Getting settled in at Bond Uni was a smooth and easy transition, which isn’t surprising because it’s ranked the #1 School for Study Abroad by Buzzfeed! For anyone thinking about spending a semester abroad, I highly suggest checking out the school and the surrounding area. My first impression was my dorm room. I had my own room, my own bathroom, and an awesome shared balcony that overlooked the campus lake. Unfortunately, there was no swimming in the lake because it happened to be full of Bull Sharks. The Gold Coast is among the top hot spots in the world for these dangerous sharks. They’re so common that Bond’s mascot is the Bull Shark!
For those interested in spending a semester at Bond, I can guarantee that there’s tons to do! Each and every Wednesday, the school hosts Wednesday by the Water, which is free lunch for all students served by the campus’s olympic-sized swimming pool. There are also tons of cool clubs like the scuba diving club and Freestyle Chillout, a yoga club I got involved in.
If you’re just interested in visiting the Gold Coast, make sure you plan on visiting the many beautiful beaches the area has to offer. My personal favorite was Burleigh Beach. The quaint local beach was surrounded by tons of cafes and shops for when you needed a break from the sand and surf. I would recommend visiting as many cafes as possible on the trip because the breakfast in Australia is unbelievable! Next to Burleigh Beach was Burleigh Heads National Park where you can hike and find some shade. Speaking of hikes, there are tons of national parks and mountains just a few miles away where you can explore a bunch of trails and find beautiful waterfalls and views.
Another cool spot to visit is Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where you can take pictures with kangaroos and cuddle koalas! This is a must-do if you’re in the area. Tallebudgera creek is also notable; you can see the whole thing from the top of the Burleigh Heads hike! This spot is a favorite for paddle boarding and for seeing young Aussies learn how to surf. Slightly down the coast, you’ll find Snapper Rocks which is where the Quiksilver/Roxy Pro surf competition is hosted.
If you travel slightly north up the coast, you’ll find Surfer’s Paradise. Surfer’s is the club capital of Australia with really exciting food and nightlife. It is also home to the Q1 building, which is the only beachside observation building in Australia and Australia’s highest external building walk. For a slightly larger city, you can visit Brisbane which is just about an hour away. It’s easy to get just about anywhere you want with Gold Coast’s easy and efficient public transport! As a student, you even get discounted rates on the bus and rail.
Of course, I didn’t stay in Gold Coast the whole time I was abroad, but I’ll get to the other places next time!