Gurleen Kaur studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) at USC

My name is Gurleen Kaur and I am from India. My program of study is the Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting). I chose to study at USC because the university welcomes students from all around the world and has a lot of diversity, which makes it a likely option for every person to be accepted in a diverse environment.

Studying at USC

Studying at USC has been a fun and delightful experience. I enjoyed my course of study thoroughly. All the staff and teachers were supportive, and I made a few friends as well which have become a part of my life. USC helped me understand the career I want to pursue through my degree. It showed me the way of doing so, and the course structure was simple and divided into parts from basic to more experienced knowledge. My overall impression of the program is great as it has given me an experience of a lifetime.

Living in Australia

Living in Australia has been a good experience for me overall. I learned from each day living here by myself. I can cherish the memories that I made throughout these three years, and I have been living in a share house since I came here. I have had to travel to USC through bus and I will never forget those days of travelling with airpods in my ears and listening music on my way to study. Attending classes is a mandatory thing (for some courses) in order to pass with good marks, so that would be my tip for future students.

Animal Conservation, Biodiversity and Human Interactions: Bachelor of Animal Ecology

With USC’s Animal Ecology program, you get to study animals and discover how they relate to each other and their environment.

Do you want to learn about how animals are impacted by the environment and human interaction and what we can do to protect their future? In this program, you get to develop your analytical and research skills to better understand how to conserve and manage animals. USC’s Bachelor of Animal Ecology program will build your knowledge of animal conservation, biodiversity and animal behaviour.

What will you learn during this degree?

In this program, hands-on experience starts in your first year with fieldwork to North Stradbroke Island and your local region. During the program, you’ll work with leading researchers on field trips and in the laboratory, thus delivering work-ready graduates who are able to blend concepts gleaned from the global literature with personal experience of a diversity of regional habitats and fauna.

In your final year you can also further develop your research skills in a specialised area by undertaking a guided research project in Animal Ecology, working as an intern animal ecologist as part of your studies, or taking advantage of opportunities to travel abroad.

As an animal ecologist, your career paths include natural resource and environmental protection agencies, private environmental consultancies and research institutes. Many animal ecologists also pursue opportunities outside the science and health sectors in business, finance, education and sales.

What are some of the career opportunities after finishing your studies at USC?

Career opportunities will be available across a range of areas both in Australia and internationally, including:

  • animal ecology specialists in private environmental consulting researchers
  • research assistants and managers in Government and non-governmental agencies
  • rangers and managers in wildlife management and conservation organisations
  • practitioners in environmental monitoring and management
  • collectors and curators in museums
  • environmental educators
  • specialist ecotourism guides; and
  • researchers and lecturers at universities

Find out more about the Bachelor of Animal Ecology program by reading the testimonials from our international students:

Nathalie Lundin: Third Year Bachelor of Business (Marketing) student at USC Sunshine Coast

Read Nathalie’s first blog here which was published in November 2019, when she had just commenced her 2nd year of study.

Hello, this is Nathalie Lundin! I’m from Stockholm, Sweden and moved to the Sunshine Coast to study a 3-year Bachelor of Business (Marketing) degree, and later added a minor in Fashion Studies. I knew I wanted to study abroad all my life but never really thought of Australia. A random day in January 2018, It came to me, of course I should study in Australia?! I had a look around the internet and fell in love with USC at first glance. Sunshine Coast sounded extremely appealing and after viewing some pictures I made my decision: I was going to Australia.

About USC

Studying Business at USC has been absolutely amazing, I’ve learned so much, gotten to know amazing people at a beautiful campus, all while feeling like I’m on vacation. I can study on the beach, take a hike when I need a break or enjoy my coffee by the pool. The campus also has a really good atmosphere, meeting students within and outside of my own field. The tutors and lecturers has been very helpful. Even during COVID-19, the online materials helped us get through easily.  I’ve learned so much about the business field, gotten a huge perspective and gained knowledge for a solid base to start my career in business. I feel confident in the marketing field, and I’m now also confident in exactly what I want to do.

Before coming here I knew I wanted to get in to the business field but nothing more than that. Now, I know I love to create content, I’m good at analysing fashion and business trends and I have the qualifications I need to get a foot inside the industry. I know my strengths, weaknesses, and how to keep developing as a future fashion marketer.  The course structure has been very helpful, starting off with first years courses that really introduced me to the basics within business and writing reports. In the end, I knew exactly how to write a report, I can reference ideas across different courses, and I understand the connections between different fields in business. All courses has been a piece of the whole puzzle which I can now feel is coming together. 

Living on the Sunshine Coast

Australia has been better than I ever expected and I’ve gotten to see many places, lived close to the beach, and simply went from grey and cold Sweden to summer all year round. My Instagram followers from back home has been jealous to say the least.  During my first year I lived at Varsity Student Accommodation which was the best start ever! I came here not knowing a single soul but after just a few days in, I knew I had found the right place. I chose to live closer to the volleyball courts at Varsity and I’ve gained friends and memories for life. I’ve experienced crazy, funny, and very interesting moments for sure.

I’m so happy I didn’t miss out on this!  I’ve been in Melbourne, Sydney, and a lot in Brisbane, I’ve skydived in Noosa, visited many different beaches, mountains and lookouts! Australia has so much to offer and I recommend to see as much as you can. Just living 10 minutes from Buderim Waterfalls and Australia Zoo feels too good to be true! Here is everything you feel like, everything from adventures like go-card, tree top climbing and hiking, to a calm day at the beach or a nice cocktail at the local beach bars. 

Tip to future students wanting to study abroad?

My tip is to go by the saying of NIKE; Just do it! You will never regret an adventure, and if it’s not for you, nothing forces you to stay either. Take this opportunity if you can. I will cherish these three years forever, and I know I would have regretted it my whole life if I would have ended up not doing it!

Help Create Healthier Lives: Bachelor of Health Science

Do you want to help shape the future of health?

In USC’s Bachelor of Health Science degree, you’ll learn about the current and future health issues facing communities, both locally and globally. You’ll also develop the practical skills you need to improve population health and wellbeing through your choice of one of five extended majors, including;

In this program you will gain a strong foundation in health science, in addition to understanding the current and future health needs of the community which you live in. You will develop the problem-solving skills you need to help tackle health issues, and not to mention gain workplace experience in your area of specialisation.

What are some of the career opportunities after finishing your studies at USC?

After completing your studies at USC, the Bachelor of Health Science can open up many doors in terms of possible career pathways, including but not limited to working as a/in:

  • Health promotion officer
  • Environmental health officer
  • Clinical prosthetist and/or orthotist
  • Health policy development
  • Project development and management
  • Health communication specialist
  • Technician

Find out more about the Bachelor of Health Science program by reading the international student testimonial from Noelle Ollerton:

Noelle Ollerton from Canada studying a Bachelor of Health Science at USC Sunshine Coast

My name is Noelle and I am a 3rd year Bachelor of Health Science (Prosthetics & Orthotics (P&O)) international student at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I chose to come to Australia to study due to my longingness to travel, thirst for adventure, and its phenomenal weather! – And I am never regretted my decision, even despite COVID and all… At times it has been hard being away from all my family back home in Canada, but living so close to the beach – my happy place – helped to ease any negative feelings. The staff and my fellow peers of the P&O program at USC have become more like family than school mates as the class is rather small in size so we all get to know each other quite well, especially when we had the opportunity to work literally alongside each other making prostheses and orthoses in the workshop. Although COVID put an end to these lab sessions, since we all got along so well when the change was made to all online ZOOM sessions, the four-hour meetings were more bearable as they were a little more fun and light-hearted.

     The courses of the P&O program I found most enjoyable were the ones where we had the opportunity to meet volunteer clients, chatting, casting, and fitting our fabricated devices to. It was a rewarding experience to get a better ‘taste’ as to what our futures as a Prosthetists/Orthotists would entail and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of problem solving and creative thinking involved to get a suitable, evidence based, and well-fitting result – dependent upon the task at hand. Days spent in the lab modifying plaster casts and fabricating devices were always such a treat too! Draping thermoplastic check sockets has come to be my favourite task – my peanut butter and jam man!

     Currently residing in Townsville QLD for both of my 8-wk long student placements, I am enjoying the sun, the surreal-ness of my placement locations, interacting with clients and P&O clinicians alike. My first placement was at the Townsville Hospital where I was exposed to the multidisciplinary team environment and how they work collaboratively and cohesively together to better serve patients and help them meet their health care and P&O treatment goals. Now on my second placement at SSS, a private P&O clinic, I am gaining much experience in learning how to assess patients, develop evidence-based reports to justify the chosen device prescription, how to fit and fine-tune devices, and how to develop a more long-term relationship with clients as you seek to help them achieve their treatment goals and improve their quality of life.

     All in all, my student experience at USC has been one of the most spectacular school engagements I have ever had! May I encourage you all to continue onward and upward in your journeys through academia – Never stop shining – It’s your time to rise and shine!

Kristine Brevik Kvalnes from Norway studying a Bachelor in Business (Tourism, Leisure and Event Management) at USC Sunshine Coast

My name is Kristine and I am from Norway. I just started my third year in the Bachelor of Business (Tourism, Leisure and Event Management) degree. I applied to USC through Kilroy which made thing a lot easier. They can help you with pretty much anything. I had wanted to go back to Queensland since 2015 when I went to Australia for the first time, doing volunteer work with animals in Port Douglas. USC was the first university that caught my eye and I applied pretty much straight away.

Studying at USC has been great so far. All of my teachers are very helpful and want me to do well. USC has many international student so everyone is very understanding when it comes to different cultures and people not having English as their first language and all of that.

The Environment is very welcoming. It’s very easy to make friends. I moved here all by myself and that was no problem. What I like with my degree is that there is so many courses to choose from. I specifically liked the sustainable tourism courses. Not all universities focus on sustainability as much as USC and I really like that.

I have spent a lot of time travelling since I moved here. Travelling a lot was pretty much my biggest goal when I moved here. I’ve pretty much been all over Queensland. I’ve been to Victoria and New South Whales. I’ve also been to New Zealand and several countries in South east Asia. I had planned to do more but unfortunately as many others I had to postpone my plans because of Covid19.

Queensland is diffidently not the worst place to be stuck because of a global pandemic. There are tons of beaches to explore. You can go to Brisbane or the Gold Coast. You can go on a road trip up to Cairns where you can find Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, Daintree rainforest and so many other amazing places.

If I could do it all again I would have packed with me way less things when I left home. USC is close to both Sunshine plaza and Kawana Shopping World so there is really no need to bring to much. I would also had packed with me more warm sweaters and less bikinis, haha. When you have lived in Australia for a while you get surprisingly used to the climate. Suddenly you don’t find 20 degrees very warm anymore and you start wearing more clothes.

Student accommodations are a great way to get to know people. I lived at UniCentral for my first year than I moved to a private place. That is what works best and what most people do I think. During Covid19 I moved closer to the beach since classes was moved online and there was a lot less to do in Sippy downs at the time.

Jeena Weber Langstaff from Goucher College in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Hey guys, my name is Jeena Weber Langstaff. I am studying to get Bachelor of Art degree from Goucher College located in Baltimore Maryland in the USA. My major is business management with a concentration of international business and minors in Spanish and psychology.

I first heard about the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) from my college. Goucher College has a partnership with USC. In the beginning of September and October with a lot of help from the Assistant Director of Global Education, Mark Bladel, multiple forms were submitted at a timely fashion. Firstly, was choosing the place in which I wanted to study. I have always wanted to go to Australia, since my father grew up in Papua New Guinea and went to school in Brisbane for 13 years. I knew I wanted to study in Australia, and I wanted a school that could help with both my business major and my psychology minor. I then had to fill out applications on timing of leaving, what courses to take, and getting the approval on every end from my major and from USC. Then I had to apply for an Australian visa. After that, time went by quickly, and before I knew it, I had finished a long flight and had arrived in Australia!

The teaching style in Australia is very different from that of Goucher College. We would call it a reverse classroom teaching style in which the students learn the material on their own and then do workshops and group work in class. Goucher also does not have a second one-hour class for doing the workshop or for the discussion. As well as, we do not have one subject only once a week. Goucher has each subject in one class over multiple times during the week, and the learning is taught and done by the professor. All group projects are done outside of class and are expected to find times to meet on their own.

After I had to return early from USC, I had time on my hands to start new things. I learned how to cook a few meals. I have gotten really into making Rice Kimchi Bowls, it is my favourite dish to make. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes having a blend of rice with both spicy, vegetables and different tastes coming together to compliment one another.

I created my own blog website. One day, I wanted to find a way to express the way I feel, so I created a blog website about adulthood. If you’re interest in it, you can check it out through my instagram jeena_life777. I wanted to explore the ways to navigate and maneuver oneself from childhood to adulthood. To write about what that means and what it looks like from my own personal experience. I’ve created different topics for my blog, and plan to explore them all. Currently, I’ve been introducing the various topics, and hopefully soon, I can start writing each week different things that I am passionate about and have affected me personally.

As well as, to further enhance my understanding of business, I have been part of a Rhode Island organization that helps refugees plant themselves and get rooted into Providence by hiring them and giving them support with the resources they need. This organization is called Beautiful Day, and they sell granola in all different flavors, and additionally fair-trade coffee and granola bars. Due to COVID, it has been a remote internship, however I really enjoyed working with them, and understanding better how small businesses work.

Currently, I have restarted school. It is my first week. I am still figuring out how my schedule will be like, being all online again. As well as, starting to plan and create online programs for the Garam Gophers Bollywood Fusion Team and the South Asian Student Association (SASA). I wish everyone best of luck and to stay safe this year during the challenges life brings our way.

Peace, Love and Staying Safe,

Jeena

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

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

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

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

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

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

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You Need To Check Out These Sunshine Coast Markets

We must say that the Sunshine Coast has some of the best markets, which are constantly becoming bigger and better. Experience local food, stalls, shops and artists – you’ll never have a dull weekend ever again!

Fisherman’s Road Markets 

  • Where: Fishermans Road / David Low Way, Maroochydore
  • When: Every Sunday from 6am to 12 (noon)
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The Fisherman’s market provides a really good Sunday-vibe with good food and lots to see! Fishermans Road Markets has been operated and managed for the past 20 years by the Lions Club of Mooloolaba and by shopping at this market, you are also supporting many community projects. There are up to 128 stalls offering a huge variety of items for sale including local and market fruit and Vegetables, Clothing (both new and pre-loved), pet treats, hand tools, books, popcorn, fresh seafood, 2nd hand items and so on. A cute market with it’s own charm!

Noosa Marina Markets 

  • Where: 2 Parkyn Court, Tewantin
  • When: Sundays 8am – 2pm
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After your leisurely Sunday breakfast or before a long Sunday lunch at Noosa Marina, take a stroll through our Sunday markets. Their art, craft and local produce market has an idyllic setting on the deck, overlooking the Noosa River. Take your time strolling around the many market stalls, where a variety of locally made craft items can be found along with the freshest of local produce. The atmosphere is alive with music and entertainment from local and interstate musicians. When it’s time to go home, let the Noosa Ferry take you on a relaxing ride from the markets to one of the stops along the river. (info)

Cotton Tree Markets 

  • Where: King Street, Cotton Tree, Maroochydore
  • When: Sunday 7am to noon
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The Cotton Tree Markets offer something for everyone. For 25 years the Cotton Tree Markets have featured local artisans, designers and inventors selling their own unique and creative works. This unique precinct is located near one of the Sunshine Coast’s most picturesque beaches. Enjoy a great day out exploring the market, shopping at the quality retailers, meeting friends for a coffee and bite to eat, followed by some time relaxing by the river. You will find a diverse and eclectic range of fashion such as jewellery, original artworks, sculptures, skincare, pottery, baking, homewares, plus so much more to suit all tastes and ages. Soak up the friendly market atmosphere and be entertained by local performers (info).

Marcoola Farmer’s Market 

  • Where: 10 Lorraine Avenue, Marcoola
  • When: Every Saturday Morning from 8am-12pm (noon)
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The Marcoola Market has something for everyone and provides you with a good vibe and great food! Enjoy organic produce, fresh fruit and veggies, meats, cheese, and other goodies. There are also plenty of sweet treats available, including raw and vegan options, which will keep you around for a while. Marcoola Market is also close to the beach, so it’s the perfect place to enjoy some good food with friends watching the ocean!

Eumundi Markets

  • Where: 80 Memorial Drive, Eumundi QLD 4562
  • When: Wednesdays 8am to 1.30pm and Saturdays 7am to 2pm
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Our favourite! The Original Eumundi Markets is the biggest and the best art and craft market in Australia. Meet the talented hands behind handcrafted furniture, homewares, artworks, ceramics, cutting-edge fashion and jewellery, and chat to the farmers and bakers selling fresh produce and gourmet delights. When you need a shopping break, rejuvenate with a massage, have your palm read or lose yourself in the stellar line-up of musicians and street performers. It’s an experience like no other (info).

 

Peregian Beach Markets

  • Where: Kingfisher Park. Peregian Beach QLD 4573
  • When: 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, 7am – 12.30pm

The Peregian Beach Markets are held the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, 7am – 12.30pm, in the beautiful surroundings of Kingfisher Park on Kingfisher Drive at Peregian Beach.  If there are five Sundays in December or January an extra market will be held on that day. Well known for the variety of art, craft, up cycled, recycled, created, designed, manufactured, handmade, home grown, organic and fair trade.  This is a great place to pick up a gift or new outfit, enjoy a relaxing massage and stock your fridge and pantry. (info) Definitely check this market out, and this video:

Video retrieved from Dronehack Productions (link) (2019)

Featured Image: Eumundi Markets at Indulge Magazine

Visit Popular Local Spots Close To The USC Sunshine Coast Campus

There are many local, but also popular spots just a short bus ride or drive away from campus. Our USC Sunshine Coast (Sippy Downs) campus is lucky to have a bus stop right on campus, and only a 5 minute walk away from our student accommodation options UniCentral, Varsity and The Village.

We have listed some of the most popular spots below that our students often visit when living close to campus:

1. Mooloolaba Beach

If you want to hit the beach, you can take the 615 bus from USC which will take you approx 15 minutes to Mooloolaba. This is a popular spot for students who wants to soak up some sun on the beach but also for students who like to go for walks along the promenade and even do some shopping. Mooloolaba has some great local shops, cafes and restaurants. Not to mention, if you walk towards the Mooloolaba Spit in the arvo, you might be able to see an amazing sunset.

2. Cotton Tree Beach & Holiday Park

If you prefer to avoid some of the more popular, busy beaches, you may want to stay on the bus a bit longer after Mooloolaba and jump off at Cotton Tree, just 5 minutes down the road from Mooloolaba. Cotton Tree Beach is located just to the left of Alexandra Headland, a popular surf spot for many students and not to mention locals. Cotton tree is the perfect spot if you would like to try out Stand Up Paddle Boarding or Kayaking. There are also heaps of cosy local shops along the promenade and we can recommend checking out Cafe Envy that offers locally sourced dishes, in addition to organic coffee and smoothies. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spot a couple of pelicans who like to enjoy their time down at the beach.

3. The Glasshouse Mountains

We of course won’t forget to mention the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains, located a short 25 minute drive from campus with a car. You will have a lot of mountains tracks to choose from including some of the more popular ones such as Mt Beerwah, Mt Ngungun and Mt Tibrogargan. The Glasshouse Mountains have a lot of history behind them, and we would definitly recommend booking a tour with some local aboriginals, also known as storytelling, as they have a lot of interesting stories to tell which you can read more about here.

4. Noosa National Park + Champagne Pools

Photo: Ali Hannah

A bit further away from USC but also only a short 40 minute drive you’ll find the beautifucl Noosa National Park. This National Park is a favourite amongst the locals mostly due to the prime surf that it provides, especially in the mornings and afternoons. If you’re lucky you might spot a koala on your way to Champagne Pools, an absolute must go-to if visiting the park for the first time. The whole walk around Noosa National park is approx. 5.4 km and you can choose to start at Sunshine Beach and walk all the way to the main street in Noosa, Hasting. We recommend checking out Betty’s Burgers and some of the local Noosa shops while you’re there.

5. Mt Coolum

On the way back from Noosa and approx. 30 minutes from campus you’ll find the popular mountain Coolum. While most people will choose to follow the public walking track that has been set out and recently refurbished, there are a couple of additional but rarely used tracks that are for the more adventurous and experienced climbers. Interestingly, one of these tracks will lead you to two of Coolum’s caves. The trip to the caves starts at he same main track however if you wear off to the left it will take you to the first larger cave which is more of an overhang and is regularly used by rock climbers. This makes for a spectacular waterfall in the wet seasons and well worth a visit.

6. Double Island / Fraser Island

If you have the option to rent a 4WD while you’re here we would definitely recommend you to put some time and money aside to explore Double Island, just a short 5 minute ferry ride from Noosa North Shore. Double Island stretches all the way up to Double Island Point (well known spot for prime surfing) and Rainbow Beach, where you can further (if you’re an adventurous type) take the Mantra Bay ferry over to Fraser Island. Double Island is perfect for a short day trip however we recommend to spend at least 2 nights (camping or housing accommodation) at Fraser to experience most of what the island has to offer. Recommended spots to visit is Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek, Maheno Wreck and Champagne pools. You may also want to drive further north to Sandy Cape if you have some spare time.

We hope you enjoyed reading about some of the more popular places visited by locals and students, and don’t forget to tag us using @USC.International and #USCInternational.

Raphaela Marcella Alda from WU Vienna studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

2Hello, my name is Raphaela Marcella Alda and I graduated in Economics from USC. Through my business studies at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU) and the help of my parents, I had the opportunity to spend my semester abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

Before I travelled to Australia, I did some research about the country, the services offered at USC and the Brand Ambassador Program. With regard to the courses that are offered at the university, there is a wide range of offers. The courses I took were not only very interesting but also very informative.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that studying at USC is very different from studying at my home university. The students learn more about written work and how to put theory into practice. This also gave me more time to get to know the country while I was studying. This gave me the opportunity to explore not only Brisbane, but also Byron Bay and Noosa.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, I had to leave Australia earlier than planned, but my semester abroad was the best thing that could ever happen to me. I am more than grateful for the wonderful experiences and the friendly people who made my time even more unique.

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!

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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).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wishing you all the best,

Steven 😊

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

XFPK5862-minHello,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best regards,

Laura @lauraa.ebner

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USC student Ellie McLaren studying overseas at Ritsumeikan University in Japan

82776512_1043449199341686_7299209800435367936_nMy name is Ellie McLaren, I have just completed my six-month program learning Japanese at Ritsumeikan University, Kinugasa Campus. I had the opportunity to learn Japanese through the IJL track (Intensive Japanese Language) whilst studying archaeology and heritage. I wanted to be in Kyoto to explore Kansai and be able to study world heritage sites in person. Ninnaji was my personal favourite place to go.

When I first left Australia, I felt confident in my ability to get by as I felt I’d experienced a fair amount of growth before my departure. Japan certainly taught me otherwise, heavy workload, illness and conflict within my living space. However, I was also provided with a wonderful support network built from both my friends I’d made here and from home, I felt accomplishment in little things such as successfully ordering in an izakaya, speaking to the old ladies in the public bath about my tattoos, seeing Carly Rae Jepsen during the typhoon and being surrounded by beautiful cultural sites. I highly recommend this study overseas opportunity to everyone, not just Japan but the experience in itself. The turbulent highs and lows I’ve experienced made this an unforgettable experience that I believe will push anyone to understand themselves and others around them. Try to speak out, people do want to listen.

– Ellie McLaren

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