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

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Niklaus Hess from Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) in Switzerland studying at USC Sunshine Coast

PortraitHi there, I’m Nik from Switzerland. I study Business Engineering | Innovation at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU). Here at the USC, I did the Diploma in Business within one semester as part of my bachelor’s degree in Switzerland.

 

The USC is a partner university of the HSLU in Switzerland. Due to the popularity of the USC, students must come as a “freemover”, despite the partnership. Although, in my case, I could profit from a 15% partnership discount. I regret no dollar I paid because it was worth it in any case. Fortunately, the international office of my university in Switzerland gave me great support regarding the application process which made it quite easy for me to apply. Nevertheless, you should plan more than enough time to organize your exchange semester. The earlier you begin, the easier will the process be.

 

The campus of the USC in Sippy Downs is stunning: Trees, plants and colourful birds everywhere, several coffee shops and kangaroos jumping around the place. Also, the buildings and classrooms were very stimulating. For me, studying at USC campus was like studying with a lifestyle. The biggest difference from USC to the HSLU is the examination system. At HSLU, you have no exams during the semester, but big final exams at the end. So, you can relax during semester if you want, however, in most cases you then will have a quite stressful exam preparation period. Here at the USC, you normally have two or three tasks throughout the semester and sometimes a final exam at the end. Thus, if you invest in learning already in the beginning of the semester, you will probably have no stress at the final exam.

 

USC has an own student association which organize many events and trips, especially during the first few weeks. For international students, it is the best opportunity to connect with the other internationals. For example, I attended a day-trip to the rainforest, a market, and a famous beach. So, you could visit the Sunshine Coast and connect with other students at the same time which was fabulous. If you plan to come to USC for an exchange semester, you absolutely must arrive before the orientation week, because in this week there are a lot of social events and parties, so this is also one of the best ways to meet and do cool things with other students.

 

Due to the virus, this time was very special for me, but in a positive sense. Because of the restrictions, I had a lot of time for being with myself and thinking about life and the future. I spent every early morning at the beach for enjoying the sunrise, sipping coffee, walking along the Pacific Ocean, reading inspiring books, thinking about new ideas and so on. This gave me some very valuable personal insights which literally have been changing my life right now. Doesn’t matter if there is a virus or not – spending time in Australia is priceless, as long as you make the best out of it!

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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

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Joseph Bautista from the Philippines studying a Bachelor of Nursing Science (Graduate Entry) at USC Sunshine Coast

Image-11Hi, my name is Joe and I am an international student from the Philippines studying a Bachelor of Nursing Science (Graduate Entry) program here at USC Sunshine Coast. I lived in Sydney for one year before coming to the Sunshine Coast in order to pursue my studies.

Here is an interpretation of Joseph’s story here at USC Sunshine Coast:

The tale of 4 queens and a king

Once there was a man who lost track of his dreams. His aspirations were shattered and he found himself wandering offhand. One night, while staring blankly at the sky, he saw an orange falling talking star named Jet. It landed on his palm and asked him to whisper a wish. He uttered to bring him to a place where his “heart desires” then just like that, an hour and a half after, he found himself in a serene kingdom greeted by Queen Beam, the monarch of the sun. She felt that the kingdom from where the man was from has had close affiliation with the tropical sun. He immediately felt the warmth of her welcome, almost feeling like he was back home. The queen gave him a magical faster-than-the speeding-light blue card named Go to take him to places in his quest to find the realisation of his whispered wish. Soon enough, he found himself standing in front of another palace where he was escorted to see Queen Ridge. The queen was kind enough to show him the beauty of her kingdom – Mt. Beerwah, Mt. Coolum, and Mt. Ngungun.  At that point, he could not imagine how that experience would get any better.

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The morning after, he was awakened by the swashing sound of the wave and the cool breeze. On the small sunbed, he was served his brekky, and not long after, he was presented to Queen Beach, the moodiest of the queen sisters but regarded as the most beautiful one. He was warned by the palace guards that she could sometimes be calm and warm, other times turbulent and cold. Meeting the queen, she invited him to walk barefoot to feel the sand where the kingdom rose. Her majesty revealed the beauty of her dominion from the nearby Noosa, Mooloolaba, Mudjimba, and Marcoola to the farther Surfer’s Paradise, Fitzroy Island, and Whitsunday Islands discovering the largest coral reef system in the world. He thought he was having the time of his life, until he met the youngest ruler, Queen Mirth. She was up for all things fun like skydiving, surfing, exploring, or simply basking under the sun. With all these he was told that his true purpose would be revealed once he meets the king.

Image-8Days passed and Go brought him finally to the kingdom where he saw wild kangaroos lying on the grassland, in the middle of lofty structures. There he met King Lore, whose throne is the seat of knowledge and wisdom. The king granted him the gift to pursue his dreams by enriching his mind and develop his skills. The opportunity given came with a supporting entourage while allowing him to explore the kingdoms of the four queens, collectively known as Queensland. At that moment, he realised that the missing puzzle pieces were coming back to make him the person he wanted to be and finally he said, “I’m back on track.”

– Joe Bautista

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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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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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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!

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

 

 

 

Lillian DeMarco from Rider University: 15 Tips to Make Your Study Abroad Experience at USC Sunshine Coast 100%

32DF702E-CE2E-4934-8033-AD9320B6382FHi, my name is Lillian DeMarco and I’ve been studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Semester 2, 2019 from Rider University in New Jersey, USA

There’s so many reasons why someone would choose to study abroad in Australia – the beaches, mountains, environment, diverse wildlife, laid back lifestyle, high standard of living, and great breadth of international food. But, no matter how great a place is, sometimes you need some guidance to be able to get the BEST experience, especially during your stay in Australia. Here is some advice I would give to anyone studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast for the first time:

How to make your Australian experience 100%:

*(This blog article is based on one students experience and every student has to consider their own circumstances)

1. The sooner into your degree you can study abroad, the better.

    • If you’re coming to USC as a study abroad students through a University like Rider, this is a beneficial tip because you will be able to find transferable classes more easily early on, than if you have to take upper level courses. If you can, try taking introductory level or elective courses (100 coded courses) when you’re studying abroad so you can dedicate more time to exploring and having fun!

2. Arrive earlier than necessary.

    1. img_5441.jpegUSC recommend all international students to arrive 3-4 days before Orientation week, which leaves you with a couple of days to acclimatize yourself. However, I suggest arriving earlier (as long as the housing accommodation allows you to), which will give you more time to move in, meet a few people, and get accustomed to the environment before you make your way to the university.

3. Exchange currency at the proper place.

      • DO NOT exchange your currency/cash at the airport, as they are the most expensive place to do that. For example, at the time I came, the market rate was 1.38 AUD for every 1.00 USD that I exchanged, but the rate I ended up receiving from the airport’s kiosk was only 1.17 AUD for every 1.00 USD (a total ripoff, in my opinion). I suggest going to the Sunshine Plaza or Kawana Shopping World, the closest shopping centres, and exchanging your currency at a place there. They offer rates that are more comparable to the market rate, which will likely be better.

4. Things to do/buy right away.

    • DSC01787_OriginalWhen you’re at the Sunshine Plaza or Kawana Shopping World, you need to open up a bank account, activate a cell phone service, and buy sunscreen. I suggest opening up a zero fee Suncorp bank account because they cater to students, and you are able to close it online relatively easily after you leave Australia.
    • For the phone service, Telstra is your best bet when it comes to coverage quality and overall value. Depending on the amount of money you want to spend, you can either buy a cheap prepaid phone and SIM card, or if your device is already unlocked, feel free to just buy the prepaid SIM card and top up monthly when you need more data.
    • And as for sunscreen, depending on when you arrive, it will be either be summer (Semester 1) or winter (Semester 2). Plan accordingly. If it’s summer, buy Cancer Council 50+ Ultra SPF sunscreen RIGHT away, as you can get blisters within minutes in the Australian sun. If it’s winter, definitely buy some face lotion with sunscreen in it and get 30+ SPF for the rest of your body, but there’s not as much pressure to put it on all the time.
    • You’re going to need to provide your own bed, bath, cleaning, and housing necessities (depending on where you decide to stay e.g. Varsity or UniCentral). Buy based on budget and what you need, but your best stores to go to for housing items are Big W, Kmart, and Target.

5. Plan out your time.

    • For the best use of your time, especially if you’re only staying a semester, do lots of weekend trips (Adelaide, Sydney, Fraser Island, Tangalooma, Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Byron Bay, to name a few). You’re going to want to explore more of the country, so leave some time after the semester to go to Uluru (Ayers Rock), spend more time in the cities, take a bus up the East Coast, and travel to the West Coast, Bali, Fiji, and New Zealand.

6. Get a travel agent.

    • 56C1793E-AD2E-4AEB-87C9-28D32AEDF70F_OriginalIf you plan on going to a lot of places during and after the semester, GET YOURSELF A TRAVEL AGENT! They will save you SO much time and even some money when you book through them as opposed to you booking everything as a sole customer.
    • For example, I rented a car for the mid-semester break. By booking through a travel agent, I ended up getting a free upgrade, being able to put a deposit down instead of paying all at once, and saving money on unnecessary charges by buying the correct insurance for my needs based on their advice.
    • Planning takes forever to do on your own, which is why I recommend Peter Pans Adventure Travel. They’re based in Noosa, which is 40 minutes away from the University, but a representative will come to you if you do not have a car. It’s super convenient and saved me a LOT of stress throughout the semester.

7. If you can, buy a car or share one with a fellow student!

    • If you can afford it, get a cheap car (less than $2,000), or split a better one with some other international students, if possible! Either way, you won’t regret it. I really wish I got a car the first week I was here, because a car makes seeing everything you want to see a lot easier to achieve. When I rented a car for the mid-semester break, it showed me how beneficial having a car in Australia really is.

8. If you can’t get a car, get student rates on public transportation.

    • No one told me about this until it was too late, but if you are eligible, you can change your “program” to a “Diploma of General Studies” within the first four weeks of classes before the census date (20 March 2020), which makes you eligible for concession (student) rates on public transportation. Don’t worry, this won’t change the courses you’re already taking. Student rates will save you a lot of money, over 50%! For example, to get to the Sunshine Plaza, it usually costs about $3.31, but with your student card, it’ll only be about $1.66. Over time, especially if you don’t end up buying a car, the student rates are worth it!

9. Attend Orientation Week 17-21 Feb (International Orientation Day – 16 Feb 2020)

    • Orientation week is the week before classes commence. Depending on your program, there will be activities and seminars for you to attend several days between Monday – Friday. This week is especially helpful if you’re a first year university student. After the sessions, there are ample opportunities to meet new people, as many people tend to socialize at the student housing that whole week! It’s a week I highly suggest being present for.

10. Get involved at USC.

    • Join clubs and organizations as if this were your home university. It’s a great way to meet new people and enhance your skills. And you never know what kind of professional connections you can make!
    • I joined Toastmasters International and took the 5 week intensive Speechcrafters course, became a USC International Brand Ambassador (you get to go on cool trips with other international students while having an enhanced presence on social media), and was a photographer for the Sexual Violence Awareness Month throughout October. Get out there!

11. Explore the nearby towns.

    • Whether you have a car or public transportation, I recommend exploring the Sunshine Coast. A simple Google search will show you all the many places you could go. There are plenty of places conducive to all day trips or just for a few hours, with something for everyone.

12. Get a job.

    • E7653255-D592-4095-8E66-7E1A5A058875I’d definitely get a job if you’re here for longer than a semester, or at least apply for a few. The daily living and travel expenses in Australia can get to be pretty expensive, especially if you don’t have any money flowing in. Part time jobs usually require less than 20 hours of your time per week, which is manageable as a student AND they pay well (some between $20-30 an hour!).
    • Honestly, if you’re only here a semester, don’t worry about getting a job. You’ll find that it’s just too much to manage, and when several years go by after you return home, you’ll wish you spent the maximum time exploring and adventuring instead of worrying about working. If you’re really short on money, try to limit the amount of times you go out to eat at restaurants, and focus on spending your time doing free or low-cost activities like hiking or going to the beach.

13. Go out of your comfort zone.

    • There will DEFINITELY be things in Australia that you will want to do, but your feeling of fear might hold you back. DON’T let it hold you back! Some scary things yet life changing things that you might want to do are skydiving, ziplining, surfing, touching a cheetah, parasailing, cliff jumping, scuba diving, snorkeling, and mountain climbing. You WON’T regret putting in the effort to live your best life, trust me!

14. Try a social media detox.

    • While I wasn’t able to do this during the semester because of my responsibilities at my home university and connections with my boyfriend and best friends at home, I definitely recommend taking a break from or limiting social media and screen time at least for a few days during your time in Australia. It can be very mentally beneficial to relax and not worry about what other people are doing, because it’s so hard NOT to compare yourself when you browse social media! Take the time and live in the moment to best enjoy YOUR experiences. Own your time!

15. End your lease on time.

    • Students that live in the accommodations near campus usually end their leases a few weeks after the semester ends. If you know you’re traveling, (which you will be) end the lease as SOON as possible! Don’t make the mistake of extending it, thinking you’ll be around to hang out and have somewhere to put your stuff that you won’t take with you on your post-semester adventures! (Hint: you will be traveling, and you won’t need your room.) Do this in an effort to avoid paying for weeks you might not even be around to enjoy having your own room, anyways.

Thanks for reading, and I hope these tips help make your stay in Australia as an international student that much more exciting!

– Lillian DeMarco @lil_dem  & @Ildphotos

 

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

15 Things You Most Likely Experienced When Living At Student Accommodation On The Sunshine Coast

1. Your first night at student accommodation felt really weird (you’re on the other side of the world!)

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2. You constantly procrastinated by the pool trying to motivate yourself to study:

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3. You noticed how your milk slowly disappeared without you touching it:

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4. And of course, the food thief:

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5. You experienced being really proud of yourself for managing a whole day of studying, rewarding yourself with a week off:

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6. You experienced the highest level of stress possible when you were hanging out with your mates, realising at 10pm that your assignment is due at 11.59pm:

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7. You locked yourself out too many times… (the security guard probably knew your name towards the end):

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8. You strategically made friends with at least one person owning a car because you were too lazy walking to Wollies:

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9. You went on a Maccas (McDonald’s) run to Mooloolaba with your best mate late at night:

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10. Your team was always one person down (or just being useless) when attending the Volleyball competition:

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11. You spent more time on your computer booking weekend getaways rather than spending time on your assignments:

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12. The accommodation turned into a ghost town during semester break (who doesn’t love to travel!):

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13. Not to mention, someone was always trying to sell their TP-Link Router:

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14. And you really get to show off your skills as an salesman when you need to get rid off some of your stuff towards the end:

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15. However, leaving your student accommodation and friends at the end were one of the saddest things you’ve had to do!

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20 Things Only People Who Studied Abroad At USC Sunshine Coast Will Understand

1. You thought that the kangaroos at campus were photoshopped until you got here:

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2. It was pretty hard to choose between studying, going to class, and this:

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Photo: @sofiegam

3.These freakin’ birds tried to steal your brass meals:

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3. Watching a boxing game between two kangaroos was more exciting than Mayweather vs McGregor:

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Credit: @adriannssg

4.  You realised that surfing was not as easy as it looks:

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5. And you sometimes preferred to sunbathe instead, realising 50+ is the only smart choice around here:

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6. You almost got a heart attack seeing someone walking barefoot into the shops

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7. You gave up dressing nice the first week on campus when you realised people rock up in your lectures wearing thongs (flip flops) anyway:

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8. The disappointment when you’ve been looking forward to Brasserie’s Chicken Parmy all day and it’s sold out..

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9. Back to the birds: You got attacked once or twice by the plovers:

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10. But you also realised that the ducks were fierce warriors protecting their territory as well:

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11. Looking back at your first trip to Wollies, you didn’t know that you could bring with you a trolley instead of carrying the bags for 2 km:

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13. You also ended up buying coke at campus because you left your water bottle at home:

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14.  Not to mention, this was most likely your first picture on social media from Australia:

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Photo: Bindi Irwin 

15. But your goal was to get a photo like this:

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16. You also learned that sandwich bread instead of buns is the only way to do it:

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17. And you could not afford anything else than boxed wine for Thursday Uni Nights:

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18. You learned to love Tim Tams, but no matter how much you tried, you couldn’t force yourself to love Vegemite quite as much:

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19. You went to Kmart at Sunshine Plaza expecting to spend 20$, but walked out like this:

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20. But all in all, you know that studying abroad in Australia basically ruined your life because nothing else will ever compare: </3

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* This concepts was based around BuzzFeed Blog by Lara Parker Posted on July 9, 2014. 

Jessica Mulligan from Montclair State University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

img_8866.jpgHey everyone! My name is Jessica Mulligan and I’m a junior at Montclair State University in the United States. I spent my junior year spring semester studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast. I have always dreamed about going to Australia one day and I was lucky enough to come study here for 5 months. I have had the best times in Australia and I am so sad it is coming to an end. I met so many great people and formed so many friendships that will last a lifetime. I met people from all around the world and learned so many new things from living in another country. I made so many friends in Australia that live in the United States and I am excited to continue those friendships when we return.

One of my favourite places I went during my study abroad time was the Australia Zoo. I purchased a season pass the first time I went and it was the best decision I made. I went to the zoo all the time with the friends that I met here. I held a koala, feed kangaroos, met a tortoise up close, watched the Irwin Family feed the crocs during Easter weekend, fed a giraffe, took some photos and meet the dingos and pet a cheetah. I showed my friends and family that visited the zoo as well, and they loved it just as much as I did. Every time I went to the zoo I was able to see something different.

IMG_3452I also had the opportunity to travel all along the east coast of Australia throughout my time here. I hung out on the beach in Mooloolaba, hiked to swim in the fairy pools in Noosa, spent a weekend in the Gold Coast with my friends, went on a trip to Byron Bay with Adventure Dudes and went skydiving. I spent mid semester break in Airlie Beach, Whitsundays and went to Whitehaven beach to see the swirling sands. I went to a Post Malone concert in Brisbane with some of my friends and spent the weekend there exploring the city. My best friend from home came to visit me in Australia and while she was here we went to Melbourne for the weekend and toured Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles. My boyfriend from home came to visit me in Australia as well, and we went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns. I explored Fraser Island for a weekend and saw so many beautiful things and my last adventure was traveling to Sydney to see the Sydney Opera House with my mom before we head back home to the US.

IMG_3954I am so grateful that I was able to have the opportunity to study abroad in Australia at the University of the Sunshine Coast. I met so many new people and formed some great friendships over the few months that I have been here. I saw so many beautiful places and experienced some pretty amazing adventures along the way. I had the time of my life and I will always remember this experience for the rest of my life.

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Iona Casta from PSB Paris School of Business in France studying at USC Sunshine Coast

 

I arrived at Brisbane airport on the 13th of July 2016, in the middle of the night, alone and full of worries.

When I arrived at Varsity, the accommodation I rented, my first reaction was “What an earth am I doing here?”. I fell asleep in a bed that wasn’t even mine, wondering what was going to happen to me. The following day, I met my two flatmates: a couple, an American girl and a 100% Aussie guy and they immediately took me under their wing. We became a little family.

Over the weeks, I discovered the « Sunny Coast »: beaches, hikes, climbing, restaurants with friends, exactly what I imagined Australian way of life would be originally. I also tasted student life in Australia: Uni-nights, volley competitions where I met people from all around the world.

Life on campus was just as pleasant, seeing kangaroos as I was going to school was a big change from Paris !

I had the opportunity to travel during the summer break: Whitsundays, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and even Bali!

Of course I had some hard times, for example driving in to my garage door. Hard times that become memories…

I have learned a lot about myself this year: I freed myself from timidity and discretion by socializing! It has been such a good thing for me. The hardest part will be going back home and leaving the Coast, my Australian family and my new friends behind.

Coming to Australia has always been my dream, a dream that came true… Thank you USC !

 

Anna from the University of Eastern Finland: Living at Varsity

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Varsity Apartments

I live at Varsity Apartments close to the campus. I was positively surprised when I first arrived there. I had a few doubts about student accommodation and living in a shared Apartment complex, which I hadn’t experienced before, but the apartments are nice and I especially like that I have my own room and bathroom. I feel welcome by my new flatmates who are all Australians. They are really helpful when I have any problems.

Now I have been living at Varsity for two months and I have made some really good friends there. Sometimes we cook together at some of our apartments, walk to Chancellor Park to do some grocery shopping, spend an evening talking and having some good wine or go to the gym to do some exercise. It is a great place to meet new people. Of course there are a few downsides as well; for example it can be a bit noisy sometimes (Thursday parties!). Even though I am not so much into parties, it hasn’t been a problem for me.

Overall I am happy I chose to live in a student accommodation. Otherwise I wouldn’t have met some of the amazing people from all over the world.