Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (21)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (21)

Arrival and accommodation

There are a few things that I would have liked to have known before I arrived. For one thing, I didn’t know that the university pick-up service (can be booked online through the Griffith website) is available from both Brisbane and the Gold Coast. I thought I had to fly all the way to the Gold Coast, which meant that I had to change planes once more and the flight time increased significantly. It is much easier to get to Brisbane because there are flights from Germany with only one stop.

If you don’t want to book the pick-up service: you can also get to the Gold Coast by train and bus. However, I would recommend the pick-up service because after 25 hours of flight time you don’t feel like looking around for train connections.

On the other hand, I didn’t know about the possibility of booking a flexible return flight. At first I only booked a one-way flight to Australia because I didn’t know whether I would be traveling to Australia afterwards or not. So I didn’t know when and from where I would fly home. In Australia I have heard from many people who have had the same problem that you can also book a return flight with flexible dates and locations. For a small surcharge, of course, but this option is still significantly cheaper than booking two one-way tickets.

We also recommend arriving on the Gold Coast a few days before the start of the semester. Like many others, I had to look for an apartment. I would advise against apartments on campus. $ 250 a week is very expensive, plus you live on campus in Southport, so far from the beach and most of the internationals. One advantage, however, is that you live closer to Australians and thus not only come into contact with international students.

  • See andyeducation for more information about Australia and Oceania.

However, looking for an apartment was not a problem for me, I found a suitable apartment within a day. I’ve also heard from people who had more trouble finding, but the majority had an apartment by the start of the semester. It is advisable to have a look around the exchange students’ Facebook group beforehand. I met my roommate on Facebook before I arrived.

Even if you are not looking for an apartment on site, it is better to arrive a few days before the start of the semester, as you have to take care of a few organizational things, e.g.: hand contract (Vodafone has good offers for students), bank account, GoCard to use the tram, Student ID Card,…

Studies and University

The university itself is located in Southport and can be easily reached by tram from Surfers Paradise. The campus itself is huge, it takes a while to find your way around.

The semester started for me on Monday and Tuesday with some organizational events for exchange students, then on Wednesdays the people who booked the trip went to Byron Bay. I can absolutely recommend the trip. There are lots of cool activities, such as kayaking, surfing lessons, partying… And most importantly: you get to know the other international students.

My experience was that the courses are much easier than courses at German universities. My subjects were Human Resource Management Principles, Management Strategy and Decision Making, Corporate Communications and Public Relations and Investment Analysis and Management.

For each course there is a lecture and a tutorial / workshop, comparable to German universities. However, in contrast to my home university, there are assignments and also smaller tests during the semester, so that more courses are mandatory and are included in the final grade. But it’s not that wild.


The Gold Coast and the university offer a lot of activities, it never gets boring. I bought a surfboard after taking surf lessons on the Byron Bay trip. It’s difficult in surfers, but shops further south (Miami) have good deals on surfboards and wetsuits. You can also surf in Surfers Paradise, but especially further south on the Gold Coast there are better spots like Currumbin and Burleigh Heads. I also got my diving license through the university’s diving club. The diving club works together with a local diving school and offers the courses really inexpensive.

The Q1 is also recommended. At the end of the semester we had dinner with many exchange students on the supervisory platform.

The Student Guild also offers many other activities, and I particularly enjoyed whale watching.

You can also go partying on the Gold Coast, there are many mainstream clubs, but also clubs where other types of music are played. Elsewhere comes highly recommended. In my opinion, the house parties of the Internationals in the high-rise buildings of Surfers Paradise are better anyway.

There are also many national parks on the Gold Coast (Springbrook, Tambourine, Burleigh Heads, Lamington). However, some can only be reached by car. I have visited Springbrook and Burleigh Heads, they are really recommended.


One week is free during the semester. Like many others, I booked a flight to Cairns with some friends and then rented a van to drive back to the Gold Coast. On the way we went diving on the Great Barrier Reef, sailing the Whitsunday Islands and saw a lot more.

After the semester, I did another road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne. But many also flew to Bali, New Zealand or similar. I can only recommend traveling during and after the semester to get to know Australian culture and lifestyle a little better. As much as I appreciate the Gold Coast as a place, Surfers Paradise is more of a tourist destination, and you can get to know Australian culture better elsewhere. Nevertheless, I also really enjoyed surfing for a semester.


Most things are significantly more expensive in Australia than in Germany, especially food, rent and alcohol. I lived with two other exchange students in a shared apartment; I paid 180 dollars / week for a single room. That’s a lot by German standards, but my room was one of the cheaper ones compared to others. The further away from Surfers Paradise you look for an apartment, the cheaper it becomes. However, I would not recommend living far away as most of the other exchange students live in Surfers. Groceries are best bought from Coles instead of Woolworths. There is also an Aldi on the southern part of the Gold Coast, but it is difficult to reach for surfers. Unfortunately, those who like good German beer have to dig a little deeper into their pockets; a six-pack Becks can cost the equivalent of € 12. Goon (wine from 2-4l cartons) is significantly cheaper, even if it takes some getting used to.


I can recommend a stay at Griffith University on the Gold Coast to anyone. The university is very modern, there are countless leisure and travel opportunities and you get to know a lot of new people from different countries. The semester was really a great experience, and even if there are cheaper alternatives for a semester abroad, I would always go back to Griffith University on the Gold Coast.

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