Why did you choose this program?
My plan was originally only to go for 6 months and see how I liked living on the other side of the world, and also so far away from home. I quickly realised after 2 months of living on the Sunshine Coast that I did not want to go back home, and started exploring any options for a full-degree program. The reason for choosing USC was seeing how close to nature the campus was, as it is located on the coast of Queensland. I loved that there were kangaroos on campus, lots of activities to do such as visiting the Australia Zoo, Glasshouse Mountains and Noosa National Park. I've always had a passion for crime and find it very interesting and exciting, so choosing this degree was a no-brainer for me.
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
I received assistance through Kilroy Education in Norway, and they were the ones that put me in contact with USC and assisted me with the application process. USC was however very helpful when I wanted to apply for my Criminology degree and made the credit transfer process easy. I also had a couple of courses from my Study Abroad semester that I could use towards my Criminology degree, making my 3-year degree only 2,5 years with the credit transfer. That way I sawed money and time, which was great and made it an easy choice for me to stay longer.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
I would definitely recommend students coming to study on the Sunshine Coast to stay for at least 1 year! 6 months will go by so quickly you won't even know what happened. There is so much to see and explore here, and you'll really get a grip on the academic side of things once you stay a bit longer at USC and get more into the way of study. I found it easier to study in Australia in comparison to Norway, so that was just a big bonus for me.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
In this program you will study 4 courses each semester, and you have 6 semesters to complete (24 courses in total). Each week you will normally have 1-2 hour lectures per subject, and 1-2 hour tutorials per subject. All in all, you'll have a lot of time to study during the week and you won't be in class all the time. Sometimes, depending on the semester and class structure, I had classes Monday-Wednesday, and long-weekends from Thursday to Sunday!
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear were a couple of things: not enjoying myself, not knowing anyone (I travelled alone which I highly recommend now!), and finding the studies way too hard for my liking. Luckily, I enjoyed myself so much I am currently still in Australia 5 years later, I got to meet so many people and make life-long friends mostly because I did travel alone which made me seek these friendships more rather than leaning on a friend from home, and I loved the studies! I would do it all over again.
For future students wanting to travel to / study on the Sunshine Coast, there are a couple of things I would have loved to know before I got here:
- Live in student accommodation your first semester: you'll meet so many people and maybe move out with some of them eventually.
- Get a bank card with Commbank: You'll need it so you don't have to constantly pay fees for using your card
- Get an Australian ID (drivers license): They use these everywhere for ID and they'll probably struggle to ready your overseas drivers license, and sometimes not accept it...
- Get a phone sim card with Optus or Telstra
- Visit mountains, explore Maleny and Noosa, and travel!