Kaja Øyen and Kristine Røssland from HVL Sogndal in Norway studying at USC Sunshine Coast

IMG_3520Hello! Our names are Kaja and Kristine. We are from Norway and have been studying economics at HVL for three and a half years. This last semester we studied abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast to finish our double degree. We chose this university primarily because HVL and USC are collaborating. This way we got a lot of information, had a contact person in Australia who could answer all of our questions and the whole process went smoothly. A couple of other reasons are that some friends of ours told us about their great experiences and the fact that Australia is an amazing destination.
On our journey to Australia we stopped for a couple of days in Singapore, before heading to Sydney. We arrived at the Sunshine Coast prior to Orientation week. During our semester abroad we naturally had to put the books aside and explore Australia. In addition to Sydney, we also visited Brisbane a few times, we spent some days in Uluru explored the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef from Airlie Beach and the areas close to Sunshine Coast, such as Noosa and Hinterland.

Our favourites are sailing the Whitsundays and experiencing the uniqueness of Uluru. When we traveled to Whitsundays, we spent three days on a trimaran sailing the islands. It was an amazing experience, and even though it was quite windy and rained at times, we met so many interesting people and had a lot of fun. We also visited Whitehaven beach, where instead of sand there is silica in which you can wash your teeth, your jewels and even your hair. When we visited Uluru, we saw the fields of light, walked around Uluru and got told many interesting aboriginal stories. Additionally, we visited Kata Tjuta and slept in swags. This experience was really something else. There is such a big difference between Queensland and the Northern Territory, you just have to see it to believe it!

After finishing our semester abroad, we got to attend a Ceremony of Completion for the international students. At the ceremony, we received a diploma and got to wear the academic dress and hat. We found this last part extra exciting because, during graduation in Norway, we don’t get to wear outfits like these. Furthermore, all of our friends, who didn’t graduate, came to the ceremony and celebrated with us and this became one of our best days in Australia.

IMG_5300We would really like to recommend everyone who is considering doing a semester abroad to just GO FOR IT! It is one of the best experiences of our lives and we absolutely loved it.Some perks are that you get to learn and practice the English language, you get to experience a new culture, it looks great on your resume, it is warm, there is amazing beaches and you get so many new friends from all over the world.

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