Monday, December 22, 2008

Young and excited about the future

My name is Yang Tong Xiu and I come from China. I used to study at the Communication University of China but unfortunately I didn’t complete my studies before leaving. At that time, my family and I thought it would be better for me to come to Australia to study. The main reason was that coming to Australia would help me get a good job in the future.

Chinese students come to Australia to study for many different reasons but the main one is definitely to secure a well paying job in the future. Of course another reason is that Australia is an English speaking country, and it is good for us to have this environment, because pay prospects are still better in many companies if you are proficient in English. The third reason, I suppose is because Australia is cheaper and safer for students.

As for those students who don’t go overseas to continue their studies, they also have their reasons for staying behind. Firstly, for many students it is too expensive to study overseas. As you know, our fees are three times higher than those of local students, which is a very heavy burden for our families. Secondly, overseas study is a tough thing to do. Some students have a very promising future in my country so they don’t need to consider this choice. For most families, they don’t want their children to carry too much on their shoulders when they are very young. Obviously, life would be better and easier for most of us if we were able to stay in China where we have close friends and family. Australia is a good country, but we would be able to enjoy a much more convenient life and closer relationships if we were at home.

To be honest, I did not choose to come to Australia. Australia was my only option. This is the country that my family was able to afford and also seemed like a good environment for study. If I had a choice, I would probably say I would like to live in France but after everything I have experienced here, I am not sure if going abroad to study is the right decision at all.

Generally speaking, overseas study is a good thing for Chinese students. I suppose it is because we are young and all excited about the future. But for most of us, the reality of studying in Australia is not exactly the same as we used to imagine. Talk about complaints, the biggest one is the high price of almost everything! And the environment is also a problem for us. One of the reasons many people came here was to learn English but there are so many Chinese! We hang around and speak our mother tongue, despite the fact that language is already the biggest problem for us getting involved in Australia. So, you will often hear students say, “I never knew there were going to be so many Chinese here.” This moment seems rather dramatic, as this is one thought we all share but no one wants to say.

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