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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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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