I was able to study abroad in beautiful Australia at the University of Sunshine Coast during my first semester of senior year in 2010. Studying abroad had been one of my main goals to accomplish when coming to college. I was interested in going pretty much anywhere. Mary Hills recommended USC and I am happy she did because it fulfilled everything positive I could have imagined about studying abroad.
I lived in unicentral apartments and I encountered the most amazing people. Australians have a very accommodating, low-key sense about them that makes you feel comfortable immediately. Meeting new people was one of my favorite things about this trip because most of them are like family to me now. Unicentral has a great environment that unconsciously brings people together. Language barriers, different cultures or gender did not seem to matter. It was a very social apartment complex that was perfect for study aborad students. I experienced a great mix of Australian culture and was able to get to know people from all over! (Sweden, France,Norway,Japan,Canada,U.S., New Zealand etc.)
The school is on an animal preservation, which gives the school and very fun atmosphere with the kangaroos and exotic birds flying around...just watch out for the snakes! It is a young school with very edgy architecture.
Everyone is very helpful and it is so easy to plan trips! The STA travel agency was very helpful and found the coolest places to go for the lowest prices! There were always group trips being planned, which helped a lot with meeting new people that were in the same boat as you.
The teachers were fantastic. Very willing to help and knew their stuff! Really cool to get the Australian perspective on different subjects. I found the classes to be more intense than here in the states, and the students were determined to do well but balanced it out with a lot of play time too!
Australia is a great place to meet awesome people, travel, experience a great social atmosphere and get a good education.