Jeena Weber Langstaff from Goucher College in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Hey guys, my name is Jeena Weber Langstaff. I am studying to get Bachelor of Art degree from Goucher College located in Baltimore Maryland in the USA. My major is business management with a concentration of international business and minors in Spanish and psychology.

I first heard about the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) from my college. Goucher College has a partnership with USC. In the beginning of September and October with a lot of help from the Assistant Director of Global Education, Mark Bladel, multiple forms were submitted at a timely fashion. Firstly, was choosing the place in which I wanted to study. I have always wanted to go to Australia, since my father grew up in Papua New Guinea and went to school in Brisbane for 13 years. I knew I wanted to study in Australia, and I wanted a school that could help with both my business major and my psychology minor. I then had to fill out applications on timing of leaving, what courses to take, and getting the approval on every end from my major and from USC. Then I had to apply for an Australian visa. After that, time went by quickly, and before I knew it, I had finished a long flight and had arrived in Australia!

The teaching style in Australia is very different from that of Goucher College. We would call it a reverse classroom teaching style in which the students learn the material on their own and then do workshops and group work in class. Goucher also does not have a second one-hour class for doing the workshop or for the discussion. As well as, we do not have one subject only once a week. Goucher has each subject in one class over multiple times during the week, and the learning is taught and done by the professor. All group projects are done outside of class and are expected to find times to meet on their own.

After I had to return early from USC, I had time on my hands to start new things. I learned how to cook a few meals. I have gotten really into making Rice Kimchi Bowls, it is my favourite dish to make. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes having a blend of rice with both spicy, vegetables and different tastes coming together to compliment one another.

I created my own blog website. One day, I wanted to find a way to express the way I feel, so I created a blog website about adulthood. If you’re interest in it, you can check it out through my instagram jeena_life777. I wanted to explore the ways to navigate and maneuver oneself from childhood to adulthood. To write about what that means and what it looks like from my own personal experience. I’ve created different topics for my blog, and plan to explore them all. Currently, I’ve been introducing the various topics, and hopefully soon, I can start writing each week different things that I am passionate about and have affected me personally.

As well as, to further enhance my understanding of business, I have been part of a Rhode Island organization that helps refugees plant themselves and get rooted into Providence by hiring them and giving them support with the resources they need. This organization is called Beautiful Day, and they sell granola in all different flavors, and additionally fair-trade coffee and granola bars. Due to COVID, it has been a remote internship, however I really enjoyed working with them, and understanding better how small businesses work.

Currently, I have restarted school. It is my first week. I am still figuring out how my schedule will be like, being all online again. As well as, starting to plan and create online programs for the Garam Gophers Bollywood Fusion Team and the South Asian Student Association (SASA). I wish everyone best of luck and to stay safe this year during the challenges life brings our way.

Peace, Love and Staying Safe,

Jeena

Amanda Zablonski from SUNY Fredonia in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Amanda ZablonskiIMG_9076

Studying a Diploma in General Studies

From SUNY Fredonia in Fredonia, New York, US

My school at Fredonia made the application process extremely easy to complete. The international office was available for any questions I had and also gave great tips for my semester abroad. Mrs. Willis was fantastic and even held a great informational pre-departure lunch with parents and other students.

Studying at USC was very different than studying back home. The main difference was only having lecture one day a week at USC compared to 2 or 3 back home. I actually really enjoyed the format at USC and found it to be an easy adjustment. Studying abroad in Australia was a great decision for me because I enjoyed the weather and being able to study and complete assignments outside all over campus. It was a nice change to the snow and freezing temperatures back at home.

My tip for future students studying abroad would to jump right into things when you get there. I found myself very nervous and anxious when I first arrived but made friends and booked little weekend and day trips within the first couple days. Most of them were through Student Guild which were all very nice. I’m so fortunate that I jumped right in and started to explore right away. My time in Australia was cut short due to Covid-19 and although I left 12 weeks earlier than I planned, I am so fortunate to have experienced what I did. In my short time, I tried many new foods, visited beautiful places, and met many new people. If I didn’t jump right in when I got there, I’m not sure I would’ve seen half the things I did in the short time. Life can throw totally unexpected things your way, so jump in as quick as you can because these experiences will change your life no matter how short or long. I hope to one day return to Australia and continue my adventure but for now I reminisce on the beautiful landscape, friendly people, and unforgettable memories.

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Jesse Weippert from DHBW Mosbach studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

a9862114-a0fe-4fe9-b9ab-e07947b2a827Cheers mates,

My name is Jesse Weippert, I am from Germany and I was studying a Diploma in Business at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for one semester. Probably not the best time to come over to Australia due to COVID-19, nevertheless it was a great experience studying overseas and an enjoyable lock-down as well.

Back in Germany I am studying a dual system, which includes an iteration of studying three months and working three months. Within three years, I will finish my degree and will have a high chance of retaining at the company I am currently working for. Part of this dual system is a semester abroad, which was supported from my company. The decision-making process of applying at USC was easy, since Australia has always attracted me very much and I wanted to improve my English. The application process was easy doing as well. The biggest hurdle was the payment of the semester fees, which, however, were financially supported by my company and for which I received a discount from my university. So, I only had to fill out the application form, show my academic transcript and show my English B2 level. By completing these forms, I got a lot of support from my home university and USC. The last step was then to select my courses for the semester. In order to complete a diploma, four courses are required, which I have arranged in consultation with my course director at my home university. However, I have to note here that I would have had to take more courses during my regular semester at home, so I have to retake exams after my semester abroad.

img_7698I arrived in Australia end of January prior to governments restrictions. I started doing a road trip at the west coast of Australia for four weeks, which I can highly recommend. After my road trip I headed to the Sunshine Coast to start the semester. At the beginning of the semester I had many plans to use my long weekends every week, and I wanted to see as much of Australia as possible. Due to my choice of courses I had no lectures from Friday to Monday evening, which would have been perfect for weekend trips. So, the first weeks before the lock-down, I was in Noosa, Byron Bay and Sydney. In retrospect, it must be said that the time in the lock-down was probably nowhere in the world faster than in Australia on the Sunshine Coast. The beach in Mooloolaba was still passable despite the lock-down, so I used the free time for surfing. I learned to dive and the connection within the student accommodation in Varsity became stronger. You got to know many new people, even if a large part flew back to their home countries at the beginning of the crisis.

All in all, I had a great time at the USC and I am proud to be a part of the USCi Brand Ambassador program.

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Bekira Rabinowitz from Canisius College in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

6Hello! My name is Bekira Rabinowitz and I’m a senior at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York studying Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. Even before I started my college journey, I knew I wanted to study abroad in Australia. This semester I was finally able to live that dream at the University of the Sunshine Coast!

One of the main reasons I was drawn to Australia was their wonderful, endemic wildlife! I have always had a passion for animals and would love to work with them after I finish my degree. I have worked and travelled from different zoos and animal sanctuaries all across the United States and familiarized myself with animals from all over the world. Now, I was given the chance to see some of these animals in their natural habitat and I was not disappointed!

I live in Chicago and we were in the middle of winter before I left for my journey down under. I had a bit of trouble adjusting from snow to summer, but the adjustment period was faster than I expected! On my first day arriving in Australia, I heard the call of the kooky kookaburra welcoming me into my new home for the next five months. I was overwhelmed with the beautiful palm trees and bottlebrushes, as well as the water dragons everywhere! I instantly felt relaxed as the ocean breeze rushed past.

I felt even more comfortable when I arrived at my accommodation and was invited to the pool on my first day. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly and I met some of my best friends on that first day! I quickly became familiar with the campus and surrounding areas. Almost every single time I was on campus, I was greeted by the fuzzy faces of eastern grey kangaroos and their joeys, the colourful parade of the rainbow lorikeets, and so many other beautiful birds! It was overwhelming how many magnificent creatures I could see in my own backyard.

I was ecstatic at the prospect of seeing even more Australian animals, so I set my sights on the Australia Zoo! It was so easy to get around the Sunshine Coast with the help of my go card and the helpful locals. The zoo went above and beyond my expectations with their extensive animal collection as well as staff that was abundantly passionate about what they do. I got to see dingoes, saltwater crocodiles, and Tasmanian devils, but the real connection came when I was able to meet some Australian animals! I got to meet koalas, echidnas, cockatoos, red and grey kangaroos, wallabies, and even some pythons! It was by far one of the best experiences I’ve had.

Even though the semester was not what I had expected, in terms of the world pandemic, I was still able to enjoy my semester and learn so much! I was able to appreciate all that the Sunshine Coast had to offer and I know someday I’ll be back. This whole experience assured me that I am on the right path in life and for that I am extremely grateful. If you are wondering about taking the leap and journeying across the world, do it! It will be an unforgettable time!

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Cassandra Kull from Canisius College in the US studying a Diploma in Outdoor Environmental Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_9228Cassandra Kull studying a Diploma in Outdoor Environmental Studies, from New York, USA.

How was the application process?

The majority of my application process was completed with help from my home institution (Canisius College). There is a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed before you are able to go abroad, but it was broken down into steps that made it more manageable. It is crucial that you stay on top of the due dates for visas, health paperwork, rooming forms, course forms etc, this will make the process less stressful. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your home uni and get in touch with others that are planning on going abroad. It was nice to have other students to help work through the visa process and make sure you don’t fall behind in the process as a whole.

How is studying at USC different from back home?

I did the Diploma in Outdoor Environmental Studies program so all of my courses were required and picked for me. This is a great program for those looking to immerse themselves in the great outdoors of Australia and get hands on experience. Studying at USC was very different from my home uni, as USC allowed me to get out of the classroom and learn about the environment while I was in the environment. It was refreshing to take courses that you are not just trapped in a classroom staring at a monitor learning about what you will be doing in the future. Instead, USC immerses you in the experience and teaches you the practical skills required to be successful in your field. The universities in the USA concentrate more on learning the material and testing on it, focusing more on test scores rather than gaining exposure to real world experiences. USC teaches you the theory in the classroom and then takes the extra step to reinforce your learning with hands-on experience.

I ended up going back to the US so I never went on any post isolation trips. However,  before the coronavirus hit, I was able to go to the Australia Zoo- which I highly recommend. As well as Buderim falls, which was amazing and close enough to campus to take public transportation. The Sunshine Plaza was amazing for shopping and any of the
surrounding beaches are to die for.

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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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Nicole Ruhl from the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer in Germany studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

01Hello everybody,

My name is Nicole Ruhl. I am from Weyhe in Germany and I’m currently studying a Diploma in Business at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). My home university, the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer, is a partner university of USC. Back home I am studying International Business Administration.

Studying at USC

I chose a total of 4 business related courses for the Diploma Program. There were three to five examinations/assignments per course during the semester. This is different from what I am used to at my home university. There, I usually only had one big written exam at the end of the semester and in some cases, there was an additional exam in the form of a presentation. What is also different, is the high proportion of international students at USC. In many of the courses I enrolled in, the cooperation with them was promoted. As a result, an intercultural exchange took place.

Due to the outbreak of the corona virus, I unfortunately had to return to my home country earlier than planned. However, through the efforts of the USC staff, I was able to complete my last exams online, from home. Difficulties arose from the eight-hour time difference. I was not always able to attend the online lectures live, but all of these were recorded so that I could catch up at another suitable time.

Everyday life and leisure activities

I had a lot of leisure time that I used in a variety of ways. The Sunshine Coast has a lot to offer in terms of landscape: from large sandy beaches to dense rainforests. Places nearby that could be reached easily by car or by bus were, for example, Mooloolaba (beach, shopping), Maroochydore (Sunshine Plaza: large shopping centre), Noosa (National Park), the Glass House Mountains (place to hike), the Kondalilla Falls (walking track, National Park) and more. The big city of Brisbane could be reached by bus or train.

I visited many of these places with the Student Guild. This non-for-profit organisation plans trips and events for new students. One could book tickets for all events online in advance. These trips were a great opportunity to meet new people and at the same time explore some of the most beautiful places of the Sunshine Coast.

During orientation week, the students could register in various clubs. Examples are the Business Club, the Basketball Club, the Engineering Club, the Quidditch League, USC Activate etc. There were so many different clubs that actually every individual was able to find a suitable one and connect with people sharing the same interests.

What I also participated in, was the USCi Brand Ambassador Program for international students. This was about sharing the experiences of studying abroad at the USC, for example on social media platforms. In addition to this, all members were invited regularly to take place in workshops and events.

Furthermore, there are short trips that might be interesting for students, regardless of the university. For example, I went to Byron Bay with the Adventure Dudes (a company that organizes and accompanies short trips) on a weekend with other people at my age. It was possible to book many different alternative activities, including kayaking with dolphins, snorkelling with turtles and sharks, surfing lessons and skydiving. I decided to do snorkelling and skydiving. I would like to recommend the latter, especially for the very reasonable price in Byron Bay.

However, there were also plenty of opportunities outside of these organizations to get involved with. One could go swimming, play tennis or volleyball in the student accommodations next to the university (UniCentral and Varsity) or do sports at the USC stadium and gym, have a barbecue, go to the beach, or just take a walk across the university grounds and watch kangaroos and ibises.

Conclusion

All in one, studying at the USC was a great experience. I learned a lot both – professionally and personally. I have met many people from all over the world and had time to explore many beautiful places in Australia. I would recommend a semester abroad or an entire course of study at the USC to everyone. The university offers a great deal of support in a wide variety of areas and it always cares about the well-being of its students.

USC student Kalvin Mitchell studying overseas at the University of Applied Sciences Koblenz – RheinAhr in Germany

20191201_144536 (2)Hallo!

My name is Kalvin and I’m studying creative writing at USC Sunshine Coast. Right now, I’m studying overseas at the RheinAhrCampus In Germany.

I live in a little town called Remagen, which is on the glorious River Rhein. Coming to Germany was a surprise because I couldn’t have planned it. When I was volunteering for USC International during Orientation Week, I met a German professor who offered me an academic internship. This is my second exchange, but one a whole other level. Although I’m still studying, I spend half my time working for RheinAhrCampus’ own international department, Sprachen/Internationales. In fact, I managed our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SprachenIntRAC/) and even co-produce a podcast: https://www.absolutely-intercultural.com/– Episode 245 is the best 😉

Coming to a new country gave me permission to be a new person, and I love it so much I’m staying another semester. Actually, I think I’ve gone a little mad, because in a few days, I’m starting a bicycle tour through France and Italy. With a winter sleeping bag, I’ll be camping for one month in bushes and meeting new people with ‘CouchSurfing’ along the way. I wouldn’t have built the courage to try something like this if not for my five months here.

If I can offer something I’ve learned, don’t choose the easy option. If you’re going on an adventure overseas, go wild, go somewhere like Germany. Most importantly, this experience will be more valuable than any course. Come even if it means studying something outside your degree. I wouldn’t trade this for a course with Steven King; I’ll still be better off as a writer because of what this adventure has made me.

Love from Germany,

– Kalvin

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USC Student Georgia Duffy Studying Overseas at the University of Mississippi in the US

img_7035.jpegHotty toddy! I’m Georgia and I’m studying abroad for a semester at Ole Miss, as it is affectionately referred to. Mississippi has been one of the best experiences of my life. Ole Miss has one of the most beautiful campuses in America and it is HUGE. I firmly believe that no campus could outdo Ole Miss but each to their own.

If you are on the edge about studying abroad, all I can say is do it! The south is like nothing I have ever known, I have also never seen so much fried chicken. I got to do a bit of travelling during weekends, visiting Nashville, New Orleans and Atlanta which were all beautiful and a bit hectic in the best way. I’d have to say that the people I met at Ole Miss are without a doubt the best part. I have made so many life-long friends that made this experience just that much better!

I recommend living on campus as transportation is a bit unreliable and being on campus is so much more convenient. The football season was mind-blowing, and I firmly suggest coming here in the fall. Football is no joke here (also they have no idea what ‘footy’ means which I found amusing). Remember to consider the exchange rate and costs that you easily forget about such as bathroom amenities and even cutlery and plates! If you do choose to study abroad, don’t stress the little things, they will work out.

Ole Miss is quirky and beautiful, and I would 100% recommend coming here. The experience is daunting, but it definitely paid off. Finally, be grateful for the staff at USC! I had a little fall while over here and sprained my ankle, USC were quick to respond and assist which I will be forever thankful for.

– Georgia Duffy

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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.

Image-6

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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Paul Martetschläger from Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

buddina-1.jpgMy name is Paul and I am studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. For my semester abroad, I wanted to see something completely different from home, so I decided to study abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). My university has a cooperation with USC, so it was easy to get useful information and how the registration process works.

After receiving my confirmation, I started to plan my journey along with two of my colleagues. We travelled several hours to Brisbane and it was totally worth it. My colleagues and I decided to rent a small apartment in Buddina next to the beach. During the first month, we used public transport to get to the university, but afterwards we decided to buy a car, especially a 4WD in order to explore the beautiful Sunshine Coast. When I first arrived at the USC campus, I immediately fell in love with all the animals. Every day, there are kangaroos jumping around or just chilling in the sun.

As travelling is one of my biggest passions, I thought I would share a few tips for weekend trips you could do while studying at the USC, especially if you have a 4WD.

Buddina

1. Double island point – Rainbow beach

One of my favourite places is the double island point. At the small lighthouse, you’ll get a wonderful view to Rainbow Beach. It is also a great surfing spot there, but you can only reach it with a 4WD. It is a great trip for a weekend, just grab your buddies and you will have an awesome time there.

2. Byron Bay

Another beautiful place in Australia is Byron bay. It has an awesome flair to it which is typical for Australia. All the people there are so kind, and if you decide to travel to Byron Bay, you definitely have to visit the lighthouse which is the most easterly point in Australia.

3. Seventeen Seventy Springs Beach

We drove by Seventeen Seventy on our road trip to Whitsundays. A local told us we should definitely stop there and showed us a beautiful surf spot called Springs Beach. We had a wonderful time there.

Hope this gave you some help and you will have a great time while studying at USC Sunshine Coast. For more pictures or some questions, check out my Instagram @paul_martetschlaeger

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Frida Ommundsen from Kilroy Norway studying a Diploma in Sport & Fitness at USC Sunshine Coast: ‘Moving to Sunshine Coast 101’

IMG_5813(1)Hi! My name is Frida and I am from Norway. I moved to Sunshine Coast about a year ago and I have just finished a Diploma in Sport and Fitness at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

When I first moved over to the other side of the world, there was some adjustment. So here are 12 things worth knowing if you are moving to the Sunshine Coast, just to make it a little bit easier for you.

Moving to the Sunshine Coast 101

1. There are three student accommodations around the university.

The Village: More like a share house, close to the university and the bus station. No air condition, but fans. You have access to your own washing machine, and your own outside area for drying.

UniCentral: Shared apartment. No air-condition, but fans. Your also have your own washing machine in the apartment.

Varsity: Shared apartments with air-condition in the living room only. No laundry machine, but shared laundry room which cost 2 and 3 dollars for the use of the drying and washing machines. Varisty is also known for being the accommodation complex that offers more social activities such as Volleyball competitions and Thursday Uni nights.

IMG_8012(1)All of these accommodations offer swimming pools and tennis/basketball courts.

2. There’s a free bus from Varsity every Tuesday and Thursday to Woolies, so you can do your food shopping. Also, Australians shorten every word they can. Woolies = Woolworths, which is one of the main grocery stores.

3. If you’re living at the student accommodations, you can walk to Coles (also a main grocery store) and walk with the trolley back. They will come and pick the trolleys up once a week.

4. Public transport isn’t the best (depending on what you’re used to from back home), and there can be some big distances here in Australia. If you can afford it and you think it’s worth it, depending on the length of your stay, buy a car so you can get around more easily and experience places further away.

5. The University offers different sports, and if they don’t have the sport you wish to play they are happy to help you start a team. I started an European Handball team, and we took 4th place in Unigames which was held in Gold Coast.

6. Buy a go card (bus/train card), which will only cost you 10$, and might be able to register the card and get student discount on your trips. You can buy it from a news agency or at uni. Simply tap the card when you go on the bus or train and tap it when you go off. The card can be used in Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast ++.

7. Mooloolaba is the main beach in Sunshine Coast, and it has an esplanade with different shops and restaurants. Only 15-20min bus ride away from Uni, if you take the 615 bus from the USC Bus Stop.

IMG_5012(1)8. Sunshine plaza is the main shopping centre and is located in Maroochydore. It has all stores you need + restaurants and a big cinema. There’s also a shopping centre in Kawana, which has many shops, a cinema and restaurants. It is 15 min away if you take the 607 bus.

9. Not far away from the plaza you’ll find Ocean street. This is the main bar and restaurant street. The student night is every Thursday, with free buses taking you back and forth to ocean street from Varsity.

10. If you wish to travel, there’s a small airport on the Sunshine Coast located only 20 min away from the University by car. There’s also Brisbane Airport, which is 1 hour away by car.

11. Open a bank account so you don’t get charged the percent extra every time you use your international card. It’s free to open a bank account, just remember to bring your passport for identification. Transferring money to your new Australian bank account may apply some fees. However, using TransferWise might be a good option as they charge minimal fees.

12. The Australian winter, June – August, can actually get pretty chilly. Remember to bring warm clothes, you will be surprised how cold it can get sometimes, even in Australia!

Thank you for reading and I hope these facts can help you if you are coming to the Sunshine Coast or considering studying in Australia!

– Frida Ommundsen

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Patricia Romer from the University of Applied Sciences Fulda in Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi! My name is Patricia, I’m 21 years old and I’m studying International Business in Fulda, Germany. While studying here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Australia I had the opportunity to travel around the East Coast and explore beautiful places. Down below I have listed you my five favorite spots.

5 Top places around the East Coast of Australia

The first place I can really recommend is Byron Bay, a beautiful little city just three hours south of Sippy Downs. Not only you can enjoy the amazing view from the lighthouse, and the beaches, but also go for a snorkel and on a kayak tour where you most likely see dolphins, whales and coral reefs. The city itself offers a lot of small boutiques, cute food spots and also night clubs, where they have moto nights like paint parties. There is also a trip you can book through Adventure Dudes where you can visit Byron Bay in a bigger group, that’s what I did and I can highly recommend doing that.

Another spot you should not miss out on is Noosa, which is only a 40 min drive from USC and has amazing beaches and beach walks. When you’re interested in surfing, this is definitely the perfect spot to do so. But also relaxing in the natural stone Fairy Pools is a must do.

If you’re a beach lover, then you should explore the Whitsundays. The crystal clear blue water and the Whitehaven beach with its almost white sand gives you a Caribbean feeling. You can either book a day trip to check them out or overnight sailing trips. Also, if you have the time, you should go for a snorkel and enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.

For those of you who are more interested in mountains and hiking, the Glass House Mountains is the perfect place for you. Located 30 min away from Sippy Downs, you can go on amazing hikes through the nature and enjoy beautiful views over the countryside.

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Last but not least the obvious place you should visit during your stay here at the Sunshine Coast is Brisbane. In my eyes, it is Australia’s most beautiful city. With cultural activities as well as the big Brisbane sign, and the city pools at the Southbank area, and also the city centre with amazing restaurants, shops and the botanic garden, it has a lot to offer for everyone. Just a short boat ride down the Brisbane river you can also visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary where you can pet koalas and kangaroos and also feed them.

Those are my favourite spots near the Sunshine Coast, and if you decide to study abroad at the USC you should definitely take the time to explore those spots and make the most out of your time here in Australia, because it is going to be a ones in a lifetime experience.

– Patricia Romer @patricia_romer

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

IMG_5012Hey guys!

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

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

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

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

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

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

– Magnus Eriksen & Celin Oxnäs

@magnuseriksenn & @celinoxnas

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Philip De Simone from Bridgewater State University in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

CaptureHi, My name is Philip De Simone, and I am from the United states. I am studying Communications and Business at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. I am currently studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC Sunshine Coast) Below are my top 5 things you need to do when you get to Australia!

5 things you MUST do during your time abroad in Australia!

1. Surf in Noosa Heads

Noosa Heads is a coastal town and suburb of the Shire of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. It’s about a 2 hour bus ride or 45 minutes with a car to get to the Noosa beaches. These beaches are some of the most beautiful beaches i’ve ever seen and the surf is amazing for a beginner surfer! You can find cheap used surfboards on Facebook or an APP called Gumtree, a community marketplace where you can buy and sell items! You can also rent surfboards and get lessons in Noosa. I recommend getting a longer board if your first starting. Try around 7-8 foot because they’re more buoyant and easier to learn on.

2. Visit Ocean Street’s ‘The Post Office’

One of the biggest questions you may ask yourself when getting ready to study abroad is “Will I fit in?” USC offers tons of events and an orientation week where you will have the chance to meet fellow Uni students. If you’re living at the Varsity or Uni Central apartments you will have the opportunity every Thursday night to get a free ride to Ocean street! Thursday nights is Uni night and the nightlife on Ocean street is popping. I recommend going to The Post Office for the best music. The community there is local, friendly and accepting to all!

3. Visit Australia Zoo

Don’t sleep on Australian Zoo! The Australia Zoo is a 1,000-acre zoo located in the Australian state of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast near Beerwah/Glass House Mountains. The zoo has a bunch of things to do like the Crocoseum where you can watch the world-famous Wildlife Warriors show at noon with all the slithering, swooping, jaw-snapping action of saltwater crocodiles, birds and snakes. And yes, you can get the best Instagram selfie with a Kangaroo! at Roo Heaven and Hand-Feed the Kangaroos. But if you don’t make it to the Zoo you can find these guys hopping all around the Uni.

4. Travel to Surfers Paradise

 Surfers Paradise is a bit of a hike from USC but it’s definitely worth sending it out there with a good squad of friends! While At Surfers paradise you can get wrecked at the beaches by huge waves or walk through hundreds of shops in the area. The Gold Coast is famed for its long sandy beaches, surfing spots and inland canals and waterways. It’s also home to theme parks such as Dreamworld, SeaWorld and Wet’n’Wild!

5. Try Vegemite

This is the most Australian food there is. Chances are if you’re like everyone else, one whiff of this stuff and you’ll turn it down. This was not the case for me though, I learned to love the stuff! I think it’s best prepared in the following way.

  • vege.jpgStep 1: Get a nice piece of bread from the Red Frogs (you’ll understand who they are later.) – Toast it
  • Step 2. Take a fat chunk of butter and season the toast with it
  • Step 3. Is the most important step! Spread a small layer of vegemite on toast! DO NOT OVER DO IT!
  • Step 4. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top!
  • Step 5. Enjoy 😉

Vegemite is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacturing, and various vegetable and spice additives. The taste may be described as salty, slightly bitter, and malty.

– Philip De Simone @philipdesimone

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Jason Librock from Niagara University in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

20190831_145348My name is Jason Librock, and I am a fourth year Communications Bachelor at Niagara University in New York State, United States. Currently, I’m studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for one semester, and its been the best experience of my life.

Like many students preparing to study in a different country, I was extremely nervous. Studying abroad on the Sunshine Coast was literally the furthest place I could possibly study away from my home. I had never shared a living space with anyone and I was going to be “on my own” for about 5 months. All of my fears melted away as soon as I got to my living accommodations. Almost every person I interacted with were cool, nice, and had an interesting perspective on the world, since many were from a variety of different countries. Glimpsing the USC campus the first time during orientation week seemed to be a magical experience. Never in my life have I seen a campus with such natural beauty and exceptional weather, especially when kangaroos are grazing in the morning sun just off the pathway. Yet, the campus is only a taste of the true beauty that studying abroad has to offer.

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Throughout my time here, I have gone to many places on the Sunshine Coast and beyond that have given me experiences that I will never forget. Noosa had great beaches, a majestic coastal walk, as well as magical fairy pools. The Hinterlands have incredible hiking as well as views of incredible mountains that will take you breath away. But if someone ever needs a break from the hiking and just want a chill day at the beach, there are a crazy variety of amazing beaches like Mooloolaba or King’s Beach close to campus that incapsulate the Sunshine Coast’s laid back feeling.

Beyond the Sunshine Coast is a myriad of wonders that I never even knew were on my bucket list. Going to Byron Bay was incredibly cool, with the town having incredible views via the lighthouse walk and it felt like the most “laid back” style of life that I have ever experienced. Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast was an excellent mix of gorgeous beaches and crazy night life. Diving in the Great Barrier Reef was like entering an alien world, and has sparked my passion for snorkeling and diving, probably for the rest of my life. Sydney felt like the Australian version of NYC, with so much to do in the city that it was mind boggling just to choose what my group was going to do very day. After experiencing all of these unique places, I felt like I had a feeling of accomplishment, as if I had just crossed off something on my bucket list and now could look back on it with a feeling of bliss.

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All in all, I have one piece of advice for anyone studying or thinking about studying abroad at USC. Just do it! Go on the Noosa Trip, explore Byron Bay, dive at the Great Barrier Reef. These experiences will change how you look at the world around you for the better, they definitely have for me. Every person I have talked who has studied abroad says they love it and none of them ever regret it. Im glad to say that I absolutely feel the same way. If you come here, you will feel that way too. Thanks for reading this.

– Jason Librock @jlibrock

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

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