Gold Coast beach

When I decided to live in the Gold Coast of Australia, I expected there to be beautiful weather and palm trees.  What I never could have guessed was how incredible the housing would be.

TEAN’s beach housing is better than I ever could have imagined. Located in the Sierra Grand Hotel, I live in a two-bedroom/ two-bathroom hotel room that is accompanied by a beautiful kitchen, living room, dining room, and laundry room. A cleaning service comes once a week to help straighten up (we are college students, after all). The hotel has an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, saunas, Jacuzzis, a gym, a movie theater, and is two blocks away from the incredibly beautiful beach.

TEAN housing

To sum it all up, my jaw was dropped in awe for about the entire first week of living here. I couldn’t believe that I was not only lucky enough to spend the next four and a half months of my life in Australia, but I get to do it living in the most amazing hotel room I could imagine.

Many of the study abroad students that go to Griffith University with me also live in my hotel. This is really great because we’re always texting and making plans to go down to the beach, go stand up paddle boarding or kayaking nearby, or just hangout in someone’s room and watch a movie. My housing situation is also great because many TEAN students who go to the nearby Bond University also live in my hotel, so we have gotten to know a bunch of them and often meet up at the local clubs and bars.

TEAN housing

I knew that coming to Australia would mean that I would have to become much more independent than I already was. At my university in Connecticut, I have the luxury of being able to drive home to New York whenever I feel homesick or just want some time with family or friends. Obviously, I can’t just hop on a plane and visit home during my time here. So, in addition to becoming more independent in the sense that I had to learn to be able to cope with not being a few hours away from my home and family, I have also learned to take care of myself as a full-time adult.

My roommates and I go grocery shopping, cook our own meals, and do our laundry 24/7. While this may sound unappealing to some college students, it’s actually pretty cool. We’ve learned how to really shop and budget our money, and practicing cooking different recipes has definitely been interesting (and delicious)!

No matter what my day consists of, whether it’s a full day of classes on campus or tanning in Surfer’s Paradise nearby, it’s always really great to just come home to my hotel room and relax. Because that’s what this room and the Gold Coast have become for me: home.

TEAN housing pool

Christina Sullivan is a student at Quinnipiac University and a TEAN Featured Blogger. Christina is currently studying abroad with TEAN on the Gold Coast, Australia.