As the old Chinese saying goes, “Read ten thousand books, travel ten thousand miles.” As far as I am concerned, to some extent, experience is more crucial than books. Thanks to the opportunity offered by Macao Polytechnic Institute (MPI), thanks to the Professional Pathways Australia (PPA) program held by Monash College, I learned and enjoyed myself in Australia over the past three weeks.

This August, I was honored to be given the opportunity by MPI to participate in the three-week study tour in Melbourne, Australia. It was my first time studying and living with locals in an English spoken country. I saw something special, I tried something new, and most importantly, I learned something useful! This valuable study tour experience was great since what I gained cannot easily be learned solely by studying in the classroom. It is only by studying abroad but that can I learn those so-called “soft skills”, which are critical in the globalized 21st century.

After studying for three years in Macau, I firmly came to realize that those academic "hard skills" can be definitely taught in classes; however, the 21st century students like me who are in demand must confidently command a set of soft skills effortlessly: leadership, international communication, charisma, teamwork, interdisciplinary problem solving, and cultural awareness. With the rapid globalization of the 21st century, students like me who wish to be globally competent leaders in any field are required to have a set of skills that can only be learned through experience. Luckily, I learned them all through the PPA program. In this program, we had a variety of classes that involved different types, such as public speaking skills, international collaboration, language development, personal critical thinking, and problem solving skills etc. The tutors Mark and Kerina brought us together, incubated our growth, and challenged my peers and me to solve problems through cooperation and collaboration. In additional to gaining knowledge, we also built friendship through communicating with both local and other international students. We exchanged our dreams and life experiences, motivated each other and moved forward together just like a family.

 After taking regular classes, we also traveled around in Melbourne and explored the beauties of the city. Walking on the graffiti streets in the city center, I was surprised by the amazing arts that showed in this world-class city. Visiting the State Library of Victoria, I was stunned while indulging in such amazing architecture. Feeling the breeze on Philip Island and the Twelve Apostles, I was amazed by their beauty but still could not believe the splendor of the nature.   

I still remember that in my application, my goals were simple: “I have a dream that one day English will be my second language; I have a dream that one day I will be a globally competitive student; I also have a dream that one day I will be more familiar with various cultures and help the rest of the world to know China.” Today, I know my goals were achieved thanks to this Overseas Study Program. The knowledge I learned via this study tour will definitely benefit my future, and I am ready for the next new journey!