Best experience of my life! October 21, 2014

By (Marketing., Clemson University) - abroad from 02/14/2014 to 06/30/2014 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience was definitely worthwhile, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone. It takes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to open yourself up to new experiences. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity that allows you to assimilate yourself into a new culture while you are young and impressionable. It's hard to put into a few words the impact studying abroad has had on myself, but I still dream of it, and I think of my adventures everyday.

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 academic program of Griffith University pushed me to challenge myself and my creativity through a variety of projects and assignments. I was never overwhelmed with the work load, and was able to balance out my travels with my academic schoolwork.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

TEAN has resident directors that are located in every city in Australia and they are extremely helpful. They are there to help you integrate into the new culture while answering any questions that a student might have. The resident director sets up cultural events for TEAN students to attend to in order to fully immerse yourself into the culture.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in Griffith University Village and I was very pleased with my housing. It was already furnished and each person had their own bedroom. I was able to become close with my roommates, and we all got along very well. Living in the village helps you to not only meet locals but to meet and become friends with people from all over the world.

* Food:

I loved the food when I was in Australia, from the famous meat pies to kangaroo dishes; I was able to try all of the authentic and local foods around town.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt I was easily able to immerse myself into the local culture. A lot of this had to do with living in the village and being able to meet the Australians that I had class with and were neighbours with.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did get sick twice while I was abroad, but I had no problems going to the doctor and getting medicine. The process was much easier than I expected and picking up prescriptions was also very simple.

* Safety:

While living in the Gold Coast there was never a time where I did not feel safe. Australia is known for being a safe country and I felt comfortable going to the store at night and walking around by myself.

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)

After living abroad for a few weeks I was able to sit down and create a budget so that I would not run out of money. I was able to plan my trips and weekly expenses in a manageable way that actually allowed me to come home with some money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60 - $75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Making a budget and sticking to it is the best way to not run out of money.

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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Excellent communication
  • Orientation to prepare for your time abroad
  • Option for organized excursions
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have purchased a Go-Pro video camera or a nice camera to be able to capture all of the memories and adventures that I went on. I took a basic digital camera but having the Go-Pro would have been able to capture all of my aquatic adventures.

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.'