it turns out to be the best experience ever, and I wish everyone who has the possibility to go study abroad, should do so.

Learning about a new culture and be a part of it, get to know people from all around the world, boost your CV/resume, improve English skills, and get the chance to do trips all around Australia while studying. All this ensure the best time of your life and my advice would definitely be; to get this experience and do this cross-border experience. If you make sure to write your assessments in time, there’s plenty of time to explore and travel when studying.

I’m so grateful for my time here, for all the people I have met, the friends I’ve got for the rest of my life and the experiences when exploring this amazing continent.

Cheers, Oliver