When I accepted Griffith’s offer to study abroad, I thought of many scenarios that could potentially happen. I thought about the new things I would study, the environment I’d be living in and then I thought about the people I would meet. It was very unlikely that I’d be meeting many English people, but I didn’t want to. Being in another country meant that I’d get the opportunity to embrace and learn from many nationalities; however I thought I’d be mostly interacting with Australians.
I’m now entering the penultimate month of my stay here and it’s interesting to me that the majority of my friends I’ve made here are other international students. In my social circle we have England, America, Germany, Netherlands and Canada all represented, plus I’ve encountered many other nationalities as well. It has been a fascinating discovery of culture which will have a lasting impact on my thoughts, and I feel equipped with a range of obscure knowledge that one would find difficult to obtain without these international interactions.
So why are my friends mostly internationals? The short version is very simple; when I first arrived I embarked on a trip to Byron Bay. This was where I met most of my friends as we were all keen to explore this wonderfully awesome country, and something became quickly clear. There were very few Australians taking part in the trip, but this was because they were already at the beach! The long version of this story however revolves around the excitement of exploration.
As an international student I arrive here on the basis to study, but I also arrive here as a tourist. I must take the opportunity to fully immerse with my surroundings that are so unfamiliar to me, as geographically my homeland is full of hills, moors, urban cities and castles. My favourite example of this necessity to explore is back in the English capital of London. First you have the local people, who have a systematic understanding of how you should walk the streets and interact with the London network. Secondly you have the tourists, keen to soak up one of the most famous cities in the world, littered with historical importance. It makes for an ironic juxtaposition of opposites in which one ultimately hinders the other, yet they make the city what it is today.
As there is a need to adventure into Australia, my international friends and I have wanted to do the same activities that local Australians have probably already gotten bored of. I’ve still interacted greatly with Australians and I’ve learned so much about their culture and way of life; but together with the vibes of my international friends my memories and knowledge have been expanded to a rich level. When I inevitably fly back to England, I will do so knowing that my life is forever furnished with wonder.