One year ago my teacher told me to apply for work experience because everyone in Germany has to work for a few weeks at a company to gain some experience. I wanted to do my work experience in a foreign country and thought of living with the cousin of my dad, who moved to Melbourne twenty-six years ago. My first intention was to work for a radio station or a television channel but when they chose someone different I needed an alternative. By reason I’m thinking of working as a journalist after I finish school, I decided to apply at a publishing company and ended up at Busybird.
One year later, after twenty-four hours of plane food and sleepiness, I finally arrived in Melbourne on a Saturday evening. The plane flew half an hour over the city and all the lights were shining. That was the first time I realised that Melbourne is bigger than I could have ever imagined and that this city never sleeps.
After I finally got my suitcase, passengers of three flights had to form two lanes but ended up in more. Everyone wanted to be first, which caused chaos. A man behind me was saying, ‘In Germany this would never happen,’ and he was right. In my home country this would have been totally organised and planned in detail but it was nice to see that in Australia not everything is strictly overthought.
Moreover, it is noticeable that everyone thinks the public transport in Melbourne is bad but I can tell you, the public transport in other countries – for example, Malta – is even worse. You should be proud of having such a high amount of bus lines and trains. I am living on the other side of Melbourne and need to catch a bus for one and a half hours to get to work, but do not need to change the bus line once, which is pretty good and something that I definitely did not expect.
Another difference are men who help children to cross the street and the animals who are living here. Before my trip to Australia I only knew them from movies and was surprised as I saw them in real life. The second day when I was driven to work, a dead kangaroo was laying next to the street and I realised that they really exist. Even the men in yellow clothes stood close to every school.
Compared to other English-speaking countries, I think Australian is one of the most difficult ones to understand because of the really strong accent and the colloquial language but after a while I got it. Even if the German words sometimes creep over me, my English is getting better every day. On my first day I had to ask people every second sentence if they could please repeat themselves. Now it feels like it is only every fifth time.
In addition, I have to say that my written English is definitely better than my spoken one. Good for me that I have to read a lot of English texts at Busybird. Due to the fact that nearly half of the books I am reading in my free time are written in English, it is not as big a problem as I thought it would be. Of course, it depends on the text but after reading something twice when it is necessary, I understand the content and the main message.
A few days after my arrival I still want to sit on the other side of the car and even though I miss my friends and family in Germany sometimes, I am totally happy to be here. Much is different and not everything is better but it is liveable and an interesting experience.
Work experience student.