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Thu 23 Mar 2017
Studying in Australia
Written by Gor   
Tuesday, 25 February 2003 00:00

The last letter I want to share with you is from 16-year-old Sangmukda. I am very jealous of her because she is an exchange student in Australia. This is something that I have always wanted to do but never got around to doing. Now I don’t think I will ever get the chance to do this, as I will be starting a family soon. My advice to you is that if you get an opportunity to become an exchange student then jump at that chance.

I have been here in Australia for about seven months but I still have another five months left. Before I first came here I had only a month to prepare myself and also to improve my English which was very poor at that time. That was why I was so nervous about everything. How could I live without my parents? When my family took me to the airport I didn't cry, nobody cried. My parents just told me to make the best of it and my big brother said "You can do it." So I felt like I must do it and make my dream come true.

When I arrived in Perth my first host family came to pick me up and took me back to their house. They were very rich and their house was very big. The third day after I arrived I had to go to school. I went to an all girls school called Perth College.

On the first day I had to pick up my school uniforms. It's completely different from what I was used to as they've got dresses and shirts for summer and skirts and a blazer for winter. They also have a necktie and stockings but the funniest thing was the hat — big hat which nobody wanted to wear.

Anyway, when my host mum left, my heart was beating so hard. My form teacher took me to the first class. I saw lots of girls looking at me but they didn't look friendly at all. I was nearly crying. Then two girls took me to the second class as we had the same subject. I found the student behavior in the classroom for the first few weeks to be strange. The students here do not give teachers the proper respect. I was so surprised how they speak to the teacher.

The first month at school was the worst thing. I didn’t speak to anyone because I couldn't understand what they said. I went to school with only a smile. Sometimes I felt so tired doing that every day. Nobody paid me any attention. I actually tried to talk to them but it's quite hard to communicate and also the Australian accent is very different.

Fortunately, my first host family was so nice to me and understood about my English problem so they tried to help me and taught me to speak Aussie English. They looked after me like I was their baby. I never went out by myself while I stayed with them. I loved them as my real family.

A few months later everything was different. I had made many friends and I started to enjoy myself. I also found that the more my friends talked to me the more I understood. I felt more comfortable after I could fit in better with them.

The thing I miss the most about Thailand is the food, because here I have bread for every meal. When I first came here I saw a bread machine. I thought it was a rice cooker because I hadn’t seen one before!

Also, they have some strange food they call vegemite. This one is very Australian. It looks like chocolate but the taste is completely different. It's very salty. I'm very sure if you have to try it, you would say that it's yuck. But for me I do love it so much. I have it every morning. So, I guess I am becoming more Australian every day!