I’d like to talk a little bit about my first day in Australia, so you can imagine how it was like.
Back in 2013, I won a scholarship to pursue my advanced degree (MA in TESOL) in Australia. The scholarship was under the HEQCIP (Higher Education Quality and Capacity Improvement Project) project, run by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) of Cambodia in collaboration with the World Bank.
I was lucky enough to have been informed about the scholarship and applied for it. I was then selected as a shortlisted candidate among many other applicants for an IELTS test. Later I met the language requirement and was officially granted the scholarship. The university I was assigned for my postgraduate study was the University of Canberra. At that time I was very naive and did not know anything about Australia’s education system, but fortunately I received a lot of support from IDP Cambodia and HEQCIP.
The first day I set foot on Australia’s ground was an amazing experience. It was rather cold but fresh. I felt like I was in an air-conditioned country. I think the temperature on that day was about 20 degree Celsius something. As soon as I left the airport, I was taken by a taxi to my homestay I had arranged before I left Cambodia. It took about 15 mns for me and another HEQCIP fellow to reach our first rented room in Australia. After we had arrived at your place which we were going to share for a month, the host who was an elderly man introduced us to things around the house. I was then able to get an Australian sim card and started getting myself ready for uni in the next couples of days. I spent the rest of the day settling down into my new place and learned how to the public transport get to uni as well as contacting my family back in Cambodia about my safe arrival in the land of the kangaroos.
What amazed me the most about Australia (that was in Canberra anyway) was the cleanliness of the country and the fact that there were plenty of green spaces including parks and public spaces. So that was my first-day impression of Australia.