USC Alumni Max Peters from Germany: Leading The Way Into A Corporate Position

Max Peters from Germany (Philipps-Universität, Marburg) studied a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations back in 2010-11 at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Since then, Max has gained a position as a Senior Manager overlooking the Corporate Responsibility at Cosnova who focuses on colour cosmetics, brands and essence, aiming to develop products more sustainably regarding health, the environment and social responsibility.

Why did you choose to study at USC?

I wanted to get another academic as well as social perspective of the world before I entered the work life and Australia was always high on my list. I have been there two times before and the friendly and outgoing attitude, the Aussie lifestyle and the overall atmosphere had gripped me ever since I first came to Sydney in 2000. Plus: I wanted to live right at a nice beach for once in my life.

What did you end up doing after graduating from USC?

Right after my return to Germany, I wrote my master thesis in the sustainability department of a well-known German fashion brand “s.Oliver”, examining the subject of crisis communication and communicative approaches to overcome social compliance issues in global supply chains. Since then, I was working in several roles in the field of sustainability and social compliance almost exclusively in the context of global supply chain management. From fashion at “s.Oliver” and “Zalando” to rotating specials at “ALDI stores” to colour cosmetics at my current employer “cosnova” and its well-known brands “essence” and “Catrice”, consumer goods stand in the focus of my career.

Apart from managing and conducting audits in places like Bangladesh, Indonesia, and China, managing the overall social compliance program and more and more also the defining issue of our time – reducing our corporate carbon footprint to fight climate change – I have always acted as the link between the sustainability department and Public Relations. The PR-relevant tools I got to know at USC come in very handy when working with specialized as well as consumer facing media outlets, influencers, and political stakeholders

What were some of the main things you learned from studying at USC and living on the Sunshine Coast?

From the many things I gained from studying at USC, the most important one would be confidence in myself for managing not only obtaining a degree from a foreign university but also to meet new people, network and establish friendships with mates from total different backgrounds culturally as well as geographically.


Also, I learned to approach internal as well as external audiences with transparency and an Aussie-style openness no matter who they are and what their role might be. This has not always paid off, especially in very traditional and hierarchical German corporate environments. But in the end, this gave me the opportunity to get to my current role at Cosnova, a company that is very modern in terms of management-style, transparency as well as taking sustainability seriously.

Do you have any advise to students who want to study at USC as well?

Do it! You will not regret any moment or dollar spent! It may sound cheesy, but once you are there, enjoy every moment! Go to the beach as much as you can. Spend as much time as possible outdoors and enjoy this beautiful country. Travel around, party hard but don’t let your mates down when it comes to group work for uni. Don’t hang around with just your peers. Get to know other cultures and backgrounds. These memories will shape you forever.

– Max Peters

Noelle Ollerton from Canada studying a Bachelor of Health Science at USC Sunshine Coast

My name is Noelle and I am a 3rd year Bachelor of Health Science (Prosthetics & Orthotics (P&O)) international student at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I chose to come to Australia to study due to my longingness to travel, thirst for adventure, and its phenomenal weather! – And I am never regretted my decision, even despite COVID and all… At times it has been hard being away from all my family back home in Canada, but living so close to the beach – my happy place – helped to ease any negative feelings. The staff and my fellow peers of the P&O program at USC have become more like family than school mates as the class is rather small in size so we all get to know each other quite well, especially when we had the opportunity to work literally alongside each other making prostheses and orthoses in the workshop. Although COVID put an end to these lab sessions, since we all got along so well when the change was made to all online ZOOM sessions, the four-hour meetings were more bearable as they were a little more fun and light-hearted.

     The courses of the P&O program I found most enjoyable were the ones where we had the opportunity to meet volunteer clients, chatting, casting, and fitting our fabricated devices to. It was a rewarding experience to get a better ‘taste’ as to what our futures as a Prosthetists/Orthotists would entail and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of problem solving and creative thinking involved to get a suitable, evidence based, and well-fitting result – dependent upon the task at hand. Days spent in the lab modifying plaster casts and fabricating devices were always such a treat too! Draping thermoplastic check sockets has come to be my favourite task – my peanut butter and jam man!

     Currently residing in Townsville QLD for both of my 8-wk long student placements, I am enjoying the sun, the surreal-ness of my placement locations, interacting with clients and P&O clinicians alike. My first placement was at the Townsville Hospital where I was exposed to the multidisciplinary team environment and how they work collaboratively and cohesively together to better serve patients and help them meet their health care and P&O treatment goals. Now on my second placement at SSS, a private P&O clinic, I am gaining much experience in learning how to assess patients, develop evidence-based reports to justify the chosen device prescription, how to fit and fine-tune devices, and how to develop a more long-term relationship with clients as you seek to help them achieve their treatment goals and improve their quality of life.

     All in all, my student experience at USC has been one of the most spectacular school engagements I have ever had! May I encourage you all to continue onward and upward in your journeys through academia – Never stop shining – It’s your time to rise and shine!

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

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

 

 

 

Sabrina Birkhofer from Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society in Germany studying a Master of International Business (Double Degree) at USC Sunshine Coast

20190721_202156Hi, my name is Sabrina Birkhofer and I am from the University of Business and Society Ludwigshafen in Germany, where I am studying a Master of International Marketing Management. Because of the recent cooperation of my home university with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) I spent my last semester in Australia studying a Double Degree Program in International Business.

The campus is located on a beautiful nature reserve where you can often find kangaroos relaxing on the grass. The staff is really friendly and always willing to support you with your studies. Besides, USC offers a modern campus and teaching facilities such as the big library. I would highly recommend participating on the orientation week before the semester starts as it helps a lot to settle down on campus and get useful information about your studies. To afford the tuition fees and get some financial support, it is advisable to apply for scholarships before coming to Australia (for German students e.g. the DAAD offers different opportunities). Moreover, two of the student accommodations, Unicentral and Varsity, are located very close to the USC campus, but there are also many other possibilities for private accommodations close to the beach.

I really enjoyed the varied sports that were offered through USC Sport and joined the USC Badminton team, where we represented USC during the one-week midterm break at the Unisport Games down in Gold Coast. It was a great experience to compete against other Australian Universities and get to know many people from all over Australia.

20191202_182107As the workload at the USC can be intense some times with assignments to write during the semester, it can be smart to plan some time before or after the semester to travel the country. Therefore, I decided already in the beginning of the semester to plan some weeks of travel after my final assignments and visit the the bigger Australian cities like Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. During weekends, the beautiful beaches in Mooloolaba and Maroochydore provide a great opportunity to recharge the batteries. Lastly, weekend trips to the Glasshouse Mountains and climbing Mount Coolum were a great experience where you can enjoy amazing views.

Here are some insider tips when you consider studying at the Sunshine Coast:

  1. Don‘t miss the amazing Australian food: Try banana bread and the Bundaberg ginger beer!
  2. Go to a place where you can hold a koala and stroke kangaroos (my best experience was the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane)
  3. Visit Fraser Island and make a stopover at awesome Noosa Beach and Rainbow beach
  4. Try surfing
  5. Travel from Melbourne to Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road and visit the Twelve Apostles, go to the Outback and visit Uluru (if you are brave sleep in a swag and enjoy the impressive starry sky), go to Perth and for one day to Rottnest Island, where you can visit the Quokkas (cutest animals i‘ve ever seen)

All in all, it was a great semester at the Sunshine Coast with lots of new experiences and kind new people and friends. For the future students- make the most of the time there and don’t forget to travel as much as you can in this beautiful country!

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Brianna Tabit from Grand Valley State University in the US: 10 Things International Students Will Miss After Leaving USC!

G’day Mates! My name is Brianna Tabit and I am from Michigan in the United States. Through a partnership with my home university, Grand Valley State University, I was able to spend the last semester studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). As my time is coming to an end, I have come up with a list of 10 things that international students will miss once they have to say goodbye to the Sunny Coast.

10 things you will miss when you leave USC:

1. Taking photos of the kangaroos on campus The locals will quickly be able to spot international students on campus the minute there is a kangaroo hopping around. Within seconds, you’ll see people pulling out their phones to take photos of the roos for their social media and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Kangaroos
 2. Going to the beach on a school day The best part of the day is being able to go to the beach with your mates before or after class. Beach after uni
3. All of the beaches On that note, you will miss being able to have a variety of beaches to choose from on the Sunshine Coast. All of the Beaches
4. Having the locals make you try Aussie food While free food may be nice, make sure you do your research before you eat what you’re Australian friends give you. Do NOT let anyone feed you a spoonful of Vegemite – not my favourite..  Vegemite
5. Trying to mimic your Australian friends accents It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve asked your friends to repeat their sentences so you can try to accomplish their accent, I promise you it’s not easy. Australian Accent
6. Being surrounded by unique town names Have fun pronouncing these for the first time: Sippy Downs, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Buderim, Currimundi, Diddillibah Town Names
7. Telling people you’re going to the University of the Sunshine Coast Your friends and family may question the legitimacy of the university after you tell them the name of it. While you may spend most of your days laying on the beach in the sunshine, you can reassure them you still have plenty of assessments to work on once the sun goes down. Telling people you go to USC
8. Being so close to the Australia Zoo Being less than 30 minutes away from the Australia Zoo, is the best excuse to relive your childhood memories of watching the Crocodile Hunter. If you’re lucky, you may even get a chance to meet one of the Irwins. Australia Zoo
9. Magpies When most people think of Australia, they think of giant snakes and spiders. However, on the Sunshine Coast we only have to worry about a bird called the Magpie. Don’t let the name fool you though, these tiny birds are much more vicious than they look. While you may not miss the bird, you will miss seeing all of the unique anti-magpie-attack bicycle helmets. Magpie-season-in-Australia-the-fear-is-REAL-1024x667.jpg
10. Thinking twice before turning on the TV When you’re living on the Sunshine Coast, it is impossible to be bored. There are plenty of oceans to surf, cafes to try, mountains to climb, music festivals to go to, and barbeques to attend. Thinking Twice

– Brianna Tabit @sustainablesista

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

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

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

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

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

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4. And of course, the food thief:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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15 Australian Music Festivals You Need To Experience At Least Once

Featured image: Bianca Holderness

There are so many festivals in Australia that you should check out, with everything from genres such as electro, rock, dubstep, pop and indie music! We have put together a list of 15 festivals in Australia that we believe you should check out whilst studying!

1. The Big Pineapple FestivalSunshine Coast, QLD

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Sunshine Coast’s Big Pineapple Music Festival is held every year in May and is the biggest festival on the Coast. With well-know local and Australian artists such as Peking duk, Broods and PNAU headlining in 2019, The festival has steadily grown in profile and popularity, and is regularly sold out. With a growing list of annual events, The Big Pineapple Music Festival is now an event of national standing, having been awarded one of Australia’s top regional music festivals!

2. Woodford Folk Festival – Woodfordia, QLD

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Held every New Years Eve, Woodford Folk Festival is an annual music and cultural festival held near the semi-rural town of Woodford, 72 km north of Brisbane. It is one of the biggest annual cultural events of its type in Australia where approximately 125,000 people attend the festival every year. With approximately 2000 performers and 438 events, this festival is featuring local, national and international guests.

3. Festival X – Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne

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Fairly new on the market, Festival X which kicks off on November 29th in Brisbane, will feature some huge headliners such as Calvin Harris, Armin Van Buuren and Lil Pump, the perfect mix for those who want to experience some top American artists. Australian artists such as Alison Wonderland, Anna Lunoe and Godlands will also be there to give you the real Aussie experience, so you really just have to book a ticket and see for yourself – you probably won’t be disappointed!

4. Splendour in the Grass – Byron Bay Parklands, NSW

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Splendy, what should we say? This is definitely the festival for all ages and people, and there is so much to do that we could have spent a whole day writing about it. Held in the North Byron Parklands every July, the 2019 version featured some of the greatest artist on this planet. Experience some of the best Australian and American artists, visit the Tipi Forest, Global Village, The Bohemian Lounge, The World Stage, and much much more! The opportunities are endless and there’s no question about why this festival attracts people from all over Australia and even internationally. You just have to experience it for yourself, it’s something unique!

5. Falls Festival – Byron Bay Parklands & Tasmania

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Starting it off with Splendour in July, there is not time for withdrawals having Falls Festival right around the corner. Similar to Splendour (except from being held in the middle of the summer and you’ll probably be sweaty all the time), Falls this year will feature Halsey, Vampire Weekends, and Peking Duk (even Lewis Capaldi!) so this might be something you don’t want to miss out on. What better way to celebrate the New Year right?

6. Listen Out – Brisbane Showgrounds, Queensland

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Listen Out, this is one of our favourites! Held every September/October (yes, it’s right around the corner!), this festival will bring you dance, electro and hip hop with artist such as 6lack, Biscits, Cosmo’s Midnight, Denzel Curry and Diplo. Being a popular festival for Sunny Coast people, in addition to The Big Pineapple Festival, this festival will give you more of a city-vibe. With two stages, you can easily move from one to the other if both of your favourite acts are on! Accommodation is normally easy to find being that it’s located in the heart of Brisbane, but be quick – it’s always sold out!

7. Grass is Greener – Gold Coast, QLD

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We’ve lost count in terms of how many new festivals there are this year, but we are not complaining! Event though Grass is Greener has been around since 2016, it has recently picked up here in Queensland and will be kicking off on the 19th of October in Gold Coast. Tyga will be headlining along with Amy Shark, Hermitude and The Veronicas. If you already know you won’t be able to make it to Gold Coast, they are giving you a second opportunity to experience the festival in Cairns on the 26th. To us, it is not too expensive and definitely sounds like the grass must be greener at that festival, considering their line-up.

8. Wildlands Festival – Brisbane Showgrounds, QLD

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Wildlands is a brand new, unique one-day dance festival. Happening at the end of December, Wildlands is the brain child of two of Australia’s most loved festivals. Beyond The Valley and Origin Fields founders have promised the biggest and most exciting dance, electronic and hip-hop acts, both national and international. This year’s lineup will feature sets from RÜFÜS DU SOL, Tyler, the Creator, Skepta, Ella Mai and Green Velvet (info). With tickets around 170$, we believe this might be a good hit for those who don’t want to spend heaps of money on a three-day festival, but would still like to experience the best of the best right before New Years!

9. ULTRA Australia – Sydney & Melbourne

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ULTRA came to Australia for the first time in 2018 featuring some big artists such as Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers and Marshmello. ULTRA originally being from America, the festival has now made itself popular on the Australian market. With March 7th & 8th on the schedule for next year, we recommend making it a long-weekend trip to Sydney or Melbourne to get the whole package!

10. Field Day – Sydney (New Years Day), NSW

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Who experienced FOMO last year when missing out on Cardi B and Fisher performing? In saying that, this year might also live up to you expectations as we have Green Velvet, Dom Dolla, RL Grime, Skepta and many more performing – this is definitely scoring high on our top list of music festivals 2019! Celebrate the first day of 2020 with your friends in Sydney and experience the best of our Australian (and some American) performers.

11. Beyond The Valley – Lardner Parklands, VIC

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Since it’s inception in 2014, the boutique music festival Beyond The Valley has grown into an annual party-goers haven. Running annually over the New Year’s Eve period, BTV’s carefully crafted selection of local and international artists perform across three distinctly designed, purpose-built stages. Each year, thousands of festival-goers from all over the globe travel to the lush Parklands of Lardner to experience Beyond The Valley (info). This year, (it’s unfortunately sold out), artists such as RÜFÜS DU SOL, Tyler, the Creator, 16BL and Bag Raiders will headline along with many more. Start planning for 2020 and be quick, the tickets can sometimes be hard to get a hold on!

12. Groovin The Moo Oakbank, Bunbury, Bendigo, Canberra, Maitland, and Townsville

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Ever since it’s kick-off in 2005, this festival has provided a groovy atmosphere! Held every year in May, the festival featured some big artists this year with Billie Eilish, Aurora and ASAP Twelvyy. There are heaps of locations to choose from, enabling you to literally plan your road trip everywhere! All of the shows sell out every year, so be quick if you want a hold of some tix next year!

13. Origin Fields – Perth, WA

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Heads up, Perth seems to be your new NYE plan! Ring in 2020 with Tyler The Creator, Skepta, RL Grime, UK singer Ella Mai and another Aussie favourite, Golden Features. This not-to-miss-out-on festival is held from December 31st to January 1st and believe us, after reading this, you’re probably about to realise that there’s a lot of festivals around NYE. It’s definitely not a bad thing, but you now have a difficult decision to make!

14. SandTunes Music Festival – Gold Coast, QLD

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Another new two-day festival which has definitely not been saving any money on artists, featuring LOGIC, Travis Scott and Dean Lewis. They have been met with some criticism being a bit expensive (would explain the lineup), and changing the venue just recently, but we believe with their new 1-day ticket, it’s definitely worth a go! However, if you’re the type of person who hates how 1-day festivals go too quick, this might be the reason to get a hold on that 2-day pass! Save some money and get amongst it, November 30th is right around the corner!

15. Laneway Festival – Brisbane, Sydney, Auckland, Adelaide & Fremantle

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Last but not least, the Laneway festival in Brisbane which featured Cosmo’s Midnight, Crooked Colours, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and many more this year. It’s been around 15 years since it first kicked off, and it’s absolutely one of the favourites around Australia. Starting predominantly off as an indie music event, the festival grew in popularity and has expanded to five Australian cities, including Auckland, New Zealand and Singapore. Billie Eilish delivered a mind blowing concert this year, so there’s no reason to believe it won’t be any less next year.

 

5 Travel Destinations from the Sunshine Coast Airport

On the Sunshine Coast we have the Maroochydore Airport (MCY) that offers cheap flights around Australia, enabling you to visit places that’s on your bucket list in your study break. Airlines such as Qantas, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand often offers cheap tickets for you as a student wanting to explore and travel. Here are some of our favourite destinations!

Featured Image: Anne Gibson, http://www.nzherald.co.nz

1. Melbourne

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Royal Botanic Gardens. Photo: visitmelbourne.com

From the Maroochydore (Sunshine Coast) airport, flights are regularly flying to Melbourne with a price ranging from 279-350$ return trip.

Melbourne is known for its cultural diversity, over 40 laneways and arcades, amazing art (Hosier Lane – Melbourne’s most celebrated street-art laneway), and dining options for all budgets. Furthermore, World-class gardens such as the Royal Botanic Gardens have ample lawns and lovingly kept themed sections. In addition, it’s known for being THE coffee capital of the world, and you should not miss out on the opportunity to visit the Queen Victoria Market which sprawls between open-sided sheds and historic halls packed with food.

2. Auckland, NZ

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Auckland – Photo: new-zealand-vacations-in-west-auckland.com

Air New Zealand provides seasonal direct flights between Auckland <> Sunshine Coast. The 2019 season commenced on Friday 5 July 2019, with the last service on Sunday 27th October 2019. Ticket prices range from 700-850$ direct with Air New Zealand or alternatively with 1 stop in Sydney via Jetstar from 450-600$.

Auckland – also known as the isthmus city (a narrow strip of land that connects two larger landmasses and separates two bodies of water). Auckland is built on an isthmus between the Waitemata harbour and the Manakau harbour. The Waitemata harbour is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean whereas the Manakau is an initial of the Tasman sea. Essentially, the city actually spans across the land between two different seas. Auckland is also known for being the city of sails, mostly due to the large number of yachts.

In Auckland, you can visit the Waitomo Caves, take a day trip to the Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Movie Set, and visit the Sky Tower which is featured in the photo above.

3. Sydney

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Sydney Harbour Bridge – photo: tripadvisor.com

Sydney, the number 1 destination for our students wanting to spend some time in the big city during study breaks! From MCY, you can get tickets as cheap as 120$ return (!), normally ranging from 150-200$.

Sydney, which is not the capital of Australia (it’s Canberra), offers some spectacular attractions and places to explore. You can walk across the impressive Sydney Harbour Bridge from the stairs near the pedestrian crossing on Cumberland St in The Rocks. You can also meet all kinds of animals in Sydney’s zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks. Furthermore, you can also take a ferry almost everywhere across the Sydney Harbour, for example to Manly Beach.

The shopping is also amazing, including an enticing range of places to eat. There are also many free things to do in Sydney, from the Art Gallery of NSW to great Sydney walks, such as the lovely Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk.

If whale watching is something that interests you as well, it’s free to watch from vantage points along sandstone coastline. Humpback and other whales migrate close to the Sydney shoreline between May and November. In addition, bush walking is popular in the magnificent national parks. (info: http://www.sydney.com)

4. Wellington, NZ

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Wellington Cable Car – photo: http://www.wellington2019.nz/

In order to get to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, you can fly from MCY with Jetstar or Air New Zealand (via Sydney) with prices ranging from 600-700$, not bad!

Wellington is famous for having quirky cafes, tucked-away bars, award-winning restaurants and great coffee. Wellington is a compact city with a powerful mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine. Even though Wellington may be little, this diminutive capital city is big on funky cafés, culture and beautiful views. Visit iconic places such as the Wellington Cable Car and the Kelbrun Lookout, the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa), Wellington Botanic Gardens, Princess Bay and the stunning Wellington Waterfront(info: https://www.newzealand.com/uk/wellington/)

5. Hobart, TAS

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Salamanca Market – Photo: tasmanianlife.com.au

Virgin Australia and Jetstar can get you all the way to Hobart in Tasmania for 400-500$ return trip! Fly via Sydney or Melbourne and you’ll be there in no-time! (5 hours😉) 

Hobart is know for its amazing seafood, views and lookouts such as Mt Nelson, Kunanyi / Mt Wellington, the Rosny Point Lookout, and amazing markets such as the Salamanca Market.

In addition, make sure to visit the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary which was established in 1981 as a sanctuary for injured and orphaned wildlife and is Tasmania’s most popular wildlife park. Lastly, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens being Australia’s second-oldest Botanical Garden established in 1818 should also be on your bucket-list.

 

 

Thomas Loft from Denmark: 6 good reasons «not» to study at USC 😅

Thomas Loft from Denmark is studying a Bachelor of International Business at USC Sunshine Coast and wants to give you;

6 good reasons «not» to study at USC 🙉

1.    You get new best friends who you may never see again

IMG_5282During your time at USC you will meet so many incredible new people and without a doubt make friends for life. Whether you meet them on campus, at your accommodation, on a night out in Ocean Street or on one of your many trips these people will, become your best friends and soon you will start hanging out with these people every day. Sadly though, a time will come when you will have to say goodbye to these people, and you won’t be able to see them every day.

 

2.    Your home country will seem incredibly boring when you go back

IMG_2355There’s nothing duller than going back to a rainy, grey and cold day to day life, where you spent as little time as possible outside, when you have just come from the paradise world, such as the Sunshine Coast. All of a sudden there is no more fantastic beaches, no more incredible wildlife and no more perfect weather.

 

3.    Family and friends may hate you a little

IMG_3075Jealousy is an awful thing, but your friends and family will most likely start hating you more and more for every incredible photo you post on Instagram. At first, they may seem happy for you, but before you know it, they won’t even like your photos anymore. 🤷🏽‍♂️

 

4.    The time at USC may be the best time of your life, so it is all downhill from there

IMG_1194Going to a new country to stay for 6 or more months may be very intimidating at first, but once you settle in and start exploring Australia, the good memories and experiences will soon make you forget, that there once was somewhere else, which you called home. You may go explore the Glasshouse Mountains, visit Noosa National Park, learn to surf, go for a weekend trip to beautiful Brisbane or Melbourne or even go skydiving. The endless possibilities and the overflow of new experiences may be the peak of your life’s adventures, so sadly it’s all downhill from there. 😅

 

5.    You spend way too much time planning trips

IMG_0973All the time you would have spent back home, just going through your phone or watching random tv-shows are all of a sudden gone and you now spend that time planning awesome trips with awesome people. This is precious time that you will never get back, and you will definitely miss out on watching that 4th season of “Ice Road Truckers” and miss a bunch of not-so-funny memes. (It might be worth it though) 🌞

 

6.    You will definitely get a post USC depression

Post-travel depression is the worst. It just hurts in your soul, that your travels are over. Upon returning home from USC (if you don’t decide to stay in Australia), everything is suddenly back to normal and all you have left is some amazing pictures and some memories. You will miss everything and everyone from your time at USC. Your flirt, your best friends, the smells, the food, the area and the feeling of freedom won’t be there anymore, and you might cry a little that it is all over.

IMG_4785

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Margrethe Johansen & Sofie Gamst Holm from The Arctic University of Norway studying at USC Sunshine Coast

 

IMG_5043Hello, we are two Norwegian girls studying abroad from The Arctic University of Norway. Our names are Margrethe and Sofie. We are currently studying psychology in Norway and we got the opportunity to do one semester abroad. Both of us enjoy the beach and warmer temperatures, so Sunshine Coast here in Australia was an easy choice.

Here in Australia we are doing a program called Study Abroad. Both of us got a lot of help from Kilroy during this process. They helped us throughout the whole process and gave us helpful information about the different universities in Australia. When we decided to apply for The University of Sunshine Coast, they helped us with the application, tuition fees, visa etc.

As we both love the beach life we decided to share with you our top 5 favourite beaches here on the Sunshine Coast.

  1. Mooloolaba

This beach is located only 15 minutes by bus from uni. It is the closest beach, but also our favourite. This is the beach where we have spent most of our time during the past five months. From Mooloolaba you can walk along the coastline towards Pt. Cartwright, which has a nice view. There are also located a lot of nice bars, cafes, restaurants, and shops along the esplanade. We especially love the acai bowls at Acai Brothers and the coffee at Hustle & Flow Espresso. Mooloolaba is always patrolled by lifeguards which means that you can enjoy a nice swim in the ocean.

  1. Little Cove Beach

This little beach is located in Noosa Heads, which is 40 minutes away from the university by car and approximately 1.5 hours by bus. The beach is very close to Noosa Main Beach, but not nearly as crowded. The water is crystal clear, and you can do a bit of surfing here as well. If you feel like it, you can continue to walk along a wooden path to some beautiful rock pools named Fairy Pools. There are also a lot of cafes, restaurants, and shops in walking distance from this beach.

  1. Kings Beach

It is located in Caloundra, which is approximately 50 minutes away from the university by bus and 25 minutes away by car. It is a beautiful beach, where you both can surf and swim. From Caloundra you can watch the sun going down behind the beautiful Glass House Mountains. In addition to this, Caloundra often has street fairs with lots of good food and small shops.

  1. Dicky Beach

This beach is located about 40 minutes away from the university by bus and is close to Caloundra. From Dicky Beach you can watch beautiful sunrises and there are a couple of cute coffee shops nearby where you can enjoy a break from the sun. Our favourite is The Pocket Espresso. There are also some good waves for surfing, and the beach is less crowded than Kings Beach. If you like dogs or have you’re own dog, there is a dog beach called Moffat Beach right next to this beach.

  1. Alexandra Headland

This beach is located about 20 minutes from the university by bus. The beach is right next to Mooloolaba, but more suited for surfing than Mooloolaba is. You can walk along the esplanade between these two beaches, and it is a beautiful walk. From Alexandra Headland you can watch beautiful sunsets while watching a lot of talented surfers. You can get delicious ice cream at Cold Rock which is located right next to the beach.

We hope you enjoyed reading about our favourite beaches. We have not regretted for one split second that we decided to study at the Sunshine Coast and at USC. It has been an incredible semester filled with lots of good food, new friends, tons of sunshine and traveling. If you have any questions about USC, Australia, accommodation or studying abroad in general, we are more than happy to answer. You can find us at Instagram @maggi95 and @sofiegam.

Oliver Siewertsen from Kilroy Denmark studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Hey everyone, my name is Oliver and I’m 20 years old. I’m currently a Study Abroad student from Kilroy because I’m having a gap-year in Denmark and wanted to do something different than just travelling around.

I had many different universities in Australia in mind but decided to choose USC because of the program, the location and their effort to make international students feel welcome.

Studying at USC was way above my expectations and definitely the best time of my life, even the weeks with a lot of uni-work. It’s just amazing to have the opportunity to sit in the sun and watch kangaroos jumping around when doing assessments or homework.

USC is a modern university with new facilities and the newest technology, which is a thing I really appreciate. USC also offers various kinds of sports and clubs, both competitive and social sports, which is fun to try – and also a great opportunity to meet other students and build up friendships.

Top 5 must do while studying at USC

Noosa Heads:

pjimageNoosa Heads located 30-45 minutes north of USC. This area is amazing and gives a bit of the “Miami Beach vibe”, you have a lot of small cozy cafés and restaurants, shopping opportunities and one of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast.

One out of two Everglades in the world is also located in Noosa and the national park with various hiking trails. You can get to Noosa by car or by bus. It cost approximately 5$ from USC to Noosa.

Surfing at Alexandra Headlands:

pjimage (1)

One of the must do when studying or visiting Australia is surfing! Surfing is a huge thing in Australia, and you will be able to see surfers at every beach. I recommend surfing at the Alexandra Headlands beach because it’s close to USC and board hire is approximately 30$ for 3 hours.

PS: Surfing is way harder than it looks like – so don’t give up after a few tries!

Wings Wednesday at Taps:

Every Wednesday, the restaurant “Taps” at Mooloolaba is offering 10 chicken wings with a burst of flavors for 5$. This is a place with a great atmosphere, a lot of people especially uni-students and a great place to catch up in the midweek. Besides for the cheap and delicious chicken, beer-taps are located at each table so you can pour your own beer!

Australia Zoo:

pjimage (2)25 minutes south from USC is the world-famous Steve Irwin zoo located, also called Australia Zoo. This is an absolute must do and a great experience. Daily buses to Australia Zoo are available and it’s easy to get there. Steve Irwin’s vision has always been to make Australia Zoo the biggest and best wildlife conservation facility in the entire world. It is also at the Australia Zoo you get a chance to pet and feed kangaroos, carry a koala, pet a wombat and many other animals.

Fraser Island:

Fraser islandFraser Island is 2 hours driving north from USC, and it is the world largest sand island. It was inscribed as a “World Heritage Site” in 1992 and is especially known for the Lake McKenzie, the wildlife and the champagne pools. Fraser Island has rain forests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths.

Also, throughout the semester, there’s a study-break midway the semester and a few public holidays, where it is possible to arrange trips to destinations all around Australia. Students are often going to places like Sydney, Melbourne, The Whitsundays, Uluru, and some are even going to New Zealand or Bali. The opportunities are endless.

Advice to future students:

Intro pictureFor myself, going to a new country by myself to study, was definitely a cross-border experience and it can be thrilling. But it turns out to be the best experience ever, and I wish everyone who has the possibility to go study abroad, should do so.

Learning about a new culture and be a part of it, get to know people from all around the world, boost your CV/resume, improve English skills, and get the chance to do trips all around Australia while studying. All this ensure the best time of your life and my advice would definitely be; to get this experience and do this cross-border experience. If you make sure to write your assessments in time, there’s plenty of time to explore and travel when studying.

I’m so grateful for my time here, for all the people I have met, the friends I’ve got for the rest of my life and the experiences when exploring this amazing continent.

Cheers, Oliver

Lita Keller from Niagara University in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

I did an exchange semester at the University of the Sunshine Coast from July to November 2017. From my four-month study abroad experience in Australia, I have learned so much about myself, made new friends and experienced new adventures!

During my time at USC, I lived with an Australian guy and a German girl. I also became friends with other Germans, Australians, Swedes, and Austrians. We realised how similar we were and often discussed the similarities and differences of our home countries and cultures. My favourite part about being in Australia and attending USC was being able to travel to so many places throughout the semester! I wanted to see as much as possible, so I took short 2-3 day trips, instead of doing one long trip. With my new friends, we were able to travel along the east coast of Australia, all the way from Airlie Beach and down to Sydney. Who knew airline tickets were so cheap?! We took recommendations from others on places to visit and with the help of STA Travel on campus at USC, we were able to make it happen!

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During my time studying at USC, I learned what it’s like to attend an Australian university. USC is very much different to Niagara University (NY, USA), in a sense that there are lectures and tutorials for each class – and Australia doesn’t have tests besides a final exam! The teaching style at USC is very individualistic; the expectation to do well is a lot higher as you are the one who is determining your future. I spent approximately 455 hours in the library at uni in contrast to Niagara University, where I would spend 20 hours at most in the library.

Winters in Australia are nothing compared to New York; it doesn’t snow! I was able to do a lot of fun activities outside and enjoy the sun and warm weather. Some of my favourite experiences I did were exploring six national parks, visited 12 different beaches, climbed two mountains, visited two botanical gardens and participated in two colour dance parties!

While in Australia, I did some of the “must-do” Australia activities like climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and visited the most easterly point of the Australia mainland in Byron Bay. I also got to hug a koala, took a selfie with a kangaroo and learned how to surf. Other fun things that I did included ATV quad biking, feeding dolphins, tobogganing at Moreton Island, flew in a seaplane at Fraser Island, snorkelled twice at Moreton Island and Whitsundays and took a catamaran day cruise to the Whitsunday Islands!

Life in Australia was so much different than living in New York. My life is forever changed and studying abroad in Australia has now given me the motivation to travel and see more of the world! To anyone who is thinking about it, do it because you won’t regret it!