Phoebe, Vietnam

(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.

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Jess, Germany

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(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!

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Guilherme, Brazil

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I arrived in Australia on 29th of January of 2018. My first contact with my Host Parents was at Adelaide airport. Soon in the first days, my parents here in Australia helped me with all things that I would need. All of these things helped us become much more close, and after the day of my arrival, also arrived another Japanese student, with whom I had an excellent relationship. I had my first day at school only a week and half after my arrival. On my first day, I met with the other international students from Wirreanda Secondary School, and I discovered that we were seven: five Japaneses, a French and me, a Brazilian. On the first day, we got to know the school and we had the orientation morning where we worked out our timetable, and chose our subjects. Some subjects were compulsory. Another fact that drew my attention in a positive way is the fact of the school was very well prepared to receive international students, offering classes to focus in English and with a co-ordinator that in the area, that gives all necessary support. When I received my timetable, I noticed that I had subjects that I didn’t have in Brazil, like Marine Science and Research Project, which is an obligatory subject in year 11. I am a very shy person, therefore I knew that I would have some challenges to make friends, but sure the presence of the international students helped me a lot in this aspect. We had an excellent relationship since the first day, and we were in the same situation, and consequently this helped me in my adaptation. And I got to make many Australian friends when I became less shy and could talk more with them. Every time I was very well treated in general, and could make many friends that I would like to keep for the rest of my life. Without doubt it has been an unforgettable experience that is helping me overcome some hurdles that I had. And is helping me mature a lot, and without doubt was one of the better decisions of my life. Here I am having to overcome many challenges, like mainly the missing of my family, that before this I never stayed more than a week away from them. And another reason that made my exchange stay more incredible is the fact of Australians is being open to know a new culture, so I could teach a little and learned a lot.

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Khemika, Thailand

Before I left home I am so excited and when I arrived here I was scared and nervous because my flight had to come down to Sydney airport and connect again to Adelaide. I was very relieved when I arrived in Adelaide.

My homestay family was waiting for me at the airport. After we finished collecting all the luggage, she took me to see the places around the city and taught me things. I have learned a lot of things because it is so different from my home country. And she makes me feel safe, she looks after me like my mother. Every time I when I return from school she always asks me like how I was, everything okay, are you alright and she like to cook Thai food for me.

The first day I came to school, I was worried if I could join with my friend or can I understand what the teacher said in classroom but is not as I thought. All of my friends are good with me and the teachers are very welcoming.

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Ning, China

My name is Ning Fan and I am from Luoyang, China. I was an international student of Charles Campbell College from 2010 to 2013. Moreover, it was an honour to be an International Student Captain of Charles Campbell College in 2013. I still remember the time when I was in Charles Campbell College.

My teachers were always very patient and kind to me. I developed my skills in writing and speaking in English with their help and also enhanced the culture understanding of Australia in class. Later, I achieved a satisfactory grade in Year 12 to enter University of Adelaide for the tertiary study in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering. Now I have graduated from this course in May 2018 and I have found a job in a pharmaceutical and biotechnological company in Hangzhou, China. I plan to go back to China for the next few years. However, I will never forget the experience of studying in Adelaide.

This experience helped me to develop skills in the professional area and also abilities for problem solving. I built up the confidence to overcome challenges in my life as well. Finally, I want to say thanks to my family, teachers and friends. Their support and encouragement helps me a lot in my life. I appreciated it.

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Aiko, Thailand

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Being able to come to South Australia is a once in a lifetime opportunity that has been one of the best decision in my life that I have made for my future and learning experience. Although I was thoroughly surprised by numerous other things when I first arrived, I had no difficulty adapting to the Australian way of life. Accommodating myself to the lifestyle here has made me more confident, responsible, and has greatly improved my time management skills. Not to mention, my English has also been improved dramatically. I was only able to accomplish all of the things mentioned due to the support from my parents, host family, and my peers as well as the support system for students at Adelaide High School.

This past 2 years has been an incredibly rewarding experience that has taught me many valuable life lessons as well as leave me looking forward to spending the rest of my high school and university days here.

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Noah, Germany

The orientation-program held on the first two days really helped me getting confident with the school, the language and all the forms and let my concerns disappear. For the next few days I got a buddy that showed me the school, especially the facilities. He also took me to his classes and got me into the first contact with other australian students. The students here at Seaview High School are very open and friendly and they integrated me from the beginning which helped me a lot. Also the care group teachers and the team for the international students really care about every individual, their well being and their education. Everytime I had questions because of travelling as an international student or changing a subject they were able to help me quickly.

My personal highlight of term one was the sports day which was held at the end of the term. It was well organized and I had a lot of fun. Another great thing and new experience for me is the huge amount of subjects being offered at Seaview High School. I am able to do my favourite sport tennis as a subject at school and there are lots of other subjects that you can chose. For example dance, food and hospitality or legal studies. The facilities are equipped with good and new stuff especially the science and computer rooms.

I am really looking forward to the second term and the rest of my stay here in Adelaide at the Seaview High School.

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Laura, Germany

My time in Australia was simply amazing! A huge thank you to everybody for being so welcoming and friendly. I´m looking back to a great time at Victor Harbor High School, where I had the opportunity to make some great friendships and experiences I´ll never forget!

I enjoyed every minute here, even when the weather was bad. It was so fun to be part of the rugby team, getting my boat license in Marine Studies, going fishing, bike riding and even camping at rainy Deep Creek in Outdoor Education. I also had a nice time at Kangaroo Island, which was unfortunately my only travel around Australia, but I´m looking forward to visit Australia, and of course Victor Harbor, again!

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Giulia, Italy

Hi, I’m Giulia.I’m an exchange student from Italy and I have been in Australia for four months now. My first purpose coming to Australia was to improve my English. After this period that I spent here at Seaview High School I can actually say that I have learnt more than just English. I met amazing and friendly people from this country and from all over the world sharing moments that I will never forget.

I had the possibility to study having kind and nice teachers who were always present to help me if I needed. Being a student at Seaview High School here in Adelaide gave me the opportunity to live incredible experiences as for example skiing at Falls Creek & being part of the School Open Girls volleyball team.

I really would like to have more time to spend here next year as part of this community, an experience that I would recommend to everyone.

Giulia – Adelaide, Seaview High School

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Koshi, Japan

Koshi chose to come to Adelaide “because Adelaide is famous for art. I have been dancing for about 8 years. So I was looking forward to learn dance as well.”“I am studying Year 11 but doing a Year 12 dance class.” Koshi’s Year 11 subjects are photography, modern history, drama, math apps, furniture and ESL (English Second Language). “I decided to do these subjects because I wanted to study what I cannot learn in Japan. Charles Campbell is really good Arts school, therefore I chose lots of Arts subjects this year.” Koshi is also attending a Dance Studio as an extra.

“Because Adelaide is a very small city, you can network with famous dance people and companies. I worked with famous dance choreographers and companies and I talked to these people in workshops. I love the Fringe Art Festival in Adelaide. My most memorable experience is a workshop with the Sydney Dance Company. Sydney dance Company is my dream dance company. That was amazing experience.”

Koshi 2“I spend relax time in Adelaide more than when I was in Tokyo. School, dance and catch up with friends. I have lots of free time so I could think about my future in that time. In Tokyo everything are really busy and fast, so I really like life in Adelaide.”

“After I graduate high school in Japan, I am thinking of studying dance full time. I haven’t decided yet, so I will make decision with my teacher and parents in next year.”

Koshi, Tokyo, Charles Campbell College

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