Best 4 months of my life! February 28, 2019

By (Saint Francis College) - abroad from 09/01/2018 to 12/16/2018 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 during my time abroad. I gained so much personally and culturally. This was my first time leaving the country alone and for so long a time. I learned a lot about myself, responsibility, and maturity. Coming back I felt like a whole new person. Before going to Australia, I was so excited to immerse myself into a new culture. I learned so much about the history and culture of Australia, and it opened my eyes up to a whole new world. This experience made me want to travel everywhere, and see new things. Traveling abroad was so worth it, and I would do it all over again.

Review Photos

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

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.

Studying at Bond University was amazing. Apart from the beautiful campus, Bond has a variety of academic resources and places to study. The curriculum is different from the states, so it was difficult to adjust at first. But the professors made it enjoyable. The classes are more intense than in the states, however, it just takes time to get into the routine.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site team is amazing! They make sure you are safe and happy, and even recommend fun things to do and places to travel to. Jackie was like a host mom. She was the absolute best! She made Australia feel like a second home.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My housing arrangement was great! I lived with 5 other students, all from different places, and we got along well. I was fun making friends with other students who were either studying abroad or local Aussies!

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program included different excursions like swimming in the Great Barrier Reef and surfing in Byron Bay. We also did some exploring of our own, and immersing ourselves into the culture was very exciting and fun! Over time, I started to feel like a true Aussie! The people are very kind and energetic, and that translated into me!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

In my housing accommodation, at school, and outside, I always felt very safe. On campus security at Bond always made sure students were safe, and will even drive you to off campus housing at night.

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

CISabroad helped make my study abroad experience amazing. The team helped in the application process, and transitioning to and from Australia. The on-site team were so welcoming and helped us make the most of our time abroad. Jackie, the on-site director, was like a host mom. She helped through ups and downs, and recommended the best places to see. I would choose to go abroad with CIS every time.

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)

Australia is more expensive than the states. It was difficult to manage my finances when I first settled in. I had to buy personal items, as well as things for my accommodation, and food.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? between 100-150 Australian Dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save money! I saved a lot of money before my trip, which helped a lot. There are lots of things you will want to do abroad, and money should not stop you. However, you should always keep in mind things you need and don't need. Make sure you save enough money to do the things you want and for souvenirs, but also for your essentials. Another tip is to budget your money, and organize how much you plan to spend on food, and personal expenses.

Language

* 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

  • 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?
  • Excursions
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Meeting new people
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Although I did very well at managing my money, I wish I knew how expensive Australia actually is. But other than that I wish I knew how much it was going to hurt once I got back because I miss Australia so much!!