Best Days of My Life October 18, 2014

By (HISTORY., Quinnipiac University) - 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?
What did I gain from studying abroad? Everything. A global and humbling perspective, lifelong memories and friendships, the courage and confidence to truly do anything I set my mind to (cheesy, but it's the truth), and a really, really strong case of wanderlust :) So, of course it was worthwhile. I would go back this very day I could. I will be telling my children and their children of my study abroad experience in hopes that they will too.

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.

Studying at Griffith, I was definitely able to expand my educational horizons. The expectations overseas are different from American standards; they are challenging mostly because they are different - different but not impossible. I gained not only an Australian perspective on issues, but also British, Turkish, Canadian, Swedish, etc. perspectives since Griffith is bursting with diversity and culture. My favorite resource, other than the lectures being filmed and therefore accessible online, was the library. There were so many different sections to suit your needs: a help desk, a study (extremely quiet) zone, a place where you could discuss group projects, computer lab, and even a video game section! I loved my time at Griffith - it was too short.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

As an independent individual, I greatly appreciated TEAN's administration: there when we needed them, otherwise, we were on our own, making our own study abroad experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I still cannot believe that I, as a college student, lived in such an elegant apartment two blocks from the Pacific Ocean. It will probably be the nicest place I'll have ever lived.

* Food:

While abroad, I was exposed to an array of international cuisines, specifically at the Miami Marketta, which was nothing short of outstanding. Also, even though I deeply missed my Mexican food, I found a new love, kebabs, which are everywhere along the Gold Coast.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

From taking the bus every day to uni to meeting locals in class and school clubs, from just wandering around and simply asking questions, I definitely felt integrated into the Australian culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

From my own experience, healthcare was easily accessible. There was always the doctor on campus or even the pharmacists that worked across the way from our apartments. It was different, but I very much enjoyed that we could go to the pharmacist before the doctor, and that they would recommend medication. It saved us a trip, which I liked.

* Safety:

I felt more safe at the Gold Coast than I did in America. That is not to say that I let my guard down, rather I was simply able to relax it, for in order to be safe, one must be socially aware. Of course I, as a woman, would not feel safe roaming around by myself late at night - but that usually goes without saying. So, as long as you stay in a group when it gets to be pretty late, remember to look both ways before crossing the street, and you abide by the flags on the beach, you should be GOLDen.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent about $15 a week on transportation and about $80 - $100 on food, which sounds like a lot, but I actually budgeted since food is more expensive over there.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? First, you should count up all the money you have; then divide it by the amount of weeks you will be abroad and budget accordingly. Do not be the kids who squander all their money in the first month - you will miss out on so much as your time overseas come to an end and you realize you want to see and do it all before it's up. Plan your trips early to save money on flights. Acquire a student bus (or transportation) pass. And always keep your eyes peeled for meal deals.

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?
  • Location - gorgeous hometown located in the heart of the east coast, making both the north (i.e. Cairns) and the south (Melbourne) not too far
  • TEAN led trips - Sydney Orientation and Thailand Spring Break Trip
  • Freedom, yet the reassurance that you were being looked after
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing that I can think of.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew to bring a Go Pro.

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.