“The flight to Australia will be taking off in five minutes” Announced the airline’s attendant. The stories begin when my home university in Jakarta announced that I have selected as an exchange student in Australia. As a young man, I was feeling so excited and a bit nervous about spending a semester to study in Western Sydney University.
Well, here I am. I’ve been in Sydney for a couple of months now and well there is so much to say. First, everything here is so exciting, just because it’s all new and different. The environment is totally different from Indonesia, the people, the houses, the trees, the foods and of course the language. In the beginning, I perceived that “Matt” is the most common name in Australia, it’s because everyone often says “G’day Matt”. But, when a shuttle bus driver said “Have a G’day Matt” to me, I realized that I was wrong. He means ‘mate’, and it sounds similar for me. #WELCOMETOAUSTRALIA….MATE!
Talk about my study, I have experienced a different culture. When I got my timetable, I was happy to know that I only take 3 units for this semester, so I imagine about having a lot of spare time here (because I used to take 10 -12 units each semester in my home university). But, once again, I was wrong. Three units in WSU are enough for me, I have to attend a lot of sessions, not only lectures and practical but also tutorials and lecture-tutorial. I have no tuts and lec-tuts in my home university.
Now, I’m getting used to life as a local but I’m still discovering new things here. Being an exchange student makes me learn a lot of things and to be more independent. In Indonesia, I used to eat in food stall and get some rice 3 times a day, but here I have to make my meal and having a corn flakes cereals + some bread for my breakfast, and I like it.
Living in another country is also an opportunity to explore something new. I was also lucky enough to travel around Sydney and see things I could never dream of before. Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe I’m so far away from home, and I have to remind myself that I’m here to gain more knowledge.
Eventually, studying overseas has changed my perception of life. Although there have been a couple of hard days when I miss my family and friends, but the good times has always come. It’s a journey of self-discovery and personal growth filled with unforgettable memories. And now I have to say that studying abroad is lovely!