Marta Álvarez from Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Spain studying at USC Sunshine Coast
¡Hola! Hey everyone! I’m Marta Álvarez, @martalvarezm. Before coming to Australia – it was on my bucket list! I was studying in Universidad Pablo de Olavide, in my hometown Sevilla, a warm and incredible part of Spain. At my home university, I was studying to be a translator, but somewhere in between I realised that I was better suited for international business and marketing: and that’s what I’m studying at USC Sunshine Coast!
Having the opportunity to choose the courses in which I’m most interested in helped me to find my way through and decide on what I really want to do in the future, in addition to meeting amazing mentors and amazing people in class.
Before you arrive in Australia, everything you have learned about the continent is not quite right… Living here is even better than anything you can imagine. Not only are the Australians really welcoming, open and fun, but their relaxed lifestyle is something that I won’t ever forget. Also, USC is a really small “all-aussie” university, so the chances of ending up having your own local crew are really high.
Picture this: going to the beach almost every day, driving a 4×4 through the sand, dark green forests, climbing mountains, surfing mornings, waking up at 6am (I had never been a morning person before!), going out and realising that the whole campus is like going to a zoo: kangaroos, swamp hens, brush turkeys, heaps of ducks, swans, kingfishers, colourful cockatoos and lorikeets… You may or may not be familiar with these names, but I can assure you that you’ll love hearing them sing!
Living in Australia helps you understand your surroundings and create a special bond with mother nature. When you are learning how to surf, you realise that there are many useless thoughts that do not let you concentrate, relax, and catch a wave. I realised that none of them were aimed at my survival. We all have food and shelter, if it costs me so little to be alive and be in the water, what are all the problems around? Nobody charges me for jumping into the sea! (don’t say it too loud…)
As a Spanish international student, it is really scary to fly over 30 hours, crossing the whole planet, without knowing what you will find. Far from home, a whole different culture, not having any friends, starting from zero… everything seems like a huge step that we are afraid to make. When I first booked the flight, I felt unsure of what was awaiting me in Australia. But now is time to get rid of these fears, get out of your comfort zone, and go for it! You’ll never regret it, because if I’m full of good things that Australia has given me, I’m sure you will be too.