Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (25)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (25)

Planning and preparation

Since a semester abroad was planned for my English studies and I study design as a second subject at the University of Applied Sciences, Griffith University with the freely combinable courses was totally suitable. I started planning about a year before my stay abroad and would recommend it to everyone. Since I wasn’t sure where exactly I wanted to go, that was also more than helpful. In the end there are a few things to consider and plan (course credit, financial planning, flights, insurance, etc.), with Sabine from MicroEDU was really very helpful. I booked my flights through Sta Travel. I booked the outward and return flight together in one tariff and thus had the opportunity to rebook the return flight for a small surcharge. I actually took advantage of that: I extended my stay in Australia and made a stopover in Thailand for 10 days, which was really great.

Arrival and orientation week

I went through my entire semester at my home university before starting in Australia, which meant I had an exam shortly before my departure. That was stressful – but maybe it was also a welcome distraction so shortly before the start of the semester abroad. So I arrived at the airport in Brisbane on Monday night (on the first orientation day) and had the university staff pick me up. That was very well organized! I then spent the first few days in a hostel (BudsInn) in Surfers Paradise. The orientation drive to Byron Bay from Wednesday to Friday is more than recommended. Ocean kayaking, surfing lessons, hiking and visiting the zoo were really great and of course you get to know the other internationals more easily. See existingcountries for more information about Australia and Oceania.


Most arrived on the Gold Coast a week before Orientation Week started and were looking for an apartment. When I got there shortly before, most of them had of course already formed shared apartments. I then wrote to three Swedish girls via an internet platform (I think flatmates) who still had a free bed in the apartment in Surfers Paradise. I moved in straight away and shared a small room with a friend for € 130 a week. We lived less than 200m from the beach, which of course was great!Surfers Paradise in general is very touristy and a bit trashy. But for a semester it was really cool and since the place itself isn’t particularly big, it was always easy to meet up with the others. However, I wouldn’t want to live there permanently.

Most internationals live in Surfers Paradise, which can be reached easily and reliably in twenty minutes by tram. The student village / dormitories on campus are really very expensive and far from just about everything – except of course the university. Many of the Americans lived there and some Australians.

University in general

The campus is incredibly big and you need some time to find your way around. I had three courses this semester: two in Linguistics (Intercultural Communication, English Words and Grammar) and a graphic design course / project (Action Research 2). The linguistics classes were always super interesting and the lecturers really competent and helpful.My design course wasn’t bad, although I would have liked more input. The level there was a bit lower than that of my courses in Germany. In terms of effort, it was more than feasible – I still had time to work 15-20 hours a week in a café, which was a lot of fun. Otherwise there are enough opportunities to pass the time on the Gold Coast and with the others.


Many of the internationals have bought a surfboard for the semester, which is very good on the Gold Coast. You could also get a diving license through the university. That paid off directly in the mid-term break: I spent 10 days with my Swedish friends on Bali and the Gili Islands. It was indescribably beautiful and really worthwhile due to the cheap accommodation and affordable flights. Many of the other internationals have toured the east coast (between Brisbane and Cairns). We did that after the semester and took more time for it. Sydney and Melbourne are also incredibly beautiful and a must if you are at the other end of the world.

During the semester there are also weekend trips to Byron Bay, Noosa or the surrounding International Parks (Springbrook, Burleigh Heads, etc.). We have often rented a car for it.

Due to the many acquaintances there was always something going on somewhere – whether it was a house party, going out in Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach (right next door and not quite as touristy as Surfers Paradise). I personally spent most of my time with mostly Europeans. Many of my friends came from Scandinavia. A few of my people also came from Germany – although I was happy that we were actually always a good mix from many countries. But there was also a large group of Germans who were mostly among themselves.


The semester abroad with flights and high tuition fees can of course be very expensive. However, I was lucky enough to get foreign student loans, with which I was able to cover a lot (it is essential to submit the application in good time, as we know they like to take longer). With a small PROMOS scholarship and my part-time job, I was able to finance the two months of travel that followed.

Food, public transport and alcohol are a lot more expensive compared to Germany. Beer is hardly affordable… so most have been satisfied with a “wine product” called Goon. Not the very best, but definitely enjoyable and practical.


During my time in Australia and at university, I met great people and had many new experiences. I haven’t regretted the decision a bit, don’t want to miss the indescribable experiences and can more than recommend a semester abroad in Australia.

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