Deciding to spend a semester on Australia’s Gold Coast is rarely something a student will second-guess. By the time you consider the weather, laid back lifestyle, access to both beach and urban environments, there’s no room for worrying about making a bad choice on your study abroad location – you’re going to love the Gold Coast!

Now, deciding where to study abroad inside this paradise can be more of a true dilemma so it’s important to consider your choices carefully. TEAN offers two amazing Gold Coast study abroad options – Bond University and Griffith University – and although I’ll never be able to tell you my favorite, just like a mom can never pick a favorite child, there are students who certainly belong at one more than the other. So how can you tell which is right for you? Here are the things we suggest students consider when deciphering which is the best fit for them personally.

University Size

Bond: One of the reasons students love picking Bond Uni is for the small student to staff ratio of about 10:1. It’s also very likely that students will have the same classmates in several classes which adds to the the university’s strong community vibe.

Bond University campus has a small student population
The beautiful Bond University campus with its small student population of around 6,000 students has a strong community vibe.

Griffith: Although much larger than Bond with more than 18,000 students on Griffith’s Gold Coast campus, the class size is well managed for such a large university (22:1). Smaller break-away sessions, or tutorials, allows for a more intimate setting so students can discuss class material without being lost in a sea of students.


Bond: Business students feel right at home at Bond because of their multiple accreditations (AACSB, EQUIS) and dedication to the field. Students focusing on Hospitality/Tourism, Psychology, Pre-Med, Communications and Sport Exercise Science are also particularly drawn to the school.

Griffith: This is a great university for students who have very specific course requirements or who may need to add more humanities classes to their schedule. Although Griffith boasts a great Business department (that is AACSM and EQUIS accredited as well) and one of the top Hospitality programs in Australia, there are excellent opportunities for students in nearly every field of study.

Griith University Business building on the Gold Coast campus.
With more than 18,000 students Griffith’s Gold Coast campus offers programs in most subject areas.

As an extra opportunity for study abroad students, there is an offer to participate in a Community Internship for credit during the semester. It’s an excellent way to learn more about the local culture while adding a solid contribution to your CV.

Both universities have a 2.5 minimum GPA requirement; however, there is more flexibility with Bond University for students with strong recommendations and who offer a personal statement to supplement their GPA marks.

Explore Study Abroad Programs on the Gold Coast



Bond: If you are looking to match the American calendar as closely as possible (Spring = Jan – Apr; Fall = Sept – Dec), this is a great location for you. Without interrupting any summer work or internship plans, a semester at Bond will fit nicely into your calendar at home.

Bond University's academic calendar closely follows the American academic calendar
The academic calendar at Bond university closely follows the U.S. academic calendar.

Griffith: Recently converting to a trimester system, Griffith allows students to complete their fall term much earlier than other locations, but their spring term is more in line with other Australian universities (Spring= Feb – Jun; Fall = June – Oct). A full academic year can be completed in eight months with limited breaks in-between. This works well for students who want to stay for two semesters but not a full calendar year.

Housing Options

Bond: TEAN offers three options for student housing at Bond: On Campus (single/shared); The Reserve (single/shared); and Beach Housing (shared only). Both on-campus housing and The Reserve allow students to have easy access to campus without commuting. Our beach students enjoy 5-star amenities and amazing beach access with just a 10-15 commute from campus.

A meal plan is required for On-Campus students; however it is an option for all students who wish to take advantage of the 5% discount at all Bond Uni food kiosks and locations.

Griffith: The Gold Coast campus has two options for TEAN students. You can stay close to campus at Griffith University Village, a student-centered facility within easy walking distance to campus. Or, if you are keen to spend your free time on the ocean, you can also stay in the same Broadbeach location as our Bond students, which is about a 35-minute commute on the convenient light rail public transportation system.

TEAN Gold Coast beach housing
TEAN Bond and Griffith students have the option to live in TEAN’s beach housing. PC: Samantha McPherson, University of Rhode Island

Read more about the TEAN Gold Coast housing options.

Campus Life

Bond: Students are encouraged to participate in one of the many clubs and sport opportunities on campus open to all Bond Bullsharks. The Bond University Student Association (BUSA) also offers heaps of options for students who want to get involved. With everything from the Animal Welfare league to the Bond Pride Alliance, Surf Club to Volleyball Club, there’s something for everyone.

Griffith: The Community Internship remains the most popular way for students to get involved in the local community while focusing on their academics as well, but there are plenty of other ways to broaden your exposure to the Griffith lifestyle with 120 clubs, including the Pride Society, the Gamer’s Club, the racing team, the Surf Life Saving Club and even a Quidditch Club.

Griffith University Goast Uni Bar
Relax with your new friends at the Griffith University ‘Uni Bar’.

If you’re still not sure which Gold Coast university is right for you, may I recommend picking out of a hat, asking a magic 8-ball or, better yet, contact one of us on Team Gold Coast to help ensure you feel 100% confident in your final decision. Your best school is waiting for you, and we can help you find it!

Ask a question of our Gold Coast team. Or if you know which school is right for you – Apply now!