Katja Maier from OTH Regensburg studying at USC
Are you keen, mate? The following text provides some important information and advice for any international planning on studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast!
The university has a completely different structure compared to my home university in Germany. Students do not just study for one exam at the end but are regularly asked to prove their knowledge through different assessments such as presentations, multiple choice tests, exams, assignments or workshops. This kind of system makes you study constantly and therefore it is easier to remember what you have learned. It also improves your grades and teamwork ability.
The relationship between lecturer and student is also completely different. Lecturers and tutors are called by their first names. There is no shame in asking any questions via mail or in class. The tutors and lecturers are way more helpful, emails are answered thoroughly within 24 hours and the feedback provided pushes you to bring out the best in you.
Activate is a club of the university, which organises outdoor trips to the most beautiful parts of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. The yearly fee is only 30 AUD and definitely worth it! Hiking, rock climbing, camping at the beach or in national parks, going to waterfalls. There are all sorts of different things they do. The biggest trip was to Fraser Island, I had the luck to be part of it.
There are different kinds of student accommodations. They are called Uni Central, the Village and Varsity. I highly recommend students that are staying at the USC for only one semester to stay at a student accommodation. It is the easiest way as your spot is assured and you do not have to do inspections once you get to Australia. I spent my first semester at Varsity and I had a really good time there. One cannot compare it to the student’s accommodation in Germany. Varsity has an equipment of two pools, a volleyball court, a tennis court, you can play basketball, Ping-Pong, pool, listen to music or watch movies in the rec room, have a BBQ on one of the several stations and make hundreds of new friends from all over the world. Varsity also hosts all sorts of different events as in the O-Week, a volleyball competition and has free buses to the Helm, the closest club to the accommodation. At the same time, you are still able to study as there is security and no loud noises after a certain time at night.
Sunshine Coast is the perfect spot to see many beautiful places such as:
- Fraser Island as mentioned (2h drive)
- Brisbane (1h drive)
- Gold Coast (2.5h drive)
- Byron Bay (3h drive)
- Noosa (40 min drive)
- multiple waterfalls, national parks and mountains to go hiking in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Public transport is not as good as in Germany and therefore a car may be worth buying even only for one semester or hire it for a short time!
If you did not get enough after you have travelled all over Australia in your almost 4 months summer semester break you can easily go over to New Zealand and explore another beautiful country. The flight is only 3 hours and if you book it early enough not even that expensive from Brisbane.
I myself went to the outback for two months during the semester break to work and earn some money for traveling. It was a great experience and I ended up saving a lot which is something that I can recommend to anyone who does not have the money at that time to travel.
This past year has been one of the best ones I have had so far. Not only did I improve my English and knowledge in business through the different courses but also learned a lot about working and studying with people from different cultures. I am so happy I was given the chance to explore such a beautiful country with new friends from all over the world.