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

Amanda Zablonski from SUNY Fredonia in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Amanda ZablonskiIMG_9076

Studying a Diploma in General Studies

From SUNY Fredonia in Fredonia, New York, US

My school at Fredonia made the application process extremely easy to complete. The international office was available for any questions I had and also gave great tips for my semester abroad. Mrs. Willis was fantastic and even held a great informational pre-departure lunch with parents and other students.

Studying at USC was very different than studying back home. The main difference was only having lecture one day a week at USC compared to 2 or 3 back home. I actually really enjoyed the format at USC and found it to be an easy adjustment. Studying abroad in Australia was a great decision for me because I enjoyed the weather and being able to study and complete assignments outside all over campus. It was a nice change to the snow and freezing temperatures back at home.

My tip for future students studying abroad would to jump right into things when you get there. I found myself very nervous and anxious when I first arrived but made friends and booked little weekend and day trips within the first couple days. Most of them were through Student Guild which were all very nice. I’m so fortunate that I jumped right in and started to explore right away. My time in Australia was cut short due to Covid-19 and although I left 12 weeks earlier than I planned, I am so fortunate to have experienced what I did. In my short time, I tried many new foods, visited beautiful places, and met many new people. If I didn’t jump right in when I got there, I’m not sure I would’ve seen half the things I did in the short time. Life can throw totally unexpected things your way, so jump in as quick as you can because these experiences will change your life no matter how short or long. I hope to one day return to Australia and continue my adventure but for now I reminisce on the beautiful landscape, friendly people, and unforgettable memories.

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Amira Eissa from Salve Regina University in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

1Amira Eissa, Bachelor degree in Psychology and Marketing, from Westchester, New York

When applying to USC, the application process was simple and straightforward given that my home school, Salve Regina University, is sister schools with USC. After applying and being accepted, Salve began its preparation stage of studying abroad (exchange) by giving me plenty of resources to inform myself about USC and Australia. I was introduced to an older student who had already studied at USC and she helped me navigate the more specific questions I had in regard to how to set up a phone plan, a bank account and transportation. All in all I was so ready to embark on my abroad experience thanks to the easy transition courtesy of USC and Salve.

Although I only had two weeks of in person classes, USC education was better than I could ever imagine. From professors who really showed they cared about students success, to interactive lectures and easy to understand class layouts, it was made clear from the get go that I was going to succeed at USC. Back home I am used to small intimate class sizes and was intimated entering USC knowing it was a bigger school and I’d be attending classes in big lecture halls, something we don’t have at my home institution. On the first day of classes I was relieved when I saw how interactive lectures were and how in a room of 50+ students I still felt heard. Even when classes transitioned to online I still felt as though professors wanted to go above and beyond to make the remark on easy for us. Zoom classes were still interactive, professors took time to ask how we re doing, the blackboard outline was easy to navigate, all in all I felt cared for and eager to continue to strive for success in my classes.

Although my study abroad experience was far from traditional and not according to plan, my friends and I managed to make the most of our time on the Sunshine Coast. Post isolation my friends and I decided that the best way to travel around Queensland and still feel as though we saw as much as we could, was by doing a road trip up the coast. After finals we planned a two week road trip starting in Sippy Downs and ending up north in Cairns. We rented two cars and me and my six friends begun our trip. We started in our college town of Sippy Downs, went to Rainbow Beach, Hervey Bay, Agnes Water, Airlie Beach, the Whitsundays, Bowen, Townsville, Mission Beach, Palm Cove and ended in Cairns. Along the way we stopped and explored what the coast had to offer and I can confidently say that there was never a dull moment. Although our semester was turned astray by covid, we made the most of the time we have left by driving way over 1,000 miles to see what our state of Queensland had in store. Along the way we hiked many trails, saw as many ocean lookouts as possible, snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef, walked through the oldest rainforest in the world, cooked a lot of meals, shared a lot of stories, sang a lot of great tunes and made some memories that’ll last a lifetime. This has been my favourite part of my abroad travels and I couldn’t be more grateful for the group of people who were alongside me. Although I didn’t get to do the trips I had planned originally, it all worked out and Australia still managed to steal my heart.

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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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USC student Sophie Alvsaker studying overseas at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY

78238715_534863160400043_6457880394967547904_n.v1My name is Sophie Alvsaker, and I studied Bachelor of social science (psychology)/ Bachelor of Criminal Justice at Canisius College, Buffalo, NY for 1 semester.

Studying overseas is an incredible experience, it forces you out of your comfort zone and into a culture of new attitudes, values and beliefs. It’s a huge opportunity for personal growth and development but most importantly. it’s so much fun.

I chose to study abroad because I wanted to travel for an extended period of time, but didn’t want to change my degree, so I combined the two 😊. I think the reason it’s been such a great experience is because you don’t just spend time in a new place, you’re completely immersed in it and so you learn so much about the area in a way you couldn’t through travelling alone.

Compared to USC Sunshine Coast, the education at Canisius College is relatively similar, the classes are small and the teachers are really helpful. I think if you’ve seen any American college movies you’ll be well equipped for what to expect at Canisius. Fraternity parties are comically similar to the films, as are the sports games and residence halls.

Buffalo is right next to Niagara Falls, only a few hours from Toronto and a bus ride from New York City. There’s also a lot of national parks in the area and places to ski or snowboard. Because I was here from August to December, I got to experience the end of summer, fall and the start of winter- I’d definitely recommend doing the same as the season changes are beautiful.

One tip I’d give to people planning to study abroad in the US is to come for fall semester, that way you get to experience the change in seasons, as well as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and all the Christmas markets.

–  Sophie Alvsaker

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Jason Librock from Niagara University in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

20190831_145348My name is Jason Librock, and I am a fourth year Communications Bachelor at Niagara University in New York State, United States. Currently, I’m studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for one semester, and its been the best experience of my life.

Like many students preparing to study in a different country, I was extremely nervous. Studying abroad on the Sunshine Coast was literally the furthest place I could possibly study away from my home. I had never shared a living space with anyone and I was going to be “on my own” for about 5 months. All of my fears melted away as soon as I got to my living accommodations. Almost every person I interacted with were cool, nice, and had an interesting perspective on the world, since many were from a variety of different countries. Glimpsing the USC campus the first time during orientation week seemed to be a magical experience. Never in my life have I seen a campus with such natural beauty and exceptional weather, especially when kangaroos are grazing in the morning sun just off the pathway. Yet, the campus is only a taste of the true beauty that studying abroad has to offer.

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Throughout my time here, I have gone to many places on the Sunshine Coast and beyond that have given me experiences that I will never forget. Noosa had great beaches, a majestic coastal walk, as well as magical fairy pools. The Hinterlands have incredible hiking as well as views of incredible mountains that will take you breath away. But if someone ever needs a break from the hiking and just want a chill day at the beach, there are a crazy variety of amazing beaches like Mooloolaba or King’s Beach close to campus that incapsulate the Sunshine Coast’s laid back feeling.

Beyond the Sunshine Coast is a myriad of wonders that I never even knew were on my bucket list. Going to Byron Bay was incredibly cool, with the town having incredible views via the lighthouse walk and it felt like the most “laid back” style of life that I have ever experienced. Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast was an excellent mix of gorgeous beaches and crazy night life. Diving in the Great Barrier Reef was like entering an alien world, and has sparked my passion for snorkeling and diving, probably for the rest of my life. Sydney felt like the Australian version of NYC, with so much to do in the city that it was mind boggling just to choose what my group was going to do very day. After experiencing all of these unique places, I felt like I had a feeling of accomplishment, as if I had just crossed off something on my bucket list and now could look back on it with a feeling of bliss.

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All in all, I have one piece of advice for anyone studying or thinking about studying abroad at USC. Just do it! Go on the Noosa Trip, explore Byron Bay, dive at the Great Barrier Reef. These experiences will change how you look at the world around you for the better, they definitely have for me. Every person I have talked who has studied abroad says they love it and none of them ever regret it. Im glad to say that I absolutely feel the same way. If you come here, you will feel that way too. Thanks for reading this.

– Jason Librock @jlibrock

Do you want to know more about studying at USC? Click here and enquire now!

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Ali Hannah from Rider University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

ACS_0143Hello Hello! My name is Ali Hannah and I am from New Jersey, and no, I do not sound like our infamous reality TV-star, Snooki! I attend Rider University back home and there I am studying Marketing. I have been at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) since early July and I will be staying here until late November of 2019!

While at USC, I have been fortunate to explore a lot of the east coast. The location of USC is perfect because it is pretty much in the middle of the east coast, you can head down to Sydney for a weekend or go up to Cairns very easily with just a short flight.

On the Sunshine Coast, my favourite places to explore are the Glasshouse Mountains and Noosa. The Glasshouse mountains are STUNNING! They are a set of mountains that tell a story – or well so the Glasshouse Aboriginal Legend says… but that is a story for another day. Noosa is unarguably the prettiest beach on the Sunshine Coast. It is made up of coastline and trails that lead to the ever-so-popular fairy pools (definitely a must-see)! If you have the chance to explore the north shore of Noosa, put riding horses on the beach on the to-do list! Noosa Horses is a great company to do it with.

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South of the Sunshine Coast, I have been to Brisbane, Byron Bay and Sydney. Brisbane is an amazing city, it isn’t too populated, but populated enough to feel urban. Brisbane is much cleaner than cities I’m used to (Philadelphia and NYC). The crime rate is lower than what I am used to too so I felt comfortable exploring. A cool thing about Brisbane is that you can rent e-scooters all around the city and they are a ton of fun! Byron bay is another great town. It is very laid back and relaxed. I also got to see Byron Bay from exciting heights while skydiving! (I would 2000% recommend!!) Sydney is another fantastic city. Sydney’s Opera House is on everyone’s bucket list as a must see! It was very beautiful. Aside from that, the city itself has great views, restaurants, and places to explore. Bondi Beach is only a short drive away and this beach was my favorite part of my trip to Sydney! Not only are the lifeguards REAL from the popular show “Bondi Rescue”, the beach itself is even prettier in person. There is a walk along the coast that will take you to more secluded beaches as you go.

Over my semester break, I travelled up to Cairns which is located in Northern Queensland and is very tropical! While in Cairns, I went to the lagoon (pool) which Cairns is known for. It is the only place to publicly swim because there are crocodiles in the water… yeah… scary! Crocodiles in the ocean is definitely something I was not used to as a resident of New Jersey! I also went to explore the Daintree Rainforest which was very pretty and historical as it is the oldest rain forest in the world – but again, you have to watch out for the crocs! Another item to cross off the bucket list was snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef! The reef was so beautiful and that was one of my favourite days of my whole experience in Australia. The sky rail in Cairns is also a must-do while you are there. It takes you to new heights and a new perspective to explore the rainforest. It will take you by some unbelievable scenery.

I hope anyone who wants to come here can get the opportunity to. You will not regret it!!

– Ali Hannah @ali_hannah2

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Lillian DeMarco from Rider University: 15 Tips to Make Your Study Abroad Experience at USC Sunshine Coast 100%

32DF702E-CE2E-4934-8033-AD9320B6382FHi, my name is Lillian DeMarco and I’ve been studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Semester 2, 2019 from Rider University in New Jersey, USA

There’s so many reasons why someone would choose to study abroad in Australia – the beaches, mountains, environment, diverse wildlife, laid back lifestyle, high standard of living, and great breadth of international food. But, no matter how great a place is, sometimes you need some guidance to be able to get the BEST experience, especially during your stay in Australia. Here is some advice I would give to anyone studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast for the first time:

How to make your Australian experience 100%:

*(This blog article is based on one students experience and every student has to consider their own circumstances)

1. The sooner into your degree you can study abroad, the better.

    • If you’re coming to USC as a study abroad students through a University like Rider, this is a beneficial tip because you will be able to find transferable classes more easily early on, than if you have to take upper level courses. If you can, try taking introductory level or elective courses (100 coded courses) when you’re studying abroad so you can dedicate more time to exploring and having fun!

2. Arrive earlier than necessary.

    1. img_5441.jpegUSC recommend all international students to arrive 3-4 days before Orientation week, which leaves you with a couple of days to acclimatize yourself. However, I suggest arriving earlier (as long as the housing accommodation allows you to), which will give you more time to move in, meet a few people, and get accustomed to the environment before you make your way to the university.

3. Exchange currency at the proper place.

      • DO NOT exchange your currency/cash at the airport, as they are the most expensive place to do that. For example, at the time I came, the market rate was 1.38 AUD for every 1.00 USD that I exchanged, but the rate I ended up receiving from the airport’s kiosk was only 1.17 AUD for every 1.00 USD (a total ripoff, in my opinion). I suggest going to the Sunshine Plaza or Kawana Shopping World, the closest shopping centres, and exchanging your currency at a place there. They offer rates that are more comparable to the market rate, which will likely be better.

4. Things to do/buy right away.

    • DSC01787_OriginalWhen you’re at the Sunshine Plaza or Kawana Shopping World, you need to open up a bank account, activate a cell phone service, and buy sunscreen. I suggest opening up a zero fee Suncorp bank account because they cater to students, and you are able to close it online relatively easily after you leave Australia.
    • For the phone service, Telstra is your best bet when it comes to coverage quality and overall value. Depending on the amount of money you want to spend, you can either buy a cheap prepaid phone and SIM card, or if your device is already unlocked, feel free to just buy the prepaid SIM card and top up monthly when you need more data.
    • And as for sunscreen, depending on when you arrive, it will be either be summer (Semester 1) or winter (Semester 2). Plan accordingly. If it’s summer, buy Cancer Council 50+ Ultra SPF sunscreen RIGHT away, as you can get blisters within minutes in the Australian sun. If it’s winter, definitely buy some face lotion with sunscreen in it and get 30+ SPF for the rest of your body, but there’s not as much pressure to put it on all the time.
    • You’re going to need to provide your own bed, bath, cleaning, and housing necessities (depending on where you decide to stay e.g. Varsity or UniCentral). Buy based on budget and what you need, but your best stores to go to for housing items are Big W, Kmart, and Target.

5. Plan out your time.

    • For the best use of your time, especially if you’re only staying a semester, do lots of weekend trips (Adelaide, Sydney, Fraser Island, Tangalooma, Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Byron Bay, to name a few). You’re going to want to explore more of the country, so leave some time after the semester to go to Uluru (Ayers Rock), spend more time in the cities, take a bus up the East Coast, and travel to the West Coast, Bali, Fiji, and New Zealand.

6. Get a travel agent.

    • 56C1793E-AD2E-4AEB-87C9-28D32AEDF70F_OriginalIf you plan on going to a lot of places during and after the semester, GET YOURSELF A TRAVEL AGENT! They will save you SO much time and even some money when you book through them as opposed to you booking everything as a sole customer.
    • For example, I rented a car for the mid-semester break. By booking through a travel agent, I ended up getting a free upgrade, being able to put a deposit down instead of paying all at once, and saving money on unnecessary charges by buying the correct insurance for my needs based on their advice.
    • Planning takes forever to do on your own, which is why I recommend Peter Pans Adventure Travel. They’re based in Noosa, which is 40 minutes away from the University, but a representative will come to you if you do not have a car. It’s super convenient and saved me a LOT of stress throughout the semester.

7. If you can, buy a car or share one with a fellow student!

    • If you can afford it, get a cheap car (less than $2,000), or split a better one with some other international students, if possible! Either way, you won’t regret it. I really wish I got a car the first week I was here, because a car makes seeing everything you want to see a lot easier to achieve. When I rented a car for the mid-semester break, it showed me how beneficial having a car in Australia really is.

8. If you can’t get a car, get student rates on public transportation.

    • No one told me about this until it was too late, but if you are eligible, you can change your “program” to a “Diploma of General Studies” within the first four weeks of classes before the census date (20 March 2020), which makes you eligible for concession (student) rates on public transportation. Don’t worry, this won’t change the courses you’re already taking. Student rates will save you a lot of money, over 50%! For example, to get to the Sunshine Plaza, it usually costs about $3.31, but with your student card, it’ll only be about $1.66. Over time, especially if you don’t end up buying a car, the student rates are worth it!

9. Attend Orientation Week 17-21 Feb (International Orientation Day – 16 Feb 2020)

    • Orientation week is the week before classes commence. Depending on your program, there will be activities and seminars for you to attend several days between Monday – Friday. This week is especially helpful if you’re a first year university student. After the sessions, there are ample opportunities to meet new people, as many people tend to socialize at the student housing that whole week! It’s a week I highly suggest being present for.

10. Get involved at USC.

    • Join clubs and organizations as if this were your home university. It’s a great way to meet new people and enhance your skills. And you never know what kind of professional connections you can make!
    • I joined Toastmasters International and took the 5 week intensive Speechcrafters course, became a USC International Brand Ambassador (you get to go on cool trips with other international students while having an enhanced presence on social media), and was a photographer for the Sexual Violence Awareness Month throughout October. Get out there!

11. Explore the nearby towns.

    • Whether you have a car or public transportation, I recommend exploring the Sunshine Coast. A simple Google search will show you all the many places you could go. There are plenty of places conducive to all day trips or just for a few hours, with something for everyone.

12. Get a job.

    • E7653255-D592-4095-8E66-7E1A5A058875I’d definitely get a job if you’re here for longer than a semester, or at least apply for a few. The daily living and travel expenses in Australia can get to be pretty expensive, especially if you don’t have any money flowing in. Part time jobs usually require less than 20 hours of your time per week, which is manageable as a student AND they pay well (some between $20-30 an hour!).
    • Honestly, if you’re only here a semester, don’t worry about getting a job. You’ll find that it’s just too much to manage, and when several years go by after you return home, you’ll wish you spent the maximum time exploring and adventuring instead of worrying about working. If you’re really short on money, try to limit the amount of times you go out to eat at restaurants, and focus on spending your time doing free or low-cost activities like hiking or going to the beach.

13. Go out of your comfort zone.

    • There will DEFINITELY be things in Australia that you will want to do, but your feeling of fear might hold you back. DON’T let it hold you back! Some scary things yet life changing things that you might want to do are skydiving, ziplining, surfing, touching a cheetah, parasailing, cliff jumping, scuba diving, snorkeling, and mountain climbing. You WON’T regret putting in the effort to live your best life, trust me!

14. Try a social media detox.

    • While I wasn’t able to do this during the semester because of my responsibilities at my home university and connections with my boyfriend and best friends at home, I definitely recommend taking a break from or limiting social media and screen time at least for a few days during your time in Australia. It can be very mentally beneficial to relax and not worry about what other people are doing, because it’s so hard NOT to compare yourself when you browse social media! Take the time and live in the moment to best enjoy YOUR experiences. Own your time!

15. End your lease on time.

    • Students that live in the accommodations near campus usually end their leases a few weeks after the semester ends. If you know you’re traveling, (which you will be) end the lease as SOON as possible! Don’t make the mistake of extending it, thinking you’ll be around to hang out and have somewhere to put your stuff that you won’t take with you on your post-semester adventures! (Hint: you will be traveling, and you won’t need your room.) Do this in an effort to avoid paying for weeks you might not even be around to enjoy having your own room, anyways.

Thanks for reading, and I hope these tips help make your stay in Australia as an international student that much more exciting!

– Lillian DeMarco @lil_dem  & @Ildphotos

 

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

International Ceremony of Completion – Semester 2, 2019

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

CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES OF 2019!

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Olivia O’Neil from Goucher College in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_0314Hi there! I’m Olivia O’Neil and I’m from New York City in the United States of America! I got to Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland and here at USC Sunshine Coast, I’m studying a Diploma in General Studies for 1 semester.

For years I’ve dreamed about coming to Australia, and when the opportunity to study abroad at USC presented itself, I knew I had to take full advantage!

IMG_6671Being from New York City, and not really being around wildlife at all, made coming to USC and Australia in general a wild transition for me. I mean, walking to a lecture and see a kangaroo hopping around is still mind blowing to me. I could just go for a walk and never get bored of the scenery and all of the beautiful nature.

Something that had been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember, was to go to the Australia Zoo, so the second I found out about the Student Guild trip, I was thrilled! The kangaroo feeding was so amazing, and the crocodile show was so captivating! I mean, to be able to feed and pat kangaroos is crazy!

IMG_9324One of the first day trips I took when I arrived was a hike to the summit of Mount Ngungun with some friends. Mount Ngungun is 253 meters high and was so gorgeous at the top! I could see so far out at farms and the surrounding Glasshouse Mountains.

My main takeaway from studying at USC is to always put yourself out there and try new things. Now, that may sound pretty generic, or cheesy, but it’s honestly so true. You need to just take a leap of faith and have as many new experiences as you can. At the end of the day, it’s your experiences that shape you as a person, so you need to do things that excite you and let yourself be free! Before I came to Australia, I had just been to the United States and Canada, which are very cool, but flying across the globe and going to a new institution, in a completely new country and not knowing another soul, really forced me to put myself out there and meet new people. This was totally scary when I first arrived, but now, I’m so glad I did it and feel like I’ve grown so much as a person.

IMG_4773– Olivia O’neil

 

Alexis Vernon from Rider University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

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Hi guys! My name is Lexi Vernon and I am from Rider University, located in New Jersey in the United States. I am studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Semester 2 where I am majoring in marketing and sports management.

Studying abroad has always been something I have always wanted to do, as I have always had a passion for traveling and exploring other cultures. Prior to coming to the Sunshine Coast, I was extremely nervous. You always hear stories about how going abroad changes your life and I wasn’t sure if I would have the same experience. However, being in

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Australia has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I have learned so much about myself and conquered my fears. From being the girl who couldn’t go up a flight of stairs because of how afraid of heights I am, to jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet skydiving in Byron Bay, I am forever for how much I have grown as a person in my short time here in Australia.

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The lifestyle here is so calming and peaceful. The friendly faces and “No worries” attitudes helped calmed my nerves when I first got here. Throughout my time here I took full advantage and tried to see as much as possible. One of my favorite places I have visited in my time here was the Great Barrier Reef! Over the Mid-semester break, I went snorkeling in Cairns, then took a boat trip to Whitsunday. Whitehaven beach, which is ranked second of the best beaches in the world, is absolutely stunning. The swirling sands and clear blue waters were breathtaking. I highly recommend going to visit as it was so incredible. One of my favorite activities since being here has been watching the sunset. Mooloolaba

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beach, which is located about 15 minutes from campus is one of the best places to watch the sunset. We even have BBQs there with some friends and watch the sunset and it is such a fun activity!

Getting around Australia is very easy. From taking the bus to Noosa, the train to Brisbane, and even a plane to Cairns. You will always find a way to get to your next favorite location. Coming here the number one thing on my bucket list, and probably everyone who travels to Australia was to hold a koala. I got the opportunity to do so at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane and also at the Australia Zoo. From pretty views, delicious eats, to fun times with friends I am forever grateful for my experience here in Australia. I will always cherish my time here and everything I have gotten to explore and experience.

Samantha Zagurski from SUNY Fredonia in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

2My name is Samantha Zagurski I am from West Leyden, New York. I study International Public Relations at SUNY Fredonia College. I was given the opportunity to become an International student for one semester here at USC Sunshine Coast for my third year of uni (college).

I never wanted to study abroad somewhere close to home, so naturally I went all across the world. I have always wanted to travel to Australia since I was a little kid, now I am finally living my dream and I am loving every minute of it. Do not get me wrong, the 31 hour plane ride and travelling all the way across the world was a little nerve racking, but it has all been more than worth the long journey. Sunshine Coast has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and I can vouch for that! In addition, the relaxed atmosphere on the Sunny Coast is unlike anywhere else in the world.

5Top 5 Places I have visited so far in Australia:

  1. Mooloolaba Beach
  2. Noosa Heads (Especially the Fairy Pools)
  3. Hinterland Park
  4. Australia Zoo
  5. Eumundi Markets

 

Top 5 Tips for studying at USC:

  1. 4Make sure you save money because you WILL spend more than you think. You do not want to be limited to what you are able to experience based on money. Social activities can become pricey, so start saving!
  2. 1Come open minded: you are going to meet people from all around the world, not just Australia. I now have friends from all over just because of studying here at USC and I am forever thankful.
  3. Likely, you will be living with other people either at UniCentral or Varsity. This is a great way for you to make friends as well. Do not lock yourself in your room, hangout in the living room and do not be afraid to go outside your comfort zone.
  4. 6Make sure you carve out time in all of the excitement for rest. You can easily get sick or tired from not resting enough, especially when exploring another country, talking from my own personal experience. It feels almost like a rite of passage for international students.
  5. If you get the chance to visit other places in Australia, do so! Take advantage of not only being in Australia, but being on this side of the world. Countries like New Zealand and Indonesia are only a single plane ride away.

3There is lots of time for you to travel, so take advantage of it! I only have classes three days a week, so that means I have four-day weekends every week. It gives me lots of time to stay caught up on my world, along with being able to travel. During mid-semester break, I am going to New Zealand for 11 days. There will not be another time in my life that I will be this close to New Zealand and I am so excited! I am going to Queenstown, located on the South Island with my friend from Germany. Studying abroad has been one of the best experiences of my life, and if you get the opportunity, take it!

–  Samantha Zagurski

 

 

Francesca Iannacone from Elon University in the US studying at USC Sunshine Coast

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetHi! My name is Francesca Iannacone, and I am a New Yorker who studies Psychology at Elon University in North Carolina. I am currently studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC Sunshine Coast).

I want to share some helpful tips I have for anyone who is considering studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast for a semester or longer;

  1. Be flexible in your normal routine: If you are studying abroad at USC or have never attended university before get ready to switch up your normal routine. The really cool part about studying in a new environment is all the new people and places you are exposed to. Mentally prepare for spending your time in new ways. Personally, I use journaling and exercise to give myself structured time to gear up for and reflect on the new ways my time and energy is being spent.
  2. Leave your phone at home: I recently dropped my phone in the water while I was untying a boat from a dock in Mooloolaba and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I fortunately had an insurance policy on the phone so I have been able to truly enjoy this past week without a phone. I did not fully realise how my phone removes me from the present moment until I let myself have a few days without it. If this intimidates you, remember that you are not alone in that feeling, but know that it could be just the thing you need to get the most out of your Australia experience while studying at USC. I have started emailing my family and friends when I need to reach them. I honestly may never go back to using my phone the way I used to (also known as scrolling through Instagram and Snapchatting every free moment I have)
  3. NMC2ja37T7KZjTBPV+7aegGive yourself the chance to meet new people: Whether you are coming with a friend to USC or not, I suggest opening up to the idea of making new friends. Personally, I came to USC with my best friend who I also live with, but we make conscious decisions to branch off and make new friends both together and separately. It is easy to stay in your comfort zone, but is it satisfying? If the answer is no, then use that as motivation to start meeting new people who can help expand your social circle.
  4. Take advantage of the outdoors: This morning I realised I have had almost every single one of my meals at USC outside. I live in the student housing and will always have meals I make at home on my porch. The Sunshine Coast has beautiful weather year round and I try to soak it up as much as I can. I have found that spending my time outside has helped improve my mood overall. Being in good spirits while at school is vital to your studies and will help make classes less burdensome and more enjoyable.
  5. K+GFdZ2JS7agb%+sBTDrOwOpen up weekends for travel: I scheduled my classes so that my weekend begins on Thursday. Everyone has different options when it comes to class times, but I highly recommend creating space in your schedule to take long weekend trips. I have been fortunate enough to visit the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Byron Bay, and soon Bali. None of these trips would have been possible if I had classes every day of the week. You are at USC to study and as a study abroad student, consider travel as a part of your education. I have learned so much on my excursions outside of the Sunshine Coast both about myself and Australia. I encourage everyone to have these experiences.

USC is a truly inspiring place to study and I hope these tips help any reader optimise their experience while here!

– Francesca Iannacone

Marisa Talerico from Towson University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_0956Coming into studying abroad I was nervous, but mostly excited. I’ve been wanting to travel to Australia since I was a kid and I finally got my chance. Looking back on all my experiences, I wouldn’t have wanted to study anywhere else besides the Sunshine Coast. I really fit into and enjoy the lifestyle which is very laidback, friendly, and the beach and being outside is a large part of the community here. In the Sunshine Coast there is a large sense of community with local businesses, markets, and festivals which I was happy to participate in. This really helped allowed me to feel like another valued, included member of the community. I could easily call the Sunshine Coast my home for the short four and a half months I got to live here.

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I also was able to easily adjust into uni life here at the University of the Sunshine Coast. The campus is teeming with diversity due to its mix of international students and Australian students. You definitely get to learn about different cultures from Europe to Asia, as well as Australia, and get to meet people from all walks of life which is something I don’t get to experience too much back home. My teachers were extremely helpful and available to their students due to the small class sizes which was a welcome change from my university back home. Everyone in my classes were friendly and were just as excited to meet an American as I was to meet Australians. One of the biggest culture shocks was learning that I was the one with an accent.

CFB4EABC-57F6-450B-8006-E6C14B0A6514One of my biggest concerns coming here was wondering if I was going to be able to make friends. After one day of living at Varsity Apartments, I no longer had this concern. Everyone at Varsity is friendly and willing to make friends, and everyone here just wants to have a good time. When random people you don’t know walk up to you and just start having a conversation with you, you know that there won’t be a lack of friends here. Those people usually end up becoming some of your closest friends. Varsity is its own little community within the large community of the Sunshine Coast and is just as diverse as the USC campus. With the pool, volleyball competitions, and the parties you feel like you’re living in a low-budget country club for uni students, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I think that studying abroad is one of the best ways to really see and experience Australia. Being here for an extended period of time made it easy to travel and see so much of such a beautiful country. I was able to travel from Cairns all the way to down to Sydney. I got to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, walk up the steps of the Sydney Opera House, lay out on the most gorgeous beaches in the world, and go on breathtaking hikes along the coast, up mountains and the through the rainforests. Studying abroad was the most positive experience of my life thus far, and if someone asked me if I would do it all over again, I would say yes in a heartbeat.

USC student Victor Hultman studying overseas at Elon University in the US

1-1.jpgTo summarise my stay at Elon University in North Carolina it was, to say the least, a great time. Although most of my stay was on campus due to the requirement of being in class for almost all the classes (3 skips allowed/class) Elon offers a lot to do. As almost all students reside on campus, it is really easy to meet new people and events are always hosted close by so there is really no need to worry about transportation. 

The time I left campus for a longer period was for spring break when we took a road trip down to Key West, Florida. We stopped in Hilton Head, South Carolina as well. Twelve other guys made the trip memorable and one of the best experiences of my stay. Other trips included Eno Quarry, Asheville and Burlington.

5 (1)Meeting new people was without a doubt the best part and Elon students and faculty were surprisingly welcoming and inviting, there was never a dull moment and easy to fill the time. The only troublesome thing was the ability to get around outside campus without a car as sidewalks are rare and everyone drives. But since most students at Elon own a car, it is easy to ask them for a ride.