Hi! My name is Manon. I study International Business Administration at my university back home in Germany. Luckily, they were able to give me the opportunity to become an international student for one semester at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Here, I am studying a Diploma in Business.
After doing a lot of research, getting an insurance, my visa, and booking my flights, my adventure finally started!
Sunshine Coast is a great place to live and study. It’s an area with beautiful beaches and stunning hinterland, all in one. The Sunshine Coast isn’t too populated which means that you will always find a bit of serenity wherever you go. Laze on the beaches, hike through the hinterland or meet some fascinating local characters at the markets – there’s something for everyone!
Right at the first day, I met two of my roommates who arrived at the same day as me. And what can I say? We became the best friends and spend pretty much every day together! I made a lot of friends really quick. Because everyone is in the same position! Everybody is new and nervous. That way, you really connect with each other. You can talk about being homesick just as well as getting inside jokes and laugh until your stomach hurts.
Because my friends and I didn’t have class on Mondays, we had long weekends which we used to explore the areas that are close to the Sunshine Coast such as Noosa, Brisbane and Hinterland.
We also signed up for trips that were organised by the Student Guild. We went to Australia Zoo and visited the Eumundi markets. We also went to Byron Bay for a weekend trip. There, we went skydiving, did a lighthouse tour and even saw Liam Hemsworth jogging! (Sorry no photo evidence – he is fast!)
We used the mid semester break to go to Cairns, snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef and going on a sailing trip for 2 days. And even though I got a little seasick (definitely be prepared for that!) it was the best part of our vacation. We saw the most beautiful sunsets, made awesome new friends and exfoliated at the Whitehaven beach which is known for its bright white sands.
Next to all the travelling and relaxing at the beach, I also had to study. The workload here is different than at home during the semester, as for each subject there are three assessments. In Germany, I only have to do an exam at the end of the semester – and even though I have to take seven classes at home, it felt like less work during the semester.
And yes, I struggled sometimes. But good time management and help from your tutors and classmates will help you get everything done in time. Don’t worry, you’ll still have enough time to travel, get relaxing days at the beach or go out on uni night with your new friends.
I would definitely recommend coming to USC for a semester abroad or even for your whole studies. There is so much to see and explore!
– Manon Bunten @manon_bunt