The best four months of my entire life. August 29, 2017

By (California Lutheran University) - abroad from 02/14/2017 to 06/18/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience was so worthwhile. I learned what it is like to live outside the US and how other people view the US, which was very eyeopening and humbling. In addition, I learned how to responsible and safety travel the world by myself, learning that this is not as hard as you think it is, gaining valuable knowledge about planning, traveling, and safety along with how to respect and integrate into other cultures.

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.

Griffith University was a great place to learn and meet locals in so many interesting classes. The classes were manageable and the instructors were great. In addition, most professors were accommodating to student studying abroad, offering extra help if needed.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My on-site administration was amazing. The TEAN team was always available whenever you needed them. I really liked how there were several different people available to help guide our journey, from locals that have a lot of experience helping study abroad students to students our age, offering a multitude of ways to help us all out. They also provided fun activities throughout the school year that you can't miss out on.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I still cannot believe I was fortunate enough to live in the place I was at in the Gold Coast. Putting it in basic terms, I lived on the 27th floor of a five-star resort 2 blocks away from the beach... how can you beat that? The surrounding area has everything you needed and I felt very safe living in Peppers Broadbeach. The location was amazing and the housing accommodations were unbelievable, I will always be dreaming of this apartment.

* Food:

The food around the area was great, but pricey. Overall, Australia is a rather expensive place, and the local resuatrants were delicious, but my roommates and I decided to try and save money and eat in the majority of the time.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like I was very integrated in the local culture. People there were so mice it was very easy to make local friends, which is a must if you want to make the most out of your experience. Griffith University provided many social opportunities to get to know your fellow students, and not jus the other international students but locals as well.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have a great deal of experience with health care, but I did visit the Health facilities on campus twice. This was very easy to set up and accessible as it was right on the Griffith campus. The doctors were great and got me back to health without an issue. Also, they are familiar with international student and our insurance plans, so there were no issues with insurance or payments. It was actually almost easier than local healthcare at home. As far as health in the are, there were no necessary vaccines specifically for this program that I had to get prior to coming to Australia or anywhere I traveled throughout my time studying abroad.

* Safety:

My host city of Broadbeach specifically was very safe, much safer than most cities in the US. As a study abroad student, you always have to be careful in unfamiliar places, but the Gold Coast will become familiar rather quickly. Although you will fell very comfortable and right at home, you always have to remember to keep your safety in mind and be cautious, as you would anywhere. The beaches can be a little sketchy after dark, so I would advise to get your beach time in during the day or make sure you are with a group of people if you want to go to the beach at night. Other than that, the public transportation is very safe and highly monitored by security.

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

I would gladly take the 16 hour flight right now to go back and do this journey all over again. I have never explored so many beautiful places, met so many amazing people, and pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone more. From living in the most amazing place in a great small city right on the beach, to traveling to four different countries and experiencing different people and cultures, to making new best friends, I couldn't have imagined this experience being any better than it was.

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)

Australia is a very expensive place, I would on average spend about $100 at the grocery store as I cooked almost every meal for myself to try to cut down on my expenses. From getting coffee and food on campus, I generally spent another $50 a week on food after my grocery store runs. Not having a job, it was not extremely easy to live on a student budget here, but you can do serval things to cut down on your expensive and make it more doable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make meals in with your roommates! This is a great way to not only save money by not eating out, but also eat healthier and bond with your roommates more.

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
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
  • People
  • Support
* What could be improved?
  • Cost
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I know now that it is okay to do things for yourself and trust people. I was very skeptical at the beginning of this experience but as I got more comfortable and let my guard down, I had infinitely more fun and so many more memorable experiences.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.