|林美娟 (社會科學學士學位課程 -博彩與娛樂管理專業)|
|Lam Mei Kun (Bachelor of Social Science in Gaming and Recreation Management)|
I joined a three-week intensive Business English Program, which was organized by Macau Polytechnic Institute and Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia, this summer. This was indeed a really good chance for me to improve my English. I was particularly excited because this was my very first time visiting Australia. Even though I have faced quite a few challenges in this program, I have also benefitted tremendously in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
In the first week of my program, I have faced many challenges such as communication problem, an unfamiliar environment, and coping with a different culture. Firstly, I did not understand what the local people around me were saying, and I had difficulty expressing myself. I have always known that my English was not very good, but being there made me realize how bad it really was.
Secondly, at the beginning I really did not like the weather, public transportation, and foods very much. August is the coldest season in Australia; the temperature was only around 4-12 degrees Celsius, and for someone who is from Macao, it is considered cold. Unlike here, most of the Australian public transportation in Melbourne stopped operating after 21:00, so I find it very inconvenient to get around. As for the food, sandwiches and hamburgers are very common among Australians, but unfortunately, like many Chinese people, I need my rice.
Thirdly, at the beginning I was worried about having problems staying at strangers’ house. As part of the program, I was assigned to stay with a local family. The family was originally from England, so we had very different culture, food habits, as well as language. However, they were not only kind and patient with me, but they were extremely helpful and friendly.
Although it was quite a challenge for me at the beginning, my home-stay family has made my stay more enjoyable and interesting. Throughout the program, my home-stay family took very good care of me. Besides offering a safe and comfortable place for me to stay and preparing my meals, they have even tried to cook Chinese food for me and showed me around. They took me to many different popular attractions such as the Great Ocean Road, animal zoos, museums, and churches. For me, the most interesting of all was Morning Ton Vineyard. There, I could sample different kinds of wines which cost me only 5 Australian Dollars. I have also visited the honey factory where I had the opportunity to learn how the bees make pure honey. With all these fun-filled activities, I truly fell in love with this beautiful city.
Additionally, in the Business English Program at Monash University, I have not only learned a lot, but I have also made some good friends. My classmates were from Shanghai, Japan, and Macau. It was amazing that we could meet in Melbourne. Throughout our stay, we have often hung out together. Every day, we had our four hours of fun-filled classes at the university, and after class, we usually went out eating and shopping. Sometimes, we even went to the movies. In the evening, we usually stayed at our own home and relaxed. We all had a lot of fun. That was my most significant thing.
Besides our usual classes, the university has also organized for us to visit two reputable companies: CPA Australia and Ford. I could open my mind and learned more knowledge and engagement from them.
As we all know, Ford is a well-known car manufacturing company. Our visit there enabled us to learn more about the company’s operation and its car models. From what I understand, Ford did not have enough human resources, but it knew how to use technology to automate systems management and reduce the dependence of labor and mistakes. This technology was a good example for solving the problem of having a lack of human resources. Ford Company was extremely careful and serious in manufacturing their cars safely. They would assist their workers in completing their tasks accurately and conveniently. Through this visit, I have learned that technology is very important because using it could improve efficiency of the operation significantly, simplify the process, and enhance the accuracy.To conclude, I am very grateful to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study in Melbourne. Thanks to Macao Polytechnic Institute and Monash University, not only have I improved my English, but I have also broadened my horizons. Through this amazing program, I have learned to become more independent, and most importantly, appreciate different cultures. I will forever treasure these most unforgettable memories.