Kristin Stefanie Peiker from the University of Applied Sciences Munich in Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_1894Wunya Ngulum! – Welcome Everyone
I’m Kristin, I am from Munich in Germany where I usually study Tourism Management at the University of Applied Sciences (MUAS). I have been studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) these past two semesters for my bachelor’s degree in business.

Where to begin? USC and Down Under have changed my life. There is without a doubt nothing better than studying abroad. Since this wasn’t my first time coming to Australia and the Sunshine Coast region, settling in was easy and stress-free for me. It almost felt like coming home. Orientation week is a must if you can get here early enough to attend. This is where you get to make your first good contacts with other students and plenty of university organisations. So, don’t miss out.

So, here’s why you should come to USC for your studies abroad:
Ever wanted to go to the beach before you head to uni? Ever wanted to share your campus with the cutest kangaroos on earth? For me there’s absolutely nothing better than grabbing a cuppa (cup of coffee) and listening to the calming sounds of swaying palm trees while studying on campus. The USC staff, and everyone else on campus, are extremely helpful and always have a smile for you; you get this instant feeling of ‘home’.
IMG_3255One of the reasons why I chose USC is the great variety of courses they offer and their good reputation for preparing their students to really be successful in their future career paths. And having been here for a while I can now say it’s true; I learned so many valuable lessons for life.

I love going to the lectures and tutorials. Here at USC we all stick together and support each other wherever we can. Teaching staff is always there to help whether it is to further explain course content, or simply for a short chat.
Of course, uni is quite different from my studies in Munich as I have reports to write, presentations to hold and exams during the semester.

 

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Campus life! Oh, how can I best describe you? There’s nothing quite like it. Soft music melancholically playing in the backdrop at the cafes. People chatting or vigorously working on assignments; in the distance the usual clacking and roasting sounds from the coffee machines and from time to time a voice with ‘order for Kristin’ echoes. Doesn’t Balu‘s motto of the bare necessities of ‘peace and quiet’ fit perfectly? I got to meet people as crazy as me and people completely unlike me, and I became friends with all of them. I believe this is one of the perks of uni and of being abroad; you get to build this great multicultural network; the best of the very best. We suffered together when we, again started way to late on our assignments. We partied together when we finally, after long nights in front of your laptop, handed them in and we travelled together – of course, the actual reason why you study abroad.

Don’t just come here for your semester and bring some time to travel. Make sure to hop on a plane to Sydney or Melbourne. Or stay at Sunshine Coast and cruise around the hinterland. There’s plenty to see and explore for instance Noosa, the Sunshine Coasts’ golden child, is a must see! Before or after the lectures and on weekends I get to enjoy life to the fullest. Barbeques and rounds of beach volleyball at the beach, hopping from one Food & Wine Festival to the next, and exploring Fraser Island with our 4WD, the largest sand island in the world .

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Despite loads of work and a healthy portion of stress, I get the feeling of being on permanent holidays. And of course, this is also thanks to the many rays of sunshine. Not for nothing else is the region called Sunshine ‘Sunny’ Coast. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start your very own study abroad adventure!

– Kristin Peiker @kristinsteffi

 

Marvin Staudt from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

On the 6th of February, I took a flight from Munich to Indonesia, which was the beginning of my ‘around the world trip’.  After having one week of the ‘island life’, I was on my way to the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Sippy Downs.

I am studying business informatics at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, and I decided to apply for a double degree program for my master’s degree at USC. Thankfully I got accepted and I started to plan my trip immediately. After some research I found out that it is a great idea to combine this semester abroad and add some additional travel time to fly around the world. According to this, I decided to travel through South America after finishing the exchange semester.

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Accommodation

I live right next to the USC Campus at one of the student accommodations called Varsity. From there, it is about a 5 minutes’ walk to get to the campus. The University offers a lot of additional activities, like social sport (volleyball, soccer, netball, gym…), every week at student guild or different kind of clubs. It’s never boring here, especially during my stay at Varsity 😉

Different beaches can be reached easily with public transportation or a car. Moreover, there are plenty of mountains around this area for hiking and to enjoy the sunset.

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University

The study program in Australia is different to the one I was used to in Germany. I attend 4 courses during this semester, and I will just have 1 final exam. However, I have to finish many reports, essays, presentations and case studies during the whole semester. Therefore, the stressful learning period at the end of the semester, that I was used to in Germany, does not take place.

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Travelling

Nevertheless, there is plenty of time to explore and travel around Australia during the semester. It is easy to reach a flight to Melbourne and Sydney from the Sunshine Coast, which is pretty cheap. Furthermore, there are so many beautiful places along the east coast, like Byron Bay, Brisbane and Noosa. It is easy to travel there for just a weekend or some days. After the semester finishes, we have planned a road trip to Cairns with two campers for two and a half weeks, and then I will head to New Zealand and South America before I take the airplane back to Germany.

I am very thankful that I had this great opportunity to study at the Sunshine Coast in Australia and thank everyone who made this time legendary to me. I am looking forward to the next adventures of my trip and finally coming home to my family and friends.

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Korbinian Hoffmann from the Technical University of Munich studying at USC Sunshine Coast

I can still remember the moment, when I received the notification of the International Office of my home uni, that I was eligible to go for an exchange semester abroad to the Sunshine Coast. I mean just the imagination of studying at a place with more than 250 days of sun sounds like a pretty damn temptation. I could not resist, and I was the happiest person when I realised that I am really moving to the Sunny Coast for the next semester.

My name is Korbinian, 22 years old, from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. I study Management and Technology back home, however, I decided just to take Business courses at USC.

My studies here were totally different from the ones in Germany. At home I am totally not used to writing reports, making presentations or delivering any other assignments during the semester. In Munich, there is always one big exam at the end counting for 100 percent of your grade. Having some tasks in the middle of the semester relieved a bit of stress at the end since I already passed most of the courses prior to taking the exam.

Another thing being different from at home is the commuting. I lived right next to the campus at Varsity, a huge student accommodation with a capacity of about 600 students. It was an amazing experience living there and it never took me more than five minutes to get to my lecture hall. Let’s say you will never get bored there. However, if you want to save a little bit of money, rather move into one of the plenty shared houses in the coast cities Kawana, Alex Heads, Mooloolaba or Maroochydore. You definitely get more for the same price. If you want to have party, you can still visit one of several big parties at the campus houses.

All in all, it was an awesome experience. I got to know heaps of amazing people from all over the world, learnt how to surf (more or less) and had lots of fun. I will never forget this amazing experience and I can recommend it to anyone playing with the idea of studying at USC for a semester, or even longer!

P.S.: The kangaroos jumping around at the campus is not just a marketing gag!

 

Declan studying overseas at the University of Applied Sciences Munich

Student Exchange Experience By Declan Cox

As a University student being able to do a semester aboard is one of the best opportunities you can do while studying. The chance to study and travel at the same time with the benefits that the university supports you is the best! My semester aboard was in Munich Germany which has many attractions such as Oktoberfest, festivals, bars, English garden, German language and good music for nightclubs. The subjects that I did at the University of applied sciences Munich were very interesting and enable me to meet and hang out with the locals and other exchange students to explore in Munich or plan other trips around Europe with them on the weekends. During my stay in Munich we stayed in private accommodation which was quite pricey but nice, however I would suggest staying in student accommodation as it is cheaper and you have the chance to meet more internationals that way and have great experiences during your stay on exchange. Europe is a great place to explore we did mostly Western Europe and northern Europe and a bit of the east. My favourite destinations would have to be Prague, Barcelona, Munich, Copenhagen, Paris and Rome. I suggest if you’re wanting to do an exchange overseas to pick Europe for an experience to never be forgotten! As I will definitely be returning to do the places I missed in the near future and visit the friends I have made in Europe.

Taylor studying in Munich, Germany

Guten tag!

My seven months of travels and study abroad – what an experience.

When I first arrived in Munich, Germany I had mixed emotions; excitement, anticipation, fear – would I experience extreme culture shock?

Fortunately it wasn’t long before I was calling Munich my second home. Going in with a relatively open mind and limited expectations, allowed me to adapt to the rich German culture and new lifestyle pretty quickly. What also helped me adjust into this new lifestyle were the amazing people I met between my housemates and other friendly international students. I lived with 5 others including a Brazilian, Bulgarian, Iranian, Chinese and another Australian; boy was that was an experience in itself! I also became good friends with a Spanish student who lived within the same student accommodation as me. It was truly enlightening to have such a mixture of people around me because it allowed me to form an understanding of how people from different cultures live and especially the type of food they eat! For example my stomach had to adjust pretty quickly when I found out that my Chinese housemate cooks and eats pig heart on a weekly basis!

Once I completed the painful process of setting up my life in Germany with visas, residency permits and health insurance etc, the fun kicked in… Oktoberfest! The worlds largest ‘funfair’, famously known for its large quantities of beer consumed each year, was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. To paint a picture… you have people walking around in dirndls and lederhosen (traditional German attire), myself included, eating typical Bavarian food such as weisswurst sausages and bread pretzels, going on amusement rides and playing stall games. What I found even more astounding (and admittedly more appealing) were the several beer tents. In any one of these massive tents, you find thousands of extremely happy (often very drunk!) people drinking beer from litre steins with arms around one another, swaying from side to side and singing along with a live German band. I can easily say it’s dwarfed every other festival I’ve ever attended.

But of course they say all good things must come to an end and with the ‘Study Overseas’ program, there had to be some ‘study’ involved right? ;). Fortunately I thoroughly enjoyed the subjects that I had selected. Many of them were based on intercultural communication and proved to be extremely helpful throughout daily life considering I was interacting with people from all over the world.

Throughout my seven months in and around study, I squeezed in as much travel as I could and because countries within Europe are so close to one another, this wasn’t hard to do.  It was such a bizarre concept to know that I could cross international borders in as little as one hour! Some of the beautiful countries that I visited and fell in love with were Greece, Spain, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic and of course, Germany.  Because I was in Europe for the winter season I was fortunate enough to experience snow for the first time, and even better, skiing and snowboarding! Despite the fact that I wasn’t as successful at these sports as I had hoped (okay I was terrible!), it was such an amazing experience and I am grateful that I was able to give them a go.

When I look back at my student exchange and reflect on the beautiful people I met and some of the amazing experiences I had, I again have mixed emotions; emotions of happiness that it happened, and sadness that it’s over. But I now have life-long friends from across the globe and many memories to cherish.

Auf Wiedersehen,

Taylor

Jared Langmaid in Munich

One of my most memorable experiences was Waldfest, when translated means “forest fest” and is one of the many Bier festivals that take place near Munich during the summer break. I found myself dressed head to toe in a completely authentic Lederhosen drinking a traditional mass (1L beer) amongst the true Bavarians. My outfit consists of the traditional leather pants (known as the actual lederhosen), a collared Bavarian shirt, polished black shoes, long white cotton socks and a green velvet vest (all for only 200 euro!!). I am told I look the part and fit right in. Easily one of my best experiences spent on exchange with USC.

The Bavarians of southern Germany are steeped in Culture. There are the young “kinder” (or  children) volunteer during the summer “bier” festivals and earn a pretty penny from collecting the empty  “Mass” (1L beer glasses) from the adults and put them in their carts. It is also traditional culture for the  Bavarians that you must wear your Lederhosen (boys) or Dendl (girls) to almost all events.

I also visited the Lake Tegernsee in the Bavarian Southern Alps of Munich. The lake is home to many festivals and activities during the summer as well as skiing in the surrounding hills in winter. This particular spot is the popular beach point as well as a great spot to see the hang-gliders jump from the mountain opposite. A Truly beautiful landscape.