Depending on what the schedule allows, you have no lectures between 3-5 days a week and therefore the best time to discover the area. Unfortunately, I was unlucky enough to always have an exam, presentation or important lecture on the days when my fellow students drove away. Depending on how much you value your presence in the courses, you can at least occasionally discover the Gold Coast. All you need is a car or a bus connection to the nearby beaches. Byron Bay is definitely to be recommended. A small, beautiful “surfer village” 45 minutes south of Surfers Paradise. Unfortunately, a car is necessary here, but it’s worth it. The small historical “hippi village” has its own charm and appeals to a lot of surfers. Those who would like to see the other side of Australia are in the right place at “Tamborine Mountain” or “Springbrook National Park”. Instead of a beach, there is a lot of greenery and waterfalls.In general, there are many beautiful national parks in Australia, some of which are worth checking out. Most of them are free and just beautiful.
But you can also see something in Surfers Paradise itself. Q1 is a “must do”. The view from the tallest building in the area is a great snapshot and also an early morning buffet with a view of the city and the sea is a treat too. Just outside of Surfers Paradise are the Movie Park and the Water Park. If you are into fun and games, this is the place for you. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really motivate myself, which is partly due to the high prices.
Those who like to eat out with friends will notice that Australia is not exactly cheap, but if you keep your eyes open you will find many treasures. We discovered the burger restaurant on Q1, albeit towards the end. They have burgers for $ 10 every Thursday. The taste is fabulous. It was the best burger I’ve ever had. The pub at Cavil Ave Station is also very well known. They have steak for $ 2 on Sundays and Mondays. In general, many pubs / restaurants offer a good $ 8-10 lunch menu. If you have 4-5 days, you should book a flight to Sydney and Melbourne with “tigarair”. The prices are really cheap and it’s definitely worth it. “Groupon” also offers some great excursions such as whale watching or cruise tours with brunch or breakfast at discounted prices.
- Visit clothesbliss to learn more about country of Australia and continent of Oceania.
Those who like to party are more than served in Surfers Paradise. Here you can always go to party somewhere from Monday to Sunday. I can recommend the “Stingray” as an insider tip. It’s a bit more upscale here than in the typical clubs in the city center. The bar is just one station (Cypress) down and is in a hotel. Those who like really good DJs go to Brisbane, for example to the club “The Met”. Well-known DJs often come here too. A class better than Surfers Paradise, but not as far away as Brisbane, is Broadbeach. Here you pay more entry, but the age is a bit higher and the DJs are also very good.
Travel after the semester
After my semester, I still had 5 weeks until my return flight. I had already decided in Germany to spend 3 weeks in Australia and to travel up the east coast in a “campervan”, to go to Bali for 2 weeks and to spend 3 days in Dubai. So I had seen a bit of everything. In retrospect, I would definitely spend more time in Australia, as we get from A to B very quickly and were always a bit stressed. Since we had already booked trips in some places in advance, we couldn’t say we would stay here or there a little longer. I sat down with “Peter Pans” 3 months before the start of the trip and planned and booked everything. “Peter Pans” is a very popular travel agency for backpackers and can be found almost everywhere. For the car with insurance, We paid around 2000 euros per person for all trips and accommodations where it was necessary. That’s a lot of money. Since I was traveling with my partner, we of course paid more attention to privacy and chose the more expensive option on some trips. With others it was definitely cheaper. You should find out in advance which places you find most attractive, where you want to stay longer and where you want to stay shorter. You should also find out about the tours offered and compare prices. I have fond memories of Airlie Beach, Port Dougles, Sydney, Cairns and Fraser Island in particular. We booked our campervan through “Spaceship”. It’s quite compact, but a really comfortable car for 2 people.
I spent around 12,000 euros for the entire semester. Should you then add a trip along the east coast, another 2000-3000 euros will be added. Of course, it all depends on how long you travel, how many people you are, through whom you can share the money for fuel and the car, which tours you do and how good your standard of living is.
During the semester I tried to save on grocery shopping. I can recommend peanut butter, seasonal fruit, oatmeal, tuna, eggs… as a tip. You can easily make pancakes, homemade oat cookies, omelets… from these products. You just have to keep your eyes open. After a while you know where to look. “Coles” is sometimes cheaper, but generally doesn’t have that many discounted items in the evening. At “Woolworth” in particular, from 6 p.m. you will find lots of reduced fresh goods such as meat and dairy products, but also fruit and vegetables.
I can only recommend Griffith University and especially Australia for 6 months. Use the time you have now to get to the places that are farthest away. Australia is a beautiful country. The different zones in particular make it so interesting when traveling. The mentality is very relaxed and professors make every effort with their students. Campus life is also relaxed and attempts are made to help out international students with mentors on campus in the first few weeks. I more than enjoyed both the student life and my time afterwards and would fly back anytime. You also have the option of taking the semester break or going to New Zealand afterwards or to fly to Fijis. There are so many ways to discover the distance. If you get the Work & Travel Visa like me, you can just hang on for another 6 months and look for work somewhere. It is worth it!