The gift of friends and a new place to call home October 09, 2019

By (University of Tampa) - abroad from 01/04/2019 to 04/18/2019 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I grew so much as a person while I was away. I was completely isolated from all family and friends in America and it really allowed me to find my way as an individual relying on solely myself. It was probably the best thing that could have happened to me at this stage of my life.

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.

I absolutely loved everything about my educational experience abroad. The classes I took really allowed me to dive into the Australian culture and be one with the people there. I found the classes to be very difficult, as you don't have regular assignments but instead two semester exams total.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I loved getting to know all of the administration both with Bond but mostly with TEAN. They always made sure we were all enjoying our time and if we had questions they were just a phone call away. I ended up becoming best mates with one of my on-site resources. She made me feel so welcomed and really took me under her wing.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living situation was an absolute dream to be completely honest! I had the pleasure of living in the beach housing that TEAN offers on the Gold Coast. I lived on the beach in the high-rise Peppers Broadbeach. I was steps from the ocean in a 5-star apartment complex. I have no complaints in this aspect.

* Food:

Because I lived in Peppers, I had the luxury of a grocery store right across the street as well as the amazing restaurants that were all so delicious. I paid all out of pocket for my meals but it ended up being very reasonable if you did it the right way.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Like I said previously, I very quickly became close with my local resource. She introduced me to all her friends and took me on tons of adventures within the east coast of Australia. I feel very lucky that I had the opportunity to get to know her because I felt like I was one of them pretty much the entire time I was abroad.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have anything major happen, however I did get stung by a jellyfish and the local pharmacy fixed me up with no hassle. I also split my head open surfing, and had I needed help my Aussie mate offered to bring me...because health-care there is extremely cheap and everyone is able to be treated no matter what.

* Safety:

There was never a moment that I felt unsafe in this environment.With that being said, it is still a city and you do have to be aware of your surroundings. It is a very inviting environment, and I never had any issues.

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

I absolutely loved everything about this program. The people were lovely and really made the effort to make sure we were all okay and enjoying our time. It was a beautiful spot to be living for 4 months and I made lifelong friends thanks to TEAN.

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)

Australia is definitely an expensive country to be in, however it doesn't have to be. It really all depends on how many things you want to try and what you want to see while you are there. I managed just fine while I was there, and I definitely tried my fair share of activities/food and did plenty of travel. I spent on average about $100-150 per week, but it never felt like too much to handle.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about $100-150 per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I think the most important thing is to not blow all your money right when you get there. You are likely to be there for many month, and the souvenir shops aren't going anywhere. Save your money and plan out how you are going to spread it over the time you are there. Also, maybe think about some of the places you would like to travel to or things you want to do beforehand so you have a vague idea of costs.

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?
  • The people
  • The food
  • The accessibility of people if I needed assistance
* What could be improved?
  • This is so cheesy, but honestly nothing...I loved every single aspect of this program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How amazing it would be and how much I would love Australia and the culture, because now I want to just stay there forever.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'