|管理科學高等學校 School of Business
凌乙力 (工商管理課程) LING YILI
Arrival & First Day
Bright sunshine, the eyeful of green, fresh air, clean streets, friendly people, these are all about Brisbane——the city that I fell in love with at first sight. After a tiring eight-hour-flight, we finally set foot on the land of Queensland, Australia. From the time we got off the plane, I knew that a new life full of experiences, joys and excitements had just begun.
The first day of arrival was memorable. I had my first meeting with the hostess of my homestay family, Ms Anne Love-Hoskins at the University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus. She was so nice and easy-going that we talked all the way home on the drive. Our house was in the beautiful suburb Kenmore, where there was a beautiful park located next to the house where you could often see lots of birds. After settling down, Anne introduced the family members to me and showed me around the house. Everything there seemed new to me: the stylish layout of the house, the food, the way they talked, etc., and I was ready to get oriented quickly and enjoy the new lifestyle.
English Learning & School Life in UQ
In Brisbane, we spent most of our time learning English at the ICTE-UQ (Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education). Although it was only two weeks, everyone learned a lot. In class, we learned both skills and knowledge. We learned English speaking by practicing pronunciation, interviewing UQ students and making conversations with strangers; we learned English listening by listening to some famous Australian songs and watching movies; we learned English usages by having a better understanding of the English names, time and places; we also learned Brisbane and Australian contemporary culture by talking about homestay experiences, place of interests in Brisbane, Australian food and animals, the interesting aboriginal culture and so on.
Riz, the Brazilian gentleman who taught us for most of the courses, was so knowledgeable and humorous that everybody loved him. There was always laughter in class; he often taught through lively activities which were really unique and effective, so we just developed English gradually and naturally. The interactions and cooperation between all of us had greatly strengthened my overall English language skills and most importantly, I found myself fully accustomed to speaking English all the time!
I think it was so great to fully experience the academic diversification in UQ, one of the top 50 universities in the world. What I appreciated most was the very different learning environment which gave me educational opportunities that may not be available on my home campus. New faculty, specialized courses, new teaching strategies, educational format and philosophies, all these have broadened my academic horizons, especially in English learning.
School life in UQ was the most impressive part to me. The campus was so large that I got lost several times, the libraries, the tennis center, the business, social-science and law school, etc. Every building seemed to have its own story as did every tree and every pass-by. During the school days, every morning, when I got off the express bus and walked to the campus, I got a strong feeling of hope and happiness. Imagine taking a deep breathe of fresh air and then opening your eyes and look up: the sky was so blue, the bright and soft morning sun shone though the trees and shadowed on the grass. You could see the university students sitting on it having their breakfast or just reading a book and enjoying the warmth of the sun as free birds flew in the skies above.
When we were at campus, we had all of our lunches at the school canteen where a variety of delicious food and specialties were offered. Chinese food, Japanese Sushi, Indian curry, Korean yogurt, Italian spaghetti, Brazil chicken wings, American sandwiches... Two weeks’ time was just too short to try for them all!
Experiences & Explorations in Brisbane
Living in a homestay was a great experience. I appreciate this opportunity to learn about Australian life and culture. The hostess Anne introduced a lot about Brisbane to me including transport information, local culture etc. She also recommended me a lot of places to visit. During my stay, Anne made me breakfast and dinner everyday; I will never forget the cupcakes, chicken pies, pineapple rice and other delicious food that she cooked for me. We chatted over dinner, talking about each other’s daily life, memories of childhood, family members, hobbies, differences between Australian and Chinese people and so on. Both of us enjoyed it very much. I had a wonderful time with Anne and the whole family, and I hope I can go back to Brisbane and visit them again one day.
Life in Brisbane was colorful. In addition to living with the homestay family and learning English at school, we also spent our spare time exploring the city and discovering its beauty and mystery. I went to the lovely Brisbane Botanic Garden where there were plants from all over the world. We also went to the Mt Coot-tha where you can have a panoramic view of the whole city. The school organized us a city tour to many places including the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary where you can find many typical Australian animals; the Ekka, the annual agricultural show of Queensland, which features fresh food from all over Queensland, farm animal shows, rides, fireworks and so on; the South Bank beach, the Museum of Queensland, the Museum of Brisbane and the Art Gallery. I also went to Mount Tamborine with my friends, enjoying the bushwalking in the beautiful rainforest and seeing the amazing creature called glow worms which I had never seen before in the cave. As for shopping, we went to the shopping paradise Queen Street shopping mall and the Brisbane Arcade five times where there were a lot of souvenirs and specialties worth buying; We watched a movie in 4D and rode a roller coaster which was really thrilling and exciting at the largest theme park in the Southern Hemisphere, Warner Bros Movie World. There was so much love in Brisbane, how I wish I could stay there for another two weeks! The people there were really friendly and helpful, too. I will always remember that every time people got on and off the bus, they would said “hello”and “thank you” to the bus driver, which impressed me very much. And when you asked for help on the street, they just stopped and patiently helped you to find your way. Lovely city, lovely people, I have completely fallen in love with Brisbane.
Farewell & Gains
All good things come to be an end, and it’s finally the time for us to say goodbye. Goodbye my homestay family, goodbye UQ and goodbye Brisbane, I will miss everything there. To me, the short two-week learning and living experience was life-changing and was one of the most significant things in my life.
I would like to thank the school for providing such a summer program. Through it, I developed and integrated my English communication skills by being surrounded by English on a daily basis and seeing and hearing it in Australia’s unique cultural context; I became better acquainted with the region; I learned a lot about Australian culture; I made friends with locals and many other people from different countries and, finally, last but not the least I understood life and people from a different point of view; I got my horizons broadened and realized my personal growth. I am now ready to go back to my college life and work even harder for my future. These are lessons I can’t gain from a classroom setting at home.
All in all, the trip to Brisbane and the learning experiences in the University of Queensland are so far the best thing to happen to me in my college life; I will treasure these memories forever and I believe that more treasures are yet to come, awaiting my exploration.