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.
There are many local, but also popular spots just a short bus ride or drive away from campus. Our USC Sunshine Coast (Sippy Downs) campus is lucky to have a bus stop right on campus, and only a 5 minute walk away from our student accommodation options UniCentral, Varsity and The Village.
We have listed some of the most popular spots below that our students often visit when living close to campus:
1. Mooloolaba Beach
If you want to hit the beach, you can take the 615 bus from USC which will take you approx 15 minutes to Mooloolaba. This is a popular spot for students who wants to soak up some sun on the beach but also for students who like to go for walks along the promenade and even do some shopping. Mooloolaba has some great local shops, cafes and restaurants. Not to mention, if you walk towards the Mooloolaba Spit in the arvo, you might be able to see an amazing sunset.
2. Cotton Tree Beach & Holiday Park
If you prefer to avoid some of the more popular, busy beaches, you may want to stay on the bus a bit longer after Mooloolaba and jump off at Cotton Tree, just 5 minutes down the road from Mooloolaba. Cotton Tree Beach is located just to the left of Alexandra Headland, a popular surf spot for many students and not to mention locals. Cotton tree is the perfect spot if you would like to try out Stand Up Paddle Boarding or Kayaking. There are also heaps of cosy local shops along the promenade and we can recommend checking out Cafe Envy that offers locally sourced dishes, in addition to organic coffee and smoothies. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spot a couple of pelicans who like to enjoy their time down at the beach.
3. The Glasshouse Mountains
We of course won’t forget to mention the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains, located a short 25 minute drive from campus with a car. You will have a lot of mountains tracks to choose from including some of the more popular ones such as Mt Beerwah, Mt Ngungun and Mt Tibrogargan. The Glasshouse Mountains have a lot of history behind them, and we would definitly recommend booking a tour with some local aboriginals, also known as storytelling, as they have a lot of interesting stories to tell which you can read more about here.
4. Noosa National Park + Champagne Pools
A bit further away from USC but also only a short 40 minute drive you’ll find the beautifucl Noosa National Park. This National Park is a favourite amongst the locals mostly due to the prime surf that it provides, especially in the mornings and afternoons. If you’re lucky you might spot a koala on your way to Champagne Pools, an absolute must go-to if visiting the park for the first time. The whole walk around Noosa National park is approx. 5.4 km and you can choose to start at Sunshine Beach and walk all the way to the main street in Noosa, Hasting. We recommend checking out Betty’s Burgers and some of the local Noosa shops while you’re there.
5. Mt Coolum
On the way back from Noosa and approx. 30 minutes from campus you’ll find the popular mountain Coolum. While most people will choose to follow the public walking track that has been set out and recently refurbished, there are a couple of additional but rarely used tracks that are for the more adventurous and experienced climbers. Interestingly, one of these tracks will lead you to two of Coolum’s caves. The trip to the caves starts at he same main track however if you wear off to the left it will take you to the first larger cave which is more of an overhang and is regularly used by rock climbers. This makes for a spectacular waterfall in the wet seasons and well worth a visit.
6. Double Island / Fraser Island
If you have the option to rent a 4WD while you’re here we would definitely recommend you to put some time and money aside to explore Double Island, just a short 5 minute ferry ride from Noosa North Shore. Double Island stretches all the way up to Double Island Point (well known spot for prime surfing) and Rainbow Beach, where you can further (if you’re an adventurous type) take the Mantra Bay ferry over to Fraser Island. Double Island is perfect for a short day trip however we recommend to spend at least 2 nights (camping or housing accommodation) at Fraser to experience most of what the island has to offer. Recommended spots to visit is Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek, Maheno Wreck and Champagne pools. You may also want to drive further north to Sandy Cape if you have some spare time.
Where to begin? USC and Down Under have changed my life. There is without a doubt nothing better than studying abroad. Since this wasn’t my first time coming to Australia and the Sunshine Coast region, settling in was easy and stress-free for me. It almost felt like coming home. Orientation week is a must if you can get here early enough to attend. This is where you get to make your first good contacts with other students and plenty of university organisations. So, don’t miss out.
So, here’s why you should come to USC for your studies abroad:
Ever wanted to go to the beach before you head to uni? Ever wanted to share your campus with the cutest kangaroos on earth? For me there’s absolutely nothing better than grabbing a cuppa (cup of coffee) and listening to the calming sounds of swaying palm trees while studying on campus. The USC staff, and everyone else on campus, are extremely helpful and always have a smile for you; you get this instant feeling of ‘home’.
One of the reasons why I chose USC is the great variety of courses they offer and their good reputation for preparing their students to really be successful in their future career paths. And having been here for a while I can now say it’s true; I learned so many valuable lessons for life.
I love going to the lectures and tutorials. Here at USC we all stick together and support each other wherever we can. Teaching staff is always there to help whether it is to further explain course content, or simply for a short chat.
Of course, uni is quite different from my studies in Munich as I have reports to write, presentations to hold and exams during the semester.
Campus life! Oh, how can I best describe you? There’s nothing quite like it. Soft music melancholically playing in the backdrop at the cafes. People chatting or vigorously working on assignments; in the distance the usual clacking and roasting sounds from the coffee machines and from time to time a voice with ‘order for Kristin’ echoes. Doesn’t Balu‘s motto of the bare necessities of ‘peace and quiet’ fit perfectly? I got to meet people as crazy as me and people completely unlike me, and I became friends with all of them. I believe this is one of the perks of uni and of being abroad; you get to build this great multicultural network; the best of the very best. We suffered together when we, again started way to late on our assignments. We partied together when we finally, after long nights in front of your laptop, handed them in and we travelled together – of course, the actual reason why you study abroad.
Don’t just come here for your semester and bring some time to travel. Make sure to hop on a plane to Sydney or Melbourne. Or stay at Sunshine Coast and cruise around the hinterland. There’s plenty to see and explore for instance Noosa, the Sunshine Coasts’ golden child, is a must see! Before or after the lectures and on weekends I get to enjoy life to the fullest. Barbeques and rounds of beach volleyball at the beach, hopping from one Food & Wine Festival to the next, and exploring Fraser Island with our 4WD, the largest sand island in the world .
Despite loads of work and a healthy portion of stress, I get the feeling of being on permanent holidays. And of course, this is also thanks to the many rays of sunshine. Not for nothing else is the region called Sunshine ‘Sunny’ Coast. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start your very own study abroad adventure!
I want to share with you my experiences and what I would suggest doing when here in Australia.
Travel, Travel, Travel!
Weather you do this during the semester with weekends away, during the mid-semester break or after you finish; Make the most of being in this beautiful countries and near so many other Asians countries, that normally you would be so far away from. I am doing my travelling after I finish this semester, where I will travel to Sydney and Melbourne. Before finishing my time abroad, I will be meeting my friend Pablo (from my college in NY) in Bali for 10 days. I have spoken to so many people who have been to Bail and if there’s anywhere you should save your money to visit, Bali is the place!
I also took a weekend trip to the Gold Coast with a big group of people. The more people made it cheaper for a really nice AirBnB and we made the most of the amazing weather by spending time at Surfers paradise, a night out at the bars, followed by our first ever AFL game the following day!
Make the most out of days out too! Being on the Sunshine Coast, there are so many awesome days out you can do. From something simple as going to sunbathe at Mooloolaba Beach for the day, or going to Noosa to explore or learn to surf, you can also make a visit to Australia Zoo. Australia Zoo is of the most famous zoos in Australia due to it being the home zoo of wildlife legend Steve Irwin. The zoo had some amazing animals and shows. With opportunities to hold koalas, snakes, and even watch the famous Croc show!
Take every opportunity and speak to everyone!
Everyone is in the same boat as you, so when you come out here, just speak to as many people as you can to learn as much as you can about the Uni, area etc. There’s always someone that can help you or that you can help. I have made so many amazing friends for life by speaking to everyone I can. I also got very lucky that I ended up sitting next to people on the flight into Brisbane that would become some of my best friends here. Weather you end up living at Uni Central or Varsity, everyone is so nice and there is a good mix of international students who are new like yourself or have been in your position, in addition to Australians who are always willing to help.
Make sure that you take every opportunity to try new things and go to new places! You never know when you will get a chance to do something like this again, so the best advice I can give is to take risks, have fun, and do as much as you can with the time you have out here.
My name is Helene, and I am currently studying a bachelor’s degree of Nature Based Tourism and Nature Guiding at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL Sogndal). I have always wanted to study abroad, but the last time I had the opportunity I didn’t dare to take the chance. I was too scared of missing out on everything that might happen back home while being away, and also of being too shy to get to know new people. Ever since then I’ve had this feeling of “what if”, so when I finally got the opportunity to study abroad in Australia during one semester of my degree, I instantly knew I had to take it. This is a decision I definitely do not regret.
As an outdoor enthusiastic person, it came natural for me to choose some of the Outdoor Environmental Study courses that the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) has to offer during their Semester 2. One of these being “Learning in Australian Landscapes”, or more commonly referred to as OES104. This class turned out to become my favourite subject during my semester at USC and here are a couple of the reasons why;
I mean, who doesn’t like going on adventures as parts of their learning experience? During the semester we’ve gone on four different excursions. We’ve had two day trips, where one was a climbing & abseiling trip, while the other one focused on kayaking. In addition to these, we’ve also spent some time overnight camping. The first overnight trip was separated into a day of hiking and a day of kayaking, and the last trip was a three days trip to Fraser Island, which is the largest sand island in the world.
Great focus on international students
I think more than 90% of the students in this class were internationals, and because of that most of us were in the same boat. We didn’t know too many people when the semester started, and having this in common made it easy to interact with one another. I’ve spent a lot of time outside of uni with a group of people from this class, and a few of us are also doing a month-long road trip together as soon as our final assignment has been delivered!
In addition to the main points mentioned above, the course also consists of interesting topics such as, how the Australian landscape has been formed, what makes Australian flora and fauna both unique and vulnerable or ecological succession. The teachers have been really friendly and I’m so glad that I got to have this course as a part of my education.
The campus is located on a beautiful nature reserve where you can often find kangaroos relaxing on the grass. The staff is really friendly and always willing to support you with your studies. Besides, USC offers a modern campus and teaching facilities such as the big library. I would highly recommend participating on the orientation week before the semester starts as it helps a lot to settle down on campus and get useful information about your studies. To afford the tuition fees and get some financial support, it is advisable to apply for scholarships before coming to Australia (for German students e.g. the DAAD offers different opportunities). Moreover, two of the student accommodations, Unicentral and Varsity, are located very close to the USC campus, but there are also many other possibilities for private accommodations close to the beach.
I really enjoyed the varied sports that were offered through USC Sport and joined the USC Badminton team, where we represented USC during the one-week midterm break at the Unisport Games down in Gold Coast. It was a great experience to compete against other Australian Universities and get to know many people from all over Australia.
As the workload at the USC can be intense some times with assignments to write during the semester, it can be smart to plan some time before or after the semester to travel the country. Therefore, I decided already in the beginning of the semester to plan some weeks of travel after my final assignments and visit the the bigger Australian cities like Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. During weekends, the beautiful beaches in Mooloolaba and Maroochydore provide a great opportunity to recharge the batteries. Lastly, weekend trips to the Glasshouse Mountains and climbing Mount Coolum were a great experience where you can enjoy amazing views.
Here are some insider tips when you consider studying at the Sunshine Coast:
Don‘t miss the amazing Australian food: Try banana bread and the Bundaberg ginger beer!
Go to a place where you can hold a koala and stroke kangaroos (my best experience was the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane)
Visit Fraser Island and make a stopover at awesome Noosa Beach and Rainbow beach
Travel from Melbourne to Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road and visit the Twelve Apostles, go to the Outback and visit Uluru (if you are brave sleep in a swag and enjoy the impressive starry sky), go to Perth and for one day to Rottnest Island, where you can visit the Quokkas (cutest animals i‘ve ever seen)
All in all, it was a great semester at the Sunshine Coast with lots of new experiences and kind new people and friends. For the future students- make the most of the time there and don’t forget to travel as much as you can in this beautiful country!
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.
USC 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.
When 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.
If 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!
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.
I’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!
G’day Mates! My name is Brianna Tabit and I am from Michigan in the United States. Through a partnership with my home university, Grand Valley State University, I was able to spend the last semester studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). As my time is coming to an end, I have come up with a list of 10 things that international students will miss once they have to say goodbye to the Sunny Coast.
10 things you will miss when you leave USC:
1. Taking photos of the kangaroos on campus
The locals will quickly be able to spot international students on campus the minute there is a kangaroo hopping around. Within seconds, you’ll see people pulling out their phones to take photos of the roos for their social media and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!
2. Going to the beach on a school day
The best part of the day is being able to go to the beach with your mates before or after class.
3. All of the beaches
On that note, you will miss being able to have a variety of beaches to choose from on the Sunshine Coast.
4. Having the locals make you try Aussie food
While free food may be nice, make sure you do your research before you eat what you’re Australian friends give you. Do NOT let anyone feed you a spoonful of Vegemite – not my favourite..
5. Trying to mimic your Australian friends accents
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve asked your friends to repeat their sentences so you can try to accomplish their accent, I promise you it’s not easy.
6. Being surrounded by unique town names
Have fun pronouncing these for the first time: Sippy Downs, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Buderim, Currimundi, Diddillibah
7. Telling people you’re going to the University of the Sunshine Coast
Your friends and family may question the legitimacy of the university after you tell them the name of it. While you may spend most of your days laying on the beach in the sunshine, you can reassure them you still have plenty of assessments to work on once the sun goes down.
8. Being so close to the Australia Zoo
Being less than 30 minutes away from the Australia Zoo, is the best excuse to relive your childhood memories of watching the Crocodile Hunter. If you’re lucky, you may even get a chance to meet one of the Irwins.
When most people think of Australia, they think of giant snakes and spiders. However, on the Sunshine Coast we only have to worry about a bird called the Magpie. Don’t let the name fool you though, these tiny birds are much more vicious than they look. While you may not miss the bird, you will miss seeing all of the unique anti-magpie-attack bicycle helmets.
10. Thinking twice before turning on the TV
When you’re living on the Sunshine Coast, it is impossible to be bored. There are plenty of oceans to surf, cafes to try, mountains to climb, music festivals to go to, and barbeques to attend.
There are so many festivals in Australia that you should check out, with everything from genres such as electro, rock, dubstep, pop and indie music! We have put together a list of 15 festivals in Australia that we believe you should check out whilst studying!
Sunshine Coast’s Big Pineapple Music Festival is held every year in Mayand is the biggest festival on the Coast. With well-know local and Australian artists such as Peking duk, Broods and PNAU headlining in 2019, The festival has steadily grown in profile and popularity, and is regularly sold out. With a growing list of annual events, The Big Pineapple Music Festival is now an event of national standing, having been awarded one of Australia’s top regional music festivals!
2. Woodford Folk Festival – Woodfordia, QLD
Held every New Years Eve, Woodford Folk Festival is an annual music and cultural festival held near the semi-rural town of Woodford, 72 km north of Brisbane. It is one of the biggest annual cultural events of its type in Australia where approximately 125,000 people attend the festival every year. With approximately 2000 performers and 438 events, this festival is featuring local, national and international guests.
3. Festival X – Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne
Fairly new on the market, Festival X which kicks off on November 29th in Brisbane, will feature some huge headliners such as Calvin Harris, Armin Van Buuren and Lil Pump, the perfect mix for those who want to experience some top American artists. Australian artists such as Alison Wonderland, Anna Lunoe and Godlands will also be there to give you the real Aussie experience, so you really just have to book a ticket and see for yourself – you probably won’t be disappointed!
4. Splendour in the Grass – Byron Bay Parklands, NSW
Splendy, what should we say? This is definitely the festival for all ages and people, and there is so much to do that we could have spent a whole day writing about it. Held in the North Byron Parklands every July, the 2019 version featured some of the greatest artist on this planet. Experience some of the best Australian and American artists, visit the Tipi Forest, Global Village, The Bohemian Lounge, The World Stage, and much much more! The opportunities are endless and there’s no question about why this festival attracts people from all over Australia and even internationally. You just have to experience it for yourself, it’s something unique!
5. Falls Festival – Byron Bay Parklands & Tasmania
Starting it off with Splendour in July, there is not time for withdrawals having Falls Festival right around the corner. Similar to Splendour (except from being held in the middle of the summer and you’ll probably be sweaty all the time), Falls this year will feature Halsey, Vampire Weekends, and Peking Duk (even Lewis Capaldi!) so this might be something you don’t want to miss out on. What better way to celebrate the New Year right?
6. Listen Out – Brisbane Showgrounds, Queensland
Listen Out, this is one of our favourites! Held every September/October (yes, it’s right around the corner!), this festival will bring you dance, electro and hip hop with artist such as 6lack, Biscits, Cosmo’s Midnight, Denzel Curry and Diplo. Being a popular festival for Sunny Coast people, in addition to The Big Pineapple Festival, this festival will give you more of a city-vibe. With two stages, you can easily move from one to the other if both of your favourite acts are on! Accommodation is normally easy to find being that it’s located in the heart of Brisbane, but be quick – it’s always sold out!
7. Grass is Greener – Gold Coast, QLD
We’ve lost count in terms of how many new festivals there are this year, but we are not complaining! Event though Grass is Greener has been around since 2016, it has recently picked up here in Queensland and will be kicking off on the 19th of October in Gold Coast. Tyga will be headlining along with Amy Shark, Hermitude and The Veronicas. If you already know you won’t be able to make it to Gold Coast, they are giving you a second opportunity to experience the festival in Cairns on the 26th. To us, it is not too expensive and definitely sounds like the grass must be greener at that festival, considering their line-up.
8. Wildlands Festival – Brisbane Showgrounds, QLD
Wildlands is a brand new, unique one-day dance festival. Happening at the end of December, Wildlands is the brain child of two of Australia’s most loved festivals. Beyond The Valley and Origin Fields founders have promised the biggest and most exciting dance, electronic and hip-hop acts, both national and international. This year’s lineup will feature sets from RÜFÜS DU SOL, Tyler, the Creator, Skepta, Ella Mai and Green Velvet (info). With tickets around 170$, we believe this might be a good hit for those who don’t want to spend heaps of money on a three-day festival, but would still like to experience the best of the best right before New Years!
9. ULTRA Australia – Sydney & Melbourne
ULTRA came to Australia for the first time in 2018 featuring some big artists such as Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers and Marshmello. ULTRA originally being from America, the festival has now made itself popular on the Australian market. With March 7th & 8th on the schedule for next year, we recommend making it a long-weekend trip to Sydney or Melbourne to get the whole package!
10. Field Day – Sydney (New Years Day), NSW
Who experienced FOMO last year when missing out on Cardi B and Fisher performing? In saying that, this year might also live up to you expectations as we have Green Velvet, Dom Dolla, RL Grime, Skepta and many more performing – this is definitely scoring high on our top list of music festivals 2019! Celebrate the first day of 2020 with your friends in Sydney and experience the best of our Australian (and some American) performers.
11. Beyond The Valley – Lardner Parklands, VIC
Since it’s inception in 2014, the boutique music festival Beyond The Valley has grown into an annual party-goers haven. Running annually over the New Year’s Eve period, BTV’s carefully crafted selection of local and international artists perform across three distinctly designed, purpose-built stages. Each year, thousands of festival-goers from all over the globe travel to the lush Parklands of Lardner to experience Beyond The Valley (info). This year, (it’s unfortunately sold out), artists such as RÜFÜS DU SOL, Tyler, the Creator, 16BL and Bag Raiders will headline along with many more. Start planning for 2020 and be quick, the tickets can sometimes be hard to get a hold on!
12. Groovin The Moo – Oakbank, Bunbury, Bendigo, Canberra, Maitland, and Townsville
Ever since it’s kick-off in 2005, this festival has provided a groovy atmosphere! Held every year in May, the festival featured some big artists this year with Billie Eilish, Aurora and ASAP Twelvyy. There are heaps of locations to choose from, enabling you to literally plan your road trip everywhere! All of the shows sell out every year, so be quick if you want a hold of some tix next year!
13. Origin Fields – Perth, WA
Heads up, Perth seems to be your new NYE plan! Ring in 2020 with Tyler The Creator, Skepta, RL Grime, UK singer Ella Mai and another Aussie favourite, Golden Features. This not-to-miss-out-on festival is held from December 31st to January 1st and believe us, after reading this, you’re probably about to realise that there’s a lot of festivals around NYE. It’s definitely not a bad thing, but you now have a difficult decision to make!
14. SandTunes Music Festival – Gold Coast, QLD
Another new two-day festival which has definitely not been saving any money on artists, featuring LOGIC, Travis Scott and Dean Lewis. They have been met with some criticism being a bit expensive (would explain the lineup), and changing the venue just recently, but we believe with their new 1-day ticket, it’s definitely worth a go! However, if you’re the type of person who hates how 1-day festivals go too quick, this might be the reason to get a hold on that 2-day pass! Save some money and get amongst it, November 30th is right around the corner!
15. Laneway Festival – Brisbane, Sydney, Auckland, Adelaide & Fremantle
Last but not least, the Laneway festival in Brisbane which featured Cosmo’s Midnight, Crooked Colours, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and many more this year. It’s been around 15 years since it first kicked off, and it’s absolutely one of the favourites around Australia. Starting predominantly off as an indie music event, the festival grew in popularity and has expanded to five Australian cities, including Auckland, New Zealand and Singapore. Billie Eilish delivered a mind blowing concert this year, so there’s no reason to believe it won’t be any less next year.
On the Sunshine Coast we have the Maroochydore Airport (MCY)that offers cheap flights around Australia, enabling you to visit places that’s on your bucket list in your study break. Airlines such as Qantas, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand often offers cheap tickets for you as a student wanting to explore and travel. Here are some of our favourite destinations!
From the Maroochydore (Sunshine Coast) airport, flights are regularly flying to Melbourne with a price ranging from 279-350$ return trip.
Melbourne is known for its cultural diversity, over 40 laneways and arcades, amazing art (Hosier Lane – Melbourne’s most celebrated street-art laneway), and dining options for all budgets. Furthermore, World-class gardens such as the Royal Botanic Gardens have ample lawns and lovingly kept themed sections. In addition, it’s known for being THE coffee capital of the world, and you should not miss out on the opportunity to visit the Queen Victoria Market which sprawls between open-sided sheds and historic halls packed with food.
2. Auckland, NZ
Air New Zealand provides seasonal direct flights between Auckland <> Sunshine Coast. The 2019 season commenced on Friday 5 July 2019, with the last service on Sunday 27th October 2019. Ticket prices range from 700-850$ direct with Air New Zealand or alternatively with 1 stop in Sydney via Jetstar from 450-600$.
Auckland – also known as the isthmus city (a narrow strip of land that connects two larger landmasses and separates two bodies of water). Auckland is built on an isthmus between the Waitemata harbour and the Manakau harbour. The Waitemata harbour is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean whereas the Manakau is an initial of the Tasman sea. Essentially, the city actually spans across the land between two different seas. Auckland is also known for being the city of sails, mostly due to the large number of yachts.
Sydney, the number 1 destination for our students wanting to spend some time in the big city during study breaks! From MCY, you can get tickets as cheap as 120$ return (!), normally ranging from 150-200$.
Sydney, which is not the capital of Australia (it’s Canberra), offers some spectacular attractions and places to explore. You can walk across the impressive Sydney Harbour Bridge from the stairs near the pedestrian crossing on Cumberland St in The Rocks. You can also meet all kinds of animals in Sydney’s zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks. Furthermore, you can also take a ferry almost everywhere across the Sydney Harbour, for example to Manly Beach.
If whale watching is something that interests you as well, it’s free to watch from vantage points along sandstone coastline. Humpback and other whales migrate close to the Sydney shoreline between May and November. In addition, bush walking is popular in the magnificent national parks. (info: http://www.sydney.com)
4. Wellington, NZ
In order to get to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, you can fly from MCY with Jetstar or Air New Zealand (via Sydney) with prices ranging from 600-700$, not bad!
In addition, make sure to visit the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary which was established in 1981 as a sanctuary for injured and orphaned wildlife and is Tasmania’s most popular wildlife park. Lastly, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens being Australia’s second-oldest Botanical Garden established in 1818 should also be on your bucket-list.
Thomas Loft from Denmark is studying a Bachelor of International Business at USC Sunshine Coast and wants to give you;
6 good reasons «not» to study at USC 🙉
1. You get new best friends who you may never see again
During your time at USC you will meet so many incredible new people and without a doubt make friends for life. Whether you meet them on campus, at your accommodation, on a night out in Ocean Street or on one of your many trips these people will, become your best friends and soon you will start hanging out with these people every day. Sadly though, a time will come when you will have to say goodbye to these people, and you won’t be able to see them every day.
2. Your home country will seem incredibly boring when you go back
There’s nothing duller than going back to a rainy, grey and cold day to day life, where you spent as little time as possible outside, when you have just come from the paradise world, such as the Sunshine Coast. All of a sudden there is no more fantastic beaches, no more incredible wildlife and no more perfect weather.
3. Family and friends may hate you a little
Jealousy is an awful thing, but your friends and family will most likely start hating you more and more for every incredible photo you post on Instagram. At first, they may seem happy for you, but before you know it, they won’t even like your photos anymore. 🤷🏽♂️
4. The time at USC may be the best time of your life, so it is all downhill from there
Going to a new country to stay for 6 or more months may be very intimidating at first, but once you settle in and start exploring Australia, the good memories and experiences will soon make you forget, that there once was somewhere else, which you called home. You may go explore the Glasshouse Mountains, visit Noosa National Park, learn to surf, go for a weekend trip to beautiful Brisbane or Melbourne or even go skydiving. The endless possibilities and the overflow of new experiences may be the peak of your life’s adventures, so sadly it’s all downhill from there. 😅
5. You spend way too much time planning trips
All the time you would have spent back home, just going through your phone or watching random tv-shows are all of a sudden gone and you now spend that time planning awesome trips with awesome people. This is precious time that you will never get back, and you will definitely miss out on watching that 4th season of “Ice Road Truckers” and miss a bunch of not-so-funny memes. (It might be worth it though) 🌞
6. You will definitely get a post USC depression
Post-travel depression is the worst. It just hurts in your soul, that your travels are over. Upon returning home from USC (if you don’t decide to stay in Australia), everything is suddenly back to normal and all you have left is some amazing pictures and some memories. You will miss everything and everyone from your time at USC. Your flirt, your best friends, the smells, the food, the area and the feeling of freedom won’t be there anymore, and you might cry a little that it is all over.
In June 2016 I left my home in Sweden for an adventure on the other side of the world. A few weeks before I got here I started my ‘research’ – i.e. stalking every international student at USC I could find on social media. I thought I was prepared for everything and anything that the Australian lifestyle had to offer. Let’s just say that I was very wrong, not to mention naive. First of all, my whole life did not fit in my suitcase – shocker, right? Friends, family, and the comfort of living at home had to all stay in Sweden. Secondly, no one told me that winter nights on the coast can get quite chilly, especially as Australian households rarely have heaters. So leaving your window open when it’s 5 degrees outside at night is not recommended. Thirdly, I sure as heck wasn’t prepared for Aussie slang. It never cease to amaze me how creative Australians have been with the English language. Just when you think you’ve heard it all, someone will say a word or phrase that makes you realise that you’ve only seen the very tip of the iceberg.
Now almost 3 years have passed since I first got here, and holy moly what a blast it’s been. My main reason why I wanted to study abroad was because I could not decide whether I wanted to travel or study. Studying here has allowed me to see different parts of Australia as well as two trips to New Zealand. I have also made friends that made it possible for me to travel to America and stay there during one of my uni summer break. Another thing studying here has allowed me to do was to foster dogs! I have been taking care of dogs until they get adopted whilst studying at the same time. Although juggling the two can be difficult at times, it has also helped my studying a lot as I have to take regular breaks to take them out for walks.
I could easily write a hundred reasons why studying abroad has been the best three years of my life and another hundred on what you’re about to sign up for. However, reflecting back on this whole experience now when it’s coming to an end, I’m glad that I didn’t know what was waiting ahead when I boarded that plane almost three years ago.
The beauty of studying abroad is that no matter how much you researched beforehand, you will never be able to fully prepare for the adventures that await you once the plane touches Australian land.
Hello, we are two Norwegian girls studying abroad from The Arctic University of Norway. Our names are Margrethe and Sofie. We are currently studying psychology in Norway and we got the opportunity to do one semester abroad. Both of us enjoy the beach and warmer temperatures, so Sunshine Coast here in Australia was an easy choice.
Here in Australia we are doing a program called Study Abroad. Both of us got a lot of help from Kilroy during this process. They helped us throughout the whole process and gave us helpful information about the different universities in Australia. When we decided to apply for The University of Sunshine Coast, they helped us with the application, tuition fees, visa etc.
As we both love the beach life we decided to share with you our top 5 favourite beaches here on the Sunshine Coast.
This beach is located only 15 minutes by bus from uni. It is the closest beach, but also our favourite. This is the beach where we have spent most of our time during the past five months. From Mooloolaba you can walk along the coastline towards Pt. Cartwright, which has a nice view. There are also located a lot of nice bars, cafes, restaurants, and shops along the esplanade. We especially love the acai bowls at Acai Brothers and the coffee at Hustle & Flow Espresso. Mooloolaba is always patrolled by lifeguards which means that you can enjoy a nice swim in the ocean.
Little Cove Beach
This little beach is located in Noosa Heads, which is 40 minutes away from the university by car and approximately 1.5 hours by bus. The beach is very close to Noosa Main Beach, but not nearly as crowded. The water is crystal clear, and you can do a bit of surfing here as well. If you feel like it, you can continue to walk along a wooden path to some beautiful rock pools named Fairy Pools. There are also a lot of cafes, restaurants, and shops in walking distance from this beach.
It is located in Caloundra, which is approximately 50 minutes away from the university by bus and 25 minutes away by car. It is a beautiful beach, where you both can surf and swim. From Caloundra you can watch the sun going down behind the beautiful Glass House Mountains. In addition to this, Caloundra often has street fairs with lots of good food and small shops.
This beach is located about 40 minutes away from the university by bus and is close to Caloundra. From Dicky Beach you can watch beautiful sunrises and there are a couple of cute coffee shops nearby where you can enjoy a break from the sun. Our favourite is The Pocket Espresso. There are also some good waves for surfing, and the beach is less crowded than Kings Beach. If you like dogs or have you’re own dog, there is a dog beach called Moffat Beach right next to this beach.
This beach is located about 20 minutes from the university by bus. The beach is right next to Mooloolaba, but more suited for surfing than Mooloolaba is. You can walk along the esplanade between these two beaches, and it is a beautiful walk. From Alexandra Headland you can watch beautiful sunsets while watching a lot of talented surfers. You can get delicious ice cream at Cold Rock which is located right next to the beach.
We hope you enjoyed reading about our favourite beaches. We have not regretted for one split second that we decided to study at the Sunshine Coast and at USC. It has been an incredible semester filled with lots of good food, new friends, tons of sunshine and traveling. If you have any questions about USC, Australia, accommodation or studying abroad in general, we are more than happy to answer. You can find us at Instagram @maggi95 and @sofiegam.
Hey everyone, my name is Oliver and I’m 20 years old. I’m currently a Study Abroad student from Kilroy because I’m having a gap-year in Denmark and wanted to do something different than just travelling around.
I had many different universities in Australia in mind but decided to choose USC because of the program, the location and their effort to make international students feel welcome.
Studying at USC was way above my expectations and definitely the best time of my life, even the weeks with a lot of uni-work. It’s just amazing to have the opportunity to sit in the sun and watch kangaroos jumping around when doing assessments or homework.
USC is a modern university with new facilities and the newest technology, which is a thing I really appreciate. USC also offers various kinds of sports and clubs, both competitive and social sports, which is fun to try – and also a great opportunity to meet other students and build up friendships.
Top 5 must do while studying at USC
Noosa Heads located 30-45 minutes north of USC. This area is amazing and gives a bit of the “Miami Beach vibe”, you have a lot of small cozy cafés and restaurants, shopping opportunities and one of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast.
One out of two Everglades in the world is also located in Noosa and the national park with various hiking trails. You can get to Noosa by car or by bus. It cost approximately 5$ from USC to Noosa.
Surfing at Alexandra Headlands:
One of the must do when studying or visiting Australia is surfing! Surfing is a huge thing in Australia, and you will be able to see surfers at every beach. I recommend surfing at the Alexandra Headlands beach because it’s close to USC and board hire is approximately 30$ for 3 hours.
PS: Surfing is way harder than it looks like – so don’t give up after a few tries!
Wings Wednesday at Taps:
Every Wednesday, the restaurant “Taps” at Mooloolaba is offering 10 chicken wings with a burst of flavors for 5$. This is a place with a great atmosphere, a lot of people especially uni-students and a great place to catch up in the midweek. Besides for the cheap and delicious chicken, beer-taps are located at each table so you can pour your own beer!
25 minutes south from USC is the world-famous Steve Irwin zoo located, also called Australia Zoo. This is an absolute must do and a great experience. Daily buses to Australia Zoo are available and it’s easy to get there. Steve Irwin’s vision has always been to make Australia Zoo the biggest and best wildlife conservation facility in the entire world. It is also at the Australia Zoo you get a chance to pet and feed kangaroos, carry a koala, pet a wombat and many other animals.
Fraser Island is 2 hours driving north from USC, and it is the world largest sand island. It was inscribed as a “World Heritage Site” in 1992 and is especially known for the Lake McKenzie, the wildlife and the champagne pools. Fraser Island has rain forests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths.
Also, throughout the semester, there’s a study-break midway the semester and a few public holidays, where it is possible to arrange trips to destinations all around Australia. Students are often going to places like Sydney, Melbourne, The Whitsundays, Uluru, and some are even going to New Zealand or Bali. The opportunities are endless.
Advice to future students:
For myself, going to a new country by myself to study, was definitely a cross-border experience and it can be thrilling. But it turns out to be the best experience ever, and I wish everyone who has the possibility to go study abroad, should do so.
Learning about a new culture and be a part of it, get to know people from all around the world, boost your CV/resume, improve English skills, and get the chance to do trips all around Australia while studying. All this ensure the best time of your life and my advice would definitely be; to get this experience and do this cross-border experience. If you make sure to write your assessments in time, there’s plenty of time to explore and travel when studying.
I’m so grateful for my time here, for all the people I have met, the friends I’ve got for the rest of my life and the experiences when exploring this amazing continent.
Raw + Rice in Mooloolaba is probably one of the best poke bowl bars on the Sunshine Coast, serving deliciously fresh and tasty bowls just a stone’s throw from the beach.
You have the option to build your very own poke bowl choosing from bases of brown rice, quinoa, sushi rice or mixed greens. Then, you choose your one preferred source of protein —salmon, tuna, poached chicken, swordfish or soy tofu. Then, by adding 5 different add-ons from the category ‘Freshness’, such as ginger, seaweed, cucumber or carrot, its time for the sauce and finally the crunch. You won’t be disappointed! (The Urban List, 2019).
Cafe Vie is situated on the corner of Main Street and Gloucester Road and this is where you’ll find this cosy, vegan foodie haven. Their motto is simple and appealing; it’s a plant kind of thing, and we could not agree more!
Serving dishes such as the falafel waffles with crispy chickpeas and mint tzatsiki, the crunchy Kung Pao Bao featuring steamed bao buns, kung pao dressing and crispy tofu are just some of the mouth watering dishes on their menu!
This place is not only just for people that are vegan by principle, but also for everyone else who sometimes feel like eating a bit plant-based now and then. Definitely worth a visit. (The Urban List, 2019).
We just can’t get enough of this pan-Asian restaurant located at the Warf in Mooloolaba. Hidden behind two massive red barn-style doors in Mooloolaba, Rice Boi’s interior is kitted out with red lanterns, cages used as walls, casual tables and stools and an open kitchen where diners can get a glimpse of their food be prepped and plated.
Created by a super-experienced trio of hospitality gurus—Tony Kelly (Hello Harry and Junk in Maroochydore), Elyza Molloy and chef Mitch Smith—the interior is only the wrapping around what is truly one helluva tasty experience. (The Urban List, 2019).
With an Asian street food menu featuring foods like bao buns, ramen, curries and edamame (of course!), the meals are as affordable as they are substantial. You might want to avoid the dinner rush time in between 5 to 7pm as it can get pretty busy (they do have a quick turnaround though!), so get in there early – you won’t regret it!
Hand’s down, this is a pizza and pasta experience you don’t want to miss out on! If you thought you had to go to Italy to get good, Italian food – think again. Il Vento gives you a real Italian experience right in the heart of Mooloolaba.
Named after The Wind which blew them from the shores of Italia into the heart of the Sunshine Coast, Il Vento brings to Mooloolaba traditional Italian cuisine to be enjoyed in a modern seaside setting. The only restaurant on the north coast equipped with a wood-fired oven, Il Vento promises to bring the people of Sunshine Coast perfect wood-fired pizzas and fresh handmade pasta! (Il Vento, 2019).
In addition, their service and professionalism are some of the things you want to come back for – not just their amazing food!
Hidden right outside Maroochydore CB, you’ll find this hidden gem called Riba Kai. Once situated in the Sunshine Plaza shopping centre, Riba Kai presents itself as a custom, fit-out industrial shed with a modern and welcoming ambience. With seating both inside and outside under the large awnings, you can bring your furry friends too! (The Urban List, 2019).
You will be welcomed with a menu that have both tapas style inspired dishes and your classics such as the sliders or pizzas. They also have a huge breakfast menu which includes all the favourites ranging from poached eggs to sautéed mushrooms. This is just the perfect catch-up place for you and your friends!