Studying Abroad Changed My Life! Past Review

By (University of Massachusetts Amherst / UMass) - abroad from 01/06/2017 to 04/24/2017 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 learned so much more about the world and about myself in relation to the world. I also became much more independent and broke out of my comfort zone.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Varsity Shores was okay. Management wasn't the best, but overall the villas were clean and the rooms were fine. I would still call Varsity Shores "home."

* Food:

Food at the Bra was okay. Nothing that special. The wraps were pretty good and trust worthy. Food in Market Square was good and it's a pretty close walk from campus, The Reserve, and Varsity Shores. Go to Miami Marketta or Night Quarter for some really good food!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The on-campus clinic was easy to get to and the doctors were nice. Had to go a couple times and if you need a prescription or anything the pharmacy in Market Square is close by. There is a $5 copay due when you go in for appointments.

* Safety:

Never had any issues with safety.

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

CISabroad's orientation program and excursions provided great environments for making new friends. The people I met in CIS were all amazing and kind (heard different about other programs). Jackie Chapman is amazing and try and see her as much as you can just to chat!


* 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)

Really depends on what you plan on doing while abroad. I traveled almost every weekend, so you definitely want to have money saved up for that (consider airfare/transportation prices, hotels/hostels/airbnb, food, etc). Try and budget and plan out what trips you want to go on as early as you can.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget and plan ahead as soon as you can! You don't have to stick to your exact plan but get an idea of where you want to go and try and figure out when you can go. Try and travel with a group too because hostels or airbnbs can be cheaper with groups.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Friends
  • Orientation
  • Excursions
* What could be improved?
  • Communication with Varsity Shores Management
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Wish there was more information about Varsity Shores living arrangements. It's a mix of people of all ages and housing is co-ed (not a problem for me, but something that would have been nice to know).

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

HRTM12-214 (Adventure Tourism)

Course Department:
Instruction Language:
Comments: Fun class but really long lectures. There are 4 field trips (rock climbing, sailing, ropes course, team bonding) and a group paper that you have to write about the field trips and what you learned.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Course Department:
Instruction Language: SDEM12-204_171 (Environmental Field Analysis of Rainforest & Coastal Regions)
Comments: 5-day long intensive course on Stradbroke Island! Housing is paid for, all you have to pay for is transportation to and from the island and food. It was really fun, but definitely take the time to do the activities because you have to write about them for the paper, workbook, and test. Daryl is a hard grader so put some effort into the assignments.
Credit Transfer Issues: