Hina, Japan

Hello, my name is Hina Moriya. I’m from Japan and studying at the Golden Grove High School for 10 months.

I was nervous to come here as it was my first time to go abroad and leave my family for a long time. But now, I am glad that Adelaide was the city to stay for this studying abroad. Adelaide has lots of beautiful spots and people. When I landed here, everyone was friendly and welcoming for me; which is the reason why I have never felt lonely. Also, I can see plenty of different cultures here. People in Australia has different cultural background, and this is interesting for me because most people in Japan have same cultural background.

There are so many nice teachers and students at school and I’ve made a lot of friends there. They always try to understand me and kind to me so that I could spend a wonderful time with them. What I enjoy the most at school is the Dance lessons which is the subject I cannot chose in a Japanese school. We’re going to have another performance soon so I’m very excited for that.

I am staying here with the wonderful host family who always helping me and bring happiness for me. I cannot thank them enough because they have spent time with me as much as they could. They took me to many sight spots in Adelaide. I hugged koala, feed kangaroos, went to the show, and eat many kinds of delicious foods with them. I could know what the Australian culture is through homestay.

I’m really enjoying studying in Adelaide and I will miss all the people I’ve met here. It was not only the hardest and challenging year but also the best year ever. All the time I’ve spent here with beautiful people are unforgettable memories for me and I will never forget!


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Haru, Japan

Hi everyone, my name is Haru Yamagiwa and I am a year 11 international student from Japan. I have been studying at Seaview High School for almost two years and will graduate next year. During this time I have had a lot of precious experiences and realized many differences in the culture, lifestyle and behaviors. I have been studying hard and my results are pretty good.I love the teachers and the support at Seaview High School because they helped me a lot such as checking my draft many times so I get good results and talking about my country when I feel homesick. It was actually hard to understand English at first, but my friends, teacher and host family helped me a lot.

My host family are from Norway and they are really nice. They love to go outdoors and I have had such amazing experiences and appreciated the beautiful Australian culture and nature, bush walking and the beach.

I also stayed with a temporary host family for just 5 weeks, which I really enjoyed. They are beautiful family and I felt time flies too quickly. I went to a few places here in SA with them, including the Whispering Wall, The Herbig Tree, the Melbas Chocolate Factory, the Toy Factory and Monarto Zoo. I enjoy  ed movie nights, dog-walking and driving with nice music. They are from England and I was really interested in cultural and trivial differences.

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Chihiro, Japan

I still clearly remember when I first arrived in Australia. It was 46 degrees, which was the hottest day ever in Adelaide. Firstly, I was surprised about completely different whether between Australia and Japan. At the same time, I was wondering how would be my host family, how my school life would be… Now, I am having absolutely amazing time here in Adelaide.

I am studying at Seaton High School, and there are many differences from my Japanese school. In my PLP (Personal learning plan) class, all the students have to do work experience for a week. I did my work experience at International Education Services (IES) office. It was good opportunity to learn about how IES works for the International student and homestay family in South Australia.

On the weekends, I go out with my friends or host mates. In winter, it is the season of Australian football. I went to the Adelaide Oval to see the football match for few times. I have many favourite places in Adelaide, especially I really like to go to the beach. In Adelaide, there are so many beautiful beaches such as Henley, Glenelg, Moana, Semaphore and so on. I often go to Henley beach to see the sunset. With host family, I went to many places, and they made me experience a lot. One of my best memory is to went to Sydney trip and spent a weekend at the holiday house in front of the beach.

Since I came to Australia, I experienced so many things that I cannot do in Japan, and I am so thankful to everyone who supporting me. All the experiences in Australia is unforgettable memories and I will come back to my second hometown one day!


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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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