How time flies, two weeks have passed after I came back from Monash University in Melbourne. Before I went to Melbourne, I had set three goals for myself. They are improving my spoken English, broadening my horizon, and getting a good picture of the university in Australia in order to help me make the final decision about where to finish my master degree. Now, reviewing the three weeks that I spent in Australia, it seems like that I have achieved more than my original goals.
In the following paragraph, I’d like to summarize and share my experience in Melbourne in two parts, study and life.
On August 22, 2014, we started our class Global Professionals Program (GPP) organized by Professional Pathways Australia, a division of Monash College. The GPP is mainly related to three topics which are business culture, business skills and business writing. Besides the coursework, we had to write a journal everyday and submit them every Monday to our trainer. In addition, we had two industry engagement activities, which took place at Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd and National Australia Bank and one Cultural Interaction Activity. We may not like writing up the reflection after our visits but it really helps me to improve our writing skills.
To be honest, I enjoy the classes in Melbourne very much. There are two main reasons. First of all, there were two Japanese students who came from Tokyo in our class and one of them was in the same group with me. Since he does not understand Chinese and I do not speak Japanese, we had to speak English and I have experienced the cultural diversity in this way. Secondly, our trainers use new and diverse forms of teaching by having many group discussions and small games which can help us learn things in a relaxed environment.
However, just as there are two sides to every coin, along the pleasure there must be some difficulties at the same time. My accents and limited vocabulary have become the two main obstructions on the way to improve my spoken English. Maybe practice makes perfect. So I will participate in the English debates in this semester and force myself to speak more.
This is the first time I lived with a home stay family in a foreign country, therefore I feel both excited and nervous. There are four family members in that family and, among them; the mother is a photographer as well as a full time student in the university. The father is a development manager and they have one ten year old girl and one fourteen year old boy. They own a really big house with a small one separate from it where I lived. They are nice people but they were too busy to take care of me. Therefore, I had to prepare my own breakfast, which is usually cereal with milk, and lunch which is always sandwich with butter, cheese and ham. Actually, there are various types of food in the fridge, but, unfortunately not all of them were for me since some they bought for themselves. Not surprisingly, after eating this kind of food for three weeks, I developed several aphthous ulcer in my mouth.
It seems this really depends on our lucks. Some of my classmates’ home stay families were really good. In any case, this is a totally new experience for me and I am thankful.
All in all, it is my pleasure to have this chance to Monash University and it has cultivated in me the ability of independent life. Naturally, during the three week period, I have used photos to record some memorable moments.