Kristin Stefanie Peiker from the University of Applied Sciences Munich in Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_1894Wunya Ngulum! – Welcome Everyone
I’m Kristin, I am from Munich in Germany where I usually study Tourism Management at the University of Applied Sciences (MUAS). I have been studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) these past two semesters for my bachelor’s degree in business.

Where to begin? USC and Down Under have changed my life. There is without a doubt nothing better than studying abroad. Since this wasn’t my first time coming to Australia and the Sunshine Coast region, settling in was easy and stress-free for me. It almost felt like coming home. Orientation week is a must if you can get here early enough to attend. This is where you get to make your first good contacts with other students and plenty of university organisations. So, don’t miss out.

So, here’s why you should come to USC for your studies abroad:
Ever wanted to go to the beach before you head to uni? Ever wanted to share your campus with the cutest kangaroos on earth? For me there’s absolutely nothing better than grabbing a cuppa (cup of coffee) and listening to the calming sounds of swaying palm trees while studying on campus. The USC staff, and everyone else on campus, are extremely helpful and always have a smile for you; you get this instant feeling of ‘home’.
IMG_3255One of the reasons why I chose USC is the great variety of courses they offer and their good reputation for preparing their students to really be successful in their future career paths. And having been here for a while I can now say it’s true; I learned so many valuable lessons for life.

I love going to the lectures and tutorials. Here at USC we all stick together and support each other wherever we can. Teaching staff is always there to help whether it is to further explain course content, or simply for a short chat.
Of course, uni is quite different from my studies in Munich as I have reports to write, presentations to hold and exams during the semester.

 

IMG_9823

Campus life! Oh, how can I best describe you? There’s nothing quite like it. Soft music melancholically playing in the backdrop at the cafes. People chatting or vigorously working on assignments; in the distance the usual clacking and roasting sounds from the coffee machines and from time to time a voice with ‘order for Kristin’ echoes. Doesn’t Balu‘s motto of the bare necessities of ‘peace and quiet’ fit perfectly? I got to meet people as crazy as me and people completely unlike me, and I became friends with all of them. I believe this is one of the perks of uni and of being abroad; you get to build this great multicultural network; the best of the very best. We suffered together when we, again started way to late on our assignments. We partied together when we finally, after long nights in front of your laptop, handed them in and we travelled together – of course, the actual reason why you study abroad.

Don’t just come here for your semester and bring some time to travel. Make sure to hop on a plane to Sydney or Melbourne. Or stay at Sunshine Coast and cruise around the hinterland. There’s plenty to see and explore for instance Noosa, the Sunshine Coasts’ golden child, is a must see! Before or after the lectures and on weekends I get to enjoy life to the fullest. Barbeques and rounds of beach volleyball at the beach, hopping from one Food & Wine Festival to the next, and exploring Fraser Island with our 4WD, the largest sand island in the world .

IMG_7999

Despite loads of work and a healthy portion of stress, I get the feeling of being on permanent holidays. And of course, this is also thanks to the many rays of sunshine. Not for nothing else is the region called Sunshine ‘Sunny’ Coast. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start your very own study abroad adventure!

– Kristin Peiker @kristinsteffi

 

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

Melbourne
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

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

sydeny-harbour-bridge
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

wellington-cable-car
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

anca
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.