My Aussie Experience by Pascuala Mujica Diaz from Chile
When people ask how I would describe my experience here in Australia I never have an answer. I can never explain how it was, and not because it wasn’t good but because it was AMAZING!
This experience has made me grow as a person. I learnt that the most important thing about studying overseas is the people you meet, your friends and family. I was impressed with all the teachers that I got the chance to meet. When they are teaching you realise that they are doing it because they like it and enjoy it. They enjoy not only teaching but working with students, and they are fully committed to their students 100% of the time and are ready to help with a smile. They were there for me if I was sad or homesick and they pushed me to be a better student because they believed in me and they believed I was capable of more. My teachers were so nice and helpful, they had lots of patience and I’ll never forget them.
I loved my Australian family so much. Most important was my host mother. She is a super mum and I really love her. She understood me and helped me with everything. Their house was in a great location close to the school.
I will go back to Chile with a smile on my face. I return with lots of good memories that I will keep all my life. I go back as a new person, a bigger and more mature girl. This experience was heaps good, thanks mate!
Testimonial by Guilherme Palhinha Paes from Brazil
My first contact with my host family was at Adelaide Airport. In the first days here my host family helped me with all the things I would need.
On my first day at school I met other international students from Wirreanda Secondary School. We got to know the school and had our orientation morning where we worked out our timetable and chose our subjects. Another fact that drew my attention in a positive way is the fact that the school was well prepared to receive international students offering classes to focus on English and with a coordinator in this area to give all necessary support. It was good to be able to choose subjects that I didn’t have in Brazil.
Without a doubt it has been an unforgettable experience. It has helped me mature a lot and without doubt one of the best decisions of my life. My exchange was made more incredible because Australians are open to learning about a new culture. So I could teach a little and learn a lot.
Riko Ishihara from Japan
Nervous and scared. That was the feeling I had when I was heading to the baggage claim. However, all the fear and the negative thoughts disappeared as soon as I was hugged by my host mother and that was how my incredible experience took off.
I had a difficult feeling for the first few weeks from the loss of my family and from all the cultural differences that I had to accept; I even had this stage when I cried but that was when my host family came in. They would hug me when I needed it and truly treated me like a family member. I got into trouble just like the other family members would and I felt the love that a family would give.
This was not all. The life at Wirreanda Secondary School was AMAZING as well.
If I had classes where I felt confused, there were people who would sit next to me to help me with the work. Not only did they help me but we got close enough to tell jokes and have fun. I feel like I made friends not just for these 3 months but for my life.
Through these experiences in these 3 months, I felt as if I became an Australian and was at home. I encountered people here in Adelaide who taught me many life lessons. I had one of the best moments of my life at Wirreanda and hope people who I met at this school will remember me!
Lisa Namatame from Japan
I was so nervous because it was the first time that I went abroad. I was worried about speaking English correctly and making friends. But everyone at Wirreanda Secondary School listened patiently and I felt happy and made many friends. I liked that Wirreanda was more relaxed than my Japanese school. The teachers in Wirreanda were very kind and gave me lots of help with my work. I liked using my laptop in class instead of heavy books, as a laptop is much lighter and easier to use.
The Australian students were so kind and they helped me anytime. They always talked to me with a smile. My host mum is such a funny lady and she made me happy anytime. She shared many stories about her family and her country and she gave me a lot of support. This experience was so wonderful for me to improve my English skills. My speaking skills were quite bad when I arrived, and now I am much more confident. I can make lots of jokes and I can even understand some Australian slang!