Australian Adventure September 10, 2018

By (University of Hartford) - abroad from 01/02/2018 to 04/25/2018 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Learned-How to travel light, how to live on my own, how to cook basic items. Gained- New friendships, a will to travel more, a new understanding of a different culture.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Grading system was slightly different than expected, however expectations in each class were made clear and most grading was fair.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

TEAN was very helpful, they responded quickly if I had any questions. They also planned events to get people accommodated to the new living situation and take part of the culture. Outside of Australia itself, signing up and meeting the requirements and getting the information together for them was easy and they fully explained each step of the process.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Peppers was amazing, easy access to transportation, close to the beach and stores, if you plan according getting to school was also not a hassle. The house cleaning staff and the front desk was also very pleasant and never gave any troubles.

* Food:

Food was just as good if not better than home. It is slightly more expensive even with the conversion, however much of it is local grown so it makes sense. Campus food was well above par when I ate there too. There was never a moment where I also didn't have an opportunity to try something new.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Living at Peppers instead of campus makes getting integrated a bit more difficult as you are surrounded by mostly Americans compared to a diverse culture on campus. The locals that I did meet were very friendly, especially when visiting other cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. But I had to go very out of my way to integrate with locals at times.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any major health issues while I was abroad besides a minor cold and congestion. The on campus nursing office was easy to get to and they were helping though for the few minutes I spent there.

* Safety:

At no point did I feel unsafe. even when traveling alone. Public transportation was clean and controlled, campus security is present at all times at school, the other abroad students were friendly and never made me feel uncomfortable.

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

Bond was great, I met some amazing friends both in and out of America. The campus integrated the students a ton by creating on and off campus opportunities. Outside of school, Australia is a beautiful country, I do not think there was where I was not on the beach. The weather was perfect and I took full advantage of the local nature activities that are not offered where I currently live.

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)

Fairly easily, if you learn to cook, instead of always eating out food is affordable. Also if you live off campus a student discount is given for transportation making trips around the Gold Coast very cheap. Misc. items such as travel is based on each persons budget, although I felt cheap flights were readily available that allowed me to see more then just the host location.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100-125
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn to cook

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

  • 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 campus/location
  • The amount of activities given ex. bungie jumping, sky diving, white water rafting
  • Getting to meet different cultures since Bond was an International campus
* What could be improved?
  • A better understanding of the difference in grading systems
  • Better ways to reach out to people who have previously attended the program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That the commonwealth has an event called the commonwealth games. The commonwealth games was hosted in the Gold Coast this year, which was a great event to get to experience, but messed up the academic schedule making exams much later than intended.