An experience that makes everyday feel like a dream:Gold Coast through TEAN December 11, 2018

By (Quinnipiac University) - 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?
I learned what it means to be truly independent. Although living away from home at my home university was a step, nothing could compare to the independence I gained from studying abroad. The people I met there showed me what it meant to be a true friend and inspired me to be better. I came back from abroad knowing the type of people I want to surround myself with and also the type of person that I want to be.

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 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 professors and resources I had at Bond made me feel as if I had a home there. They made the transition from the American schooling system I was accustomed to into the Australian system as easy as possible. I knew I could rely on each of my professors during their office hours, via email, or anytime I needed extra help. Outside of the classroom, they were always willing to offer travel tips and cultural experiences to ensure that I was having the best abroad experience possible. I was constantly being challenged with new information and learning styles while also being given the resources to be able to handle these new challenges at each step. The facilities at Bond are beautiful and everyone working there was incredibly helpful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

TEAN made sure we were never alone throughout the whole process from choosing a program to landing back home after the program was over. As soon as we got off the plane in Australia, we were greeted by several TEAN staff that made somewhere so far away feel like home. Every week, they would update us on events going on in the community that I would've never been able to take part in without them. Having a resource just a phone call or 5 min walk away was something that made my abroad experience exponentially better.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My living arrangements were the nicest living arrangements I will ever get in my whole life. For the four months, I lived on the 22nd floor of the 5-star hotel Peppers Broadbeach. I highly suggest you look up pictures because you surely won't be disappointed. We were a minute walk from the beach, the bus stop that could bring us across Gold Coast, a large mall with a grocery store, and countless opportunities for adventure. The location and the actual housing itself felt like a dream. I have heard nightmares of people's living arrangements while they're abroad but the only nightmare I experienced was leaving mine!

* Food:

Australia's food is absolutely out of this world. Everything tastes delicious but also for some reason just feels a bit healthier. You will often not find the same brands of food we have at home but you can almost always find similar brands in the grocery store to whatever product your searching for. Gold Coast was a melting pot of various cultures so I highly suggest trying a new place every time you go out because you'll get a different taste of culture each time. I never felt like I didn't have a reasonably priced and delicious option to eat whether I was cooking for myself or eating out.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The Australian culture is extremely welcoming which made it easier to integrate into the local culture. Utilizing the advice from TEAN to join an oncampus club was one of the best pieces of advice I got throughout my experience. By interacting each week with students at the university outside of the classroom, I was able to form connections with these students that allowed me to immerse myself fully into the culture. They invited me to family outings and friend activities that allowed me to create my own family within thier culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Actually, in my first week abroad I stepped on a barnacle as I was running away from a little octopus and it got infected so I very quickly learned the healthcare system! The doctors there were readily available and the closest one to me was only a two-minute walk from my apartment. My abroad health insurance covered the cost of my appt and of the medication I received at the appt. I did not need any vaccines specifically for this program. As long as you're careful to not step on any barnacles while stepping away from a harmless octopus- then you should be good! Even if you do, the health care system in Australia is extremely similar to the US and easy to use.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe walking around my area. I would often spend days and nights exploring the area on my own or going to the beach for a late night stargazing session. Never did I feel in harm's way or uncomfortable in my surroundings. Knowing that I had friends and TEAN staff I could rely on so close by helped me feel a lot safer while being in an unkown place.

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

If I could do this a million times over, I would still choose the same program. TEAN made each individual student that came through the program feel as if they were part of a bigger family. I always felt as if I had someone to go to and rely on for anything from travel advice to a hug when I was missing home.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Start saving early. Also, don't shy away from spending the extra time researching into your travel plans to ensure you're getting the best deal possible. It's also okay to miss out on a few smaller trips with your friends if you really want to prioritize a larger and more expensive trip during your time there.

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?
  • How helpful and accessible the TEAN staff were
  • The location, it was exactly what I pictured Australia to be
  • The people I met were unforgettable, both in the TEAN program and locals from where I was staying
* What could be improved?
  • I just wish I could've stayed there forever!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To not be afraid to do more stuff on your own. Your study abroad experience is only what you make it, and what someone else on the trip wants should have no effect on what you want. Use these four months to have no regrets when you head home after an amazing four months that went by in a blink of an eye.

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.