A non-stop adventure with lasting memories and relationships. October 13, 2014

By (Rehabilitation Science, University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh) - abroad from 02/17/2014 to 06/29/2014 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to put myself out of my comfort zone whenever possible. I learned to do something each day that makes me a little uncomfortable. This is how you meet some of the most amazing people, do some of the most amazing activities, have the most amazing experiences, and learn some new amazing things about yourself. I loved being abroad because by meeting people from different areas of the world, you learn how different people can be looking at the same thing you are, but their perception of that thing is completely different from your own. My experience abroad was extremely worthwhile and I would do it again in a second.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I loved my classes at Griffith. The course conveners were helpful and very knowledgeable! Also, my tutorials were very helpful and a great resource for extra help in class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the Beach Housing in Broadbeach. Great location, tons of things to do in the area and very easy access to public transportation.

* Food:

Lots of restaurants with GREAT food very nearby the beach housing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Very easy to make friends with local Australians and felt very accepted by them! They were always willing to help me out or show me around the Gold Coast.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had sort of an extensive healthcare experience in Australia. I injured by knee while abroad and ended up having a surgery and a week long stay in the hospital. However, although I was abroad and in an unfamiliar area, I had a really good experience with the local health care. The Griffith Uni health center was very friendly and they even drove me over to the hospital when I came in. The hospital was very clean and easily accessible since it was on campus. All my doctors and nurses were very nice and I had a really good experience. The healthcare system was different than I am used to in the US, but this was not a bad thing. I was very well taken care of and the hospital was sure to follow up with me after I left. Also, the OSHC healthcare (which TEAN provides) answered all my questions and had great coverage. I did not need any vaccines before entering Australia.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in the Gold Coast. As in any city around the world, I would not walk around alone at night. But even if it was necessary, I still felt very safe wherever I was.

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)

It was easy to live on a student's budget in the Gold Coast. The easy access to public transportation pretty much anywhere in the Gold Coast made traveling around very cheap. Also, once you took the bus or tram 9 times that week, all other trips were free!!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent around $50 on food a week and 15$ on public transportation a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would suggest trying to avoid eating out too often. Eating out is very expensive and you can save heaps of money eating in with food from the supermarket. Also, I would suggest taking the public transportation whenever you can instead of a cab. Cabs can become very costly.

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?
  • Opportunity to meet amazing people.
  • TEAN was very well organized and very well prepared for all the students. They were very helpful even when I was in Australia.
  • Australia was a beautiful country which holds some of my favorite memories.
* What could be improved?
  • I can't say that anything should be improved. I would not change my experience at all.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There is nothing that I would have wanted to know before going on the program. I loved experiencing everything in Australia for the first time myself.

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.