AUSTRALIA: Brisbane & Gold Coast


With Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the hinterland all within an hour of each other, there are endless ways to enjoy your spare time and experience the Australian way of life. Brisbane offers all the excitement of a major capital city, but with a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere. The Gold Coast has much more to offer than its beaches, including shopping, dining, natural attractions and an array of entertainment.

Top 5 things to do in Brisbane...

  • Stroll through the cultural precinct of South Bank Parklands, take a ride on the Wheel of Brisbane and go for a swim at the man-made beach and lagoon.
  • Walk or cycle down the many pathways along the Brisbane River and catch the free CityHopper ferry for a unique view of the city.
  • Shop till you drop in Queen Street Mall or Westfield Chermside, the largest shopping center in Queensland.
  • Watch a live band or visit one of the many bars and restaurants in the nightlife precincts of Fortitude Valley or West End.
  • Visit the beautiful gardens and get a great view of the city from the Mt Coot-tha Lookout.

Top 5 things to do on the Gold Coast...

  • Visit some of Australia’s best theme parks – Dreamworld, Movie World, Wet’n’Wild, SeaWorld
  • Soak up the sun, go for a swim or even learn to surf at your local beach.
  • Meet the local wildlife at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or take a walk through the native rainforest at Burleigh Head National Park.
  • For a great view , visit the Gold Coast’s tallest building, Q1 Skypoint Observation Deck
  • Experience the nightlife of Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach.

KEI encourages students to participate in university clubs, sports and campus activities. There are numerous clubs and sports to choose from, so you are sure to find something that meets your interests. KEI also encourages students to become engaged in the local community. Volunteer opportunities range from litter cleanup, planting trees, or working for not-for-profit.

Housing & meals

Students have the option of studying and living on the Gold Coast or Nathan. The Gold Coast campus is a 20 minute commute from Surfers Paradise. The Nathan campus is a 15 minute commute from central Brisbane. Gold Coast and Nathan are a 60 minute commute by university shuttle bus.On the Gold Coast, students live in shared apartments off-campus in Surfers Paradise. Apartments consist of a shared kitchenette, living area, bathroom and double bedrooms. Students can also live in a residence hall on the Gold Coast campus, but a $1500 housing supplement will be added to the program fee. In Nathan, students live on-campus in a residence hall that consists of shared lounges, bathrooms and double bedrooms. Most students prefer to live on the Gold Coast in Surfers Paradise.Laundry facilities are available in all residences. There are several cafeterias and cafes on-campus, and numerous restaurants and grocery stores off-campus.

Getting around town

Brisbane and Gold Coast have an excellent public transportation system. Both offer an extensive bus network. Brisbane also has Citycats that run the length of the river and ferries that tend to criss-cross the river. Citycats may not be as quick as buses, but there is so much to see from the river. Gold Coast also has a tram system offering light rail service. A commuter train connects Brisbane to the Gold Coast and beyond.Brisbane and Gold Coast have integrated ticketing for public transportation. Students can purchase a single one-way ticket that can be used on bus, train or ferry services for up to 2 hours after purchase. Taxis are abundant, but expensive, and can be hailed on the street, at a taxi stand, or by calling the dispatcher.


Ann Wadsworth
Brisbane & Gold Coast, Australia

Originally from Boston, Ann studied abroad in Australia in 1990 and loved it so much she returned to live and work here! Now married to an Aussie with three little ‘joeys’ of her own, Ann has been sharing her love of Australia, working with study abroad students in Queensland. Ann works closely with the KEI Onsite Assistant to organize orientation, cultural field trips and support students during the program.

Australian slang

Australians often use slang, humor and irony when talking informally. Here are some common terms.

  • Arvo – Afternoon
  • Aussie – Australian
  • Barbie – Barbeque
  • Bloke – Man
  • Brekkie – Breakfast
  • Brizzie – Brisbane
  • G’day – Good day
  • Goldy – Gold Coast
  • Mozzie – Mosquito
  • No worries – No problem/That’s OK
  • Roo – Kangaroo
  • Snags – Sausages
  • Sunnies – Sunglasses
  • Telly – TV
  • Togs – Swimsuit/Bikini
  • Woolies – Woolworths