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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Taehwan (Daniel), South Korea

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Exactly 10 years ago from now, my whole world turned upside down, quite literally actually. I was a happy average child in South Korea, only to discover that I will be moving to the other side of the planet to study abroad. At that age, I have never heard of Australia or South Australia, and especially not Adelaide. Years later when I asked my parents why they chose South Australia in the first place, they expressed how its nature, security, and multi-culturalism led them to elect here above all the other options. The same boy who once felt intimidated and petrified by the new environment ended up falling in love with it and miserable to head back home.

The new world and the new experience opened up the vision that I have never seen; hence led me to realise how the education system in South Australia was truly the only system that I could maintain a genuine level of passion towards both education and other extra curriculum activities which would work in cohesion for me to develop myself as a proud mature individual. Such belief resulted in my arrival back to Adelaide in 2012; it has been six years and I thank god that I made

the right decision. Schooling in Glenunga International High School (GIHS) provided me more support and knowledge than I ever would have anticipated. I was never alone – from Buddy system to Peer Support and International Connect, all of which are programs specifically designed for international students to feel more relaxed and protected throughout their time in GIHS.

On top of that, I can confidently say that my time in homestay remains as one of the most precious memories of my life. I was treated equally with their own children and made me feel like home. Even though I no longer live with them, they remain as my second parents whom I cherish and always meet up as much as I could.

They say that there are two kinds of happiness. One kind of happiness you only know after the moment has passed, and the other you feel in the moment. The happiness you feel in the moment is so precious that they say that the memories of this kind of happiness can stay with you and enlighten your life. My high school experience was the latter kind that will continue to remain with me and now my goal is to give such happiness back to the students and be the support that once nourished me. For this reason, alongside my tertiary studies in University of South Australia studying Bachelor of Design (Communication Design), I returned to GIHS and now support international students both academically and mentally, ensuring content and successful outcome for all those in need.

 

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Iroha, Japan

I decided to study abroad in Australia, because I met a girl who is from Australia when I was a junior high school student, and she told me many things about Australia. After that, I started being interested in study abroad in Australia.

I had never been to other countries before I came here so there were many things that made me surprised and confused. However, the wide sky and many nationalities were especially impressive for me, and I still remember I felt the beautiful blue sky which didn’t have any clouds when I arrived in Australia.

At first, my life in Australia didn’t go good at all. The hardest part for me was to understand English when someone speaks, and I couldn’t understand at all. However, while I talk with many people, my English skills were getting better and I didn’t realise that my English skills were improving.

My host mother taught me how to pronounce ‘r’ and ‘th’ and many other pronunciations which don’t exist in Japanese, and it was then that I felt my English became better the most. My host mother is really helpful, and when I asked her about pronunciations, she spent more than 2 hours with me.

Every member of my host family is really kind and funny. My host mother often takes me and my host sisters to many places on weekends. I respect her like my real mother and I’m so glad that I was able to meet her. Most of time when I’m at home, I talk about school life with my host family and we often joke around. Also, I always ask some questions about English grammars and words and every time I ask, they teach me these things really kindly.

I have two host sisters and they are from Italy and Brazil. We often talk about differences between each of our cultures and languages. That makes me so curious to know about other countries and languages.

There are a few things which made me changed through experiences in South Australia. Firstly, my opinions of Japan and other countries were changed and I could think my opinion from other side to understand many opinions from many people and cultural sides. Also, I didn’t need to try anything when I was in Japan, but after coming Australia, I try as much as I can.

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Liu Jiong, China

Hello everyone, I am Liu Jiong, I am an international student come from Henan, China.

I’ve been studying at Seaview high school more than two years. Here is where my dream starts and where I starts to work as hard as I can to get achieve my life goal that I have made. Studying at Seaview high school is an amazing choice and I feel very lucky that I chose to come here. During these two excellent years, I met a lot of fantastic teachers and friends and they also gave me many supports and helps on both my study and life.

When I first arrived here, because English was not my first language, I once thought about giving up. However, with the encouragement and help of the kind and helpful teachers around me, I did not choose to give up but kept on going. So far my study has been very smooth and the results are very good. I really want to thank those teachers and friends who have helped me, because my achievements today are inseparable from their help. I love them! Here, I hope that those students who are studying at Seaview High School can achieve their goals with the effective supports of our amazing teachers!

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Mei, Japan

Mei is here in Adelaide studying Year 11 on a Tokyo prefecture study abroad program. 8 months has passed since arriving and Mei is enjoying her life here saying, “it really suits me”.

I’m going abroad!

It wasn’t like Mei had a really strong interest in foreign countries since she was a child, but what sparked her awareness of other countries was visiting her uncle in America when she was in second year of senior high. Her uncle spoke to complete strangers like they were old friends and she thought that friendly atmosphere was great. Mei has always liked the English language and in her spring break before starting her final year of senior high she did a language study program in Canada where she again got to enjoy living abroad. Returning to Japan, she thought to herself, “I’m really suited to living abroad and I’m going to go again!’

Soon after getting back to Japan, she applied for the Program for the ‘Development of Next-Generation Leaders’ and, quite impressively, she was successful in gaining a placement. In January, half way through her final year of senior high, she left her friends who were all studying for university entrance exams and started her year-long study abroad program at an Australian high school.

 

The Program for the Development of Next-Generation Leaders which Mei is participating in is a program established by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education. This program supports students of Tokyo prefecture public high schools who take up the challenge to study abroad and is designed to broaden the minds, improve English, build resilience and give a sense of purpose to the young people who will be responsible for carrying Japan forward into a future international society. Including Mei, there are 40 Tokyo public high school students chosen to study at Adelaide’s city and suburban high schools as part of the program, each staying with different homestay families across the state while they spend about 12 months experiencing student life here.

High School Life in Adelaide

Although she liked English, Mei says she wasn’t very good at it, and the Next-Generation Leader program doesn’t give participants the chance to study English language classes at local schools; instead they go straight into mainstream classes with local students. Because of this, Mei says she struggled at first, not understanding what her teachers were saying. However, she recorded her lessons and double-checked the meaning later, made vocabulary books, and did research online, spending every moment studying even after she came home from school. She also did things like get support from friends, mimic the words she heard people say, and watch lots of movies as part of her studies. On top of that, she spoke English even with her Japanese friends. The result of all this was that she became more and more able to understand what was being spoken around her and she soon became able to express herself in English.

“At first I really had no idea but after about 5 months I began to think that I was starting to understand. Now I feel like I’m really making improvements”.

Mei says that the first few months, “were a really jam packed time for me” and feels that the skill she has improved the most while here in Australia, where computers are an everyday tool of life, is her typing speed.

Outdoor Education

Mei loves all sports, currently enjoying basketball and Australian rules football at her school here and she says she was really happy when she kicked her first goal in football. Her favourite part of her school program are the activities she gets to do in Outdoor Education. As part of Norwood Morialta High Schools’ Outdoor Education program, students get to plan for their own camp which they go on every six months, doing things like researching the food they’ll prepare and physical training. On camp, they do various team activities including hiking and rock climbing, naturally learning about the environment, leadership, and group dynamics through the outdoor activities.

“This was the first time for me to be in amongst so much nature. Laying down on the beach on a pitch-black night and looking up at the stars was really impressive. I’ve gotten to do things that I’d rarely have the chance to learn in Japan and the camp has been the highlight of my study program here”.

Through Studying Abroad

Before her study abroad program, Mei didn’t really know what she wanted to be in the future, nor did she have any real goals, but during this year of her program she has had the chance to think carefully about her future. Now, 8 months into her studies here she still doesn’t have a clear future dream but it has started to come together; she wants to go to America where her uncle is and study international relations and sport at a university there.

“I feel that I get to improve my ability to think at my Australian high school. With a lot of subjects to choose from, I think it is easy to work out what we want to do in the future. It feels like the part of my brain that I didn’t get to use in Japan has grown and my imagination has improved”. For Mei, her study abroad program in Adelaide has been a big step towards helping her mold her future.

 

Mei has a message for all of the people in her generation who will take part in study abroad programs.

“I think there are a lot of challenging experiences when you study abroad, but there are always good people around you. If you get into a difficult situation, I think it is ok to ask for help. You can meet a lot of different people with different cultures in Australia so you really get to grow in ways that you can’t in Japan. I think that studying abroad is life-changing so please try hard and take up the challenge.

But I think the most important thing while studying abroad is to not compare your experience with others. Comparing just leads to wasted effort in pushing yourself and jealousy. Please just enjoy it at your own pace”.

 

Mei has only 3 months left of her study abroad program, and right to the end she will continue to enjoy every moment of her student life here in Adelaide at her own pace.

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Kelly, Hong Kong

My name is Kelly. I am a Year 12 student from Hong Kong. I have been studying aboard in Australia for three years. The reason why I chose to study in Australia because I enjoy travelling around the world and get to know different cultures. Studying in Adelaide gave me opportunities to be inter-culturally aware.

As I mentioned I like travelling a lot, Australia is one of the places I visited. But Adelaide was the city that I left out. Before I came to Adelaide, I was very excited to have a life in here.

When I first arrived, I have gone through a period of time where I felt really homesick. I believe that most of the international students found it as a struggle as well. I reckon I am one of the lucky students because I have a loveable homestay family who take care and support me so much which is like another family to me. I need to specifically thank my homestay mum who is one of the most important people in my life. She is not only providing me a lovely home with all her love but also teaching me how to be a better person. All the things she did make me reflect on something that I should be aware of. She is a real inspiration to me.

Also, I have a group of close friends from different countries. Being with them can also help me overcome the pressure I have. I am blessed to have them in my life which make my life in Australia become brilliant. They make me mindful of unique practices from different cultures and make me feel connected to them more.

Moreover, having a true relationship with people is not easy and I am so grateful of building up such a good and healthy relationship with all the host sisters I have ever had within these three years. Even though they were here only for a short time, we still kept in touch and those memories we built up together is always a delightful thing to remind us of.

In conclusion, within these three years, I have grown up a lot from a thoughtless little girl into a mature girl. The experience I had encouraged me to become stronger. I am really thankful to have the opportunity of studying aboard in the other country. I would never become the person I am right now if I have never study aboard.

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Jiwon, Korea

Hi! I’m Jiwon from South Korea. I’m 15 years old and in Year 10 now. I arrived in Adelaide and started studying at Henley High at the end of January 2018. I wanted to experience different education system and more suitable environment for me, so I decided to go study abroad. I chose Australia because I have heard many interesting stories about Australia from my relatives who immigrated to here 20 years ago. Therefore, I have always been curious about the Australian culture and I thought Australia is a suitable country for my study abroad.

I wanted to start mainstream studies after completing the ISEC (Intensive English Course), because I thought my English was not enough. So, I took a class with other international students in the ISEC and focused on improving English for two terms. It was great to make new friends from different countries and learn each other’s different cultures. The school teachers (especially the international teachers) were very nice and they always wanted to give us help. Through this course, I was able to improve my English but also many new things such as Australian history and culture. I thought it would have been difficult to adjust to school if I had taken mainstream classes without going through ISEC.

Honestly, I was planning to study abroad here for only one year just to improve my English, but I changed my mind as I went to Henley High. I wanted to study what I really want to learn by following the education program of Henley High School, so I decided to stay here and study at Henley High School until I graduate. It was a tough decision, of course, but I was sure that the education program here would suit me.

When I first arrived in Adelaide, everything seemed new, weird and exciting.  I really missed my family and friends in Korea and I still miss them sometimes. I was very nervous to talk to local people in English, and it was always stressful for me. However, I am okay now. I have good friends and homestay family here, and I think if I want to achieve something, I need to be more patient. I also love the nature environment of Adelaide, especially the beach! I can enjoy my spare time by taking walk on the beach with my friends. Adelaide has another attraction than my home city, Seoul.

Studying in another country is a great way to learn new things and it doesn’t only happen in the classroom. I am much more open-minded and independent, and I found myself understanding more about different cultures and people. I really thank my parents for giving me such a great opportunity.

Although my English is not perfect yet and I’m not sure about planning for the future, I’m really enjoying my studies in Adelaide and looking forward to my studying abroad at Henley High School! I really recommend you go study abroad. If you ever get the chance to go and study abroad, please do. You will never regret it. There may be more difficulties than doing well at first. But what I want to say is that all of this will give you valuable lessons and wisdom. Until now, I have never regretted my decision, and I’m sure I will never regret it.

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