A semester in paradise October 03, 2016

By (University of Massachusetts Amherst / UMass) - abroad from 01/06/2016 to 04/24/2016 with

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Gold Coast - Semester on the Gold Coast

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a lot while studying abroad (knowledge, experience in a foreign country, friendships that will last a lifetime, experiences I will never forget)

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes I took at Bond University were overall small in size, and taught by great instructors. If at any point I felt like I was falling behind, I could easily ask for help and it was given. Also, from my experience the professors were all very accommodating of traveling contingent upon you expressing that you will make up the work you missed!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Some of the best dorm style housing I have ever seen. I lived in the "accommodation center", in a double dorm (with one roommate and a full sized bathroom in the dorm). On a weekly basis the dorms have housekeeping that comes in to clean your room (wash the sheets, make the bed, clean the bathroom, etc.) One of the other great perks is that all the bedding and toiletries were already provided and restocked by the housekeeping, which made it super easy as a study abroad student already on a budget!

* Food:

The dining hall features a menu that only changes slightly throughout the semester, and it is done on a pay per item basis (rather than a buffet style like those featured in schools within the US). This was one of the only challenges, as you have to budget pretty efficiently through balancing eating out and cooking meals in order to not run out of money by the end of the semester. However, there are several great restaurants in the downtown area that feature affordably priced food options and there are kitchens on every floor of the dorms.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The safety in the both the school as well as Gold Coast as a city was great. I did not at any point feel unsafe, even when I would travel on the public transportation alone at night.

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

I would 100% study abroad through this program again. CIS does a great job of integrating you into Australian culture from the minute you step off the plane. The excursions that we were taken on through the program added immensely into the overall experience, and the on site support for any questions or concerns was extremely prompt and helpful!

Finances

* 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 including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 356
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget which trips you want to go on ahead of time!

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • Traveling
  • Being so close to the beach
  • Meeting tons of new people
* What could be improved?
  • Cultural integration (meeting more locals)
  • The meal plan provided
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That there are tons of opportunities to travel upon being done with school. (Would not recommend buying a plane ticket back prior to going!)

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.