Adam Clark - 2015 Program Participant
Tourist holding a koala in Australia
Why did you decide to study abroad?
I wanted to see more of the world and learn about new cultures and regions of the world. I had always heard how studying abroad changes your life and I wanted to experience it, grow as a person, and meet new people from all over the world. I can safely say that I was able to achieve all of this and so much more, so it was the best decision I ever made.
Why did you choose The Education Abroad Network (TEAN)?
TEAN had the most incredible staff and they were all extremely helpful throughout the whole experience. I was so nervous about studying abroad, but they were with me every step of the way, which helped a lot. I also thought that TEAN had the best excursion options and housing arrangements compared to the other programs I was looking into. All of this made me realize that TEAN was the perfect fit for me, and I don't regret my decision at all.
What was your favorite part about the location of your program?
The location seemed to be in the heart of everything in the Gold Coast and the beaches were absolutely incredible. Traveling was made a lot easier too, because the Gold Coast was centrally located between most of the major cities and touring stops within Australia.
My housing accommodation was in the heart of everything in Broadbeach, with restaurants, shops, and grocery stores surrounding the building. I had quick and easy access to the bus station as well, which made getting around to explore the local area simple, not to mention that the beach was right across the street. It was the perfect location!
What characteristics of your program made it unique?
The cultural activities that TEAN offers students was what really sold me on the program. The fact that we were able to attend a professional soccer game, Aussie rules footy game, go whale watching, and more all for free was a great addition. We also had chances to meet with the in-country staff frequently to just chat about our times abroad so far or address any difficulties we were having while abroad. It was just a nice touch that made TEAN stand out from everyone else.
How did local staff support you throughout your program?
Aside from our monthly "coffee breaks" where we would meet with the local staff, they were always available through email or over the phone. The orientation that we went through to help our transition included everything we needed and more to be prepared for the best four months of our lives.
I can't say enough about the local staff because they were amazing, and really went above and beyond to make sure that we were having the best time while we were in Australia.
New Zealand with some mates
What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?
I wish I had joined more of the clubs on campus. I think it would have been fun to try something new and meet more locals that way, so I would definitely do that if I could do it all over again.
Describe a day in the life of your program.
A typical day started with a short walk to the bus stop, if I had class, which was followed by lunch at one of the many local restaurants around my accommodation. After that I would go to the beach with friends for a bit to layout and relax. Afterwards we would go grocery shopping for our floor dinner out at the zen garden. Once we were done cleaning up we'd hang in the hot tub for a bit before showering and getting ready to enjoy a night out in town. It was like living in a dream for four months.
What did you enjoy doing on your free time?
I enjoyed getting to skydive as well as explore the local areas like Surfers Paradise, the Miami Marketta, or Burleigh Beach.
What type of accommodation did you have? What did you like best about it?
I lived in fully furnished apartments that were arranged by TEAN. The building was centrally located and we never had to walk more than a couple minutes to find a place to eat, shop for food, or anything else we really needed. All of the apartments were very modern and had a view of the beach with a balcony that we could utilize for dinners too.
Now that you're home, how has your time abroad impacted your life?
The study abroad trip that TEAN put together has really helped me grow in so many ways, but the most important thing is just confidence; I feel like I can do anything now or I at least have the courage to try it. I also know that my communication skills improved and I am never afraid to meet new people now or put myself in situations that are normally outside my comfort zone.