Best Four Months of My Life October 09, 2019

By (Springfield College) - abroad from 01/05/2019 to 04/20/2020 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 about culture and gained a newfound love for traveling. I also gained so much more confidence and independence about myself and in general. 100% worthwhile.

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.

Program abroad was more difficult than expected, but the challenge was motivating. It was great to learn with different teaching styles and take unique classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Jackie was amazing and so helpful during the entire program in every aspect.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was good. The rooms/house was big (Varsity Shores). Had my own room and bathroom and a balcony. Full kitchen and living room. Varsity Shores had two pools, a gym and sauna and was great to meet other people, especially Australians. Met far more local people than my peers on campus or at Varsity Lakes.

* Food:

I went grocery shopping which was more affordable there than in the US and easy to get. The dining hall on campus had amazing food as well if you were to get a meal plan. Restaurants were nearby and amazing quality.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Felt very integrated with the local culture. Most of my classes were 1/2 Australian students (not history). However, campus is about 70% exchange students. All local people we ran into were incredibly nice.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was easily accessible. Had to go to the ER one time and they took us in quickly and without trouble. It was almost exactly comparable to healthcare at home, but a little quicker. Did not need any vaccines to go here.

* Safety:

Safety was not a problem at all. I felt safer here than in the United States. Heavy police presence around downtown at night ensured security, but not in an intimidating way. Violence rate is lower in Australia than at home.

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

Site director in Australia was extremely helpful and comfortable to talk to. Location of Gold Coast was beautiful, had lots to do, was halfway between everywhere I wanted to travel, and was not too big nor small.

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)

Groceries, activities and getting around on Gold Coast were pretty affordable. My friends and I traveled almost every weekend so we spent far more than baseline necessary. Nothing was too overpriced though for the value and was similar to prices within the US. It's all about what you want to do while you're there.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Grocery shopping for a week at the Gold Coast was only ~$50/week. I went out to eat once or twice a week. I spent roughly $200-$600 weekly on traveling, but I went to Bali,
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Start saving early!!! Research general costs of where you want to travel. Ask for travel accessories for Xmas/bdays (luggage, adapters, in-country flights, etc.). Use on campus travel office to help book things, they often have discounts on activities such as hostels and skydiving.

Language

* 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
  • 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?
  • Location
  • People
  • Orientation
* What could be improved?
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't be scared, everything will run smoothly and be worthwhile

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:

Wine Studies

Course Department:
Instructor: Steven
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Class was more challenging than expected. Wine was from local wineries. Participated more than expected. Class is not offered at home university. The class honestly taught me life skills and was very cultural. Assessed by a paper, a sensory assessment and a final exam where you guess the two wines by assessment.
Credit Transfer Issues: Class did not count for any gen-ed but transferred credits easily .
Course Name/Rating:

Australian History

Course Department:
Instructor: Jane
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Not too challenging but interesting class that helped one learn about the culture around them on the other side of the world. Teachers were great. No exams, just a paper and in class quizzes.
Credit Transfer Issues: Make sure you get the history department to sign off on this before you go. It will not transfer if you don't get it preapproved.
Course Name/Rating:

Image and Photography

Course Department:
Instructor:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was really fun, camera was rented through campus for free. Editing the final portfolio was rewarding and the class was really hands on. The teachers were great and knew what they were talking about.
Credit Transfer Issues: Nope