My experience was absolutely unforgettable! June 02, 2016

By (University of Hartford) - abroad from 02/21/2016 to 06/26/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained the experience of living in a new country and culture, I learned to cook and be more independent, I became more appreciative of the people back home and realized how blessed I am to have had such I wonderful opportunity. I am going home with a hunger to see more of the world. Most importantly, this trip has helped me overcome some struggles in my life and I learned things about myself that I would not have learned if I didn't study abroad.

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? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I had a wonderful experience abroad. Since the time I walked in to abroad office, I felt tremendous support and guidance. This entire trip has been stress free and very successful thanks to the University of Hartford study abroad team and TEAN. I had the resources I needed and I felt prepared to start the year. The classes were a bit challenging and took some adjusting but I am still content with everything.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I love the Sierra Grand! It is a beautiful building with a wonderful staff, free, easily accessible gym, and the pool and beach are right there. Free laundry and room service were two other great aspects. The bus stop and shopping mall were right behind us too. It was absolutely wonderful. The room we had, however, did not accommodate for four students. There was not a lot of space for our clothes, food, and luggage. We had to get a second refrigerator because the one we had would not fit half of our groceries. Also, as a recommendation, I think it would have been wiser to put all the TEAN students together on the same floors that way there wouldn't be so many noise complaints. Playing music or watching a movie became an issue at times because there were so many non TEAN residents around.

* Food:

I learned to cook while abroad!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

VERY! I joined a local boxing gym and made friends with Uni students. I also attended events that Helen at TEAN suggested to us. I felt very integrated with the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I feel safer here than in my own neighborhood. Even going on night runs or enjoying the nightlife I always felt safe.

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

The program was very organised and the TEAN staff always got back to me in a timely manner when I needed anything.

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 is very expensive to live on your own as a student. The gold coast can be pricey if you don't look for the best deals. It helps to save up a lot of money before coming and budget budget budget!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $70/ week on food, I did not have any school expenses because I did not need books, I did A LOT of shopping $50-$100/ week but not every week, don't forget to calculate activities like snorkeling and day trips. I spent no more than $1500 in New Zealand and Cairns total for spring break.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It helps to know exactly how much you want to spend each month and stick to that plan. I also put away money in another account for emergencies/ money for when I return home to America.When I reached the half way point in my trip and I had more than half of my money left in my spending account, I knew I was on the right track. Do not eat out a lot. Cook as much as possible. The little purchases add up. When you go out at night, drinks are VERY expensive so be careful with spending. Many places offer student discounts so always check for that. If you are going to rent a car, split it with a few people. When shopping at markets, don't forget to bargain!

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* 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?
  • How culturally involved it was
  • How supportive everyone on the staff was
  • All the events I got to attend thanks to TEAN (rugby game, wildlife parks, carnivals, opera house, etc.)
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Every one of your friends is going to tell you they will come visit you half way across the world. They are lying. Enjoy the time you have away from everyone. Get to know yourself for a while. When you come back home, everyone will be waiting with open arms.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.