Life Changing Experience! January 19, 2016

By (Political Science and Economics, Drew University) - abroad from 08/30/2015 to 12/20/2015 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to live completely on my own, how to create a budget, and abide by that budget. I also gained more confidence in myself, improved my interpersonal skills, met some incredible people, and saw some of the most amazing sights in the world. I highly recommend going abroad if you ever get the chance, you won't regret the decision!

Review Photos

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

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 Australian university system is slightly different from the United States but after I adjusted the classes were not too bad.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The TEAN staff is nothing short of incredible. The in-country staff were always available and very helpful if we ever had any questions on how to get around, where to go for things, or any general questions while we were abroad. The staff did their best to make us feel at home so we could make the most of our time in Australia.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

TEAN offers three housing options for students to live in and I chose the "Premier Housing" and it was amazing! The building was very modern and the apartments had everything we needed for our semester abroad, including a weekly cleaning service. The building was in the heart of Broadbeach surrounded by a ton of restaurants, shopping centers, and the grocery store which made buying groceries so easy. The bus station was a short 10 minute walk away which made it simple to get around the area and do some sight seeing. The best part however is that the beach was right across the street and we even had a view of the beach from our apartment, so safe to say that beach days were frequent.

* Food:

I did not have an on campus meal plan because of my housing selection but that was never an issue. There were plenty of restaurants to choose from and the grocery store across the street so I could utilize the full kitchen in the apartment.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

TEAN has multiple FREE cultural events that are planned throughout the semester for anyone who want to participate. These events for my semester were some of the highlights of the trip so I highly recommend taking advantage of these. Additionally there were several coffee breaks where we could chat with our residents advisor to discuss any issues we were having, or just talk about how our travels were going across Australia, and again these were all free events. Overall TEAN did an awesome job helping us adjust to the aussie lifestyle and always made sure that we were supported throughout our semester.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

While I did not have to use this healthcare thankfully, TEAN did all the work for us and made sure that everyone was covered while overseas in case of an emergency. When we arrived we also received a complete list of doctors’ offices, hours, and contact information should we need to access those for any reason.

* Safety:

The broadbeach area was extremely safe and I felt completely comfortable walking around in the early hours by myself. The buses also run late so if you are uncomfortable taking a cab or using uber, that is also an option.

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 would say that expenses varied for everyone during the trip. There were students who would eat out every night which was more expensive (the average meal in Australia is about $20 or more) but also those who would make their own food and save money. I found for myself that around $50-$70 a week for food was enough. The bus would max out for rides after your 9th one of the week, so depending how far you travel the bus costs were around $10-15 a week. Travel the biggest expense and a trip can be planned for various amounts depending on what you want to do and where you want to go. Even if you cannot leave the Gold Coast though you don't have to worry, there are so many amazing places to see in the local area that you will still never want to leave! Overall I would budget around $4,000-$5,000 USD while you are abroad.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $70-85
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I recommend making your own food if you can because you can save a lot of money.

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?
  • Friendliness of the TEAN staff
  • Apartment
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That leaving in the end would be the toughest part of the journey. You are going to grow in so many different ways and leaving will be a lot harder than you ever thought.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.