Finja, Germany

I´m Finja, I´m 15 years old and I´m from Germany. And I was here in Australia from January 2018 to June 2018. And the Seaford Secondary College and the people here made this time for me unforgettable and absolutely amazing.

I still know exactly how nervous and excited and also a bit scared I was on my first day at this school, but teachers and students were really nice and friendly to me and there was no reason for me to be scared. And when I had any questions, Mr. Pearce and Ms Wedding were always there for me and the other international students. And when I changed my homestay family they always helped me and made this as easy as possible for me. Generally, I never felt like I was alone. There was always someone I could talk to. And also the teachers were always nice to me and they helped me a lot when I had questions or when I couldn´t understand something. And so it came, that I never felt uncomfortable at school.

And there were also many other great things I experienced with the school. For example, we went snorkeling and surfing in Port Noarlunga almost every Wednesday in Term 1. Both are things I never tried before in my life and I´m happy, that the school made this possible for me. And it is an unbelievable feeling to stand up on your surfboard for the first time. That was one of many moments I probably would have never experienced without this school. Another beautiful moment was the day we were in a wildlife park with the other exchange students and two of the teachers and could see kangaroos and koalas for the first time. And the day we went to Hahndorf was another great day. All of this and also a lot of other things have made my time in Australia to an unforgettable time for me.

And this time ran so fast. It feels like yesterday for me, when I walked nervously into this school for the first time, but it is already six months ago and I wish I could stay for a bit longer. I remember the first day when Adam told me, that nobody says goodbye without tears and that nobody leaves Australia without crying. And I can say, that he was right. I made so many new friends  and I made a lot of great experiences. And if I look back to my time in Australia, it was just amazing and in the beginning I didn´t think, that it would be so hard to say goodbye to all the amazing people and this amazing country.

And if I would ever have the choice, to which school I´m going, again, I would always choose the Seaford Secondary College, because I just felt really comfortable here and that school was one of the reasons that my time here was amazing and I that I will never forget this.

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Jingyang, China

I have stayed in Australia for two years, many things happened during this time. I have experienced a fantastic life in Australia and made lots of new friends. Some of them are Chinese, some of them are from different countries. Of course I have made lots of Australian friends too, they are all friendly and nice. I like to learn about other countries cultures and histories and I like Australia’s culture pretty much. Here, let me tell you something about the experience I had in Australia.

The school life in Australia is happy and fun. School starts at 8:45am and finishes at 3:00pm. Students have chances to choose their favourite subjects and enough time to do their own things. Not like the school life in China, students nearly have no time for play or fun. In Australia, I even have a chance to take part into a science competition and win a reward. Australia students only have three lessons in a day and one for one and a half hours. There is a recess between first and second lesson and a lunch time in the afternoon. In China, students have 8 or 9 lessons a day which is different from Australia. School has canteen, there are plenty of delicious food there for sale. I often go there and buy food with my friends.

My favourite place in Australia is Hahndorf. It is a quiet and beautiful place with lots of interesting shops and buildings. I feel relaxing and comfortable when I go there, the air is fresh, the environment is clear and tidy. I would like to live there when I am getting old.

Because the study in Australia is not that busy, I have time for my own things. In my free time, I like going to boxing gym or drawing pictures. Through the boxing, I have made many Australian friends and also improved my English speaking skills.

Australia has many traditional foods, for example lamington. It is like a cake covered by chocolate and coconut, it tastes very sweet but I like it. I often eat it as breakfast or after school at home. It has became one of my favorite food in Australia. Another food I want to talk about is vegemite. It was the weirdest food I have ever tried in Australia so I remembered it clearly. It tastes very sour and dry, some people do not like it but some people do. For me, I prefer choosing any other Jam, but it is still a new food I try in Australia.

The State library in Adelaide is the coolest classical library I have ever seen. It looks like an old castle, I would describe it as the college Hogwarts in Harry Potter. I have a feeling of solemnity when I walk into there, it is like a time travel to the past time. There are many old books in this library.They are all precious documentaries which we cannot borrow. Sometimes, I go there with my friend and study together. I think studying in this way can improve the efficiency of my study.

My life in Australia is colourful and enjoyable. I have plenty of time to do my own things and have chance to study other cultures. Besides, there are so many splendid buildings and sightseeing for me to see. Therefore, I think Australia is definitely a wonderful place for people to study or living into.

Thanks for reading!


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Harley, Vietnam

Hello everyone! I am Harley, an international student from Vietnam. On the tenth of July 2017, I took my first long flight to Australia and my new journey started…

I chose Adelaide as my place to study in Australia because I knew this is a learning city and there are many interesting places and good schools. Fortunately, this nice city has proved that my decision was right. Although it was hard at the beginning but I didn’t give up. Now I have overcome all difficulties.

I first arrived to Henley High school in term 3 of 2017 and went into the ISEC course for that whole term. My school journey might be a bit different from others as I was moved to my second school which was Adelaide Secondary School of English because English was a tricky challenge for me. There, I found it easier to get into English and met some amazing friends and teachers. Besides, my English has improved from there as I used a lot of different ways to develop my skills as much as I could such as watching movies, communicating, learning vocabulary and practicing my pronunciation.

In term 3 last year, I finally finished my intensive English course and returned to Henley High school. I was no longer scared and shy. My confidence literally increased and I even earned more knowledge to go into mainstream classes. Studying in the South Australian Government School has provided me the opportunity to go on many helpful excursions which I have never had in Vietnam. Therefore, I’ve approached and learnt about Australian culture and discovered some attractive places.

My favourite things in Australia are the beach and winter… I know this sounds insane but it’s true, I mean I love winter which I’ve never had in Vietnam and the beach is my favourite place to go whenever I have my spare time or sadness. Coincidentally, Australian beaches are really beautiful and ‘friendly’. Furthermore, there’s a centre in the city with Asian foods and drinks in plenty called China Town. I often go there when I miss Vietnamese foods.

During the holiday, I often go out with my friends to many places. Rundle mall is the best choice for us to go shopping and chill out. Otherwise, we have been on some excursions to Hallett Cove, Zoo, Adelaide hills and Dolphin Tour which were incredible and unforgettable. As I went to many new places and met new people, I gained more experiences and fun that would make my life interesting.

One more difficulty that I’ve suffered through is homesickness. However, I’ve overcome it as I have always been positive and able to call my parent every week as well as go back home when I finish the school year. I spent a lot of my time to go to the library to study and complete my assignments. In my opinion, studying alone helps me create the ability in solving all problems and not to lean on others even sometimes it pushes me to the extreme to try my best. My homestay in Australia is my aunt who treats me good I live in her house with her family and they are friendly and nice to me.

After two years living in Adelaide, I realise this is an amazing city to study in, live in and travel as well. I had seriously decided to move to Sydney once but this stunning city kept me back. I love the nice weather, easygoing people and especially the clearest air. That is my fascinating journey, let me hear about yours!


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Khai, Vietnam

Who am I? I am Khai (pronounced as “Kai”, written as “the most amazing boy”

Where am I from? Take a guess! I speak Vietnamese by the way.

Which school am I studying? Henley High School, duh..

Why Adelaide? Apart from the fantastic experience, premium education, and convenient transportation, Adelaide offers me multicultural cuisine, lovely friendliness, and breathtaking scenery. I think that is enough reason to love this place.



This was the day I came to Australia. Since I have never been here before, I could not sleep due to excitement. My host mother was at the airport and she was the first person I knew in Australia. I met the other members after and immediately felt a warm welcome from this new country. My journey starts here.


Before undertaking the mainstream classes, I had to finish an Intensive English course. I am grateful as this course gave me friends and opportunities to go on excursions to understand more about Adelaide.

The Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Cleland Wildlife Park



The school year would be nearly finished in December and most of my friends went back to their country. I decided to stay for Christmas because I wanted to experience the Australian Christmas. Another reason was that the Christmas Pageant in the previous month was so popular that I got curious.

To be honest, I did not enjoy the Pageant much but I did enjoy the Christmas Eve and the Christmas Day. I went to my host parents’ parents’ place and it brought me the feeling of a family.

My host brother Charlie (right) and my host sister Tiana (left) under the Christmas tree.



This was the most boring part of the year when I had so much free time while the others did not. In exchange, I could go out to explore Adelaide. I have a tempting stomach so I could not resist these organic masterpieces.

Loukoumades (Greek)
Bunch of beef (German) sorry I don’t know the name!
Crepe (French)



New school year started. I had to cope with running between my locker and classes because we did not do that in Vietnam.Despite that, Australian education provides flexibility in learning and it has given me more free time since I came here.

My first achievement


My subjects



Now that I got used to my new school life, I had more free time. March was the time for trips.

Botanic Gardens (Mt Lofty)


Bambunga Pink Lake (should be pink)



A half of April was school holiday and my parents came to visit. Their stay was 2 weeks but it was like 2 days to me. In spite of that, I am grateful for my parents being here. To make their first trip abroad unforgettable, we went to Melbourne and for the second time, I was stunned by Australia.

The 12 Apostles


Whispering Walls, Barossa. My Dad, my Mum and me.



New term started and I realized the holidays had passed before I could blink. However, the thing I cared most was that May is the month a handsome angel was born and this was the first May he spent in another country. His new family celebrated a small birthday party for him and he was appreciative of that.


The most important thing is internet, remember to get it as soon as possible when you are settling in.

Trust your instinct.

Do NOT be afraid of speaking English if you want to make Aussie friends. If you are afraid, you had better train your English before going abroad.

Ok! What are you waiting for? Let’s go abroad!



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Victoria, Vietnam

My name is Victoria. I come from Ho Chi Minh city which is the most popular and biggest city in Vietnam. As an international student, it’s such a pleasure for me to come to Australia and study at Blackwood HIgh School, and I really appreciate the opportunity.

The reason I’m standing here to talk to you all, is to share with you, my experience as an International student here.

On the first day I came to Australia, I felt frightened and nervous about how Australia would be different from my country. I was surprised that there were few scooters on the street like in my country. More than that, in my country we drive cars on the right-hand side of the road, but in Adelaide you drive on the left side of the road. Besides that, the education system here is the biggest difference from my country.

You cannot imagine how hard it was when I had to study thirteen subjects every week in Vietnam, then I had to take extra class every night. I had no time to rest or play outside my study, where here in Adelaide we have more work, life, balance. In Adelaide, I feel much better and more relaxed now, and I also love to study more than in Vietnam.

Naturally, there are still times that I miss my family and really feel like I have an opportunity to come here to Adelaide to study, and also represent my family, my country and I wish to make a good impression, that we are good people. So I keep myself motivated and always tell myself that I can and will do it, no matter how difficult it will be at times, but I will be brave and try my best to pass.

Thanks to all the teachers from last year and this year, thank you for your help and support in my schooling. To all my classmates, friends and friends of friends, who always assist me with my school work and life lessons. Because of my shyness & lack of confidence, we probably didn’t talk too much, but thank you for your priceless kindness and positivity you share with me.

Many overseas students are afraid of speaking English as we do not wish to make a mistake. So, it sometimes seems we do not wish to talk, when actually we are just too scared to speak English. Please be patient with us, we are trying!

As I am becoming more confident, I’d like to make more friends, and I wish all of you will do the same. There is so much we can all learn from each other. We are willing to build special friendships with you all and I wish that you will become a part of my friendship group in the future.

Thank you.



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Carolina, Italy

My experience in Adelaide is really good and I can’t believe it’s been five months since I arrived. I love Australia, I love the beaches and the weather. Thanks to this experience I met many other exchange student from other countries like Brazil, Japan, Chile, Germany… I have visited many things: Adelaide, beaches, zoo, botanic garden, the university, Granite Island, Mount Lofty, Windy Point… They are all beautiful places and I saw beautiful sunsets over the sea.

My school, Seaford Secondary College, is different from my Italian school, but I like it. My teachers are kind and they helped me to understand when I was confused and given advice. Thanks to the school I got to take surfing lessons, but also to take part in lessons different than Italian subjects, like food, dance, drama… In this picture I was doing a cinema course with other students.

I tried many kinds of different foods and some I like, but others don’t. My favorite is pasta penne with mozzarella, tomato sauce and chicken cooked in the oven. My host parents often do it for dinner. Last month I turned 18 and my host family organized a small party for my birthday. During the two weeks of vacation I went to Melbourne with my host family and my host sisters from Germany and Japan.

Initially I was kinda scared to leave because I would have gone to a country where I didn’t know anyone, but from the first day everyone was very kind and made me feel comfortable.

I love to do this experience and I love to live in Australia.


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Momoko, Japan

Hello! My name is Momoko. I am from Tokyo in Japan. I will study at Seaview High School for 10 months as a Year 11 student. I chose Seaview because we can take a tennis class. It is so rare that I can play it as a subject and I think it is exciting!

I have studied English since I was three. At first, I was afraid of speaking because I didn’t want to make mistakes. But my mother always said to me “Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes.” And she cheered me up. Thanks to her I can talk with people who are from other countries. I think that to speak English and learn about other countries and cultures is so interesting.

My school life in Australia is good so far. Sometimes in class I don’t understand what teacher is saying, so I’m trying to ask teacher as soon as possible for help. In my country, students are quiet and nobody asks questions while in class, so asking teacher to help me understand is really new to me and I’m excited to try new things! I look forward to improving my English skills.

Students at Seaview are so nice and friendly. I could make a lot of friends. That is so great but I want to get to know them better so I’m trying to talk to them more. When I am confused they help me a lot and I appreciate their kindness.

I look forward to making more and more friends and I want to teach them about Japan.

Thank you.

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Emily, Germany

When I decided to study abroad, I was sure that I’d love to go to Australia. Since I can remember, I was in love with this country and I always wanted to go there. I decided to choose a school in South Australia, because I thought that the temperatures there would be the nicest for me. Neither too cold, nor too hot. And I chose a regional school instead of a city school because I already live in a big city and always wanted to experience the countryside.

When it came to deciding about the city and school, I mostly made my decision by looking at three things:
1. The distance to the ocean
2. The subjects I could attend there
3. The school uniform

So, that’s how I got to Port Lincoln High school. It was close enough to the ocean, so I could just go swimming after school, which was pretty amazing! And they offered subjects like Outdoor Education, Food Technology or Woodwork which I was really looking forward to, because I’d never get the chance to study them in Germany. Plus, the school uniform looked pretty as well. And I know, most people might not care about that but I always dreamed of having a school uniform and I enjoyed it every day that I wore it.

Anyways, aside from all those things that made me chose Port Lincoln, there were so many things that made me enjoy my time there. First of all, the people there were so friendly and open-hearted. They directly made me feel welcome and home. And they were the reason why I was able to get to know the Australian way of life and the Australian slang. They showed me breathtaking beaches with white sand and turquoise water, delicious food like “Tim Tams”, “Pavlova” or “Golden Gaytime” and I got to celebrate traditional festivals like “Tunarama” with them. I got to go camping underneath millions of stars including the “Southern Cross”, next to free living kangaroos and then go surfing the next day. It was amazing!

But not only special days like these made me have such a good time. All the normal days in school and average weekends were so great as well! Just being a part of the community there and living a kinda average Australian life was actually the best I could’ve wished for. I felt like I really belonged there. And I never thought that I could find so many new good friends on the other side of the world – some of them I still call on a regular basis – and actually have a host family that I get along with so well. All of them supported me when I needed them and they were there for me when I cried about having to leave them. Even the teachers at school were people I could go to when I needed to talk or required help with something. To be honest, I actually have to say that I was looking forward to going to school every morning. I really enjoyed seeing my friends and all the nice people, wearing the school uniform and just having such fun subjects.

Of course though, I have to mention my time in the homestay as well. How could I not? I had a great host mum, Tamara, with the best and sweetest cat I ever met. And me and Tamara just got along so well. She accepted me the way I am and even encouraged me to love myself. Thanks to her I’m way more confident than I was before and just happy with myself – thanks to her, her family, my friends and all the amazing people I met. They made me feel so comfy and love that I couldn’t stand not seeing them again so I decided to come back the next holidays.
All in all, I can just say that I loved my experience down under! It was the best decision I ever made! It changed my life.
And I know it sounds kinda cheesy but it’s the truth!

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Thaysla, Brazil

I arrived in Australia in July 13, 2018. I spent 1 day in Sydney with other Brazilian students who also from the same agency as me. We had a orientation there about Australian law, about host families, about school and everything related to Australia exchange program and then we did a mini tour. We went to Manly Beach, The Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach. It was amazing.

The next day, I went to Adelaide very nervous to meet my host family who was at the airport. We did so much stuff together in the first two weeks before start of classes. I went to the famous Glenelg beach, saw Kangaroos and I hugged a koala, among other things. In this time, I had a lot of contact with Australian culture. For me, it was amazing because I could see how Australian culture was.

Adelaide is a small city, mild winter temperatures; however, Adelaide has everything that you need and especially beautiful beaches, which I love. Also is a city with few Brazilians so it is good to improve English language and be in more contact with English and other cultures.



I studied in Hamilton Secondary School and my experience there was amazing. I have always been interested in Psychology and I had the opportunity do it here, because I do not have this subject in my timetable in Brazil. The teachers in Hamilton gave me all support and they never refused to help me at all. Also I have made friends there that I will never forget them. I am enjoying every single moment of this experience as much as I can, because it was always my dream do to an exchange program. I am dealing with the homesickness of my friends from Brazil, my family and also the food, however, each day I have a new challenge to face, what matures me as a person.

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Angela, China

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I started my journey in Adelaide, South Australia because of the high education quality and moderate cost, but the welcoming nature and vibrant lifestyle made me stay.

Even before my departure, I received a welcome pack by Department of Education including description of studying and living in South Australia, preparations and checklists. This small but useful gift filled me with warmth and expectation instead of worries.

However, my journey wasn’t free of turbulence. I applied for another high school since the Plan A, Glenunga International High School is full. My language school, though, agreed to express my interest to Glenunga if I maintain the excellent results. With my hard work and encouragements from others, I graduated with two academic excellence awards and was accepted by Glenunga eventually.

Glenunga was different from language school. As I was embarrassed of my insufficient English skills, fitting in was difficult. Nonetheless, teachers and classmates in Glenunga were very friendly and patient. They encouraged me to contribute more in class and socialise during break. Thanks to them, I slowly adapted to life in Glenunga. Most importantly, no one discriminated against me. This embracing culture of Glenunga implies the welcoming Australian culture and grants me a healthy and enjoyable journey.

How can I give back? My answer is – run for prefect to represent International students. During my tenure, I co-founded International Connect Program for International students to achieve their personal best and look after their wellbeing. Alongside the language class ISEC, this program has assisted generations of International students with academic and wellbeing aspects.

Glenunga is the only public high school offering IB in Adelaide. Throughout my journey in IB, I have received outstanding grades and numerous recognitions, especially the 2017 StudyAdelaide International Student Award. I am grateful to develop courage, perseverance and positive attitude in Glenunga.


Homestays in South Australia often has various cultural background. The Chinese homestay assigned to me has helped me a lot in adapting to life in Adelaide. During my stay, I realized the importance of communication and trust.

My family recommended applying for renounced universities in Britain with my final grades. However, Adelaide has been my home away from home with the network I developed, the valuable experiences created, and the wonderful journey I experienced so far. Besides, Universities in Adelaide are also world-leading in research and education. In the end, I successfully convinced my family to choose Adelaide for tertiary study. I am currently studying Bachelor of Teaching and Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Science in University of Adelaide, looking forward to teaching in Adelaide and promote education in remote areas.

I was honoured to be selected as one of the 2018 StudyAdelaide Ambassadors whose roles include promoting South Australia as study destination and improving the experience and wellbeing of current International Students in South Australia. As experienced International students, we offer tips on getting the most from Adelaide and help arrange and promote workshops and events around the year. What I recommend the most is the summary per month on internship and volunteer opportunities in Adelaide. Do not miss it if you want to improve yourself in your spare time! If you want to know what’s happening around Adelaide, then follow StudyAdelaide’s social media accounts!

I have never regretted my decision on Adelaide. No matter studying or living, Adelaide has been excellent in quality and cost. Wish to see you in Adelaide in the future!

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