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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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Catching up with past students in Japan

One of our host families hosted a Japanese girl called Mayuko during her study tour in South Australia. This is what host mother, Brigitta, had to say during her time with Mayuko:

“I just wanted you to know what a wonderful girl Mayuko is. She is soooo lovely, I can’t even tell you how great it is to have her with my family. She is friendly, helpful, respectful, funny and so kind. She helps me with cooking, she has big chats about everything and her English is great. She wants to make her English as good as she can and she works hard on it. She barely uses translating machines etc. Amazing young girl and we are very grateful of these two weeks we get to spend with her and learn all different things about Japan from her. She fitted into our family like we have always known her and the children love her too – she plays with them all lot. Very sweet girl. We feel very comfortable around her. She is an absolute gem!”

 

Later in the year, Brigitta and her family (including 3 children) went on a trip to Japan. As part of their trip, they caught up with Mayuko and her mother. They had a great time seeing where Mayuko lives and learning more about the Japanese culture.

“We would like to say a big thank you to this program you are running. Thanks to this I think we have made some lifelong friends. We just got back from Japan a week ago and while we were there we caught up with our last student, Mayuko, and her mum from Kyoto. It was lovely and without this program our children wouldn’t be able to make special friendships like this. So, thank you to all the International Student Program workers for all these lovely experiences and memories. It was lovely catching up and an incredible experience for our kids to see where our students come from and how they live….”

 

 

“Japan… what an incredible place. We have travelled a lot around the world but have never seen anything like Japan and Japanese people. We have done two-full weeks of travelling around the country to see as much as we can and we truly fell in love with it. Now we are even more excited about hosting international students in the future, so that we can understand their culture and how they live. Very grateful for this international program.”

 

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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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Catching up with past students in the UK

Wendy and Phillip have been hosting students for over 15 years and have made some lasting friendships with their students. They recently returned from her UK trip which where they met up with their ex-students. Here are some of their photos and stories:

This is Alke, our first ever student 15 years ago, who is now a Doctor of Paediatrics in Berlin. Alke and her partner Harry spent last Christmas back in Adelaide with us.

 

 

 

 

Natalie  from Frankfurt has returned to Adelaide twice since staying with us as a 16 year old. Natalie also studied 1 year in Scotland, and she flew to Edinburgh when she knew we would be travelling there. It was lovely to catch up with her in August 2018. She is working for an advertising agency in Frankfurt after studying her business degree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also had the pleasure of seeing the beautiful Julie (below photos), meeting her mother Cecile and also her grandparents Helene and Norbert and we were lucky enough to stay with them in Montpellier. Julie is now studying a double degree and is very much a world traveller having recently travelled to Nice, Shanghai, America and attended the Cannes Film Festival as part of her studies, and a trip to Korea is coming up.

Both Julie and Natalie have formed a friendship since meeting 7 years ago (on a return visit to see us in Adelaide) and the students have also visited each other numerous times in their respective cities of Paris and Frankfurt.

We love following our rather large ‘family’ on their respective journeys from their teens through to adulthood and have found providing homestay for the past 15 years to be a wonderful and extremely rewarding experience.

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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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Jaeyoung, Korea

Hello! My name is Jaeyoung. I am 18 years old and come from South Korea. I have been living in Adelaide for almost 3 years. I chose to study in Adelaide because I heard Adelaide has a good education system and good to improve my English as well.

When I first came to Adelaide, I could experience a lot of different life cultures. A lot of things were different compared with my country. So actually, it was hard to adapt to live in here when I first came to Adelaide. But my friends and teachers in Henley high school support me a lot. I’m really thankful to them.

Our school, Henley High School is a lovely school. I could meet and hang out with different countries people here. The teachers and students in Henley high are so helpful and kind to every person. The Best thing I thought in our school is education system. In our country, we can’t choose the subjects and it is extremely hard to study. Furthermore, we usually finished school at 5’o clock, went straight to the academy and finished at midnight. However, in Adelaide, every student can choose the subjects what they want, which is made more interesting to study. And the school finish quickly, so I have a lot of free times for hanging out with my friends.

When I hang out with my friends, I usually play soccer or go to the city. Adelaide has so many big parks to play soccer. Also has beautiful structures and interesting places to visit such as Glenelg and Cleland Wildlife Park.

Finally, I am happy to stay in Adelaide now, and I really appreciate my parents who helped me settle in here.

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Charlie, Thailand

Hello my name is Chanathip or you can call me Charlie. I come from a province called Ratchaburi that is located in the western part of Thailand. I have been lived in Australia for two years and I am currently studying in Year 12 at Henley High School. After a couple year of living in a foreign country and gaining lot of experience, I can confidently say that my time in this country has changed  my life into a different aspect from my home country.

During my time in Australia, I have met a lot of people from various countries. English is our major language that has been used to exchange our opinion and experience from one to another. From this reason, it creates understanding of different cultures, language and thoughts. Later it became relationship which is one of the important factors that really help improve my English skill and enjoy my time on the weekend with friends from different nationalities.

Australia is a country that provides opportunities for many people to visit and study. Being in Australia educational system allows me to study in subjects which relevant to my future career. Although studying in year 12 is challenging, I am still able to manage time to do other activities apart from my study such as going to the gym, playing music or catching up with friends which really help reduce the pressure from study and improve my physical and mental health along with my learning process.

My teachers who are passionate in my study allow myself to discuss about my assignment and offer assistance if I had any issue or problem with my learning process. This has encouraged me to lift up my confidence for having conversation with teachers and other school manager.

My homestay family is very helpful and welcome me with care and respect. Staying in a family with different language and culture leads me a new aspect of living which I had never experienced. My homestay family taught about rule and manners which every teenager supposed to have. For instance, manners at dinner table, responsibility for housework and punctuality. At the beginning it was quite challenging to take charge of these rules and duties. However, in the family these responsibilities are very important and they are basic things that every teenager should follow as becoming young adult.

My favorite experience in Australia is participating an extra curriculum activity named “Land Rover 4×4 engineering in Schools” This competition allows students to work together as a team to build a radio controlled four-wheel drive car. My role in the team is making graphic designs to represent the team’s appearance. Our team participated in South Australia state competition and we made it to the Australian national final level and have become the winner of the program. This one of my greatest achievement in my life. For me learning from mistake and experience of being as a part of the team are most important things in this competition.

Overall, my time in Adelaide has been a great time as I benefit and learn many things from my experience. I have made friends from different countries which encourage me to improve my English in the joyful way. By participating in the extra curriculum in the Australian national competition, it is a major responsibility as my team represents Henley high school and South Australia. After the success from this competition, the happiness had been passed through my friends and family and become one of the happiest moment in my life. Living with homestay family who support my study and future is very pleasant and makes me enjoy my time in this country. For two years in this country, it allows me to see new aspect of life which I would never encounter in my home country and it creates precious experience that I will never forget and always stay in my memories.

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Prim, Thailand

Hi everyone, I’m Chanikarn, or you can called me Prim. I come from Bangkok, Thailand and I’m 16 years old. I will be studying in Henley High School for 3 terms (8 months). Since I was young I always wanted to study abroad because I wanted to see how they live and how they study. Adelaide is my choice in which it is not too busy, full of nature and not so many Thai people goes their because I want to study and improve my English skills. People here are nice and kind and they are always be there for you to help.

I’m studying in Henley High School which is a very good school for international students because they have international centre which they can take care of you. You can choose your subjects that you would like to do. There are many interesting subjects such as Drama, Design and Psychology which I cannot do in Thailand in my high school time!

Henley High School is very nice to international students. They provided excursion for us which is interesting! Such as Zoo sleep over and it was beautiful trip where we can see the animals that we cannot usually find in Thailand and it was good to spend time with other international friends.

I spend a lot of time in the city with my friends because we like shopping! And there are variety of shops which you can choose and spend money on it. Also there are many good place for you to go rather than shopping such as museum, library, zoo or cinema.

My homestay was lovely and kind to me. They always take care of me like I’m really a part of their family. You can ask or talk to them in a comfortable way so that they can help you when you feel homesick or bad. They also took me to many places such as Victor Harbour and The Zoo which are very nice places to spend time together as a family.

I recommend it for everyone. Study abroad is interesting and fun! You can also get a lifetime experience and it will make you a lot more independent, open-minded and accept other people more. Also you can get to know many people around the world from another country and it helps you improve your English skills. I’m sure that one day I’m going to be back for studying or working again!

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