Monday, January 19, 2009

No turning back

I got this great post from Xiu before Christmas but have waited until now to put it up. With Chinese New Year soon upon us I think some of her words really bring home the sense of isolation felt by some international students during the holidays. Also, Xiu hints at the incredible expense involved with studying in Australia. Students pay thousands of dollars in fees to attend English language colleges throughout the city. If a student is using these colleges as a means to help them achieve the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score that their tertiary course of choice requires of them before they can commence their studies, then they are stuck paying for courses until they get the score they are after. In some cases this may mean paying for 5 weeks of mind numbing English classes just to improve a reading test result by half a percentage point.

A few days ago, one of my friends’ IELTS score came out. Just like me, it wasn’t enough to get her into university. I guess for both of us, the whole same journey needs to start again. There are consequences, like we will have to pay money again to take IELTS, but this is nothing compared with English class fees. It’s ridiculous. It is like we are paying thousands of dollars to an English language centre for one more course just so we get that extra bloody 0.5 or 1 point. Actually, most of the students I know are all so close to our required scores but we can’t go anywhere until we achieve what we set out to do, we certainly can’t go back home guilty and with bad scores.

Right now, we are having our holiday for Christmas. In two days it will be Christmas. We all ask each other “any plan for Christmas.” Some people I know are planning really fabulous holidays. Others are really boring. Some of their holidays will be just like mine, promising myself I will work harder to get a perfect score next time, promising myself that I will use the whole holiday if that is what it takes. So, technically, you could say our life here is inspiring, not boring at all.

I met some people recently, and they all asked the same thing, “Will you go back for the holiday?” Of course I said no. Of course, the next question you already know, “Why?” I guess I really didn’t want to explain that much and receive some kind of sympathy so I said, “I don’t miss home at all and I like to stay here, I have so much to do.” Anyway, I gave up the whole going back thing. It may be good for me. Tomorrow I promise myself to go to school and study. But who knows what I am going to do, I already broke so many of these kinds of promises. But looking back on the days I stayed home and did nothing, I never knew doing nothing could be so exhausting. I need my energy back.

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