Nina Budweg at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia

My Way to Australia

University of the Sunshine Coast - an attracting name… I always dreamt of living in a foreign country. When I heard of this programme at the USC in Australia, I tried everything to take part in it. Back in Germany I can say it was definitely worth all of the little difficulties I had before going there and I would do it everytime again! Australia is an amazing land, surrounded by countries about which I did not even know before that they are located there and how far they are developed. Australia never looses the view to the world, no matter if the countries are close to Australia or on the other side of the world like Europe or the United States.

The Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful landscape with white sandy beaches all along the coast. The Sunshine Coast starts to establish as a region attracting tourism at the moment. However it is not far as busy as the Gold Coast is. Back in the land behind these Beaches there are Mountains, National Parks and Rain forest. Mooloolaba is one of the bigger towns at the Sunshine Coast. From the University it takes about 15 to 20 minutes by bus to get there and about 20 to 30 minutes to get to the next bigger shopping mall: the Sunshine Plaza. Where, for example, the next cinema also is located. Australia is a quite a big continent with 20 million inhabitants, this fact makes it clear that all distances are much bigger than in Germany. Also the fact that the busses are not going that regularly makes a car very useful down under. I handled everything without having a car and it worked as well, it is just more comfortable to have one.

The Campus

The University of the Sunshine Coast is located in Sippy Downs. Around there exixts Woolworth and a living area. The Student accomodation is quite close to the campus: 5 - 10 mins to walk. It is like living on Campus. Living in student accommodation requires a bit of tolerance. But it also offers great possibilities. You get to know lots of people from all over the world and the sport facilities in Varsity and UniCentral are very good. Hopefully you like BBQ, when going to Australia. Australians can have BBQ for every meal. And BBQ facilities are offered everywhere, for example at the beach, in the National Parks and in the student accommodation. The staff of the international office at the USC is very friendly and helpful. They support you with everything! And if you have questions before going to the USC do not be shy to call them! They have lots of Study Abroad Students and Students in the Language Center, and can help you with nearly everything. By the way, that is one thing I really liked down under, everybody is very friendly and lucky to help you. Studies in Australia are organized in another way than here. You choose three or four subjects per semester and have each of them three hours per week, split in lectures and tutorials. When I heard about this for the first time I was quite happy about these facts. I thought I would have lots of leisure time to explore Australia. However you have to hand in assignments, prepare presentations, attend group works, and last but not least the lecturers really expect you to prepare the texts in your textbooks for the next lesson. Over all you have to do some studying during the semester, but you will also have enough time to travel around.

Exploring Parts of Australia

Going to Australia should not only be dominated by studying. Australia is a beautiful continent, where lots of different things can be explored. Probably it is too big to discover everything. On the map everything seems to be close together, but it is not! There are lots of nice and different things around the Sunshine Coast. Brisbane, Noosa National Park, Fraser Island or Australia Zoo. The International Office organizes day trips for free to some of the attractions surrounding the coast. But you will also get to know people there with whom you can explore more of the environment. Over Easter you have one week free, which is a really great possibility to make a bigger trip. I was in Melbourne during the Easter holidays and it is quite amazing! Completely different from Sydney, where we were for 4 days over a weekend. Sydney is extremely impressive, with the Opera, the Harbourbridge and the water all around the city. Both cities are definitely worth to go, if you are there! I did a lot of traveling during the semester and I would say that I have seen everything I really wanted to see. So if you do not have time for traveling after your studies in Australia do not be sad about it, there is enough time to explore the country during the semester! Nina Budweg