Great times and adventures, but expensive and bad housing. Past Review

By (Clemson University) - abroad from 07/04/2012 to 11/28/2012 with

USAC Australia: Gold Coast and Brisbane - Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to be more independent and likely to try new things. I think I'm a more confident person now.

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.

I felt like the classes I took, were well laid out, but not as good as the ones I take at Clemson. This left me with plenty of time to enjoy the country. I learned a lot from my classes and had plenty of help from the staff whenever I needed it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration walked me through everything I needed to do to successfully attend the University. They also provided tips for country.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very dissatisfied with my housing. I lived in a privately owned apartment complex called University Village, owned by Brian Howard (not to be confused with the on campus housing also known as University Village). While the accommodation itself was nice, the landlord was unacceptable. This opinion was shared with everyone who lived in the complex. He not only tried to micro manage when and what we were doing (kicking us out of our own apartments every Thursday night, and not allowing guests over), but he also was unable to meet the duties he agreed to fulfill in the contract. For instance, halfway through the semester, 2 out of the 3 washing machines broke, so the entire student population (90) had to share 1 washing machine for half the semester. I would strongly assert that no one looking for a good abroad experience should stay there.

* Food:

Food was fine. Pretty much the same as we would have over here, except more expensive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like I was accepted by everyone there, and fit right in.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues while abroad, but everyone was issued an insurance card when entering the country that would cover most anything that would happen to me. There were no required vaccinations when entering the country.

* Safety:

I felt pretty safe the entire time. A few times when I was in the city at night in a sketchy area, I was a little uneasy, but this could be said about any large city. Australia was a nice safe place though.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Money was on my mind the entire time. I was constantly worrying about my budget and could not buy most of what I wanted.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150-200$ a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would definitely try to get a small job as soon as you get there. Don't put it off, or it won't happen. I would have felt A LOT more comfortable even if I had only worked a couple hours a week.


* 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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • People
  • Sites
  • Freedom
* What could be improved?
  • Different Housing
  • Getting a job
  • Better budgeting
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How expensive Australia is.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.