Semester of A Lifetime!! February 25, 2015

By (Early Childhood Education and Teaching, University of Dayton) - abroad from 08/21/2014 to 12/14/2014 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I went on my study abroad trip with the idea that I did not need a life changing experience to happen. I just wanted to see a beautiful place of the world. Somewhere along the way, between navigating foreign cities, trying new foods, making new friends totally out of your comfort zone.... I grew into the person I'm meant to be. I believe that studying abroad can have a positive impact on everyone's lives in some way. For me, I became much more independent and mature. For some of my friends, they learned about what they truly want to do with their lives.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The more general the classes were, the easier they were. However, all teachers were willing to work with students and extremely accommodating.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

TEAN had many opportunities for us to be all together, such as surfing, coffee dates, etc. It was so awesome to know that there was support while we were abroad, as many programs did not seem to give their students the same support.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the Cape, which was beautiful. It was right across from campus, on a beautiful lake with a beautiful pool and right near Market Square, with great coffee shops and fun eateries.

* Food:

While I really missed American cuisine, it was really great to try all of the classic Aussie food (fish and chips, kangaroo burgers, sausage sizzles)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt really in the Australian culture because I lived in the off campus apartments. Everyone around us were Australians, and so friendly. I never once felt unwelcome in Australia.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had any health care issues but I know that we had health insurance that would cover us in many situations.

* Safety:

The Gold Coast is very safe, and the area that Bond is in is so safe. the Gold Coast itself is a surf city and doesn't have much of the big city dangers.

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

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)

No week was the same in Australia. Some weeks were spent traveling and were somewhat costly, but other weeks were spent going to classes and spending the weekend in the Gold Coast. You could find food relatively cheap at the grocery stores, especially local foods like fruit and vegetables. As long as you don't spend too much money on alcohol or foreign foods that were shipped in (Ben and Jerrys is $11 a pint), money should not be an issue.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I made a set budget for food and shopping (the clothing boutiques in Australia are amazing!). I would take that money out in cash and ensure that I only used that cash amount per week. That is a lot safer than constantly using the card- because students often don't stay on budget then.

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

  • Americans
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?
  • So invigorating, between the pre semester trip in Fiji and orientation in Sydney
  • Helpful (In times of homesick, they offered amazing advice)
  • TEAN has this program down like the back of their hand.
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing at all!!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish i knew that in times of homesickness, it is so so so important to remember that you WILL be home eventually. You are going on a semester that will be more beautiful and life changing than you will ever see again in your life. Live it up!!! Time will FLY.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.