MPI’s Students Expanded their International Horizons in Australia
Year 3 – Chinese-Portuguese Translation and Interpretation
After three weeks of business programs in Australia, I gained a lot of experience, especially English communication skills, learned about Australian culture and met a lot of friends who are from Japan and different parts of Mainland China.
In the process of learning, I learned the different teaching methods between Chinese and Australian professors. I enjoyed Australian teaching methods so much, because in the classroom everyone interacts with each other, the teacher encourages students to be more confident in order to let them express themselves and their ideas even if they are not good at English. Sometimes after lunch, everyone felt tired and dull, but the teacher would carry out various games to wake us up. All of us were very happy to join these games, because it refreshed our body and our mind. Hence, we were more effectively able to absorb and receive knowledge.
I am very grateful that I could join this exchange programme. Because of it, I have broadened my perspective and knowledge, and my level of English has greatly improved. I became more able to communicate, and that made me better understand my own personality.
What I treasure the most from this trip are actually the bonds established among people. There are different types of bonds between particles in chemistry, yet in my point of view, there is only one type of bond between people, friendship. Love is cultivated on the basis of friendship. There is also friendship among family members. My biggest harvest from this trip is the people I met on this trip. The world is too big; there are 7.5 billion people in this world. Yet the world is small, small enough for me to encounter these people and make friends with them. I may not seem like an easy going person, so I would really like to thank my new friends for starting a conversion with me first. Life with these people in Melbourne would certainly become part of the irreplaceable memories throughout my whole life. Lastly, I would like to quote from a short speech I made at the graduation ceremony at Monash, “At this moment, I wish I could borrow Doreamon’s time machine and go back to the first day I came to Monash College, standing in front of people in room 7.04, introducing myself to all of you.” If I had had the chance to go back to that time, I would have treasured the time spent with all the people there much more, especially my homestay host, Eva.
In addition to class at the university, we also visited the Immigration Museum, Traveller’s Bridge, the Yarra City Council and so on. After each visit, we were asked to do a presentation. In the very limited amount of time, we learned how to share and discuss ideas in groups and presentation skills. After the presentation, the teacher gave us some useful feedback and suggestions, so that we knew and could learn from our advantages and shortcomings. By comparing our first and the last presentation, we found that although there were only a few reports, we did have great improvement and also became more confident to speak English in front of the whole class.
In this exchange programme, each one lived with a homestay family. Some students lived with a family, and some lived with only an old woman and a few dogs. I think this was a great experience. In addition to Practice English every day, I also learned a lot of local culture and living habits. I lived with a young couple. At the night of the first weekend, they took me to their parents' home. They also had one Chinese student living with their brothers and sisters. All of us were very happy, and it was amazing, like being in a movie.
During these three weeks, I indeed learned and experienced so many things. It was also the first time for me to live with a homestay family. What I have to mention is that there are several cultural differences I had to overcome. First, the distance between the city campus and my homestay family was quite far, and it took at least 1 hour to reach the campus. I had to wake up very early in the morning, not like in Macau. Second, in order to have enough sleep time to get up early in the morning, I had to sleep no later than 11:00 P.M., which took me a couple of days to get used to this change of habit. Third, the dining time was set at around 6:30 P.M, and I felt quite hungry when I went to bed. Unfortunately, there was not any convenience store or restaurant operating after 10:00P.M. In my living area, I had to cook or save the food from dinner to have it before going to bed.
Last but not the least, this programme made me like the city. I really hope to have the opportunity to participate in such similar programs again, because every trip will give me different experiences and enable me to meet different people.
Year 2 – Computing
My three weeks of living in Melbourne is over. Time flies! On 29 July, I started my journey to Melbourne with schoolmates. At that time, I was really excited as well as a little bit nervous. I thought, what would Melbourne look like? Would my host family be friendly to me? Would I be able to communicate with others in English? There were too many questions in my head. On 30 July, I arrived in Melbourne with my luggage, my expectations and my nervousness. While, today, I just want to say, “I love Melbourne, I love my host family and I have more confidence to speak English.”
The living environment in Melbourne is pretty good. In Melbourne, I saw the most wonderful lawns, the most blue sky, the most warm sunshine which are much better than I had ever seen. During the three weeks, I was attracted to the sky of Melbourne. Every day there was always somebody to share photos of the Melbourne sky on WeChat. The sky was so lovely that I didn’t know how to describe it in words. Furthermore, I love the cute pigeons in Melbourne. I could see them everywhere, such as on the road, on many small squares or even on the train tracks.
For the people I met in Melbourne, they were pretty nice. They would smile at me even though we were strangers. Every time I asked them for directions, they always showed me the way with a big smile. My host family was also very kind. They treated me very well. They provided me with many kinds of fruit and prepared curry rice or spaghetti or some other delicious food for me every day. I enjoyed the day living in my host family’s home. When I was going to leave, my host father told me they would miss me very much. He said, “Life is like this, always someone comes, someone goes.” I was very impressed with that saying at that moment.
While studying at Monash University, I appreciated that I met lots of energetic and kind teachers. The teachers in Monash University always encouraged us to be confident and be ourselves. They taught us with enthusiasm and helped us to be confident. I like one teacher named Lenka most. When she taught us, she always could come up with many interesting stories to make us happy. Also, during her class, we could do many kinds of activities with classmates; the activities were really funny and were good for us to raise our spirit. I felt dynamic and relaxed during her class. Also, there were many classmates from China’s various places in the class. They are all friendly, and I am glad to be friends with them.
Although Melbourne was really a good place to live, I still needed a certain time to adapt to the living style in Melbourne. In the first week, I had to get up at 6:30am every day, and then I had to go to school by bus and by train for nearly an hour. Furthermore, I usually was back home not later than 6:00pm. Because I lived in a suburb, and it was very dark, there were almost no people outside after 7:00pm. What’s more, it was winter in Melbourne, so it was really cold, especially in the morning. The most important thing to adapt to was the bus in Melbourne. In Melbourne, the bus had accurate arrival time. For me, the buses which passed by my home were 20 minutes apart on weekdays and 1 hour apart on weekend. It was inconvenient for me to go to other places. However, it was a pity that when I completely adapted to the living style in Melbourne, it was time to back to Macao.
In short, this is a really wonderful Overseas Study Programme. Through the programme, I gradually came to know people’s lifestyle in Melbourne and I have broadened my horizons. The three weeks were an unforgettable experience for me. I will miss Melbourne. I will miss my host family. I will miss lots of friends I met in Melbourne. I will never ever forget the days I lived in Melbourne for three weeks.
Year 2 – Accounting
Time goes so quickly. Even though it ended two weeks before, everything in Melbourne is still so vivid and colorful in my mind. I feel so lucky that I could join this Overseas Study Programme, and thanks to this programme, I can have some brilliant experience to share with you all.
To be honest, I felt nervous before I went to Melbourne, and I believe most of my schoolmates had the same feelings as me. It was the first time I went abroad without my family. The English environment, the new school, the uncertainty about my homestay family, all of these were big challenges for me. And this time, I had to handle the challenges all by myself.
I still remember the first day I went to Melbourne. The sky was blue and clear, the air was fresh but cold, the city started a new day, and so did I. After meeting my friendly host family, I began my first trip in Melbourne – from my new family house to Monash college. It was a long trip, but was not boring at all.
Then, the first day of Overseas Study Programme started. I went into the meeting room, looked around, finding out that there were so many students from other universities. They were strangers to me, so I stayed away from them and was afraid of talking to them. Luckily enough, during the whole three weeks, our trainers always tried their best to mix us up, and I got plenty of opportunities to get along with these students. After 21 days’ cooperation and teamwork, I had made friends with most of them, and had a good time with them all.
I knew that the programme would involve presentations, but I didn’t know that I could form a presentation team with Japanese students. In general group discussion, it was unavoidable for us to speak some Chinese. But this time, the Japanese students had pushed me to speak English. That’s very helpful for me. Moreover, we had some ‘small talks’ in the break time to share our cultures with each other. They even taught me how to speak Japanese. These lessons are treasures for me since they improved my presentation skills, and, at the same time, helped me to talk with foreigners more fluently and confidently.
Classes in Melbourne were not only in traditional classrooms, but also in Melbourne city itself. We went to Immigration Museum and the Travellers Bridge to see how immigrants came to Australia over the years. We also did a company visit to get some basic knowledge of the industry situation. After class, my friends and I went to the National Art Galleries, and the exhibitions there were extraordinary. This kind of ‘class’ showed me a new term called ‘learning from observation’, and it’s very useful in both my study and my life.
Apart from things I learned from daily lectures, I also got a completely new image of Australia and its people. What impresses me most is its multi-culture. Australia accepts every single culture with no discrimination, and everyone here can find a place to live a happy life. People with different cultures smile to each other, and then they can start a ‘small talk’ with a simple beginning, ‘Bad weather, huh?’. The weather in winter may be chilling, but Australians are always warm.
All in all, I love Melbourne, I love the life here. After this programme, I see myself become a better person, and I really appreciate this journey.
Ieong Chi Mui
Year 2 – Social Work
Perhaps life is a journey, but we can only follow the time which lets all things go except memories and feelings. After this Overseas Study Programme, I don’t have a lot of regrets, but I have a lot of impressions.
Firstly, I want to mention that the education I received, is totally beyond my expectation. There is a big contrast between Chinese education and Australian education. In Melbourne, they are called “trainers”, not “teachers”. These trainers tried their best to create a variety of ways to teach English in order to increase our enthusiasm for English. There were many activities during this programme. I had many enjoyable experiences at the company visit and the Immigration Museum. I learnt a lot about business and workplace considerations. For example, culture, communication styles, workplace environments, branding, etc. I think dressing up in different kinds of national costume was the most interesting thing in the Immigration Museum, because total immersion can bring us an empathic feeling for another culture. I love to experience different cultures, especially their national costumes. In addition, the trainers treated us as friends, they could remember all our names even on the second day. During the classes, they shared many special experiences with us, and made us feel like their friends. They helped us to build our confidence, so we could then be brave enough to speak English to native speakers. I really appreciate their teaching approach.
Secondly, Australia is a multicultural society, because it is one of the most suitable countries for people to live in. So many foreigners come from different countries and immigrate to Australia. There were some Japanese students in our class. I think the most challenging part of the team project was to communicate in English. Because we come from different countries, we have different native languages. I learnt how to communicate in English effectively. I have been able to practice my skills. For example, team work, presentation skills, problem solving, leadership, communication skills and networking. As a result, we had a lot of chances to be familiar with other countries’ cultures, and keep in touch with international issues. In addition, I was living in a homestay. My homestay was with an Indian family, they were willing to share their culture with me. We learned more about the knowledge which is not included in general English. So, joining this study programme can make our minds become more international. This can also make me know more about Australia and other countries’ cultures.
The most beautiful aspect is not always the scenery, but the people in it. I think Australia is more like “peaches cultures”. The best impression for me was the bus drivers in Melbourne. I really respect this career. In Melbourne, the bus drivers are very patient and responsible, they are very willing to answer my questions and explain to me which bus station is the most suitable for me to get on and off the bus at. Passengers are also very enthusiastic to help me, this action really touched my heart. Furthermore, every passenger says “good morning” and “good afternoon” to the bus driver when they get on the bus, and they also say “thank you” when they get off the bus; I consider that this habit is very worthwhile for us to learn. We need to bring this habit to Macao, because taking the bus in Macao is entirely different.
Eventually, I want to emphasize that after I left Melbourne, I now know that we need to grab the opportunities to go outside and increase our knowledge. There is an old saying, “A man who travels far knows more. You can learn new things at every step.”