Marta Cholewa from Grand Valley State University in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_0108Hello! My name is Marta Cholewa and at USC I studied General Studies but at my home university, I major in Exercise Science. My home university is Grand Valley State University which is near Grand Rapids, Michigan, but I am originally from Palatine, Illinois which is close to Chicago. I have been wanting to study abroad ever since I heard all my sister’s study abroad experiences and travel stories.

The decision to study at USC was an easy one because I knew I always wanted to go to Australia and I did not have to stress about not knowing the language. Grand Valley State University helped me throughout my process as there was so many people to talk to if I had questions or concerns. I did a lot of the planning myself since I am a big planner, but I was able to get all my questions answered about my specific country and school by talking to a previous student who studied at USC. There were plenty of meetings to attend that gave advice about safety, adapting to culture, education, and travelling. My school definitely helped me feel prepared for my journey.

All the classes I took fulfilled my general education requirements, and it was really interesting to see how differently they teach subjects that I have taken in high school. The most fascinating class I took and the class I learned the most in was the History of Australia, which consisted of engaging discussions and it opened my eyes to a lot of the topics the country faced that I did not know about. The most creative class I took was Topics of Design. I am not the most artistic person, but that class allowed to get out of my comfort zone just enough to have fun with what I was doing. It was also an opportunity to learn about the popular designs, brands, and advertisements in Australia what may not be well-known in the states. The most thought-provoking class I took was An English Tradition. Not only is English difficult for me in general but trying to write a paper in ways that are very different than how I was taught to write is difficult. Nonetheless, I learned some new ideas and read some great material by new authors.

The most entertaining class I took was Coastal and Marine Ecology because my professor was an engaging individual who liked to crack jokes and tell us about his experiences. This class I took randomly because I thought it would interest me and I was right. Classes are much more hands-on and interpersonal than back at home. The professors genuinely try to get to know you and are very engaging in group work. The building itself made me feel like I was at an outdoor mall and the kangaroos hopping around are something I never got tired of seeing. I was also fortunate enough to travel before school and before quarantine and have seen very beautiful, memorable places. I was able to travel to the north of Australia near Cairns. My friend and I rented a car, which was a thrilling experience getting used to driving on the other side of the road and getting used to new rules, while we drove around the Atherton Tablelands and ended up at the Daintree Rainforest. I have seen stunning waterfalls, cute animals, and even had the chance to snorkel and scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef.

After school started, I was still able to visit the Steve Irwin Zoo and the Gold Coast where I tried surfing. If I had to pick a favourite spot, I would choose the Daintree Rainforest area because I loved the jungle feeling, after I got used to the giant spiders of course. The moment I will never forget is looking up at the stars on the beach because it was the most amazing thing I saw. I could see the whole milky way and it was because the rain forest area has very few lights and service in general, so I was able to live away from my phone. An amazing experience that was cut too short. I strongly recommend and urge everyone to take a trip to Australia because it is a beautiful country filled with amazing nature, people, food, culture, and animals. Hopefully I have the chance to go back one day.

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USC student Ellie McLaren studying overseas at Ritsumeikan University in Japan

82776512_1043449199341686_7299209800435367936_nMy name is Ellie McLaren, I have just completed my six-month program learning Japanese at Ritsumeikan University, Kinugasa Campus. I had the opportunity to learn Japanese through the IJL track (Intensive Japanese Language) whilst studying archaeology and heritage. I wanted to be in Kyoto to explore Kansai and be able to study world heritage sites in person. Ninnaji was my personal favourite place to go.

When I first left Australia, I felt confident in my ability to get by as I felt I’d experienced a fair amount of growth before my departure. Japan certainly taught me otherwise, heavy workload, illness and conflict within my living space. However, I was also provided with a wonderful support network built from both my friends I’d made here and from home, I felt accomplishment in little things such as successfully ordering in an izakaya, speaking to the old ladies in the public bath about my tattoos, seeing Carly Rae Jepsen during the typhoon and being surrounded by beautiful cultural sites. I highly recommend this study overseas opportunity to everyone, not just Japan but the experience in itself. The turbulent highs and lows I’ve experienced made this an unforgettable experience that I believe will push anyone to understand themselves and others around them. Try to speak out, people do want to listen.

– Ellie McLaren

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Michael Poling from Towson University in the US studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG-1377 My name is Michael Poling and I am an international student from the United States. Back home, I attend Towson University in Towson, Maryland. Over the course of one semester, I am studying to obtain the Diploma in Business.

Studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) has been an incredible opportunity that will always hold a special place in my heart. The people I have met and the places I have visited have made this an unforgettable experience. USC does an exceptional job at helping international students adjust to their new surroundings. There are various planned trips and events that introduce the international students to one another. From an educational standpoint, the tutors and course coordinators have been amazing at helping me with any questions that I have. They truly want their students to understand the material and be successful. Overall, I am grateful for the awesome social and educational aspects of USC.

IMG-1444    There are many challenges when it comes to studying abroad in a foreign country, but I am going to try and provide some tips for students wanting to study abroad. Personally, I think the most important tip is to step out of your comfort zone. This is important because it opens the door to a multitude of opportunities that you might have missed out on if you were not willing to take a chance. One crucial tip is to set a weekly budget and do your best to stick to it. I try to limit my expenses as often as possible, which allows me travel and see more of the beautiful IMG-1497places Australia has to offer. Another tip is to immerse yourself in all the different cultures that you will experience. I have met people from all over the world and I love learning about their culture and how it differs from mine. It is also awesome when others want to learn about my hometown because it helps me cope with any homesickness that I may be experiencing. The last tip I have is to stay on top of your schoolwork. You will constantly be distracted and tempted to procrastinate. However, it is better to finish your work sooner than later because it will decrease potential stress. Hopefully these tips are insightful and will be able to help other students as they begin their journey studying abroad.

Overall, I am forever appreciative of the University of the Sunshine Coast because it has allowed me to study and live in Australia for over 5 months. This experience has helped me grow as an individual by making me step out of my comfort zone and try new things. I recommend that if you are looking to study abroad in Australia, definitely consider USC because I can assure you that you will not regret it.

– Michael Poling @m.poling

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Kristoffer Wahome from Kilroy Norway studying a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) at USC Sunshine Coast

Kriss rooftop (3 of 12)Hi, My name is Kristoffer, I am a 25-year-old international student at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I am pursuing a Bachelor Degree of Social Science (Psychology) and I am currently in my second year of studies.

I am an adventurous, outgoing social person that enjoys photography, sports and just living life. So the fact that the USC offers a range of social clubs to take part in, it has provided me the opportunity to form friendships with people from all around the globe with different backgrounds and culture, which is a huge bonus for me.

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Moving to Australia to study at USC was a decision I pondered about for a while before pursuing it, yet when I arrived on the Sunshine Coast I knew I had made the right decision. The weather is amazing most of the time and I am lucky to live less than a 5 minute walk away from the beach, could anyone ask for more?

As an international student that has spent over a year here on the Sunny Coast, there is still plenty of things left for me to see and experience, I frankly cannot get enough of this place. However, I can recommend some essentials that any new student here should try out;

  • Kriss rooftop grain (10 of 13)A trip up the coast to Noosa National Park where you can relax in the fairy pools, and if you’re lucky, spot a Koala making its way up in the trees
  • Visit Byron Bay, the most iconic little Australian town in my mind, you just have to experience it for your self
  • Some early mornings at the beach watching the sunrise while you’re out on your surfboard in the water
  • Trying to climb any of the nearby mountains for a chance to see a spectacular view over the coast
  • Make your way to any of the waterfalls around the coast, for a fun adventure
  • USC International - Brand Ambassador event 2 (61 of 65)Camping trips to the national forest, bonfires at night while watching the most starry sky I have found on my travels

I recommend anyone to come study at USC if you are interested in pursuing an authentic Australian experience while reviving a great education with like minded students from all around the word.

– Kristoffer Wahome @kristofferwahome

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Charlotte Malgrange from INSEEC Lyon in France studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

5Hi everyone,

My name is Charlotte Malgrange and I am a 21-year-old French student studying here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). When I found out that my university back in France (INSEEC Lyon) had a partnership with USC, I immediately knew I had to apply. Living in Australia had been one of the things I most wanted to do and this was the perfect occasion for it.

The University of the Sunshine Coast has so much to offer. The professor-student relationships are based on trust and help, which makes the whole academic system even more pleasant. Moreover, it is a very common thing to see kangaroos on campus which is the best way to start your day.

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The Sunshine Coast is undeniably beautiful: it has amazing beaches such as Mooloolaba, delicious food places, amazing waterfalls and lookouts. Everyone is very friendly and outgoing, and the sunny coast vibe is an actual thing and it is amazing.

During my semester I had the chance to visit wonderful places, Noosa being my favourite by far. I went on a road trip up north, visited Airlie beach, the Whitsundays, Gladstone, Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay. I had unique experiences such as skydiving over Noosa and spending a day on a Catamaran in the Whitsundays.

Although most of the Sunshine Coast is made out of plants, kangaroos, birds and trees, it has a very relaxing vibe that makes you feel like you belong here. It is also very close to Brisbane, one of the largest cities in Australia, and the Gold Coast which is about two hours away. So, it is possible to escape the peri-urban area for a few days and see different types of environments.

I am planning on going to Sydney and Melbourne as soon as exams are done, and I am sure I will love it there as much as I loved it here.

– Charlotte Malgrange @chamlgr

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Nathalie Bergstrom from Kilroy Sweden studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

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Hi!! My name is Nathalie, I’m from Sweden and I am doing my exchange semester here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I study Intro to Film and TV studies, Creative Advertising, New Venture Growth, and Learning in Australian Landscapes. Kilroy Sweden was a great help for me when applying to USC, they answered all the questions I had at the time of applying.

I love the Sunshine Coast, it is just an amazing place to live and I am so happy I chose this school. The school is nice and is located around beautiful nature where you can find kangaroos jumping around which is just amazing to see every time. I enjoy my accommodation, it is just 5 minutes walk to school which is great if you’re running a bit late to class. I have my own bedroom and bathroom which I love so I can have my stuff where I want and clean myself.

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With the course Learning in Australian Landscapes, we go on four field trips during the semester which is just amazing. First trip was paddling at Noosa, it was so beautiful and a fun day trip. Next up was abseiling and climbing at Mount Ngungun which I was a bit nervous about, mainly because I had never climbed before and I am scared of heights. However, I was proud of myself that I did it. The third trip was an overnight trip to Cooloola National Park. The fourth and last trip was to Fraser Island which is about two hours from here. When we came to the island my group started biking on the sand and it was great and so much fun biking on the beach looking at the waves. After that, we changed groups and we got to pick up trash on the beach!

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The next day we went to the rainforest on the island and walked for a bit which was so beautiful! We also learned more about the vegetation on the island. Later on, we went to Lake McKenzie which had the clearest water I’ve seen, it was so beautiful. On the third day we did some stops and then went back home to the coast. I was so tired the days after the trip but it was so worth it!

I have also been to Brisbane and the Gold Coast which are both great places to visit for a more ‘big city’ feeling. Before I go home, I have planned to go to Cairns, Whitsundays, and Sydney. During my time here, I have seen so much already and I have some trips still coming after school. I really think it is worth coming here to study if you’re considering it, as it is just amazing and there’s so much to do and see. I really recommend studying at USC and experience the Sunshine Coast.

– Nathalie Bergstrom @nattisbergstrom

Tom Skinner from Manhattanville College in the US: What you should experience whilst studying in Australia!

IMG_0053Hey! My name is Tom Skinner and I am from South London, England and have been studying abroad here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) from my university I attend in NY, Manhattanville College.

I want to share with you my experiences and what I would suggest doing when here in Australia.

Travel, Travel, Travel!

Weather you do this during the semester with weekends away, during the mid-semester break or after you finish; Make the most of being in this beautiful countries and near so many other Asians countries, that normally you would be so far away from. I am doing my travelling after I finish this semester, where I will travel to Sydney and Melbourne. Before finishing my time abroad, I will be meeting my friend Pablo (from my college in NY) in Bali for 10 days. I have spoken to so many people who have been to Bail and if there’s anywhere you should save your money to visit, Bali is the place!

IMG_0154I also took a weekend trip to the Gold Coast with a big group of people. The more people made it cheaper for a really nice AirBnB and we made the most of the amazing weather by spending time at Surfers paradise, a night out at the bars, followed by our first ever AFL game the following day!

Make the most out of days out too! Being on the Sunshine Coast, there are so many awesome days out you can do. From something simple as going to sunbathe at Mooloolaba Beach for the day, or going to Noosa to explore or learn to surf, you can also make a visit to Australia Zoo. Australia Zoo is of the most famous zoos in Australia due to it being the home zoo of wildlife legend Steve Irwin. The zoo had some amazing animals and shows. With opportunities to hold koalas, snakes, and even watch the famous Croc show!

Take every opportunity and speak to everyone!

C2087333-2353-4D41-BC61-4F34C3957964Everyone is in the same boat as you, so when you come out here, just speak to as many people as you can to learn as much as you can about the Uni, area etc. There’s always someone that can help you or that you can help. I have made so many amazing friends for life by speaking to everyone I can. I also got very lucky that I ended up sitting next to people on the flight into Brisbane that would become some of my best friends here. Weather you end up living at Uni Central or Varsity, everyone is so nice and there is a good mix of international students who are new like yourself or have been in your position, in addition to Australians who are always willing to help.

IMG_0034Make sure that you take every opportunity to try new things and go to new places! You never know when you will get a chance to do something like this again, so the best advice I can give is to take risks, have fun, and do as much as you can with the time you have out here.

– Tom Skinner @tom_skinner10

Kaleb Corbin from Elon University in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

20191002_182219 (1)Hello, my names Kaleb Corbin. I’m a third year Uni student from the US. I go to Elon University in North Carolina. My degree is in Exercise Science with a minor in Biology and Psychology. I’ve always wanted to be a Physical Therapist, but recently I’ve been attracted to the idea of being a Neurosurgeon. I chose to come to Australia primarily because of the prominence of Physiotherapists and just overall how that type of health care is handled, compared to the states. I’m only going to be studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for this winter/spring semester, then I’ll return to the states to spread the word about USC.

20190831_103056 (1)For nearly my whole life, my family has done relatively little to no traveling. I had only been to six or seven states in the US, until a flew across the pond to Australia. I was hesitant mostly because of how a good friend of mine was to be coming along for the semester, until family issues soiled our plans before they started. Not having someone close to me was difficult because of the lack of traveling I had done in the past. I was quickly surprised by the amount of social connection everyone shared so quickly upon getting to our apartments. Immediately I was making friends from Germany, a bunch of friends from France while also living with some Norwegian and Swedish floor mates. The amount of diversity that the Varsity Apartments and USCs campus provided was exactly what I was looking for.

It’s really easy to get stuck in with your American or whichever nationality you share friend group, especially since over 30 students from my University also came along. I urged myself to try and spend as much time with my International friends as possible. Not for any special reason, but because this is the one chance I have to make the friends that will hopefully last a lifetime. I have visited some really cool places in Australia, spanning across several weekends and even a week-long trip to Indonesia. I cannot stress this enough to whomever is caught reading this, but please don’t get bogged down with your studies to the point where you Gold coast (1)stop enjoying your time in Australia. I come from a University with a rigorous academic curriculum so I immediately was spending several hours a week in the library, where I could have been spending it doing something more enjoyable. I am not saying you should blow off your classes like some of my friends have chosen to do, but don’t let the stress of Uni mask the incredible experiences you’re meant to have while studying abroad.

Thanks for reading,

– Kaleb Corbin

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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

 

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

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

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

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

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

– Christina Carlmar Bøifot @christinaboifot

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. 

USC student Timothy Gill studying overseas at at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan

 

My name is Tim, I am currently studying at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.  Studying overseas has been an eye-opening experience, and I have been able to delve into the language and culture in a way I couldn’t experience anywhere else. A simple bike ride or walk to the university allows me to see various temples and shrines that define the history and identity of Kyoto city. Studying at Ritsumeikan has been a brilliant (and difficult) experience, where the study layout shows the commitment Ritsumeikan places on academic attributes, and how this leads to a rewarding and valuable study experience. During April, the campus itself was drowning in Sakura, transforming the Uni into something out a Ghibli film (my description doesn’t even do it justice).

1My experience with Japan has been one of mixed feelings, predominantly due to the fact I could not continue my studies throughout another semester. This semester studying in Kyoto has granted me a much-needed boost in my language ability and my personal study commitments, yet there have been moments where I regret studying instead of seeing events and hidden areas of Kyoto. I’ve been to Fushimi inari Shrine, the Golden temple, the Gion, kiyomizu dera, the imperial grounds, Nijo Castle, etc etc, and I have still barely scratched the surface. Kyoto is also a great middle ground to see other key places in Japan, and a busy train ride into Osaka can open your eyes to a whole new side of Japan. Hiroshima, Tokyo, Nara, Lake Biwa, all these places are easily accessible from Kyoto. However, if you hold an Australia driver license and are a decent driver, applying for an international driver’s permit is highly recommended for the holidays within the semesters.

I strongly advise you to attend for a year rather than a single semester (especially if you’re studying overseas for language). My advice would be to immerse yourself as much as possible, as the last thing you want is your experience of Japan to be one of a dusty room covered in empty coffee cups and stained textbooks, instead of experiencing the beauty and hospitality this city has to offer. Study hard (you’ll need it), but climb the mountains, see the rivers, be social, live in Kyoto, and don’t just simply study in it.

– Timothy Gill

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USC student Victor Hultman studying overseas at Elon University in the US

1-1.jpgTo summarise my stay at Elon University in North Carolina it was, to say the least, a great time. Although most of my stay was on campus due to the requirement of being in class for almost all the classes (3 skips allowed/class) Elon offers a lot to do. As almost all students reside on campus, it is really easy to meet new people and events are always hosted close by so there is really no need to worry about transportation. 

The time I left campus for a longer period was for spring break when we took a road trip down to Key West, Florida. We stopped in Hilton Head, South Carolina as well. Twelve other guys made the trip memorable and one of the best experiences of my stay. Other trips included Eno Quarry, Asheville and Burlington.

5 (1)Meeting new people was without a doubt the best part and Elon students and faculty were surprisingly welcoming and inviting, there was never a dull moment and easy to fill the time. The only troublesome thing was the ability to get around outside campus without a car as sidewalks are rare and everyone drives. But since most students at Elon own a car, it is easy to ask them for a ride.

 

Stacey Bailey from Scotland studying a Master of Health Promotion at USC SouthBank

Image-43Hi guys! My name is Stacey, I am studying the Master of Health Promotion at the USC SouthBank campus. I am from the UK and have been in Brisbane for 18 months and I am now in my final semester.

I have always dreamed of travelling around Australia and seeing the many differing landscapes – and the wildlife has always drawn me here. In 2013 my partner and I sold everything we had and spent two years doing just that and truly living the dream. I could not recommend travelling and experiencing the world enough to anyone. I loved my experiences of this amazing and diverse country, from the most magical days spent watching the whales off the coast of Hervey Bay, to the colourful sunsets in Uluru.

Image-40When I returned home to the UK, I lived and worked in London, but at the age of 33 I was not content in my career and wanted to return to the health sector. I had previously studied sports biochemistry and knew the decision was going to be a huge life-changing moment for myself and my partner. Thankfully he fully supported me in not only wanting to return to university but to study abroad. Having experienced Australia and fallen in love with the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane area, I chose the University of the Sunshine Coast to apply for my master’s degree.

The process to apply to USC was smooth and much easier than I anticipated, and in February 2018 we once again packed up and sold most of our belongings and made the 24-hour flight over here.

image-42.jpgStudying in Brisbane at the USC SouthBank campus has been such an incredibly rewarding experience. The campus is small but welcoming and friendly with lots of activities and support while thriving on student community and success. I have made friends from all over the world, which is amazing not only for the support they have given me but the variety of holiday destinations I now have on offer around the world!

The staff at USC SouthBank are such an asset to the University and help students transition to university life. This was evident in the support given to international students especially when I first arrived at orientation. During my time here I have also become a Student@Work at USC SouthBank. This was important to me as it has allowed me to become involved in orientation programs for new international students, enabling Image-45me to extend the kindness and support to others that had I received here during my first days. The academic staff in the Master of Health Promotion program are fantastic; the knowledge and support they offer is unlike any other experience I have had during my previous studies. The University offers a number of support services to ensure students are succeeding academically as well as providing Student Wellbeing support as a good work-life balance is paramount.

Image-46Whilst the studying is full time, I have also found time to continue exploring Australia, visiting new places like North Stradbroke Island and Tamborine Mountain. There are so many locations in this area that are great for walking and wildlife watching as well as lots of sporting events to enjoy.

I feel very lucky to have been able to study here and once I have graduated it will be a privilege to be a part of the University of Sunshine Coast alumni.

– Stacey Bailey