It was a very challenging time in my life since it was my first time living and studying abroad, but a positive and awesome experience. I tried to take advantage of all of the opportunities I could and make the best of the situation, but I have a few regrets in this experience as well.

I had to balance study and play, contribute enough time and effort to do jobs and improve my multitasking ability in the same time. I had chances to do travelling, and visited most of Melbourne’s attractions.

However, there are a few regrets: I wish I had time to watch Curtis and Devon final footy game, and the homestay mother Nicole said it was a real competitive game and Curtis got the most Fairness prize in the end. Sometimes I wish I had more time to look at other Australian city scenery and watch a sport game in the gym. I regretted that I wasn't able to read the local newspapers, which I always find to be a good way of grounding oneself in the local culture.

I clearly remember that I got up around 6:30 am, hurried to catch the bus, forgot my lunch at home, and met a patient and interesting trainer Mark in my first day of class. Professional Pathways Australia (PPA) is a division of Monash College and it supports international students to fulfill their career ambitions by building the bridge from study to professional employment and is located in a shopping center of the middle of the city.

We took three weeks class about business and I learned a lot about Australian business culture. More importantly, I was impressed by the companies that we visited. In the first week, we went to “Dairy Innovation Australia” which is a company value as a major contributor to the Australian economy. It relies on the ability of the manufacturing sector to be market leaders in a globally competitive environment. The staff showed the manufacturing of milk production processes to us after the presentation about introduction of company background. I was quite astonished by the clear production environment. Then, we visited the NAB (National Australia Bank) which was the most relaxing work place I had ever seen. The NAB’s building is equipped with electronic products which convenience for us to get latest information around the world. Those two experiences, not only opened my mind, but also reminded me that China has many aspects need to improve, especially in the area of technique. It was an unforgettable PPA experience for me. I expanded my business knowledge, but also made great friends and took brilliant classes as well.

I participated in two basketball games (with Curtis and Devon) which were held by the local sport organization. People took children’s sport games seriously and I was astonished by the mature teenage sport system. In my opinion, China has a long way to go to catch up with the developed countries in sports.

I worked really hard at building a life in Melbourne. It made me friendlier and outgoing, eager to meet new people and seek as many different opportunities as possible. I gradually realize how to find a new restaurant, plan a new trip and cooperate with others. What is more, since I had lived with local Australians around a month, I strongly agreed that English is significant and fundamental for communication which I used to think was just a skill of taking examination.

I would recommend MPI students to take this overseas programme. It is a great chance to experience an overseas living and improve English level surrounded by natives. Then, you should prepare to adopt the local Australian food, such as eating sandwiches as lunch for a month. Last but not least, participating in more local activities actively will integrate you into the foreign atmosphere. But no matter what, the right attitude makes exchange worthwhile.

Last, thanks to my homestay family, PPA staff and MPI for giving me the chance to take this overseas programme.