Kyungdo, South Korea

I came to Australia to study in a different learning environment since I did not like the Korean learning style. On top of that, in Korea, it was hard to get opportunities to learn about space and astronomy, which are my areas of interest. The reason I chose the Australian Science and Mathematics School (ASMS) was the unique learning environment and the free atmosphere of the ASMS, which help students to enjoy learning. The study curriculum of the ASMS focused on science and mathematics, was also a reason why I chose the ASMS since I am interested in science and mathematics.

It has been 10 months since I came to Australia. I studied for 1 term at the Blackwood High School in the Intensive Secondary English Class before entering ASMS to improve my English skills. In the first semester of ASMS, I attended three Central Studies subjects, the Biodiversity, the Dream Design and Develop and Order from Chaos. These three Central Study subjects were helpful for developing my capabilities. Meanwhile, participating in the Learning Studies curriculum helped me to be a better self-directed learner.

While being a student of ASMS, I had some great opportunities like Biodiversity camp week or the Sports Day. The Biodiversity camp week was a very unique and special experience, allowing students to learn about field science techniques by actually experiencing fieldwork for 5 days. In addition, an English as an Additional Language support class, made by the school for international students, was extremely helpful for developing my English skills, especially in grammar and writing skills.

Tell your friends



 

Patipon (Sam), Thailand

Hi, my name is Patipon (Sam). I am 17 years old and I have been studying in Adelaide since April 2015. I joined club tennis in October 2015, people were very friendly to me and I feel very welcomed to be here.

I was meant to be here for just 8 months, but time passes by really quickly and I enjoyed it a lot. I’ve made a lot of friends during that time, so I decided to quit my old school and continue here at Seaview High School. Time at Seaview High is very precious to me because majority of memories during my high school life were made here.

I like Adelaide because it’s nice and quiet, it’s not too busy like Melbourne or Sydney where there are a lot of people. I’ve been staying with the same host family since I came, they are fantastic. I have visited quite a few tourist spots in Adelaide, such as the Monarto Zoo, Rundle Mall, Botanic Gardens etc.
I don’t have much time left here in Adelaide since I’m in year 11 and I only have 1 year left of school. I will be sad to leave!

Tell your friends



 

A trip to central Australia

Recently we undertook a trip to central Australia, taking our host student Rongtian, from China with us. First we had to check off all the important things like:

  • Did Rongtian want to come with us?
  • Asking Rongtian’s parent’s permission
  • Planning the trip
  • seeking school and Department approvals

Then, we set off to Mildura to collect my brother’s camper-van, which would be our home for the following 12 days. All over, we travelled a little more than 5000km and ventured through 3 states.  South Australia, Victoria and Northern Territory. What a wonderful experience for us and Rongtian to see the best of Australia’s outback.

Our Journey took us from Mildura to Port Augusta, and from Port Augusta to the Opal fields of Cooper Pedy.  We toured the underground town with Noble tours, which took us to many interesting sites, such as the dog fence, opal mines, and a beautiful sunset at The Breakaway Ranges. Having to put 20 cent pieces into the metre box to have a hot shower, reminded us of how precious water is in the outback.

We continued to the big rock – Uluru, and took a sunset camel ride, which was a highlight of our trip. We travelled up as high as Alice Springs, visiting Simpson Gap and Standley Chasm, where we purchased a very decorated didgeridoo made by the local people of the area.

I would highly recommend travelling further afield with your international student if possible.  We all had a fascinating experience of a life time, and our land down under has so much to showcase.

Tell your friends



 

Duda, Brazil

Tags: , , , , ,

My name is Eduarda Correa Flores da Silva, I’m 16 years old. I spent six months in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia to study in a high school experience in Seaford Secondary College, so I’m going to say a little bit about it.

My experience in Australia will always be in my memory and the people I met and the friendships I made here will stay in my life forever. Most of the friendships were made at the school Seaford Secondary College, so the learning place was a big help in the aspect of meeting new people and getting out of my comfort zone, because when I got here, the exchange students coordinator, Mr Adam Pearce, introduced me to other exchange girls and that initiative was really good, because we know each other pretty well and we are really good friends.

I had amazing experiences with the school, like surfing and go to the Wild Life Park. Surfing was something that I always wanted to do here in Australia since I decided to come here, so I was really happy when the school communicated me that I was going to do the amount of ten surfing classes with the other exchange students, so one of my wishes came true, it was a really nice adventure and it will come back to my life as soon as possible, the classes were better than I expected and South Australia’s beaches didn’t disappoint, besides surfing, we did body boarding and snorkelling, so it was amazing to try a lot of new things. Of course, one of my dreams was to meet kangaroos and it was amazing having this experience with my exchange friends, we went to the Wild Life Park in the first week, so it was an awesome way to be welcomed here and we saw a lot of different animals that we don’t have in Brazil and I want to be a veterinarian, so I loved the experience.

With the same group of girls and the school, we went to the Natural Museum and it was insane. It was amazing, it was beyond my expectations and it was really nice to know a little bit more about Australia and what they have here. We went to the city of Hahndorf and to the city to know Rundle Mall and Chinatown and now I go to these places all the time, so it was good to do a tour with someone that knows everything around here.

I did Outdoor Education class and we did a lot of outdoor activities that were different for me because I don’t do that in Brazil, we paddle with a kayak, surfing, bush walking and indoor climbing. I don’t do outdoor adventures so this class was really good so I could know new things and experiment before saying I don’t like it and know myself a little better and see what I like to do best. The best thing was the surfing classes, because I was really into it with the sport because of the classes with the international students and I was getting the hang of it, so it was more fun.

I was in dance class too, because it is something I like to do since I was a kid, so I wanted to experience that in my exchange and it was amazing. My dance classmates always made me feel welcomed and we are close friends. The class itself is so much fun and the preparation to the performance was something I didn’t do a long time ago, so it was really good to remember the pressure and the nervousness before going on stage and the feeling of mission accomplished after the performance is done. Stay all day preparing everything, fixing the costumes, deciding the makeup and rehearsing with the girls was an unforgettable experience and I have to thank the school and the dance teacher, Ms Kerrisk, for the opportunity.

I am sure that this exchange was the best experience in my life and I owe this to all the people that were with me in this months, that helped me when I needed and made me enjoy every second of it. The exchange students, that now are my host sisters, we are really close now and we are going to be friends for life, my friends in school that I hope we talk a lot after I go back to Brazil, but I will always remember them and my host family that I met two weeks after I got in Australia, they will always be part of my life and I am so grateful and lucky to know them and have the opportunity to spend six months with them.

Tell your friends



 

Meiko, Japan

In January 2017, Meiko was 2 months from graduating junior high school in Japan when she came to Adelaide to begin her international study program at a high school here. She has been playing volleyball since she was in primary school and is enjoying her life here balancing the game she loves with her studies.

A Skill to Help Me Transition Overseas

Meiko has always had a strong interest in the English language and she says that since she was a child she had a feeling that she would one day live overseas. Realising in junior high school that one way to make this happen is an international study program, she didn’t feel that her choice was between doing a program or not, to her the only thing to choose was between waiting until university or going during high school.

Meiko thought “while less people study overseas during high school, it does have many merits,” and while her friends were considering their future high school plans, she began seriously thinking about studying high school internationally.

Having played volleyball since primary school, she began a strict training regime while going to a junior high school recognised for its strong volleyball team. A driving force behind her perseverance was a vision she held for the future, “having at least one strength would be useful when I go overseas”.

It is because of this that Meiko planned to keep playing volleyball even when she went overseas to study.

Special Interest Volleyball Program

Around that time there was an incident that helped Meiko make up her mind to study high school internationally. One of the seniors from her school volleyball club invited her to play together at high school. This was a very tempting invitation to Meiko, equally as exciting as studying overseas, so she deliberated over the idea. In the end, however, Meiko decided on an international study program.

“I might have been able to have fulfilled my volleyball dreams by going to high school in Japan, but I might have neglected my studies. On the other hand, if I

focussed on my studies, balancing that with volleyball might have been a challenge. But I thought if I studied overseas, I would easily be able to balance volleyball, English studies, and the other things I want to do.”

Meiko’s parents respected her thoughts and the process of choosing a country to study began.

Meiko says that the first country she thought about studying in was actually America, but rather than having to change sport each season, being able to continue with the one sport all year narrowed her search to Australia. She chose Brighton Secondary School in Adelaide because not only does it have a strong volleyball team, but it is near one of her favourite places; the beach.

Brighton Secondary school has a Special Interest Volleyball Program with over 300 students studying volleyball as a subject with SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education) accreditation. Participating in tournaments is also part of the program. Entry to the volleyball program is only open to those who pass the selection process, so Meiko included video footage of her volleyball matches with her international study application sent from Japan to the South Australian Department for Education and that earned her a place in the program. That all became part of her journey to confirm her place in the Special Interest Volleyball Program.

A Gold Medal and MVP

Meiko began her international study program in January 2017 with the ISEC (International Secondary English Course), a high school entrance preparation course for international students. Even during her ISEC, Meiko replaced one of her subjects with volleyball and was able to play right from the beginning of her studies here.

“It is difficult to socialise with local students during the ISEC but through playing volleyball I was able to make friends easily not only with other international students, but also with locals.”

Just as she had thought in Japan, volleyball was the key to making her transition into studying here a smooth one. Now in Year 11, the number of subjects she is doing has decreased and the content is more complex and Meiko says that she is doing really well. She is also really enjoying her homestay experience.

Twice each year the Special Interest Volleyball Program participates in the Australian National Championships where teams are assigned by age and their performance in trial matches. In the championships held in December last year, Meiko was really successful, not only did her team win the Under 16 competition but she was also named the MVP (Most Valuable Player).

Starting her International Studies

Meiko says, “English was really challenging at first. I didn’t even understand what my teachers were saying”, but she made every effort to talk with other people and, rather than immediately looking up each word she didn’t understand, she tried to comprehend from the flow of the conversation. She says that ISEC was really tough but, “It was thanks to learning programs like PowerPoint and Excel in ISEC that made her studies smooth when she joined mainstream schooling. In the end either I do it or I don’t, I think it is all up to me.”

 

Although Meiko is thinking about going to university in another country rather than in Japan, she doesn’t have any real ideas about what type of work she wants to do in the future. However, she does have subjects that really interest her and lots of things she wants to do, and she feels like one of the merits of studying internationally is the great choice of subjects on offer.

“Part of me wanted to experience high school life in Japan, but the opportunity to have the valuable experiences of studying internationally are a once in a lifetime opportunity and we only have the window of a few years to do it, so I am really glad that I just took up the challenge and came to Adelaide to study.”

Meiko has just finished the first half of her studies here and she will keep balancing volleyball with her studies in the second half, enjoying every moment of her ever increasingly fulfilling life as an international student here.

Tell your friends



 

Melissa, Switzerland

Tags: ,

Before to come in Australia, I was nervous, I didn’t know how it was going to be. But now, the experience comes to an end. All I can say about this year, is that it was fantastic and really rewarding.

My first days in Australia weren’t the one I was expecting, as the homestay family I had, didn’t correspond to me. It was really hard at the beginning, I was wondering how I could stay for one year. But thanks to the school, I could stay and finish the program. I could change homestay family and feel better. Now the new homestay family I have is wonderful and I hope I can come and visit them again.

At the beginning it was also difficult, as I didn’t know anyone and I wasn’t used to listen to English everyday. But with the time this little problems are solved and I could enjoy this year. When I first arrived, I was scared of missing too much my family. Of course I miss my family and I’m look forward to see them again but not as I thought I will. The fact that we have social medias helped a lot, as I could talk to them everyday, tell them my fears, my problems.

One thing really good from this experience is that in Australia many cultures live together and there are many exchange students, therefore now I have friends from all round the world. This is the most beautiful thing that happens with exchange programs. My roommate, Yuki, is now a really good friend, even if she is now in Japan we keep in touch and I’m going to visit her in Japan soon.

Adelaide is a beautiful city. I went to the most beautiful beaches I’ve never seen and I saw wonderful and really interesting animals. Nature in Australia is really beautiful. Everyone should come to Australia once in their lives. In summer it’s really hot but I didn’t know winter was also really cold.

This experience helped me to understand many things about life, to grow up, to be more responsible and to know more about other cultures and improve my English.

Once aspect that is very different to Switzerland is school. Learning is different and school system is also really different. Here, teachers are closer to the students, which makes the student feel comfortable and reassured at school as you can talk to them about any problems you have. In Switzerland it’s really different and I’m going to miss it. This school is really good and respectable as they welcome everyone, students from different cultures, countries and most important students with disabilities. This is really good and I like it. Switzerland should take a leaf on this school.

If now, someone asks me if I was going to do this experience again, I can only say yes, even if I had troubles with homestay families and I also advise students to do exchange experiences.

Now it’s already time to say goodbye and thank you to Australia. I hope I can keep in touch with my new friends from all around the world and come back soon.

Tell your friends



 

Minjin (Lina), South Korea

Hi I’m Lina from South Korea, and came to Adelaide as an International student to study at Reynella East College. I will be here for one year in year 8 as I am fourteen years old. I have enjoyed being in an Australian school. In comparison to our school in South Korea some of the differences are that we have a choice in selecting our own subjects to study, the school rules are not that strict and the school day finishes early. So I am enjoying the extra time with my host family and host sisters. We play board games or have some snacks together.

My favourite subjects have been Technology and learning the Japanese language. The Australian students have been friendly towards me and have taught me Aussie slang that they use in daily conversations.

While I have been in Adelaide, I have experienced various homestay families and this has given me the opportunity to see different life styles. The homestay family I’m living with now has two more International students living with them.  Both girls are from Vietnam, they are 16years old and attend the same school as me. We enjoy family dinners together, and discuss various topics about Australia and our countries differences re guarding food, life style and activities. My host family have three beautiful cats living inside and I live to play with them and they also sometimes like to come to my room.

My host family loves animals and going to visit Adelaide zoo, Monarto and Cleland Wildlife Park. I love going shopping with my host sisters and they love my K-POP music. The host mother likes to cook different foods at the dinner table. My host father loves to talk about Australian foot ball and he’s very happy when his team wins. However, he is very disappointed when his team loses.

I will be leaving at the end of the year December 2018 and I will take away many happy memories from South Australia and share these with my family and friends. I will tell my school in Korea and encourage other students to come here and enjoy some wonderful experiences, too. I would like to one day visit Adelaide again in the future maybe with my family.

 

Tell your friends



 

Ching Yi (Joanne), Hong Kong

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I came to Adelaide in 2015 (at the age of 13) and was very intrigued by everything. Since I was lucky enough to have my relatives as my homestay, I was then able to adapt to this new environment very quickly.

In Year 9 and 10, I participated in the school’s netball and tennis team which enabled me to grow physically and mentally as a person. Although netball was a completely new sports for me, I had training sessions and supportive teammates that taught me new skills. Overall, I was able to build up my confidence, social skills where I made lots of new friends, and it was just an incredible way to relieve stress.

I also love hiking with my friends and going to the annual Adelaide Fringe and the Royal Adelaide show. The scenery at Morialta Falls was breathtaking, my friends and I also had a picnic there taking advantage of the beautiful weather.

During year 11, I applied for a volunteer position at a thrift store. Through that, I was able to understand how to operate a shop and help out the community with the money. I met lots of people from different age groups and background which broaden my perspective on this multicultural society.

There were limited choices on school subjects back in Hong Kong since it was most focuses on academic performance. However, I have discovered new interested which is drama, through the school curriculum in Adelaide. I enjoyed drama classes because of the positive and cheerful environment that we have and the opportunity to perform as a class collaboratively.

Nonetheless, being in a country with such diverse and vibrant society, has certainly enhanced my knowledge on different cultures. And I also honed my English speaking and writing skills. Lastly, I would definitely encourage anyone to choose Adelaide for education purpose and I can’t wait to explore this city more in the future.

Tell your friends



 

Phoebe, Vietnam

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

(A Harmony Day speech spoken by Phoebe for her school assembly)

Good day everyone,

Today’s assembly is for Harmony Day, a day which celebrates diversity. But I’m not here to talk about what this day truly is or to tell any stories, I’m here for appreciating. I’m appreciating Australia in general for having an open community of accepting and having us – people from overseas, to live and receive the same service and education. My relatives and friends, who are living in other countries, sometimes cannot enjoy a good time as they experience racism. They suffer the hardship of being discriminated against by the community as their culture did not match. I’m appreciating Australian Science and Mathematics School in particular for having such a multicultural environment so that there is friendship between the international and the native students. Other schools, or specifically the school I first entered in Australia, had very strong international program which was extremely helpful for international students to adapt as they provided a private lounge for us. It was a good thing, definitely a good thing because we could make friends with other international students, including friends who had the same ethnic backgrounds. I had such a wonderful time there. However, when I moved to the ASMS, I encountered a big shock of language barrier since this school is full of Aussies and I was used to listening to an international style instead of the local accent. Then, after spending 7 weeks here, I realized that I do not need an international private place anymore because I can mostly be friends with any type of person. Personally, I found it easy to gain friends from various nationalities as everyone is just so friendly to talk to. I even forget how introverted I was in the last few months. I now have many friends at this school, anywhere I go, I can always spot someone I know to say hello or even ask for help.

Can you imagine a reserved girl who nearly burst into tears just with answering a question in class is now standing in front of a whole big crowd sharing herself? That’s all thanks to you guys. My friends here have been giving me a hand to get out of my own world. Thank you for being my friends. Thank you for making me forget the shyness of being different. My dear friends, thank you for everything.

Tell your friends



 

Jess, Germany

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

(A Harmony Day speech spoken by Jess at her school assembly)

I stand in front of plenty of pictures I took during my life here and my life in Germany. Since I am here, I had lots of great experience with my Australian and international friends. Be it in school or out of school. Both lives are different, but also have similarities. While we have -5 degrees in Germany right now, here I’m freezing in 18 degrees in the morning. My schools in Germany are different, but I learned a lot for my character and my intercultural understanding.

Now I want to tell you a story about my first day at school.

Someone forget to tell me that I had to go to school, so I was lying in my bed, watching Netflix and immediately had to hurry to school. I arrived here completely over-strained but despite my expectations everyone treated me as I would be one of them right away. No one looked at me weird for being German. Every time I needed help because of my language, I received help. I never felt alone, because my friends helped me without knowing me properly and without knowing my situation as an exchange student. My homesickness during the first weeks, turned out to be less and less a problem, because I totally felt welcome here.

I’ve been here for 55 days, and I am still trying to learn the Australian lifestyle. I’m impressed how even street artists can talk to random people and get friendly responses. The amount of acceptation in this country is great. Asians, Africans, Americans, Europeans, and Australians live hand in hand together and accept each other.

Thank you for making me an equal part of this school!

Thank you for making me feel welcome!

Thank you for your intercultural acceptance!

Thank you for not judging anyone because of their religion!

Thank you for listening to me!

 

Tell your friends



Choose your language