Ellie Uchida from Japan (GCS Group Australia – Brisbane) studying EAP2 at USC Sunshine Coast

5Hi everyone, my name is Ellie and I am an exchange student from Japan! I started at USC Sunshine Coast in May 2019 to take EAP2(English Academic Purpose program) before the semester which I needed to complete in order to take undergraduate courses, followed by one semester abroad after EAP2. I found out about USC on the website of GCS Group Australia and as soon as I read all the articles about USC, I got so fascinated with USC – and especially with the fact that I could study in a great environment surrounded by beautiful nature. As I’ve always wanted to study in a region where I could balance my studies and spare time, in addition to interact with local people, USC has been a perfect study abroad destination for me.

As I have just been studying abroad for one semester, I decided to study some random courses which were Linguistics, Introduction to Management, Sustainable tourism, Leisure and Event Management, and Learning in Australian landscapes. Most of these courses were different in terms of the subjects I am studying back in Japan, but these courses gave me a totally different point of view towards things around us and made me think about sustainability and nature environment more in depth. Among these courses, my highlight was definitelyLearning in Australian Landscapes. While I learnt a lot about Australian history and geography, I have gotten to go kayaking in Noosa river, abseil and climb at Mt Ngungun, and camp at Fraser Island for 3 days through this course, which I would not have experienced if I did not take this course. Moreover, I have gotten many awesome friends through these adventures! If you are keen on outdoor recreation and exploring beautiful nature on the Sunshine Coast, this will be the best pick for you.

While I have mostly spent my time on my study, I explored some beautiful places around USC and in Australia. Here, USC is fortunate to have stunning national parks and beaches nearby such as Mooloolaba and Noosa where you can chill, swim, or even surf whenever you want. Other than Sunshine Coast, I explored much on the east coast from Cairns to Melbourne, and even inland Uluru. If you are a beach lover like me, you definitely want to visit Whitehaven Beach which is well known for its absolute crystal white sand and turquoise coloured water. Trust me, it is the best beach I have ever visited that it will leave you speechless.

To conclude, my life at USC has been so amazing that I could not ask for any better. Of course, as a student from Japan where we really do not have much exposure to foreign cultures or even other languages including English, everything was overwhelming at first. However, thanks to awesome friends, supportive group of teachers, and pretty animals living on the campus, I got used to the life in Australia real quick and could enjoy every single day. People here are amazing, the weather is always perfect (mostly haha) on the Coast, you can even talk to the kangaroos on the campus when you get tired.

Living far away from your home is as same as stepping out of your comfort zone, which might make you feel scared at first, and things always cannot be the same as you expect.  However, life is going to be so much fun and exciting when you have struggles, so be positive, make a lot of friends and have fun! I am so sure that USC gives you a lot to your life 🙂

– Ellie Uchida

Note: Blog post and photos are from 2019, prior to social distancing and the current COVID-19 situation.

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