ISA Study Abroad in Gold Coast, Australia

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Most eastern point of the Australian mainland.
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia


Students studying in Gold Coast, Australia have the unique opportunity to choose between three universities: Bond University, Griffith University, or the New York Film Academy.

Bond University provides students with the atmosphere of a U.S. campus and a academic calendar that aligns well with North America. Popular subject areas include: Business, Australian Studies, Hospitality and Tourism, Psychology and Criminology. Griffith University is a rapidly growing, modern campus located just 20 minutes, by bus, from the famous Surfer's Paradise beach town. A wide array of academic areas are available, including popular subjects of Business, Social Sciences and Communications. The New York Film Academy blends a traditional film school education with hands-on experiences including writing, producing and editing of original films. Participants select one of two courses at NYFA: Filmmaking or Acting for Film.

Visit the ISA website to learn more.


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ISA Scholarships and Financial Aid

ISA is committed to increasing all students’ access to study abroad’s many benefits. We don't let financial hardships to get in the way of a life changing educational experience.

$350 - $2,000

Questions & Answers


based on 17 reviews
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.1
  • Housing 9.9
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 15 of 17
Yes, I recommend this program

Bond Universtiy

I loved Bond University because of the small size and close exchange atmosphere. Many local students did not live on campus, so the dorms were filled with exchange students. This was nice because it was easy to meet students to travel with. While abroad, I was able to work at a cafe as well as study. This was hugely beneficial to me because I was able to interact and meet the locals while making enough money to fund most of my trips. I only worked twice a week and it covered most of my travel expenses. This gave me valuable experience working in another country and allowed me to form lasting relationships.

Being close to the beach was amazing. The neighborhoods nearby are very nice and fun to explore. I made an effort to get to the beach at least every other day if not every day. I would highly recommend this because the beaches on the Gold Coast are some of the best in the world! Get to know the area because there are a lot of hidden treasures.

I only had class Monday - Wednesday and classes only meet once a week. I traveled most weekends to various places in Australia. I would recommend getting to know the area in which you live because that is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture. Participate in as many campus activities as possible so as to meet local students as well as study abroad students.

Yes, I recommend this program


GlobalLinks was the best program option I had to choose from when I was looking to study abroad programs my university offered. They were a bit pricier than some of the other ones, but they guaranteed me housing and got me a week in Cairns, Australia (for those that don't know thats where the Great Barrier reef is!) I got to scuba dive one of the seven natural wonders of the world as well as skydive out of a plane at 15,000 ft all thanks to going to Cairns for one week for our culturing transition week. They also gave me my excursion to Fiji (you can also go to Bali, New Zealand, or Thailand.. just have to pay for the flight) for my spring break and I got travel around the main island of Fiji, be leader of the group I was in and meet a real life chief and village. I also got to go sand boarding, visit a top 5 beach in the world, and hangout at some of the most beautiful hostels I have ever seen... HALF WAY ACROSS THE WORLD!!! Its unreal how much a program like this can have an impact on your life, and now that Im an ambassador for them at the University of Tampa I encourage all students to look into doing something outside of the country to see what life is like somewhere else, getting someone else's view on the world is very rare thing that few people these days can truly appreciate. Studying abroad is one of the greatest things I have ever done with my life; GlobalLinks just made the trip that much more incredible than I could have anticipated!

What would you improve about this program?
Hopefully in time the final price could be a little smaller or at least more funding may be able to be given to students who display merit to study abroad, but may not have the financial means to do so.
Yes, I recommend this program

Great program, even better location!

The Gold Coast was by far my favorite location in Australia - it had the best weather, best beaches, and most laid back lifestyle which is exactly what I was looking for in a study abroad experience.

I lived in The Village and loved its proximity to school, the little store that had a few essentials, and the pool! Also great to have lots of people from all over the world staying in the same apartment complex - it really allowed me to branch out and meet a lot of people. The apartment was about a 20 minute bus ride from the beach, but realistically its only about 3 miles. You can see Surfers Paradise from the upper levels of the Village! The Vill can get loud/messy at times but I liked living there and constantly being surrounded by people/finding more travel buddies!

School was not very hard, I actually preferred the Australian semester system with lecture and tutorial over my American quarter system.

Overall, great program, great provider, great school, great experience :)

What would you improve about this program?
More emphasis on activities planned by Resident Coordinators
Yes, I recommend this program

Discovering the Gold Coast with GLA

Trying to sum up my time abroad in a few short paragraphs seems impossible - four months of my life were spent blissfully living in and exploring Australia. I owe all of my experiences to GlobaLinks Learning Abroad.

From the start, planning for my trip abroad GLA helped me stay on track with deadlines, helped we decide which school to choose, where to live, and also had representatives come to my home university and present a pre-departure info session! Every step of the way, GlobaLinks was two steps ahead of me! Organizing all of my online materials, providing me with contact information for when I went overseas (my mother loved that) and in truth so did is a huge leap of faith to study abroad, and knowing that I had several GLA staff in the same country put any worries to rest.

GLA also organized a trip to Cairns where I was able to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef! Many other incredible adventures awaited and I was glad to know that GLA would assist me in any way possible. I would HIGHLY recommend this program to anyone and everyone. Get out there and see what GlobaLinks has to offer!!!

What would you improve about this program?
I wouldn't change much but, all of the students attending Bond were together before arriving and for the first weeks during orientation. I think it would be best if once a month, GLA staff could plan events for the groups of students. This way they are immersed in local culture and can also catch up if they haven't seen one another, discuss travel plans etc.
Yes, I recommend this program

Livin The Dream!

The Globalinks program was AMAZING! Made some amazing friends through it and we all bounded together during our bridging cultures week in Cairns, which was unreal! Going abroad was the best decision I ever made. I chose to live in the Griffith University Village which was a short walk to campus. There was always something going on, and even when there wasn't you could just go and hang out at the pool (yep, the village has a pool!) Classes were extremely easy and manageable. There would be a 2 hr lecture once a week and a 1 hr "tut" (tutorial) which was a smaller group discussion class. The best way to get around is on the bus, and it is only about a 25 minute bus to get to the beach and Surfer's Paradise. Gold Coast is a great location because you can get to the beach, city, and jungle all fairly easily. Travel as much as you can!!

Globalinks was extremely helpful throughout the whole pre-departure process and really helped keep me on top of all my deadlines. They were always very responsive to any questions I had and the bridging cultures program was AMAZING!

What would you improve about this program?
I feel like Globalinks was super supportive during pre-departure and during bridging cultures but once we were in the village and uni started, we were kind of on our own. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing; they were always available by email but we never really heard anything from them once we were settled in besides a few emails here and there. They did have an end of semester Globalinks dinner for all of us which was really nice though.
Living in the village is very expensive and unfortunately I didn't have the best roommates. Fortunately, I didn't spend much time in my apartment, but it was still a let down.
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing experience

Each day was a new adventure. Bond Uni has an awesome system for relaying current events; whether it is an academic or social event, there is something to do whenever you please. The orientation programs got me off to an amazing start to my journey. From snorkeling to road-tripping to relaxing nights in my villa, Australia was more than I could have asked for. Initially, getting around and adjusting to daily life was difficult. It wasn't long before I was doing well in school and having an unbelievable time on the Gold Coast.

What would you improve about this program?
Transportation. The most difficult part of being at Bond Uni was getting around without a car. Carrying a weeks worth of groceries to and from a bus station was no fun - definitely manageable though!

Globalinks created the perfect itinerary for me, especially going to Cairns.
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Experience

Studying at the University of Queensland was an amazing experience. Classes are set up completely differently than in the U.S. Usually there would be one or two meetings per week with no homework so grades are largely based on one exam and/or a paper. It is important to stay on top of your work but this format also gives you a lot of time to explore Australia and get to do the fun touristy things with your friends. We would usually travel along the coast on weekends and we made sure to see as much as possible. An average day was waking up going to class, coming home pretty early and relaxing with friends before we went out to the lagoon in the afternoon to soak up some sun or walk around food markets in the city - Definitely worth every penny.

What would you improve about this program?
One thing I would change about this program would be to have the immersion program closer to the end of the semester. By then friendships are already established and it would be a good way for everyone to meet up again and share their experiences over their semesters. Also, coming back to the U.S. would be a lot easier if it was done with others.
Yes, I recommend this program

Griffith University - Gold Coast

Studying Abroad is one of the most amazing opportunities and I'm so glad I got to experience it. Living in a foreign country has opened my eyes to so many possibilities, and made me realize the world is a lot bigger than we think.

Gold Coast is the perfect climate and ideal location in my opinion. It was rarely cold during the day, cold being lower than 65 degrees, even in the winter. During the winter nights it can get chilly, but you'll get by just fine with a sweatshirt and jeans. I would highly recommend living at the Griffith University Village if you can. They aren't the nicest apartments and you'll probably find better one along the beach. However if you want to meet Australians and other international students this the best place to live.

Something I didn’t realize before going was that Australia is about the same size as mainland US. It’s unlikely you’ll get to see the whole country because you have to all the major cities; however the cost of airfare is usually pretty reasonable. I would suggest planning out any trip in advance, that way you can find the best deals on cheap flights. You can save a lot of money that way, especially if you’re trying to budget your money. There are so many amazing places to see, and you’ll want to see as many as you can. Australia tend to be more expensive in almost every way when compared to the US, so budgeting if very important.

What I really like about going through GlobaLinks was how much the staff genuinely cared about the students they send abroad. They are willing to answer any questions you have from starting an application to how to make the most out of your experience. The safety and education of the students is most important to them. There are GlobaLinks staff on site in every country, and you can call there office if you have any problems while abroad. They also check up on you thought the semester, just to see how you’re doing. Another awesome perk about choosing GlobaLinks is the Bridging Cultures Program that you do at the start of your trip. You spend 5 day up in Cairns, Queensland where the Great Barrier Reef is. You have the option to go on a boat tour of the reef or white water rafting, you also spend a full day on the reef, snorkeling and diving and a day at a wild life sanctuary where you learn about Aboriginal culture, hold a koala and get to play with the kangaroos. It is definitely one of the highlights of the program. I would recommend this program to anyone thinking of studying abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
The accommodation was not really worth the price we payed for it. Also we payed to live there for the month of January, when we weren't even in the country. I would have liked the option of living there during January.
Yes, I recommend this program


This was by far one of the best experiences i have ever had. The staff at GloablLinks does everything above and beyond to make sure you are having the time of your life, and that you are okay while you are abroad. If there is anything i can say that would be the most helpful to you, i would say i heard from GloablLinks on a weekly basis to catch up, while i heard from my home University once every few months, if at all.

What would you improve about this program?
I would say more group programs for us to participate in. Perhaps a retreat at the end too?
Yes, I recommend this program

Can't Wait To Do It Again

I know it seems cheesy that I rated this program 10s all across the board, but Globalinks Learning Abroad deserves it. I attended Bond University from January to the end of April and I loved every minute of it. Like the other reviewer, I grew as a person. I was able to step outside of my usual comfort zone and welcome a new society into my life. I learned to surf, mastered the bus system, travelled to Ayer's Rock and Sydney, held a Koala, jumped around with the Kangaroo and made many friends to go along with it.

The staff of GLA is phenomenal as well. They will help you every step of the way, from answering your simplest question of, "Where do I want to go and how do I get there?" to the most complex, "We've just started getting charged for our electricity usage, is this included in what we already paid for?" (I definitely asked both!)

I loved the small campus of Bond University. You got to know your professors on a far more personal level than you do on a large campus. Each professor is more than willing to discuss a topic with you so you can earn the best grade possible.

Study abroad. It doesn't really matter where you go, just do it. It'll be the best decision you could ever make.

What would you improve about this program?
Bond University had enforced some new rules when it came to classes. It was a nightmare to go back and forth from my university to GLA to Bond and back again. No fault of GLA, but it was a hurdle for us to overcome with Bond.
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Abroad at Griffith University~Gold Coast

Studying abroad has given me a completely new and fresh perspective on life and other cultures. I have been bitten with the travel bug 100%, and have made it a priority to incorporate traveling and trying new experiences into my everyday life, even if that means just a short trip a few towns over. There are SO many new opportunities out there, and you'll never find them if you don't go looking. Studying abroad has opened my eyes that there are MILLIONS of different combinations of people out there, so don't limit yourself to just the familiar. Once you step out of your comfort zone, the possibilities are limitless. Take advantage of every opportunity and adventure you can while you can!

The school system was definitely different in Australia compared to America. Australian courses tend to have more condensed assignments in the form of a few papers or exams for the entire semester, as opposed to American classes that have many smaller assignments throughout the semester. Australian courses are also more independent, and classes are more 'optional', with the implication that you will complete much of your coursework outside of class. I felt that the grading was harsher, although the assignments seemed easier compared to the work I do at my home university. Teaching methods were definitely different, as most of my classes were considered 'tutes', and it was more like an informal question and answer session than an actual class.
I didn't feel as if there was much 'support' to students from America, and my opinion was that professors abroad seemed to think Americans didn't care much about the education we received in the class. I had met with one of my professors a few times, and it wasn't much help to me in learning how to complete the assignments. The classes I took were primarily general education courses, so I wasn't too concerned with really absorbing the knowledge, but it would have been easier if I had felt more welcome in the classroom.

For my housing, I was placed into apartment housing at the Griffith Uni Village. Some students lived with all Americans, some only lived with Americans from the AustraLearn program, and other had a mix. I lived with two Australian girls, an Australian guy, and a Norwegian guy. I liked the fact that I had diversity in my living arrangements and was able to experience more of the culture right in my own home.
I never felt as if safety were a problem, I never felt unsafe and was usually with my friends all the time. The Village is right next to campus, about a ten-fifteen minute walk to get to my classes. It's also about a fifteen minute walk to get to the bus stop, which we rode into town to get groceries, catch a train or plane when we were traveling, and how we got downtown to go out if we didn't take a cab (about twenty minutes from Surfer's Paradise).
Since I was living with people who had already been settled in to the Village and who were also locals, housing basics such as cook wear were already supplied and my roommates welcomed me to use whatever was theirs in the apartment. The apartments themselves were furnished, so there was furniture, dressers, beds, a desk, etc. Australearn supplied sheets a pillow, so my expenses to live in the apartment were few. I ended up buying basic things, such as a few hangers, a small mirror, toiletries, food, etc.

Food is SO expensive in Australia!!! I'm a frequenter of Dollar Stores here in America to get basic supplies, so to find that those don't really exist in Australia was such a letdown! There are no Wal-Marts either, although their K-Marts are similar, only more 'high quality' and of course, more expensive. If living near Griffith Uni in Southport, go to the Ashmore City Shopping Centre, only a few miles away and definitely within walking distance. They have a 'Crazy Clarks' store, which is about as close to a dollar store as I ever found over there-we found cheap crafts, toiletries, kitchen supplies,food, snacks, etc. There's also a Chemist (pharmacy), fruit market, and IGA (grocery store), along with a bank (ANZ) and Liquor Store right around the corner. If we were saving our bus money or just wanted to grab a few things or take a walk, this is where we went to get groceries. IGA is definitely a little more expensive than Coles or Woolworths (located in Southport at the Australia Fair shopping centre, both grocery stores similar to WalMart) but if you didnt want to take the bus 30 min away it's a nice alternative. Also remember, there aren't 'superstores' in Australia like in the US-it's going to be wayyyy more expensive to buy everything at the same store than to go to the separate specialty stores for supplies, and most grocery stores don't even sell alcohol. One of the nice things about Australian food is that there are no preservatives and nasty crap like we have here in America, so that contributes to prices as well. My diet while abroad consisted of lots of stir frys, rice, meat & veg combinations, specifically revolving around what was on sale that week. Australia Fair also has a cheap produce market that we would try to get to about every 2 weeks or so.

Traveling & Safety
I did a ton of traveling throughout my stay in Australia, including visiting multiple places throughout Queensland, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Sydney, Cairns, and the Outback. Each place had their own unique style and I loved everything about it! My trip specifically included a trip to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef before arriving at our abroad unis, which was a fantastic way to network with other students and make friends before getting settled in with school. Traveling was my favorite part of the study abroad experience, by far.

Everyday Life
Highlights were definitely the access to travel around the country and meet people from different backgrounds than myself. I absolutely loved the accessibility-you can virtually take a train or bus to just about anywhere you would want to go within the country. The people were extremely accommodating and helpful in every aspect. There were struggles, such as not having enough money to do everything I wanted to, trying to overcome learning differences in the classroom, etc. but overall the difficulties is what made the trip unique and different than a "tourist" visit. Being able to immerse myself in the culture and actual live in Australia, as opposed to merely visiting, really made all the difference.

Australearn included many seminars about abroad life in our orientation before we headed to our different unis, and safety was stressed. We were provided many resources and information about who to call and what to do if we were in an emergency situation. I never felt unsafe or worried for my safety at any time throughout the trip.
I did have to visit the doctor several times for a bad sinus infection, and it was MUCH simpler than visiting a dr in the states...AustraLearn has student health insurance included in their package, so you just get a card when you arrive and can use the clinic on campus. I barely had to wait for my appointment, and the cost was extremely reasonable-even better than the healthcare I have in my OWN country. There is a cap on medications too, you only have to pay up to a specific amount of money. I did not need any specific vaccines prior to going abroad.

Words of wisdom for anyone thinking of going abroad with Australearn is to TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL and make sure you come with enough money so you don't have to find a job once you arrive! So many people immediately got jobs from my program once we arrived in Southport, and it seems contradictory to live the same life abroad as you do at home, when this experience is truly once in a lifetime. Make sure you construct a budget as well, so you're making the best use of your money and not just blowing everything on alcohol and partying. Most importantly, say hello to everyone and don't be afraid to initiate a conversation! Most of my friendships, whom I still am in contact with now, began with a simple smile & "hello" :)

Yes, I recommend this program

A great program for those who love exploring nature and completing projects on some of the wonderful things they see

I loved the Lady Elliot Island 5-day stay. We got to swim around the Great Barrier Reef island while taking underwater photography. We were 40 miles off the coast of Aus. The stars at night were amazing and the overall isolation from the mainland emphasised our overall group bonding and dynamics.

Yes, I recommend this program

Go Abroad!

I absolutely loved going abroad, it definitely was the time of my life! Putting my entire experience of about 6 months into a paragraph or two is nearly impossible for me to do - I could talk about this for weeks. In short, I met so many great people from all over the world and since I have been back in the United States its been fun traveling to visit some of the people I met in Australia and even hosting a few Aussies at my home University!

I've also grown as a person which became more clear to me when I returned to my home University the following semester. After going abroad I am more independent and confident in nearly everything I do! This is because while I was abroad I was completely on my own which sounds easy but it was a bit overwhelming at first. I was in control of my money and had to maintain a budget to last me until I came home (nearly a whole 6 months!), I made my own flight arrangements - picked something that I wanted to do and went there. I even rented a car and learned how to drive on the other side of the road! And even simple things like learning how to take the city bus and go food shopping were all things I had to figure out how to do (Woolworths definitely was a life saver, a grocery store that delivers! I wish my home University had that!).

Overall experiencing life in another country was amazing. Everyday was exciting and something different I was always busy and thrilled about simple things that many of the locals take for granted. For example, walking to the beach was really interesting because I liked passing by houses and seeing how different they were to ones from my hometown and I loved riding the bus because I would be able to make small talk with locals and learn about a cool spot to see or event that was coming! And its even the same with everyday things like cars, street signs, buildings, clothing, foods - everything was new to me and I loved exploring!

Yes, I recommend this program

Loved studying on the Beach!

We had such an epic time while attending Griffith! We lived on the beach (although we were left to attain our own accommodations) in a great Holiday Apartment and loved the nightlife in Surfers Paradise.

The Campus was very nice and always updating classrooms to stay up to date. My classes were challenging, I was a part of the theater troupe and participated in student government. I really felt like a part of the community.

Yes, I recommend this program

Griffith Uni - Gold Coast

Studying abroad on the Gold Coast was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Everyone is really friendly and they love to party! If you decide to study at Griffith, living at the Griffith University Village is a must. It isn't 5 star accommodation but it is a lot a fun. It is a ten-minute walk to campus and a ten-minute walk to the grocery store. If you want to go to the beach, it is only a 25-minute bus ride. Griffith is very academically challenging. I would recommend taking classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so you can travel and enjoy yourself on the weekends. Studying abroad makes you more independent and more outgoing. The only advice I wish I had before I left would be to not worry about what people think about you and just go all out. Go big or go home.