Getting to know Australia

by IELTS Australasia — August 11th, 2016

‘When I got off the airplane in Australia on my first day, I saw many Chinese instructions in the airport that made me feel very happy’Ben (from China and is an English student at Universal Institute of Technology in Melbourne)

I’m Ben from China. When I got off the airplane in Australia on my first day, I saw many Chinese instructions in the airport that made me feel very happy. I didn’t wait in line to exit from the gate because there are some self-help exits for some countries. I just needed to scan my passport, then I could leave the airport.

I felt so excited because I was going to have a new life here with no friends and no relatives. I need to fix every problem alone, sounds like I’m a brave guy, right? No, I’m not, definitely not. I was so depressed because I had no job, no suitable house to rent and everything is expensive here – until I met two friends. Then I started to enjoy my new life!

For a new person here, I have to learn the stuff that is different from my country, for instance, when I cross at a zebra crossing, you need to press the button because the light won’t turn to green if nobody presses it. Also, I want to praise those drivers who are very polite, most of them will stop when people are walking or going to pass. I really appreciate that.

Moreover, it’s really different about how to greet somebody. I know English speakers would like to say “Hi! Nice to meet you” or “How are you?” but when I  went to the Woolworth’s and checked out, the cashier said, “How is it going?” I was so confused because she said it so fast that I heard “How’s going?” Of course, I didn’t know that’s the same meaning of “How are you?” So I just answered “I’m going home”and she stared me two seconds with a blank face. I was so stupid, right?

Actually, the more stupid thing that I did was I spent almost $30 in Melbourne free tram zone to take trams. I saw the “free tram zone” words on the board, but I also saw some people touched on and off their myki cards in the free tram zone when they exited. I got confused then I touched on my myki too just for safety. (Editors note: Find out about how to use myki in Melbourne here!)

There are still loads of interesting and strange things happening to me. So, I suggest overseas students like me to do some preparation first for avoiding some awkward mistakes.

IELTS Australia invites all test takers and English students to practice their English by writing a blog for publication. Would you like to participate? You can by emailing us a blog post about learning English and studying in Australia, or your experience living in Australia. Don’t forget to tell us a little about yourself!