Hi there! My name is Bruna and I am from Brazil. I am the Administrative Assistant at Langports, Gold Coast and I have been living in Australia for the past 15 years.
Today, I will be sharing with you a little bit of my experience living overseas, in a new country which I now call home, and what I found to be a few of the common challenges amongst students, including me when I was one!
When I decided to come to Australia I was so excited about all the new opportunities and possibilities, that I could not even think of all the transformation that was about to happen.
The idea of meeting people from all around the world, getting to know the Australian culture as well as different cultures, travel overseas and learn a new language felt like life-changing events!
The picture I had in my mind of what it was to come was definitely ideal and encompassed all the great wonders to be lived and a slight fear of the unknown.
I arrived on a Sunday morning and on the way from the airport to the homestay, I could not believe my eyes.
Australia, or should I say, the Gold Coast, was such a warm, clean, safe, organized and beautiful place!!
Coming from one of the biggest and busiest cities in Brazil, I was able to see so many contrasts between these two cities, which was a great eye-opener, it helped me to realize how my city could work better if some changes were made.
Arriving at my homestay, however, was a different story. Even though the family was lovely and welcomed me in a warm way, a little discomfort came up. The fear of poor communication (not understanding or being understood), not having any friends nor family, made me realize I was really on my own.
Instantly I had the impulse and wished to go home. What was I doing here???? I was completely out of my comfort zone!!!!
But of course, I could not go anywhere, I had just arrived (OMG)!!!
Gladly, the following day I went to school and everything became easier. I found out that most people, if not everyone, was in the same situation I was. Everyone was also out of their comfort zone, regardless of their fears being the same or different to mine.
Expectations and reasons to be here also varied from student to student. While some people came as a tourist and only on a holiday program, others had some more in-depth commitments. Some students were here to master the language, while others were here to learn; other students came wanting to start and build a new life believing Australia was a better place to live. Some were making a dream come true by being here and therefore were open to all kinds of opportunities that this experience could bring, while others were running away from their reality thinking that by being out of their country their problems would not follow them.
Many years have passed and I realize that the reasons behind this amazing adventure remain the same for most people.
What lies underneath people’s reasons to move away, is the ability and the courage to get out of their comfort zone, weather they know it or not.
Despite the differences of religions, beliefs, culture, nationality, customs, social status, age, gender, financial situation and backgrounds, we all have something in common; and that is: we all face fears and we all have the opportunity to overcome them.
I do realize that as humans we do have many other things in common such as feelings and emotions, which apply to all, regardless of any physical or nonphysical boundaries. But the reason I choose to speak about fear is that it is a present feeling that raises when it comes to being out of our comfort zone.
Fear gives people the opportunity to become courageous. Being strong and courageous to break our own barriers enables us to become a better version of ourselves!!!
I am sure you can relate to that feeling if you think of any situation you overcame when you were a child. The first day at school, being a new student in the class, having to do a presentation in front of the class or in front of the entire school…
Perhaps not when you were a child, but when you were a teenager or an adult. The first kiss, first relationship, first job, and the list goes on. Usually, our “firsts” bring out that sensation.
In Australia, you will also have your firsts. Your first Australian bank account, maybe your first time sharing a house, maybe you will cook and clean for the first time, amongst many other firsts.
Life is constantly giving us opportunities to face our fears and overcome them. The difference when living overseas is that everything is unknown and new. Which means, you will just grow faster and stronger in a shorter period of time.
But we are here to make sure your “firsts” happen as naturally as possible.
As we do recognize all of these factors, our amazing team on the Gold Coast is here to make sure your experience goes as smoothly as possible in any way that we can. Ana, a past student at Langports, will warmly welcome you when you first arrive at the Gold Coast campus. Shane, our Activities Officer will guarantee the fun and make sure your time is filled with wonderful experiences, by taking you to parties and the most amazing places that surround us here on the coast. He will also offer you the opportunity to go to all the parks and travel with you to places which offer breathtaking views and scenery that can only be found here in Australia. All this with a group of other friendly Langport’s students, so we can make sure that everyone is creating amazing memories together.
Irina is here to make sure you feel at home in the accommodation of your preference and Sara is here to make sure you do not need to worry about any paperwork, as it is all well looked after by her.
Teachers are also here to give all the support you need. They are all used to students from all around the world with all levels of English.
And John, the principal, is here to make sure all the different areas flow together smoothly.
We at Langports will be here all the way to support you in every single step and will be proud to give you a “Certificate of Achievement” when you conclude your journey 😉