Dear future travelers,
Picture where your life is right now. If you’re living comfortably but there’s still that little voice in the back of your head saying that something doesn’t feel “right,” I encourage you to listen to it. If you’re feeling frustrated, trapped or unhappy, I promise you that studying abroad in the Gold Coast will liberate you.
Reinventing my life abroad
Before going abroad, I was an entirely different person. To be honest, I was quite unhappy and was convinced that I was suffering from depression. Leaving everything I knew behind wasn’t easy, especially during the first few weeks, but it made me realize something that I’ll take with me for the rest of my life. My study abroad experience taught me that you can reinvent yourself. All the preconceptions I had about myself were wrong. Before going to Australia, I never would’ve imagined myself enjoying skydiving, getting certified as a scuba diver and learning to surf. I also adopted a whole new way of thinking through the Buddhist philosophy course I took at Bond University. I was inspired to begin practicing meditation and to be more compassionate towards others. I shed all my negative ruminations and was able to become a more positive and emotionally balanced person. My experience left me with so many incredible memories, and I know that yours will too.
Here are 5 tips I can give you as you plan your trip to the Gold Coast.
1. Develop a self-care routine while undergoing culture shock
Culture shock and jet lag are both very real, and they can make you feel a bit off in the beginning. Be sure to connect with people from home, get rest, and do whatever it is that helps soothe you: whether it’s going for a run, watching Netflix, or my personal favorite, meditation.
2. Challenge everything you think you know about yourself
Afraid of roller coasters when you were younger? Go to one of the many theme parks for a day and conquer that fear. Try new foods, explore and take part in the culture as much as possible.
3. Get to know the locals!
While you’ll be meeting great people through your program, make sure to talk to the local Australian people and other international students outside of the program. You’ll be surprised how friendly and open they are to getting to know you if you are willing to get to know them. During my time abroad, I made friends with students from Australia, Brazil, and Norway.
4. Choose your travel partners wisely
It’s easy to get excited to book trips with someone the first day you meet them, but before you plan anything, be sure you are compatible. Ask them what kinds of things they are expecting to do in a given location. Some people prefer visiting museums while others like to get out of the city center and explore nature. Be sure you can live with them for a week. If you travel with the right people, you will have an amazing time.
5. Make it your own personal experience
Everyone’s experience will mean something different to them, and how you want to spend it is up to you. Just go out and explore, take pictures and videos. I recommend keeping a journal, because at the end of the day, nobody will share the same memories as you.
With these 5 tips for studying abroad on the Gold Coast, your study abroad experience will be a life-changing one!
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