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My New Family in Australia오스트레일리아
고현숙 경영학부 4학년  |  tribune@cnumedia.com
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승인 2007.11.26  19:39:50
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

My New Family in Australia

By Ko Hyun-sook, Senior, Dept. of Business Administration



Tara, Are You Ready? 

    I arrived staying in Adelaide, a typical city in Australia. My initial thoughts were that I had never seen such a peaceful city. I lived here for six weeks during an English language program.
If someone asks you about Australia's popular images, what would you say? Most people would say that it is one of the most popular countries for tourism in the world, having a lot of recognizable landmarks: the Opera House, the Harbor Bridge come to mind, as well as kangaroos and koalas.

Of course, as I got on the airplane, I was eager to explore this fantastic country. In my homestay family, there are five members: father, mother and they have three children. When I arrived at the airport, Brian, my homestay father, welcomed me with a smile holding a placard with my name written on it. He seemed to have a heart of gold and that was enough to make me think of what would come to me, a very satisfactory new life. 


▲ An Australian friend on her journey


    However, the reality of my homestay was contrary to my expectation, as the house is located in the suburbs, far from the city center. It was different from where I have lived in Korea. I like taking care of cute children, but I felt discontented from my homestay family. I complained to the homestay coordinator comparing my homestay to those of my other friends.
    "I want to change my home because I can't have a meal alone in the evening. It makes me lonely and then I think of my family in Korea."
    "Why did you come to Australia? Learning and experiencing a different culture may be an answer. The most precious thing about studying a foreign language in the school here is to try to get accustomed to such new circumstances. After one or two weeks, you can enjoy your life with your homestay family.”

    After accepting her advice, I decided to try to adapt myself to the new family life. Can you imagine what happened to me? Someone says that changing your thoughts can have a positive effect on your behavior and attitude. It applied to my story definitely. I could find that they were warm-hearted and tried to make me experience their culture by introducing me to Australian culture. My homestay mom wondered if my routine was going well and wanted me to show pictures that I had taken in many places. What is the most vivid memory in my head is that they even knocked on my door to let me know the time of the drama "House,” which I was addicted to at that time. I got to realize how much I had made an invisible wall for myself in my heart.

    I went to school for five days a week. The class mainly dealt with interesting subjects such as music, discussion and games. The various activities in the classes gave me such new and valuable experiences. First of all, the most unforgettable class is "Exercise Activity.” I have never laughed so much in my life. I would be like a child with my foreign friends while playing volleyball. In fact, most lectures in Korea are generally liable to be just one-way communication without students’ participation and feedback. In the class in Australia, I could interact with my teacher directly and she was like one of my friends saying her own opinion on the social topics in the class with us. Also, in a discussion, we disputed whether or not the Internet was good for us in our life. Before getting down to the main discussion, each group consisting of about five members talked about the topic. Through this process, we could learn the culture and thinking ways of each country.

▲ Class activity

▲ My froend and her homestay mother







Time Flies 
Like an Arrow

    When I had to leave my home family, they gave me a teddy bear wearing a cowboy uniform. I was surprised at their unexpected preparation for my last day.
    "Hey guys, can you bring the bear's friends to Tara?” There were so many bears wearing different clothes: an athlete, a broom and a bride, and others. It was enough to make me cry. If I had moved to another homestay house, could I be satisfied with a new family? I could not understand why I had complained about them. They gave me a card with this message, "Thank you for coming to our home. Always, take care. We were so happy with you." The lovely bear and the card are still on my desk, playing magical roles when I am facing hardships in my life.

    If I look back upon my everyday life in Australia, the homesickness I had experienced for the first two weeks is a kind of fun reminder to me now. What made me feel dissatisfied at first? Maybe, it would be my mistake that I did not try to understand Australian culture and to overcome cultural difference. As the homestay coordinator said, I could live in harmony with my homestay family after changing my mind. I could see other friends getting uncomfortable in their homestay. I realized that the most essential thing in social life is trying to have a flexible mind and accept other people as they are.

    When remembering the emotional circle during the homestay, at first, the expectation for life in a new country was complaining and annoyances. As you go it through, you can adapt yourself to their culture and lifestyle after three weeks and find yourself imagining your new life in your country later. It seems that I had felt kind of homesick since coming back to Korea. I missed not only my homestay family, but everything in Australia where many people have a variety of eye color. Walking on the street, I can see a girl with bright blonde hair smiling at me in the store and strangers carried their file case on the train. The deep blue in the high sky in Australia and the alarm signals of the train will remain special memories that I have about my time in Australia.

    I hope that students learn about Australian positive attitude and flexible mind through a homestay in Australia and make everyday your day even though something unacceptable might happen to you in your new life. Keep in your mind one thing, an invisible crystal wall is the most fearful during the homestay program. After I get a job, I want to go there again. I'm likely to endure the dream because I can see all of things there with my eyes closed.

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