Studying in Australia: More Than Meets The Eye Past Review

By (Integrated Marketing Communications, Ithaca College) for

Griffith University: Gold Coast - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I also spoke about this a bit, but as a shy person going abroad by myself is completely out of my comfort zone and it was about testing myself. I wanted to see how well I could handle a completely different environment then I am used to. I learned a lot about myself and that I can do whatever I want. I also was able to make some really great, true friends in people I would never have met in my normal life. Learning about people from other cultures is so interesting to me. That was a gift, to be able to live with people from Singapore, Bangladesh, South Africa, and Norway and have still other friends from Ecuador, France, Mexico, Venezuela, and Peru. Studying abroad was a learning experience that provided me with teachings and lessons than a classroom and professor ever could.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Griffith University
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.

The grading system is pretty different and grading is much harder and more strict than my home university. Overall the learning situation was a bit different, as I expected it would be. However that is not to say that it is worse. During my time in Australia I was nervous that my gpa would be negatively effected by my time abroad as I could not get the high grades that I was used to. However, it turned out all right as the grades transfered to be what I would have been getting with the effort I was putting in at my home university.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Administration made it very easy for those of us that were only abroad for a semester academically. We didn't have to learn about all of their guidelines and processes for registering for classes, switching classes, etc. It is a difficult process especially when it is so unfamiliar and they did a great job at helping to figure situations out for us so we didn't have to learn all the regulations.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment itself was a little disappointing because it was pretty dirty when I moved in. Also, there was no oven, only a microwave and stove. The Griffith University Village was where I lived and the common areas were much appreciated and pretty nice. The proximity to campus was nice, easily walkable. The village gave us many opportunities to mingle with everyone and participate in fun events. I also really loved my house mates. I had a very international group and that was probably one of the best learning experiences about going abroad. I was able to create relationships with people so different from myself and learn about so many new cultures and countries other than the one I was staying in.

* Food:

There were no problems getting food as we had a grocery store within walking distance. Its just hard with the price difference between Australia and the US.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There were expensive trips offered by the program, but I didn't go on any of those. However GUV offered trips on weekends and outings and I went on a few of those, for example they had a party cruise to an island which was very fun. It was also easy to arrange our own trips as there was a travel company on campus and there were always opportunities to travel.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I didn't have any health or safety issues while I was there. I also didn't need any special vaccines for this program.

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


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? As always, it is very helpful to have extra money for fun activities. There are a lot of expenses that you don't think about like bus fare, laundry money, taxi money, etc.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

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A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people
  • The clubs, partying and fun
  • The beach, nature, and wildlife
* What could be improved?
  • Costs to students are too high
  • Travel programs within the host country planned by the program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? With this program, like any program, you get what you give. You need to be willing to try new things and go out of your comfort zone, but the amazing experiences and relationships you get in return are very rewarding.