|語言暨翻譯高等學校 School of Languages and Translation
黃丹妮 (中英翻譯課程) HUANG DANNI
At the very end of this summer, with full expectations and excitement, we departed from Macau, via Hong Kong, heading for Brisbane, Australia. After a whole night’s journey of about more than ten hours or so, winter Brisbane greeted exhausted us with a gorgeous daybreak. Having finally passed through all the cumbersome exit formalities, we stepped onto the land of Australia with us our heavy coats on. However, we immediately found out that, “Oh God, it isn’t cold at all here!” And this warm sunshine right at the beginning of our two-week life in Australia left a lasting impression on us.
My homestay family was the Lewis family, who treated me as nice as one of the members of their own family. The moment when I just arrived, all family members were not at home, as it was a Saturday. Later, after I met all of them whom I could get on quite well with, I found it was not that difficult to communicate with them as expected. The Lewis family was keen in sports, and they played golf every weekend. Di, my homestay mother, said to me, “You mentioned that you’re a music lover, but unfortunately, our family are non-musical at all!” Maybe it’s me who should say “unfortunately, I’m not at all sporty…” Being different from Macau, Australians’ leisure life tends to be quite relaxed and carefree, and they have a good balance between family and work. That’s what life should be like, isn’t it? Now back in Macau, I really miss those home-made yummy dishes. Take my word for it, you could never have expected to see such a complete set of kitchenware in a typical Chinese family! And what’s more, they even have two BBQ grills! I once noticed that my homestay mother had a detailed dinner planer, which was written with suppers to prepare and goods to buy. During the two weeks’ stay, I never had a dinner that was exactly the same! Even when they were all going out for parties, they would still prepare the meal for me. And of course, sometimes they also take me out for dinner.
As for our study experiences in the University of Queensland, I must say that it was really awesome! At first, I thought it would be just a “nothing special” English course, but after we got the course timetable, I discovered that the arrangements were far more interesting than what we could have imagined. We studied in the building of ICTE – Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education, where we met students from different parts of the world. The teacher mainly in charge of us was Arizio from New Zealand, with whom we truly enjoyed a good time. Our study was not limited to the classroom. We had couples of exciting activities, including visiting Royal Brisbane Exhibition showgrounds, EKKA, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, as well as Port of Brisbane; and we also got the chance to experience a city tour guided by other local Australian students in UQ.
I still clearly remember the beautiful scenery on the last day, when I was walking through the campus back home: it was already around sunset, and a breeze rose, bringing a gentle and pleasant coolness in the air. With a temperature as high as 29 degrees Celsius at noon, I almost forgot that it was winter. On the grassy lawn, I saw the long shadow of myself lingering; I saw students laying down here and there reading books; and I saw big birds tottered around to pick up their dinner. What a beautiful winter! What a fascinating campus!
To be honest, the two-week stay is really a short time. As in what I wrote to my homestay family, “It seemed that I just arrived at this lovely house, but it was already time to say good-bye.” At the beginning, I simply could not have imagined how much I would be able to get out of such a limited time, yet actually, what I had obtained upon finishing this summer programme was far beyond my imagination. During this precious time, I studied at the college; I visited in the city. I managed to make myself understood; I tried to communicate with different people, and I learned to be a member of an Aussie family. This memorable summer, I experienced a rather different life here, in Brisbane, Australia.