MPI’s Students Expanded their International Horizons in Australia
Chan Sok U
Year 2 – Medical Laboratory Technology
While listening to some classical music and drinking a glass of nice wine, I had my last dinner in Melbourne with my homestay family. Watching the stars above the sky as my homestay host drove me to the airport, I wished I could go back to the first day I arrived at Melbourne. In these three weeks during my stay in Melbourne I met lots of people. I met my first Japanese friends. I met my homestay family. My homestay host is a kind and cheerful woman. From her, I learnt not just vocabulary, but also about the cultures and lifestyles of Australians, and even about the government and laws in Australia. She taught me a lot in every aspect of life. I feel like I am one of her family members and I did enjoy living with her very much.
From this visit, I did not learn things just from college, but more from my real experience. I was surprised by all those beautiful natural sceneries that I cannot see in Macau. The Immigration Museum gave me information about the immigration histories of Australia. The company visit provided me with the working environment and culture of the company. Walking around in the central business district allowed me to feel how life was like living in the city. All of the above things could not be learnt from books, but only from my real experience.
The Overseas Study Programme did provide much support in the academic aspect. At the end of this programme, I became able to start a small talk with people I do not know, while I did not actually know what 'small talk' is before. I had also learnt company culture, which affects not only the company but also the staff. I became more aware of what my weaknesses and strengths and also my work style are, so that when I work in groups, I am able to adjust and fit better into the group. We did not learn the word “teamwork” from the teaching materials. We learnt it from practicing it. We learn it from making mistakes. We did it better and better each time. It is really hard to express everything I learnt from this visit to Melbourne in just words, in this short passage. What is more important to me is that I am able to realize what I have learnt and put it into practice in real life.
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.
Che Man Cheng
Year 3 – Chinese-English Translation and Interpretation
“Good day, mate!” That’s the most common greeting among Australians, and the most unforgettable words that still echo in my brain. Australia is the farthest country that I have ever been to and it was my first time going to a country in which local people speak English. I am so grateful that MPI offered this opportunity for me to study overseas and experience a different life.
The Overseas Study Programme really broadened my vision from the perspective of global business. In our three weeks of studies, we learned a lot about business knowledge, including business etiquette, Australian industries and teamwork cooperation. During the programme, students were required to finish team projects, which l thought were interesting. We do have team projects in MPI, but the teammates are our classmates and we are familiar with each other. The teammates we needed to work with during the Overseas Study Programme were all from different regions. Every member had a different point of view toward the same question because of cultural differences, yet we did have great communication and completed the projects successfully. I know how to be a cooperative teammate now, which is extremely significant in my future career. Besides, all the trainers were kind and engaging, they taught us lots of funny things about Australia, like you could buy kangaroo meat in a supermarket.
In addition to the classes on campus, we also went outside the classroom to visit and learn. The trip to the immigration museum was fascinating. We learned so much about the immigration history of Australia. Before the trip, we already knew that Australia was comprised of various ethnic groups but we didn’t really know the details of its diversities. We realized that Australia is an inclusive society that has the greatest magnanimity. With so many diversities among cultures, people who live there can still be so compatible with each other; we could feel the harmonious atmosphere anywhere in Australia.
Another gift I obtained was friendship. The classmates I spent time with during the programme came from different areas, some of them were from Shanghai, some of them were from Japan… though we might not speak the same language, we did share the same happiness. And I still feel so glad and thankful to have spent time with my schoolmates of MPI. We went to the Great Ocean Road together, caught the buses or trains together, tasted Australian delicacies together and shared the monotonous experience of having sandwiches together… the journey was so amazing because I was surrounded by these lovely people. I will never forget those days with my schoolmates.
Before the journey, different kinds of worries came to my mind: getting lost, behaving inappropriately and communicating ineffectively… but now when I look back on my life in Melbourne, those worries were all unnecessary since I got help from so many kind-hearted people. Since coming back to Macau, I always see the pictures we took in Melbourne; every time when I see those lovely faces and beautiful landscapes, a wave of warmth sweeps over me.
Chiang Hoi Cheng
Year 2 – Visual Art
Time flies like an arrow, doesn’t it? It seems to me that I have just landed in Melbourne, but the fact is that I have already returned to Macau. I can still remember how nervous I was on the first day of my trip and how much I looked forward to the life there. There are so many things that I will never forget and those memories are still vividly in my mind. All of them are treasures to me.
After a 10-hour flight to Melbourne, I was impressed by the warm welcome of the host family and it made me forget about my anxiety. My host parents are from two different countries: Greece and the United States, and they used to live in China for a short time so they could well understand my uneasiness and they tried to help me to adapt to life in Melbourne very quickly. The person that I miss the most is my homestay mother - Anna. She made me feel loved. She was such a generous and caring lady. During my stay in Australia, the delicious dishes that she prepared had never been repeated. Every night we chatted and laughed, and her warmth and friendliness made me feel comfortable to speak in English. I am so glad that my host family has given me full support and warmth in these three weeks, helping me get used to the environment in Melbourne.
Studying in the Overseas Study Programme at Monash University was fantastic. My major in IPM is Visual Arts, so I haven't learned anything about business. In the Overseas Study Programme, I have gained a lot of knowledge related to business, such as business culture, business writing, and business dialogue. When we were studying in Monash, I found out that there was a huge difference in the teaching methods between Australia and Macau. In Australia, there were many activities in class instead of sitting in the classroom passively. For examples, we did plenty of class discussions, presentations, and role-playing. We also had a precious opportunity to visit a council—City of Yarra. The experience of visiting there was dramatically different from visiting an ordinary company. We had an opportunity to learn to formulate plans for community development and understand the work of the various departments during our visit.
In my leisure time, I went to some famous attractions in Melbourne with my friends. We visited the Great Ocean Road, Queen Victoria Market, Phillip Island, Melbourne Zoo, and National Art Gallery. Among them, the Great Ocean Road was my favorite. I was glad to see the world heritage—The Twelve Apostles. Never have I seen such fantastic scenery before. We did a lot of things during this journey, allowing me to understand more about my teammates and it also deepened our friendship.
Last but not least, I would like to thank MPI for giving me an opportunity to study abroad and experience a different lifestyle for three weeks. Although it is not enough to enhance my English ability to the highest level within three weeks, I have become more confident in speaking English now. It is a big improvement and I have truly gained a lot of valuable experience. Moreover, this programme has widened my horizons, helping me become more independent and sociable.