Camilla Ingebrigtsen from Norway studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi! My name is Camilla, I’m from Norway and in July 2019 my best friend and I packed our bags and moved to Australia to study at The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I was supposed to study at USC for a full year but thanks to COVID-19, I had to return to Norway in late April, a couple months earlier than planned.

I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to study after high school so I decided to take a gap year, the year passed and I was still just as clueless as the year before, that’s when I started looking into studying abroad. Travelling to Australia has been on the top of my bucket list for as long as I can remember, so I though why not combine my lifelong Aussie dream and uni.

We contacted STS Education, a study abroad agency in Norway to get information about the different schools and what they had to offer, it didn’t take long before we decided on USC and that was by far the best decision I’ve ever made.

The Sunshine Coast, or Brisbane which is an hour away by car, has pretty much everything you would ever need. Warm climate all year round (it can get chilly in the early morning and late evening during winter so don’t forget to pack a couple hoodies, I made that mistake), beaches everywhere, shopping (I 10/10 recommend Sunshine Plaza), clubs, bars and restaurants (easy to drive down to Brisbane or Gold Coast if you get sick of Ocean Street).

If you are considering studying at USC there is a couple of student accommodations to choose from. Varsity, Uni Central and The Village are all a short walk from campus. I lived at Varsity, which I would say is the more social one out of the three as there is always something happening or someone to hang out with, and it is a great way to meet new friends from all around the world.

If you have the money for it I would definitely recommend visiting other parts of Australia as well. Brisbane Airport is an hour away by car, there is also an airport on The Sunshine Coast but the flights tend to be a bit more expensive than from Brisbane.

During my time in Australia I went to Gold Coast, Airlie Beach and The Whitsundays, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Noosa and Melbourne (rent a car and do the Great Ocean Road roadtrip, not too expensive and soooo worth it!!).

The teachers at USC are used to having a lot of international students, they know that studying in a foreign language can be difficult at times and that somethings might be more challenging than others, but they are super helpful and understanding which was something I was really appreciative of. My favourite course by far was OES104 which has gotten really popular with international students and is an awesome way to see Australia from a local point of view. There’s heaps of field trips as well, from kayaking in the Noosa river, to camping in Cooloola, and a 3-day camping trip to Fraser Island(!!)

My time is Australia was better than I ever thought it would be, I made lifelong friends, went camping at Rainbow Beach with my best friends, travelled to places I’ve dreamt of going to since I was a kid, saw kangaroos at campus on a daily basis, fell In love with watching the sunset (especially at Kawana Beach), held a koala, drove on the beach, watched dogs surf, watched humans surf, snorkelled in The Great Barrier Reef, cried a lot, laughed a lot, and socialised a lot. That pretty much sums up the student life at USC.

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions you’re more than welcome to send me a DM @camillaIngebrigtsen 😀

– Camilla Ingebrigtsen

New Project

Mikaela Karppelin from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

5What’s crackalackin mates?! I am Mikaela Karppelin from Finland, studying a bachelor’s degree in public health with physical activity and nutrition at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). My exchange in Australia, Sunshine Coast was one of the best experiences I have had in my life, let me tell you why.

Prior the exchange I would walk around the house, counting days until my flight, not knowing if I should scream or dance, cry or laugh. It felt unreal that the day I had been waiting for many years was around the corner and finally all paperwork was completed – I was ready to go! Fortunately, my university in Norway helped a lot with how to apply for the visa. It was the first time a student from my degree did an exchange at USC, which forced me to look for suitable courses independently.

My two favourite courses I completed was “Outdoor Living and Travel skills” and “Learning in Australian Landscapes”, where you learn about Australian nature, leadership and yourself, not to mention all the cool field trips you can go on, for example to Fraser Island (cancelled because of Covid for me). Do not be nervous regarding studying in another language than your own – the teachers are more than happy to help and you will be many students in the same position.

I travelled alone and was nervous about finding friends. That was unnecessary. The first day I moved into UniCentral, I went to the pool, started talking with three girls from all around the world, and we hanged out every day since! In my opinion it is much better to travel alone since you usually meet more people than by travelling with someone.

My number one tip is to GO OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE! It will all feel uncomfortable in the beginning but you gain a lot from it – try new things and talk to new people. This gave me new hobbies like surfing, skating and friends for life!

My second tip is to just do it! Six months might seem like a long period of time but the truth is that it will go faster than you can ever imagine – so take advantage of the time you have Down Under – go on that roadtrip, by that surfboard (hot tip – FB marketplace), start talking with strangers and let go of other peoples opinions!

My last tip is to not get stuck at Varsity or UniCentral if you live at one of the accommodations: It will be fun getting to know people during O-week but Sunshine Coast is the BOMB of beautiful places – have sunset picnics at Alex beach, take the bus to Noosa and surf the whole day, stop for an Acai Bowl, do a weekend trip to Byron Bay and Gold Coast etc…  Your exchange will be what YOU make of it!

If you have more questions or want recommendations, I will be happy to answer on Instagram @luisamikaela

New Project

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

New Project

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Magnus & Celin from Norway: 9 Things To Do While Isolating!

IMG_5012Hey guys!

This is Magnus and Celin, a 20 year old couple from Norway, studying here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for three years. Magnus started his Bachelor of Design (Game Design), and Celin started her Bachelor of Communication (Social Media) this semester. We both love to travel, and studying here at the coast is the perfect mix of education and adventures at the same time.

With the virus spreading and we all have to self-isolate, and continue to dream about exploring the outside world; We want to provide some tips on what you can do with all the spare time that you now have:

  1. IMG_4605 2Make something yummy to eat (Celin’s favourite is gyros, and Magnus’ is baked potato)
  2. Watch a good movie or tv series (we would recommend Home and Away)
  3. Sweat it out! (You don’t need the gym to work out)
  4. Play board games or card games (we prefer UNO)
  5. Skype family or friends (you will feel closer with the people you love)
  6. Play digital games (or fall asleep while Magnus play digital games)
  7. Be creative, draw or paint something (use your imagination)
  8. Read a new book, or learn something exiting (like how pineapples are grown, search it up! You will be surprised)
  9. Get out of your pj’s, glam up and get ready for the day (Magnus is pretty good at this one, but Celin is too much in love with her pink pyjamas)

We hope everyone found at least one new thing to do to make the day go by a little faster!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

If you have any questions about studying abroad at USC, we are more than happy to help you out. You can find us on Instagram @cellyandmaggi

– Magnus Eriksen & Celin Oxnäs

@magnuseriksenn & @celinoxnas

New Project

USC student Alex Davies studying overseas at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in Sogn and Fjordane

895e8267-3052-44d2-88a4-a5b43ac11089I travelled to Norway at the end of July, and spent about 5 months living in Sogndal, Norway, which lies on the Sognefjord. I studied at HVL doing the course Outdoor Education and Nordic Friluftsliv. I’ve always wanted to go to Norway growing up, and this seemed like the greatest excuse ever to experience a country, and with my friend I met through work having previously done this course 2 years ago, it seemed like a perfect reason to go overseas.

Looking back, it’s almost insane how they basically just threw us right into the thick of it from the start, but I have absolutely no regrets about anything I did while I was there. From canoeing to kayaking, walking on glaciers to picking mushrooms, to thru-hikes to cross-country skiing, I did so many things I never would’ve done while I was in Australia.

I was the only Australian in the course, but it didn’t matter, everyone was super welcoming and we all had similar goals, to make the most of our time in Norway. From the shy Basque guys to the sweet Swiss, everyone was willing to speak English, and the Norwegians I lived with in the student accommodation are some of my favourite people I met while I was there. The friendships I developed there are something that I’ll never forget because I had the time of my life.

IMG_1329While on the trips, there were a lot of times when you felt like you couldn’t do something that you physically didn’t have the capability to do, and when convinced to just give it a go, what do you have to lose, would find out you could actually do it. I never thought I could kayak in 15m/s winds while its pouring down rain, but it turned out to be one of the highlights from the whole 4 days of kayaking. This showed me what you’re capable of when you push yourself.

The days we spent in the mountains, however, are some of my favourites. To the silly haka like thing we did as a group to raise moral, to sitting on the side of a mountain laughing about something while eating blueberries that are growing around us. Watching the sun rise over the fjords, sit on the side of the mountain in silence, having spent the last week sleeping under a tarp, is something I’ll never forget.

Studying overseas is something I would recommend to everyone to do, as being able to study in a completely different culture is very different from just travelling to a location for a week or two. While I was in Norway, I also travelled to Scotland during my mid-semester break,. Furthermore, after university finished, I spent 20 days travelling around central Europe before coming home after the new year. This is something you’ll never regret doing, with friends for life.

New Project (4)

Watch Alex’s Glacier Walking video below!

 

USC student Ryan Tracey studying overseas at the University of Southeast Norway (USN)

86796086_865676380547566_6517856632548884480_nMy name is Ryan and I’m studying Bachelor of Creative Industries at USC, majoring in music. I am currently in Norway at the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) studying ceramics in their Clay, Art and Design course. I had originally only decided to stay one semester, however, I enjoyed the first semester so much I have decided to stay for a full year.

When I first enrolled at USC I was a little hesitant, as the program would take three years to complete and I wasn’t too keen on being tied down on the coast for that long. As both my brother and sister had studied at USC and received opportunities to study overseas, I was excited by this idea and took it as an opportunity to look forward to.

When I was looking at countries and partner universities to go and study abroad, my choice was limited as there were few universities offering creative/arts courses that I was interested in. I found a Blues music course at this university in Norway and was immediately drawn to it. I enrolled for a semester, but received information saying it was only possible to study the Blues for one year. I had grown attached to the idea of Norway and found a ceramic course which I then enrolled in.

86713735_181418886613051_8145261488085401600_nFrom the very start I have loved living and studying in Norway. I have developed strong friendships with other students here and I have had the most amazing experiences. Other exchange students and I have been on trips, exploring Norwegian towns and vast terrains of forests and mountains. We were involved in a weekend Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Oslo, and not to mention, went on small trips to other countries in Europe (which is my favourite thing about being over here – the possibility to easily travel and explore new countries and cultures on our time off). These are just a few of my treasured memories.

If I was to compare studying at USN to USC I would say it has been a very different experience. Firstly, the campus here is very small with only a couple thousand students which may be responsible for the strong community feeling the university holds. There are so many extra-curricular activities and sports to be involved in, and many facilities spaces for students to congregate, relax and be social. And for me, a huge factor for my appreciation is the music building/studio which I spend a great deal of time in.

My tip to anyone else thinking about studying abroad is definitely do it. In the weeks and months leading up to it, I was reconsidering, because we have it good back at home and it’s easy to stay in your comfort zone with friends and family and familiarity. However, taking a leap out into the world and putting yourself in an unfamiliar environment takes courage, and you will learn things about yourself (and the world). If you confront every situation with a positive attitude and an open mind, I can almost guarantee you’ll have a great time!

– Ryan Tracey

New Project (4)

Frida Vikdal from Norway studying a Diploma in General Studies: Five tips if you are considering studying at USC Sunshine Coast

USC testimonial 2Hey! My name is Frida Vikdal, I’m from Norway. This is my first semester out of two studying abroad in Australia, and my first semester at uni. I am currently taking a Diploma in General Studies here at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

The reason to why I ended up down under in Australia, was because of an education agency in Norway. Study abroad agencies assists students with anything in relation to studying abroad, and they gave me all the information needed, assisted me in the application for USC, and the student accommodations at Varsity. They also made sure things went as smooth as possible, that everything was in place before my trip, and basically helped with whatever I asked for.

Here are five tips I would recommend, if you’re considering studying at USC Sunshine Coast:

USC testimonial 5
Student Accommodation

1. Stay for one year

I decided that if I’m going to study abroad, it’s at least going to be for one year. A choice I absolutely don’t regret. My first semester here at USC Sunshine Coast is almost over, and it went way faster than I imagined. Luckily I still have 8+ months here in Australia, and I can’t wait to see what these months will bring!

 

 

USC testimonial Frida 1
Norway

2. Stay at a student accommodation, at least for the first semester

One of my top priorities when it came to picking country and school, was what accommodations they had to offer. After going back and forth, I found out that the student accommodations in Sunshine Coast would be perfect for me.

Living here at Varsity Apartments, which is 5 minutes from uni, and makes it so easy to get new friends, and you really get to meet people from all over the world.

 

 

 

USC testimonial 3
Movie World

3. Save up some money

As an international student (who might be in Australia for the first time) I would absolutely recommend  to save up some extra cash. Australia has a lot to offer, but everything is obviously not free. So start saving up early if you want to explore Australia, try some new fun activities like surfing or skydiving, eat yummy food etc, or if you in general want to get the most out of your semester(s) here in Aussie.

4. Don’t let fear stop you

For me, moving to the other side of the world by myself, was a bit terrifying. I didn’t know what Australia was like, I’ve never lived by myself before, never studied at a university, and I absolutely hate spiders. But I’m so glad I took the chance and didn’t let anything stop me. Cause being here has given me so much, I’ve learnt a lot about myself, and I can’t wait to see what the next months will bring.

 

  1. USC testimonial 4Take an outdoor course (if possible)

USC offers some amazing outdoor education courses (OES), where you get to go on trips and learn about Australia. I took OES104: Learning in Australian Landscapes this semester. Which among other things, gave me the opportunity to paddle in the Noosa river, climb and abseil in the Glass house mountains, camp at Harrys Hut (Cooloola) and explore Fraser Island.

– Frida Vikdal @fridavikdal

Do you want to know more about studying at USC? Click here and enquire now!

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.

Pink joy (4 of 21)

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

Baxter Falls (22 of 22)

USC student Teddi Barker studying overseas at the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)

Snow angel GeiloHi guys!

My name is Teddi and I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Creative Writing at USC, Sippy Downs. These past 5 months I have been studying abroad at USN (Bakkenteigen) in Borre, Norway.

Bakkenteigen receives a number of internationals each semester, the majority being Spanish. As the only Australian, the most asked question of me became ‘Why would you come to Norway?’

I had a few reasons, and my answer changed with each person to ask. However, the most honest answer was that I made the obligatory promise everyone makes to their international friends to visit once they returned home. Sooner than anyone expected though, I made good on my promise. Of course, there were other reasons, such as wanting to experience another culture and its history, but the next major reason revolved around the one thing on my bucket list: I wanted to see snow.

There were a handful of truly memorable moments. First, a drive to Sweden to ‘buy groceries’, AKA, a standard trip Norwegians make to buy cheap alcohol and stock up on lollies. Driving to other countries isn’t such a casual occurrence in Australia. Another was seeing snow for the first time. As anyone from south-east Queensland will tell you, we don’t see much snow here, and as someone whose family avoids the cold, I didn’t have many opportunities to experience the snowfall in Australia. I was definitely surprised to find out that snow is wet and well, cold.

There were many other firsts too, such as watching leaves change colour and fall in autumn, and then cross-country skiing in winter; discovering that with sleet and cold weather comes ice and slippery surfaces, and realising as I watched children fall over, get up and continue running from my spot on the ground that perhaps I wasn’t cut out for what cold weather brought after all.

I had the opportunity to do so much during my semester in Norway – travelling in Europe is so cheap! – and even though I didn’t get around to seeing everything I wanted to, I’m grateful for the time between my studies that allowed for me to explore. I was able to see not just the parts of Norway my friends lived in, but also Verdens Ende (the world’s end), the mountain Gaustatoppen, and other countries too, such as Sweden, Italy, Poland and The Netherlands too.

At Bakkenteigen, whilst the courses and material are different, the study itself is not that dissimilar to USC. With my particular course however, the tutors tried to make things easier for the students by making each assessment piece a group project as there are generally not many native English speakers in the class.

A few tips for those looking to study in Norway:

  • Make sure your courses are given in English, and in saying this;
  • Communication isn’t an issue. Most Norwegians are quite modest about their English when they have no reason to be, and they’re always happy to help, if only you ask.
  • Go out of your way to introduce yourself and make friends. Some may come off cold and standoffish, but really all it takes is for you to make the first move (or a little bit of alcohol).
  • Double check that your luggage is being sent straight through to your destination and that your travel insurance covers lost or damaged luggage.
  • Invest in vitamin D tablets. And;
  • Travel whenever possible!

Helene Skaane Osmundsen from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Favourite course during my study abroad semester

one-of-the-few-photos-i-have-of-myself-e1571794093409.jpgMy name is Helene, and I am currently studying a bachelor’s degree of Nature Based Tourism and Nature Guiding at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL Sogndal). I have always wanted to study abroad, but the last time I had the opportunity I didn’t dare to take the chance. I was too scared of missing out on everything that might happen back home while being away, and also of being too shy to get to know new people. Ever since then I’ve had this feeling of “what if”, so when I finally got the opportunity to study abroad in Australia during one semester of my degree, I instantly knew I had to take it. This is a decision I definitely do not regret.

As an outdoor enthusiastic person, it came natural for me to choose some of the Outdoor Environmental Study courses that the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) has to offer during their Semester 2. One of these being “Learning in Australian Landscapes”, or more commonly referred to as OES104. This class turned out to become my favourite subject during my semester at USC and here are a couple of the reasons why;

Biking on Fraser

Field trips!

I mean, who doesn’t like going on adventures as parts of their learning experience? During the semester we’ve gone on four different excursions. We’ve had two day trips, where one was a climbing & abseiling trip, while the other one focused on kayaking. In addition to these, we’ve also spent some time overnight camping. The first overnight trip was separated into a day of hiking and a day of kayaking, and the last trip was a three days trip to Fraser Island, which is the largest sand island in the world.

Great focus on international students

I think more than 90% of the students in this class were internationals, and because of that most of us were in the same boat. We didn’t know too many people when the semester started, and having this in common made it easy to interact with one another. dingo-on-fraser.jpgI’ve spent a lot of time outside of uni with a group of people from this class, and a few of us are also doing a month-long road trip together as soon as our final assignment has been delivered!

In addition to the main points mentioned above, the course also consists of interesting topics such as, how the Australian landscape has been formed, what makes Australian flora and fauna both unique and vulnerable or ecological succession. The teachers have been really friendly and I’m so glad that I got to have this course as a part of my education.

– Helene Skaane Osmundsen @heleneskaane

 

 

 

Christina Bøifot from Norway studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

freq.jpgHi, my name is Christina Carlmar Bøifot and I’m from Norway. I am studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for a year. I’m studying different media courses and getting a Diploma in General Studies. I got some help from a Norwegian education agency to start my studies her at USC and they helped me to realise that it was a possibility for me to study in Australia.

Some of the most amazing things I experience in Australia is how easy it is to travel around and experience everything the country has to offer. I just went on a road trip in the mid semester break and it was amazing. We started our trip taking the train down to Brisbane and flew up to Cairns. In Cairns, I experienced the great barrier reef which has been on my bucket list since I was I little girl. We visited Fitzroy island and snorkel around the island. It was so beautiful! After Cairns, we drove down to Mission beach, which is the most beautiful beach I’ve seen in my entire life. The sand was so white and amazing, and there were palm trees down the entire beach.

jytjy

We then drove down to Townsville where we took a boat over to Magnetic island. We drove around Magnetic island in little barbie cars, they were the cutest cars. After a couple of days at Magnetic island, we drove down to Airlie beach. From Airlie beach, we took a sailboat trip out to the Whitsundays. And if there is one thing I would recommend, it is to go to Whitsundays and Whitehaven beach. The Whitehaven beach is the most beautiful beach ever. It’s so white and the water is so clear and turquoise, and the Pirates of the Caribbean even recorded a scene there. After Whitsundays, we went back to Airlie beach for a couple of days to explore the night life and then we had a quick stop in Agnes Waters and 1770, before we went home.

The road trip experience was one of the most amazing things I ever experience in my life, and I can’t wait for my next road trip in December when I am driving down to Sydney.

– Christina Carlmar Bøifot @christinaboifot

Ida Marie Olsen from HVL Bergen in Norway studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

DSC05240Hi,

I am an education student from the Norwegian University HVL Bergen, and I got the opportunity to do one semester abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), and I absolutely love it! There is so much to do and see around here, and you will never get bored. There is a range of beaches, waterfalls, mountains, hikes, shops and cafés you can go too close to the University. It is also very easy to travel around here. Take the bus, rent a car or book a flight from Sunshine Coast or Brisbane airport.

During my time here, I have been to Noosa, Gold Coast, Brisbane, North Stradbroke Island, Byron Bay and on a road trip from Cairns to Sunshine Coast. Later this semester, I will also travel to Fraser Island, Sydney and Melbourne before I’m heading back home to Norway. Since I love to travel, I will share my 5 favourite travel destinations from the Sunshine Coast whilst studying here.

1. Byron Bay
I went to Byron Bay on an arranged tour with Adventure Dudes. Byron Bay is a small town that has beautiful beaches, good surfing, a walking trail to the lighthouse where you can spot whales on your way, and some great cafés and bars.

2. Noosa

Noosa is only a 40 minute ride by car away from campus. The beaches and national parks here are so beautiful and worth a visit! You can spot koalas, dolphins and whales. I also recommend to swim in the famous Fairy Pools.

3. North Stradbroke Island

This Island is located in Moreton Bay and is easily accessed from Brisbane. The George Walk at Point Lookout is a must if you are going to this island. This walk offers outstanding views across the ocean and you can spot whales, dolphins, turtles, koalas and wallabies.

4. Whitsunday Island

I went to a 2-days sailboat trip to the Whitsunday Islands, and it was so amazing! We went to the most beautiful beach I have ever seen (Whitehaven Beach), the famous Hill Inlet Lookout and snorkelled with so many colourful fishes in The Great Barrier Reef.

 5. Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is a short 20 minutes ferry ride from Townsville. We camped in our tent on Bungalow Bay Koala Village, and I saw so many wild koalas on this Island. We hired some cool, small cars with no roof and had a lot of fun driving them around the Island.

I would really recommend doing a semester abroad here at USC Sunshine Coast! You will get so many new friends from all over the world, see so many amazing places and just have the time of your life!

If you have any questions about studying abroad at USC, I am more than happy to answer. You can find me on Instagram @idaolsen4.

– Ida Marie Olsen

Jani Bjelland & Kriatian Alster Mathisen from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) – Stord Haugesund studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

Sunshine CoastHi,

We are Kristian and Jani and we are exchange students from HVL in Haugesund, Norway, where we are doing our bachelor in business and administration. We decided to take one semester abroad, and after we had an information meeting about the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), we were determined that this is where we wanted to go study, and now that we’re at the end of our semester, we have no regrets.

When we got here, we decided that we would take our weekends to explore Australia. However, we did not realise how much schoolwork there was going to be, but despite this we managed to do some travelling. We have visited Brisbane, Sydney and Noosa, and we are soon going to Cairns.

kangaroo-1.jpgSo glad we chose to study at the Sunshine Coast, it is close to the beach, national parks and it is just a chill city, and if we need a change of scenery, we can just take a bus and a train to experience the city life of Brisbane. We also quite enjoyed the Australia Zoo that is less than an hour by bus. Here we got to see a lot of the Australian wildlife.

One of the first trips we went on was a daytrip to Brisbane where we spent hours just walking around and taking in the city. We walked in the beautiful park by the river where they have a great variety of plant life you don’t normally see anywhere else. Unfortunately, we didn’t do much research before going here, but we heard from others that we should have checked out South Bank more.

Noosa is the perfect place to just come and relax, which we did during our study break before starting on all our assignments. Every day we went to the beach, had a swim and got some tan. We visited the National Park one day and it was so cool, there was a bunch of beaches there and we also saw a koala. At the end of the trip we canoed in the Noosa everglades, which was recommended to us by the visitor information center, and it was so good. All in all, a very successful trip and we we’re semi-motivated to go home and start our assignments.

Everglades

Sydney was the best place we visited. It is such a big city and there is so much to do and so much to eat. When we went on the weekend-trip to Sydney, we took a plane from Maroochydore airport and booked a hotel in Chinatown, which was so nice. We went on a sunrise kayaking tour at 5:30AM and had a beautiful view of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour bridge, much recommended. Other than that, we ate a bunch of good food and walked all over town.

We are so happy that we went studying abroad and we HIGHLY recommended everybody to do so. It seems super scary travelling from everything familiar, but it is so good. We are definitely coming back to Australia because there is so much more exploring to do and kangaroos to cuddle with.

– Kristian Alster Mathisen @lille_mathisen & Jani Bjelland @janibjelland

mooloolaba-1.jpg

 

Kaja Øyen and Kristine Røssland from HVL Sogndal in Norway studying at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_3520Hello! Our names are Kaja and Kristine. We are from Norway and have been studying economics at HVL for three and a half years. This last semester we studied abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast to finish our double degree. We chose this university primarily because HVL and USC are collaborating. This way we got a lot of information, had a contact person in Australia who could answer all of our questions and the whole process went smoothly. A couple of other reasons are that some friends of ours told us about their great experiences and the fact that Australia is an amazing destination.

On our journey to Australia we stopped for a couple of days in Singapore, before heading to Sydney. We arrived at the Sunshine Coast prior to Orientation week. During our semester abroad we naturally had to put the books aside and explore Australia. In addition to Sydney, we also visited Brisbane a few times, we spent some days in Uluru explored the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef from Airlie Beach and the areas close to Sunshine Coast, such as Noosa and Hinterland.

Our favourites are sailing the Whitsundays and experiencing the uniqueness of Uluru. When we traveled to Whitsundays, we spent three days on a trimaran sailing the islands. It was an amazing experience, and even though it was quite windy and rained at times, we met so many interesting people and had a lot of fun. We also visited Whitehaven beach, where instead of sand there is silica in which you can wash your teeth, your jewels and even your hair. When we visited Uluru, we saw the fields of light, walked around Uluru and got told many interesting aboriginal stories. Additionally, we visited Kata Tjuta and slept in swags. This experience was really something else. There is such a big difference between Queensland and the Northern Territory, you just have to see it to believe it!

After finishing our semester abroad, we got to attend a Ceremony of Completion for the international students. At the ceremony, we received a diploma and got to wear the academic dress and hat. We found this last part extra exciting because, during graduation in Norway, we don’t get to wear outfits like these. Furthermore, all of our friends, who didn’t graduate, came to the ceremony and celebrated with us and this became one of our best days in Australia.

IMG_5300We would really like to recommend everyone who is considering doing a semester abroad to just GO FOR IT! It is one of the best experiences of our lives and we absolutely loved it.Some perks are that you get to learn and practice the English language, you get to experience a new culture, it looks great on your resume, it is warm, there is amazing beaches and you get so many new friends from all over the world.

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.

Annelin Sætre from HVL Sogndal in Norway studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi, I’m Annelin and I’m an international student at the University of the Sunshine Coast. The University I’m studying at in Norway (HVL) gave me the opportunity to take the last of six semesters in my bachelor degree abroad. This is what I am doing now, and I am so glad Iimage6 took that opportunity!

I am doing a Diploma in General Studies, and my impression of the courses, teachers and the University in general is really good. The teachers is genuine and willing to help with whatever you need help for. The campus looks new and with lots of cafes and other places to buy lunch and other refreshments. There are a wide selection of places to sit and study both indoor and outdoor, and if you need help for anything the library is ready to help. With such a nice campus it is easier to motivate to do your studies.

As an international my ambitions of this semester was to combine the studies with traveling and exploring the country. University of the Sunshine Coast has a great system for making this possible by giving the students the chance of partly fixing their own timetable and give us the overview of the whole semester plan and assessment due dates in the start of the semester. This makes it easier for us students to plan our eventures.

Australia has so much to offer and is a country of opportunities. If you like beaches, hikes, city life or outbacks, Australia has it all! So far I have had time to explore many different places in Australia and this country just keeps impressing me. I have been to image4cities like Brisbane and Sydney, lots of beautiful beaches along the east coast, hikes in national parks, camping in the outback in the Northern Territory and it is still lots to see and experience. The latter is definitely my favourite so far. Me and a friend, another international girl I got to know here in Australia, decided to do a 5 days trip to the Uluru area. From when I was a kid, I have had this picture of Australia as a dry, warm place with just lots of sand and desert. I remember I learned of this big red rock in the middle of nowhere in primary school and I remember how distant it felt like to learn about something on the other side of the world. Now I have finally got to see this place in real life, and it was so awesome!

To do a semester abroad at USC is definitely something I can recommend to everybody. It is a perfect opportunity to explore new places, experience new cultures and meet lots of wonderful people. I will never regret that I did a semester abroad in the Sunshine Coast, it has been an adventure which I am really thankful I had the chance to experience!