Hi there! My name is Christina and I’m from Zurich, Switzerland. I’m studying at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons for a tourism bachelor’s degree and was in the business bachelor’s program at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I’m currently at the very end of my time in Australia and would like to take the opportunity to tell you about my year abroad and what motivated me to study at USC in a double degree program.
I knew little about the Sunshine Coast region when the USC representatives visited us at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons and introduced us to the double degree program. Above all, the opportunity to earn an international bachelor’s degree from a highly regarded university led me to decide to study at USC. However, when I arrived on the Sunshine Coast almost a year ago, I knew that this year would bring me more than just an additional degree.
The USC campus in Sippy Downs is so different from our campus in Switzerland. There are not only a lot of sports facilities, but also an untouched nature and even a small lake next door. I also enjoyed the free weekly meditation courses and other well-organised events of the student guild. At USC, I attended four courses per semester, each consisting of a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial. During the lectures, they taught us the theoretical knowledge, while the tutorials allowed us to deal with individual questions and problems. What I particularly like about the educational organisation is that you have three tasks for each course, which together make up your overall grade. This makes it easy to follow as you’re always kept up to date with how you’re doing in your course.
During the semester breaks we had a lot of time to explore the big and beautiful Australia. I took the three-month summer break as an opportunity to go on a road trip south via Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide back to the Sunshine Coast. I was totally caught in the Australian hang-loose culture and was found not wearing proper shoes for the whole three months. After the road trip, I even got to spend two weeks in Western Australia, where I experienced some of the most remote and whitest beaches in Australia. My favourite place, however, was by far the region of Port Stephens. Many backpackers skip this destination which is only two hours from Sydney as it is located on a peninsula. But it is well worth going this extra mile in order to experience the breath-taking views from Tomaree mountain and ride the camels on Birubi Beach.
All in all, I greatly appreciated my year at USC because it brought me not only academic and personal growth, but also so many new friends from around the world. Even though a year away from friends and family is a long time, I don’t regret a single week of it. Thank you USC.