Michaelah Reynolds from Montclair State University in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

 

Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 7.29.29 pmHello, my name is Michaelah Reynolds and I am from Montclair State University in the US. This semester, I’ve been doing a Study Abroad semester here at USC Sunshine Coast. During the 6 months that I’ve been here, I’ve been studying Communication subjects.

My study abroad experience has been one of the most amazing things I could have ever done. Being a bit of a shy person, this helps you grow as a person and step way out of your comfort zone. You will learn so much about yourself in the first two months, leaving you feeling more confident and independent towards the end. My advice for other students wanting to study abroad is, just do it, and don’t be scared. If your friends don’t want to go abroad alone, they should know that everyone is looking for friends, and you will find so many new friends the first week of Orientation. Go up to random people ask to be there friend – trust me, it works! Furthermore, when your mom wants to teach you how to cook at home before you go abroad, take her advice so you can feel at home when your cooking overseas. If you’re shy, I can assure you that after studying abroad, that shyness will go away and you will learn so much about yourself in the few months that you spent here. 

Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 7.29.45 pmA few places that I’ve explored during my studying abroad experience is Byron Bay. This place is a must go, and you just have to make time to explore it, and try to travel there more than once. Also, a place that is absolutely one of my favourite places is the beach up at Noosa Heads. I’ve been going to this beach almost every weekend and by far the best beach I’ve ever seen.

I think the thing I will miss the most is the people. The people here are so positive and so supporting, as everyone has the same mindset in terms of how much they want to travel and see the world. I will miss the weather, as this “Australian winter weather” is like a summer day in comparison to the states. I will miss going on a new adventure every weekend because there is just so much to see and it just keeps on getting better. It’s hard to say how much I will miss this place, but being away from US, I know that I would like to call Australia home one day. In addition, there are so many things to do on the Sunny Coast. The beaches are the best thing to do on the weekends as there are soo many of them. Wake up and see the sunset, and stay at the beach until sunset, you won’t regret – it’s amazing. Lastly, the hiking is also amazing as there is always somewhere to go if you like the outdoors. I will miss this place with my whole heart but I know it won’t be long till I come back.

– Michaelah Reynolds @mic.reynolds

Hein van Eeden from South Africa studying a Bachelor of Education (Secondary)/Recreation & Outdoor Environmental Science at USC Sunshine Coast

SydneyHi, I am Hein van Eeden from South Africa. I started my Bachelor of Education (Secondary)/Bachelor of Recreation and Outdoor Environmental Studies on the 22nd of February 2019 and will finish my degree at the end of 2022.

I have been at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for 7 months and have had so many positive experiences. USC staff and students on campus are always there to help. The quality of education that I have received at USC up until now is certainly of the highest standard. I have been exposed to many different cultures around campus as USC is a renowned University for students all over the world. The University offers many sports, both competitive and social for those who just want to enjoy the activity. The University is built on a nature reserve spanning 100 hectares, with many different species of animals that can be spotted around campus. There are many different cafés and eateries on campus, each one offering a different experience.

Public transport is easily accessible from the USC campus and makes it easy to explore astonishing places on offer on the Sunshine Coast. One of my favourite places, Mooloolaba has some of the best beaches and a great nightlife, and certainly a great place to watch the sunset. The internationally renowned, Noosa, is 40 minutes north of campus. It has beautiful scenic places and amazing wildlife. There are many surf competitions all year round which makes Noosa the place to be. Interstate travel makes it easy to explore the diversity of the vast country and to experience the different scenery, communities, and cultures. Travelling in Australia never has a dull moment because the locals are friendly, and they are always keen to share their knowledge on the area.

My experience at USC has certainly been enjoyable and I would encourage students to study at USC as they will not regret it.

– Hein Van Eeden @heinve

International Ceremony of Completion – Semester 2, 2019

On Monday, USC International held the Ceremony of Completion for Semester 2 2019 for  our international students. This ceremony was is held for our international students every semester for those who have completed an award program here at USC Sunshine Coast. Check out some photos from this special day!

CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES OF 2019!

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Carolina Preuss from Aachen University of Applied Sciences in Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_20190420_124240G’day! I’m Carolina and I study International Business Management at the FH Aachen for my Masters. For one semester, I am at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Australia for my double degree in International Business.

The Sunshine Coast is a great place to live! The city is not too crowded and it’s easy to get from one place to another by bus. I decided to find my own flat instead of living at the student apartments at next to the campus. On flatmates.com.au you can find a nice place, like I did: only a ten-minute walk to the Mooloolaba Beach! I can totally recommend that, as I only have lectures on three days a week. I am often going for a swim, catching some tan or going for a walk at the beach, as it is so close and beautiful!

As the double degree between USC and FH Aachen is a fixed agreement, it is not possible to choose your own lectures, so I am studying four courses that are required for my program. The workload here is more than at home during the semester, as for each subject there are three assessments, some small exams but mostly (2.500-word) assignments. This can be a little stressful, but therefore the semester ends earlier, as there are most likely no exams in the exam period. So, you can start travelling earlier and learn some Aussie accent, mate!

Travelling here is stunning! The Sunshine Coast is in the middle of the east coast, so it’s a great place to discover everything. In the easter break for instance, we went for a road trip from Cairns to back home and we are doing weekend trips to Brisbane or Fraser Island! I could write pages about the beautiful places I saw here! Rainforests, Beaches, hiking, swimming, lakes and rivers so clear you can drink from them! When my semester ends here, I got some time before I have to be back in Germany, so I will travel the whole east coast and see Uluru, and if there is some time left, I have to decide between Western Australia, New Zealand or South-East. Can’t wait to see all those paradise-like places!

If you have more questions and want some insider tips, feel free to contact me!

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Jhoven Cabundocan from the Philippines studying a Master of Information and Communications Technology (MICT) at USC SouthBank

“Jhoven Cabundocan.

Male.

26.

Philippines.

Graduated: Bachelor of Science in Business Management – De La Salle University.

Looking for: Master of Information and Communications Technology (MICT) program in Brisbane.”

GARDENS - SYD
Sydney

This was my profile when I was planning to get a higher education degree in Australia.

Choosing the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) was like an online dating process. There were many options available, but the moment USC appeared in my search results of top universities in Queensland, it was an automatic swipe right for me. It was a match!

With the help of my agency, AECC Global, to process my documents and with the support of my family, I embarked on my journey to becoming a postgrad student in Australia.

EAT STREET
Eat Street in Brisbane

After my first date with USC SouthBank, we really got to know each other. The campus boasts of its closeness and belongingness with its staff, lecturers, and students. USC SouthBank made sure I had properly adjusted to the new environment with the different workshops and sessions it facilitated. As an MICT student, USC SouthBank equipped me with quality learning, facilities, and services that suited the two-year post grad program I had taken.

Situated in the heart of Brisbane, the campus offered an all-encompassing student experience – creating a perfect balance of study and play. It was convenient to travel around Brisbane with its easy-to-navigate public transportation system. I saw breath-taking views of Brisbane at Mt. Coot-tha Summit Lookout and immersed myself in its festivities – Riverfire, Night Noodle Markets, and the Ekka. I was able to eat flavourful food at Eat Street Northshore. I rode the CityCat and the Wheel of Brisbane at the South Bank Parklands. I toured the Queensland Museum and Gallery of Modern Art. I waited for sunsets at Kangaroo Point Cliffs. I watched rugby games in Suncorp Stadium. I got close with wild kangaroos at Mt. Cotton. There was always heaps to do and places to visit in Brisbane and its neighbouring cities. Experiencing all of this with USC SouthBank, I decided I was ready to commit.

MT COOT-THA
Mount Coot-tha in Brisbane

Yes, falling in love with USC SouthBank was effortless and I fell in love even deeper with the gorgeous and wonderful friends and family I gained in Australia. The support I continuously receive from them made university life easier.

BYRON BAY
Byron Bay Lighthouse

The MICT program gave me confidence in the field of information technology through the knowledge and practices shared by my lecturers. I had a healthy relationship with my USC education. I learned that staying focused and having proper time-management were key motivators to finishing my degree. It gave me the enthusiasm to learn everything USC was able to teach. More importantly, USC valued my mental health and its impact on my education. USC taught me to allocate hours for my academics, while enjoying my free time with mates and family to do activities around Brisbane.

For those who are still looking for love, have been in love or are already in the process of falling in love with studying abroad; take courage and do not fret. Be vocal. Ask for help. People are always willing to lend a hand. Plan but also know when to be spontaneous when you embark on this journey. Enjoy the experience and take advantage of all these chances for self-improvement. Finally, be grateful for this opportunity to learn and to fall in love.

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

Rajkumari Karki from Nepal studying a Master of Health Promotion at USC SouthBank

QVDR2399My name is Rajkumari Karki, and I’m currently undertaking a Master of Health Promotion at USC SouthBank. I’m from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. I come from a nursing background and I was keen to get a degree in a multi-disciplinary subject that would also be closely related to health. I did my research in finding a course that was new to me and had good career prospects. The Master of Heath Promotion at USC was what I decided to enrol into because this program had lot to offer.

My journey of moving and studying abroad got started when I came to Queensland. Along with the happiness, there were lots of challenges and hurdles ahead for me. Coming from a different cultural background, ethnicity, language and very distinctive way of teaching and learning, I had to work really hard to adjust myself to a completely new environment of independent learning.

IMG_4731I’m very thankful to USC for supporting me throughout. All the lecturers, facilitators and student support staff were always there to support me to find an answer to my queries. That’s how I got to know how many resources there are to help you when needed. It wasn’t just during class times that I received support; I’ve also been able to access a range of services available online, such as Studiosity and Student Hub.

As an international student I was pleased to see there are always resources and services available to help support you; all you need to do is reach out for them. Some of these helpful services include:

IMG_E4721Australia is big and there are lots of places to travel around. Travelling around Australia is very convenient due to easy access to various modes of transportation including bus, rail and ferry. I like it here in Queensland; it’s beautiful and has a lot to offer. I enjoy my time on beaches, they are really mesmerising. Redcliffe, Shorncliffe and Moreton Bay are good places to go. One of my preferred destinations is the South Bank Parklands which are very close to our campus. Sitting at the bank of the Brisbane River and spending some quality time with family and friends is a wonderful feeling.

IMG_1251Studying in new a country has its own beauty including meeting new people from all around the world,  exploring places full of adventure, learning in a very distinctive way of teaching and much more.

I have to say I am enjoying my studies at USC SouthBank. I would personally recommend that all international students use the resources available within the campus for better health and academic outcomes.

– Rajkumari Karki

 

 

 

Matthias Kolodziejczyk from the University of Applied Sciences in Worms studying at USC Sunshine Coast

My name is Matthias and I study Master of International Business in a Double Degree Program at USC in Sippy Downs. At HS Worms, I am currently studying International Management.bcf757d5-9cf6-409a-8eee-24cc6de291a5

What I can say about a semester abroad at USC Sunshine Coast is hard to put into words. You must experience it! I came to USC with a group of 5 friends from the same program, and we would definitely come back.

The campus is beautiful!

The USC campus at Sippy Downs is at a nature reserve and is very modern. The buildings are structured so that it is easy to get around. There are some cafes that offer refreshments between lectures and there is something for everyone in the cafeteria. Additionally, the kangaroos who live on campus and hop around in the area are very cool. You can also see many different bird species on the way to the university every day.

The content of the modules is like the content in Germany, but here the focus is increasingly on the application of what has been learned in the form of seminar papers. If you didn’t know how to write a business report until now, you will definitely learn it here. In courses like e.g. Innovation and Decision Management we have one lecture per week for about 2-3 hours. The professors, as in Worms, are in close contact with the students so that one can always approach the professor in case of any challenges. The lectures take place in a pleasant atmosphere in a group of about 20 students. The professor also regularly inquires with international students to see how they are doing and what travel plans they have already made.

 

Varsity Apartments – Hotspot for international Students – During our semester abroad, I lived at a student residence only 5 minutes’ walk from the university, called Varsity Apartments. I live together in an apartment with a Norwegian, an American and an Australian. I am very grateful that I have the chance to make international friends, and Orientation Week is not to be missed. Don’t be afraid if there are a lot of social events during the night in “O-Week”, as it is always quiet at 10 o’clock (or 10PM). You make friends with students from all over the world, and you can arrange to meet others for a round of beach volleyball, tennis or training in the gym located at the USC Sports Precinct.  You can also go for a swim in the ocean or play frisbee on the beach, regardless of the season. You can easily reach the beautiful beach of the Sunshine Coast within 15 minutes by bus from the USC Bus Station located at the campus.

What makes the Sunshine Coast so special? – Study and live in a place where others go on holiday. This is how you could describe the Sunshine Coast in one sentence. Whether it involves hiking to waterfalls, watching the sunrise at the Glasshouse Mountains, or surfing at Alexandra Beach, the Sunshine Coast is never boring. Also, mountain biking in Noosa and swimming in the Fairy Pools should and must be done. If you get wanderlust, you can easily get on a plane at the Sunshine Coast Airport and explore Australia. Every Sunday, we tried to have a coffee at the esplanade and then go swimming in the sea. Even if it is winter in Australia, one should not forget the sunscreen.

Get your backpack and see places! – Despite the high workload, there is enough time for travelling. In Orientation Week, for example, I won a weekend trip to Byron Bay. Together with friends from South Africa, USA, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Austria and Germany, we had an unforgettable time in Byron Bay. The lighthouse tour is a must-do! We also did a surfing course, which was necessary for bloody beginners like us. In the Mid-Semester break, we flew to Cairns and drove back to the Sunshine Coast in a rental car for 1 week.

White Heaven Beach at the Whitsunday’s with a gigantic purple catamaran was at the top of our to-do list. We also made city trips to Sydney with a ballet visit to the famous opera and an AFL game in Brisbane.

After we handed in all the seminar papers, we went on a holiday to Fiji. Afterwards, we went travelling to Melbourne and from there via the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide. When we got back from our trip, we also attended the Completion Ceremony for International Students studying Award programs, before we said goodbye to friends, the beautiful beach in Mooloolaba and the kangaroos at the USC campus.

THANK YOU, USC!

All in all, my semester abroad at USC was an absolutely unforgettable time! I have expanded and applied my knowledge, made new friends from all over the world and travelled through Australia. Anyone who wants to study at a modern university in the middle of a national park with kangaroos, and in a place where others spend their holidays, are in best hands at USC!

Jerome Albores from the Philippines studying a Master of Professional Accounting at USC SouthBank

IMG_5531[1]Hi everyone! I’m Jerome, an international student from the Philippines. I am in my second year of studying a Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) at the University of the Sunshine Coast: SouthBank campus. I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Management Accounting from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines back in 2012. I then worked for 6 years in the corporate world as a finance analyst.

A decision to further your studies at the master’s level is never an easy one. When you add studying abroad to that decision, which includes leaving your friends and family, you can imagine how difficult of a decision it is. So I did what any reasonable person would do when faced with a decision like this; I made a pros and cons list. It was close but going to Australia to study further might be one of the best decisions of my life.

The University of the Sunshine Coast offers a great experience for students. As I am studying at the SouthBank campus, I am going through a unique journey in my uni-life. As it is a smaller campus compared to others, the campus creates a close relationship among the students. Everyone will most likely come across each other. Student support for Academic Skills to Student Wellbeing is easily communicated and given. I can reach out to my lecturers and tutors with no trouble and they are more than happy to help me with any questions I have with my studies. The lecturers’ and tutors’ expertise in their field offers different points of views that help me become a better professional in my field.

While staying here I try to travel as much as I can. I’ve driven down to Sydney from Brisbane, a 1000+ kilometre drive. It’s the farthest I’ve driven in my life and it was amazing! Seeing the countryside of Queensland and New South Wales during winter was beautiful. I went hiking up Mount Ngungun, one of the famous Glasshouse Mountains in South East Queensland. Up there you can glimpse the Sunshine Coast to the north and Brisbane to the south. I also went snorkelling in a shipwreck off the coast of Moreton Island; you can see different kinds of fish swimming in the gaps of the wrecks. There are so many things to do in Australia and I can’t wait to try them while I’m here.

IMG_5599[1]Studying abroad can be intimidating, particularly living in a country where I’m speaking a second language. But it is fulfilling as I am introduced to new people every day, new places and new experiences. In a diverse city such as Brisbane, I learn more about the world and its people. I get to know their cultures and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. In just a year of studying and staying away from home, I got to know myself as well. I taught myself to be more independent and to be more open to what life throws at me. Yes, I am here with a goal in mind but I can’t help stopping and appreciating the other things that studying abroad can offer me. All the knowledge and skills I’m learning here are definitely helping me become a better person.

If you have the opportunity to study in Australia or any other country, take it! Living in a different country will be one of your best decisions. You will become a whole better person with the things you learn. You will appreciate things differently and have a new outlook on life. Adventure awaits!

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

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Kerstin Brasseler from Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

My name is Kerstin and I am studying Information and Communication Design at the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in Germany. For my semester abroad I wanted to see something completely different from home, so I decided to come to kondalillafallsAustralia and USC where I am studying a Diploma in Communications.

When I first arrived at the USC campus, I immediately fell in love with all the animals that you see. Every day, there are kangaroos jumping around or just chilling in the sun. During my time here, they also had adorable Joeys (baby kangaroos).

Studying at USC is different from my studies in Germany. The workload is much higher, because there are multiple assessments during the semester, which oblige you to study consistently. The classes are also set up differently. For my diploma, I took four courses. Half of my courses had a lecture and a tutorial, and the other half were computer workshops. The lectures lasted for an hour koalaand the tutorial, which split the lectures into smaller groups, lasted for two hours. After listening to the lectures, it was helpful that there was the tutorial, where you could ask follow-up questions and get a better understanding of the course objectives. In the computer workshop, everyone – as the name suggests – was provided a computer and there were software lectures, tutorials and time to work on the assignments.

My decision of living and studying in Australia was definitely worth it. Sunshine Coast is beautiful, and everyone is so friendly. The University is not far from various beaches, so the sunny days can be spent there. Even in the winter, the weather is mostly warm and lovely.


During my mid-semester break, I rented a car with a friend and we drove around the area such as to Noosa, which you should not miss out on during your stay here! There are also a lot of zoo’s around the area, so if you want to see cute Australian animals and even pet them, that is the place to go! My friends and my favourite spot were Betty’s Burgers at the Sunshine Plaza, and the burgers there are so delicious.

In short, I had a great time and made memories for a lifetime.

byronbay

Sara Hajari from Iran studying a Master of Information and Communications Technology at USC SouthBank

5My name is Sara and I’m from Iran! I did my undergrad in statistics in my home country. Currently, I’ve been studying the Master of Information and Communications Technology (MICT) at the University of Sunshine Coast (SouthBank) for over two semesters. This program includes four semesters of study that can help me to become a data scientist after I graduate.

The USC SouthBank Campus is close to the Brisbane River and South Bank Parklands, a lively area with great bars and restaurants. As an international student, I find studying in Australia very beneficial due to multicultural communities, great universities, and nice weather.

2I have travelled a lot in Australia and have been to many cities in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. I like Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast the most due to the pleasant weather and interesting activities in these cities, such as the theme parks, mountains, zoos, and beautiful beaches.

I decided to study the MICT at USC based on the wide range of specialised courses offered through ICT. I recommend that future students follow their intuition when choosing a subject, have a look at the list of courses for their chosen subject, and read the course outlines.

Moreover, I have benefited from the interactive lectures here at USC as my lectures are not just presentations. It is important for the lecturers and tutors to make sure that students figure out the concept of each session. The assessments are also designed in a way that helps students to comprehend the course modules deeply. Also, I highly suggest my peers take a look through the lecture slides available on the online learning management system Blackboard, before they attend classes and study the course materials after that.

In the end, I am happy with my decision to go to USC because of the friendly staff, my new friends and the opportunity to experience an international education.

Eike Stau from the University of Regensburg in Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi, my name is Eike and I usually study political science in Regensburg, Germany. pic1However, I am currently studying at USC as an international student. But now that my semester abroad is coming to an end it is time for a little review.

During my preparations for the semester, the search for an apartment was of course at the top of my list. Fortunately, there are quite reasonably-priced accommodations in the immediate vicinity of the university. Of course, you can also live elsewhere in Sippy Downs, where my campus is located, or even closer to the ocean, e. g. Mooloolaba. Nevertheless, the accommodations right next to the university are very suitable for a single semester abroad.

The Orientation Week, where the university has a large presence and provides great offers especially for international students, started quite quickly. Right at the beginning we were invited to a bus tour where the USC ambassadors showed us the area and gave us tips on restaurants, clubs, activities and must-sees. Since this event was for internationals only, the uncertainty was clearly visible among the majority of the people, as most of us came to Australia alone. However, since practically everyone was in the same situation, with a little openness one quickly found new friends. And the same people are still my friends now. In addition, we have already begun to think about when, where, and how to meet again after our time at USC.

In general, USC’s staff is very helpful. Whether the International Office, Student Central or the individual lecturers, there is always someone with “an open ear” for problems or difficulties. There are no stupid questions. The campus is located in the middle of a nature reserve, you can see many different animals, from the smallest birds to sunbathing kangaroos, and USC is modern and digital – you feel at home. The course structure is different here than at my university in Regensburg. While at home, I have to do a great deal of work, usually a long essay after the actual semester, whilst here I have to do up to three smaller things during the current semester. How one evaluates the particular system is left to everyone.

But now to the actual reason why you do such a semester – travelling. Since we are here on the Sunshine Coast, there are many different things you can do. One must have visited the Australia Zoo. On the one hand, you can see all the animals we don’t really know in Europe. Some animals I’ve never seen before. In addition, you can take a picture with a koala on your arm – and you should, if you’re willing to pay almost $30, definitely do that! You can also pet and feed kangaroos, which you should only do in the Zoo. Furthermore, I’ve visited so many different beaches! Of course, you should try to surf at pic3least once. My attempts were not blessed with too much luck, but practice makes perfect (I guess). Most beaches are easy to reach by bus. Even if public transport was not quite ideal for me as a European, it is perfectly all right – You get from A to B.

Beside the zoo and the beaches, there are numerous other things that can be seen in the area, like waterfalls or national parks. On weekends, when you have a little more time than during the week, it is a good idea to plan 1-2 day trips. For example, you can go to Brisbane or Fraser Island. In my semester break, I was able to make a longer trip with my friends. We drove with the car of a friend on one of the best road trips I have ever had north towards Whitsundays. When we arrived there, we went on a boat for several days and drove around the different islands, visited Whitehaven Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches there is, and were diving in the Great Barrier Reef. This was by far one of the most special holidays I have ever had and which I will never forget. That is something I can recommend to anyone! At the end I will spend another week in Sydney after the semester ended, before I go back home again.

Overall, I had a great time at USC and generally here in Australia. I found good friends, had lots of fun and was able to see a lot. I am incredibly grateful for the experience I have had here!

– Eike Stau

Amelie Hoffrén from Sweden studying a Bachelor of Criminology and Justice at USC Sunshine Coast

image_123986672My name is Amelie Hoffrén and I am a Swedish international student at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I am doing a three-year-long bachelor degree of Criminology and Justice, minoring in Sociology. I moved here just after I graduated high school so I have no experience of Swedish Universities, but I imagine that they are quite different from USC.

In June 2016 I left my home in Sweden for an adventure on the other side of the world. A few weeks before I got here I started my ‘research’ – i.e. stalking every international student at USC I could find on social media. I thought I was prepared for everything and anything that the Australian lifestyle had to offer. Let’s just say that I was very wrong, not to mention naive. First of all, my whole life did not fit in my suitcase – shocker, right? Friends, family, and the comfort of living at home had to all stay in Sweden. Secondly, no one told me that winter nights on the coast can get quite chilly, especially as Australian households rarely have heaters. So leaving your window open when it’s 5 degrees outside at night is not recommended. Thirdly, I sure as heck wasn’t prepared for Aussie slang. It never cease to amaze me how creative Australians have been with the English language. Just when you think you’ve heard it all, someone will say a word or phrase that makes you realise that you’ve only seen the very tip of the iceberg.

Now almost 3 years have passed since I first got here, and holy moly what a blast it’s been. My main reason why I wanted to study abroad was because I could not decide whether I wanted to travel or study. Studying here has allowed me to see different parts of Australia as well as two trips to New Zealand. I have also made friends that made it possible for me to travel to America and stay there during one of my uni summer break. Another thing studying here has allowed me to do was to foster dogs! I have been taking care of dogs until they get adopted whilst studying at the same time. Although juggling the two can be difficult at times, it has also helped my studying a lot as I have to take regular breaks to take them out for walks.

IMG_6888I could easily write a hundred reasons why studying abroad has been the best three years of my life and another hundred on what you’re about to sign up for. However, reflecting back on this whole experience now when it’s coming to an end, I’m glad that I didn’t know what was waiting ahead when I boarded that plane almost three years ago.

The beauty of studying abroad is that no matter how much you researched beforehand, you will never be able to fully prepare for the adventures that await you once the plane touches Australian land.

 

Clemence Mataruse from Zimbabwe studying a Master of Professional Accounting at USC SouthBank

IMG-20190406-WA0020My journey to Brisbane, Australia started in June of 2018 with a simple visit to the Koala Education Centre (my agency) in Eastlea, Harare, Zimbabwe. A friendly staff member (Kundai) sat down with me for a good consultation where I was given all the information I needed to get ready, and all the documents required for my application. Furthermore, she gave me various information about different institutions, their advantages and disadvantages, and also how coming to Australia and what it includes as opposed to other countries, which was a very good thing. Choosing The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) was a no brainer as I have an aunt who graduated from USC and she told me about its level of excellence.

IMG_20190530_103024Before coming to USC, I had studied an undergraduate degree from the University of Namibia in Banking and Finance back in 2016. Today, I am based at the USC SouthBank campus. Upon my arrival at USC in February of 2019 to study the two-year Master of Professional Accounting, I found the institution to be astoundingly superior to my former institution. My campus is in the heart of Brisbane itself, right in the middle of the city. SouthBank is the entertainment hub for the Brisbane CBD with various well-known spots, including the famous Wheel of Brisbane and Brisbane river that runs through the city.

IMG_20190302_145911_953I had visited some universities in Africa for comparison purposes, but USC was beyond measure. The facilities are exceptional and unlike the institution where I studied my undergraduate degree with 150 students in one classroom, USC has sometimes less than 30 students in each classroom which gives the lectures and students proper interaction to provide a personal experience in the learning environment. The study experience has been good, simple and direct. A combination of lectures, tutorials and practical exercises are used, including the use of an accounting software called Xero which is not available in Africa. This combination gives direct knowledge to prepare us for work upon graduation, which is exactly what employers are looking for. On a personal note, I am the only African in my class of 30, with most of my classmates coming from Nepal and India. One from the Philippines, two from Pakistan, and an exchange student from Germany thus creating a diverse group of people. This gives me pride to represent not just my country but the continent as a whole.

Traveling to Brisbane, Australia was a great experience for me as I had never left the African continent. It was and still is a great eye-opening experience to see the world from a different perspective. The differences in culture, society, advancement and development are things I thank God for every day as well for His guidance and protection.

IMG-20190429-WA0026Apart from the academic side of my experience, Brisbane is an amazing place to be; it is regarded as a great tourist city of Australia with perfect weather and great scenery. I created a proper school, work and life balance. I got my job within a month of my arrival, which I still have to date, and it helps pay for bills and even helps out my family back home. I love the transport system very much as it is efficient and reliable. Most days I have 8am classes, so my day starts bright and early. Furthermore, after classes I am off to work, all  by using the public transport system. I have visited places such as the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, and travelled as far as Winton, a small town 1500km away from Brisbane. The town is famous for the founding of Qantas, Australia’s national airline, and also a dinosaur museum.

IMG_20190226_225440_232To all future students, I would advise them to do thorough research on the different aspects of studies and places they want to go. The decision impacts their lives forever, and time lost can never be gained. Follow your heart and passion, and don’t look at what the world says.

I am very grateful that I got this amazing opportunity to study in Australia and I am thankful to my wife and son for all the encouragement and support, as they are still back home, and my family who sponsored and helped me to experience this legendary time. I am looking forward to my life journey with all this experience being bestowed upon me.

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.

Karina Russell from Millersville University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

Photo 14.v1The time has now come and gone in the blink of an eye. For what felt like forever, I was dreaming of my study abroad here in Australia. It seems like just yesterday I was in PA packing my bags for my big adventure. Here I am now, packing up my room at UniCentral to wrap up my five month Aussie experience. To be honest, I was nervous, scared, but most of all EXCITED for what this upcoming semester abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast was going to hold.

My name is Karina Russell and I am a Senior at Millersville University of Pennsylvania dual majoring in Early Childhood and Special Education. Some may ask why I decided to study abroad in Australia, but the real question is “why not”? There are kangaroos, koalas, beaches, and sunshine almost everywhere you look. These past five months have been nothing more than breathtaking, stretching, and memorable for me. I left my family, my fiancé, my dog and everything I knew and flew 22 hours to the other side of the world just to have this study abroad experience. It was so worth it. There is not one thing I would have done differently.

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Camel.jpgAs I sit here in my dorm and I am starting to pack up all my belongings, I think back to some of my favourite memories I have made in these last five months. During my time here not only have I had the opportunity to adventure around Australia, but I also had the opportunity to visit Queenstown, New Zealand and Bali, Indonesia over my semester breaks. Traveling within Australia is super convenient. You can easily jump on a bus, train, or plane and go somewhere for a weekend or even a day trip. Some of my weekend trips within Australia consisted of Sydney, Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Uluru, Melbourne and Fraser Island. Some of my favorite day trips were visiting the Sunshine Plaza, SeaLife, visiting Alexandra Headlands, going to Mooloolaba Beach, and my absolute favourite was visiting the Steve Irwin Australia Zoo.

Looking back on my experiences, I did things that I never would have thought of before leaving the states. To name a few of my favourites, I had the opportunity to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, take surfing lessons in Byron Bay, ride a camel into sunset in Uluru, see penguins in Melbourne, learn to stand up paddle board in New Zealand, take a mud bath with elephants in Bali, snorkel with sea turtles in Gili T, and even go to the Australia Zoo fifteen times! As you can see, I liked to keep myself busy with adventure.

My time in Australia was absolutely amazing! Not only did I make unforgettable memories, but I also made many life long friendships. If you are considering studying abroad, whether it is to USC of not, my best advice is to follow your dreams. If studying abroad is something you have been dreaming of then don’t let anything or anyone hold you back. I promise, you will not regret it! Save up beforehand, plan ahead, get involved, and enjoy your adventure!

 

Annika Meyer from the University of Applied Sciences in Stralsund studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Since the beginning of my studies in Germany, it has been clear to me that I wanted to do a semester abroad and quickly realised that I wanted to return to Australia! It is not the first time for me in this country and it will not be my last time.

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So, why should you study in Australia as well? You will fall in love with the country and the Sunshine Coast! I arrived here in February. That means I escaped the cold and grey Germany and arrived in warm, sunny Australia. During my first days, there were many opportunities to get to know other international students. During the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour and the international barbecue, I met people from all over the world and made many friends.

By living with others in the student apartment you have a lot contact with Australians, which was also very important to me. That’s why I was happy to have three Australian roommates. Of course, you have to study a lot for the university, write assignments and give presentations, because there is something to do the whole semester in contrast to Germany. However, there is still enough time to explore the Sunshine Coast and surrounding areas. Trips to the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands, Noosa, Byron, Sydney and Melbourne are definitely worth it. But also, the Hinterland of the Sunshine Coast is beautiful. The list of travel and day trip destinations is never ending.

For me it was the best decision to go to USC! I made new friendships with people from all around the world, watched beautiful sunsets and collected unforgettable memories.

Cheers!

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