My name is Jessi, I am 22 years old and I am from Germany. Back home, I am studying International Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Ausgsburg. At the moment, however, I am studying here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), in Australia. I was offered the wonderful opportunity to do a double degree and stay in Australia for a whole year. Sadly, almost one semester has passed already. But that just highlights that I am having an incredible time. I mean, ‘time flies by when you’re having fun’, right?
I came to Australia all by myself and, honestly, that was one of the greatest decisions I’ve made so far. The flight was long, actually 28 hours long. However, I was lucky as the two major things I did within these 28 hours were sleeping and eating. Could be worse, right?I arrived in Brisbane (which is a wonderful city, by the way) and from there I took the shuttle that Varsity arranged for me. Everything was really easy. But I think that’s just the Australian lifestyle: Australians take it easy. Nevertheless, I was happy when I finally arrived at my student accommodation in Varsity. This is where I am currently still living. I moved in with two lovely roomies: One German, whom I already knew, and one Australian.
Living in one of the student accommodations here is really an incredible experience. Most people are internationals and only stay for one semester. That’s why they want to make the most out of their experience. They say Thursday is student night, where everyone comes together to have a little party. But I can tell you, that’s not just Thursdays. If you want to, you can go out every night and I can promise you, there will always be someone to join. Making friends is just too easy here, too. Varsity offers some really great common areas, including two pools, several barbecue stations, a volleyball court, a tennis court and a gym. Another benefit of living in one of the student accommodations here: It takes you just about five minutes to the USC campus. I have to admit, I have never seen such a beautiful campus in my entire life. Moreover, there are seven breathtaking lakes, just two minutes from Varsity. Here you are am basically surrounded by nature, not to mention the kangaroos. Nevertheless, this can be a little boring and even annoying sometimes as you need to take the bus whenever you want to see anything else, like the beach or shopping centres. This, however, doesn’t mean that I stayed in Sippy Downs the whole time. I met a bunch of lovely people here. Together, we went to Cairns and the Daintree National Park, which was an incredible experience! We saw Noosa, which is only about 40 minutes by car, Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Agnes Water and went on a cast-away tour. Not to mention the weekly trips to some smaller beaches close to Sippy Downs.
Now, let’s talk about uni.
You should know that the educational system here in Australia can’t be compared to the German one. In Australia, each course you take (usually it’s four per semester) will expect you to complete three assignments. These assignments are spread over the whole semester. Some include exams at the end, and some don’t. What I intent to say is that in Australia, uni is an ongoing learning journey. Almost every week there will be something you have to submit, like a report or an essay, or you will have to do a presentation, write a test, etc.
Sounds like a lot of work? It kind of is. But, it is definitely worth it! You will learn so much, and it definitely prepares you for your Bachelor thesis, in terms of conducting research and writing reports!