Have you ever dreamed of a place that has the best of ALL worlds? One with relaxing beaches, year-round sunshine, fun-filled theme parks, rainforests, surfer waves, engaging nightlife, and countless events scheduled? A place that's nearly impossible to get bored in while staying there? If you've dreamt of that seemingly only-in-fairy-tales place, you no longer have to dream--it's Gold Coast, Australia!
Check out Burleigh's hiking trails for some fantastic views of the Gold Coast!
The two most popular universities to study at in Gold Coast are Bond University and Griffith University, each offering more than just academic expertise.
A tourist city by nature, Gold Coast is increasingly becoming popular to international students who want the life-altering experience to live and study in another part of the world. Its enticing "Surfer's Paradise" destination hub lures even the most apprehensive risk-taker with a myriad of diversity in cafes, shops, clubs, restaurants and attractions; all the while staying true to its name with a world-class surfing beach.
Want some examples of all the fun you can have abroad on the Gold Coast? Well look no further.
- Grab your swimmers, sunnies and thongs and hit the beaches! Broadbeach offers a breathtaking atmosphere to complement its convenient location in the middle of a community of natives interspersed with tourists and mom-and-pop businesses. Surfer's Paradise attracts the adventure seekers and common folk; while students flock here for the most comprehensive Australian lifestyle. Burleigh Heads mixes beach lifestyle with hiking and reflection. You can even hone in on that reflection with free Yoga and Tai Chi classes on the beach! In addition to these three beaches, there is also the popular beaches of: Currumbin, Coolangatta, and Main.
- You'll need your runners! Rainforests may be the best-kept secret gems of the Gold Coast. Whether you choose to hike through Tambourine Mountain, Springbrook National Park or Lamington National Park. Tambourine Mountain features wineries, art galleries, hikes, climbing rope and wire hangings, balancing on bridges, and hanging out in the treetops! Springbrook is home to the Best-of-All Lookout (which you can see numerous cities' skylines), natural bridges, swimmable waterfalls, and a glowworm grotto. Lamington appeals to nature-lovers far and wide with its subtropical rainforest, walking trails, exotic wildlife and mountainous views.
- Cuddle up with a Joey! Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary opens its door to those who want to hold koalas, lounge with the kangaroos, feed the Lorikeets and/or just be surrounded by Australia's finest animals! What's even more appealing is the student discount!
- Did someone say unlimited? Deals on theme park admissions are always going on but one in particular remains steady--$100 for unlimited entry into three of the most popular parks in Gold Coast: Sea World (thrill rides, interact with dolphins and penguins, even pay a little extra to go snorkeling!), Warner Bros. Movie World (roller coasters, 3D rides, movie attractions and live stunt shows!) and Wet 'n' Wild Water World (Australia's biggest water park).
- It's a bird; it's a plane; it's YOU! Fly through the clouds at 12,000+ feet with Gold Coast Skydive and land right on the beach!
- Have a movie and drink, on us! Jupiter's Casino allows 18+ to sign up for their rewards membership for free--then they'll give you a free movie showing every Monday and up to two soft drinks/hot chocolate every day. Test your luck at the slots and poker tables after all that.
Make sure you bring a wallet! Because Australia is expensive (but so worth it!), you want to make sure to stretch every penny. Paying for things in cash can often save you those surcharges some places put on credit card payments--you'll love carrying around the colorful bills of all different sizes.
Surf while studying abroad on the Gold Coast
You might be asking, how can I do it all?! Here are some tips to help you out.
- You mean, study, play, tan AND still have time explore that fairy-tale-like place? Of course. Study abroad through these available programs:
- Within Gold Coast is easily accessible public transportation (bus and train) that offers student discounted rates and can conveniently get you to many attractions.
- Make friends with the personable locals and hitch a ride with them to more secluded destinations and pick their brain on even more hidden gems!
- Many tour companies such as Bushwacker EcoTours and Aquaduck Safaris cater to the adventurous needs of students offering half-day, full day and weekend trips to places. Experience whale watching, a hot-air balloon, and the aboriginal culture all in a day's "work"!
Studying in the Gold Coast will bring you the Aussie way of laissez-faire lifestyle that will carry with you even after you've left the Eastern side of Australia. Chose the casual night out listening to live music at Fiddlers Green Pub, ride the mechanical bull at Melbas or dance the night away at Beergarden, either way you can bet to have a good night that will likely last into the morning; just in time to fit in a quick snooze before you hit the morning waves, enjoy a latte beachside, or put on your hiking boots to explore the rainforest.
Not only get to know this dream-like place but also get to know yourself, tapping into interests and activities you never saw yourself doing before--study, adventure, dissect and make Gold Coast, Australia your home away from home.
Because studying abroad is expensive, it is a great idea to know your scholarship options!
Contributed by Kaylie Adams
Kaylie is a junior at the University of Dayton studying Psychology. Her Australia adventure, in words and pictures, can be found on Kaylie's blog.
Do you think there is something missing in our guide to studying abroad in the Gold Coast? Contact us and let us know! We want to make sure our information is relevant and up to date.