When John Turnbull and Jessica Schlegel met during their first semesters at USC in 2009, he was a local competitive cricketer studying sport and exercise science and she was a young American in Australia for the first time with the University’s Study Abroad program.
John, a Nambour State High School graduate, recalls his turning points at USC:
“I started at USC after two years studying human movement at the University of Queensland. I’d grown up on the Sunshine Coast and preferred the relaxed lifestyle and the proximity to beaches, as well as the smaller size of USC. It was more personalised. If you discussed something with a lecturer, your voice was heard.
I was interested in physiotherapy but, through my USC degree, I developed a real passion for exercise physiology. USC exposed me to a plethora of opportunities and opened my eyes to working in chronic disease management. When I went overseas in 2010 to study at Grand Valley State University (Michigan, US) through USC’s Global Opportunities program, I received cultural exposure to different rehab settings and practices, and I loved it.
It was also an avenue for me to visit Jessica’s home country. I’d met her the year before, during her six months of study at USC, through a roommate at UniCentral (share accommodation near the campus). Jess was into rehab and sports medicine too. She had a passion for sports physiotherapy and that’s what she pursued (at UQ). We really had an impact on each other’s lives. She had a massive influence on me applying myself and I stole her away from her country!", says John.
The couple will marry in April this year, after both realising their professional ambitions and making a life together on the Sunshine Coast.