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.

Lisa Wawrzinek from the University of Applied Sciences Heilbronn in Germany studying a Master of International Business at USC Sunshine Coast

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Hey! I’m Lisa and I study Business Management at the Heilbronn University Graduate School (HUGS) for my Masters.

For one semester, I am at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Australia for my double degree in International Business Management. However, I am now going to stay longer to finish my master thesis here in Australia.

My road trip experience from the Sunny Coast to Sydney:

My friends and I decided to do a ten days’ trip to Sydney. Five days of driving down, and four days consisted of enjoying Sydney and with one day driving back to the Sunshine Coast.

Surfers Paradise/ Miami:

Our trip started with a highly extensive shopping trip to the Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre on the Gold Coast. Nice brands like Victoria’s Secret, UGG and Calvin Kleins were very cheap. After the shopping escalation, we drove to Miami next to Surfers paradise. In Miami, one of the most impressed views can be seen from the skyline of Surfers paradise (insider tip).

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Brekkie in Byron

Byron Bay:

I love Byron Bay! During our first night there, wea decided to stay at the backpackers hostel which is a really nice hostel to stay at while exploring Byron. Byron is very beautiful and has a special vibe of feeling free and enjoying life to the fullest. Actually, the city is well known of as there are many tourists here and a popular surfing destination. This was our second time at Byron, and we decided to do the light house walk and went to every public beach. We searched for a lonely beach, which we found between rocks and after long hike, which was magic.

Yamba:

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Angourie Beach

Our second night of our road trip was in Yamba. It is a small fishing townm, and at first, we were disappointed of Yamba. However, after walking around and seeing the calm and beauty of the nature at Yamba and Angourie Beach, it was absolutely stunning.

In Angourie, we went to the green and blue nature pools. I don’t recommend it as there were a lot of tourists there when we came, but there might be days to visit this place when it’s less crowded.

Coffs Harbour:

After Yamba, we drove down to Coffs Harbour. The city is known as the “banana town”. We decided to do our first stop to take a photo at the “Big Banana”, located in a fun park for children (can’t be overlooked). From there, went to the Forest Sky Pier, which is a plattform up in the mountains with an amazing view overlooking the city. If you drive to the platform, you have to stop at the self-service farmers food stalls to buy fresh avocados and bananas! Next to the pier, there are many options to do a rainforest track, keep an eye out for leeches!

Port Macquarie:

The fourth night was at Port Macquarie. We visited the Koala Rescue Hospital, which I recommend! In Port Macquarie, there are also many koala statues in the city.

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Enjoying Newcastle!

Newcastle:

The last stop before Sydney was Newcastle. We did the short memorial walk close to the beach. In addition, we also had a relaxing day at the beach. One of my friends is passionate about surfing and Newcastle has some amazing surf spots.

Sydney:

My favorite city is Sydney! Sydney’s city district is never the same but each quarter is its own little town with their own story.

Short overview of our activities and my recommendations:

  1. Bondi beach:

Beautiful beach and amazing waves, but it is a tourist sight. The pool at Icebergs it is amazing for pictures, but the entry is about 6.50$ per person.

  1. CBD

This is a shopping paradise and a nice city district. Tip: download the app Groupon for cheaper breakfast at amazing spots!

  1. Harbour Bridge and The opera

A must visit!

  1. Botanic garden

A very beautiful and calm place to be!

  1. Woolloomooloo Bay

Beautiful city district. We lived at the Asylum Hostel. I recommend the hostel, it was super clean, nice kitchen and smaller than others.

  1. Ferry to Manly

At Circular Quay, there are many private and public ferries everywhere: use the public ones (1,20$ a day!) to get to to Many in about 30min. You will have an amazing view of Sydney, the opera and the skyline. In saying that, we were a bit disappointed of our trip to Manly because tit was a very busy day, however this again depends on the day you decide to go (Weekends are normally the busiest).

  1. Chinatown

Download the App Liven (Dining Rewards App) for free vouchers/cheap prices! There are heaps of nice boutiques for shopping, and the chinese garden is beautiful to relax by. You can also buy weird things, like kangaroo lucky balls (!).

– Lisa Wawrzinek @lisawawrzinek

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Magnus & Celin from Norway: 9 Things To Do While Isolating!

IMG_5012Hey guys!

This is Magnus and Celin, a 20 year old couple from Norway, studying here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for three years. Magnus started his Bachelor of Design (Game Design), and Celin started her Bachelor of Communication (Social Media) this semester. We both love to travel, and studying here at the coast is the perfect mix of education and adventures at the same time.

With the virus spreading and we all have to self-isolate, and continue to dream about exploring the outside world; We want to provide some tips on what you can do with all the spare time that you now have:

  1. IMG_4605 2Make something yummy to eat (Celin’s favourite is gyros, and Magnus’ is baked potato)
  2. Watch a good movie or tv series (we would recommend Home and Away)
  3. Sweat it out! (You don’t need the gym to work out)
  4. Play board games or card games (we prefer UNO)
  5. Skype family or friends (you will feel closer with the people you love)
  6. Play digital games (or fall asleep while Magnus play digital games)
  7. Be creative, draw or paint something (use your imagination)
  8. Read a new book, or learn something exiting (like how pineapples are grown, search it up! You will be surprised)
  9. Get out of your pj’s, glam up and get ready for the day (Magnus is pretty good at this one, but Celin is too much in love with her pink pyjamas)

We hope everyone found at least one new thing to do to make the day go by a little faster!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

If you have any questions about studying abroad at USC, we are more than happy to help you out. You can find us on Instagram @cellyandmaggi

– Magnus Eriksen & Celin Oxnäs

@magnuseriksenn & @celinoxnas

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

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

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

1. Surf in Noosa Heads

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

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

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

3. Visit Australia Zoo

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

4. Travel to Surfers Paradise

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

5. Try Vegemite

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

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

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

– Philip De Simone @philipdesimone

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USC student Teddi Barker studying overseas at the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)

Snow angel GeiloHi guys!

My name is Teddi and I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Creative Writing at USC, Sippy Downs. These past 5 months I have been studying abroad at USN (Bakkenteigen) in Borre, Norway.

Bakkenteigen receives a number of internationals each semester, the majority being Spanish. As the only Australian, the most asked question of me became ‘Why would you come to Norway?’

I had a few reasons, and my answer changed with each person to ask. However, the most honest answer was that I made the obligatory promise everyone makes to their international friends to visit once they returned home. Sooner than anyone expected though, I made good on my promise. Of course, there were other reasons, such as wanting to experience another culture and its history, but the next major reason revolved around the one thing on my bucket list: I wanted to see snow.

There were a handful of truly memorable moments. First, a drive to Sweden to ‘buy groceries’, AKA, a standard trip Norwegians make to buy cheap alcohol and stock up on lollies. Driving to other countries isn’t such a casual occurrence in Australia. Another was seeing snow for the first time. As anyone from south-east Queensland will tell you, we don’t see much snow here, and as someone whose family avoids the cold, I didn’t have many opportunities to experience the snowfall in Australia. I was definitely surprised to find out that snow is wet and well, cold.

There were many other firsts too, such as watching leaves change colour and fall in autumn, and then cross-country skiing in winter; discovering that with sleet and cold weather comes ice and slippery surfaces, and realising as I watched children fall over, get up and continue running from my spot on the ground that perhaps I wasn’t cut out for what cold weather brought after all.

I had the opportunity to do so much during my semester in Norway – travelling in Europe is so cheap! – and even though I didn’t get around to seeing everything I wanted to, I’m grateful for the time between my studies that allowed for me to explore. I was able to see not just the parts of Norway my friends lived in, but also Verdens Ende (the world’s end), the mountain Gaustatoppen, and other countries too, such as Sweden, Italy, Poland and The Netherlands too.

At Bakkenteigen, whilst the courses and material are different, the study itself is not that dissimilar to USC. With my particular course however, the tutors tried to make things easier for the students by making each assessment piece a group project as there are generally not many native English speakers in the class.

A few tips for those looking to study in Norway:

  • Make sure your courses are given in English, and in saying this;
  • Communication isn’t an issue. Most Norwegians are quite modest about their English when they have no reason to be, and they’re always happy to help, if only you ask.
  • Go out of your way to introduce yourself and make friends. Some may come off cold and standoffish, but really all it takes is for you to make the first move (or a little bit of alcohol).
  • Double check that your luggage is being sent straight through to your destination and that your travel insurance covers lost or damaged luggage.
  • Invest in vitamin D tablets. And;
  • Travel whenever possible!

Michaelah Reynolds from Montclair State University in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

 

Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 7.29.29 pmHello, my name is Michaelah Reynolds and I am from Montclair State University in the US. This semester, I’ve been doing a Study Abroad semester here at USC Sunshine Coast. During the 6 months that I’ve been here, I’ve been studying Communication subjects.

My study abroad experience has been one of the most amazing things I could have ever done. Being a bit of a shy person, this helps you grow as a person and step way out of your comfort zone. You will learn so much about yourself in the first two months, leaving you feeling more confident and independent towards the end. My advice for other students wanting to study abroad is, just do it, and don’t be scared. If your friends don’t want to go abroad alone, they should know that everyone is looking for friends, and you will find so many new friends the first week of Orientation. Go up to random people ask to be there friend – trust me, it works! Furthermore, when your mom wants to teach you how to cook at home before you go abroad, take her advice so you can feel at home when your cooking overseas. If you’re shy, I can assure you that after studying abroad, that shyness will go away and you will learn so much about yourself in the few months that you spent here. 

Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 7.29.45 pmA few places that I’ve explored during my studying abroad experience is Byron Bay. This place is a must go, and you just have to make time to explore it, and try to travel there more than once. Also, a place that is absolutely one of my favourite places is the beach up at Noosa Heads. I’ve been going to this beach almost every weekend and by far the best beach I’ve ever seen.

I think the thing I will miss the most is the people. The people here are so positive and so supporting, as everyone has the same mindset in terms of how much they want to travel and see the world. I will miss the weather, as this “Australian winter weather” is like a summer day in comparison to the states. I will miss going on a new adventure every weekend because there is just so much to see and it just keeps on getting better. It’s hard to say how much I will miss this place, but being away from US, I know that I would like to call Australia home one day. In addition, there are so many things to do on the Sunny Coast. The beaches are the best thing to do on the weekends as there are soo many of them. Wake up and see the sunset, and stay at the beach until sunset, you won’t regret – it’s amazing. Lastly, the hiking is also amazing as there is always somewhere to go if you like the outdoors. I will miss this place with my whole heart but I know it won’t be long till I come back.

– Michaelah Reynolds @mic.reynolds

USC student Samuel Morrison studying overseas at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan

doshisha-1.jpgAs part of my International Studies degree at USC, I was lucky enough to be able to spend a full year at Doshisha University in the beautiful and historic city of Kyoto, Japan. During the past two semesters, I have been able to take daily Japanese classes, as well as select interesting and relevant electives such as Education in Japan (taught in Japanese!) which will help in my future career. The professors are very welcoming and understanding and go out of their way to help you. I feel my Japanese ability has skyrocketed and I now feel comfortable using the language in a professional setting, one of my goals for this experience.

Beyond the education aspect, living in Kyoto has also been an incredible experience. One of my first purchases was a second-hand bike, and this allowed for budget-friendly sightseeing after school and on weekends. Riding to world-famous heritage sights such as Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavillion) and Fushimi-Inari Taisha with my friends are memories that will stay with me long after I’m back in Australia. Kyoto is also a short train trip from other major cities such as Osaka, Kobe and Nara. Each of these are perfect for a day trip or a weekend stay. P.S. the best food in Japan can be found in Osaka!

doshisha 2By living in an International Dorm and by joining in many different extra-curricular activities, I was also able to make many friends from around the world. Doshisha offers a range of club activities and no matter what you’re into, there will surely be one for you.

This year would not have been possible without my USC teachers, the USC International staff and the Doshisha University International Office. I was helped through the whole process; visas, scholarships, subject selection etc. and it went as smoothly as possible. I honestly couldn’t recommend studying abroad through USC any higher. I would be happy to chat to any first or second year students interested in studying in Japan, particularly and Doshisha University to discuss my experiences and recommendations.

 

Rylie Malm from the University of Idaho studying at USC Sunshine Coast

I have learned a lot from my experience abroad, not just in my field of study but also about myself. My road to get where I am now was not easy. I was and still am constantly having to overcome barriers I didn’t know where there. I found that instead of fighting these hang-ups and spending energy and time on something that isn’t working, just except it as it is. Moving forward with the lot I was given was the only way I was going to make things work.

This was true in my very first week of being in Australia, I had already navigated giant snowstorms and missed flights, and lost luggage before even getting to campus. None of these inconveniences kept me from moving on. Eventually things got better, I settled into routines, going to class, studied on the week days, and explored the Sunny Coast on the weekends. I went to Eumundi Markets, Mooloolaba and Alexandria Headlands Beaches. I even took the train to Brisbane to visit a friend I met when she was on exchange in my hometown.

I have explored the hinterlands of Montville and Maleny. I have also been to some pretty cool places for my courses including Conondale National Park and Fraser Island. I even had fun getting caught in the rain in Noosa National Park. Just recently I took a trip to Sydney; I loved walking through the parks and under the tall buildings. I learned a lot about the history and culture of such a large place.

Through all these adventures good and bad, I went with the flow, taking every opportunity that crossed my path. I didn’t let a problem or setback keep me from exploring and seeing all the wonderful things I have seen. Like turquoise blue oceans crashing on the rocks at Fraser Island, the view of the Sydney Harbour, or the creek on campus right after a rainstorm, swollen with water. With all these adventures and experiences, it’s now a memory that I think about and how I have grown in strength and confidence. That being spontaneous is important to seize the day. To try everything and to learn everything because why else am I here? Although I may have had a few rough patches, everything will be fine in the end.

Lastly, my tip to future students studying abroad; is to seize every opportunity to try something new because a semester goes by quicker than you think.

Lita Keller from Niagara University in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

I did an exchange semester at the University of the Sunshine Coast from July to November 2017. From my four-month study abroad experience in Australia, I have learned so much about myself, made new friends and experienced new adventures!

During my time at USC, I lived with an Australian guy and a German girl. I also became friends with other Germans, Australians, Swedes, and Austrians. We realised how similar we were and often discussed the similarities and differences of our home countries and cultures. My favourite part about being in Australia and attending USC was being able to travel to so many places throughout the semester! I wanted to see as much as possible, so I took short 2-3 day trips, instead of doing one long trip. With my new friends, we were able to travel along the east coast of Australia, all the way from Airlie Beach and down to Sydney. Who knew airline tickets were so cheap?! We took recommendations from others on places to visit and with the help of STA Travel on campus at USC, we were able to make it happen!

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During my time studying at USC, I learned what it’s like to attend an Australian university. USC is very much different to Niagara University (NY, USA), in a sense that there are lectures and tutorials for each class – and Australia doesn’t have tests besides a final exam! The teaching style at USC is very individualistic; the expectation to do well is a lot higher as you are the one who is determining your future. I spent approximately 455 hours in the library at uni in contrast to Niagara University, where I would spend 20 hours at most in the library.

Winters in Australia are nothing compared to New York; it doesn’t snow! I was able to do a lot of fun activities outside and enjoy the sun and warm weather. Some of my favourite experiences I did were exploring six national parks, visited 12 different beaches, climbed two mountains, visited two botanical gardens and participated in two colour dance parties!

While in Australia, I did some of the “must-do” Australia activities like climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and visited the most easterly point of the Australia mainland in Byron Bay. I also got to hug a koala, took a selfie with a kangaroo and learned how to surf. Other fun things that I did included ATV quad biking, feeding dolphins, tobogganing at Moreton Island, flew in a seaplane at Fraser Island, snorkelled twice at Moreton Island and Whitsundays and took a catamaran day cruise to the Whitsunday Islands!

Life in Australia was so much different than living in New York. My life is forever changed and studying abroad in Australia has now given me the motivation to travel and see more of the world! To anyone who is thinking about it, do it because you won’t regret it!

Cassidy Macmillan studying overseas at Grand Valley State University in the US

I left Australia searching for some sort of excitement to continue studying, which brought me to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Specifically to Grand Valley State University. Here I lived on campus with three amazing American roommates, making a heap of friends from around the world, and immersing myself into life as a college student.

The four months I spent at GVSU were wonderful, although not without challenges. The cold was one of the hardest to get through. I’d never been in snow before and suddenly I was having to walk to class through two feet of snow. In saying that, snow was my favourite part of the whole experience, it makes you feel like you’re in a Winter Wonderland.

But my tip for walking on ice is: don’t get cocky. Ice is a lot slipperier then you might assume and you will slip over and break your elbow (or get hurt badly) as one of the British exchange students found.

Throughout this time I was able to travel to Chicago, the Windy City, and up to Charlevoix in northern Michigan. I also spent Thanksgiving in Detroit, getting to see the third largest Thanksgiving parade in the country.

After university finished I stayed to travel more, going to Toronto and Montreal in Canada for Christmas where it got down to negative 20 degrees. New Years was spent in New York City, a night I will remember forever! Next was Washington DC, then Pittsburgh (the City of Bridges), Cincinnati, Nashville and the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, and finally ending in New Orleans.

By far this experience has shaped my future, my career, and myself. It’s given me lifelong friends and a second home, making me a Laker For Life.