Happiness Past Review

By (International and Intercultural Communication., Indiana University - Bloomington) - abroad from 01/02/2014 to 04/24/2014 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely worthwhile. I'm getting excited just writing about it because I want to share my experience with as many people who are interested. I applied to the program and decided I was going with a week, so talk about impulse and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It was just such a rewarding and eye opening experience to get to know a culture and realize how lucky I am to be able to experience such a great thing and meet great people at my age. Everyone should do it!

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.

The way the courses were taught were very similar to the ones in the US but the grading scale was different. Most of my classes had the very standard exams (midterms and finals), but in order to even get 50%, you need to do really well. Its not like American universities where you get a passing grade for doing the minimum. An A here is considered a C there. My uni especially was huge on group projects and the only school in Australia that does trimesters

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We had a few resources in our new home that were easily accessible and gave us the opportunity to attend a few coffee shops with everyone in our program to catch up and attend a Rugby game which was great!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a hotel, literally, with three of my closest friends in an apartment style room on the 24th floor and it was AMAZING. The quality of the apartment was something I didnt think I would ever live in as a twenty year old, with a great view of the city of Broadbeach. I was a block away from the beach and in the heart of the downtown Broadbeach area that had access to restaurants, bars and the local bus stops.

* Food:

The food was mediocre. Everything in Australia is extremely expensive so I chose not to eat out unless I was in traveling in which case I had to, but I cooked a lot and even shopping for groceries was extremely expensive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt extremely integrated with the local culture. I lived in a place that is similar to Miami, Florida and I walked the same streets and went to the same beach/bars that the locals did. Everyone speaks English there and is majority Caucasian so I looked as if I belonged in the local community.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I cant think of a time when I was abroad that I didnt feel safe. Not that I would go out anywhere that was more than a 5 minute walk away from my apartment, but I would be at my friends apartment down the street and would walk home by myself late at night and never once did I feel like something could happen to me. The police station was also right across the street from my building which made me feel extremely safe. Don't be afraid to go anywhere during the day by yourself because you're in a foreign place. Just be aware of surroundings, thats the important thing.

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)

As I mentioned, everything in Australia is EXTREMELY expensive. A coffee is 6 dollars, a beer is 9 (at least), a dress is 60, which I quickly figured out. To be honest, I didn't have that much money going into Australia because I didnt know how expensive everything was going to be but i did not hold back once. I dont regret a single coffee I bought because I was only there once! Travel as much as you can, go out as much as you can, do whatever you want while you're there as long as you're aware that you will have to make money from square one when you come home. I quickly started serving at a local restaurant and am honestly impressed with how quickly I was able to start feeling comfortable spending money again, so have fun and dont worry about the expenses while you're there too much :)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $7000
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you know you're going pretty far in advance, just put as much money away as you can. Not all, but even $20 a week will benefit you and you will be thanking yourself. You're going to spend money, its inevitable. Just enjoy yourself! Travel but also become accustomed to the place where you live.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Location
  • People
  • Beach
* What could be improved?
  • Bus system
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I probably would have packed a little differently based on my travel choices and my daily activities