Hi again, its Thiago here writing to you about my experience in Australia as a Brazilian exchange student. Unfortunately, my six months study abroad here in Australia has come to an end and I will soon be flying home.
As I wrote previously, I was very afraid of how I would adapt to living here in Australia, with English and making friends. But I can now say, especially to any new prospective exchange students, that this was hardly a problem, because if you come with an open mind for new experiences and new friends, I can assure you that there will be no barriers that will hold you back. Before I came here I was very scared, I cried at the dinner table with my parents for fear of not being able to communicate. I tried to watch English-language movies without subtitles and I couldn’t understand anything, making me even more scared. But in the end we all end up learning naturally and we evolve as a person. For example, I can now say that I am a much more mature person when it comes to facing problems or being alone at times.
As time went by, I became more comfortable with life here and my days were getting more and more exciting. Initially you tend to hang out with the group of internationals as we share a common bond. In the beginning everyone is together, creating a group of close friends , finding things to do on weekends such as different beaches and parties at friends’ houses. I had some problems with some rules of the school and my homestay but before doing something stupid, talk to your host family to find an agreement and if it doesn’t work sleep on it over night is the best solution. Coming back to the subject, I would say that in my situation a fuller life with more closed groups started more or less after almost 2 months in Australia. We became more relaxed with each other and were willing to take more risks and bend some rules.
After 3 months in Australia, I already felt like an Australian. I knew the whole city, I had my friends and on top of that I was surfing on the most beautiful beaches. Like Sunrise Beach, where the water and waves are crystal clear, (unfortunately there’s a shark, but luckily I didn’t have any problems with that), and Little Cabbage Beach, which is located near the main beach and is phenomenal. I can spend hours talking about the beautiful places in Australia because what we see in the photos is incredible and true.
But the thing that struck me the most here were the people and life in this country, where everyone is always calm – apart from the bus drivers as we never paid. Everyone is very kind and curious about different cultures, different languages and always in the same good mood. And that was very good for me as it helped to make friends and feel more welcome in an unfamiliar place. And life in Australia is pretty much a hassle free life where the biggest problem I had was not being able to go to the beach if it was raining. It’s sounds funny to say, but I’m not kidding.
With that, I would like to end my text by encouraging everyone who is reading and has read my reports, that no matter how afraid we are to leave our daily lives, to take a little risk, I can assure everyone that maturity, personal growth and good friends will become part of your life. With that, I would like to thank everyone who helped me through my trip, my agency that accompanied me from beginning to end and my family that gave me this wonderful gift and experience that gave me the best months of my life.
“If you have the opportunity to have this experience, don’t waste it” – Thiago.