Animal Conservation, Biodiversity and Human Interactions: Bachelor of Animal Ecology

With USC’s Animal Ecology program, you get to study animals and discover how they relate to each other and their environment.

Do you want to learn about how animals are impacted by the environment and human interaction and what we can do to protect their future? In this program, you get to develop your analytical and research skills to better understand how to conserve and manage animals. USC’s Bachelor of Animal Ecology program will build your knowledge of animal conservation, biodiversity and animal behaviour.

What will you learn during this degree?

In this program, hands-on experience starts in your first year with fieldwork to North Stradbroke Island and your local region. During the program, you’ll work with leading researchers on field trips and in the laboratory, thus delivering work-ready graduates who are able to blend concepts gleaned from the global literature with personal experience of a diversity of regional habitats and fauna.

In your final year you can also further develop your research skills in a specialised area by undertaking a guided research project in Animal Ecology, working as an intern animal ecologist as part of your studies, or taking advantage of opportunities to travel abroad.

As an animal ecologist, your career paths include natural resource and environmental protection agencies, private environmental consultancies and research institutes. Many animal ecologists also pursue opportunities outside the science and health sectors in business, finance, education and sales.

What are some of the career opportunities after finishing your studies at USC?

Career opportunities will be available across a range of areas both in Australia and internationally, including:

  • animal ecology specialists in private environmental consulting researchers
  • research assistants and managers in Government and non-governmental agencies
  • rangers and managers in wildlife management and conservation organisations
  • practitioners in environmental monitoring and management
  • collectors and curators in museums
  • environmental educators
  • specialist ecotourism guides; and
  • researchers and lecturers at universities

Find out more about the Bachelor of Animal Ecology program by reading the testimonials from our international students:

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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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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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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USC student Luke Booker studying overseas at Akita International University in Japan

received_1426472970850174Hi! My name’s Luke and I’m a third-year student studying a Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management). Having just experienced a semester abroad in Japan, there are lots of amazing things to share!

I remember hearing about the Study Overseas program and instantly deciding it was an opportunity too good to miss. I chose Japan because the culture is intriguing, and I knew it would be a beneficial step outside of my comfort zone. The possibility of future career paths also interested me, as Japan and Australia share increasingly strong foreign relations.

I decided to study at Akita International University (AIU), which is located in the countryside of Akita prefecture. Away from the neon lights and bustle of Tokyo, this seemed like an unlikely choice for me. However, I thought it might be nice to experience a quaint slice of Japanese life – and save Tokyo for the weekend trips. I’m happy I made this choice, because little did I know, I was about to fall in love with a side of Japan that I had never really thought about. And besides, it took only 30 minutes to get to Akita City which was good for getting my city fix. Akita Prefecture is renowned for its natural beauty, and if you like the outdoors, then there is a lot for you to do and see! It was lovely to see the landscape change with the seasons, and also to have my first snowy winter.

IMG_20190824_132013Studying at AIU was really a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it’d be very hard to find something else like it. There is always a large number of international students studying there, making the campus a wonderful cultural melting pot. It’s compulsory to live in an on-campus dorm, and international students are paired with a Japanese roommate – this helped a lot with making friends. The campus is similar in size to USC Sippy Downs, so you’re always seeing familiar faces. Most students also eat together in the cafeteria, and this quickly became one of my favourite things. AIU also offers a variety of clubs, social events and common spaces, and I can guarantee you will make lifelong friends and connections. The fact that you are always seeing and experiencing this new life with other students really builds a strong community atmosphere. I made some of my best friends through hiking, playing badminton and jamming in the music room. I will never forget the peaceful (and sometimes quite demanding) mountain hikes we did and the stunning views that Akita had to offer. After each hike we would eagerly make our way to an onsen (a natural hot spring) and ease our aching legs in the steaming volcanic water… aahhh!

IMG_20190920_151948I was also lucky enough to be invited to the Australia-Japan Youth Dialogue reception hosted at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo. I met some other Australian students and also some professionals who play a key role in managing the foreign relations between our countries. It was an inspirational night!

This has been one of the best and most fulfilling things I’ve done so far. If you decide to study abroad, I do have a piece of advice. You should be willing to adapt to all cultural aspects and approach it as a personal challenge. In doing so, you will get a lot more out of the experience. If studying abroad is something you’re unsure about, I would love to help out – feel free to get in touch via my student email: L_B132@student.usc.edu.au

Thank you for reading my post.

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

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

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

The tale of 4 queens and a king

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

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

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

– Joe Bautista

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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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Takumi Matsukura from Japan (GCS Group Australia) studying a Bachelor of Animal Ecology at USC Sunshine Coast

7e42e2abab224a1daa83c220d1c3b4fd.jpgHi, my name is Takumi from Japan. My agency is GCS Group Australia, and I am full time student studying a Bachelor of Animal Ecology at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).  I chose this University because, of its affordable price (compared to other countries) and it allows me to study animal ecology in beautiful Australia. It has been awesome spending time here in Australia so far and because Osaka, where I am from, is a huge city in Japan in comparison. The experiences I have had here have been the opposite to what I grew up with. I just finished my first semester at this university, and it was sometimes challenging for me to get through everything. Imagine that you study new things with your non-native language, which can obviously be difficult, but however be very fun at the same time if you are studying something that you like.

Anyway, there are good news people!

2There are many resources available for all students who are studying at USC to help support them during their studies. You can get help when you are struggling with your course work. There are many resources available such as, how to write report or essay. I have couple friends who is studying abroad and they all say that they don’t get any support from their university! USC provides a good environment for students who need academic support with things, such as grammar or how to write your assignments.

Living here requires a lot of energy. If you are city boy or girl, you are going to have a surprising life here. Most of the time, my friends and I usually go to somewhere that we can all relate to nature such as the beach, trekking, fishing or by experiencing the D9926BA3F2024E96BBED335023FB0280Australian culture by visiting music festivals, markets and stuff like that. Almost all these activities we do are outside which is a big difference from Japan. Because, in Japan we have literally everything inside of buildings. Everywhere is so beautiful in Australia! You must be creative, go outside, find your mates, explore everywhere and find wherever you love to belong!

For people who are thinking of coming to USC;

There is a beautiful and diverse environment at USC. There were challenges, but I was able to get though the first semester because of the support from my friends and the University. Do not think too much, just come to Australia if you want experience what we are experiencing right now!

If you have any questions or want to chat, you can contact me on Instagram via: Takumi Uto @murkyz_takumi

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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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Teresa Fuchs from the University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication Vienna studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_8458Hi there! My name is Teresa, I’m 22 years old and I am from Italy. Back home I am studying Management & Entrepreneurship at the FH Wien der WKW in Vienna. Here at USC Sunshine Coast, I did a Diploma in Business for one semester.

For years I’ve dreamed about travelling to Australia, and when the opportunity came to study down under, I knew I have to seize this chance.

It’s no surprise that Australia has become one of the most popular study abroad destinations for European students. If you’re looking for a culturally diverse society, fantastic weather and spectacular landscapes, Australia might be the best place.

Suddenly after an amazing semester, my final couple of weeks in the Sunshine Coast were approaching and it was time to make the most of the limited time I had left. The last weeks were filled with sharing farewells and funny trips, making plans for traveling and for my return to Italy. But let’s start from the beginning…

After 20 hours on a plane, I had finally arrived in Sippy Downs, Australia – my new home for the next six months. Overwhelming, but I wasn’t having a mental breakdown, so I was off for a good start. Living in the student accommodation Varsity, I learned a lot about Australian culture as well as a lot about Scandinavians and other international cultures due to my social circle and the people I surrounded myself with.

During this semester, I visited some of the most magical beaches, learned how to catch a wave, drove 3,500 km along the east coast, explored new cities, food, the wildlife, and I’ve had some crazy nights. The Sunshine Coast was the perfect spot for living the real Aussie lifestyle and USC therefore the best option to get educated. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Attend interesting lectures and workshops on the beautiful campus

2. Explore some of the most beautiful beaches in the world

Within only a 15-minutes ride by bus or car, you can find numerous beaches where you can learn to surf, play beach volleyball or just retreat your hangover.

3. Gain an understanding of diverse cultures

Australia is home to an indigenous population with a rich history that stretches back more than 50,000 years. Through all the events like the markets on the campus, you’ll have ample opportunities to learn about their history and explore the traditional dance performances.

4. See plants and animals that can only be found in Australia

Imagine, walking to a lecture and see kangaroos hopping around. I will miss this walk so bad when I’m back home in Vienna.

IMG_73445. Meet friendly, welcoming people

With these gorgeous beaches and phenomenal weather, it’s no wonder that the locals are easygoing and friendly!

While briefly reflecting my time here, during preparations for my next adventure, it is incredible to think of all the amazing people I’ve met, the new experiences I had, and everything I have learned.  During these 5 months I’ve had the time to foster some amazing connections, and with all of us leaving so soon I will sincerely miss the people I’ve met. However, this is not goodbye, but a see you soon.

A truly unforgettable experience, and memories that will last a lifetime!

– Cheers, Teresa Fuchs : )

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USC student Daniel Chilly studying overseas at the University of Applied Sciences Fulda in Germany

3My name is Daniel Chilly, I am currently studying a Bachelor of Social Work/Criminology & Justice. I participated in theStudy Overseas program during the winter of 2019, September to December, at University of Applied Sciences Fulda, Germany. I chose to study at this university as it had a set International Social Work Course that offered an integrated internship into the study requirements. This really appealed to me as I was attracted to the practical learning element rather than the courses being wholly theoretical.

The experience studying in Germany was both excellent and confronting. It was different, and difficult at times, living and learning in a country that did not speak English as a native tongue. However, it provided myself the opportunity to learn and grow personally by overcoming the challenges of immersing myself in a culture that is very different to what I am used to. One of the highlights of the trip was having the opportunity to travel to Munich to attend the Oktoberfest. The atmosphere was electric and it was one of the first times attending an event that was big and attended by so many people, it was definitely an experience I will remember for life. The growth that occurred during this semester abroad will definitely stay with me for life and will be a reminder of what I can achieve.

If I had to provide a tip for anyone that is going to study overseas in the future it would definitely be to try and stay as flexible and calm as possible. While travelling there can be many times that carefully planned trips do not always go as planned. When this occurs, breathe, take a minute and problem solved. Dwelling on things you cannot control only leads to stress and is not helpful in getting to your destination, believe me I know.

Studying and living in Germany has been one of the best experiences of my life and I would recommend anyone thinking of studying abroad to give it a shot.

– Daniel Chilly

Danielle Black from Rider University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

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Hi everyone! My name is Danielle Black and I’m from the United States studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC)! I am studying Communications and Public Relations. At home, I attend Rider University in New Jersey and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Australia!

Growing up, Australia always interested me and was somewhere that I always wanted to go. When I was applying to different colleges in high school, schools with study abroad programs really stuck out to me because I knew it was something that I wanted to do. IMG_3495After a rough first semester away from home during my first year of college, I wasn’t so sure if I’d ever be able to study abroad if I couldn’t even live an hour and a half drive away from home. As the semesters went on, I grew to love Rider and felt at home there, so I soon realised that studying abroad would be possible for me!

Before coming here, I had so many mixed emotions. I was super excited for what was to come, but I was also terrified to leave home and live in a whole new culture for five months. I had no idea what to expect, and honestly, that was good for me. I didn’t come here with many expectations and once I was here, I kind of just went with the flow and kept an open mind, which led me to meet many wonderful people and see many amazing things!

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While being here so far, I have done so many memorable things that I will cherish forever. Some of them are little moments, like seeing a beautiful sunset on Mooloolaba beach with friends, spending the day in Caloundra at the markets and the beach, hiking up to the Fairy Pools in Noosa for a swim, or even heading to Sunshine Plaza for some food and shopping.

Aside from the little things, I was able to cross some pretty big things off of my bucket list while being here. I went skydiving in Byron Bay with Skydive Australia, held a koala at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, went to the Australia Zoo and fed a kangaroo, and even went snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef! One of my favourite things I’ve done so far was a two-night boat trip around the Whitsundays Islands, which I totally recommend everyone does at least once! It was so relaxing and beautiful and I met so many new people from all over the world. Australia has so many new experiences and views to offer, there are endless opportunities all around!

Studying abroad on the Sunshine Coast is something that I truly will never forget. I am already so sad to leave this beautiful place! I have learned so much about myself and others through this process and I am forever grateful to have this opportunity. If you are considering studying abroad, DO IT!!! You will not regret it!

– Danielle Black @danielleblack

Martin Stadlmayer from the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

1Hello, my name is Martin and I’m from the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. I’m studying Mechanical Engineering and I will complete my bachelor next year. Why I choose Australia? Because it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world. We are three mates form Austria who decided to study on the University of Sunshine Coast (USC). Studying at USC is a one in a lifetime opportunity. The moment when I arrived in Australia, I felt in love with it.

Locals and Living

3The Australian people are one of the nicest and helpful people I know. Everyone wants to talk to you, we have received a lot of good advice from local people. We rented a house near the beach directly on the Mooloolaba canal, so we spent a lot of time fishing there. The location was perfect because we had just 5 mins to walk to the beach, so we had the opportunity to surf a lot. With the car we only need 10-15 mins to drive to the university.

4WD in the Glasshouse Mountains

2The Glasshouse Mountains is a perfect spot to hike, and get your 4WD stuck on the off-road tracks… First few days after we got our car, we tried the easiest off-road track. Three naive European guys who think they can handle this…. but glasshouse mountain showed us we can’t. We got stuck late in the afternoon in the middle of nowhere without a mobile phone reception and without water. Also, we had no recovery gear to get us out of the hole by ourselves. After a long time, a nice dude passed us with his motocross. He offered us his help, so he went back and got his truck to pull us out with the winch.

Double Island

4Double Island is a beautiful destination to surf and camp. You have the chance to camp directly on the beach and enjoy the sunrise from your tent. In my opinion, there is nothing better than waking up to a sunrise on the beach. There are also dolphins and whales, sometimes they swim near the beach so it’s easy to see them. There is a beautiful lighthouse on the Double Island Point from there you have an amazing view to rainbow beach and Noosa north shore.

– Martin Stadlmayer @stadii

Stine Milena Hansen from Kilroy Denmark studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Blog photo 6Hey y’all! My name is Stine, I’m from Denmark, I’m 24 years old – but most importantly, a student at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I’m currently studying a bachelor’s degree at Copenhagen Business School and had the amazing opportunity to study abroad for my 5th semester. With outstanding AND FREE help and guidance from Kilroy Denmark, my choice landed on the paradise of the Sunny Coast in Australia – and believe me, it was a perfect choice to escape good old grey Denmark.

This place is B-E-A-UTIFUL and the USC campus is something else! I can’t tell you how much I value this experience – but I’ll try..

Blog photo 4First of all, the USC campus has everything you could ever ask for. Kangaroos on the lawn, parrots in the trees, solar panels on the roof, a big old composting machine (how amazing is that?), free food at the student guild, the best dirty chai lattes, free yoga classes and I could go on and on. There’s an endless amount of services provided for you the moment you enrol as a student here. Even during the hard parts, when you have assessments due – you find light in all the services provided to guide you through your courses. I also find the professors here very chill, down to earth and with a lot of hands-on experience spiced up with some good Aussie humour. They are there for you when you need them, all you gotta do is ask.

Another great thing about studying at USC is the surroundings! There are so many amazing places to explore during the weekends and holidays! So, if you want to combine study and travel, this is the SPOT. I for instance went camping at Rainbow Beach a couple weeks ago and it was excellent. Spent the weekend beach cruising, moonlight ocean dipping with a couple stingrays, paragliding, chilling in my hammock, hiking and just exploring nature to the fullest …and this is just one of many crazy memorable weekends.

Blog photo 5

So, don’t hesitate to take a semester abroad at University of the Sunshine Coast, you’ll gain knowledge, meet new friends and get experiences for life! Trust me you won’t regret it as long as you bring SUNSCREEN!

– Stine Milena Hansen @stinemilena