Chen Yining is studying in Australia on an exchange program. Originally from Changchun in China, Chen, 22, is currently studying Business Studies at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst.
She had never travelled outside of China before she flew Down Under so the local food and culture was a bit of a shock. Her recommendation for other international students? An alcoholic beverage or two can help break down those language barriers!
I was studying business in Chanchun, and I wanted to improve my English. My mum encouraged me to go on exchange.
No it wasn’t hard. The process to apply for a visa is just a lot of paper work – very annoying.
I’m not good at speaking – that's the part that needed more practice and preparation.
Food and the language barrier – it seems that the food here is much more horrible than the language barrier.
Everything is too full of oil! There are no spicy foods in Australia, which was hard to adapt to. Vegemite? It’s not food at all!
Well, it’s not really that bad. I can still enjoy Australian food – it’s just that I miss Chinese food.
It’s like a big, big green park with trees and grass everywhere, but there are not many people. My first impression of Australia was it’s clean, friendly, warm, and suitable for living.
Yes, Bathurst is far more natural than my home. Changchun is comparatively a big city in China – the twenty-fourth biggest city in China, which as you know has countless cities. Changchun is really crowded and the climate is horrible, which means it’s extremely hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.
All you need is time and effort from yourself. There is support from the uni, but it also depends on your own effort.
Yes, I tried to get involved with them but it’s hard to make good friends, the language barrier is still there and I need more time.
I applied for on-campus accommodation from the uni before I came here.
The best thing is you can communicate with foreigners as much as you want – everything is convenient. The worst is that sometimes it’s noisy, but I love living on campus anyway.
Yes, it was a smart choice.
The best part is you can travel around during the holidays. The most difficult is it’s not easy to catch up with some of the class.
So far, just to Sydney. Sydney is like Hong Kong – I mean, there are lots of Asians and it's a busy city.
I’ll go on with my postgraduate studies in Australia.
If you love drinking, that's the best way to make friends! And just ignore what I said before, the language barrier is not a big deal!