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

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

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

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

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

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

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You Need To Check Out These Sunshine Coast Markets

We must say that the Sunshine Coast has some of the best markets, which are constantly becoming bigger and better. Experience local food, stalls, shops and artists – you’ll never have a dull weekend ever again!

Fisherman’s Road Markets 

  • Where: Fishermans Road / David Low Way, Maroochydore
  • When: Every Sunday from 6am to 12 (noon)
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The Fisherman’s market provides a really good Sunday-vibe with good food and lots to see! Fishermans Road Markets has been operated and managed for the past 20 years by the Lions Club of Mooloolaba and by shopping at this market, you are also supporting many community projects. There are up to 128 stalls offering a huge variety of items for sale including local and market fruit and Vegetables, Clothing (both new and pre-loved), pet treats, hand tools, books, popcorn, fresh seafood, 2nd hand items and so on. A cute market with it’s own charm!

Noosa Marina Markets 

  • Where: 2 Parkyn Court, Tewantin
  • When: Sundays 8am – 2pm
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After your leisurely Sunday breakfast or before a long Sunday lunch at Noosa Marina, take a stroll through our Sunday markets. Their art, craft and local produce market has an idyllic setting on the deck, overlooking the Noosa River. Take your time strolling around the many market stalls, where a variety of locally made craft items can be found along with the freshest of local produce. The atmosphere is alive with music and entertainment from local and interstate musicians. When it’s time to go home, let the Noosa Ferry take you on a relaxing ride from the markets to one of the stops along the river. (info)

Cotton Tree Markets 

  • Where: King Street, Cotton Tree, Maroochydore
  • When: Sunday 7am to noon
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The Cotton Tree Markets offer something for everyone. For 25 years the Cotton Tree Markets have featured local artisans, designers and inventors selling their own unique and creative works. This unique precinct is located near one of the Sunshine Coast’s most picturesque beaches. Enjoy a great day out exploring the market, shopping at the quality retailers, meeting friends for a coffee and bite to eat, followed by some time relaxing by the river. You will find a diverse and eclectic range of fashion such as jewellery, original artworks, sculptures, skincare, pottery, baking, homewares, plus so much more to suit all tastes and ages. Soak up the friendly market atmosphere and be entertained by local performers (info).

Marcoola Farmer’s Market 

  • Where: 10 Lorraine Avenue, Marcoola
  • When: Every Saturday Morning from 8am-12pm (noon)
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The Marcoola Market has something for everyone and provides you with a good vibe and great food! Enjoy organic produce, fresh fruit and veggies, meats, cheese, and other goodies. There are also plenty of sweet treats available, including raw and vegan options, which will keep you around for a while. Marcoola Market is also close to the beach, so it’s the perfect place to enjoy some good food with friends watching the ocean!

Eumundi Markets

  • Where: 80 Memorial Drive, Eumundi QLD 4562
  • When: Wednesdays 8am to 1.30pm and Saturdays 7am to 2pm
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Our favourite! The Original Eumundi Markets is the biggest and the best art and craft market in Australia. Meet the talented hands behind handcrafted furniture, homewares, artworks, ceramics, cutting-edge fashion and jewellery, and chat to the farmers and bakers selling fresh produce and gourmet delights. When you need a shopping break, rejuvenate with a massage, have your palm read or lose yourself in the stellar line-up of musicians and street performers. It’s an experience like no other (info).

 

Peregian Beach Markets

  • Where: Kingfisher Park. Peregian Beach QLD 4573
  • When: 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, 7am – 12.30pm

The Peregian Beach Markets are held the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, 7am – 12.30pm, in the beautiful surroundings of Kingfisher Park on Kingfisher Drive at Peregian Beach.  If there are five Sundays in December or January an extra market will be held on that day. Well known for the variety of art, craft, up cycled, recycled, created, designed, manufactured, handmade, home grown, organic and fair trade.  This is a great place to pick up a gift or new outfit, enjoy a relaxing massage and stock your fridge and pantry. (info) Definitely check this market out, and this video:

Video retrieved from Dronehack Productions (link) (2019)

Featured Image: Eumundi Markets at Indulge Magazine

Visit Popular Local Spots Close To The USC Sunshine Coast Campus

There are many local, but also popular spots just a short bus ride or drive away from campus. Our USC Sunshine Coast (Sippy Downs) campus is lucky to have a bus stop right on campus, and only a 5 minute walk away from our student accommodation options UniCentral, Varsity and The Village.

We have listed some of the most popular spots below that our students often visit when living close to campus:

1. Mooloolaba Beach

If you want to hit the beach, you can take the 615 bus from USC which will take you approx 15 minutes to Mooloolaba. This is a popular spot for students who wants to soak up some sun on the beach but also for students who like to go for walks along the promenade and even do some shopping. Mooloolaba has some great local shops, cafes and restaurants. Not to mention, if you walk towards the Mooloolaba Spit in the arvo, you might be able to see an amazing sunset.

2. Cotton Tree Beach & Holiday Park

If you prefer to avoid some of the more popular, busy beaches, you may want to stay on the bus a bit longer after Mooloolaba and jump off at Cotton Tree, just 5 minutes down the road from Mooloolaba. Cotton Tree Beach is located just to the left of Alexandra Headland, a popular surf spot for many students and not to mention locals. Cotton tree is the perfect spot if you would like to try out Stand Up Paddle Boarding or Kayaking. There are also heaps of cosy local shops along the promenade and we can recommend checking out Cafe Envy that offers locally sourced dishes, in addition to organic coffee and smoothies. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spot a couple of pelicans who like to enjoy their time down at the beach.

3. The Glasshouse Mountains

We of course won’t forget to mention the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains, located a short 25 minute drive from campus with a car. You will have a lot of mountains tracks to choose from including some of the more popular ones such as Mt Beerwah, Mt Ngungun and Mt Tibrogargan. The Glasshouse Mountains have a lot of history behind them, and we would definitly recommend booking a tour with some local aboriginals, also known as storytelling, as they have a lot of interesting stories to tell which you can read more about here.

4. Noosa National Park + Champagne Pools

Photo: Ali Hannah

A bit further away from USC but also only a short 40 minute drive you’ll find the beautifucl Noosa National Park. This National Park is a favourite amongst the locals mostly due to the prime surf that it provides, especially in the mornings and afternoons. If you’re lucky you might spot a koala on your way to Champagne Pools, an absolute must go-to if visiting the park for the first time. The whole walk around Noosa National park is approx. 5.4 km and you can choose to start at Sunshine Beach and walk all the way to the main street in Noosa, Hasting. We recommend checking out Betty’s Burgers and some of the local Noosa shops while you’re there.

5. Mt Coolum

On the way back from Noosa and approx. 30 minutes from campus you’ll find the popular mountain Coolum. While most people will choose to follow the public walking track that has been set out and recently refurbished, there are a couple of additional but rarely used tracks that are for the more adventurous and experienced climbers. Interestingly, one of these tracks will lead you to two of Coolum’s caves. The trip to the caves starts at he same main track however if you wear off to the left it will take you to the first larger cave which is more of an overhang and is regularly used by rock climbers. This makes for a spectacular waterfall in the wet seasons and well worth a visit.

6. Double Island / Fraser Island

If you have the option to rent a 4WD while you’re here we would definitely recommend you to put some time and money aside to explore Double Island, just a short 5 minute ferry ride from Noosa North Shore. Double Island stretches all the way up to Double Island Point (well known spot for prime surfing) and Rainbow Beach, where you can further (if you’re an adventurous type) take the Mantra Bay ferry over to Fraser Island. Double Island is perfect for a short day trip however we recommend to spend at least 2 nights (camping or housing accommodation) at Fraser to experience most of what the island has to offer. Recommended spots to visit is Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek, Maheno Wreck and Champagne pools. You may also want to drive further north to Sandy Cape if you have some spare time.

We hope you enjoyed reading about some of the more popular places visited by locals and students, and don’t forget to tag us using @USC.International and #USCInternational.

Camilla Ingebrigtsen from Norway studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi! My name is Camilla, I’m from Norway and in July 2019 my best friend and I packed our bags and moved to Australia to study at The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I was supposed to study at USC for a full year but thanks to COVID-19, I had to return to Norway in late April, a couple months earlier than planned.

I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to study after high school so I decided to take a gap year, the year passed and I was still just as clueless as the year before, that’s when I started looking into studying abroad. Travelling to Australia has been on the top of my bucket list for as long as I can remember, so I though why not combine my lifelong Aussie dream and uni.

We contacted STS Education, a study abroad agency in Norway to get information about the different schools and what they had to offer, it didn’t take long before we decided on USC and that was by far the best decision I’ve ever made.

The Sunshine Coast, or Brisbane which is an hour away by car, has pretty much everything you would ever need. Warm climate all year round (it can get chilly in the early morning and late evening during winter so don’t forget to pack a couple hoodies, I made that mistake), beaches everywhere, shopping (I 10/10 recommend Sunshine Plaza), clubs, bars and restaurants (easy to drive down to Brisbane or Gold Coast if you get sick of Ocean Street).

If you are considering studying at USC there is a couple of student accommodations to choose from. Varsity, Uni Central and The Village are all a short walk from campus. I lived at Varsity, which I would say is the more social one out of the three as there is always something happening or someone to hang out with, and it is a great way to meet new friends from all around the world.

If you have the money for it I would definitely recommend visiting other parts of Australia as well. Brisbane Airport is an hour away by car, there is also an airport on The Sunshine Coast but the flights tend to be a bit more expensive than from Brisbane.

During my time in Australia I went to Gold Coast, Airlie Beach and The Whitsundays, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Noosa and Melbourne (rent a car and do the Great Ocean Road roadtrip, not too expensive and soooo worth it!!).

The teachers at USC are used to having a lot of international students, they know that studying in a foreign language can be difficult at times and that somethings might be more challenging than others, but they are super helpful and understanding which was something I was really appreciative of. My favourite course by far was OES104 which has gotten really popular with international students and is an awesome way to see Australia from a local point of view. There’s heaps of field trips as well, from kayaking in the Noosa river, to camping in Cooloola, and a 3-day camping trip to Fraser Island(!!)

My time is Australia was better than I ever thought it would be, I made lifelong friends, went camping at Rainbow Beach with my best friends, travelled to places I’ve dreamt of going to since I was a kid, saw kangaroos at campus on a daily basis, fell In love with watching the sunset (especially at Kawana Beach), held a koala, drove on the beach, watched dogs surf, watched humans surf, snorkelled in The Great Barrier Reef, cried a lot, laughed a lot, and socialised a lot. That pretty much sums up the student life at USC.

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions you’re more than welcome to send me a DM @camillaIngebrigtsen 😀

– Camilla Ingebrigtsen

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Chelsea Keister from Shippensburg University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

AU zoo roosMy name is Chelsea Keister and I am studying Biology at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania (USA). I made the decision to take a semester away from home to go down under at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), and it was the best decision of my life. My university at home offered me a variety of options to choose from when I decided I wanted to study abroad, and right away I knew that Australia was where I wanted to spend my semester. From there, I enrolled directly to USC and my home university helped me with that process whenever I needed it.

I found that my courses here at USC were a lot more relaxed than the courses I had at home. For my science courses at home, I can expect to have four exams throughout the semester along with lab work and other smaller assignments and quizzes. Here, however, most of my courses consisted of one project and a final exam which gave me so much more time to explore.

Before I came to Australia, I made a list of all the places I wanted to see in Australia as well as the other countries I wanted to visit while I was here. Unfortunately, I was unable to do everything I wanted to do because of the corona virus, but that just forced me to dive deeper into the Sunshine Coast and discover all of the amazing things the area had to offer. My favourite things about the Sunshine Coast include:

  1. kangaroosNoosa National Park: This was my absolute favourite place on the Sunshine Coast, and one of my favourite places I have ever been to. The views here are phenomenal and there is so much wildlife to see every single time you go here—I even saw a wild koala! I was lucky enough to skydive over Noosa, and it’s even prettier from the sky which I didn’t think was possible.
  2. The Australia Zoo: I heard so many amazing things about the Australia Zoo before coming here, but my expectations were blown out of the water. Every day I spent at the zoo was a good day, whether I did an animal encounter with a rhino, cheetah or giraffe, watched a croc show at the Crocoseum, or just hung out with the kangaroos at Roo Heaven it was always the best time.
  3. Glass House Mountains: I climbed Mount Ngungun and while it was a pretty tiring hike, the view from the top made it all worth it.
  4. Tim Tams: I don’t think anyone who hasn’t tried one will truly understand how good they are. I am obsessed.
  5. The wildlife: The Sunshine Coast has so many amazing different species of wildlife. I spent so much time taking pictures of all the different animals and I will cherish them forever.

While my time here in Australia is finishing up, I am planning last minute trips to the Whitsundays and Sydney, but the Sunshine Coast will forever hold a special place in my heart.  My experience studying at USC is unforgettable and I am so blessed that I was able to experience this beautiful country.

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Ali Hannah from Rider University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

ACS_0143Hello Hello! My name is Ali Hannah and I am from New Jersey, and no, I do not sound like our infamous reality TV-star, Snooki! I attend Rider University back home and there I am studying Marketing. I have been at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) since early July and I will be staying here until late November of 2019!

While at USC, I have been fortunate to explore a lot of the east coast. The location of USC is perfect because it is pretty much in the middle of the east coast, you can head down to Sydney for a weekend or go up to Cairns very easily with just a short flight.

On the Sunshine Coast, my favourite places to explore are the Glasshouse Mountains and Noosa. The Glasshouse mountains are STUNNING! They are a set of mountains that tell a story – or well so the Glasshouse Aboriginal Legend says… but that is a story for another day. Noosa is unarguably the prettiest beach on the Sunshine Coast. It is made up of coastline and trails that lead to the ever-so-popular fairy pools (definitely a must-see)! If you have the chance to explore the north shore of Noosa, put riding horses on the beach on the to-do list! Noosa Horses is a great company to do it with.

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South of the Sunshine Coast, I have been to Brisbane, Byron Bay and Sydney. Brisbane is an amazing city, it isn’t too populated, but populated enough to feel urban. Brisbane is much cleaner than cities I’m used to (Philadelphia and NYC). The crime rate is lower than what I am used to too so I felt comfortable exploring. A cool thing about Brisbane is that you can rent e-scooters all around the city and they are a ton of fun! Byron bay is another great town. It is very laid back and relaxed. I also got to see Byron Bay from exciting heights while skydiving! (I would 2000% recommend!!) Sydney is another fantastic city. Sydney’s Opera House is on everyone’s bucket list as a must see! It was very beautiful. Aside from that, the city itself has great views, restaurants, and places to explore. Bondi Beach is only a short drive away and this beach was my favorite part of my trip to Sydney! Not only are the lifeguards REAL from the popular show “Bondi Rescue”, the beach itself is even prettier in person. There is a walk along the coast that will take you to more secluded beaches as you go.

Over my semester break, I travelled up to Cairns which is located in Northern Queensland and is very tropical! While in Cairns, I went to the lagoon (pool) which Cairns is known for. It is the only place to publicly swim because there are crocodiles in the water… yeah… scary! Crocodiles in the ocean is definitely something I was not used to as a resident of New Jersey! I also went to explore the Daintree Rainforest which was very pretty and historical as it is the oldest rain forest in the world – but again, you have to watch out for the crocs! Another item to cross off the bucket list was snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef! The reef was so beautiful and that was one of my favourite days of my whole experience in Australia. The sky rail in Cairns is also a must-do while you are there. It takes you to new heights and a new perspective to explore the rainforest. It will take you by some unbelievable scenery.

I hope anyone who wants to come here can get the opportunity to. You will not regret it!!

– Ali Hannah @ali_hannah2

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Sairah Benz Alonzo from the Philippines (AMS BridgeBlue) studying a Master of Business Administration at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_0731Beep beep! *Benz Alonzo about to park!* 

Hey there – I’m Sairah Benz Alonzo. Feel free to call me Benz (yes, just like the car Mercedes-Benz). I accomplished my bachelor’s degree in University of Asia and the Pacific, Philippines. Currently, I’m taking up my master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

Healthy Habits When Visiting the Sunshine Coast Beaches

I’m surprised on how accessible it is for anyone in this state to head down to the nearest coastline. Approximately by 10-20 mins, I could find myself lost in the breeze of Sunshine Coast beaches. Later on, I’ve learned new practices which I like to apply when facing the waves of the ocean. Allow me to share these with you!

Find Peace

Discovering the hush and solitude of what the beach can offer us – silence. Silence, along with the lullaby of waves, brings in peace. If you want more of this, Sunshine Coast is the place to be.

Breathe in, breathe out… Take a deep breath for 5 mins (or up to you!). In a moment, you’ll surprisingly find yourself blending with the serenity of the waves. If it helps, think of short affirmations when breathing in (I breathe in peace) and breathing out (I breathe out confidence). This way, it is purposeful + clearer calm-seeking thoughts.

Seek Aspirations

From time to time, it’s helpful to take a pause and look far at the ocean. Begin with thinking of what you’d like to achieve in life then take note of them. Once you’ve collected your aspirations, it’s pretty cool to treat the beach as your audience. Speak out loud that truth inside yourself! What you’ll face will never judge you but listen intently.

Visualise dreams  

After repeating those dreams, start visualising the “HOW” little by little. I myself, visualise how my week will go: as small as waking up early for attending USC classes -> focusing in lectures -> working out in between breaks -> doing some self-study in another field of work -> plus so on and so forth. Practice that creativity in your imagination. Which by the way, Sunshine Coast has the best background music for this.

Sweat them off

For starters, I love to walk along the shoreline of the beach. While walking, I was able to observe how certain locals incorporate different sets of physical lifestyle: running, yoga, sports, and other fun activeness! And I reckon, anyone can do this! As Tony Robbins claim “motion creates emotion”. Truly, I’m pretty much inspired by the locals here.

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Read Read Read

When in Sunshine Coast, it is always ‘beach reading season’. Pack one book in your bag. Find a great spot and enjoy your time alone reading. Reading by the beach allows us to relax at the same time explore in between pages.

Write them down

The sea won’t be throwing shade on whatever thoughts you’ll be writing down. What’s important is, we lead our actions through mindfulness. Take your notebook/journal out and begin writing down your stories. You’ll be amazed on how long-term pens and papers can affect your life.

P.S. This article is inspired by the Miracle Mornings of Hal Elrod. I highly recommend this book for everyone to read.

–  Sairah Benz Alonzo @sairahalonzo

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

 

 

5 Hidden Gems on the Sunshine Coast

We have gathered a couple of hidden gems here on the coast, ranging from cafes to beautiful, hidden locations. Some of these places might be familiar to a Sunshine Coast local, but if you’re new to the Sunshine Coast you should definitely make some time on your schedule to visit these places!

Front page photo: Traveller photo submitted by Darren (Jun. 2017)

1. Kenilworth Bakery

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Opening hours: Everyday From 6am Until SELL OUT.

Address: 8 Elizabeth St, Kenilworth QLD 4574

You might be disappointed in yourself that you haven’t heard about this before now, but for all doughnut fans: look no further. The famous bakery in Kenilworth offers a bakery experience of it’s own, with amazing doughnuts in every possible flavour you can imagine. Considering they are so popular and people often travel to Kenilworth just to get a taste of what the bakery has to offer, you’ll need to be there early in the morning to secure yourself one of these tasty doughnuts. Ranging from the apple crumble, golden gay-time, oreo and world’s first coffee in a doughnut, why not go all out and challenge yourself with the 1 kg doughnut challenge. Check them out on Instagram here!

2. Ewen Maddock Dam

Depending on where you live, you might not have heard of this place. Located in Mooloolah Valley, this dam is a place where you can have nice picnics while enjoying the silence. The Ewen Maddock Dam is perfect for a swim or kayaking, and it has the most amazing view over the huge watery expanse. It has seats, bbq’s and a sandy shore to enjoy. You can even walk through the forest path next to the water and enjoy the bird life. There are also some great mountain bike tracks nearby if you’re up fore some action. Bring your friends and check it out! Read more here.

 

3. The Strawberry Fields

Pick your own strawberries! Strawberry Fields is a Pick Your Own Farm and the season is from May to October (not too far away!) where you get to go out on the field and pick your very own strawberries. They also have a shop, a Cafe, a playground and a gift shop. We already know this has been a popular thing to do amongst students, bu it normally takes a while before someone brings it to your attention, especially when you’re new to the coast. It’s located only 10 minutes away from the University (opposite to Aussie Worlds), so there’s no excuse not to go if you’re a strawberry lover! Check them out here.

 

 

4. THE BIRDS & THE BEANS ESPRESSO BAR

Image may contain: indoorOpening hours: Monday-Saturday 6 – 11.30am 

Address: The old Vandy’s Garage, 114 Burnett St, Buderim QLD

This gem is situated in an old service station from 1918 and is well-known amongst Buderim locals. They make some really awesome coffee with Kai Specialty roast, and not to mention, their delicious NYC Bagels with cream cheese. Another amazing thing about this gem is that they currently donate one dollar for every kilo of coffee they sell to rescue children in developing nations. You can find them on Facebook here.

 

5. GURU Life

Image may contain: people sitting, plant, tree, table and outdoorOpening hours: Every day 6am-3pm

Address: 522A Petrie Creek Rd, Rosemount QLD 4560

GURU Life Restaurant & Garden will bring happiness and enlightenment to your day through a delicious menu, served up in a relaxed garden setting. This is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious lunch or a simple cup of coffee, roasted on site. The Soloman Chicken is a favourite on the lunch menu, and the relaxing vibes make this a destination a popular spot you definitely want to check out. You can check them out here!

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

– Michael Poling @m.poling

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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.

 

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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 .

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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

 

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

5Hi everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Charlotte Malgrange @chamlgr

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Amy Zahn from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

img-0010.jpgHi, my name is Amy and I’m from Germany, but my home university is the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. I’m currently doing a Bachelor’s degree in International Business, however at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), I am completing a Business Diploma in one semester.

Coming to Australia, I had many expectations about what I would see and do, but I was also surprised by several things. For example the high grocery prices, the cold nights in the beginning, but also the amazing cheap sushi and how helpful everyone is. I was not expecting to have that many assignments in the beginning, however, I then found out later I didn’t have any exams! Nevertheless, I was able to tick so many things off my Australia bucket list, mainly because I was able to take some amazing long weekend trips, which I will be giving some tips for here.

IMG-0007My main recommendations are the big cities in the South East of Australia: Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. All offer great nightlife, and culture, but also beautiful nature which is very easily reachable from the city. If you don’t have a lot of time, going to Brisbane even just for a good night out can be worthwhile. You will be there after 2 hours on the train and can get away with a pretty cheap weekend away.

Sydney is a little further away and definitely more expensive. However you really have to visit the city at some point even if it’s only for the famous sights like the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Sydney has so much more to offer though, for example the large amount of great Asian food and amazing bars. If you have time you can go whale watching or escape the bustle at Bondi Beach or Manly Island, as well as the beautiful Botanical Gardens. For both Sydney and Melbourne, I would recommend taking a free walking tour on the first day, as your guide IMG-0014will give you many helpful tips and you will also be able to decide which part of the city you are most interested in afterwards.

Melbourne is slightly further away, but also cheaper once you get there. It’s known for its amazing coffee culture, and more alternative culture, in addition to being crowned as the most liveable city of the world (until Vienna overtook it last year). It also has a great tram network, which is free in the centre of the city. If you have more time there are many amazing things to do and see around Melbourne as well, such as visiting Phillip Island, Wilsons Promontory National Park, the Grampian Mountains, or the Peninsula Hot Springs. You could even do a road trip from Melbourne via the scenic Great Ocean Road.

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There are also many more great weekend trips you can do whilst studying at USC. Going to Fraser Island was probably one the most exciting things I experienced while I was here, because you get to drive over the beach and through bumpy inland roads that you can only access with a 4WD vehicle. Whether you love cities or nature, Australia has something to offer for everyone and you’ll definitely be able to find some time off from your studies to experience it with your new mates.

– Amy Zahn @littlebirdyinatree

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Helene Skaane Osmundsen from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Favourite course during my study abroad semester

one-of-the-few-photos-i-have-of-myself-e1571794093409.jpgMy name is Helene, and I am currently studying a bachelor’s degree of Nature Based Tourism and Nature Guiding at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL Sogndal). I have always wanted to study abroad, but the last time I had the opportunity I didn’t dare to take the chance. I was too scared of missing out on everything that might happen back home while being away, and also of being too shy to get to know new people. Ever since then I’ve had this feeling of “what if”, so when I finally got the opportunity to study abroad in Australia during one semester of my degree, I instantly knew I had to take it. This is a decision I definitely do not regret.

As an outdoor enthusiastic person, it came natural for me to choose some of the Outdoor Environmental Study courses that the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) has to offer during their Semester 2. One of these being “Learning in Australian Landscapes”, or more commonly referred to as OES104. This class turned out to become my favourite subject during my semester at USC and here are a couple of the reasons why;

Biking on Fraser

Field trips!

I mean, who doesn’t like going on adventures as parts of their learning experience? During the semester we’ve gone on four different excursions. We’ve had two day trips, where one was a climbing & abseiling trip, while the other one focused on kayaking. In addition to these, we’ve also spent some time overnight camping. The first overnight trip was separated into a day of hiking and a day of kayaking, and the last trip was a three days trip to Fraser Island, which is the largest sand island in the world.

Great focus on international students

I think more than 90% of the students in this class were internationals, and because of that most of us were in the same boat. We didn’t know too many people when the semester started, and having this in common made it easy to interact with one another. dingo-on-fraser.jpgI’ve spent a lot of time outside of uni with a group of people from this class, and a few of us are also doing a month-long road trip together as soon as our final assignment has been delivered!

In addition to the main points mentioned above, the course also consists of interesting topics such as, how the Australian landscape has been formed, what makes Australian flora and fauna both unique and vulnerable or ecological succession. The teachers have been really friendly and I’m so glad that I got to have this course as a part of my education.

– Helene Skaane Osmundsen @heleneskaane

 

 

 

8 Places To Watch The Sunset On The Sunshine Coast 🌅

Are you tired of just watching the sunset from your balcony? We have gathered the best sunset spots on the Sunshine Coast for you and your friends to check out!

ngungun1. Mount Ngungun, Glass House Mountains

Mount Ngungun, located in the Glass House Mountain National Park, is the sixth tallest of the mountains at 253 m. It has a well maintained walking trail to the summit and offers spectacular views. The trail from car park is not as steep as the higher mountains and is open to beginners, making it a great mountain for you and your friends to spend the arvo!

2. Mount Coolum

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Photo: SunshineCoast Council

Climbing to the top of this 25 million year old laccolith (a mass of igneous rock) is a must-do when studying on the Sunshine Coast, not to mention the views from the top which provides spectacular views at sunrises and sunsets. 20 minutes away from the USC, Mount Coolum lies between the Sunshine motorway to the west, the shoreline to the east, Coolum Beach to the north and Marcoola in the south.

3. Emu Mountain (aka. Mt Peregian)

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Photo: Malin Gregor

Emu Mountain got it’s name from the local Aboriginal word Peregian and is an easy and approx 10 min walk to the top. Emu Mountain offers a quiet place for you and your friends to sit down and enjoy the sunset. You can park your car and start the walk from Havana Road (next to Coolum High School), and make sure to check out the Queensland Parks and Wildlife information board.

4. Mooloolaba Beach

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Photo: Kristoffer Wahome

And of course, Mooloolaba Beach is one of the easy-accessible spots where you can easily watch the sunset from. If you go down to the beach just across from the Fisheries on the Spit, you’ll be able to see one of the best sunsets and maybe even enjoy an afternoon swim.

5. Noosa River

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Photo: Instagram @Jbath7

Maybe watching the sunset from Noosa River haven’t crossed your mind yet, but this place is definitely worth checking out! With just a 40 minute drive from the University, the river is also known for its populations of migratory birdlife, so you’ll never be alone while watching the sun set in the horizon.

6. Moffat Headland, Caloundra

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Photo: Instagram @amandalovejoy4551

With its vibrant little strip of alfresco cafes and restaurants full of chatty locals, classy accommodation and a famous surf break, Moffat Beach has its own unique character that sets it apart from other areas of Caloundra (VisitSunshineCoast). Being a spot known for good waves, this might be the place for you to watch the sun set whilst enjoying a good arvo surf. Can you think of anything better?!

7. Alex Hill, Alexandra Headland

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Photo: Instagram @mysunshinecoast

We must not forget Alex Hill (or wall) as we might call it! Located right in front of the prime surf spot in Alexandra Headland, this is the spot if you want to enjoy a sunset with your friends, without having to plan too much or drive too far. You might even decide to go for a surf and watch the sunset from the water!

8. Gerrards Lookout, Maleny-Montville

feThis spectacular lookout located on the Maleny-Montville road has become one of our favourite. This lookout gives you an amazing (almost 360) view where you can either watch the sunrise in the morning, or sunset at night. If you don’t mind the drive and may plan to visit Montville or Maleny, we definitely recommend a stop at this beautiful spot!

Codi from USA studying abroad at USC

Codi Johns, Spring 2015,

I had always wanted to study abroad and growing up in the Minnesota, North Dakota area really drove me to choose a warm, sunny country to study in. When I first arrived at the Sunshine Coast I was overwhelmed and didn’t know what to think. Thankfully, everybody in the International Office and throughout the University were very helpful and welcoming. Not only them, but all of the Australian and other international students as well.

USC is a well-known school for international students which gave me the opportunity to connect and build friendships with many students of other nationalities. I made many lifelong friends and memories I will never forget while studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Studying abroad really helped to expand my comfort zone, educate me in multiple ways and change the way I view the world. I am very thankful I had the opportunity to study abroad and even more thankful I got to spend an amazing semester traveling and exploring Australia and getting a great education at the University of the Sunshine Coast.