My Experiences in Australia
So, to be honest, the flight was hard. It was way too long. But after 3 months here in Australia, I can say for sure that every minute on that plane pays off. It’s probably the best time of my life. And my English says thank you as well.
I’m staying in Sunshine Beach, Queensland, Australia. The name reflects the life style. The first day when my host family took me around, I just thought: “I am now in paradise!” But after a while, even paradise becomes everyday life and now the beach isn’t quite as special anymore.
I have found many friends. Yeah, actually after the first day in school I already got about 15 new friends. Now I have about 100. Australians are really friendly! I’ll be really sad when I have to leave. After just 3 days at school (my 8th day in Australia), they asked me if I “wanna go to the beach” with them. Of course! Australian beaches are beautiful – especially when you are from Germany! When you are 15 or 16 years of age you prefer doing stuff with your friends rather than with your host family. So it’s the beach – or shopping malls when it is rainy. It’s easy to get there, no matter where you live. And there is a party every weekend, so there are other things for you to do if you don’t want to go to the beach or the mall.
Or course, you have to go to school, but it’s pretty easy compared to Germany. At home, I am in year 9/10 and here in Australia I’m in the second semester of year 10, but I chose some classes in year 11. After about 2 or 3 weeks you have nearly no problems to understand what the teachers are saying and you can work like you would work in a German school. You just have to write one or two exams and assignments per semester. Pretty easy! But that’s the Queensland school system. It may be a bit different from some of the other states in Australia.
The host families are all really friendly and you can always count on them. If you got any problems you can ask them for help and they usually find a solution. And there are other people looking after you, too. The Queensland government has people to take care of you and there are school staff members, who help organize your schedule and plan trips for you, like surfing lessons or a visit to the world famous Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin)
I recommend Skype to stay in contact your family at home and Skype or Facebook to keep in touch with your friends. Facebook is also the social network the Australian teenagers use most. If you got any relatives or friends without internet, just send them a text message (SMS) once a week or so and write a post card from time to time. Moreover, you can buy Skype-credit and call your friends’ landline phone.
Last but not least, let me say that my organisation is iSt. It’s a really good organization. Before we left for Australia we had an orientation weekend. For me, the most important thing at that weekend was to find friends who were looking forward to the same adventure. We can always e-mail or call iSt if there’s a question or a problem. I usually receive their answer one or two days after I sent the e-mail.
So that’s it and finally I can just say this: if you got the opportunity you should take it and spend a year abroad. It’s a really, really great experience!
Sunshine Beach State High School, Queensland