Hello, I’m Giulia from class 4C and I’m spending six months in Queensland, Australia as an international student. This is an amazing experience that I totally recommend to the younger students of the Liceo Mengaroni, but I also have to be honest and say that sometimes life abroad is very hard and is not suitable for everyone, you have to be really motivated. It is also true that we are all different and for this reason many international students don’t have any problems at all. Lucky them!
Anyway as you can imagine, life in Australia is very different but thankfully, Australians are really really nice people, starting with the teachers (that are considered like friends!), to people that you meet on the road or at the grocery. But sometimes they can be very weird too, for example these are some of the facts that at the beginning, surprised me the most: they never eat together if not for dinner that is usually is at 6 pm, students of my age don’t have parties, and if you are invited to a birthday party you have to expect that it ends at 8.30 pm (the first time I was really shocked!), students usually work even during school and because of this, most of them don’t go out a lot.
Otherwise, Australia is amazing and when you start to visit places you would never want to stop! Beaches are extraordinary but really wild too. There usually aren’t very crowded and they are very peaceful; you are allowed to swim only in some protected zones with lifeguards because of sharks, crocodiles and very poisonous jellyfish. Australia in general is very wild. Fortunately there are aren’t a lot of spiders and insects as I expected, but it’s easy to find toads (poisonous frogs) and quite a lot of snakes.
During my first month here, I was at school, and my friends and I were sitting on the floor having lunch when an horrible snake passed at 3 m from me… you can Immagine my reaction!
I spend most of my time at school that is really different from ours. High schools are all the same and you have to choose 6 subjects to study during the year, but Maths and English are compulsory. There aren’t “verifiche o interrogazioni” during they year, but very long assessments that can be various depending on the subject; and at the end of every term you have an exam for each subject (but they are pretty easy). Uniform is compulsory and the dress code is very strict: just white socks are allowed, rings, necklaces, piercings and visible tattoos are prohibited, earrings have to be clear and not visible, colourful hair is not allowed as well as nail polish and make up.
School starts at 8.45 with ten minutes of home group that is not a real class but a teacher reads to you all the news concerning the school and any potential changes of the timetable. Home group is followed by 2 periods (70 minutes each). After period 2 there’s the lunch break of 45 minutes, another period, another break of 45 minutes (that is way too long) and period 4 finishes at 3 pm. In conclusion Italian school is more difficult but way better!
Well, I’ve nothing else to say if not that if you like travel, adventures and you have some interest in English this is a very good experience. It is not alway easy but at the end it is totally worth it.
See ya all in December!
Giulia Belia (IV C, Liceo Mengaroni Pesaro)