Kristine Brevik Kvalnes from Norway studying a Bachelor in Business (Tourism, Leisure and Event Management) at USC Sunshine Coast

My name is Kristine and I am from Norway. I just started my third year in the Bachelor of Business (Tourism, Leisure and Event Management) degree. I applied to USC through Kilroy which made thing a lot easier. They can help you with pretty much anything. I had wanted to go back to Queensland since 2015 when I went to Australia for the first time, doing volunteer work with animals in Port Douglas. USC was the first university that caught my eye and I applied pretty much straight away.

Studying at USC has been great so far. All of my teachers are very helpful and want me to do well. USC has many international student so everyone is very understanding when it comes to different cultures and people not having English as their first language and all of that.

The Environment is very welcoming. It’s very easy to make friends. I moved here all by myself and that was no problem. What I like with my degree is that there is so many courses to choose from. I specifically liked the sustainable tourism courses. Not all universities focus on sustainability as much as USC and I really like that.

I have spent a lot of time travelling since I moved here. Travelling a lot was pretty much my biggest goal when I moved here. I’ve pretty much been all over Queensland. I’ve been to Victoria and New South Whales. I’ve also been to New Zealand and several countries in South east Asia. I had planned to do more but unfortunately as many others I had to postpone my plans because of Covid19.

Queensland is diffidently not the worst place to be stuck because of a global pandemic. There are tons of beaches to explore. You can go to Brisbane or the Gold Coast. You can go on a road trip up to Cairns where you can find Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, Daintree rainforest and so many other amazing places.

If I could do it all again I would have packed with me way less things when I left home. USC is close to both Sunshine plaza and Kawana Shopping World so there is really no need to bring to much. I would also had packed with me more warm sweaters and less bikinis, haha. When you have lived in Australia for a while you get surprisingly used to the climate. Suddenly you don’t find 20 degrees very warm anymore and you start wearing more clothes.

Student accommodations are a great way to get to know people. I lived at UniCentral for my first year than I moved to a private place. That is what works best and what most people do I think. During Covid19 I moved closer to the beach since classes was moved online and there was a lot less to do in Sippy downs at the time.

Visit Popular Local Spots Close To The USC Sunshine Coast Campus

There are many local, but also popular spots just a short bus ride or drive away from campus. Our USC Sunshine Coast (Sippy Downs) campus is lucky to have a bus stop right on campus, and only a 5 minute walk away from our student accommodation options UniCentral, Varsity and The Village.

We have listed some of the most popular spots below that our students often visit when living close to campus:

1. Mooloolaba Beach

If you want to hit the beach, you can take the 615 bus from USC which will take you approx 15 minutes to Mooloolaba. This is a popular spot for students who wants to soak up some sun on the beach but also for students who like to go for walks along the promenade and even do some shopping. Mooloolaba has some great local shops, cafes and restaurants. Not to mention, if you walk towards the Mooloolaba Spit in the arvo, you might be able to see an amazing sunset.

2. Cotton Tree Beach & Holiday Park

If you prefer to avoid some of the more popular, busy beaches, you may want to stay on the bus a bit longer after Mooloolaba and jump off at Cotton Tree, just 5 minutes down the road from Mooloolaba. Cotton Tree Beach is located just to the left of Alexandra Headland, a popular surf spot for many students and not to mention locals. Cotton tree is the perfect spot if you would like to try out Stand Up Paddle Boarding or Kayaking. There are also heaps of cosy local shops along the promenade and we can recommend checking out Cafe Envy that offers locally sourced dishes, in addition to organic coffee and smoothies. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spot a couple of pelicans who like to enjoy their time down at the beach.

3. The Glasshouse Mountains

We of course won’t forget to mention the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains, located a short 25 minute drive from campus with a car. You will have a lot of mountains tracks to choose from including some of the more popular ones such as Mt Beerwah, Mt Ngungun and Mt Tibrogargan. The Glasshouse Mountains have a lot of history behind them, and we would definitly recommend booking a tour with some local aboriginals, also known as storytelling, as they have a lot of interesting stories to tell which you can read more about here.

4. Noosa National Park + Champagne Pools

Photo: Ali Hannah

A bit further away from USC but also only a short 40 minute drive you’ll find the beautifucl Noosa National Park. This National Park is a favourite amongst the locals mostly due to the prime surf that it provides, especially in the mornings and afternoons. If you’re lucky you might spot a koala on your way to Champagne Pools, an absolute must go-to if visiting the park for the first time. The whole walk around Noosa National park is approx. 5.4 km and you can choose to start at Sunshine Beach and walk all the way to the main street in Noosa, Hasting. We recommend checking out Betty’s Burgers and some of the local Noosa shops while you’re there.

5. Mt Coolum

On the way back from Noosa and approx. 30 minutes from campus you’ll find the popular mountain Coolum. While most people will choose to follow the public walking track that has been set out and recently refurbished, there are a couple of additional but rarely used tracks that are for the more adventurous and experienced climbers. Interestingly, one of these tracks will lead you to two of Coolum’s caves. The trip to the caves starts at he same main track however if you wear off to the left it will take you to the first larger cave which is more of an overhang and is regularly used by rock climbers. This makes for a spectacular waterfall in the wet seasons and well worth a visit.

6. Double Island / Fraser Island

If you have the option to rent a 4WD while you’re here we would definitely recommend you to put some time and money aside to explore Double Island, just a short 5 minute ferry ride from Noosa North Shore. Double Island stretches all the way up to Double Island Point (well known spot for prime surfing) and Rainbow Beach, where you can further (if you’re an adventurous type) take the Mantra Bay ferry over to Fraser Island. Double Island is perfect for a short day trip however we recommend to spend at least 2 nights (camping or housing accommodation) at Fraser to experience most of what the island has to offer. Recommended spots to visit is Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek, Maheno Wreck and Champagne pools. You may also want to drive further north to Sandy Cape if you have some spare time.

We hope you enjoyed reading about some of the more popular places visited by locals and students, and don’t forget to tag us using @USC.International and #USCInternational.

Charlotte Malgrange from INSEEC Lyon in France studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

5Hi everyone,

My name is Charlotte Malgrange and I am a 21-year-old French student studying here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). When I found out that my university back in France (INSEEC Lyon) had a partnership with USC, I immediately knew I had to apply. Living in Australia had been one of the things I most wanted to do and this was the perfect occasion for it.

The University of the Sunshine Coast has so much to offer. The professor-student relationships are based on trust and help, which makes the whole academic system even more pleasant. Moreover, it is a very common thing to see kangaroos on campus which is the best way to start your day.

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The Sunshine Coast is undeniably beautiful: it has amazing beaches such as Mooloolaba, delicious food places, amazing waterfalls and lookouts. Everyone is very friendly and outgoing, and the sunny coast vibe is an actual thing and it is amazing.

During my semester I had the chance to visit wonderful places, Noosa being my favourite by far. I went on a road trip up north, visited Airlie beach, the Whitsundays, Gladstone, Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay. I had unique experiences such as skydiving over Noosa and spending a day on a Catamaran in the Whitsundays.

Although most of the Sunshine Coast is made out of plants, kangaroos, birds and trees, it has a very relaxing vibe that makes you feel like you belong here. It is also very close to Brisbane, one of the largest cities in Australia, and the Gold Coast which is about two hours away. So, it is possible to escape the peri-urban area for a few days and see different types of environments.

I am planning on going to Sydney and Melbourne as soon as exams are done, and I am sure I will love it there as much as I loved it here.

– Charlotte Malgrange @chamlgr

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Kim from FH Worms studying at USC

I’m currently completing my Master of Business Administration (MBA) as a Double Degree at USC in addition to my Master in International Tourism Management in Germany. I was looking for a possibility to add a broader business degree to my specialised degree at home and I’m happy that my former work experience made me eligible for the MBA program at USC.

I always wanted to go Australia and love my experience down-under since the first day. The welcome at USC was open-hearted and friendly and the many activities during O-week helped me to feel part of the USC community easily.

In terms of studying, I like the interactive lecture style and international atmosphere at USC that gets you into contact with a lot of different people from all over the world. The campus comprises a variety of learning spaces, cafes and green areas to relax or meet friends why I enjoy spending time on campus. My personal highlight is the ‘USC Mob’ – wild kangaroos to observe right on campus, a view that you certainly can’t get enough of!

Also, the learning experience at USC is very supportive as you can receive quick and friendly academic help for all of your assignments throughout the whole semester and the library is open 7 days a week.

Of course when in Australia you have to make best out of it and explore the country whenever you can. There’s a lot of possibilities to travel around on the Sunshine Coast on the weekends, for example we just chartered a sailing boat for a private sunset cruise with 20 international students to view Mooloolaba from an amazing new perspective. Apart from that, I already had the chance to visit Sydney, Fraser Island and Brisbane, to skydive in Byron Bay, to snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef and to try out surfing in a surf camp with a bunch of friends – a thing you certainly shouldn’t miss out!

I recommend studying at USC to everyone who wants to upgrade their studies with an international experience, an additional degree in only one semester as well as enjoying the Aussie way of life at the beautiful Sunshine Coast.