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:

USC Alumni Max Peters from Germany: Leading The Way Into A Corporate Position

Max Peters from Germany (Philipps-Universität, Marburg) studied a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations back in 2010-11 at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Since then, Max has gained a position as a Senior Manager overlooking the Corporate Responsibility at Cosnova who focuses on colour cosmetics, brands and essence, aiming to develop products more sustainably regarding health, the environment and social responsibility.

Why did you choose to study at USC?

I wanted to get another academic as well as social perspective of the world before I entered the work life and Australia was always high on my list. I have been there two times before and the friendly and outgoing attitude, the Aussie lifestyle and the overall atmosphere had gripped me ever since I first came to Sydney in 2000. Plus: I wanted to live right at a nice beach for once in my life.

What did you end up doing after graduating from USC?

Right after my return to Germany, I wrote my master thesis in the sustainability department of a well-known German fashion brand “s.Oliver”, examining the subject of crisis communication and communicative approaches to overcome social compliance issues in global supply chains. Since then, I was working in several roles in the field of sustainability and social compliance almost exclusively in the context of global supply chain management. From fashion at “s.Oliver” and “Zalando” to rotating specials at “ALDI stores” to colour cosmetics at my current employer “cosnova” and its well-known brands “essence” and “Catrice”, consumer goods stand in the focus of my career.

Apart from managing and conducting audits in places like Bangladesh, Indonesia, and China, managing the overall social compliance program and more and more also the defining issue of our time – reducing our corporate carbon footprint to fight climate change – I have always acted as the link between the sustainability department and Public Relations. The PR-relevant tools I got to know at USC come in very handy when working with specialized as well as consumer facing media outlets, influencers, and political stakeholders

What were some of the main things you learned from studying at USC and living on the Sunshine Coast?

From the many things I gained from studying at USC, the most important one would be confidence in myself for managing not only obtaining a degree from a foreign university but also to meet new people, network and establish friendships with mates from total different backgrounds culturally as well as geographically.


Also, I learned to approach internal as well as external audiences with transparency and an Aussie-style openness no matter who they are and what their role might be. This has not always paid off, especially in very traditional and hierarchical German corporate environments. But in the end, this gave me the opportunity to get to my current role at Cosnova, a company that is very modern in terms of management-style, transparency as well as taking sustainability seriously.

Do you have any advise to students who want to study at USC as well?

Do it! You will not regret any moment or dollar spent! It may sound cheesy, but once you are there, enjoy every moment! Go to the beach as much as you can. Spend as much time as possible outdoors and enjoy this beautiful country. Travel around, party hard but don’t let your mates down when it comes to group work for uni. Don’t hang around with just your peers. Get to know other cultures and backgrounds. These memories will shape you forever.

– Max Peters

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!

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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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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Sofija Varlamova from the University of Applied Sciences Landshut in Germany studying a Bachelor of Business at USC Sunshine Coast

WhatsApp Image 2020-07-09 at 22.07.29Hi, my name is Sofija Varlamova (@sofija_varlamova). I am from Germany, Bavaria, and I study at the University of Applied Sciences Landshut – International Business. Here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) I am studying a double degree in Business.

Here is a short summary of how I came to study at USC. USC is a partner university of my home university in Landshut. When I saw that I could go to Australia for my year abroad I already knew what to do, and the application process was easy for me. Because I am not the first person from my university going to USC, the process for application was smooth. The international office in Germany connected me to the international office of USC and I could ask them all the questions I had about the university and living in Australia. This helped a lot with calming my nerves to come to a foreign country so far away from home.

After the learning agreement was approved, the rest was done very fast. I paid for my tuition, applied for my visa, and flew to Australia! Unbelievable isn’t it!

Studying at USC is completely different compared to Germany – In a good way! In Germany, a student study for the whole semester and then write a final exam at the end. At USC, courses generally have 3 tasks that are graded. They are spread out throughout the semester and towards the end, it will form the final grade of the course. Additionally, because of the smaller exams, it helps to continuously learn for the course.

For my first semester I chose Auditing and Professional Practice (ACC321), Business Law and Ethics (BUS203), Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility (BUS320) and International Business Strategy (IBS321). The last two courses were mandatory for me. For my second semester I studied Management Accounting (ACC310), Project Management (ICT352), Managing the Small Business (MGT310) and The Power of Brands (MKG322).

I really liked each and every course I did in USC. For example, in each of these courses the professors and tutors were just awesome. They were really nice, made jokes in the lectures or tutorials. It was their priority that the learning objectives were understood and that the students gained knowledge. The professor in MGT310 even invited business professionals and owners of small business to the lectures. This was very interesting as I could see how everything I learned in the lecture was used to build up businesses. I would really recommend these courses.

In my free time there was so much to do here in Australia. First, I took surf lessons! Surfing is so cool! It does not take long to get to the beach with the bus and it is so hot here in Australia! Being in the water all the time was awesome. Other than being on the beach all the time, there are a lot of places to go hiking. Examples would be Mount Coolum or Kondalilla National Park. There are many more than these two. Back to the water: on the Sunshine Coast I also booked snorkelling and swimming with whales. Can’t wait to do these! This were all the things I could do while there were COVID restrictions. There are also so many interesting and beautiful places to drive to in Australia! So don’t lose time and see them when you can – While concentrating on your studies of course! xD

I hope that you will have a nice time, like me here in Australia!

–  Sofija Varlamova

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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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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.

Friederike Heuer from the University of Applied Sciences Europe in Germany studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

Hi, I’m Friederike Heuer (@alien_in_the_machine) and I was studying a Diploma in General Studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Just like other international students, I began my semester studying abroad but I then got the chance to upgrade and study the diploma program instead (which was one of the main reasons to why I chose USC over other Universities). Normally, I study Illustration at the University of Applied Sciences Germany in Hamburg and are now about to finish my Bachelor of Arts.

As you probably already know, the USC campus is located in Queensland on the east coast of Australia, 1 hour north of Brisbane by car. When I arrived there, Sippy Downs was facing a heat wave that continued for the orientation week, to then change for rain three weeks straight. However, after this, you will notice that the whole area is just unrealistically beautiful, and the same goes for the campus (just have a look at the photos everyone is sharing, they are no joke).

As some students have already described, there are a lot of kangaroos on campus. Unfortunately, I only came across them once on my whole stay so you either need to be around campus very early in the morning, or spend some time looking for them. Moreover, there are a lot of loud parrots living around the student accommodations and especially around UniCentral, and not to mention the magpies – be aware of those, they are no joke!

Student_Guild_Noosa_HeadsWhen settling in, my flatmates were of great help with showing me around and explaining how everything works, over and over again (don’t worry, I’m not stupid – just anxious and have a tendency to ask for the same thing over and over again, which is very typical for anxious persons – sorry guys, I hope you weren’t too annoyed by me). On the other hand: TAKE PART in the welcome events organized by USC and USC International! You’ll learn so much on those events and get even more for free, you’ll make hundreds of new friends (just don’t forget to befriend them on Instagram/Facebook 😉) and you’ll get to know who is living together with you at the same accommodation and who to contact when you have the urge to party. If you really want to get to know the most beautiful surrounding places, do yourself the favour and join EVERY event organized by the Student Guild. You’ll get the chance to see all the places cheaper than normally, have an organized trip and you won’t need to worry about transportation or food.

I undertook four courses while studying at USC and had to pass three assignments per course. This is quite a big difference, compared to studying at UE in Germany, since I was used to only having to pass one assignment per course. This difference was a challenge as I felt like I haven’t had enough time to build up new knowledge and finish the assignments in a quality similar to the one I had to stick to at my home university (note: I did three of my four courses in game art instead of illustration, so I had to learn all the programs and the industry practice).

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While studying at USC, I didn’t have the chance to travel a lot and once the Corona restrictions kicked in, I wasn’t able to visit the planned travel sites with my Flatmates anymore. Unfortunately, I continued studying online from home as I had to leave mid-semester and wasn’t able to complete my on-campus studies in Australia.

However, I really hope I’ll get the chance to come back one day and travel to all the places I wasn’t able to visit at my first stay.

Please enjoy your stay at USC, study hard and go travel whenever you can – there’s no worst regret than not haven seen those places.

Lots of love,

Friederike @alien_in_the_machine

New Project

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Steven Ranweiler from Minnesota State University – Moorhead in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

How ya goin’ mate? My name is Steven Ranweiler, and I’m visiting from Minnesota in the United States. Back home I’m studying visual arts education, and this semester abroad has been an incredible opportunity to explore more subjects and expand my horizons! I’ve dreamt of visiting Australia for years and the study abroad partnership between my home university (Minnesota State University – Moorhead) and the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) helped me to make that dream come true.

I’d heard that Australian culture has a more relaxed pace than life in the US, and I found that to be true in my courses. I was concerned at first to see just a few major assignments making up my grades rather than the many smaller assignments I was used to back home. However, I soon realized that with the time, resources and awesome support provided at USC, those few big projects were great for my learning and less stressful. My professors and tutors have been fantastic, and it was a joy to walk out of classes greeted by sunshine and kangaroos! After courses moved to online learning, I was able to spend even more time in the great Australian outdoors while I attended classes remotely.

By traveling the area with new friends, I’ve gotten to enjoy experiences like surfing, mountain climbing. and swimming under waterfalls! Learning about the cultures and experiences of local Australians and my fellow international students has been enlightening and meaningful.

The pandemic brought some pressure in terms of returning home earlier than expected, but I wasn’t ready to leave the dream. Travel opportunities became limited, but that wasn’t too much of an issue considering I was already in such an extraordinary place. I spent weeks examining and photographing the incredible plants, animals and fungi which are unique to this region. The birds here are impressively loud and several of them remind me of dinosaurs.

I’ve been especially enchanted by the wonders of the local tide pools. One day I counted over 100 sea cucumbers, and by snorkelling I’ve encountered 1000s of charming fish just off the shore! Experiences in beautiful and vulnerable ecosystems like these motivate me to keep pushing for conservation to protect them. I enjoyed the opportunity to volunteer with the Sea Shepherd conservation group in a beach clean-up project, and it’s been awesome studying on a campus surrounded by a wildlife reserve.

 As my time here comes to end I don’t want to leave! I’m excited to see friends and family back home and share stories of this amazing experience with them, but even with great things to get back to it’s hard to leave this paradise and the wonderful new friends I’ve made.

Studying abroad at USC has been an incredible opportunity, and I enthusiastically recommend it to anyone who has the chance to do it!

Wishing you all the best,

Steven 😊