Constantly Searching for Flights Back to AUS October 15, 2015

By (Marketing, Bryant University) - abroad from 02/09/2015 to 06/28/2015 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I originally made the decision to study abroad for personal growth reasons, but I ended up learning more than I ever thought I would. I had never traveled outside of the country before, and the prospect of it terrified me. Pushing myself outside of my comfort zone helped me to grow as an individual. I am by no means the same person as who I was when I left; I know more about myself and feel more confident as an individual. I also learned how to budget my money, which I believe is an important life skill to acquire. Additional benefits from studying abroad that I didn't expect include discovering a career path in sustainability because of my classes and the society that I became adapted to. I also developed an appreciation for other cultures as well as a love for exploring the world and meeting new people. Although at first I was intimidated by the idea of living in a different country, I ended up having the best experience of my life. Would I go back to Australia? In a heart beat.

Review Photos

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

Academics are really different from school back home, but it was cool to experience a different style of teaching. I love the way classes are designed to promote discussion and creative thinking.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone from TEAN is knowledgeable about the area, whether its your host city or another city in Australia.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment was a two minute walk from the beach and right next to the tram, so transportation was easily accessible. The view from the room of the ocean and the city was amazing and the room itself was amazing.

* Food:

The food at the local markets is amazing, decently priced, and catered to fulfill any cravings you might have.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because TEAN offers so many opportunities to attend Aussie events, It was really easy to become acclimated to the Australian culture. Two of the events that I attended allowed me to experience the music and dances of the Aboriginal culture and the wild stadium at an AUS vs. NZ rugby game.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to the doctor once and I emailed Helen, the RD, and she immediately answered with a list of doctors I could go to in the area. The local healthcare system was very efficient; I walked in without an appointment and barely had to wait. After being admitted I was quickly diagnosed and prescribed medicine. The pharmacy was connected to the doctor's office so I was able to get the medicine immediately.

* Safety:

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)

I studied abroad prepared with a pre-planned budget, so it was very easy to manage. Everyone warns you that food in Australia is expensive but I spent $30 every 5 days on food and allowed myself to eat out 1-2 times/week for a total of about $50 on food. Any personal expenses were used for traveling and I had a separate account saved specifically for that, which I dipped into whenever friends planned to go places.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Food (groceries and going out): $50/week Transportation: $20/week Other expenses: varied depending on if I traveled that week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? 1) Plan out your meals for the week BEFORE you buy groceries, then write it down as a list on paper or your phone. Go to the store and buy only those items written on the list. This will ensure that you don't get sucked into sales or buy anything and everything that you see, so you can save money for more important things like travelling! 2) If you decide to travel and you have a refrigerator available (most hostels have them), make meals ahead of time. It's an expense that most people don't take into consideration when planning weekend trips. 3) Save save save your money before studying abroad.

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 excursions TEAN offered
  • The friendly and knowledgeable staff
  • Housing
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it's possible to study abroad for a year.