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!

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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Alice Carlqvist from Kilroy Sweden studying a Bachelor of Creative Industries: 10 Favourite Cafés on the Coast

Optional 6My name is Alice and I’m from Sweden. I’ve been at USC for 2.5 years, studying a Bachelor of Creative Industries, with a major in Creative Writing and minor in Visual Communication. These past years have been incredibly fun and adventurous.

Sunshine Coast is the perfect place to explore Australia from. So far, I’ve been to Cairns, Airlie Beach, Fraser Island, Sydney, Byron Bay, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, around New Zealand and many more places. I’ve tried surfing, sky diving, scuba diving, snorkelling, done the Tough Mudder race, and this winter, I might even have a go at the water jet pack.

Other than travelling, one of my greatest passions is food. The Sunshine Coast has no shortage of great cafés and restaurants. Here are some of my favourite cafés on the coast:

  1. The Nines: the perfect place to brunch, there’s something for everyone on this menu. Be sure to try one of the freak shakes, they are insane!
  2. The Velo Project: beautiful, sustainable and incredibly yummy food and coffee.
  3. Ninth Street: the perfect place to get extreme waffles and pancakes.
  4. Acai Brothers: the best acai bowls on the coast.
  5. Decisions: a mixture of healthy and unhealthy food – that’s why they are called Decisions. The menu has gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options, so there is something for everyone here.
  6. Lil Canteen: the menu is continually updated and incredibly trendy.
  7. Elliot’s Fine Food Bistro: fantastic coffee and filling food.
  8. Milk and Beans Coffee House: cosy and close to the beach. Great burgers.
  9. Glass Coffee House & Wine Bar: atmospheric interior with a killer menu.
  10. Tome: cakes, rolls and cupcakes so pretty you don’t want to actually eat them.

Hot tip: if you follow these places on Instagram, they often post discounts and deals.

Hope this helps you navigate your stay at the coast. If you want to get more tips you can follow me on Instagram @fridaychild. Thanks for reading!

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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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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.

Paul Martetschläger from Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

buddina-1.jpgMy name is Paul and I am studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. For my semester abroad, I wanted to see something completely different from home, so I decided to study abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). My university has a cooperation with USC, so it was easy to get useful information and how the registration process works.

After receiving my confirmation, I started to plan my journey along with two of my colleagues. We travelled several hours to Brisbane and it was totally worth it. My colleagues and I decided to rent a small apartment in Buddina next to the beach. During the first month, we used public transport to get to the university, but afterwards we decided to buy a car, especially a 4WD in order to explore the beautiful Sunshine Coast. When I first arrived at the USC campus, I immediately fell in love with all the animals. Every day, there are kangaroos jumping around or just chilling in the sun.

As travelling is one of my biggest passions, I thought I would share a few tips for weekend trips you could do while studying at the USC, especially if you have a 4WD.

Buddina

1. Double island point – Rainbow beach

One of my favourite places is the double island point. At the small lighthouse, you’ll get a wonderful view to Rainbow Beach. It is also a great surfing spot there, but you can only reach it with a 4WD. It is a great trip for a weekend, just grab your buddies and you will have an awesome time there.

2. Byron Bay

Another beautiful place in Australia is Byron bay. It has an awesome flair to it which is typical for Australia. All the people there are so kind, and if you decide to travel to Byron Bay, you definitely have to visit the lighthouse which is the most easterly point in Australia.

3. Seventeen Seventy Springs Beach

We drove by Seventeen Seventy on our road trip to Whitsundays. A local told us we should definitely stop there and showed us a beautiful surf spot called Springs Beach. We had a wonderful time there.

Hope this gave you some help and you will have a great time while studying at USC Sunshine Coast. For more pictures or some questions, check out my Instagram @paul_martetschlaeger

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High Performance Student Athlete and Surfer Mason Schremmer from Hawaii studying a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) at USC Sunshine Coast

1.v1Hi, my name is Mason Schremmer and I’m 19 years old. I’m originally from Florida but moved to Hawaii when I was 11, and that’s when I started surfing. I’ve been competing for almost 7 years now, and this is my second year on the WSL Longboard Tour.

When I first started competing, I entered junior contests and worked my way up to state and national titles, and won three national titles for longboarding. Winning my first national title is what really inspired me to want to keep competing and stick with surfing. One of my biggest goals since then has been to win a WSL world title, which is not an easy task.

Competing comes with quite a few ups and downs and lots of learning how to lose, and taking something away from it each time. Sometimes your biggest competitor can be yourself, and I think I’m still trying to overcome that aspect of competing. Last year, the WSL revamped the world longboard tour. We have a new commissioner, who is a
very accomplished surfer himself, and we now have three to four events per year instead of just one event to determine the world champion. This is really exciting to be a part of because now there are so many more opportunities for long boarders to have a chance to showcase their surfing in different types of waves around the world and in more than just one event.

2For longboarding, the best training you can have is just going out in the water and practising maneuvers or feeling out new boards, that’s why I like to surf as often as possible. Of course, it’s always good to stay fit for those moments when you just need to paddle, surf a bit further or a bit faster, and I like to do this by running when I can.

Between the new WSL events and a few invitational contests throughout the year, it’s really easy to have an overwhelming schedule, which is why I was so glad to find out about USC’s HPSA program which helps me to accommodate the travelling that comes with competing. This year I’d really like to keep up with my classes as much as possible while also trying to work my way up through the WSL rankings.

– Mason Schremmer

Do you want to know more about the USC HPSA Program? Click here.

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Takumi Matsukura from Japan (GCS Group Australia) studying a Bachelor of Animal Ecology at USC Sunshine Coast

7e42e2abab224a1daa83c220d1c3b4fd.jpgHi, my name is Takumi from Japan. My agency is GCS Group Australia, and I am full time student studying a Bachelor of Animal Ecology at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).  I chose this University because, of its affordable price (compared to other countries) and it allows me to study animal ecology in beautiful Australia. It has been awesome spending time here in Australia so far and because Osaka, where I am from, is a huge city in Japan in comparison. The experiences I have had here have been the opposite to what I grew up with. I just finished my first semester at this university, and it was sometimes challenging for me to get through everything. Imagine that you study new things with your non-native language, which can obviously be difficult, but however be very fun at the same time if you are studying something that you like.

Anyway, there are good news people!

2There are many resources available for all students who are studying at USC to help support them during their studies. You can get help when you are struggling with your course work. There are many resources available such as, how to write report or essay. I have couple friends who is studying abroad and they all say that they don’t get any support from their university! USC provides a good environment for students who need academic support with things, such as grammar or how to write your assignments.

Living here requires a lot of energy. If you are city boy or girl, you are going to have a surprising life here. Most of the time, my friends and I usually go to somewhere that we can all relate to nature such as the beach, trekking, fishing or by experiencing the D9926BA3F2024E96BBED335023FB0280Australian culture by visiting music festivals, markets and stuff like that. Almost all these activities we do are outside which is a big difference from Japan. Because, in Japan we have literally everything inside of buildings. Everywhere is so beautiful in Australia! You must be creative, go outside, find your mates, explore everywhere and find wherever you love to belong!

For people who are thinking of coming to USC;

There is a beautiful and diverse environment at USC. There were challenges, but I was able to get though the first semester because of the support from my friends and the University. Do not think too much, just come to Australia if you want experience what we are experiencing right now!

If you have any questions or want to chat, you can contact me on Instagram via: Takumi Uto @murkyz_takumi

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USC student Alex Davies studying overseas at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in Sogn and Fjordane

895e8267-3052-44d2-88a4-a5b43ac11089I travelled to Norway at the end of July, and spent about 5 months living in Sogndal, Norway, which lies on the Sognefjord. I studied at HVL doing the course Outdoor Education and Nordic Friluftsliv. I’ve always wanted to go to Norway growing up, and this seemed like the greatest excuse ever to experience a country, and with my friend I met through work having previously done this course 2 years ago, it seemed like a perfect reason to go overseas.

Looking back, it’s almost insane how they basically just threw us right into the thick of it from the start, but I have absolutely no regrets about anything I did while I was there. From canoeing to kayaking, walking on glaciers to picking mushrooms, to thru-hikes to cross-country skiing, I did so many things I never would’ve done while I was in Australia.

I was the only Australian in the course, but it didn’t matter, everyone was super welcoming and we all had similar goals, to make the most of our time in Norway. From the shy Basque guys to the sweet Swiss, everyone was willing to speak English, and the Norwegians I lived with in the student accommodation are some of my favourite people I met while I was there. The friendships I developed there are something that I’ll never forget because I had the time of my life.

IMG_1329While on the trips, there were a lot of times when you felt like you couldn’t do something that you physically didn’t have the capability to do, and when convinced to just give it a go, what do you have to lose, would find out you could actually do it. I never thought I could kayak in 15m/s winds while its pouring down rain, but it turned out to be one of the highlights from the whole 4 days of kayaking. This showed me what you’re capable of when you push yourself.

The days we spent in the mountains, however, are some of my favourites. To the silly haka like thing we did as a group to raise moral, to sitting on the side of a mountain laughing about something while eating blueberries that are growing around us. Watching the sun rise over the fjords, sit on the side of the mountain in silence, having spent the last week sleeping under a tarp, is something I’ll never forget.

Studying overseas is something I would recommend to everyone to do, as being able to study in a completely different culture is very different from just travelling to a location for a week or two. While I was in Norway, I also travelled to Scotland during my mid-semester break,. Furthermore, after university finished, I spent 20 days travelling around central Europe before coming home after the new year. This is something you’ll never regret doing, with friends for life.

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Watch Alex’s Glacier Walking video below!

 

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

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

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

1. Surf in Noosa Heads

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

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

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

3. Visit Australia Zoo

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

4. Travel to Surfers Paradise

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

5. Try Vegemite

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

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

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

– Philip De Simone @philipdesimone

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Patricia Mueller from Hochschule Koblenz in Germany – 3 Places to Stay on the Sunshine Coast during your Studies

IMG_2283-triangle3 Places to Stay on the Sunshine Coast during your Studies

Hello, my name is Patricia Mueller and I’m studying business management at Hochschule Koblenz in Germany. I’m in Australia for one year for my double degree in business.

As I knew that I would stay in Australia for a really long time and I’m really interested in learning about other cultures, I had a look on what accommodation opportunities that were available next to the USC campus.

One option is three different student accommodations: Varsity Apartments, UniCentral or The Village, only 5 minutes away from campus. International students and local students share kitchen and living room with 3 roommates. The differences between the student accommodations apply, but they are minor. The application is an easy online registration.

IMG_0967Another- probably cheaper option: living in private accommodation, solo or in a shared apartment. You will meet locals and/or students, and the place might be more quiet. However, private accommodation does not include the option of security guards as the student accommodation complexes (e.g. if you lock yourself out of your room, they can open it up for you after hours).

The third opportunity is staying with a family. Two options apply: Home stay with food included and living with the family, or staying in a room in the family’s house excluding food and living on your own. This opportunity is cheaper and you will have the opportunity to get to know the Australian or family’s culture, but you might be further away from campus, depending on where you stay.

To find an accommodation, I had a look a few weeks before I left Germany on websites like Flatmates, Gumtree and Realestate. Compared to finding an accommodation at the student accommodation complexes, you have to look for a room on your own. However, regardless of where you’re gonna stay, the bus shuttle Con-X-ion is very easy to organise and it will take you to your new home from Brisbane Airport when you arrive.

IMG_2284I decided to stay in an Australian family including food, a bike and trips on the weekends. I’m really lucky with my family. The kids are in my age so we spend nice times together. We go on day trips, to the beach, small hikes or just spend the evening at home together. The family also supports me in my studies, which is really helpful the first days in terms of settling down and get some insight information about Australia and the University.

The stay in Australia has a formative influence for your personality and future career. I look forward to my second semester here at USC!

– Patricia Mueller @piiinnz

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

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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