“Hi dad. I’m going to Australia” – a few weeks later – “Hi dad. I’m leaving next month!” – In March- “hi dad. I made it! I’m finally here!” That’s how I would sum up my departure and arrival in Melbourne. Sea, sun, people walking barefoot, ice cream, surf, deadly animals are common stereotypes. Sun, landscape, welcoming people, multicultural, helpful, lunatic weather –in Melbourne, you have four seasons in one day!
I grew up in Brittany and my father is in the navy, so you could say that wanderlust is in my blood. Australia’s amazing landscapes are heavily publicised, so I would always see them on the internet and I just felt I needed to see them firsthand. When an internship opportunity arose, I knew I just had to take it.
That is why Australia was my dream. I never wished for something as I much as wanted to come to Australia. I cried with joy when I saw the Melbourne skyline from my airplane window. My flight was almost empty. Nobody saw me. I never thought I will be the one saying “dreams come true”. Indeed, dreams do come true, and it is better than expected.
Australians are so welcoming and helpful. When I arrived, I was a bit lost and a man helped me find the right bus to my hostel. Once there, the landlord gave me a map with everything I needed to know to go sightseeing. He even found where the company I’m working is located. People say there is no place like home. No. I think I’m home. My background, heritage and skills don’t matter. I am who I am. That matters. I am just another person, who just happens to be from France. Diversity is a natural part of everyday life.
The landscapes are amazing. I love photography – I wanted to be a photographer- and every day the scenery is different. If you love the mix of cosmopolitan cities and breathtaking outdoors Australia is your go-to.
I did not come to Australia as a backpacker, instead I am an intern at Cultural Infusion. The company aims to promote cultural harmony for a more cohesive and richer society. I’m glad to say that I work for a company that is driving change and enhancing cultural diversity. I can’t imagine myself working for a company that is only concerned with profit. I wasn’t expecting the workforce to be so diverse.. This experience is a valuable one. I met people from all over the world, learning about new cultures that otherwise would have been more difficult to interact with.
After the internship, I’m thinking about staying in Australia. I definitely want to have a better understanding of Australian culture. I feel six months is not enough to achieve a broader view of life across the country.
If you come here, don’t be afraid to share your culture and be who you are. Be open-minded and don’t react awkwardly when your cultural mores are challenged. I didn’t know how to react the first time someone hugged me. You have to adapt to a new culture, and preserve your own at the same time. Breathe your dreams, feel them deep inside of you. Embrace all cultures around you.