Peter Buchen from Fulda University of Applied Sciences in Germany studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast
Hi, my name is Peter and I am studying International Business Administration at the University of Applied Sciences Fulda in Germany. During our studies we have to undertake an obligatory semester abroad, which has (fortunately) led me to study at the University of Sunshine Coast (USC) in Australia for one semester. As the name of the university already suggests, one can expect a lot of sunshine all year long.
Located on the east side of Australia, the USC campus in Sippy Downs is truly beautiful and located on a designated wildlife reserve. Therefore, it is almost common to encounter kangaroos, possums, birds and duck families when you walk to your lecture. If you are lucky, they may accompany you on your way. But not only the campus is amazing, the nearby beaches offer the opportunity for having BBQ’s whilst watching the sunset, take surfing lessons or just to relax and enjoy life.
As an international student, and being quite far away from home, it is always challenging to adapt to the new circumstances. The peaceful Australian lifestyle and the no worries attitude definitely help to settle in quickly. The welcome events organised by USC also assisted to feel welcome and to meet new people. Furthermore, USC offers a wide range of workshops and a social sport program.
At USC, I attended three courses which consist of a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial. While the lectures focus on theoretical knowledge, the tutorials emphasise on applying the gained knowledge by working on individual problems and questions. In contrast to Germany, where we only take one exam in each course per semester, the overall grade at the USC is made up by three different tasks for each course during the semester. Therefore, it is easy to follow on how you are performing in your course.
For me, another huge part of my semester abroad has been travelling and exploring Australia. It is nearly impossible to explore all of Australia’s gems in only one semester. However, prioritising your favourite spots or locations which you want to visit (and checking your wallet for enough cash) definitely helps. Even though studying during the semester abroad is important – you will always find time to travel. The given one-week semester break is a great opportunity for a road trip. We used the semester break for a short trip down to Tasmania. The landscape and weather are totally different than what we were used to at the Sunshine Coast. Moreover, I can recommend visiting Fraser Island by renting a 4WD. The lakes on Fraser Island are just astonishing.
Studying at USC has truly been a unique experience, which I can highly recommend. As advice: Travel, explore and fully experience life here by challenging yourself. Step outside your comfort zone and just embrace every opportunity and you will have a wonderful time.