My name is Jason Librock, and I am a fourth year Communications Bachelor at Niagara University in New York State, United States. Currently, I’m studying abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for one semester, and its been the best experience of my life.
Like many students preparing to study in a different country, I was extremely nervous. Studying abroad on the Sunshine Coast was literally the furthest place I could possibly study away from my home. I had never shared a living space with anyone and I was going to be “on my own” for about 5 months. All of my fears melted away as soon as I got to my living accommodations. Almost every person I interacted with were cool, nice, and had an interesting perspective on the world, since many were from a variety of different countries. Glimpsing the USC campus the first time during orientation week seemed to be a magical experience. Never in my life have I seen a campus with such natural beauty and exceptional weather, especially when kangaroos are grazing in the morning sun just off the pathway. Yet, the campus is only a taste of the true beauty that studying abroad has to offer.
Throughout my time here, I have gone to many places on the Sunshine Coast and beyond that have given me experiences that I will never forget. Noosa had great beaches, a majestic coastal walk, as well as magical fairy pools. The Hinterlands have incredible hiking as well as views of incredible mountains that will take you breath away. But if someone ever needs a break from the hiking and just want a chill day at the beach, there are a crazy variety of amazing beaches like Mooloolaba or King’s Beach close to campus that incapsulate the Sunshine Coast’s laid back feeling.
Beyond the Sunshine Coast is a myriad of wonders that I never even knew were on my bucket list. Going to Byron Bay was incredibly cool, with the town having incredible views via the lighthouse walk and it felt like the most “laid back” style of life that I have ever experienced. Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast was an excellent mix of gorgeous beaches and crazy night life. Diving in the Great Barrier Reef was like entering an alien world, and has sparked my passion for snorkeling and diving, probably for the rest of my life. Sydney felt like the Australian version of NYC, with so much to do in the city that it was mind boggling just to choose what my group was going to do very day. After experiencing all of these unique places, I felt like I had a feeling of accomplishment, as if I had just crossed off something on my bucket list and now could look back on it with a feeling of bliss.
All in all, I have one piece of advice for anyone studying or thinking about studying abroad at USC. Just do it! Go on the Noosa Trip, explore Byron Bay, dive at the Great Barrier Reef. These experiences will change how you look at the world around you for the better, they definitely have for me. Every person I have talked who has studied abroad says they love it and none of them ever regret it. Im glad to say that I absolutely feel the same way. If you come here, you will feel that way too. Thanks for reading this.
– Jason Librock @jlibrock
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