Australia’s Gold Coast is known for its idyllic beaches, great weather and laid back lifestyle. When it comes to studying abroad it offers the best of great schools, big city life mixed with a beach town feel, friendly people and a ton to do. A semester goes by more quickly than you’d expect so you want to make the most of it right from the start! Here’s what you need to know…


Sunblock & sunnies

Known as “the Sunshine State” and boasting an average of nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, you can expect plenty of sunny days during your stay. We recommend bringing reef-safe sunblock so you don’t have to worry about nasty chemicals affecting the Great Barrier Reef or other coral communities you’ll want to explore. Don’t forget to protect  your lips with SPF too!

Gold Coast beach
Nobby’s Beach, Gold Coast. Photo by Lindsay Galvin, University of New Hampshire
The right shoes

Throughout the semester, you’ll be hanging out at the beach, hiking in the hinterlands and even enjoying gourmet meals with a view. Although you’ll likely be in your bare feet a lot, you’ll want to bring protective footwear for the trails and a pair of nicer, closed toed shoes for nights out.

Portable charger

Some parts of Australia will have you searching for an outlet so a portable charger can keep you going in-between stops. For example, you’ll want to take advantage of the public trains and other transport going up and down the coast…but they don’t have any outlets so a portable charger is key!.

Waterproof cases

Whether you’re lounging on the beach or diving in the Great Barrier Reef, it’s a smart idea to have waterproof bags or cases for your things and especially any cameras or phones. When snorkelling or diving, also make sure to double check just how ‘waterproof’ your watch or camera is before you go!


Hiking and waterfall hunting

One thing that often surprises students about Queensland is the backdrop of rolling hills and mountain ranges that are completely opposite from the surf and sand. Here, hiking is a major must-do and you’ll be rewarded by witnessing some of the country’s most unique geological formations in Australia – you can even explore an ancient volcano! Check these places out: Hinterlands, Mt. Cootha, Mt. Warning, Lamington National Park, Natural Bridge, Tamborine Mt. and Killarney Glen.

Purling Brook Falls
“If you’re going to live in the Gold Coast of Australia, then you must spend time at Springbrook National Park. It’s full of amazing hikes with spectacular views. This photo was taken during my hike around the Purling Brook Falls. There is even a side trail that takes you to rock pools if you’re in the mood for a quick dip to cool off.” Greg Camillone, Lasell College
Find inspiration on Instagram

Social media is a great tool for immediate updates and announcements about your favorite locales, but it’s also a super useful way to discover what you want to explore when you travel. Do a location search on Instagram to see what interesting places are being tagged along the Gold Coast. You’ll soon realize there are a ton of foodie photos pointing you in the right direction of which Gold Coast cafes and restaurants to check out! Before you leave, start following some Gold Coast IG account – like @goldcoast @cravegoldcoast @destinationgoldcoast @goldcoasteats and @goldcoastfoodie – so you can plan ahead. (Also don’t forget to follow @TEANabroad @bonduniversity and @griffithuniversity)

Beach and island hopping

Thanks to the light rail system, traveling up and down the coast is easier than ever making it simple to hop from one beautiful beach to the next. Even better, as a study abroad student, you’ll get discounted student fares that save you about 50% off normal costs

Catch a concert

Between the Gold Coast and nearby Brisbane (just an hour away) you’ll be perfectly positioned to enjoy music festivals, concerts and more covering all music styles – ever listen to Aussie hip hop? See what’s on at these popular venues: Miami Marketta, NightQuarter, The Tivoli and the Caloundra Music Festival.


Below are just a handful of course options found at Griffith University and Bond University in the Gold Coast.

Business & Finance

Griffith and Bond are both AACSB and EQUIS accredited so you’ll be studying at a world renowned institution at either of our Gold Coast programs. You have options to study international business and finance at both institutions with courses like:

Griffith Bond
Globalisation the Asia/Pacific and Australia International Finance
Financial Planning 1 International Business
Money, Banking, and Finance Doing Business in Australia
Management Concepts
Bond University campus
Bond University campus. Photo by Claire Reenders, Hope College
Criminology & Law

Griffith is ranked as one of the best places to study criminology in Australia. Bond also offers a number of key courses for pre-law students. Some course examples include:

Griffith Bond
Law Government and Justice Crime and Deviance in Australia
Psychology of Crime Media and Crime
Crime Analysis and Investigation The Australian Criminal Justice System
Hospitality, Tourism and Event Planning

Known as one of the best places to vacation in Australia, the Gold Coast is also a great destination to learn more about the international hospitality industry with courses like::

Griffith Bond
Food and Wine Tourism Wine Studies
Destination Management Hotel and Tourism Strategic Management
International Tourism and Hotel Management Principles International Food and Beverage Management
Adventure Tourism
Sustainability and Natural Sciences

Griffith and Bond both offer a range of marine biology and ecology courses including research and field trip opportunities such as:

Griffith Bond
Marine Biology Restoration Ecology
Introduction to Marine Science Urban Wildlife Management
Coastal Environments Environmental Field Analysis of Rainforest and Coastal Regions
Marine Megafauna: Sentinels of the Sea Marine and Coastal Environments

Both Griffith and Bond have a variety of communications courses ranging from mass communication to marketing, public relations to film such as:

Griffith Bond
International Marketing Advertising Principles and Practice
Introduction to Screen Analysis International Marketing
Introduction to Journalism The Australian Media
Interpersonal Skills Intercultural Communication
Writing Across Cultures
Documentary Studies
Sport & Exercise Science

Advanced technology and facilities for students studying kinesiology make the Gold Coast a perfect location for sport and exercise science studies with courses like:

Griffith Bond
Sport Information Sport and Exercise Nutrition
Sport Marketing Functional Anatomy
Foundations of Exercise and Sports Science Exercise Health and Disease
Food, Society, and the Nutrition Workforce Food, Nutrition and Health
Exercise, Health and Disease

Of course, there’s always more to do, discover and experience while studying abroad on the Gold Coast! Check out the best after class activities on the Gold Coast and where to find the perfect sunrise spots

Explore all study abroad programs on the Gold Coast! Have a question? Ask it here.