Niklaus Hess from Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) in Switzerland studying at USC Sunshine Coast

PortraitHi there, I’m Nik from Switzerland. I study Business Engineering | Innovation at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU). Here at the USC, I did the Diploma in Business within one semester as part of my bachelor’s degree in Switzerland.


The USC is a partner university of the HSLU in Switzerland. Due to the popularity of the USC, students must come as a “freemover”, despite the partnership. Although, in my case, I could profit from a 15% partnership discount. I regret no dollar I paid because it was worth it in any case. Fortunately, the international office of my university in Switzerland gave me great support regarding the application process which made it quite easy for me to apply. Nevertheless, you should plan more than enough time to organize your exchange semester. The earlier you begin, the easier will the process be.


The campus of the USC in Sippy Downs is stunning: Trees, plants and colourful birds everywhere, several coffee shops and kangaroos jumping around the place. Also, the buildings and classrooms were very stimulating. For me, studying at USC campus was like studying with a lifestyle. The biggest difference from USC to the HSLU is the examination system. At HSLU, you have no exams during the semester, but big final exams at the end. So, you can relax during semester if you want, however, in most cases you then will have a quite stressful exam preparation period. Here at the USC, you normally have two or three tasks throughout the semester and sometimes a final exam at the end. Thus, if you invest in learning already in the beginning of the semester, you will probably have no stress at the final exam.


USC has an own student association which organize many events and trips, especially during the first few weeks. For international students, it is the best opportunity to connect with the other internationals. For example, I attended a day-trip to the rainforest, a market, and a famous beach. So, you could visit the Sunshine Coast and connect with other students at the same time which was fabulous. If you plan to come to USC for an exchange semester, you absolutely must arrive before the orientation week, because in this week there are a lot of social events and parties, so this is also one of the best ways to meet and do cool things with other students.


Due to the virus, this time was very special for me, but in a positive sense. Because of the restrictions, I had a lot of time for being with myself and thinking about life and the future. I spent every early morning at the beach for enjoying the sunrise, sipping coffee, walking along the Pacific Ocean, reading inspiring books, thinking about new ideas and so on. This gave me some very valuable personal insights which literally have been changing my life right now. Doesn’t matter if there is a virus or not – spending time in Australia is priceless, as long as you make the best out of it!

New Project

International Ceremony of Completion – Semester 2, 2019

On Monday, USC International held the Ceremony of Completion for Semester 2 2019 for  our international students. This ceremony was is held for our international students every semester for those who have completed an award program here at USC Sunshine Coast. Check out some photos from this special day!


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Christina Hammett from University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons in Switzerland studying at USC Sunshine Coast

quybe1978.jpgHi there! My name is Christina and I’m from Zurich, Switzerland. I’m studying at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons for a tourism bachelor’s degree and was in the business bachelor’s program at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I’m currently at the very end of my time in Australia and would like to take the opportunity to tell you about my year abroad and what motivated me to study at USC in a double degree program.

I knew little about the Sunshine Coast region when the USC representatives visited us at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons and introduced us to the double degree program. Above all, the opportunity to earn an international bachelor’s degree from a highly regarded university led me to decide to study at USC. However, when I arrived on the Sunshine Coast almost a year ago, I knew that this year would bring me more than just an additional degree.

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The USC campus in Sippy Downs is so different from our campus in Switzerland. There are not only a lot of sports facilities, but also an untouched nature and even a small lake next door. I also enjoyed the free weekly meditation courses and other well-organised events of the student guild. At USC, I attended four courses per semester, each consisting of a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial. During the lectures, they taught us the theoretical knowledge, while the tutorials allowed us to deal with individual questions and problems. What I particularly like about the educational organisation is that you have three tasks for each course, which together make up your overall grade. This makes it easy to follow as you’re always kept up to date with how you’re doing in your course.

Picture9During the semester breaks we had a lot of time to explore the big and beautiful Australia. I took the three-month summer break as an opportunity to go on a road trip south via Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide back to the Sunshine Coast. I was totally caught in the Australian hang-loose culture and was found not wearing proper shoes for the whole three months. After the road trip, I even got to spend two weeks in Western Australia, where I experienced some of the most remote and whitest beaches in Australia. My favourite place, however, was by far the region of Port Stephens. Many backpackers skip this destination which is only two hours from Sydney as it is located on a peninsula. But it is well worth going this extra mile in order to experience the breath-taking views from Tomaree mountain and ride the camels on Birubi Beach.

Picture2All in all, I greatly appreciated my year at USC because it brought me not only academic and personal growth, but also so many new friends from around the world. Even though a year away from friends and family is a long time, I don’t regret a single week of it. Thank you USC.

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Vera Trutmann from the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons in Switzerland studying at USC Sunshine Coast

I am currently studying Tourism at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons, Switzerland. My university has a partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), where students are able to study in Australia for a year and graduate with an additional Bachelor. Thankfully, I got accepted for the double degree program and here I am.

The USC campus is located in Sippy Downs and is surrounded by nature where various animals can be seen. In contrast to most universities in Switzerland, the facilities are in one place and all the buildings are close to each other. In General, the courses are held in two hours’ lectures and one-hour tutorials. The professors are highly proficient and always helpful whenever they can. In addition to the lessons, the campus offers a variety of sports activities such as a fitness studio, an athletic facility, and an Olympic size swimming pool. Swimming in the pool after class was a great way for me to find a balance to my everyday university life.

Additionally, the beaches along the Coast are quite easy to reach by bus or car. What is a wonderful cooling down in the summer months is also wonderful during winter, as there is never snow on the Sunshine Coast.

I already travelled to Australia in the summer of 2017, so during my studies I only visit the places I liked best nearby. My favourite spots are Rainbow Beach and Byron Bay. Rainbow Beach is only 1.5 hours away and offers a beautiful campsite and sand dunes with a fantastic sea view. Byron Bay, it requires a 3-hour drive and you will arrive at a place with an open and pleasant ambience. Furthermore, the beaches and lighthouse trail are also worth a visit.

In summary, the USC offers everything I was looking for and it has been a good decision for my international degree program.

Marc Hegglin from Bern University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Rise, and shine! From Bern to the Sunshine Coast

After finishing my MSc in Business Administration back home in Switzerland, I took the unique opportunity to get a Master of International Business at the USC within a Double Degree Program. Looking back, it was definitely a good decision to invest further time and nerves needed to receive the additional degree!

As I was not used to such a big campus back home, I really enjoyed the vibes on the campus ground with its nice Coffee Shops and places to sit down and chat with my class mates. There are even wild kangaroos living on the campus ground. I mean, how cool is that?! 🙂

Within every course we had to hand in three Assessments, which was slightly different as I was used to deadlines at the end of the semester rather than during the semester. Do not hesitate to contact your course coordinator, if you have any questions. The professors are very helpful and they will take time to explain everything. As almost everything in life, this system has positive and negative sides. The big advantage is definitely, that you do not need to worry about exams in the end of the semester, because there will be none. That means: The better you are organised; the more time you will have to explore the amazing Sunshine Coast!

I wanted to spend as much time as possible at the beach and this is why I took an apartment in Alexandra Headlands instead of living on the university campus. I can definitely recommend to do that, if you are also more a “beach-kind-of-girl/guy”. Furthermore, it was quite easy to find a place to stay, once I was there.

If you like to meet Australian “Mates” try to join a local sport club. If you like football, go and join the Maroochydore Swans, the current football champions of the Sunshine Coast! Do not mix it up with Australian Football (AFL). That is rather something for tough Australian Dudes, and it might be safer for Europeans to watch it with an ice-cold beer in one hand, rather than trying to play it 😉


Ruan Stuyding Overseas at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland

My Abroad semester thus far has been outstanding and unequivocally the best semester overall. Switzerland is like no other country the life quality is unparalleled and the air quality is so fresh and clean. My experience over here has been amazing and the people at the university are extremely well organized and friendly.  In Switzerland everything depends on the grade you get on the exams at the end of a semester while at the USC you have assessments throughout the semester which add to your final mark. The train system is probably the best in the world, trains are very punctual and quick. The country offers different languages from Swiss German, to French, Italian and English. Zurich is beautiful place, it manly focuses on Insurance and Banking where Geneva specializes in Commerce and Private banking. Luzern is one of the biggest tourist attractions due to the magnificent mountains and Old Bridge. Lugano in southern Switzerland is known for its amazingly warm climate and Italian lifestyle and the Pizzas are to die for. Fondue and Raclette are traditional dishes and are absolutely divine, I highly suggest it to anyone whom wishes to visit Switzerland. Chocolate and cheese are a delicacy over here and I just cannot help myself but to indulge in it every day, it’s just so good and there is so much variety, Lindt chocolate is truly the best. Winter in Switzerland is known for its amazing Alps and winter skiing with Zermatt and Mont Blanc being the best of the best in the world for ski enthusiasts and snow lovers. The country side is filled with chalets and breathtaking views of the mountain ranges and Lakes. Throughout the year the Switzerland is green, It is never dry and is always in abundance of water due the glaciers and high mountain peaks.

I believe Switzerland is a great place for anyone to live and it has some of the lowest unemployment levels known for a country, which an exceptional current balance the country has no debt and its sitting outside of the EU. Whatever your reason for coming to Switzerland , whether its studying like me , working for a bank or a watch firm , enjoying the alps or falling in love with one of the cities, Switzerland caters for all.

Joséphine from HTW Chur – Switzerland studying on exchange at USC!

That one semester at the University of Sunshine Coast was one of the best of my studies so far! Class was a bit challenging at first because of the different style of teaching. In Switzerland everything depends on the grade you get on the exams at the end of a semester while at the USC you can improve your grade with tasks during the semester. My biggest fear was about having to write reports in Academic English, but the University offers workshops and the lecturers are very supportive too. The USC has such a beautiful campus, what I really loved since we don’t have one at my home university (University of Applied Science Chur, Switzerland). The kangaroos were a big plus too.

A semester abroad is an opportunity for everyone, but especially for me, as a tourism student. Not only do you get a different point of view, you also develop on a personal level. The Sunshine Coast is just a perfect place. There is so much to see in the area and bigger cities aren’t too far away too. Another big advantage was that I could enjoy my leisure time with surfing, BBQ’s, mountain climbing, exploring the rainforest and petting kangaroos and at the same time I learned a lot about the tourism industry in Australia.

Thomas from Switzerland studying at USC


University of the Sunshine Coast, when I first heard the name I immediately fell in love with it and my choice was made. It is the perfect place for me to finish my studies, improving my English skills and discover the nature and culture of a beautiful country.

I am studying business on a bachelor level as a double degree in addition to my business engineer studies in Switzerland. Studying abroad has always been part of my study plan; the only question was where and how long. The opportunity to do a double degree, the modern campus, the big variety of modules, and apparently the location very close to the sea made my decision very easy and I could not be happier with my choice.

My main goal was to improve my English, especially the formal writing. Thanks to very helpful lecturers, other students and the Academic skills department, which supported me for all my reports and essays throughout the semesters, this goal was easy to achieve. Furthermore, you gain unpayable live experience by adapting to another culture, education system, economical system, and living style.

The campus has its special charm and the kangaroos, which are hopping around the campus, are only one reason. The different cafes are tempting to take a rest from studying in the comfortable library or at the numerous tables outside.

The best thing about studying at USC is the cultural exchange with other students from all over the world and of course the Australians. Especially the community of international students is very strong and you always find some friends to go to the beach, play volleyball or to have a party together.

Apart from Uni there are nearly endless possibilities to enjoy your life. I like to do day trips to National Parks, waterfalls, and beaches. In the Semester break, I visited several National parks, little towns, and enjoyed the flair of Sydney.

If you like sports, you are at the right place as well. Plenty of facilities, such as gym, swimming pool, athletic stadium and so on. With some friends, I could even represent the USC at the Snow Uni Games on Mt Buller, which is Australian wide Uni competition in snow sports. Apart from Uni sport, I act as a soccer referee at the Sunshine Coast, which provides me some insight on local sports and where I gained many new friends as well.

Thomas Nafzger, bachelor double degree in business from University of Applied Sciences Lucerne, Switzerland

Fiona from Switzerland studying at USC

I’ve planned my trip to Australia for a long time. I knew that I had one semester off because my high school finished after 3.5 years. It has always been my dream to go to Australia and improve my English but I didn’t want to go to a language school because there often are a lot of Swiss students. Through a German organisation I found USC and I was amazed from the beginning. I enjoyed the hot weather, the new Uni with all the cute Kangaroos and although I came alone to Australia I found friends immediately. Especially my roommate Emity, who was there for me from the beginning, we are really good friends. Since I’m here my weekends are busy all the time. Trips to Noosa, Byron Bay or ‘Parrots in Paradise’, there’s always something to do or explore and I have enjoyed every second of my busy life here 🙂
Coming to Australia was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made and although I’m not even home yet, I’m already planning to come back to this beautiful, interesting and amazing country.

By Fiona IOB

Martin from Switzerland : Exams

First at all I would like to say sorry for my long absent. I was quite busy during the last weeks in the semester. I had to finish all the assignments and afterwards the study period for the exam started. And as you can imagine, as an international student I went on a road trip with my friends right after the exam period, but I will tell you more about that in another blog. Today, I would like to share my experiences from the exam period.

There are three main differences in comparison to my home university. Personally speaking, it was most important for me to be aware of the fact that all grades from the assignments are also part of the final grades apart from the final exams. This took a lot of pressure from my shoulders and I was more relaxed regarding the exams. Further, the learning period was not that intensive as I was used to it as we have only a final exam for each class in the end of the semester in Switzerland. Therefore, everything depends on the final exam and if you pass or fail them independent from any assignments during the semester.

Moreover, all the information necessary for the exam is provided in the last tutorial or lecture of your class. We even had access to some case studies we will have to deal with in the exam. This allows a very specific preparation.

Consequently, the exam venue in Australia is totally different from what I was used to. When I went to my first exam, there were two queues. Namely, one directly in front of the huge sport hall (probably space for 500 students or even more!!) and another one in front of a container, I first was wondering about. So I informed myself and some friendly students told me, that you are not allowed to take any kind of bags into the venue, except a pencil, your student ID and a bottle of water. Consequently, all your belongings were stored in the container. So I gave my bag to the security, got a number for it, and then walked over to the other queue. When it finally was my turn, I had to randomly pick a little paper out of a box, which contained my seat number. That was the whole process form arriving at the venue until I got my seat in the stadium. I found the whole process quite strict but well organized by USC, while in Switzerland I can chose my own seat and I am not required to store my bag somewhere in a container outside the building.

But all in all I am very satisfied with my exams, because I passed them all !

Ps. Obviously I was not allowed to bring my camera into the venue, and therefore no pictures for this blog.

Martin from Switzerland: Roadtrip

During the first semester break week I went with my friends Haley, Meike, Katharina, Fabian and Tamino on a nine-day daily Road trip.  The only thing we have had booked in advance was the Beaches backpackers in Airlie Beach and the sailing trip, everything else we wanted to take spontaneous.

We left Varsity at Friday midnight and headed to the Joseph Banks Conservation Park, where we had an amazing sunrise inclusive a breakfast. Afterwards, we stayed the whole day in Agnes Water and drove further to Rockhampton, where we wanted to spend the night in a motel. But the problem with taking it spontaneous was, that this weekend a couple of events were hold in Rockhampton and as a result of this, all motels, hotels, backpackers and cabins in the area were booked out. Instead of having a comfortable bed, we found ourselves this night sleeping in the car.

 After a delicious breakfast BBQ all the pains from last nights were almost forgotten and we were ready to hit the road again. On the way to Mackay we decided to have a swim-stop in Clairview. The beaches looked amazing and everyone was ready to take a swim, till a sign showed up on which was written: “DANGER, from September to April dangerous box jellyfish may be present in these waters”. Nonetheless, two of us had a swim in the water and haven’t got burned by any box jellyfishes.

On Monday we finally arrived in Airlie Beach. After checking-in into our backpackers and a quick look at our boat, the S.V. Whitehaven, we had a wonderful BBQ at the beach.

During the next three days we have been on the sailing trip. I really can everyone recommend to do a sailing trip. We have been to several different wonderful beaches, snorkelling, kayaking, and hiking. Further, we had a very good time on the boat with all the other people. Another highlight was the first night, when we were sleeping on the deck. Furthermore, our crew was very funny and made this trip unforgettable.

The day after we came back from the sailing trip, Haley and me booked an airplane ride over the Whitsunday Island and the Great Barrier Reef – this was just amazing!!! 

 In the same evening we left Airlie Beach and headed first to Bundaberg, where we had our breakfast and afterwards we met a friend in Hervey Bay. After having lunch together our last target for this day was to go to Rainbow Beach. We stayed in Rainbow Beach until noon the next day before we got ready to head back to Sippy Downs.

All in all it was an amazing trip. We had so much fun together and in our opinion it is a must to have a sailing trip in the Whitsunday Island during your stay in Australia.

Martin from Switzerland: Brisbane River Festival

This weekend I have been to the Brisbane River Festival with my friends. We left in the early Saturday morning to take the train down to Brizzie. Our accommodation for this weekend was the X- Base backpackers, which is directly located near the Central Station.

After our check-in, we enjoyed this awesome city and headed over to the South Bank – a beautiful place with an imitated beach area near the Brisbane River. It is a great place to relax or just take a swim. Moreover, you find many bars and restaurants over there, where you can have lunch or enjoy a beer in the sun.


Afterwards, we got ready for the famous Brisbane River Festival firework. The best spots to have a look at were already reserved by some people in the early morning. Nevertheless, we had a great view from the bridge and enjoyed this amazing firework. It took round about half an hour and the music and the laser show around created a great atmosphere – that was definitely more than I expected before!

In the evening we checked out what Brizzie’s night life had to offer. We have been to several clubs, bars and pubs and spent a lot of money…. Nevertheless, it was worth! You should really come to Brisbane and enjoy the Australian lifestyle of partying, drinking and meeting new people. I would recommend you to stay at X Base. The hostel is pretty clean and provides a club downstairs as well as its own pub, where you can drink quite cheap.

After having breakfast on Sunday, we decided to see more of this amazing city but if you really want to experience everything Brisbane offers, you should take your time to visit the mountain “Coot-Tha”, where you should have a great overview of the whole city. 


All in all, me and my friends really enjoyed our stay at Brizzie and already think about planning our next trip. This was definitely not the last time I have been to this city. So, I am already looking to my next date with Brizzie. Cheers 🙂

Martin from Switzerland: first weeks in Australia

Hi all there!

My name is Martin. I am Swiss and studying Business here at the USC. My home university is the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. I’ll stay for one year here at the Sunshine Coast.

I have been in Australia just for three weeks, but these weeks were amazing. I really liked the O-Week. Because during the O-Week I met a lot of new people and there was a party every night somewhere… And I also went on a trip to the Kondallila Falls and the Glass House Mountains.

The most time of my leisure time I spend with my friends, having a BBQ or another meal together, going to the beach or just enjoy the nice weather. But at the moment I spend also plenty of time to find a used car. This is actually not that easy as it sounds. You have to be aware of a certain of things (RWC, Insurance, and and and)… But hopefully I will find one in the next few weeks!!

For the next weekend is an international food party planed. That means, everyone has to bring a specialty from his home country. I am sure this is going to be a lot of fun. Anyway, I will let you know how it was. CU