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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Camilla Ingebrigtsen from Norway studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Camilla Ingebrigtsen

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Stephanie Jessiman from Rider University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

5Australia has marked the start of my new life. This may sound a little cheesy, but this is coming from someone who has never left her home country by herself, let alone leaving her state by herself. My name is Stephanie, and I am from New Jersey, where you don’t really have to leave the state to find anything you need.

Upon reading myself to leave for the planned 5 month semester abroad, my home institution eased any and of all my worries, no matter how drastically preposterous they were. Once I arrived in Australia, I immediately met so many great people from all corners of the world, everyone was so kind and so friendly. I guess because all of us were thinking and feeling the same way. I would definitely say the first 6 weeks at the University were some of the best, not to say the second half was not as good, corona hit the world pretty badly. USC was very quick to respond to the issues on hand and tried to help each and every single one of its students. I do not think I would be able to make it through the semester if I were still at my home state to be honest. Australia has so many incredible views, beautiful hikes, luscious beaches, that when the stress of everything got too much to handle, a simple mind getaway was not too far to reach.

Towards the end of the semester, my friends and I were fortunate enough to go away on a road trip up to Cairns, and I honestly think that is the most fun I have ever had in my whole entire life. The people that we went with kept us laughing, the food we were eating kept our bellies full, and the places we went to, created some of the best memories that I will always remember. Australia has been a beautiful gift that I will hold on to as long as I live.

– Stephanie Jessiman

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Friederike Heuer from the University of Applied Sciences Europe in Germany studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi, I’m Friederike Heuer (@alien_in_the_machine) and I was studying a Diploma in General Studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Just like other international students, I began my semester studying abroad but I then got the chance to upgrade and study the diploma program instead (which was one of the main reasons to why I chose USC over other Universities). Normally, I study Illustration at the University of Applied Sciences Germany in Hamburg and are now about to finish my Bachelor of Arts.

As you probably already know, the USC campus is located in Queensland on the east coast of Australia, 1 hour north of Brisbane by car. When I arrived there, Sippy Downs was facing a heat wave that continued for the orientation week, to then change for rain three weeks straight. However, after this, you will notice that the whole area is just unrealistically beautiful, and the same goes for the campus (just have a look at the photos everyone is sharing, they are no joke).

As some students have already described, there are a lot of kangaroos on campus. Unfortunately, I only came across them once on my whole stay so you either need to be around campus very early in the morning, or spend some time looking for them. Moreover, there are a lot of loud parrots living around the student accommodations and especially around UniCentral, and not to mention the magpies – be aware of those, they are no joke!

Student_Guild_Noosa_HeadsWhen settling in, my flatmates were of great help with showing me around and explaining how everything works, over and over again (don’t worry, I’m not stupid – just anxious and have a tendency to ask for the same thing over and over again, which is very typical for anxious persons – sorry guys, I hope you weren’t too annoyed by me). On the other hand: TAKE PART in the welcome events organized by USC and USC International! You’ll learn so much on those events and get even more for free, you’ll make hundreds of new friends (just don’t forget to befriend them on Instagram/Facebook 😉) and you’ll get to know who is living together with you at the same accommodation and who to contact when you have the urge to party. If you really want to get to know the most beautiful surrounding places, do yourself the favour and join EVERY event organized by the Student Guild. You’ll get the chance to see all the places cheaper than normally, have an organized trip and you won’t need to worry about transportation or food.

I undertook four courses while studying at USC and had to pass three assignments per course. This is quite a big difference, compared to studying at UE in Germany, since I was used to only having to pass one assignment per course. This difference was a challenge as I felt like I haven’t had enough time to build up new knowledge and finish the assignments in a quality similar to the one I had to stick to at my home university (note: I did three of my four courses in game art instead of illustration, so I had to learn all the programs and the industry practice).

Student_Guild_Eumundi_Market

While studying at USC, I didn’t have the chance to travel a lot and once the Corona restrictions kicked in, I wasn’t able to visit the planned travel sites with my Flatmates anymore. Unfortunately, I continued studying online from home as I had to leave mid-semester and wasn’t able to complete my on-campus studies in Australia.

However, I really hope I’ll get the chance to come back one day and travel to all the places I wasn’t able to visit at my first stay.

Please enjoy your stay at USC, study hard and go travel whenever you can – there’s no worst regret than not haven seen those places.

Lots of love,

Friederike @alien_in_the_machine

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Peter Buchen from Fulda University of Applied Sciences in Germany studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

TassieHi, my name is Peter and I am studying International Business Administration at the University of Applied Sciences Fulda in Germany. During our studies we have to undertake an obligatory semester abroad, which has (fortunately) led me to study at the University of Sunshine Coast (USC) in Australia for one semester. As the name of the university already suggests, one can expect a lot of sunshine all year long.

Located on the east side of Australia, the USC campus in Sippy Downs is truly beautiful and located on a designated wildlife reserve. Therefore, it is almost common to encounter kangaroos, possums, birds and duck families when you walk to your lecture.  If you are lucky, they may accompany you on your way. But not only the campus is amazing, the nearby beaches offer the opportunity for having BBQ’s whilst watching the sunset, take surfing lessons or just to relax and enjoy life.

campus wildlife 2As an international student, and being quite far away from home, it is always challenging to adapt to the new circumstances. The peaceful Australian lifestyle and the no worries attitude definitely help to settle in quickly. The welcome events organised by USC also assisted to feel welcome and to meet new people. Furthermore, USC offers a wide range of workshops and a social sport program.

At USC, I attended three courses which consist of a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial. While the lectures focus on theoretical knowledge, the tutorials emphasise on applying the gained knowledge by working on individual problems and questions. In contrast to Germany, where we only take one exam in each course per semester, the overall grade at the USC is made up by three different tasks for each course during the semester. Therefore, it is easy to follow on how you are performing in your course.

Mooloolaba beach

For me, another huge part of my semester abroad has been travelling and exploring Australia. It is nearly impossible to explore all of Australia’s gems in only one semester. However, prioritising your favourite spots or locations which you want to visit (and checking your wallet for enough cash) definitely helps. Even though studying during the semester abroad is important – you will always find time to travel. The given one-week semester break is a great opportunity for a road trip. We used the semester break for a short trip down to Tasmania. The landscape and weather are totally different than what we were used to at the Sunshine Coast. Moreover, I can recommend visiting Fraser Island by renting a 4WD. The lakes on Fraser Island are just astonishing.

Studying at USC has truly been a unique experience, which I can highly recommend. As advice: Travel, explore and fully experience life here by challenging yourself. Step outside your comfort zone and just embrace every opportunity and you will have a wonderful time.

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USC Student Georgia Duffy Studying Overseas at the University of Mississippi in the US

img_7035.jpegHotty toddy! I’m Georgia and I’m studying abroad for a semester at Ole Miss, as it is affectionately referred to. Mississippi has been one of the best experiences of my life. Ole Miss has one of the most beautiful campuses in America and it is HUGE. I firmly believe that no campus could outdo Ole Miss but each to their own.

If you are on the edge about studying abroad, all I can say is do it! The south is like nothing I have ever known, I have also never seen so much fried chicken. I got to do a bit of travelling during weekends, visiting Nashville, New Orleans and Atlanta which were all beautiful and a bit hectic in the best way. I’d have to say that the people I met at Ole Miss are without a doubt the best part. I have made so many life-long friends that made this experience just that much better!

I recommend living on campus as transportation is a bit unreliable and being on campus is so much more convenient. The football season was mind-blowing, and I firmly suggest coming here in the fall. Football is no joke here (also they have no idea what ‘footy’ means which I found amusing). Remember to consider the exchange rate and costs that you easily forget about such as bathroom amenities and even cutlery and plates! If you do choose to study abroad, don’t stress the little things, they will work out.

Ole Miss is quirky and beautiful, and I would 100% recommend coming here. The experience is daunting, but it definitely paid off. Finally, be grateful for the staff at USC! I had a little fall while over here and sprained my ankle, USC were quick to respond and assist which I will be forever thankful for.

– Georgia Duffy

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

buddina-1.jpgMy name is Paul and I am studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. For my semester abroad, I wanted to see something completely different from home, so I decided to study abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). My university has a cooperation with USC, so it was easy to get useful information and how the registration process works.

After receiving my confirmation, I started to plan my journey along with two of my colleagues. We travelled several hours to Brisbane and it was totally worth it. My colleagues and I decided to rent a small apartment in Buddina next to the beach. During the first month, we used public transport to get to the university, but afterwards we decided to buy a car, especially a 4WD in order to explore the beautiful Sunshine Coast. When I first arrived at the USC campus, I immediately fell in love with all the animals. Every day, there are kangaroos jumping around or just chilling in the sun.

As travelling is one of my biggest passions, I thought I would share a few tips for weekend trips you could do while studying at the USC, especially if you have a 4WD.

Buddina

1. Double island point – Rainbow beach

One of my favourite places is the double island point. At the small lighthouse, you’ll get a wonderful view to Rainbow Beach. It is also a great surfing spot there, but you can only reach it with a 4WD. It is a great trip for a weekend, just grab your buddies and you will have an awesome time there.

2. Byron Bay

Another beautiful place in Australia is Byron bay. It has an awesome flair to it which is typical for Australia. All the people there are so kind, and if you decide to travel to Byron Bay, you definitely have to visit the lighthouse which is the most easterly point in Australia.

3. Seventeen Seventy Springs Beach

We drove by Seventeen Seventy on our road trip to Whitsundays. A local told us we should definitely stop there and showed us a beautiful surf spot called Springs Beach. We had a wonderful time there.

Hope this gave you some help and you will have a great time while studying at USC Sunshine Coast. For more pictures or some questions, check out my Instagram @paul_martetschlaeger

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5 Hidden Gems on the Sunshine Coast

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

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

1. Kenilworth Bakery

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Opening hours: Everyday From 6am Until SELL OUT.

Address: 8 Elizabeth St, Kenilworth QLD 4574

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

2. Ewen Maddock Dam

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

 

3. The Strawberry Fields

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

 

 

4. THE BIRDS & THE BEANS ESPRESSO BAR

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

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

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

 

5. GURU Life

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

Address: 522A Petrie Creek Rd, Rosemount QLD 4560

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

 

 

Nathalie Bergstrom from Kilroy Sweden studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

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Hi!! My name is Nathalie, I’m from Sweden and I am doing my exchange semester here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I study Intro to Film and TV studies, Creative Advertising, New Venture Growth, and Learning in Australian Landscapes. Kilroy Sweden was a great help for me when applying to USC, they answered all the questions I had at the time of applying.

I love the Sunshine Coast, it is just an amazing place to live and I am so happy I chose this school. The school is nice and is located around beautiful nature where you can find kangaroos jumping around which is just amazing to see every time. I enjoy my accommodation, it is just 5 minutes walk to school which is great if you’re running a bit late to class. I have my own bedroom and bathroom which I love so I can have my stuff where I want and clean myself.

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With the course Learning in Australian Landscapes, we go on four field trips during the semester which is just amazing. First trip was paddling at Noosa, it was so beautiful and a fun day trip. Next up was abseiling and climbing at Mount Ngungun which I was a bit nervous about, mainly because I had never climbed before and I am scared of heights. However, I was proud of myself that I did it. The third trip was an overnight trip to Cooloola National Park. The fourth and last trip was to Fraser Island which is about two hours from here. When we came to the island my group started biking on the sand and it was great and so much fun biking on the beach looking at the waves. After that, we changed groups and we got to pick up trash on the beach!

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The next day we went to the rainforest on the island and walked for a bit which was so beautiful! We also learned more about the vegetation on the island. Later on, we went to Lake McKenzie which had the clearest water I’ve seen, it was so beautiful. On the third day we did some stops and then went back home to the coast. I was so tired the days after the trip but it was so worth it!

I have also been to Brisbane and the Gold Coast which are both great places to visit for a more ‘big city’ feeling. Before I go home, I have planned to go to Cairns, Whitsundays, and Sydney. During my time here, I have seen so much already and I have some trips still coming after school. I really think it is worth coming here to study if you’re considering it, as it is just amazing and there’s so much to do and see. I really recommend studying at USC and experience the Sunshine Coast.

– Nathalie Bergstrom @nattisbergstrom

5 Travel Destinations from the Sunshine Coast Airport

On the Sunshine Coast we have the Maroochydore Airport (MCY) that offers cheap flights around Australia, enabling you to visit places that’s on your bucket list in your study break. Airlines such as Qantas, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand often offers cheap tickets for you as a student wanting to explore and travel. Here are some of our favourite destinations!

Featured Image: Anne Gibson, http://www.nzherald.co.nz

1. Melbourne

Melbourne
Royal Botanic Gardens. Photo: visitmelbourne.com

From the Maroochydore (Sunshine Coast) airport, flights are regularly flying to Melbourne with a price ranging from 279-350$ return trip.

Melbourne is known for its cultural diversity, over 40 laneways and arcades, amazing art (Hosier Lane – Melbourne’s most celebrated street-art laneway), and dining options for all budgets. Furthermore, World-class gardens such as the Royal Botanic Gardens have ample lawns and lovingly kept themed sections. In addition, it’s known for being THE coffee capital of the world, and you should not miss out on the opportunity to visit the Queen Victoria Market which sprawls between open-sided sheds and historic halls packed with food.

2. Auckland, NZ

Auckland - Photo: new-zealand-vacations-in-west-auckland.com
Auckland – Photo: new-zealand-vacations-in-west-auckland.com

Air New Zealand provides seasonal direct flights between Auckland <> Sunshine Coast. The 2019 season commenced on Friday 5 July 2019, with the last service on Sunday 27th October 2019. Ticket prices range from 700-850$ direct with Air New Zealand or alternatively with 1 stop in Sydney via Jetstar from 450-600$.

Auckland – also known as the isthmus city (a narrow strip of land that connects two larger landmasses and separates two bodies of water). Auckland is built on an isthmus between the Waitemata harbour and the Manakau harbour. The Waitemata harbour is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean whereas the Manakau is an initial of the Tasman sea. Essentially, the city actually spans across the land between two different seas. Auckland is also known for being the city of sails, mostly due to the large number of yachts.

In Auckland, you can visit the Waitomo Caves, take a day trip to the Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Movie Set, and visit the Sky Tower which is featured in the photo above.

3. Sydney

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Sydney Harbour Bridge – photo: tripadvisor.com

Sydney, the number 1 destination for our students wanting to spend some time in the big city during study breaks! From MCY, you can get tickets as cheap as 120$ return (!), normally ranging from 150-200$.

Sydney, which is not the capital of Australia (it’s Canberra), offers some spectacular attractions and places to explore. You can walk across the impressive Sydney Harbour Bridge from the stairs near the pedestrian crossing on Cumberland St in The Rocks. You can also meet all kinds of animals in Sydney’s zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks. Furthermore, you can also take a ferry almost everywhere across the Sydney Harbour, for example to Manly Beach.

The shopping is also amazing, including an enticing range of places to eat. There are also many free things to do in Sydney, from the Art Gallery of NSW to great Sydney walks, such as the lovely Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk.

If whale watching is something that interests you as well, it’s free to watch from vantage points along sandstone coastline. Humpback and other whales migrate close to the Sydney shoreline between May and November. In addition, bush walking is popular in the magnificent national parks. (info: http://www.sydney.com)

4. Wellington, NZ

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Wellington Cable Car – photo: http://www.wellington2019.nz/

In order to get to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, you can fly from MCY with Jetstar or Air New Zealand (via Sydney) with prices ranging from 600-700$, not bad!

Wellington is famous for having quirky cafes, tucked-away bars, award-winning restaurants and great coffee. Wellington is a compact city with a powerful mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine. Even though Wellington may be little, this diminutive capital city is big on funky cafés, culture and beautiful views. Visit iconic places such as the Wellington Cable Car and the Kelbrun Lookout, the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa), Wellington Botanic Gardens, Princess Bay and the stunning Wellington Waterfront(info: https://www.newzealand.com/uk/wellington/)

5. Hobart, TAS

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Salamanca Market – Photo: tasmanianlife.com.au

Virgin Australia and Jetstar can get you all the way to Hobart in Tasmania for 400-500$ return trip! Fly via Sydney or Melbourne and you’ll be there in no-time! (5 hours😉) 

Hobart is know for its amazing seafood, views and lookouts such as Mt Nelson, Kunanyi / Mt Wellington, the Rosny Point Lookout, and amazing markets such as the Salamanca Market.

In addition, make sure to visit the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary which was established in 1981 as a sanctuary for injured and orphaned wildlife and is Tasmania’s most popular wildlife park. Lastly, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens being Australia’s second-oldest Botanical Garden established in 1818 should also be on your bucket-list.

 

 

Michaela Hasbrouck from Goucher College in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

DCIM999GOPROMy name is Michaela, and I studied abroad this semester at the University of the Sunshine Coast.  I am originally from the East Coast of the United States, and had never left the continent before coming here.  I was nervous, excited, and totally in awe at this opportunity.  Reflecting back, having the chance to explore has been the most amazing aspect of this experience.

53518765_348491418989294_8892476915873480704_nHiking through the Sunshine Coast introduced me to familiar yet foreign plants and animals.  I was also able to travel down the coast, visiting Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.  Brisbane and the Gold Coast were a lot of fun, but have more city vibes than I am usually after.  Byron Bay was more my style as it is a funky little town right by the ocean.  While I was there I went skydiving for the first time, and it took my breath away—literally. I fell so in love with the thrill that I went again just a week later when my mom came to visit!  After my second time I’m certain that I want to get certified to go on my own and maybe even become an instructor someday.

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Toward the end of the semester I had more time to go on some longer trips.  I spent a long weekend in Sydney and stayed with some family friends at Bondi Beach. Bondi is beautiful and has a more relaxed feel from the city itself.  I was lucky enough to visit during Vivid, the annual light show, which puts on different displays and programs throughout the city.  Sydney felt much bigger and busier than Brisbane, but also held a lot of history.  From the Opera House to the Maritime Museum I got a sense that the city had a big influence on the formation of Australia as we know it today.

received_442836036547685The biggest adventure of all was when I recently went to Bali.  This felt significant for me because I haven’t done much traveling, and would no longer be in an English speaking country. I was a bit concerned about how I would navigate an even more foreign place than the one I had already been living in, but it ended up being no problem at all.  At first the exchange rate and the high price tags were hard to wrap my mind around, but with technology it’s easy to figure out how much everything will cost.  I ride a motor scooter back home, and realised that this was a big thing in Bali as well.  They drive somewhat on the left side of the road, however the traffic laws are very lenient.  It’s pretty much every vehicle for themselves, and if a scooter can get in between car, down a small ally, or around traffic by driving on the right side, then that’s what will happen.  I fell in love with the erratic but functional nature of this place.  We tried to eat in lots of local family owned restaurants and everything I tried was delicious.

I would definitely recommend travelling and going as far out of your comfort zone as possible while you’re here.  These felt like once in a lifetime opportunities and have encouraged me to prioritise more travelling in my future!

 

Franziska from Germany studying at USC!

In the course of my Master studies in business at Heilbronn University Graduate School, I had the unique opportunity to take part in the double degree Master program in International Business at USC. In order to receive the double degree I had to complete four courses at the University of the Sunshine Coast which I selected in cooperation with the international coordinators of both universities prior to my arrival in Australia. The USC offered a great variety of courses to choose from.

Shortly after my arrival in Australia, I had the chance to attend the orientation week organised by the university and familiarise myself with the facilities of the USC campus in Sippy Downs and the surrounding area through guided campus tours and a free hop-on-hop-off bus. Socialising activities such as a free Australian BBQ at the uni have also been part of the interesting orientation.

The highly modern USC campus is characterized by its kangaroos visiting the campus in the early mornings and in the evenings and attract the attention of the excited students every day anew. Many fancy cafès and small food stalls (e.g. sushi) extend the already great offer of the USC brasserie. The university is home to many sport clubs and the student association. I recommend to join the activities offered by them such as trips to the zoo or a festival and the famous netflix and pizza nights.

The USC is located at the beautiful Sunshine Coast. By catching a bus from USC station I could easily get to the beach and enjoy the sunny days. The location is also ideal for trips to Noosa’s national park and the wild koala’s and to Brisbane which can be reached within one hour. I would also recommend a trip to the tourism spots Fraser Island and Byron Bay.

To put in a nutshell, I can highly recommend the double degree program since the interactive courses give you a different insight into the field of business than the university in Germany. Additionally, the location of the university is perfect with regard to language improvement and trips around this beautiful country.

 

 

 

Kai Meier from Germany studying at USC!

Kai Meier from the HMKW University of Applied Science in Berlin

My amazing semester abroad at USC

And there it was, I was finally leaving Germany and once again I was on my way to Australia. After I finished my last day at university in Berlin on a Friday, I jumped onto the next plane and arrived perfectly on time for Orientation Week. It was super easy to meet new people, a lot of them were Germans of course. Quickly I had a bunch of people surrounding me and I found my new room in a shared house with 11 internationals and Aussie people. The time went fast. On weekends, we were mostly hanging out at the Varsity Students Accommodation having a beer or two in the Helm or at Ocean St in Maroochydore or just chilling at the beach in Mooloolaba. To meet more people, I decided to go on two weekend trips. One tour went to Moreton Island, which is about a 1,5 hrs away and another tour to Spot X a Surf Camp, which is a few hours’ drive down south. Both were unique experiences which I can really recommend. The semester passed by quickly and soon I had semester break which I used to visit some friends in Bali. Others travelled along the East Coast or to Melbourne. The last weeks of my 13 weeks of studying were quite intense. Since I did not have any final exams in any of my four subjects, I had to spend a few nights in the library trying to get all the reports and assignments done as good as possible. Luckily, I was not the only one, so we had some fun times and good memories in the end.

Way to fast the time had come to say goodbye again to all the people I met. One good thing about having so many Europeans here is, that the chance is higher to see them again. Even when my time at the Sunshine Coast was over in June, I still had ten weeks of travelling and fun ahead. First, four friends from USC and I went down to Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise for a week. Afterwards I made my way up to Cairns stopping at Fraser Island, Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays, Townsville and Magnetic Island.  I also did a Skydive at Mission Beach and walked through the world’s oldest rain forest at Cape Tribulation (Daintree Rainforest) before I flew to Bali again. From where I took one more month to go around Bali and Jawar ending my journey in Jakarta.

Now, being back in Berlin, I am looking forward to new adventures waiting for me. But I will never forget all the new impression, the things I learned, the people I met. This truly is learning for life!

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.

Vivien from FH Stralsund, Germany Studying at USC!

After studying for two years at my hometown university in Stralsund, Germany, I decided to finish my last year of uni at USC which I consider to be one of the best decisions I’ve made so far.

I arrived on the Sunshine Coast in the middle of the Australian winter which is comparable to our German summer. The beaches, friendly locals and laid back lifestyle made me fall in love with this place immediately.

The university is beautifully located and has great learning facilities to offer students the best possible education. During my studies, I got to experience the 3D virtual reality facilities which are unique worldwide for university students to use. Furthermore, I got to go on a field trip to Fraser Island to deepen my knowledge about sustainable tourism.

I always felt supported by my lecturers and tutors to succeed in my courses as well as in my professional career after university. Vikki Schaffer, my course coordinator for Leisure, Tourism and Event Management, helped me get in touch with a marketing firm in Munich where I’ll start an internship this year.

Besides the great learning experience and support, I also got to travel Australia during my semester break passing Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road and Tasmania. It was the most amazing road trip and I would encourage everyone to travel this beautiful country if you get the chance.

I can safely say that studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast exceeded all my expectations. Out of all the places I’ve visited in Australia, I consider the Sunshine Coast the most beautiful region to live and study at. The time I’ve spent here passed too quickly and looking back I would’ve loved to do my whole degree at USC. However, I consider this is a ‘see you later’ and not a goodbye as my plan is to come back and hopefully make the Sunshine Coast my new home.