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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High Performance Student Athlete and Surfer Mason Schremmer from Hawaii studying a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) at USC Sunshine Coast

1.v1Hi, my name is Mason Schremmer and I’m 19 years old. I’m originally from Florida but moved to Hawaii when I was 11, and that’s when I started surfing. I’ve been competing for almost 7 years now, and this is my second year on the WSL Longboard Tour.

When I first started competing, I entered junior contests and worked my way up to state and national titles, and won three national titles for longboarding. Winning my first national title is what really inspired me to want to keep competing and stick with surfing. One of my biggest goals since then has been to win a WSL world title, which is not an easy task.

Competing comes with quite a few ups and downs and lots of learning how to lose, and taking something away from it each time. Sometimes your biggest competitor can be yourself, and I think I’m still trying to overcome that aspect of competing. Last year, the WSL revamped the world longboard tour. We have a new commissioner, who is a
very accomplished surfer himself, and we now have three to four events per year instead of just one event to determine the world champion. This is really exciting to be a part of because now there are so many more opportunities for long boarders to have a chance to showcase their surfing in different types of waves around the world and in more than just one event.

2For longboarding, the best training you can have is just going out in the water and practising maneuvers or feeling out new boards, that’s why I like to surf as often as possible. Of course, it’s always good to stay fit for those moments when you just need to paddle, surf a bit further or a bit faster, and I like to do this by running when I can.

Between the new WSL events and a few invitational contests throughout the year, it’s really easy to have an overwhelming schedule, which is why I was so glad to find out about USC’s HPSA program which helps me to accommodate the travelling that comes with competing. This year I’d really like to keep up with my classes as much as possible while also trying to work my way up through the WSL rankings.

– Mason Schremmer

Do you want to know more about the USC HPSA Program? Click here.

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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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Philip De Simone from Bridgewater State University in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

CaptureHi, My name is Philip De Simone, and I am from the United states. I am studying Communications and Business at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. I am currently studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC Sunshine Coast) Below are my top 5 things you need to do when you get to Australia!

5 things you MUST do during your time abroad in Australia!

1. Surf in Noosa Heads

Noosa Heads is a coastal town and suburb of the Shire of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. It’s about a 2 hour bus ride or 45 minutes with a car to get to the Noosa beaches. These beaches are some of the most beautiful beaches i’ve ever seen and the surf is amazing for a beginner surfer! You can find cheap used surfboards on Facebook or an APP called Gumtree, a community marketplace where you can buy and sell items! You can also rent surfboards and get lessons in Noosa. I recommend getting a longer board if your first starting. Try around 7-8 foot because they’re more buoyant and easier to learn on.

2. Visit Ocean Street’s ‘The Post Office’

One of the biggest questions you may ask yourself when getting ready to study abroad is “Will I fit in?” USC offers tons of events and an orientation week where you will have the chance to meet fellow Uni students. If you’re living at the Varsity or Uni Central apartments you will have the opportunity every Thursday night to get a free ride to Ocean street! Thursday nights is Uni night and the nightlife on Ocean street is popping. I recommend going to The Post Office for the best music. The community there is local, friendly and accepting to all!

3. Visit Australia Zoo

Don’t sleep on Australian Zoo! The Australia Zoo is a 1,000-acre zoo located in the Australian state of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast near Beerwah/Glass House Mountains. The zoo has a bunch of things to do like the Crocoseum where you can watch the world-famous Wildlife Warriors show at noon with all the slithering, swooping, jaw-snapping action of saltwater crocodiles, birds and snakes. And yes, you can get the best Instagram selfie with a Kangaroo! at Roo Heaven and Hand-Feed the Kangaroos. But if you don’t make it to the Zoo you can find these guys hopping all around the Uni.

4. Travel to Surfers Paradise

 Surfers Paradise is a bit of a hike from USC but it’s definitely worth sending it out there with a good squad of friends! While At Surfers paradise you can get wrecked at the beaches by huge waves or walk through hundreds of shops in the area. The Gold Coast is famed for its long sandy beaches, surfing spots and inland canals and waterways. It’s also home to theme parks such as Dreamworld, SeaWorld and Wet’n’Wild!

5. Try Vegemite

This is the most Australian food there is. Chances are if you’re like everyone else, one whiff of this stuff and you’ll turn it down. This was not the case for me though, I learned to love the stuff! I think it’s best prepared in the following way.

  • vege.jpgStep 1: Get a nice piece of bread from the Red Frogs (you’ll understand who they are later.) – Toast it
  • Step 2. Take a fat chunk of butter and season the toast with it
  • Step 3. Is the most important step! Spread a small layer of vegemite on toast! DO NOT OVER DO IT!
  • Step 4. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top!
  • Step 5. Enjoy 😉

Vegemite is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacturing, and various vegetable and spice additives. The taste may be described as salty, slightly bitter, and malty.

– Philip De Simone @philipdesimone

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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!

Upcoming events on the Sunshine Coast that you don’t want to miss out on this semester!

Sunshine Coast offers some great events throughout every semester and we have collected a few of these here on our blog. Make sure to check them out, and we guarantee you, there’s something for everyone!

1. Sunshine Coast Dessert Festival 

Image result for Sunshine Coast Dessert Festival

Details
Sat, 15 Feb, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Aussie World
1 Downunder Drive, Palmview QLD
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Are you ready to indulge into some of the best desserts that the coast has to offer? It’s time to prepare your taste buds, and for just $10 entry, you get access toJust $10* gets you access to loads of dessert food truck, live music all day, dessert wine tasting, dessert demonstrations, and 30+ artisan markets from the Sunshine Coast Collective Markets. There’ll be brownies, chimney cakes, donuts, ice cream, dessert dumplings, crepes, lollies and much more. What are you waiting for? Join the fun!

 

2. Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival

Details
Sat, 22 Feb, 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Spicers Tamarind Retreat
88 Obi Ln S, Maleny QLD
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Spicers Tamarind Retreat will be hosting the annual Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival, and you’ll get to experience some incredible Asian food, watch cooking demonstrations whilst enjoying a five Asian dishes (bookings are essential via the link above). If you’re a person interested in international food and spices, this is definitely the right event for you! Bring a picnic blanket and relax in the sun while you enjoy the beautiful taste of Asia.

 

3. Peregian Originals

Details
Sun, 8 Mar, 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Peregian Beach Park
Peregian Beach QLD
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Not to mention, one of our favourites! Peregian Originals is an open air community event arranged with the purpose of supporting original live music from around the community. This event does a great job on bringing the community together and is held every 2nd Sunday of each month. Bring your friends, a picnic blankets and enjoy the great atmosphere that this event offers. Check out the link above for more information.

 

4. Noosa Junction Twilight Markets

Details
Fri, 20 Mar, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Arcadia Street
Noosa Heads QLD
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If you’re planning on going on a day trip up to Noosa on the 20th of March, make sure to stop by this twilight market! Free entry, heaps of food stalls and great entertainment. Read more in the link above.

5. Noosa Festival of Surfing 2020

Noosa Festival of surfing in Australia

Details
22 Feb, 8:00 am – 1 Mar, 5:00 pm
Noosa Festival of Surfing
Park Rd, Noosa Heads QLD
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The Noosa Festival of Surfing is the biggest surf event in the world (by competitor numbers) with more than 900 competitors from almost 20 countries and regions. If you’re keen on adventure sports, Noosa is the place to be on these dates. With an age division for everyone and professional divisions attracting the best surfers from all over the world, the Noosa Festival of Surfing is not to be missed! Visit the link above for more information. (info)

 

6. Nitro Circus You Got This Tour

Nitro Circus Live Australia FMXDetails
Sun, 29 Mar, 10:00 am
Sunshine Coast Stadium
31 Sportsmans Parade, Bokarina QLD
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Want to see some real action? The You Got This Tour is an explosive, high-adrenaline action sports spectacular starring the best athletes in FMX, BMX, Skate, Scooter, and more. Don’t miss your chance to see riders at the top of their sport including Ryan Williams, Vicki Golden, Blake “Bilko” Williams and many more. Find out more in the link above!

 

7. Ocean Film Festival World Tour 2020

Image result for ocean film festival world tour 2020Details
Wed, 18 Mar, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The J Noosa
60 Noosa Dr, Noosa Heads QLD
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Definitely a highlight of the year. This is a celebration of our oceans, including sublime footage taken above and below the water’s surface through a collection of short films.Designed to mesmerise and enthral, the Ocean Film Festival World Tour showcases a 3 hour celebration of our oceans comprised of sublime footage taken above and below the water’s surface.Inspiring and thought-provoking, the Ocean Film Festival World Tour is filled with moving footage, touching interviews and insightful narrations. Each of the festival’s films conveys a deep respect and appreciation for the world’s oceans and the creatures that call them home. Find out more at www.oceanfilmfestival.com.au or in the link above.

 

8. Big Pineapple Music Festival

Big Pineapple Music FestivalDetails
Sat, 30 May
The Big Pineapple
76 Nambour Connection Rd, Woombye QLD
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Definitely a must-go, especially if you are new to the Sunshine Coast! The Big Pineapple Music Festival is an annual highly successful, award-winning live music event held at the historic Big Pineapple, in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. People are also able to camp at the Big Pineapple fields, with an inclusive ticket deal. Last year’s event sold out in record time and with 2020 shaping up to be even better, so make sure you sign up for the presale and get yourself sorted to jump when those tickets drop! You can read more about this event in the link above.

 

Michelle Reinhardt from Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi everyone,

My name is Michelle I am a student from Austria. I was lucky enough to spend one semester at USC to do my semester abroad. USC is a partner University from FH Steyr, where I study back home in Austria.

I have chosen USC as it has an excellent reputation and offered every course I needed to fulfil the requirements needed for my semester abroad. Furthermore, it is located at the beautiful Sunshine Coast, as I love to surf the location and the University itself were a perfect match for me. I decided to rent a house close to the beach with a friend of mine in a little town near USC, which is called Alexandra Headlands. This was the best decision ever, as I spent every free minute at the beach.

I had an amazing time here in Australia and wish everyone who decides to study at USC the same!

Cheers, Michelle.

Lisa from HS Stralsund in Germany studying at USC Sunshine Coast

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Why I choose USC:

To be honest, seeing that USC had kangaroos on its campus was one of the main drivers for choosing the Uni. Another reason was that the Uni is called ‘University of the Sunshine Coast’, who wouldn’t want to live at a place called Sunshine Coast? Being able to do a Double Degree at a University, which is close to a number great places to travel, made the decision easy.

The Sunshine Coast:

The Sunshine Coast is close to well-known places like ‘Fraser Island’, ‘The Great Barrier Reef’, and Brisbane. But that’s not all there is to see, you can go sun bathing or surfing at one of more than twenty beaches at the coast, hiking in many different national parks, climbing the ‘Glass House Mountains’, or visit the famous Australia Zoo that was opened by the Irwin family (you might know them from Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter). Or you spend a morning at the artisan ‘Eumundi Market’, or go up for a swim in Noosa’s Fairy Pools. There is so much to see and do around the University, that it is very unlikely to ever get bored, whether you are an adrenalin junkie or just want to relax.

Handy hints:

Right at the beginning, I joined the ‘USC Activates’ who organise trips around the Sunshine Coast for the cost of what you would spend going by yourself, you practically get the guide for free. With the club, I saw some amazing waterfalls and had some fun evenings at the beach and movie nights. But more important, I made some really good friends (locals and internationals) at the USC Activates, and we organised some private trips with a bunch of people too.

Was it a good decision to study at USC?

Definitely!! Apart from all the travelling, I have learned more than in Germany. The way they teach you is like being back at school, but it is so much more efficient (at last for me), and given the fact that in some courses you can pass even before the final exam gives you more time to relax at the pool during study week.

Liam O’Neill studying overseas at Aarhus University in Denmark

Hej USCI blog readers,

I’m currently on my semester abroad in Aarhus (kind of sounds like Oar-hus) which is the second largest city in Denmark. Aarhus is definitely a student city, with the University of Aarhus being the centrepiece of the town. It has earned the nickname of ‘The city of smiles’ which definitely fits in line with Denmark being voted the happiest country in the world, have I hit the jackpot or what?
However, there are SOME things that totally contradict this ‘City of smiles’ label, because Danes are so reserved in public situations, it’s mind boggling! I arrived to Aarhus a few weeks before University kicked off, so I had a lot of spare time to explore the town and hopefully meet some people. That seemed a much harder endeavour than originally thought, eye contact was at an all time low and I didn’t get one ‘How ya goin’?’ thrown back my way. But don’t worry, all these private and closed personatlity gets thrown out the window as soon as a Dane has a beer in their hand, then they are suddenly your best friend!

While we are on the topic of Danes, I may as well describe the typical Danish person. On a whole, they are giants, most guys being about 9ft tall and girls averaging around 8ft. They will all have blonde hair and exclusively dress in black jeans, black shirts, black jackets, black hats and black shoes. Everyone, literally everyone in this city rides a bike, it’s amazing! I saw grandparents fanging it down the hill (the only hill in Denmark, which I live at the top of) with their grandkids, amazing.

Their language is ridiculous, I’m not even going to try explaining it, but a common description of trying to speak Danish basically goes that if you took a potato and wedged it at the back of your throat and then proceeded to talk it would sound a little similar. Much to my advantage, Danes on a whole speak better English than a lot of Australians. I’ve gotten pretty comfortable saying ‘Undskyld, jeg snakker ikke dansk’ which the locals get a bit of enjoyment out of.

By far the most common question I receive after a Danish person hears my accent and asks where I’m from is ‘Why are you here? Why Denmark?’.  It’s cold all the time, the sun is rarely out, there is no interesting landscape, everyone sounds weird and it’s cold ALL THE TIME. I never really had an answer, choosing Denmark was an essentially random choice for my semester abroad. I can safely say it’s been an incredibly rewarding random choice however! You do get used to the cold weather as well, my phone weather app has become my fashion consultant, and letting me know how many layers I will be wearing each day.

Back to the city, there are some points of interest besides the university, including dyrhaven which is this park where a whole load of deers live which you can go and make acquaintance with the assistance of some carrots. ARoS is the art museum, famous for it’s 360 degree over Aarhus through a variety of different colour glass panels. Denmark is an old country as well, so there is some incredible architecture and town planning going on, I can tell you from first hand experience that it’s easy to lose yourself (metaphorically and physically) in this city.

Being an Australian, a country that is associated with its ridiculous distance away from Denmark, I get a lot of questions about traveling around Europe while I’m here. I really hope to see a great deal of Denmark, which shouldn’t be too hard, and have already spend some time in the capital and in the West of the country surfing in the North Sea! Some future trips planned are a quick tour of Sweden and Spain in the summer.

Just to finish up, I can’t not mention the great help from Aarhus University in making the start of this semester abroad super easy with the help of a great mentor program. Mette, my mentor, has been a huge help in organising everything. She has definitely made this semester abroad a great deal easier and has convinced me to try and do something similar back home.

Uni is going good as well.

All in all, having a blast, keeping hygge and learning lots.

See you when I’m looking at you,

Liam O’Neill