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Student Updates

Many students like to take the opportunity to travel during the school holidays to make the most of their Australian experience. Before making any travel bookings, students must discuss their holiday plans with their International Student Program (ISP) Manager and complete the Travel Form. Students can get forms from their ISP Manager.

Find more information on all of our approved tour providers and upcoming tours here.

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Student stories

Check out what other international students have been up to during their time in South Australia: Read student stories

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Q&A with an experienced homestay

Have you ever thought about hosting an international student? We asked one of our homestays, Anna, about her experiences hosting international students in her home.

When did you first start hosting international students and why?

We started in 2014 when we moved to Brisbane for 1 year due to work commitments. We thought it would be a good idea to host international students as our 5-year old son was on his own and we thought it would be good for him to learn different cultures as he was an only child.

What countries have you hosted students from?  

Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Brazil, China, Korea, German, Norway, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam.

How long does it usually take for a student to feel settled in and part of the family?

We feel it takes about 4 weeks.

What has been the most rewarding experience about hosting?

Watching them grow as a person and discovering the Australian culture as well as improving their English and knowing that they realise that they have grown into a better-informed person.

What have been some of the challenges?

Homesickness, shyness, and students not meeting people or wanting to go out exploring.

Are there any particular activities that your students have most enjoyed? 

Yes, we take our students to Black point (Yorke Peninsula) for the weekend about twice a year and they love the peace, serenity, beach, and just having fun for the weekend. As well as Gorge wildlife park, extended family get-together’s, any kind of celebration that we have in Australia e.g. Xmas pageant, Halloween, Easter and eating different foods

Do you have any handy hints for other homestays in our program?

Make them feel welcome and part of the family, the long life friendship is rewarding.

If someone was thinking about becoming a homestay for international students, what would be your advice and recommendations?

Just do it!! It’s a learning experience for everyone!! Learning about different cultures and showing them what a great country we live in and the bond and friendship we create is phenomenal. We are strangers at first that turn into family.

 

 

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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.

 

OCTOBER:

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.

NOVEMBER:

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

 

DECEMBER:

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.

 

JANUARY:

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)

 

FEBRUARY:

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

 

MARCH:

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)

 

APRIL:

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.

 

MAY:

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.

I APPRECIATE THE TIME YOU GUYS SPENT TO READ, HERE ARE SOME TIPS WHEN GOING ABROAD!

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.

Carolina

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