Study Abroad Nightlife on the Gold Coast of Australia

Submitted by Meg Bauer, our Global Ambassador on the Gold Coast of Brisbane, Australia.
Want to read more of Meg’s posts from Brisbane? Click here.

Gold Coast Australia
Hottest Nightclub in Australia!

The Gold Coast is always popping no matter what day of the week it is. I’ve never experienced such a crazy and busy nightlife before. It’s never boring!

Below you will see hot spots for everyday of the week:

Surfers Paradise is where the majority of the clubs/pubs/bars are. There’s one to fit everyones needs. If you never know where to go, just go to Surfers Paradise and walk around and you’ll find at least one place that is jamming that night.

Sunday: Waxy’s Irish Pub in Surfers Paradise. Every Sunday there’s $2.50 steaks and $2.00 beers. You can’t beat those prices! It’s an Irish Pub, so you know you’ll have a good time no matter what. Also, on Sunday’s they have live bands that play there a lot. When it gets crowded, they open up the second level of the pub, so the party never stops no matter how busy it gets.

Monday: SinCity in Surfers Paradise. Every Monday night is Industry night. SinCity is my favorite night club by far. The music is really good. They play alot of mixed stuff, which I love. Drinks are also pretty cheap. They always have specials too.  The dancing is alot like what you’ll find in the states.

Tuesday: Shooters Night Club in Surfers Paradise. Tuesday is Uni Night. All of the Uni students go here and get drink specials. Also, anytime you have no idea where to go, go to Shooters. It’s free entry all the time for Griffith Uni students as long as you show your id. The drinks might be a little more, but since you get in free, it evens itself out. The dancing and music are great too.

Wednesday: Escape Night Club in Surfers Paradise. There’s a $15.00 Cover Charge which includes your 1/2 shot basic spirits until midnight.

Thursday: Parkwood Tavern in Southport. This is within walking distance of Uni. Every Thursday is uni night. It’s free entry and it’s always busy then. It’s always crowded, when it’s one of the bigger places. It’s always a good time because it’s all uni students that go. There’s also really well-known Australian DJ’s here on Thursdays.

Friday: Melbas on the Park in Surfers Paradise. Every Friday night is Sweet Sensations Night. There’s topless men that walk around with sweet treats, like cupcakes, chocolates, and cookies. Ladies get in free all night. Everyone gets in free until ten. There’s also two levels at this club. Both are open at all times.

Saturday: Anywhere you go is great! All of the night clubs are busy. Saturday nights are of course the busiest! The Gold Coast is the place to be. You’ll always find the nightlife fun!

Want to read insider reviews from fellow study abroad students? Click here to find your perfect study abroad program!


Our Summer Global Ambassadors are HERE! Danielle in Chengdu, China

Streets of Chengdu, China

Streets of Chengdu, China


English translation: From America to China

你好! = ni hao!

English translation: Hello!

My name is Danielle and I am from the famous GameCOCKS, the University of South Carolina!!


I am traveling today with USAC to Chengdu, China to study abroad for 5 weeks!

Background: As I asked fellow Chinese students and teachers, what Chengdu, China is known for they said two things!


2) DANG GOOD FOOD (I’m talking 5-star restaurant good)

My Goals: I have traveled multiple times and I want to share my adventurous, outgoing, and honest personality with you, so if you ever go to Chengdu, China, you know what to do, what not to do, and basically the inside secrets to conquer Chengdu, China!!

Mandaring Lettering

My name in Chinese!


My attraction to China: My parents are actually Chinese descent. And they tried so very hard to teach me Mandarin (The Chinese Language) when I was little but like any little kid when your parents tell you to do something, you try your very hardest to resist and do anything else.

But when I came to college, I realized my passion for the Chinese language and culture and sort of reunited with my heritage because before college I had no idea that Beijing was China’s capital.

!oh jia wen (my Chinese name)

I even actually have an authentic Chinese name, oh jia wen. The funny part is my teammates back at USC couldn’t pronounce my Chinese name well and there were three Danielle’s on the team so after several failed attempts they starting calling me Oatza, their butchered version of my Chinese name, oh jia wen. And Oatza actually stuck so now I am called Oatza by my teammates and coaches everywhere I go on and off the field.

What am I going to blog about?

1)     The Academics and Language

2)    The Food

3)    Activities

4)    CrossFit Workouts

So stay tuned!!

Want to read insider reviews from fellow study abroad students? Click here to find your perfect study abroad program for you!


Study Abroad Changed Me

-Submitted by Caitlin Scalise, Abroad101’s Global Ambassador in Sorrento

Corso Italia

Corso Italia

I remember my first day in Sorrento, walking the unfamiliar streets, noticing immediately the slow rhythm of life.  I noticed a lot of Italian families walking together, stopping every so often to let their dog sniff the tree or to look at the new outfit adorning the mannequins in the many shops lining Corso Italia.  I even tried walking at the same leisurely pace, but felt it wasn’t possible to slow down that much! Continue reading

Australian English. Not quite American English.

Australian Crosswalk

A Crosswalk in Australia

-Submitted by Meg Bauer, Abroad101′s Global Ambassador at Griffith University in the Gold Coast, Australia

Australian English is almost the same as American English. It took me awhile to get used to however. They talk really fast here. Australians always tell me that Americans talk so slow.  I used to always feel bad for saying “what?” every time an Australian spoke to me, but I’m getting better now! Continue reading

How Much to Tip While Studying Abroad? A User’s Guide

2010-08-20 Brazilian currency

photo credit:

A great way to experience your new country is to check out the local restaurants and cafe’s. Experience the food, practice your language skills and absorb the new culture. It’s important however, to know the tipping etiquette. Not all countries are created equal in this manner so it’s important to know the individual customs.

Here’s the first piece of insight. America is the only country where people tip as much as 20% of the bill. This is extremely high compared to many countries who tip 10% at the most, if at all.

Below see more of what is customary around the world. If you find yourself unsure, just play it safe and follow what the locals are doing. Also, don’t be afraid to ask locals!

Anyone have any funny (or not so funny) stories of tipping gone wrong? Tell us about them in the comments!

Paris Cafe

photo credit:
Mr. Mystery

Most European Countries: Look on the bill to see if a “service charge” has been added. This often can replace the need for a tip, but typically it’s courtesy to tip 5-10% in addition to the charge. This ends up being a very small amount and many people simply leave extra change as the tip. (As is the case in France) The exception is the UK where tipping in addition to the service charge isn’t necessary.  Many Eastern European countries don’t include service charges, so tip 10-15%. When in doubt, leave 10%. You won’t risk insulting anyone, and they’ll likely be happy to make extra money off tourists who don’t understand the local culture.

Latin America: The rules for this continent align closely with Europe, although everywhere has exceptions. Many restaurants will include a “service charge” in which case, it’s a safe bet to tip an additional 10% just in case. There may be places where it’s not necessary, but you won’t risk insulting anyone if you do leave a tip.

Restaurants and fountains in Xi'an

photo credit: 

Asia: Here’s where things get complicated, so pay attention. There’s no cut and dry answer as each country varies dramatically. Sometimes if the location is very westernized, it will be better to leave a tip as they will expect the western customs.

Singapore: It’s not necessary to tip in Singapore. Some luxury hotels or restaurants may accept a small tip, but that’s it. Note: Don’t tip at the airport as it’s actually outlawed. Want to read more about Singapore? Our Global Ambassador, Theresa, wrote about her trip to Singapore.

Japan: Don’t tip, ever.  Wait staff won’t know what to do with the extra money and may even be insulted.

Thailand: It’s not necessary, yet it may be a good idea to leave a little extra for exceptional service. You may also be expected to tip a small amount if you’re at a luxury hotel or restaurant.

South Korea: Tipping is not expected and some nicer restaurants or hotels will add a service charge. No need to tip anything extra.

Taiwan: Restaurants will likely add a small service charge and tipping extra is not necessary. Want to know more about living in Taiwan? Our Global Ambassador, Jake, writes all about it in his post about cultural differences between Taiwan and America.

Cambodia: Like the rest of Southeast Asia, most establishments don’t require a tip, but leaving extra change on the table is ok. Nicer restaurants will include a service charge.

India: There’s no concept of tipping, yet it’s ok to leave extra change at nicer restaurants.

New Zealand: Servers at restaurants make a decent wage, so there’s no need to tip on top of the bill.

Australia: Like New Zealand, servers are paid well so there isn’t a need to tip, yet it is expected at very nice restaurants. There is some debate about tipping in this country. What do you think? Ever been?

Did we leave anything off? Let us know your experience in the comments and we’ll update the post!

Want to read insider reviews from fellow study abroad students? Click here to find your perfect program!

Study Abroad Poland: The Best of Eastern Europe


Today Poland stands as a strong and sturdy country who’s successfully emerged out of a difficult period as a socialist society.  It’s shown tremendous change over the last 10-15 years, developing into the modern cultural center it is today. It’s continually attracting more visitors and students to study in Poland as people uncover this gem in the middle of Central Europe.

Today we are highlighting the fabulous Study Abroad Poland Program which boasts marvelous academic opportunities to study in Poland, coupled with the best cultural experiences available. Choosing to study abroad in Poland will give the typical student an invaluable opportunity to learn about Poland’s past, present and the role it’s played in our world. No other country can boast such a success story as rebuilding after its damaged past. The burgeoning cities and gorgeous landscapes will draw in visitors to the lakes, rivers, mountains and even beaches.

Warsaw, Poland’s capital for the last 400 years is just one location for Study Abroad Poland. It’s a thriving metropolis with a strong economy and the city boasts both old and new architecture as students will notice as they walk through the neighborhoods of today and the “old town” which has been reconstructed after past destruction.

Warsaw, Poland

Exploring Warsaw

If you’re considering studying in this beautiful country, Study Abroad Poland maintains fabulous programs that will provide the experience of a lifetime. The variety of programs available will allow for a deep understanding of this wonderful country, its place in society and of course, the beautiful Polish language. Students can choose from semester, summer or full-year academic sessions and programs in business, international relations, Polish cultural studies, electrical/computer engineering and more. There are also internship and volunteer placements available while you study in Poland. In addition to programs in Poland, Study Abroad Poland is a division of Study Abroad Compass which  also provides programs in in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Study Abroad Poland ensures that students receive not only the highest quality classroom education, but a packed schedule of cultural excursions such as city tours, BBQ’s, bowling and museum visits. There will also be free weekends available for students to explore neighboring countries so they can get to know more of Central and Eastern Europe during their time abroad.

Poland classroom

Students and Faculty in Polish Classroom

A student who recently returned from one of their programs had this to say “I thought this program was amazing! I have no complaints about it at all. It was the best time of my life. The program administration were beyond helpful. I met the most wonderful people through this program that I am still friends with. I learned a great deal of Polish and was able to earn 5 credits at my university! The best part of this program, is the helpfulness of the administration. They are there for you through the whole process, even throughout your stay in Poland.”

Another student from a summer program in Wroclaw, Poland said “Wroclaw is an amazing city to go to in Poland. It is so beautiful and charming and everyone that I met there was friendly and caring. If you want to actually learn Polish, this is the program for you.” Read even more from this review here.

Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland from above

Still looking for more information on Study Abroad Poland? They have a fantastic website with answers to all of your questions as well as great resources and tips. Get in touch with them to find out more and apply today.

Want to read insider reviews from fellow study abroad students? Click here to find your perfect program!


What is Going On?? A Lesson on Australian Rugby

Just enjoying the game

Just enjoying the game

-Submitted by Meg Bauer, Abroad101’s Global Ambassador at Griffith University in the Gold Coast, Australia

This weekend I had the opportunity to go to the Gold Coast Titans game vs the Wests Tigers. The Gold Coast Titans are a professional rugby team. The club competes in Australia’s elite rugby league competition, the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership. There are two rugby leagues in Australia. One is the NRL and one is the AFL, Australian Rules Football. Then, there’s the Rugby Union.

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John Cabot University: Spend Your Summer in Rome

Roman neighborhood

Typical Roman Neighborhood

Picture yourself spending 5 weeks this summer immersed in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome, Italy at the beautiful John Cabot University.”Trastevere” comes from the latin phrase “across the Tiber” as it’s located on the west bank of the Tiber River. Study, live and play in this stunning city, as if it were your own. John Cabot University is an American University located in the heart of the eternal city, Rome, Italy. Students interested in taking classes in English, yet living and studying abroad in Italy should highly consider spending their summer in Rome. Here’s everything you need to know. Continue reading

Semester at Sea–(Almost) Back Home!

-Submitted by Theresa Corelli, Abroad101’s Global Ambassador on Semester at Sea

After 11 long but wonderful days at sea, we finally got to get off the ship in Hilo, Hawaii- The Big Island! As we went through immigration it all hit me when the immigration officer said, “Welcome home Ms. Corelli.” Well, as close to home as I have been in a while. Back to the good ole United States…the land of the highest drinking age, yes I am underage once again!

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