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:

12 Things You Most Likely Did In 2020

2020 has been a different and unprecedented year. Therefore, with 2021 right around the corner, we thought it’s time to take a quick look back at some of the things that most of us probably did (or experienced) during 2020. Do you recognise yourself in any of these? If so, share it with your friends and family 😉

1. You low-key panicked when you saw that all the toilet paper was gone from the shelves….

Despite coronavirus panic, there's plenty of toilet paper | Cartoon
Image: The Philadelphia Inquirer

2. You spent hours trying to find your old jigsaw puzzles, followed by hours putting them together…

A little piece and quiet: Jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts unsurprised as  coronavirus pandemic drives sales - ABC News
Image: ABC

3. To make time go by, you started exploring your home for possible renovation projects…

Renovation work gone wrong leaves Sidney senior feeling foolish – Victoria  News
Image: Victoria News

4. Most FaceTime conversations included little interaction and were mainly used for check-ups…

 

5. Your house now looks like a Queensland sub-tropical forest:

'How it started' meme takes over Twitter timelines

 

6. You still can’t find the un-mute button:

Not sure if you're on mute or my headphones broke again - Futurama Fry |  Make a Meme

 

7. First day of zoom class sessions VS two months in…

Avoiding mischief and mayhem in the great educational leap to Zoom

8. You’re currently recycling your 2020 New Year Resolutions for 2021

9. You ended up visiting most of the surrounding mountains and trails that you usually would be too busy to explore:

10. You got something stuck in your throat and desperately tried to hold your cough when surrounded by people in public:

11. You dressed up for even the smallest occasions, like grocery shopping: 

12: No matter how many times you ended up using zoom, there would always be a bunch of different W’s present: 

 

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

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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Jesse Weippert from DHBW Mosbach studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

a9862114-a0fe-4fe9-b9ab-e07947b2a827Cheers mates,

My name is Jesse Weippert, I am from Germany and I was studying a Diploma in Business at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for one semester. Probably not the best time to come over to Australia due to COVID-19, nevertheless it was a great experience studying overseas and an enjoyable lock-down as well.

Back in Germany I am studying a dual system, which includes an iteration of studying three months and working three months. Within three years, I will finish my degree and will have a high chance of retaining at the company I am currently working for. Part of this dual system is a semester abroad, which was supported from my company. The decision-making process of applying at USC was easy, since Australia has always attracted me very much and I wanted to improve my English. The application process was easy doing as well. The biggest hurdle was the payment of the semester fees, which, however, were financially supported by my company and for which I received a discount from my university. So, I only had to fill out the application form, show my academic transcript and show my English B2 level. By completing these forms, I got a lot of support from my home university and USC. The last step was then to select my courses for the semester. In order to complete a diploma, four courses are required, which I have arranged in consultation with my course director at my home university. However, I have to note here that I would have had to take more courses during my regular semester at home, so I have to retake exams after my semester abroad.

img_7698I arrived in Australia end of January prior to governments restrictions. I started doing a road trip at the west coast of Australia for four weeks, which I can highly recommend. After my road trip I headed to the Sunshine Coast to start the semester. At the beginning of the semester I had many plans to use my long weekends every week, and I wanted to see as much of Australia as possible. Due to my choice of courses I had no lectures from Friday to Monday evening, which would have been perfect for weekend trips. So, the first weeks before the lock-down, I was in Noosa, Byron Bay and Sydney. In retrospect, it must be said that the time in the lock-down was probably nowhere in the world faster than in Australia on the Sunshine Coast. The beach in Mooloolaba was still passable despite the lock-down, so I used the free time for surfing. I learned to dive and the connection within the student accommodation in Varsity became stronger. You got to know many new people, even if a large part flew back to their home countries at the beginning of the crisis.

All in all, I had a great time at the USC and I am proud to be a part of the USCi Brand Ambassador program.

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Camilla Ingebrigtsen from Norway studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Camilla Ingebrigtsen

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Cassandra Kull from Canisius College in the US studying a Diploma in Outdoor Environmental Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_9228Cassandra Kull studying a Diploma in Outdoor Environmental Studies, from New York, USA.

How was the application process?

The majority of my application process was completed with help from my home institution (Canisius College). There is a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed before you are able to go abroad, but it was broken down into steps that made it more manageable. It is crucial that you stay on top of the due dates for visas, health paperwork, rooming forms, course forms etc, this will make the process less stressful. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your home uni and get in touch with others that are planning on going abroad. It was nice to have other students to help work through the visa process and make sure you don’t fall behind in the process as a whole.

How is studying at USC different from back home?

I did the Diploma in Outdoor Environmental Studies program so all of my courses were required and picked for me. This is a great program for those looking to immerse themselves in the great outdoors of Australia and get hands on experience. Studying at USC was very different from my home uni, as USC allowed me to get out of the classroom and learn about the environment while I was in the environment. It was refreshing to take courses that you are not just trapped in a classroom staring at a monitor learning about what you will be doing in the future. Instead, USC immerses you in the experience and teaches you the practical skills required to be successful in your field. The universities in the USA concentrate more on learning the material and testing on it, focusing more on test scores rather than gaining exposure to real world experiences. USC teaches you the theory in the classroom and then takes the extra step to reinforce your learning with hands-on experience.

I ended up going back to the US so I never went on any post isolation trips. However,  before the coronavirus hit, I was able to go to the Australia Zoo- which I highly recommend. As well as Buderim falls, which was amazing and close enough to campus to take public transportation. The Sunshine Plaza was amazing for shopping and any of the
surrounding beaches are to die for.

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

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

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

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

– Stephanie Jessiman

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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.

Mikaela Karppelin from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

5What’s crackalackin mates?! I am Mikaela Karppelin from Finland, studying a bachelor’s degree in public health with physical activity and nutrition at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). My exchange in Australia, Sunshine Coast was one of the best experiences I have had in my life, let me tell you why.

Prior the exchange I would walk around the house, counting days until my flight, not knowing if I should scream or dance, cry or laugh. It felt unreal that the day I had been waiting for many years was around the corner and finally all paperwork was completed – I was ready to go! Fortunately, my university in Norway helped a lot with how to apply for the visa. It was the first time a student from my degree did an exchange at USC, which forced me to look for suitable courses independently.

My two favourite courses I completed was “Outdoor Living and Travel skills” and “Learning in Australian Landscapes”, where you learn about Australian nature, leadership and yourself, not to mention all the cool field trips you can go on, for example to Fraser Island (cancelled because of Covid for me). Do not be nervous regarding studying in another language than your own – the teachers are more than happy to help and you will be many students in the same position.

I travelled alone and was nervous about finding friends. That was unnecessary. The first day I moved into UniCentral, I went to the pool, started talking with three girls from all around the world, and we hanged out every day since! In my opinion it is much better to travel alone since you usually meet more people than by travelling with someone.

My number one tip is to GO OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE! It will all feel uncomfortable in the beginning but you gain a lot from it – try new things and talk to new people. This gave me new hobbies like surfing, skating and friends for life!

My second tip is to just do it! Six months might seem like a long period of time but the truth is that it will go faster than you can ever imagine – so take advantage of the time you have Down Under – go on that roadtrip, by that surfboard (hot tip – FB marketplace), start talking with strangers and let go of other peoples opinions!

My last tip is to not get stuck at Varsity or UniCentral if you live at one of the accommodations: It will be fun getting to know people during O-week but Sunshine Coast is the BOMB of beautiful places – have sunset picnics at Alex beach, take the bus to Noosa and surf the whole day, stop for an Acai Bowl, do a weekend trip to Byron Bay and Gold Coast etc…  Your exchange will be what YOU make of it!

If you have more questions or want recommendations, I will be happy to answer on Instagram @luisamikaela

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Nicole Ruhl from the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer in Germany studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

01Hello everybody,

My name is Nicole Ruhl. I am from Weyhe in Germany and I’m currently studying a Diploma in Business at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). My home university, the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer, is a partner university of USC. Back home I am studying International Business Administration.

Studying at USC

I chose a total of 4 business related courses for the Diploma Program. There were three to five examinations/assignments per course during the semester. This is different from what I am used to at my home university. There, I usually only had one big written exam at the end of the semester and in some cases, there was an additional exam in the form of a presentation. What is also different, is the high proportion of international students at USC. In many of the courses I enrolled in, the cooperation with them was promoted. As a result, an intercultural exchange took place.

Due to the outbreak of the corona virus, I unfortunately had to return to my home country earlier than planned. However, through the efforts of the USC staff, I was able to complete my last exams online, from home. Difficulties arose from the eight-hour time difference. I was not always able to attend the online lectures live, but all of these were recorded so that I could catch up at another suitable time.

Everyday life and leisure activities

I had a lot of leisure time that I used in a variety of ways. The Sunshine Coast has a lot to offer in terms of landscape: from large sandy beaches to dense rainforests. Places nearby that could be reached easily by car or by bus were, for example, Mooloolaba (beach, shopping), Maroochydore (Sunshine Plaza: large shopping centre), Noosa (National Park), the Glass House Mountains (place to hike), the Kondalilla Falls (walking track, National Park) and more. The big city of Brisbane could be reached by bus or train.

I visited many of these places with the Student Guild. This non-for-profit organisation plans trips and events for new students. One could book tickets for all events online in advance. These trips were a great opportunity to meet new people and at the same time explore some of the most beautiful places of the Sunshine Coast.

During orientation week, the students could register in various clubs. Examples are the Business Club, the Basketball Club, the Engineering Club, the Quidditch League, USC Activate etc. There were so many different clubs that actually every individual was able to find a suitable one and connect with people sharing the same interests.

What I also participated in, was the USCi Brand Ambassador Program for international students. This was about sharing the experiences of studying abroad at the USC, for example on social media platforms. In addition to this, all members were invited regularly to take place in workshops and events.

Furthermore, there are short trips that might be interesting for students, regardless of the university. For example, I went to Byron Bay with the Adventure Dudes (a company that organizes and accompanies short trips) on a weekend with other people at my age. It was possible to book many different alternative activities, including kayaking with dolphins, snorkelling with turtles and sharks, surfing lessons and skydiving. I decided to do snorkelling and skydiving. I would like to recommend the latter, especially for the very reasonable price in Byron Bay.

However, there were also plenty of opportunities outside of these organizations to get involved with. One could go swimming, play tennis or volleyball in the student accommodations next to the university (UniCentral and Varsity) or do sports at the USC stadium and gym, have a barbecue, go to the beach, or just take a walk across the university grounds and watch kangaroos and ibises.

Conclusion

All in one, studying at the USC was a great experience. I learned a lot both – professionally and personally. I have met many people from all over the world and had time to explore many beautiful places in Australia. I would recommend a semester abroad or an entire course of study at the USC to everyone. The university offers a great deal of support in a wide variety of areas and it always cares about the well-being of its students.