Surviving as an International Student

Imagine you are an international student...

Do you know what surprises international students most about Australia? Do you know what the best thing is about being an international student? It can be challenging to imagine when you first arrive in Australia, and you realise you have come one step toward to a new culture, new lifestyle and new education system.

Hi, my name is Sylvan, I am currently completing my degree in PR as an undergraduate student at UTS and internship at Cultural Perspectives Group. One of my tasks in Cultural Perspectives Group is to produce a blog post on my experiences. Today, I would really like to share an international student story with you, named ‘Surviving as an international student’ and my reflections.

This story reflects the true nature and true feeling of being an international student in Australia. The story presented as answer and question style.

When I read the first question: ‘ what surprised you most about Australia?’, The one thing that keeps running in my mind is ‘Cultural harmony and respect’. Indeed, when I first arrived in Australia, I was expecting there to be more ‘British’ or ‘Australian’. influences. After several months of study in high school and lived with my homestay family, I began realising 'Australian' is more about being multicultural. It is no matter where you are born or what your nationality is. As long as you are friendly and respect people around you, people will treat you respectfully.

The second question was very touching my heart. It is asking ‘ How have you coped living away from home (and your friends and family)?'. I remember when I arrived in Australia for the half of year. I quite enjoyed the fresh air and BBQs so I did not have very acute homesickness because sometimes if I miss my home, I would give a video call to my family and send my greeting. However, I had a friend who kept packing her bags to go back home every two or three months. She told me every day they would think maybe it is time to go back. I admitted she is not the only international student who’s feeling that way. International students likes her, maybe just need to make one or two true friends who can help limit their homesickness and seek where they should belong.

Like me, being an international student studying in Australia in the past seven years is pretty impressive and difficult. However, an international student does not just represent an identity or occupation. It also means you were brave enough to leave your comfort zone, and you have embraced a culture that is so different to what you’ve come from.

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