Embracing a New Chapter of Life

Shiny Yu (2023 S4)

Change is often accompanied by a mix of excitement and nervousness, and it had no exception for me moving from Hong Kong to Melbourne, Australia.  In July 2023, leaving behind the familiar sights, sounds and flavours of my hometown, my family embarked on a journey to explore a new city, a new culture and a new living style. 

Navigating the shifts

Adapting to a new culture is both an exhilarating and tough experience.  From the Aussie slang to a laid-back living style, I gradually began to accept the difference between here and Hong Kong.  Changing one’s own language and accent is never easy.  I did not even understand the Aussie accent or “phrases” when I first came here.  Although it is tough, I have always been trying to immerse myself in this culture. 

Another shift that is the most obvious is definitely school life.  Unlike Hong Kong, we have no fixed class, classroom or classmates.  Making new friends was never an issue of concern for me before.  However, it is the biggest problem now.  The way of having lessons is also different from that in Hong Kong.  Teachers give us most of the class time to do classwork and research tasks instead of lecturing. 

Embracing cultural diversity

One of the most remarkable appeals of Melbourne is its cultural diversity.  People from all around the world gather here, creating a cultural fusion center.  I have made friends from the local, Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, India, Iran, New Zealand, etc.  The opportunity to interact with classmates from different backgrounds has broadened my horizons and enriched my appreciation for multiculturalism.  

One of the Chinese proverbs said, “Hunger breeds discontentment”.  Restaurants in Melbourne serve different cuisines, including Thai, Japanese, Korean, Indian, British, American, Italian, Chinese and Hong Kong style.  Having food from different places is definitely my favourite thing in Melbourne!  And that is why I have been gaining weight since I have arrived here!

Chinatown located in Melbourne central (picture from https://whatson.melbourne.vic.gov.au)

Connections between Nature

Talking about Australia, many will say that there are a lot of insects.  Indeed, you cannot “ignore” the rich biodiversity here.  Seeing a spider at home is totally ordinary here.  When I first came to Melbourne, the one who welcomed me was not anyone else, but a huge spider.  I was shocked by many insects and so-called “frightening” creatures at first.  However, I slowly accept the fact that Nature is their home, and we are actually foreigners.  I try to act “calm” when there are bees flying  over me, and act as if nothing happens when a snake suddenly crosses the road in front of me.

Australia is also famous for being the home of many unique animals.  My friends asked me if I have ever seen kangaroos.  Yes, many, nearly at a distance that we can shake hands.  Kangaroos in the zoo seems to be cute and harmless.  However, kangaroos in the wild are not as lovely as you think.  They are actually dangerous and can definitely kill you with one single kick.  Talking about animals, the other unique ones include the koalas.  I cannot describe their cuteness and can only suggest you visit them at least once during lifetime.  Besides, I have never seen ostriches, rhinos, hippos, elephants, leopards, dingoes, giraffes or many  more animals in real life before coming to Melbourne! 

Looking to the future

Counting back to the day of arriving in Melbourne, it has already been half a year.  It still feels unreal that I am no longer living in Hong Kong.  As the academic pressure is so much lighter than that in Hong Kong, I will develop more interests and skills in order to prepare myself for the future.  After the summer break, I am starting year 11 and the two-year Victoria Cerificate of Education (VCE) course.  Although studying does not take as much time, I will still try my best to enrich my knowledge!