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

Tim Halberstadt from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Germany studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG-20200220-WA0030G’day everyone! My name is Tim Halberstadt, I am from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Sankt Augustin, Germany and was able to achieve the Business Diploma at USC during my stay in Australia.

I initially heard about USC from a friend who spent a year in Australia. Luckily, the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) is a partner university of my home institution, and thus, the application process was less complex. After I chose USC as my preferred place of study, I had to hand in a motivation letter, as well as an application form. I didn’t have to contact USC directly, instead, all the communication was fulfilled through intermediaries at my university, which made the whole process easier. Furthermore, my university did a good job at informing me about possible scholarships. After my application was accepted, I needed to choose a professor as my contact person at home and the courses that interested me the most.

Since I wanted to achieve the Diploma of Business, all the courses I was able to choose were business-related. To deepen my knowledge in finance, I chose “Business Finance” as my first course. As a second course, I selected “The World of Tourism, Leisure and Events” to gain insight into the tourism branch, which is not taught at my home university. Thirdly, I chose “Consumer Behaviour”, since I have always been interested in the consumer’s psyche, and lastly “Igniting Entrepreneurial Talent”, because starting my own company is something I have been thinking about for a while now. In general, I have a good impression of all the courses I was able to attend during my stay. While I feel like Germany is more conservative to a certain degree, the Australian way of teaching felt fresh and innovative. A good example is the ability to attend courses online, blackboard with its helpful features like the discussion board, or regular Kahoot sessions during lectures. In general, organising felt more convenient. Especially after the COVID-19 breakout, being able to continue studies online, as well as being able to perform online exams became a beneficial aspect. In general, it was a huge upside that the needed infrastructure was already in place to study online at USC.

Luckily, before borders closed and restrictions were put in place, I was nevertheless able to experience exciting trips in Australia. First, shortly after my arrival in Australia, I spent a couple of days in Sydney and was able to discover it’s various beaches, the blue mountains surrounding Sydney and the city itself. In the blue mountains, I could see the immediate impact of the Australian bush fires with my own eyes and experience how fast nature is able to recover. Secondly, I spent a weekend at Byron Bay which is a small, lovely town on the western shore. At Byron Bay, I joined a walk to the town’s lighthouse and was able to try surfing for the first, but definitely not the last time. Lastly, I was able to travel to Fraser Island for a three -day camping trip. On the island, we were able to freely move with a Pick-Up truck we rented before our trip. The trip to Fraser Island was one of the most exciting things I have ever done in my life. The experiences ranged from close encounters with various animals like Dingos and lizards, swimming in one of the islands heavenly lakes, to experiencing what freedom feels like while driving a car at the beach. To put it in a nutshell, I highly recommend all the trips I have undergone to anyone who is slightly interested, especially a trip to Fraser Island.

After restrictions were put in place and uncertainty concerning COVID-19 began to spread, it became a lot harder to travel and after a lot of thinking I decided to return to Germany earlier than originally intended. Even though I had to return, I was able to finish my semester abroad online from Germany, which is kind of ironic. Luckily, COVID-19 and the shift in time didn’t turn out as problematic as I was expecting. USC made learning abroad possible since most of the lessons were recorded and the professors were kind and understanding.

All in all, even though I was a victim of bad timing, I nevertheless enjoyed my short stay in Australia and would highly encourage everyone to engage in a similar adventure.

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Marta Cholewa from Grand Valley State University in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_0108Hello! My name is Marta Cholewa and at USC I studied General Studies but at my home university, I major in Exercise Science. My home university is Grand Valley State University which is near Grand Rapids, Michigan, but I am originally from Palatine, Illinois which is close to Chicago. I have been wanting to study abroad ever since I heard all my sister’s study abroad experiences and travel stories.

The decision to study at USC was an easy one because I knew I always wanted to go to Australia and I did not have to stress about not knowing the language. Grand Valley State University helped me throughout my process as there was so many people to talk to if I had questions or concerns. I did a lot of the planning myself since I am a big planner, but I was able to get all my questions answered about my specific country and school by talking to a previous student who studied at USC. There were plenty of meetings to attend that gave advice about safety, adapting to culture, education, and travelling. My school definitely helped me feel prepared for my journey.

All the classes I took fulfilled my general education requirements, and it was really interesting to see how differently they teach subjects that I have taken in high school. The most fascinating class I took and the class I learned the most in was the History of Australia, which consisted of engaging discussions and it opened my eyes to a lot of the topics the country faced that I did not know about. The most creative class I took was Topics of Design. I am not the most artistic person, but that class allowed to get out of my comfort zone just enough to have fun with what I was doing. It was also an opportunity to learn about the popular designs, brands, and advertisements in Australia what may not be well-known in the states. The most thought-provoking class I took was An English Tradition. Not only is English difficult for me in general but trying to write a paper in ways that are very different than how I was taught to write is difficult. Nonetheless, I learned some new ideas and read some great material by new authors.

The most entertaining class I took was Coastal and Marine Ecology because my professor was an engaging individual who liked to crack jokes and tell us about his experiences. This class I took randomly because I thought it would interest me and I was right. Classes are much more hands-on and interpersonal than back at home. The professors genuinely try to get to know you and are very engaging in group work. The building itself made me feel like I was at an outdoor mall and the kangaroos hopping around are something I never got tired of seeing. I was also fortunate enough to travel before school and before quarantine and have seen very beautiful, memorable places. I was able to travel to the north of Australia near Cairns. My friend and I rented a car, which was a thrilling experience getting used to driving on the other side of the road and getting used to new rules, while we drove around the Atherton Tablelands and ended up at the Daintree Rainforest. I have seen stunning waterfalls, cute animals, and even had the chance to snorkel and scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef.

After school started, I was still able to visit the Steve Irwin Zoo and the Gold Coast where I tried surfing. If I had to pick a favourite spot, I would choose the Daintree Rainforest area because I loved the jungle feeling, after I got used to the giant spiders of course. The moment I will never forget is looking up at the stars on the beach because it was the most amazing thing I saw. I could see the whole milky way and it was because the rain forest area has very few lights and service in general, so I was able to live away from my phone. An amazing experience that was cut too short. I strongly recommend and urge everyone to take a trip to Australia because it is a beautiful country filled with amazing nature, people, food, culture, and animals. Hopefully I have the chance to go back one day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sofija Varlamova from the University of Applied Sciences Landshut in Germany studying a Bachelor of Business at USC Sunshine Coast

WhatsApp Image 2020-07-09 at 22.07.29Hi, my name is Sofija Varlamova (@sofija_varlamova). I am from Germany, Bavaria, and I study at the University of Applied Sciences Landshut – International Business. Here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) I am studying a double degree in Business.

Here is a short summary of how I came to study at USC. USC is a partner university of my home university in Landshut. When I saw that I could go to Australia for my year abroad I already knew what to do, and the application process was easy for me. Because I am not the first person from my university going to USC, the process for application was smooth. The international office in Germany connected me to the international office of USC and I could ask them all the questions I had about the university and living in Australia. This helped a lot with calming my nerves to come to a foreign country so far away from home.

After the learning agreement was approved, the rest was done very fast. I paid for my tuition, applied for my visa, and flew to Australia! Unbelievable isn’t it!

Studying at USC is completely different compared to Germany – In a good way! In Germany, a student study for the whole semester and then write a final exam at the end. At USC, courses generally have 3 tasks that are graded. They are spread out throughout the semester and towards the end, it will form the final grade of the course. Additionally, because of the smaller exams, it helps to continuously learn for the course.

For my first semester I chose Auditing and Professional Practice (ACC321), Business Law and Ethics (BUS203), Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility (BUS320) and International Business Strategy (IBS321). The last two courses were mandatory for me. For my second semester I studied Management Accounting (ACC310), Project Management (ICT352), Managing the Small Business (MGT310) and The Power of Brands (MKG322).

I really liked each and every course I did in USC. For example, in each of these courses the professors and tutors were just awesome. They were really nice, made jokes in the lectures or tutorials. It was their priority that the learning objectives were understood and that the students gained knowledge. The professor in MGT310 even invited business professionals and owners of small business to the lectures. This was very interesting as I could see how everything I learned in the lecture was used to build up businesses. I would really recommend these courses.

In my free time there was so much to do here in Australia. First, I took surf lessons! Surfing is so cool! It does not take long to get to the beach with the bus and it is so hot here in Australia! Being in the water all the time was awesome. Other than being on the beach all the time, there are a lot of places to go hiking. Examples would be Mount Coolum or Kondalilla National Park. There are many more than these two. Back to the water: on the Sunshine Coast I also booked snorkelling and swimming with whales. Can’t wait to do these! This were all the things I could do while there were COVID restrictions. There are also so many interesting and beautiful places to drive to in Australia! So don’t lose time and see them when you can – While concentrating on your studies of course! xD

I hope that you will have a nice time, like me here in Australia!

–  Sofija Varlamova

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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.

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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Steven Ranweiler from Minnesota State University – Moorhead in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

How ya goin’ mate? My name is Steven Ranweiler, and I’m visiting from Minnesota in the United States. Back home I’m studying visual arts education, and this semester abroad has been an incredible opportunity to explore more subjects and expand my horizons! I’ve dreamt of visiting Australia for years and the study abroad partnership between my home university (Minnesota State University – Moorhead) and the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) helped me to make that dream come true.

I’d heard that Australian culture has a more relaxed pace than life in the US, and I found that to be true in my courses. I was concerned at first to see just a few major assignments making up my grades rather than the many smaller assignments I was used to back home. However, I soon realized that with the time, resources and awesome support provided at USC, those few big projects were great for my learning and less stressful. My professors and tutors have been fantastic, and it was a joy to walk out of classes greeted by sunshine and kangaroos! After courses moved to online learning, I was able to spend even more time in the great Australian outdoors while I attended classes remotely.

By traveling the area with new friends, I’ve gotten to enjoy experiences like surfing, mountain climbing. and swimming under waterfalls! Learning about the cultures and experiences of local Australians and my fellow international students has been enlightening and meaningful.

The pandemic brought some pressure in terms of returning home earlier than expected, but I wasn’t ready to leave the dream. Travel opportunities became limited, but that wasn’t too much of an issue considering I was already in such an extraordinary place. I spent weeks examining and photographing the incredible plants, animals and fungi which are unique to this region. The birds here are impressively loud and several of them remind me of dinosaurs.

I’ve been especially enchanted by the wonders of the local tide pools. One day I counted over 100 sea cucumbers, and by snorkelling I’ve encountered 1000s of charming fish just off the shore! Experiences in beautiful and vulnerable ecosystems like these motivate me to keep pushing for conservation to protect them. I enjoyed the opportunity to volunteer with the Sea Shepherd conservation group in a beach clean-up project, and it’s been awesome studying on a campus surrounded by a wildlife reserve.

 As my time here comes to end I don’t want to leave! I’m excited to see friends and family back home and share stories of this amazing experience with them, but even with great things to get back to it’s hard to leave this paradise and the wonderful new friends I’ve made.

Studying abroad at USC has been an incredible opportunity, and I enthusiastically recommend it to anyone who has the chance to do it!

Wishing you all the best,

Steven 😊

Laura Ebner from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

XFPK5862-minHello,

My name is Laura. I am 22 and come from Germany. I normally study at the University Bonn-Rhein-Sieg of Applied Sciences in Rheinbach. But this semester in 2019/2020 I studied abroad – here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).  Here, I completed my 5th semester in Business in Australia where my major was marketing.

In order to give you some impressions of the life here, I’ll will describe a few things a little bit closer;

First of all, I will tell you a bit about the university. USC has a really beautiful campus – the birds chirp daily, the kangaroos are on the campus almost every day and the sun shines most of the time. The campus is relatively large, but the classes have always been small. For example, in my marketing courses, I was usually only with 20 or fewer students in the lecture. As this is quite a pleasant size, I could learn effectively during class. Besides, all lectures are recorded so students can also watch it at home. In addition to the lectures, you usually also have a tutorial, which deepens the contents of the lectures. Unlike in Germany, every bachelor student here at USC has to submit 3 different tasks in each subject. These tasks can be very diverse. For example, you have to write reports, work on quizzes, create a video or write exams at the end. All tasks are weighted differently and are then part of your final grade of the subject. During breaks or your free time at university you can have a drink, or you can eat something there. At the campus, there are many cafés and also a brasserie. Besides, every student has accesses to computer rooms or tutorial rooms with their student card. In addition, there is also a huge library in the middle of the campus. At the same time, USC provides different sport facilities. Consequently, you can go to a fitness centre or you can attend different sport courses such as volleyball or rugby.

With regard to the living situation, I can only advise everyone to go to one of the student residences. They are only 5 minutes away from the campus and you can meet a lot of new people there. In total, there are two different student residences, Varsity and UniCentral. While Varsity is known as the party residence, UniCentral is quiet and cosy.
I lived in UniCentral together with 2 Australians and 1 American in one apartment. We often watch TV, eat, cook or just talk together in the evening. The rooms are also really nice here. Everyone has their own room with a small bathroom. The rooms are nice and there is everything inside, what you really need. There is a large bed, a bedside table, two big cupboards and a desk with a desk chair. Then we also have a common area with a TV, a sofa and a kitchen. Besides, every flat has a balcony or a garden, depending on which apartment you get. Furthermore, each student residence has a tennis and basketball court and a pool.  In addition, there is also a pavilion with games like billiard, air hockey IMG_0435-minand table tennis. Additionally, Varsity has a volleyball court.

Then, on Thursday and Saturday, we can party here. Oh and yeah by the way, you have read correctly – in Australia you don’t only celebrate on the weekend, but also on Thursday! Especially on Thursday, students have a free shuttle to a close-by club. Furthermore, we don’t have to pay an entry free for this club on that day. However, I believe its sometimes more expensive to go out here than in Germany.

Apart from the university, you should visit also other places around here. For example, I often went down to the beach by bus. It’s usually a 20 minutes’ drive with bus to the beach, and it is gorgeous! I usually went to Alexandra Headland beach. There is also Mooloolaba beach which can be a little bit busier during holidays. However, if you want to be alone with your friends on the beach, you should go to Buddina. The beaches there are really wide and only a few people walk along there. At the same time, this area is a perfect place for surfing as the waves are great! Besides the beach, there is also a huge shopping mall in Maroochydore called Sunshine Plaza. At the plaza you can eat, drink or you go shopping. Similarly, you can also go to Strike Bowling. There you can play Minigolf and you can bowl for 15$ on Thursday, which is always a lot of fun with friends!

Another good thing is to rent a car with friends over the weekend in order to explore the surrounding areas. Besides Brisbane, there are also beautiful places like Noosa, Glasshouse Mountains, Rainbow Beach, Gold Coast and Byron Bay. Furthermore, you should visit the Australia Zoo or the Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane. There are a lot of different Australian animals, but the best thing is that you can pet kangaroos and you can hold a koala in your arms! This is a fantastic and special experience that you will never forget! Moreover, you will have one week break in the middle of the semester. In this week, I would advise you to do something. For example, I rented a car with friends and we drove together along the coast to Sydney and back again. It was wonderful.

IMG_3996-minHowever, before I go travelling after my semester, I will have my international graduation on November 18th. There, I will get my Statement of Completion and can slip into these academic robes. I am really looking forward to this day! Later, at the end of November, I will continue travelling and will visit Fiji and New Zealand!

Now I’ve said enough. Personally, I can only advise you to spend a semester abroad at USC! During that time, you get to know so many new people; you can explore a new country and you are just having an unforgettable time here! Remember, during that time, you will live in a region where many tourists make their holidays!

I hope that this blog can give you a little insight into the university life of Australia. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me! 🙂

Best regards,

Laura @lauraa.ebner

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Paula Christmann from the University of Applied Sciences Worms in Germany studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_7230Hi everyone, my name is Paula, I am 22 years old and I am from Germany where I study International Business Administration and Foreign Trade at the University of Applied Science Worms. I am currently doing my semester abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Here I have the opportunity to complete a Diploma in Business in only one semester and also experience an International Australian Graduation Ceremony.

Here are 3 reasons why you will never want to leave USC after studying here:

IMG_5250University Campus and the Sunshine Coast:I don’t think there is a better environment to study than on the Sunshine Coast. Sitting in the library, looking out of the window and seeing kangaroos bouncing around on campus makes studying easier right away. As the sun is shining almost every day the best way to spend your free time is a relaxing day on one of the beautiful beaches which are only a short bus ride away. Also, there is a lot to see in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Fun and adventurous hiking trails await you!

Friends: Coming here and not knowing anybody may seem hard in the beginning but to be honest, it was the best thing I could have done! As there are so many international students it is not hard to meet new people. I met my best friends within the first week and they became my family here. We almost spend every day together exploring new places, studying, working out, cooking, partying and anything else. It is just so much having all your best friends living in walking distance from your place. I am sure we will stay friends for life even if we all go back to our home country and won’t be able to hang out every day anymore. Saying goodbye will be the hardest part but it definitely won’t be too long until we all meet up again!

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Travelling: One of the best parts of my semester abroad was travelling! There is so much to see and explore around the Sunshine Coast. It is definitely worth it to pack your friends, maybe even taking a day off, and do as many weekend trips as possible! The experiences you get from traveling can’t teach you any school ;).

The best destinations for weekend trips in my opinion are: Brisbane (but you can also go there for one day), Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Fraser Island and Sydney.

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

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

5 Top places around the East Coast of Australia

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Patricia Romer @patricia_romer

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Patricia Mueller from Hochschule Koblenz in Germany – 3 Places to Stay on the Sunshine Coast during your Studies

IMG_2283-triangle3 Places to Stay on the Sunshine Coast during your Studies

Hello, my name is Patricia Mueller and I’m studying business management at Hochschule Koblenz in Germany. I’m in Australia for one year for my double degree in business.

As I knew that I would stay in Australia for a really long time and I’m really interested in learning about other cultures, I had a look on what accommodation opportunities that were available next to the USC campus.

One option is three different student accommodations: Varsity Apartments, UniCentral or The Village, only 5 minutes away from campus. International students and local students share kitchen and living room with 3 roommates. The differences between the student accommodations apply, but they are minor. The application is an easy online registration.

IMG_0967Another- probably cheaper option: living in private accommodation, solo or in a shared apartment. You will meet locals and/or students, and the place might be more quiet. However, private accommodation does not include the option of security guards as the student accommodation complexes (e.g. if you lock yourself out of your room, they can open it up for you after hours).

The third opportunity is staying with a family. Two options apply: Home stay with food included and living with the family, or staying in a room in the family’s house excluding food and living on your own. This opportunity is cheaper and you will have the opportunity to get to know the Australian or family’s culture, but you might be further away from campus, depending on where you stay.

To find an accommodation, I had a look a few weeks before I left Germany on websites like Flatmates, Gumtree and Realestate. Compared to finding an accommodation at the student accommodation complexes, you have to look for a room on your own. However, regardless of where you’re gonna stay, the bus shuttle Con-X-ion is very easy to organise and it will take you to your new home from Brisbane Airport when you arrive.

IMG_2284I decided to stay in an Australian family including food, a bike and trips on the weekends. I’m really lucky with my family. The kids are in my age so we spend nice times together. We go on day trips, to the beach, small hikes or just spend the evening at home together. The family also supports me in my studies, which is really helpful the first days in terms of settling down and get some insight information about Australia and the University.

The stay in Australia has a formative influence for your personality and future career. I look forward to my second semester here at USC!

– Patricia Mueller @piiinnz

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

Frida Vikdal from Norway studying a Diploma in General Studies: Five tips if you are considering studying at USC Sunshine Coast

USC testimonial 2Hey! My name is Frida Vikdal, I’m from Norway. This is my first semester out of two studying abroad in Australia, and my first semester at uni. I am currently taking a Diploma in General Studies here at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

The reason to why I ended up down under in Australia, was because of an education agency in Norway. Study abroad agencies assists students with anything in relation to studying abroad, and they gave me all the information needed, assisted me in the application for USC, and the student accommodations at Varsity. They also made sure things went as smooth as possible, that everything was in place before my trip, and basically helped with whatever I asked for.

Here are five tips I would recommend, if you’re considering studying at USC Sunshine Coast:

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1. Stay for one year

I decided that if I’m going to study abroad, it’s at least going to be for one year. A choice I absolutely don’t regret. My first semester here at USC Sunshine Coast is almost over, and it went way faster than I imagined. Luckily I still have 8+ months here in Australia, and I can’t wait to see what these months will bring!

 

 

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2. Stay at a student accommodation, at least for the first semester

One of my top priorities when it came to picking country and school, was what accommodations they had to offer. After going back and forth, I found out that the student accommodations in Sunshine Coast would be perfect for me.

Living here at Varsity Apartments, which is 5 minutes from uni, and makes it so easy to get new friends, and you really get to meet people from all over the world.

 

 

 

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3. Save up some money

As an international student (who might be in Australia for the first time) I would absolutely recommend  to save up some extra cash. Australia has a lot to offer, but everything is obviously not free. So start saving up early if you want to explore Australia, try some new fun activities like surfing or skydiving, eat yummy food etc, or if you in general want to get the most out of your semester(s) here in Aussie.

4. Don’t let fear stop you

For me, moving to the other side of the world by myself, was a bit terrifying. I didn’t know what Australia was like, I’ve never lived by myself before, never studied at a university, and I absolutely hate spiders. But I’m so glad I took the chance and didn’t let anything stop me. Cause being here has given me so much, I’ve learnt a lot about myself, and I can’t wait to see what the next months will bring.

 

  1. USC testimonial 4Take an outdoor course (if possible)

USC offers some amazing outdoor education courses (OES), where you get to go on trips and learn about Australia. I took OES104: Learning in Australian Landscapes this semester. Which among other things, gave me the opportunity to paddle in the Noosa river, climb and abseil in the Glass house mountains, camp at Harrys Hut (Cooloola) and explore Fraser Island.

– Frida Vikdal @fridavikdal

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

Jasmin Sillah from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Germany: 3 things you should stop doing whilst studying in Australia!

img_6110.jpgHi! My name is Jasmin, and I’m currently enrolled in the Double Degree Program at the the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) School of Business. I will complete two semesters in Sippy Downs which will provide me with enough credits to go back to Germany next year to write my bachelor thesis in business psychology at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. Thus, I’ll have two bachelor’s degrees shortly after the end of my stay in Australia. Speaking of which, I’ll provide you with 3 helpful tips that can make your time abroad even better, if you stop doing those things!

3 things you should stop doing when you want to enjoy your stay in Australia!

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1. Stop looking at your phone 24/7

This might be one of the hardest ones, especially for our generation! Of course, don’t forget to take lots of pictures and videos from the beautiful sceneries, beaches and animals in Australia, these are beautiful memories to look back on and cry your eyes out about when you are back home. Nevertheless, leaving your phone in your bag once in a while can help you to fully enjoy the marvellous moments you are experiencing overseas without distractions. I promise the best memories are stored in your head forever!

2. Stop speaking your native language

IMG_3651I bet we all wrote roughly the same sentence in our motivational letter: ‘I want to study abroad to improve my English communication skills’. Then do so! It is extremely easy to get carried away with a native group of students at USC as there are so many people with so many different backgrounds and you’ll find someone from your home country for sure. But this is something that hinders you a lot to experience the real Australia and not only the tourist version of it. Don’t be shy and start talking to people from other countries and especially to Australians! For sure, they will embrace it a lot, and you’ll get to know their culture from a whole new perspective.

3. Stop being too rigid about plans

IMG_6001I’m German, so I know about what I’m talking about right now. We love planning months ahead, making checklists, calculating every cent we pay and every minute we spend. Letting go of some of this control-behaviour can open up doors that were closed before. Live your life, be spontaneous and embrace change! Not everything will go according to plan and these moments are great opportunities to go with the flow and do what feels right. You won’t regret it!

– Jasmin Sillah @jasminsillah

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

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Christoph Siepen from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Germany studying a Double Degree at USC Sunshine Coast

09bed047-fed0-416a-9213-5ac4daf41e62G’day everyone! My name is Christoph Siepen. I am a business student from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Germany. Currently, I am staying at USC Sunshine Coast for two semesters to do a double degree. The double degree doesn’t extend my study time due to a full credit transfer between my home university and USC. Therefore, it’s a great way to increase employability and to gain insights into another learning environment.

Besides your studies, there is so much to do and to experience on the Sunshine Coast and in Australia. Therefore, you should use every single possibility to explore the Hinterland, Brisbane, or one of the many beaches. On the weekends, you should absolutely take some surfing lessons as well. If you got enough time, you should definitely rent a camper van and explore other Processed with VSCO with c1 presetexciting places such as Cape Hillsborough or Keppel Island. Cape Hillsborough is great to experience the most Aussie thing ever: Kangaroos at the beach! Keppel Island is excellent for snorkelling, relaxing or even exploring a lost place.  I’m sure that you will be stunned by these beautiful places.

Even if you don’t have enough time or enough budget to travel, you don’t need to worry. You can also have a lot of fun by visiting one of the numerous activities offered by the USC Student Guild or just relax with your friends at one of the student accommodation’s pools or have a BBQ!

Studying at USC is a great choice as you can combine your studies with a lot of travelling, making new friendships and having an unforgettable time. I promise that you won’t regret deciding to study at USC! It’s a fantastic time.

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

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!