Going down under, I found my perfect paradise! Past Review

By (Hospitality & Event Management, Lasell College) - abroad from 08/31/2011 to 04/24/2012 with

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Gold Coast - Bond University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience being considered "worthwhile" seems like the understatement of the century. It was the most rewarding, incredible, invaluable and FUN experience of my life and I wish every single day I could do it all over again. I learned a multitude of things not only in the classes I took, bu mostly outside the classroom while traveling and just going about my daily routine and life there. I made a home for myself in Australia and I really fell in love with their culture and I shared that love and passion for the country with the best people I've ever met, some Australians and some American students in my program who are now some of my best friends back here in the States. We talk all the time about our memories and how much we miss it abroad, but also plan the next time we're going to get to go back together in the near future! Till then, I'll reminisce with my overload of photos and video footage :)

Review Photos

The Education Abroad Network: Gold Coast - Bond University Photo The Education Abroad Network: Gold Coast - Bond University Photo The Education Abroad Network: Gold Coast - Bond University Photo

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.

The Australian grading system is a lot harder and criteria for papers/projects are more demanding, but the professors are more than willing to help our international students do well

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The Meriton Serviced Apartments were amazing. Only downfall is that they were located in Broadbeach and a 20 minute bus ride to the University

* Food:

The portion sizes were a lot smaller than Americans would be use to, food is not as flavorful and is extremely expensive!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I completely emersed myself in the Australia culture, and made friends with a lot of locals. The Aussies taught me their laid back, care-free ways, their lingo, music, and hobbies. I fell in love with all the beaches and the surf lifestyle and it made my experience 10x better integrating into their wonderful culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never really had any issues with healthcare. I fortunately never got seriosuly ill or injured!

* Safety:

The Gold Coast has its very nice areas and not so nice areas, just like any city. The part where I stayed at was very family and tourist friendly. It was entirely safe and secure from any crime or danger. However, Surfers Paradise where everyone goes out at, students need to be on guard and more aware of their surroundings, especially at night.

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)

Some weeks were harder than others, but for the most part I tried to allocate myself $100 a week. Sometimes it depended on whether we would go out to a nice dinner or go to a concert/event. I let myself splurge shopping and getting souveniers every so often if I went to a new city/ part of the country. For the most part I was pretty frugal with my money because I knew I needed to make it last for an entire year.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It varied every week dependong on when we would go food shopping and travel, but on average about $100/week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The summer before I left, I did all kinds of things for just a little bit extra spending money and cushion cash... I took all my change to the bank and cashed it in for bills, I sold alot of things I didn't need or want anymore on ebay, I asked for more hours at my work, I babysat every so often on the side, and I really just tried to cut down buying stuff that didn't seem that important because I figured I'd much rather want the money to spend while in Australia on something cool.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Hotel
* 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?
  • the leaders and directors
  • the orientation and farewell dinner
  • the Facebook page/groups
* What could be improved?
  • more group trips/excursions throughout semester
  • possible student discount on airline prices/transportation costs
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much of a great deal and experience the Fiji trip was and that I should have found some way to have gone!