I would like to express my gratitude to my school, for having chosen me to participate in this summer’s study program, which allowed me to learn more about the world…

The reason that I applied for this program is because I wanted to know more about Monash Univerisity’s debating team, which is a well-known debating team that has won numerous world tournaments. But because of various reasons, I couldn’t really get in touch with the debaters there in the end, which is a pity for me! However, I still found myself learning and experiencing a lot of things on this trip, like the culture, communication skills, general knowledge, beautiful natural places, etc. At the end, it was worth it.

As a student who majors in language and translation, knowing the cultures of different countries is like one of my responsibilities , as they say - a translator needs to know a little of everything. And from my perspective, culture is something that people can’t learn, you need to visit that county and experience it. More importantly, it’s not just about experiencing things; it’s about gaining communication skills as well. Since you ought to know one’s culture in order to communicate well. Why so? It’s because different nations could behave very differently, in terms of their habits, social etiquettes, ways of talking, etc. For example, from my observation, Australians are used to greet everyone they see while we greet our friends and teachers everyday as well. But one thing I found interesting is that the majority of Australians greet bus drivers too, and they’ll say “thank you” or “see you later” to the driver when they get off; it’s something that people in Macau don’t usually do unless they need to enquire about something with the driver. I think it is a pretty good practice as it made the relationship between people less distant, and I did it when I was there as well. But I think it will be difficult to bring this practice to Macau where people need to squeeze into the bus and won’t have time to talk with the driver… Anyway, going to Australia helped me to have a deeper understanding of how Australians behave and their culture, and I consider this my biggest lesson from the trip.

Another highlight of the trip was my experience in Blue Mountains and the Twelve Apostles. I can really feel the power of nature there; it is something that I could never experience in this urbanised city. In the Blue Mountains, I did my first hiking up a “real” mountain; although the weather wasn’t perfect, I did enjoy the process of exploring places and picnicking with my friends. It was like going on a little adventure! In the Twelve Apostles, I rode in a helicopter for the first time in my life. That was really exciting. Although the price of riding the helicopter wasn’t cheap at all, I think that might be my only time of travelling to the Twelve Apostles, since you need to travel a very long way from the city to there by bus. It took hours to arrive there, and most importantly, travelling by bus for a long time isn’t a comfortable thing to do. Therefore, I decided to fully utilise this chance and “see” the Twelve Apostles as much as I could! And I wasn’t disappointed, the view is incredibly beautiful.

Last but not least, another thing I enjoyed most about the trip was the process of making friends, including my teachers there, and classmates from other parts of the world. Because of this trip, I got the chance to meet a lot of nice buddies; we went through a lot of things together, solved lots of problems together, and helped each other. I consider this the most precious thing I gained from the trip. As they say, money can’t buy friendships; therefore, they are one of the biggest treasures on earth. 