Life on the Gold Coast
“I think no matter who comes to the Gold Coast, they will love it. It’s such a beautiful city with sunshine 300 days a year. You can go down to any of the beaches, go surfing and chill – it’s wonderful like you’re always on holiday. For students, the Gold Coast offers a really nice balance of study and social life compared to other Australian cities. You always have somewhere to go on the weekend or after school: you can always just go to the beach and hang out, or even go hiking.
“The whole environment is so warm and welcoming that you can feel something ‘different’ about it, especially if you are an international student. I was worried that being in a big city would be a cold experience, and impact my student or study life. However, even though I was a young woman out on my own, I felt comfortable and safe walking around the streets. Of course, people always have to be sensible, but it’s not like some dodgy areas in the big cities. Gold Coast people are extremely friendly. After I’d finish University or work and there’s just me on the bus, the bus drivers would be super polite. I had never experienced this in Sydney because everyone is just so busy there.”
My Griffith University top 3
Griffith Mates: helped me when I was starting and it provided me with experience and paid work.
You can actually speak up: asking questions is always welcome. I really like that, because it is a big deal for people from cultures where it’s not really acceptable to speak out or question things. This makes it very hard for them to express their feelings or interest, so I really value the fact that, at Griffith, they care about every single student’s opinion.
Campus and late study option: for the first two years I was living near campus and I was always staying up late in the library. The university provides a safe bus which takes students home until 1 or 2am, and it’s free! That was a big bonus for me because I would have been scared to walk home that late because everything is so dark and so spread out in Australia.
My top 4 for Gold Coast as a study destination
Nature: there are many amazing places to go to. Springbrook National Park, Tambourine Mountain has amazing views of the sunset, and Gallery Walk is full of great cafes and shops. And, of course, the beautiful coastline with more than ten beaches, all really accessible via the tramline.
Theme parks: there are actually three theme parks on the Gold Coast. Dream World, Movie World, and Sea World – all in the city.
Food and Coffee: coffee culture is huge here, really huge. Food variety is really increasing here too with a wide mix. Recently, they have opened a new noodle place (called Fen Ku) which has authentic noodles from my hometown (Guilin). I was impressed because you can’t even get these noodles in Beijing, Shanghai, or Hong Kong! I always go there when I feel homesick.
Surfer’s Paradise: this is a backpacker area of town full of bars and nightlife. It’s got a great vibe and is fun, but still a safe environment for girls like me. I always feel safe because they have trained security guards and whatnot.
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