Best 4 Months of My Life! October 14, 2015

By (Public Relations, Champlain College) - abroad from 01/06/2015 to 05/01/2015 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I can't even begin to sum up everything I gained from my study abroad experience. It was so, so worthwhile. From meeting new locals, learning about a new culture, and being able to live outside of my comfort zone in such an amazing place, studying abroad in Australia was so eye-opening and really made me grow as a person. The travelling you can do throughout Australia and surrounding countries is endless...every weekend is a new adventure! I also had the opportunity to intern with Bond's Digital Marketing Department for the semester which was such a great learning experience and fantastic resume builder. I couldn't have asked for a better study abroad experience.

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.

Everything about the classes at Bond were intriguing because there was so much cultural relevance. No matter what classes you take, whether it be Doing Business in Australia, Event Management, or Wine Studies, the professors were knowledgeable and they brought their Australian experiences and stories into the classroom.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

TEAN does a fantastic job of connecting you with resources in the Gold Coast that can help you with just about anything. You could contact them about housing, classes, or even just finding somewhere to eat and they always got back to you in a timely manner.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

TEAN provides so many different housing options that are suitable for everyone! You can choose to live on campus, in apartments directly next to campus, or off-campus apartments in the city. I chose to live in the off-campus apartments, which were right on the beach. They facilities were beautiful and I got to meet so many local Aussies!

* Food:

The food is wonderful and what you make of it. The on-campus dining options are healthy and convenient and there are plenty of options for off-campus students as well.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Being able to live directly in the city and go to school with so many local students integrated me with the local culture greatly. TEAN provides a variety of cultural immersion events as well, which are a great way to learn about indigenous culture, how to surf, and just how to relax like a local!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

One of my good friends that I met through TEAN unfortunately had a surfing accident during our time abroad and TEAN was SO great and helpful throughout the entire process. Our on-site contact visited her at the hospital, sent updates to her family at home, and helped her with paperwork and contacting her professors. The local healthcare system is really easy to use in Australia and I only had to pay $5 when I went to a doctor because of a cold.

* Safety:

The Gold Coast is clean, safe, and everyone is so friendly. I always felt comfortable walking around the city, whether it was 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning. Of course, I always recommend traveling with a friend and I definitely encourage everyone to take advantage of the wonderful public transportation the Gold Coast has to offer.

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)

I was definitely able to live on a student's budget, but everything in Australia is expensive! I had no problem paying for necessities, but with eating out, shopping, and travelling, I had to work really hard to budget myself.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $350
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save everything you can! Then, set a weekly budget for yourself and stick with it. I also gave myself a budget for travelling because it's really tempting to go everywhere. I also really suggest signing up for a credit card beforehand for emergencies.

Language

* 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?
  • Living in a city surrounded by locals
  • The community TEAN created for study abroad participants
  • Bond University's campus and academics
* What could be improved?
  • Discounted transportation passes for students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I had nothing to worry about! Everything about studying abroad was new and exciting in the best way possible and it's truly an opportunity of a lifetime.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!