Bond University - The Quintessential Aussie study Abroad May 14, 2024

By (Economics, Business, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/05/2024 to 04/18/2024 with

Arcadia: Gold Coast - Bond University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
A lot of personal growth for sure - got exposed to a lot of people from different countries because Bond is so international. I think that it made me feel more comfortable in my American identity as well, which I appreciated

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were solid overall. Academics don't seem to be the heaviest focus at Bond, but the courses aren't bad. There are very few assignments with very heavy weightings, so you need to do well on the major exams in most classes. My home university took a pass/fail approach to these classes which helped reduce the academic stress while abroad.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Arcadia program was great when we arrived to get us acclimated, with a few days of activities before getting us set up at Bond. After the semester began, there was somewhat minimal communication (an optional dinner/event every month or two). We could always reach out, but I think that their approach was "We're here, holler if you need anything". Whenever things did come up, they were always super helpful and responsive.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my housing. I stayed in Varsity Towers, which is a 7 minute walk from the campus. It was similar to a hotel room, and it overlooked the water. No roommate. It had a little kitchenette for cooking, which saved money on food. Couldn't have asked for anything better

* Food:

Food at Bond isn't great. The meal plan is a waste of time because it's a 1-1 transition of dollars for points - you don't get any added value. If anything, just get an international credit card with cashback and you'll at least save something that way. Food quality was so and so- there are a few on-campus restaurants, but I found them over-priced and not great quality. There are plenty of restaurants nearby (walking distance) that are cheaper and taste better. Having a kitchenette in my housing also allowed mt cook 1-2 meals a day.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was pretty solid... everyone speaks English, which helped, obviously. Bond has a lot of international students, so plenty of people were looking for an "adventure semester", which made it easy to find people to do stuff with.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Bond has a medical center that students can go to for free, which is helpful for simple stuff (if you need a prescription for a flu or something along those lines) I honestly found the medical system a little confusing, I was glad that I didn't have to navigate it very often. That being said, Arcadia could always help with that, and they did the 1 time I needed help with it (I needed to go see a dentist). The one thing I found annoying is that a dentist visit was not covered under my international insurance, so I had to pay for it out of pocket. Nowhere near the US prices, but I thought that should have been included or at least explicitly mentioned.

* Safety:

No issues here... Gold Coast felt safe (that being said, I am a guy - might be different for other people). I would go out at night or early morning on runs/exploring. Had no problematic encounters or situations.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I think it was great - Got exactly the kind of experience I was hoping for. Academics were solid, but far more laid back. Had opportunities to explore beautiful nature in a part of the world that I hadn't been to before. Met a lot of cool people. Great change of pace from my usual university. Really couldn't have asked for much better in a big-picture sense


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not cheap. The advantage was the exchange rate, which helped lower the costs significantly. I would eat out once a day and cook 1-2 meals at home. I would say that my food costs averaged around 30 AUD/day (or just over 200AUD/week). Throw in other expenses (you want to travel, rent a car with friends, gas, public transit, buy a used surfboard, etc.) I would say that living costs could easily hit 250 AUD/week on average. I also didn't go out much for partying/drinking - that could also run you up a tab very quickly in Surfers Paradise or Burleigh.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 250
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? -Don't get the meal plan - It just doesn't make sense unless you have to. Better to pay with a credit card that has benefits associated. -Get the student discount for public transit - it reduces cost by nearly half. The International Student Support Office will help you get it set up - Can do grocery delivery for either Cole's or Woolworths for larger orders. Saves money and a lot of time in the longer-run -Bonza is great for cheap domestic flights, if a little unreliable -You may want to buy stuff to try (e.g. surfboard, fishing) so Facebook Marketplace will be your best friend for selling and reselling everything towards the end


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • N/A
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Location - Gold Coast was terrific
  • Easier Academics - allowed opportunities for travel
  • Housing
* What could be improved?
  • It's really expensive
  • Check-in's with Arcadia
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known the expected costs a little bit better - It was steeper than the program initially seemed. I also just think that a lot of the opportunities available there are better suited for people with extra spending money - There were things that I would have liked to do that I backed out of due to cost. That being said, the beach is free :)

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:


Course Department: Business (MGMT)
Instructor: Ahmad Siddiquei
Instruction Language:
Comments: Best course I took at Bond. Super practical and fun experience
Credit Transfer Issues: