On the 2nd of August in 2014, I diction my tour to Australia, actually, it was an exchange programme which was organized by Macao Polytechnic Institute.
In this programme, we would have lessons in Monash College Australia which would help us learn more about Australia and Business English. Regarding accommodation, we stayed with our homestay family, in order to improve our spoken English by communicating with the Australian family and also promote better understanding about the Australian culture.
Since I am the only daughter in my family, my parents care about me very much and are very protective. At home, my mother did almost all the housework and I was rather dependent.
As it is the first time for me to go elsewhere and live on my own, without my parents, I started to feel a bit scared and nervous in a few days before departure. I was wondering what kind of homestay I would have, and whether I can solve my problems when I was on the trip without relying on my parents.
The departure day is quite an emotional day for me, as I thought that I needed to go to a foreign country without my parents and any friends, I was feeling really nervous. With such an emotion, the plane landed in Melbourne and I started my three weeks in this city.
As soon as we left the airport, we took the bus to the Clayton campus to join our homestay family, in there; we had our first greeting with our homestay parents. My homestay father seemed very nice to me, which did make me feel relieved, and their home also made me feel warm and comfortable.
As I lived under one roof with them, it was a very good opportunity for me to share our different life styles and cultures with each other and to ask them questions like how Australian lives are, what their favorite food is, what people usually do in their leisure time. In return, I told her about lifestyles of Macau people and what is great about Macau. They were quite impressed by Macau being such a small yet vivid city.
School work there is not very tough, the lessons in Monash College were interesting, and it did help us to have better understanding about Australia and the Australian culture, such as their slangs, and it also gave us the opportunity to communicate with students from different countries.
For the lunch, the homestay family prepared sandwiches for us, which was never my favorite, but I had another choice, I preferred Asian food after all. The Asian restaurants under the college were not bad, maybe because the large population of Asians in the university makes this a competitive market. The Asian restaurants there are worth visiting.
Being able to go to the Australian as an exchange student for three weeks is really a treasure opportunity for me to travel around Australia, it is crucial to go around and have a look. Besides making friends from all over the world, such as Korea and Japan, I went to a lot of places during the exchange. In the weekends, I attended some local tours with my friends, which travelling to the Great Ocean road, to some farms where kangaroos and koalas were everywhere. In these tours, I learned more about Australia and it was really interesting.
Doing a study exchange can be an uphill struggle: the first time to leave home, the first time to take care of myself, the first time to attend lectures without lecture notes, the first time to speak English every time I bump into someone, etc. As an undergraduate, a study exchange experience is very valuable. I learned something from each mistake I made and each obstacle I encountered. This is a good time to explore my talents and interests by putting words into action, for example, by participating in various activities, reading more and discussing my ideas with others. The most important thing is to act, and not be afraid of making mistakes.