My junior high school experience at an Australian high school

estudiante de junior high school sunshine beach queensland Australia

Discover the experiences of Jimena, a junior high school student from Madrid who studied for 1 term (3 months) at Sunshine Beach State High School, Queensland, Australia

I went to Australia last July and I was there for around three months.

It was a long trip from Madrid, Spain.   It took me «only» 24 hours to arrive in the city of Brisbane. Then by car I went to the town of Noosa (Sunshine Coast)  where I was living with my family. In Noosa,  I attended  Sunshine Beach State High School where I had a great experience.

My first day at school was exciting because I met my teachers and my classmates. I was nervous to talk to my classmates but they were friendly and nice to me. Soon I was talking to them and I made good friends.  I even went to two birthday parties (in the aussie way, I mean, in a park by the beach, not to in a McDonalds!).

My first class was technologies and the teacher was Ms Waring. It was difficult to understand this class because my English at that time was not so good but the teacher really helped me.

One thing that surprised me about the Australian school life was that the students have to stand up when the teacher comes to the classroom. In Spain, we don’t do that.

It was very interesting that the students use laptops and iPads to do their work in class. In my opinion, I think it is a good method that helps students to learn. I also liked that the teachers didn’t give too much homework, so students have free time after school to do other things. I spent that time surfing at a beach near to school. It was so great!

The teachers helped me a lot: they understood perfectly that English is not my first language. But after few weeks, I was very surprised of how much I understood the language and I was more comfortable in my classes. I liked the fact that we worked in groups and I did a lot of presentations.

During recess, at 10:00 a.m., students used to talk and eat snacks but they didn’t play any sports as we do in our schools in Spain. That’s because they do it during the school time, as another subject great, isn’t it? On Fridays, the school prepared free breakfast for all students early in the morning, and it was very nice. I enjoyed it.

Being in another country, is a great experience. You meet new people, you learn a lot about other cultures and languages.   In Australia you do that but with a lot of different people and such a different cultures form all around the world. It’s awesome to see that, and how in spite of being so different, they live in harmony and peace… but everything in English mate!!!

I really recommend this experience to other students. And don’t tell me it’s so far away. It’s not fair to say that: it used to be two months by boat and now it’s just one day!!! It’s just about watching as many movies as you can, and then… you are in Oz!

Jimena Escalante
Sunshine Beach State High School