Jasmin Sillah from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Germany: 3 things you should stop doing whilst studying in Australia!

img_6110.jpgHi! My name is Jasmin, and I’m currently enrolled in the Double Degree Program at the the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) School of Business. I will complete two semesters in Sippy Downs which will provide me with enough credits to go back to Germany next year to write my bachelor thesis in business psychology at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. Thus, I’ll have two bachelor’s degrees shortly after the end of my stay in Australia. Speaking of which, I’ll provide you with 3 helpful tips that can make your time abroad even better, if you stop doing those things!

3 things you should stop doing when you want to enjoy your stay in Australia!

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1. Stop looking at your phone 24/7

This might be one of the hardest ones, especially for our generation! Of course, don’t forget to take lots of pictures and videos from the beautiful sceneries, beaches and animals in Australia, these are beautiful memories to look back on and cry your eyes out about when you are back home. Nevertheless, leaving your phone in your bag once in a while can help you to fully enjoy the marvellous moments you are experiencing overseas without distractions. I promise the best memories are stored in your head forever!

2. Stop speaking your native language

IMG_3651I bet we all wrote roughly the same sentence in our motivational letter: ‘I want to study abroad to improve my English communication skills’. Then do so! It is extremely easy to get carried away with a native group of students at USC as there are so many people with so many different backgrounds and you’ll find someone from your home country for sure. But this is something that hinders you a lot to experience the real Australia and not only the tourist version of it. Don’t be shy and start talking to people from other countries and especially to Australians! For sure, they will embrace it a lot, and you’ll get to know their culture from a whole new perspective.

3. Stop being too rigid about plans

IMG_6001I’m German, so I know about what I’m talking about right now. We love planning months ahead, making checklists, calculating every cent we pay and every minute we spend. Letting go of some of this control-behaviour can open up doors that were closed before. Live your life, be spontaneous and embrace change! Not everything will go according to plan and these moments are great opportunities to go with the flow and do what feels right. You won’t regret it!

– Jasmin Sillah @jasminsillah

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

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Sairah Benz Alonzo from the Philippines (AMS BridgeBlue) studying a Master of Business Administration at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_0731Beep beep! *Benz Alonzo about to park!* 

Hey there – I’m Sairah Benz Alonzo. Feel free to call me Benz (yes, just like the car Mercedes-Benz). I accomplished my bachelor’s degree in University of Asia and the Pacific, Philippines. Currently, I’m taking up my master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

Healthy Habits When Visiting the Sunshine Coast Beaches

I’m surprised on how accessible it is for anyone in this state to head down to the nearest coastline. Approximately by 10-20 mins, I could find myself lost in the breeze of Sunshine Coast beaches. Later on, I’ve learned new practices which I like to apply when facing the waves of the ocean. Allow me to share these with you!

Find Peace

Discovering the hush and solitude of what the beach can offer us – silence. Silence, along with the lullaby of waves, brings in peace. If you want more of this, Sunshine Coast is the place to be.

Breathe in, breathe out… Take a deep breath for 5 mins (or up to you!). In a moment, you’ll surprisingly find yourself blending with the serenity of the waves. If it helps, think of short affirmations when breathing in (I breathe in peace) and breathing out (I breathe out confidence). This way, it is purposeful + clearer calm-seeking thoughts.

Seek Aspirations

From time to time, it’s helpful to take a pause and look far at the ocean. Begin with thinking of what you’d like to achieve in life then take note of them. Once you’ve collected your aspirations, it’s pretty cool to treat the beach as your audience. Speak out loud that truth inside yourself! What you’ll face will never judge you but listen intently.

Visualise dreams  

After repeating those dreams, start visualising the “HOW” little by little. I myself, visualise how my week will go: as small as waking up early for attending USC classes -> focusing in lectures -> working out in between breaks -> doing some self-study in another field of work -> plus so on and so forth. Practice that creativity in your imagination. Which by the way, Sunshine Coast has the best background music for this.

Sweat them off

For starters, I love to walk along the shoreline of the beach. While walking, I was able to observe how certain locals incorporate different sets of physical lifestyle: running, yoga, sports, and other fun activeness! And I reckon, anyone can do this! As Tony Robbins claim “motion creates emotion”. Truly, I’m pretty much inspired by the locals here.

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Read Read Read

When in Sunshine Coast, it is always ‘beach reading season’. Pack one book in your bag. Find a great spot and enjoy your time alone reading. Reading by the beach allows us to relax at the same time explore in between pages.

Write them down

The sea won’t be throwing shade on whatever thoughts you’ll be writing down. What’s important is, we lead our actions through mindfulness. Take your notebook/journal out and begin writing down your stories. You’ll be amazed on how long-term pens and papers can affect your life.

P.S. This article is inspired by the Miracle Mornings of Hal Elrod. I highly recommend this book for everyone to read.

–  Sairah Benz Alonzo @sairahalonzo

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

 

 

Top 10 Photos from our International Students in 2019

In 2019, we have had a record year with over 500 photos tagged with @USC.International & #USCInternational on Instagram. Here are some of our favourites!

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@maggi95 visited the beautiful Glass House Mountains while studying at USC. Just a 20 minute drive from USC Sunshine Coast, and we assume the view was worth it!

 

 

 

 

 

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@philipppp93 took this amazing photo of a wombat when he visited Tasmania during his study break.

 

 

 

 

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@christiianaaaa went snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef during her semester break and we must say this is a pretty good photo to take away from the experience!

 

 

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Why not cuddle up with the Irwin family’s animals at Australia Zoo? Seems like this kangaroo didn’t mind the company of @haleymahony

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t feel like climbing up a mountain, but would like a good view? @sophi.r0 took this amazing photo from the Glass House Mountain Lookout, located right next to the Bruce Highway.

 

 

 

 

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A place you must visit whilst studying at USC Sunshine Coast? Noosa National Park, only 35 min away from the University! @marcgrazz

 

 

 

 

 

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Surfing is a popular sport here in Australia and the Sunshine Coast is a prime spot in itself. This amazing sunrise photo was captured by @emilie_lie and @johanmarkusm whilst out paddling

 

 

 

 

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@ali_hannah2 enjoying her semester break on horseback – we would not say no to that!

 

 

 

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A very popular trip amongst our international students involves 4W driving up Fraser Island. Looks like @eggrem and his friends had a great time!

 

 

 

 

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@thomas.p.photography’s took some really spectacular photos of the stars, and our kangaroos here on campus. Not to mention, the two kangaroos playing at Cape Hillsborough

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

 

Jhoven Cabundocan from the Philippines studying a Master of Information and Communications Technology (MICT) at USC SouthBank

“Jhoven Cabundocan.

Male.

26.

Philippines.

Graduated: Bachelor of Science in Business Management – De La Salle University.

Looking for: Master of Information and Communications Technology (MICT) program in Brisbane.”

GARDENS - SYD
Sydney

This was my profile when I was planning to get a higher education degree in Australia.

Choosing the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) was like an online dating process. There were many options available, but the moment USC appeared in my search results of top universities in Queensland, it was an automatic swipe right for me. It was a match!

With the help of my agency, AECC Global, to process my documents and with the support of my family, I embarked on my journey to becoming a postgrad student in Australia.

EAT STREET
Eat Street in Brisbane

After my first date with USC SouthBank, we really got to know each other. The campus boasts of its closeness and belongingness with its staff, lecturers, and students. USC SouthBank made sure I had properly adjusted to the new environment with the different workshops and sessions it facilitated. As an MICT student, USC SouthBank equipped me with quality learning, facilities, and services that suited the two-year post grad program I had taken.

Situated in the heart of Brisbane, the campus offered an all-encompassing student experience – creating a perfect balance of study and play. It was convenient to travel around Brisbane with its easy-to-navigate public transportation system. I saw breath-taking views of Brisbane at Mt. Coot-tha Summit Lookout and immersed myself in its festivities – Riverfire, Night Noodle Markets, and the Ekka. I was able to eat flavourful food at Eat Street Northshore. I rode the CityCat and the Wheel of Brisbane at the South Bank Parklands. I toured the Queensland Museum and Gallery of Modern Art. I waited for sunsets at Kangaroo Point Cliffs. I watched rugby games in Suncorp Stadium. I got close with wild kangaroos at Mt. Cotton. There was always heaps to do and places to visit in Brisbane and its neighbouring cities. Experiencing all of this with USC SouthBank, I decided I was ready to commit.

MT COOT-THA
Mount Coot-tha in Brisbane

Yes, falling in love with USC SouthBank was effortless and I fell in love even deeper with the gorgeous and wonderful friends and family I gained in Australia. The support I continuously receive from them made university life easier.

BYRON BAY
Byron Bay Lighthouse

The MICT program gave me confidence in the field of information technology through the knowledge and practices shared by my lecturers. I had a healthy relationship with my USC education. I learned that staying focused and having proper time-management were key motivators to finishing my degree. It gave me the enthusiasm to learn everything USC was able to teach. More importantly, USC valued my mental health and its impact on my education. USC taught me to allocate hours for my academics, while enjoying my free time with mates and family to do activities around Brisbane.

For those who are still looking for love, have been in love or are already in the process of falling in love with studying abroad; take courage and do not fret. Be vocal. Ask for help. People are always willing to lend a hand. Plan but also know when to be spontaneous when you embark on this journey. Enjoy the experience and take advantage of all these chances for self-improvement. Finally, be grateful for this opportunity to learn and to fall in love.

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

Clemence Mataruse from Zimbabwe studying a Master of Professional Accounting at USC SouthBank

IMG-20190406-WA0020My journey to Brisbane, Australia started in June of 2018 with a simple visit to the Koala Education Centre (my agency) in Eastlea, Harare, Zimbabwe. A friendly staff member (Kundai) sat down with me for a good consultation where I was given all the information I needed to get ready, and all the documents required for my application. Furthermore, she gave me various information about different institutions, their advantages and disadvantages, and also how coming to Australia and what it includes as opposed to other countries, which was a very good thing. Choosing The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) was a no brainer as I have an aunt who graduated from USC and she told me about its level of excellence.

IMG_20190530_103024Before coming to USC, I had studied an undergraduate degree from the University of Namibia in Banking and Finance back in 2016. Today, I am based at the USC SouthBank campus. Upon my arrival at USC in February of 2019 to study the two-year Master of Professional Accounting, I found the institution to be astoundingly superior to my former institution. My campus is in the heart of Brisbane itself, right in the middle of the city. SouthBank is the entertainment hub for the Brisbane CBD with various well-known spots, including the famous Wheel of Brisbane and Brisbane river that runs through the city.

IMG_20190302_145911_953I had visited some universities in Africa for comparison purposes, but USC was beyond measure. The facilities are exceptional and unlike the institution where I studied my undergraduate degree with 150 students in one classroom, USC has sometimes less than 30 students in each classroom which gives the lectures and students proper interaction to provide a personal experience in the learning environment. The study experience has been good, simple and direct. A combination of lectures, tutorials and practical exercises are used, including the use of an accounting software called Xero which is not available in Africa. This combination gives direct knowledge to prepare us for work upon graduation, which is exactly what employers are looking for. On a personal note, I am the only African in my class of 30, with most of my classmates coming from Nepal and India. One from the Philippines, two from Pakistan, and an exchange student from Germany thus creating a diverse group of people. This gives me pride to represent not just my country but the continent as a whole.

Traveling to Brisbane, Australia was a great experience for me as I had never left the African continent. It was and still is a great eye-opening experience to see the world from a different perspective. The differences in culture, society, advancement and development are things I thank God for every day as well for His guidance and protection.

IMG-20190429-WA0026Apart from the academic side of my experience, Brisbane is an amazing place to be; it is regarded as a great tourist city of Australia with perfect weather and great scenery. I created a proper school, work and life balance. I got my job within a month of my arrival, which I still have to date, and it helps pay for bills and even helps out my family back home. I love the transport system very much as it is efficient and reliable. Most days I have 8am classes, so my day starts bright and early. Furthermore, after classes I am off to work, all  by using the public transport system. I have visited places such as the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, and travelled as far as Winton, a small town 1500km away from Brisbane. The town is famous for the founding of Qantas, Australia’s national airline, and also a dinosaur museum.

IMG_20190226_225440_232To all future students, I would advise them to do thorough research on the different aspects of studies and places they want to go. The decision impacts their lives forever, and time lost can never be gained. Follow your heart and passion, and don’t look at what the world says.

I am very grateful that I got this amazing opportunity to study in Australia and I am thankful to my wife and son for all the encouragement and support, as they are still back home, and my family who sponsored and helped me to experience this legendary time. I am looking forward to my life journey with all this experience being bestowed upon me.

Tayla in FH Kufstein, Austria

 

Tayla, reporting from Kufstein, Austria! Kufstein is a small, quaint town in the state of Tirol, Austria. I am here for the summer semester but when I first arrived I was welcomed by snow. This meant I had the opportunity to ski in the Alps, just 20 minutes away by bus! Now it is much warmer and I spend my days off at the local lakes, in the mountains or in the main town center sitting in the sun with a beer in hand.

The University, FH Kufstein, has a really good international program, all courses are in English and you have the opportunity to join regular courses with the local students. The University is quite new and small but it has a very friendly atmosphere, as everyone knows each other. Most students walk to the Uni and others bike, everything in the town is so close and convenient. There are always events on for international and regular students. They also offer a sports program, where you can do anything from football, basket ball, yoga, floorball (indoor hockey), self defence, zumba and indoor rock climbing to name a few. The Austrian people live a very active lifestyle, always outdoors and in the mountains. 

Kufstein is a perfect location to travel from, positioned in the center of Europe, only minutes away from the German border and one hour away from Munich, the birthplace of Oktoberfest. We went to Fruhlingsfest this weekend in Munich, which is like the Oktoberfest of spring.  You can expect the traditional Bavarian music, lederhosen, dirndls, bratwurst, massive pretzels, and drinking 1 litre beers inside a big top or outside in a beer garden.  This is the perfect way to experience the Bavarian way of life and culture, which is very similar to the Tyrolean culture of Austria. You can also travel a few hours from Kufstein and find yourself in countries such as Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, and Czech Republic. The whole of Europe is at your fingertips!

Studying at FH here in Austria is an amazing experience, especially coming from Australia, as it is so different to home. Most of the exchange students are European, Mexican or Chinese so you get to make all sorts of different friends and learn about many different cultures. If you want to discover something new, challenge yourself and travel with a purpose, come study at FH Kufstein, Austria!

Auf Wiederschauen, Tayla 

Rhianna’s adventures at North Carolina State University

 

Here is a little update of my ‘Study Overseas’ semester so far.

The First image is of a competition held by the university called Battleships. The aim of the game was to sink other teams canoes using utensils from our dorms. My team consisted of myself and another Australian form Adelaide and two American’s who live in Alexander hall. We placed second overall due to a broken alliance. Our canoe is the bottom left.

The second picture is of the students from Turlington hall all dressed up for Halloween. It is a tradition of Turlington Hall to host a haunted house each year at Halloween and I decided to get involved. The theme this year was a carnival/freak shows and it was incredible. As Turlington is the arts village there were many talented actors and a plethora of enthusiasm to execute. I was the knife throwers assistant and dramatically got my throat sliced and produced fake blood from my mouth. (I’m up the back in the group photo).

The third picture is a winning picture. Myself, two other Australians and an Englishman decided to enter the “Monster Dash”. This was a huge obstacle course held on the engineering campus of NCSU and encompassed both physical and mental challenges. It was the week before Halloween so they included bonus points for dress ups and I borrowed some referee shirts from the gym. One of the obstacles included canoeing across Lake Raleigh with water pistols and shooting cardboard cut outs of rival universities (patriotic I know). It was quite similar to Tough Mudder held on the Sunshine Coast. Anyway, we decided to run the entire course (competitive) and had loads of fun and to our complete surprise we ended up winning! We won Nike bags printed with Monster Dash, Free T-shirts and food. Was a very good day.

The fourth picture is from the third week here in America, where the whole of Alexander Hall (global Village) ventured 3 hours south to Wilmington Beach and camped out overnight. Was great to see the country side and finally get to play in the ocean again (I’m not really coping without the beach or the heat).

The fifth image is from an NC State football game at half time. The NC State band, cheerleaders and dance teams definitely put on a good show.

Sixth photo was from the presentation I did about USC. This was to a group of staff and students who are in the College of Sciences who were looking to Study Abroad. I believe I did a pretty good job at promoting USC and the lifestyle of the Sunshine Coast and had 17 people come and visit me a couple of days later at the Study Abroad fair. Leads me to my next photo of the Study Abroad fair and my set up. I was the only student from Australia with a stand and information. I handed out all of the flyers and booklets and I made a slide show presentation on my laptop for people to look through. I also had my iPad and made a photo album for people to look through as well. I talked to prospective students for about 3 hours and gave them as much information as I could. There are so many students who want to study at USC but were too afraid and didn’t know where to start, so I believe I have alleviated that worry for a large number of students. There is a huge interest in summer programs at USC as well. I had my Spartans cap and shirt and a pair of thongs to help with my stand. The photo with the NCSU mascot was also from the fair.

The last photo is the free expression tunnel where the community is encouraged to freely express themselves in tunnel on campus. This has reduced graffiti on the campus and in the wider community and it a great platform to advertise. I haven’t put something on there yet but I plan to.

Hope all is well on the Sunshine Coast and you are all soaking up the sunshine as I am slowly freezing. I miss home and our great university.

Rhianna Robinson