An image vs the reality

Studying abroad does not sound as fancy as people may think.

  1. More than 70% of the time spent while awake is used to studying English.

When I look at a friend of mine who has come to Australia to learn English, he could not speak English that could be used in actual contexts. Apparently, he studied English in his home country. Most of the time spent for English, however, was used to study its grammar and solve reading/grammar questions. Thus, when he came here for the first time, his knowledge of how English works grammatically was high, but he could not convey the knowledge in the form of speaking. What he has been doing since the arrival is to spend a lot of time getting used to the sound of English and speaking with as many local people as possible.

2. Having a part time job is not special.

In my experience, most of the international students I have met are adults. While attending to a language school, they have a part time job. Some work for a local cafe. Others work for a restaurant. Not long ago, I had a chance to look at a weekly schedule of a friend of mine. I was surprised that he went to a school in the morning 5 days a week, and he had a part time job 3 days in that week. Simply by looking at him and his schedule, it got me thinking that quite a lot of international students must be having a similar lifestyle, and I cannot help myself thinking of how much they want to acquire English skills to live in Australia.

Overall, thinking of these aspects of international students, I am just impressed that many of them have not come here to have fun but come here with a strong commitment to “succeeding” in Australia. I am grateful for having met those inspiring people, and I hope that one day in the near future they “make it” here in Australia.

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