The Right Choice

Dear student, 

Not too long ago, I was where you are. I was you. I was in my first class of university, in the opening chapter of uni life and  career. 

Starting university is such an exciting time, full of new opportunities, growth, and development. After graduating high school in 2022, I began tertiary study in Melbourne, eager to experience on-campus life after online schooling and lockdowns during my final two years of high school. I became involved in clubs, sports, made new friends, and enjoyed my studies, but I felt like something was lacking. Campus life was exciting and fun, but I felt a bit like a drop in the ocean, surrounded by 2,500 other students in my cohort. There was a missing piece of my puzzle and I hadn’t quite figured out what it was.

A New Horizon 

Fast forward to November 2022, when I travelled with my mum and younger sister to the Gold Coast for a holiday. When I first stepped off the plane upon arrival at the Gold Coast airport, something felt different. Maybe it was the sun shining down on us, the sound of birds chirping or the welcoming smell of the ocean, but it all felt right. My mum was participating in a course at Bond University, and my younger sister and I decided to visit the campus. I had heard about Bond through my school in Melbourne, but had never visited it due to the border restrictions throughout my final years of school. As soon as I saw the big Bond University sign and set foot through the gates, I knew this was where I would end up. There was something about the campus and life on the Gold Coast that just felt right, a feeling I had not yet experienced at uni in Melbourne. I could see myself here, and I knew this was a place I could – and eventually, would – call my second home.

With 57km of pristine coastline Charlotte quickly fell in love with the natural beauty of the Gold Coast

After this fortuitous trip, everything fell into place. Within nine weeks, I applied for and was accepted to study at Bond, packed up my life in Melbourne, and made the move to the Gold Coast. As simple as it sounds, though, the decision to switch universities, leave family and friends to move interstate was not an easy one. There are a lot of factors to consider and questions to ask yourself to ensure it is the right choice for you. After arriving and settling in at Bond and the Gold Coast, though, I knew that this decision was the right one for me.

Since settling in at the Gold Coast, there are a couple of things that have really stood out to me that have made my university experience enjoyable and memorable.

The Lifestyle

Moving from Melbourne, which at times is very fast paced and  ‘go go go!’, the slower pace of life on the Gold Coast is a welcome contrast. Situated by the ocean, the Gold Coast manages to embrace a relaxed seaside vibe and a bustling city atmosphere at the same time. This makes it easy to feel like you are always on holiday! The active lifestyle is welcomed by all – during the day there are always people enjoying walks or runs in one of our lovely parks or along the beach. My favourite way to begin my day is a run along the beach followed by a swim in the beautiful Pacific Ocean and a good coffee!

The beautiful Pacific Ocean offers a great place to swim with the stunning Gold Coast skyline as your backdrop

The community

The friendly people are the second stand-out for me. Since moving here in January, I have felt so welcomed by the community. The inclusive and easy-going nature embodied by Gold Coast residents allows for a smooth transition, making it easy to settle in and find your place. Even has named the Gold Coast as one of the Top 10 Most Welcoming Cities on Earth for 2023, an honour that the Gold Coast truly lives up to! Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone - join a local community group, introduce yourself to someone new or share a smile. People in the Gold Coast are always up for a chat, so even if you just say hi to someone new, you will be one step closer to making friends!


Finally, I have to mention the amazing opportunities and experiences to get involved in! The Gold Coast is at such an exciting time of new growth and development at the moment, especially with the Olympics coming to Brisbane in 2032. The Gold Coast population is growing everyday, and is predicted to reach one million people by 2041! It is evolving and thriving with expanding research, technologies, science, arts and education., whilst also preserving the history and natural environment. Whether it be school, study, work or just a holiday, there is something for everyone.

So, to the uni student who feels like something is missing, I know how you feel. I have been in your position and understand the challenges that come with the decision to switch universities. But, upon reflection of how I ended up on the Gold Coast, I know I have found my place – and I know that with some introspection and perseverance, you will too! 

The Gold Coast offers a more relaxed lifestyle, but also plenty of evening entertainment. Miami Marketta is one of Charlotte's favourite haunts.

*Charlotte Gibbs is studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Bond University and is a Mayor's Student Ambassador.