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:

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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!

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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!

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