Oliver Siewertsen from Kilroy Denmark studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Hey everyone, my name is Oliver and I’m 20 years old. I’m currently a Study Abroad student from Kilroy because I’m having a gap-year in Denmark and wanted to do something different than just travelling around.

I had many different universities in Australia in mind but decided to choose USC because of the program, the location and their effort to make international students feel welcome.

Studying at USC was way above my expectations and definitely the best time of my life, even the weeks with a lot of uni-work. It’s just amazing to have the opportunity to sit in the sun and watch kangaroos jumping around when doing assessments or homework.

USC is a modern university with new facilities and the newest technology, which is a thing I really appreciate. USC also offers various kinds of sports and clubs, both competitive and social sports, which is fun to try – and also a great opportunity to meet other students and build up friendships.

Top 5 must do while studying at USC

Noosa Heads:

pjimageNoosa Heads located 30-45 minutes north of USC. This area is amazing and gives a bit of the “Miami Beach vibe”, you have a lot of small cozy cafés and restaurants, shopping opportunities and one of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast.

One out of two Everglades in the world is also located in Noosa and the national park with various hiking trails. You can get to Noosa by car or by bus. It cost approximately 5$ from USC to Noosa.

Surfing at Alexandra Headlands:

pjimage (1)

One of the must do when studying or visiting Australia is surfing! Surfing is a huge thing in Australia, and you will be able to see surfers at every beach. I recommend surfing at the Alexandra Headlands beach because it’s close to USC and board hire is approximately 30$ for 3 hours.

PS: Surfing is way harder than it looks like – so don’t give up after a few tries!

Wings Wednesday at Taps:

Every Wednesday, the restaurant “Taps” at Mooloolaba is offering 10 chicken wings with a burst of flavors for 5$. This is a place with a great atmosphere, a lot of people especially uni-students and a great place to catch up in the midweek. Besides for the cheap and delicious chicken, beer-taps are located at each table so you can pour your own beer!

Australia Zoo:

pjimage (2)25 minutes south from USC is the world-famous Steve Irwin zoo located, also called Australia Zoo. This is an absolute must do and a great experience. Daily buses to Australia Zoo are available and it’s easy to get there. Steve Irwin’s vision has always been to make Australia Zoo the biggest and best wildlife conservation facility in the entire world. It is also at the Australia Zoo you get a chance to pet and feed kangaroos, carry a koala, pet a wombat and many other animals.

Fraser Island:

Fraser islandFraser Island is 2 hours driving north from USC, and it is the world largest sand island. It was inscribed as a “World Heritage Site” in 1992 and is especially known for the Lake McKenzie, the wildlife and the champagne pools. Fraser Island has rain forests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths.

Also, throughout the semester, there’s a study-break midway the semester and a few public holidays, where it is possible to arrange trips to destinations all around Australia. Students are often going to places like Sydney, Melbourne, The Whitsundays, Uluru, and some are even going to New Zealand or Bali. The opportunities are endless.

Advice to future students:

Intro pictureFor myself, going to a new country by myself to study, was definitely a cross-border experience and it can be thrilling. But it turns out to be the best experience ever, and I wish everyone who has the possibility to go study abroad, should do so.

Learning about a new culture and be a part of it, get to know people from all around the world, boost your CV/resume, improve English skills, and get the chance to do trips all around Australia while studying. All this ensure the best time of your life and my advice would definitely be; to get this experience and do this cross-border experience. If you make sure to write your assessments in time, there’s plenty of time to explore and travel when studying.

I’m so grateful for my time here, for all the people I have met, the friends I’ve got for the rest of my life and the experiences when exploring this amazing continent.

Cheers, Oliver

TOP 5 Places to eat on the Sunshine Coast

Don’t miss out on amazing food here on the Sunshine Coast! We have made a top 5 list of places you should check out to indulge in some of the best food experiences on the coast.

1. Raw + Rice, Mooloolaba.

Photo: Raw and Rice

Raw + Rice in Mooloolaba is probably one of the best poke bowl bars on the Sunshine Coast, serving deliciously fresh and tasty bowls just a stone’s throw from the beach.

You have the option to build your very own poke bowl choosing from bases of brown rice, quinoa, sushi rice or mixed greens. Then, you choose your one preferred source of protein —salmon, tuna, poached chicken, swordfish or soy tofu. Then, by adding 5 different add-ons from the category ‘Freshness’, such as ginger, seaweed, cucumber or carrot, its time for the sauce and finally the crunch. You won’t be disappointed! (The Urban List, 2019).

2. Cafe Vie, Buderim.

Photo: Cafe Vie

Cafe Vie is situated on the corner of Main Street and Gloucester Road and this is where you’ll find this cosy, vegan foodie haven. Their motto is simple and appealing; it’s a plant kind of thing, and we could not agree more!

Serving dishes such as the falafel waffles with crispy chickpeas and mint tzatsiki, the crunchy Kung Pao Bao featuring steamed bao buns, kung pao dressing and crispy tofu are just some of the mouth watering dishes on their menu!

This place is not only just for people that are vegan by principle, but also for everyone else who sometimes feel like eating a bit plant-based now and then. Definitely worth a visit. (The Urban List, 2019).

3. Rice Boi – The Wharf, Mooloolaba

Photo: Rice Boi

We just can’t get enough of this pan-Asian restaurant located at the Warf in Mooloolaba. Hidden behind two massive red barn-style doors in Mooloolaba, Rice Boi’s interior is kitted out with red lanterns, cages used as walls, casual tables and stools and an open kitchen where diners can get a glimpse of their food be prepped and plated.

Created by a super-experienced trio of hospitality gurus—Tony Kelly (Hello Harry and Junk in Maroochydore), Elyza Molloy and chef Mitch Smith—the interior is only the wrapping around what is truly one helluva tasty experience. (The Urban List, 2019).

With an Asian street food menu featuring foods like bao buns, ramen, curries and edamame (of course!), the meals are as affordable as they are substantial. You might want to avoid the dinner rush time in between 5 to 7pm as it can get pretty busy (they do have a quick turnaround though!), so get in there early – you won’t regret it!


4. Il Vento – The Wharf, Mooloolaba

Photo: Il Vento

Hand’s down, this is a pizza and pasta experience you don’t want to miss out on! If you thought you had to go to Italy to get good, Italian food – think again. Il Vento gives you a real Italian experience right in the heart of Mooloolaba.

Named after The Wind which blew them from the shores of Italia into the heart of the Sunshine Coast, Il Vento brings to Mooloolaba traditional Italian cuisine to be enjoyed in a modern seaside setting. The only restaurant on the north coast equipped with a wood-fired oven, Il Vento promises to bring the people of Sunshine Coast perfect wood-fired pizzas and fresh handmade pasta! (Il Vento, 2019).

In addition, their service and professionalism are some of the things you want to come back for – not just their amazing food!

5. Riba Kai @ The Concept, Maroochydore

Photo: Riba Kai

Hidden right outside Maroochydore CB, you’ll find this hidden gem called Riba Kai. Once situated in the Sunshine Plaza shopping centre, Riba Kai presents itself as a custom, fit-out industrial shed with a modern and welcoming ambience. With seating both inside and outside under the large awnings, you can bring your furry friends too! (The Urban List, 2019).

You will be welcomed with a menu that have both tapas style inspired dishes and your classics such as the sliders or pizzas. They also have a huge breakfast menu which includes all the favourites ranging from poached eggs to sautéed mushrooms. This is just the perfect catch-up place for you and your friends!

Source: The Urban List