Lived my best life on the beach in Australia, you'll regret not doing it. September 25, 2018

By (Gustavus Adolphus College) - abroad from 02/12/2018 to 06/24/2018 with

IFSA: Gold Coast & Brisbane - Griffith University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
100%. I learned how to be completely independent so far away from my normal support system. I was able to fully understand who I am as a person and how to live my best life by doing activities I truly get joy from. I learned all about the Australian laid back lifestyle and got to live next to a beach for nearly half a year. All of this has shaped me into who I am and who I am continually developing towards.

Review Photos

IFSA: Gold Coast & Brisbane - Griffith University Photo IFSA: Gold Coast & Brisbane - Griffith University Photo IFSA: Gold Coast & Brisbane - Griffith University Photo IFSA: Gold Coast & Brisbane - Griffith University Photo IFSA: Gold Coast & Brisbane - Griffith University Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

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?

Fantastic housing. Couldn't have been better if they tried. Highrise two blocks from the beach in downtown Surfers Paradise. Every night I fell asleep watching and listening to the waves out my window.

* Food:

We had self-catered meals. Australia is very expensive. I lived very cheaply but it was difficult.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Australian culture is very similar to that of the US so it was easy to integrate but once you were there for a while you catch on to the slight distinct differences.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Felt super safe the whole time.

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

No question!!! Best location within Australia, best weather and climate for studying away in the Spring, best housing option anywhere, amazing school, amazing people and just an outstanding experience overall.

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 a very expensive country if you are not making wages that match the standard of living expenses. I spent about $100 on groceries per week, $20 for transportation and $10 for misc. necessities. Overall very expensive. Also alcohol was like 3x the price it would be in the US.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Between $130 and $150 per week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? There are some amazing farmers markets every week that offer cheap and yummy food. The market at the Home of the Arts in Bundall was my favorite. Also there's a fresh food market in the middle of the Pacific Fair Mall that was cheap. Going out to eat anywhere will cost at minimum $20 no matter what you get. It's so expensive, but so worth it!

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
* 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?
  • Housing
  • Location
  • Internship
* What could be improved?
  • Price of food in Australia
  • Distance between Griffith Uni and apartment was rather lengthy, 35 minutes one way
  • Reverse culture shock training
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't plan on buying many clothes when you get here. Also bring all the sunscreen. All of it. One bottle costs $19 in a drugstore and I blistered on my face from the UV rays that are so strong over Oceania. Also meet everyone and anyone you can.

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.