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Frida Ommundsen from Kilroy Norway studying a Diploma in Sport & Fitness at USC Sunshine Coast: ‘Moving to Sunshine Coast 101’

IMG_5813(1)Hi! My name is Frida and I am from Norway. I moved to Sunshine Coast about a year ago and I have just finished a Diploma in Sport and Fitness at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

When I first moved over to the other side of the world, there was some adjustment. So here are 12 things worth knowing if you are moving to the Sunshine Coast, just to make it a little bit easier for you.

Moving to the Sunshine Coast 101

1. There are three student accommodations around the university.

The Village: More like a share house, close to the university and the bus station. No air condition, but fans. You have access to your own washing machine, and your own outside area for drying.

UniCentral: Shared apartment. No air-condition, but fans. Your also have your own washing machine in the apartment.

Varsity: Shared apartments with air-condition in the living room only. No laundry machine, but shared laundry room which cost 2 and 3 dollars for the use of the drying and washing machines. Varisty is also known for being the accommodation complex that offers more social activities such as Volleyball competitions and Thursday Uni nights.

IMG_8012(1)All of these accommodations offer swimming pools and tennis/basketball courts.

2. There’s a free bus from Varsity every Tuesday and Thursday to Woolies, so you can do your food shopping. Also, Australians shorten every word they can. Woolies = Woolworths, which is one of the main grocery stores.

3. If you’re living at the student accommodations, you can walk to Coles (also a main grocery store) and walk with the trolley back. They will come and pick the trolleys up once a week.

4. Public transport isn’t the best (depending on what you’re used to from back home), and there can be some big distances here in Australia. If you can afford it and you think it’s worth it, depending on the length of your stay, buy a car so you can get around more easily and experience places further away.

5. The University offers different sports, and if they don’t have the sport you wish to play they are happy to help you start a team. I started an European Handball team, and we took 4th place in Unigames which was held in Gold Coast.

6. Buy a go card (bus/train card), which will only cost you 10$, and might be able to register the card and get student discount on your trips. You can buy it from a news agency or at uni. Simply tap the card when you go on the bus or train and tap it when you go off. The card can be used in Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast ++.

7. Mooloolaba is the main beach in Sunshine Coast, and it has an esplanade with different shops and restaurants. Only 15-20min bus ride away from Uni, if you take the 615 bus from the USC Bus Stop.

IMG_5012(1)8. Sunshine plaza is the main shopping centre and is located in Maroochydore. It has all stores you need + restaurants and a big cinema. There’s also a shopping centre in Kawana, which has many shops, a cinema and restaurants. It is 15 min away if you take the 607 bus.

9. Not far away from the plaza you’ll find Ocean street. This is the main bar and restaurant street. The student night is every Thursday, with free buses taking you back and forth to ocean street from Varsity.

10. If you wish to travel, there’s a small airport on the Sunshine Coast located only 20 min away from the University by car. There’s also Brisbane Airport, which is 1 hour away by car.

11. Open a bank account so you don’t get charged the percent extra every time you use your international card. It’s free to open a bank account, just remember to bring your passport for identification. Transferring money to your new Australian bank account may apply some fees. However, using TransferWise might be a good option as they charge minimal fees.

12. The Australian winter, June – August, can actually get pretty chilly. Remember to bring warm clothes, you will be surprised how cold it can get sometimes, even in Australia!

Thank you for reading and I hope these facts can help you if you are coming to the Sunshine Coast or considering studying in Australia!

– Frida Ommundsen

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