Meet Student Ambassador Lisa

University of Sunshine Coast student and recently appointed Study Sunshine Coast Ambassador Lisa loves living and studying on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Lisa’s home country is Japan and she is currently studying a Bachelor of Environmental Management at UniSC. We recently caught up with her to learn more about her student life on the Sunshine Coast.

What attracted you to choose the Sunshine Coat to live, learn and kick start your future?

The very first reason that made me want to study at the University of the Sunshine Coast is a video that I happened to find when I was browsing on YouTube. The campus and the surrounding environment are rich in nature, close to the beach, and always sunny, and warm… it just simply seemed the best place for me to live. In addition, the characteristics of the university are small scale, generous support (not only for studying but also for a living) have a strong focus on environmental studies, all of these match my criteria for deciding which uni to apply to.

How have you found studying at the SC?

I enjoy studying on the Sunshine Coast. The friendliness of supportiveness of staff members, lecturers and tutors are fantastic which helps me a lot to engage the most with learning material and get my assignments done well. Also, because of the characteristics which UniSC has;

  • Small scale
  • Many international students

These make me easier to engage with lectures, tutors, researchers, and people who are studying at a higher level. Moreover, the opportunities to meet students from different cultural backgrounds and study area opens up my eyes and give me a new perspective that I’d never imagined. However, these sometimes work as a negative factor for me, in that because it is a small city, there are fewer opportunities in everything esp. career-wise than in other big cities, such as Brisbane, fewer options of studying area. However, I like to study at UniSC, Sunshine Coast.

What has been the best part of studying, living and working here on the Sunshine Coast?

The best part of studying, living and working on the Sunshine Coast is the richness of nature. All the beaches and natural assets are very closely connected to our lifestyle, and these heal my heart/mind and body which is working very hard for me for uni and a casual job at the restaurant and daily life. Beaches and beautiful sunrise/sunsets and bright sunshine make me relax which makes me keep surrounded by positive energy and gives me a boost for studying, living, and working. My favourite way to spend my free time is simply just to go to the beach, lay on the white sandy beach, read a book, and watch the sunsets.

Also, the people here are very laid back and friendly. Engaging with people on the Sunshine Coast influenced me a lot to become a completely different person from when positively lived in Japan. When I was in Japan, I feel very stressed because of all the pressure put by society, however, now I don’t feel that much stress and can think about things in a “she’ll be fine” mindset rather than putting too much pressure on myself. All of these make me feel better and happy and feel a sense of living because my work(study)-life balance is boosted even though the uni work is hard.

What has your experience been finding work on the Sunshine Coast?

I have only searched job in hospitality, but it was pretty easy for me to find a job. However, I feel it will be an advantage if you have skills such as being a barista if you want to work at a restaurant or café.  In addition, in my opinion, it is not knowledge but a network that counts in terms of finding jobs on the Sunshine Coast. I was lucky enough to find my job through my friend.  Thus, it is important to have a connection with local people. 

Why did you apply to become a Study Sunshine Coast Student Ambassador?

The biggest reason I applied to become a Study Sunshine Coast Ambassador is that I want more people to know how amazing it is to study and live on the coast. I personally love Sunshine Coast and UniSC. As for life on the Coast, the beautiful natural assets and the beautiful beaches never make me tired, there is always something to do which related to nature such as hiking, surfing, swimming or even just chilling on the beach. I love UniSC in terms of the support that they provide for us. All the staffs, lecturers and tutors are very kind and supportive which makes me easier to engage with learning and make the most of studying as an international student. In addition, the number of events held by uni and student guild never makes me tired and gives me some room to refresh from studying, reminding me not to forget to enjoy life at uni.

What would you say to other students thinking about coming to study on the Sunshine Coast?

I 100% recommend they choose Sunshine Coast as a study destination. It is the best destination to stay for studying because you will have the best work(study)-life balance.  Here you can not only have opportunities to have access to world-level education but also to one of the most beautiful and unique natural assets in the world. You can go to the beach (and take a surf lesson) in the morning and go to uni and study. No other city in Australia has this amazing opportunity. However, you must be a nature lover 😊

What are the people like you’ve met on the Sunshine Coast?

People I have met on the Sunshine Coast are very nice and kind. To be honest, compare to other cities in Australia, there is less diversity in this city. However, everyone is very open to us (international students). Also, everyone (people I know, people see on the coast) is very laid back and they always look so happy.

Five fast facts about the Sunshine Coast:

  • What is your favourite outdoor activity on the Sunshine Coast?
    • Going to the beach
    • watching sunrise/sunsets
    • hiking
  • Do you have a favourite foodie haunt on the Sunshine Coast?
    • I don’t eat out a lot but there are a few favourite restaurants and cafés and I am now wanting to know the very good coffee place 
      • Oak berry
  • How do you love spending your free time on the Sunshine Coast?
    • Go to the beach and read books
    • going go hiking
  • Experience at the top of your Sunshine Coast ‘to-do’ list?
    • Go to beaches
    • Watch sunrise
    • Watch the sunset at point cartwright/ one of the glasshouse mountains (approx. 20-30 mins after sunset is the best time when the sky turns into the colour palest)
    • Go to Hinterland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • The most surprising thing you have discovered about the Sunshine Coast?
    • The number of coffee places (I started drinking coffee after I came here and now, I am addicted to it, drinking and making)
    • People walking in their barefoot 
    • Kangaroos are everywhere, you can see dolphins, turtles, and whales
    • Most of the stores close at 4-5, and restaurants/bars close at 9 + cafes open at 6 am
    • Hinterland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s so beautiful
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