Im Portrait: Studierende im Auslandssemester – Mathura an der Sunshine Coast in Australien

Reading time 3′ minutes // In an interview with Mathura Vannitthamby

In our «Im Portrait»series we present students, employees, lecturers and people from the field of business psychology. This month we interviewed Mathura Vannithhamby, a business psychology student in her 8th semester, about her impressions of the semester abroad. She is currently located on the Sunshine Coast in Australia.

Hello Matura! You are currently in the middle of a semester abroad. When did this start for you, where exactly are you and how long are you staying there?

Mathura: My semester started in mid-February 2023 and I am currently studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia. I will be abroad until September.

Why did you decide to do a semester abroad?

Mathura: I decided to do a semester abroad to broaden my horizons and to develop myself academically and personally. Furthermore, during the semester abroad I have the opportunity to complete new interesting courses. In addition, a stay abroad for several months enables you to get to know the culture of the country in depth.

And why did you choose Australia?

Mathura: I wanted to do a semester abroad in an English-speaking country. The University of the Sunshine Coast (UniSc) offers a wide range of modules that can enrich my skills in business, psychology and communication. I was also confident that Australia, with its nature and culture, would offer me a great atmosphere for my last semester.

What was your first impression upon arrival? Were there any challenges?

Mathura: After the long journey to Australia I was very tired at first. Nevertheless, my first impression was wonderful, because it was very warm at 33 degrees. I saw kangaroos on campus on my first day and also met new people. The openness of the students helped me a lot, so I didn’t really have any challenges. Thanks to my helpful roommate, who is Australian herself, I was able to settle in here very quickly.

What does a typical day at university look like for you at the moment? How does student life differ from that in Lucerne?

Mathura: My lectures usually start at 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. I can walk to the university and meet kangaroos every day – an absolute highlight for me! I’m studying full-time at UniSc. So for me it was a change from the part-time model at the HSLU to the full-time model. The difference is that I prepare part of the lectures at home and then attend the lectures or workshops on site. The group sizes in my lectures vary from 20 students to 150 students. I like both group sizes because there is an exchange during the lectures. The university library is open 24 hours a day, so I also have the opportunity to do the preparation and follow-up work for my lectures in the library. The university has an event almost every week that is used for networking among the students. Due to the proximity to the university, I have the opportunity to take part in many such events that I was not able to do at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences due to the distance.

And how do you spend your free time on the Sunshine Coast?

Mathura: The Sunshine Coast is best known for its beaches. I also try to go to the beach every weekend. I was also able to learn to surf here, as there is a special offer for students. I also often meet my friends and we take part in UniSc’s social sports activities together, for example by playing badminton or volleyball.

What are you looking forward to in the next few weeks?

Mathura: I’m looking forward to upcoming events at the university, such as a “Movie Night” or the regular university basketball tournaments. These tournaments are held against students from other universities in Australia. These tournaments usually take place in the huge UniSc sports hall. The atmosphere is great and sometimes reminds me of the movie “High School Musical”.

Thank you for the interview and have fun in Australia!


Photo by Catarina Sousa:

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