In this episode of Aussie English I teach you how to pronounce “need to” and “needs to” as needa & needsta like a native using connected speech.
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About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
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By pete — 6 months ago
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AE 484: How to Improve Your English with Reflective Practice
G’day, guys. What’s going on? So, this is where one day usually starts. In the kitchen here, I have my new lens and camera, which I’ve been practising with like crazy, got my computer here with photos on it, and that I’ve got this, which isn’t breakfast, but it’s what I’ve been putting outside to get birds to come closer for me to photograph. So, I put it on the ground here, put it on the roof over here, and it brings birds in close so I can use this camera right here to take photos.
So, today we’re going to talk about reflective practice and how you can use it to improve your English as fast as possible no matter what your level. Let’s go!
How’s it going, guys? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today, I’m going to chat about the fastest way to improve your English no matter what your level, guys. And I’m going to sort of draw an analogy to what I’ve been battling with recently and photography. Let’s go.
Alright, guys. So, the topic for today is Reflective Learning, Reflective Learning. I wonder if you guys have heard about Reflective Learning before. So, I’ve been researching this recently. My dad was the first one to sort of drill this into me quite a bit, and that’s because he was a high school teacher and a lecturer at university for quite a while so he had a background in teaching. But I’ve been applying this recently to photography, as well as a bunch of other things like Portuguese as well, and I’m learning Portuguese, but photography is what I want to talk about today.
So, Reflective Learning, I learnt about this from Donald Schon. Okay? So, he was an American from M.I.T., a social scientist, and he did a lot of research into Reflective Learning in the 80s and 90s.
So, there are three main kinds of reflective learning.
The very first one is Knowing-in-Action. So, this is when you do what you already know whilst you’re doing it, right? So, you imagine that you are speaking English with someone, you are using the English you already know, you are ‘Knowing-in-Action’, you’re using what you know in action.
The second type is Reflection-in-Action, and this is where you are doing that thing like speaking English, but you reflect, you think about what’s going on. So, maybe you make a mistake and you think, oh, was that the right word? Was that the right tense? Was that the right adjective that I should have used? You’re ‘Reflecting-in-Action’.
And the third kind and most important kind that I want to dig into a bit more today for you guys is Reflection-on-Action, Reflection-on-Action. And this is when you reflect on the action you’ve done, obviously, after the fact. So, for instance, if you were speaking English with someone, it’s a session where you’re practising your English, maybe you’re getting a lesson with someone, maybe you’re just having a conversation with someone, but when you reflect on that later, if you reflect on it later, that is a Reflection-on-Action. You’re analyzing what you did. Could you have done a better? What else could you have done? What were your mistakes? Okay?
So, let’s get into that a bit more, how it applies to photography for me, and how you guys can improve your English by reflecting on action. Let’s go.
So, recently, guys, I’ve been coming to Mulligan’s Flat quite a bit and you guys are probably seen this in my Instagram posts, on YouTube in the videos. The main reason is that I’m trying to constantly practice the same thing again and again and again, or I guess, variations of the same thing, right?
So, there are lots of animals here. There are lots of little birds, lots of kangaroos, wallabies, all kinds of critters and creatures, and I’m trying to really hone in my photography skills. So, instead of sort of jumping from one thing to the next all the time and not analysing what I’ve done, how I’ve done it, how well I’ve gone, I’ve kept coming to the same place, I’ve kept photographing the same things, in the same locations, and I’ve kept analysing what I’ve been doing after the fact, right?
So, these are my practice sessions. This is where I spend an hour or two walking around, getting a bit of exercise, looking at the environment, finding the animals, and honing my skills when I take shots of the animals doing the same things every time that I’m out here. You know, there’ll be a bird on a branch and I’ll be thinking about: What angle do I need? Where’s the sun? What are my settings on my camera? What is the shutter speed, the aperture, all of these technical things related to the camera that I really need to work on and improve?
And the trouble I was having at first was that a lot of my photos were out of focus. The animals were too fast. The settings weren’t correct on the camera. The photos were overexposed, they were blurred, they were horrible, but I improved a really, really rapidly because of Reflective Practice, guys. Okay? Let’s just focus on that for a sec.
Alright, so how have I been applying Reflective Practice to photography? Obviously, I’ve been doing number one: I have a certain set of skills in photography that I already know and when I come out and take photos here, I use those skills. Knowing-in-Action.
Number two. I’m reflecting in action. I’m taking photos, I’m looking at the photos as soon as I’ve taken them, I’m zooming in, I’m thinking, with the hell of a done wrong? Why don’t I like this? How could I improve this? Is there something wrong with it? I’m scrutinizing those images and I’m thinking in the moment, I’m reflecting in the moment, on what I’ve done and how I could improve that.
But then number three. I’m reflecting afterwards. So, I come out here, I do my one, two hours, however long it is, I take a few thousand photos, I go home, and I sit down, load all the photos onto my computer, and I start going through them. And I start looking at the ones that I like. I sort them out, delete the rest, and then I start scrutinizing the ones that I like and I think, how could I have improved them? Or, what I like about them? What have I done right and what could I do more of in the future?
And if I’m having specific problems like maybe the animal is too blurred, and I’ll show you some of these photos in a second and how I’ve hopefully improved. If the animals too blurred, I get on YouTube, I get on Google, and I start searching ‘how to take sharper images’, ‘I take blurry images, what do I do?’. So, I start looking at how I can improve on the mistakes that I’ve been making.
So, once I identify those mistakes and I sort of think about it, I reflect on those errors, I then plan my next practice session. I then think about next time I go out into Mulligan’s Flat, next time I go out and take some photos of whatever it is, birds, kangaroos, what thing am I going to focus on and try and improve upon? What skills have I just researched? What skills have I just learnt about in order to implement the next time that I go out? And that’s what I’m doing today. I’m out here again after spending the morning looking at a whole bunch of photos that I liked some of, but didn’t like most of it, and I’m thinking about, how can I sit down, how can I practice those, and how can I improve on those mistakes today?
And I’ll tell you what, guys, this has really helped me improve at a lightning pace. You could definitely do this by just coming out here all the time and taking as many photos as possible, but I think that would take a lot longer. In fact, you might improve, but you may not ever get to the level that you want to get to if you’re not scrutinising your own work and thinking about how to improve it in depth, and having that real reflective approach to improvement. Okay?
So, now let’s talk about this in English and how you guys can apply this to improving your English no matter what level you currently have. Okay? We’ll go up the top of the mountain. Let’s head up.
I think that was a bad idea. This hill’s really steep, guys. I’m going to have to wait for like 10 minutes once I get to the top just so that I’m not out of breath and you guys zone give me a hard time about my cardio abilities. Beautiful day though. Beautiful day!
I’ve been walking for like 10 minutes looking for these bloody kangaroos. First time ever I’ve been in Mulligan’s Flat and I couldn’t see kangaroos. I’ve come up this hill, come all the way down, these guys are here, the moment I set the tripod up and move towards it and clicked go, there’s dust and they’re gone. Anyway.
I wanted to chat to you guys about applying the Reflective Practice principle, theory, whatever it is, to your English. How this is going to help you improve your English no matter what your level is as fast as possible.
And instead of just giving you a bit of my mind spewed out, I want to try and give you some actionable… *Rosellas calling*. I want to try… Are you done? Good. I want to try and give you some actionable tips that you guys can apply to your English learning… whatever the ways that you set it up, okay? So, you’ve got a routine, a schedule, maybe you don’t even have one of these, but if you have a routine or schedule, I want you to try and apply these several tips and tricks to that schedule in order to improve your English. Okay?
Alright. So, number one. You need to define a practice session. Whatever it is, however it is that you’re practicing, when you’re practicing your English, I think you need to create a half an hour or maybe a 1-hour period at least once a week where you are actively practicing your English.
Number two. During those sessions, you need feedback. Whether it’s internal and it’s coming from you when you can work out what it is that you’re doing wrong, or whether it’s external and it’s coming from someone else, a friend, a family member, a tutor, a teacher, whoever it is, you need to be getting some kind of feedback on which you can then practice, you can scrutinize, you can improve upon.
Number three. You need to go away and practice on the feedback that you’ve just been given. What is it that you got wrong and how can you do it correctly next time?
Finally, number four, guys. You need to take this in mind and use it to organize your next practice session, and it becomes a cyclical process. You need to apply this every time you do this practice session and you’re going to get results that just compound. You’re going to improve a lot faster than if you were just winging it, you were just improvising, every single time.
So, I guess, finishing up. This is something that I always… I always get asked when I meet people who’ve been in Australia for a very long time, and they say to me, I’ve been here for nine years and my English hasn’t improved. What am I doing wrong? And I’ll ask them, how are you practising? Usually, they’ll say, I’m not. Or they’ll say, oh, I speak, but I don’t study. Or they will be studying, but they won’t be practising the things that they’ve studied.
So, that’s it for me today, guys. Hopefully, you got something useful out of this. Don’t forget to hit subscribe, don’t forget to hit that bell notification button if you would like to stay up to date with all the future episodes, and if you have suggestions, if you have questions for things you would like videos on, put them in a comment below. And now, it’s my turn to put my money where my mouth is, get out there, start taking some photos, maybe some videos as well, and working on what I’ve been trying to improve during my Reflective Practice sessions.
So, with that, guys, let’s go have a look and see what’s around today in Mulligan’s Flat.
Target acquired. I found this little bunch of trees here and I can hear them squeaking. These are these small birds that I’m after and I’m trying to get really sharp nice shots of, that I’ve been having quite a bit of trouble with recently. Let’s see how we go.
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By pete — 3 years ago
In this episode of Aussie English I teach you guys how to use the expression “To head + direction”, such as “to head to”, “to head north”, “to head out”, “to head down”, etc.
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Ep068: Expression – To Head + Direction
G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today, I’m going to run you through an expression, an expression that I use quite a lot in English, and that a lot of other native English speakers use all the time, and the expression is “to head somewhere”, “to head somewhere”.
So, “To head somewhere” just means to move somewhere, to move in a particular direction, and it’s often substituted in instead of verbs such as “to go somewhere” or “To come from somewhere”, “To come somewhere”, depending on the direction you’re going. And this expression also, “To head somewhere”, it’s often paired with words such as, “To head to”, “To head from”, “To head up”, “To head down”, “To head north”, “To head south”, “To head west”, “East”. So, it’s often paired with a word that infers a direction. “To head into”, “To head out of”, “To head over to”, you’ll often hear it like that. So, some example sentences we should go through first. Um… you could say things like, “I’m heading to work”, and this just means, “I’m going to work”. “I’m heading north up to the coast for the weekend”, “I’m going north up to the coast for the weekend”. So, you can see there it’s paired with “North”, suggesting that you’re going up, or you’re going north in that direction. “I’m heading out tonight to go clubbing”, that just means, “I’m going out to go clubbing”. Ah… “We’re heading into a tunnel”. “We’re going into a tunnel”. So, this would be like if you’re in a train or something and you’re about to enter a tunnel or you’re about to go into a tunnel, you could say that you are heading into a tunnel. And then when you’re coming out of that tunnel on the other side you could say, “Hey, we’re about to head out of the tunnel”. So, “We’re about to head out of the tunnel”.
Um… a few more examples, “I’m heading to Pete’s place this arvo.” “I’m going to Pete’s place this arvo”, it’s the same thing. “We’re going over to Pete’s place”. “We’re heading to Pete’s place”. Ah… “Each day I head to uni at 9am.” “Each day I go to uni at 9am”. “How’re you getting to the party mate?” “I”ll head there from work.” So, “How’re you getting to the party mate?” “I”ll go there from work”.
Cool. So, there’s not really much more to it guys. It’s just the kind of verb that you will hear all the time, “To head somewhere”. “To head up”, “to head down”, “to head north”, “to head south”, “to head to”, “to head from”, “to head into”, “to head out of”. You’re going to hear this all the time in native[ly spoken] English, especially spoken by Australians I think.
Um… So, I thought I would run you through a substitution drill here at the end where I will say sentences using the verbs “to go” or “to come” and you have to try and change the sentence to use the verb “to head” instead of the verb “to go” or “to come” that I will have put into this sentence. So, try and repeat the sentence after me with the verb “head” and then I will say after that one the proper sentence so that you can check that you were correct. So, listen and repeat after me guys.
I go to work everyday.
I head to work everyday.
We’re going to the party tonight.
We’re heading to the party tonight.
They’re going to the servo to get petrol.
They headed to the servo to get petrol.
And a side note there, you’ve got to remember that “Servo” is “A service station” where you buy petrol, and diesel and fuel for your car.
I’ll go to yours in the arvo.
I’ll head to yours in the arvo.
And remember there that “Arvo” means “Afternoon”.
Are you coming to his?
Are you heading to his?
When are they coming to the pool?
When are they heading to the pool?
The train is going into the tunnel.
The train is heading into the tunnel.
The surfer’s coming out of the water.
The surfer’s heading out of the water.
I might go in for the night because I’m tired.
I might head in for the night because I’m tired.
Did you want to go out tonight?
Did you want to head out tonight?
I’ll go there from work.
I’ll head there from work.
We’re going up the coast for a holiday.
We’re heading up the coast for a holiday.
The train’s going south to Geelong.
The train’s heading south to Geelong.
I’ll go downstairs once I’ve cleaned my room.
I’ll head downstairs once I’ve cleaned my room.
The family’s going north to the NSW.
The family’s heading north to the NSW.
Are you coming down to my place later?
Are you heading down to my place later?
So, that’s probably enough substitution drills there for you guys today. Um… they may be a little bit difficult because I’ve tried to say these drills today at my natural pace, and with my more natural Australian pronunciation. So, you’ll probably notice when you go back and listen again that they have been said pretty quickly and that I’ve also joined some of these words, I’ve used the contractions that I would use when speaking such as saying instead of “Want to” I’ve said “Wanna”, all that sort of stuff. So, if you’re finding it difficult remember that you can download the transcripts online and you can read the transcript while you’re listening to these episodes and practice, and then later you can always listen to these episodes again without reading the transcript in order to keep practicing and keep learning English, and yeah, keep practicing my pronunciation if you want to learn an Australian accent the way that I speak. If you don’t, and you just want to be able to understand how I’m speaking, and the words that I’m saying and how I’m saying them then just repeat the sentences in your own accent as you would after I say them.
Anyway, that’s long enough for today guys. I hope you’re enjoying the episodes and I’ll chat to you soon. All the best.
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By pete — 8 months ago
AE 460 – Interview: Tips for Overseas Students in Australia with the Melbourne Vibe Team
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English, and in this interview episode specifically, for anyone wanting to learn about how to get a job, how to buy food, cost of living in Australia, everything for students and new arrivals to Australia, okay?
So, remember guys, if you would like the transcript for this episode as well as all of the other episodes, you can get access to every single transcript and MP3, you can download these when you sign up via theAussieEnglishPodcast.com.
You will see the words “Sign Up” in the menu, click that, and then it is just a small fee per month if you would like access.
Also, don’t forget, guys, if you would like to take your English to the next level, this podcast is brought to you by the Aussie English Classroom, an online learning environment with quizzes, with videos, with MP3s, all the bonus content for anyone interested in taking their English to the next level. And you can try that at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. It is just $1 for your first month. Go over there and give it a go.
Anyway, today’s episode is an interview episode guys, and I have a special set of guests, not just one guest, I have two guests, for you today in this interview. The first is David and the second is Jocelyn, and these guys are the team at Melbourne Vibe.
Now, Melbourne Vibe I found on YouTube and these guys are a start-up, obviously set up in Melbourne, down in the south east of Australia, and these guys produce awesome, awesome videos. They’re taking off on YouTube at the moment and the videos are all about being overseas students in Australia. So, if you are currently an overseas student, you’re living in Australia, you want to find out where you can work, you want to find out about which cities you can live in, how to rent somewhere, the kinds of prices you’ll have to pay for renting, where to find food, all of those kinds of pieces of information for people living in Australia at the moment in these different cities, this channel, and Melbourne Vibe the start-up, is just a brilliant, brilliant resource for you.
So, I want to say a massive thank you to both David and Jocelyn for coming on today’s podcast. It is full of so much good information that is going to make the lives of a lot of you guys listening to this podcast easier if you’re trying to find work, food, somewhere to live, all of that sort of stuff.
So, anyway guys without any further ado, let’s get into it. Jocelyn, David from Melbourne vibe, thank you so much. Let’s go.
G’day guys, welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today I have Dave and Jocelyn from Melbourne Vibe, a YouTube channel that I found recently that’s sort of become my secret little addiction. David and Jocelyn welcome. How did you guys get started?
How did we get started? Basically, there was a gap in the market and there wasn’t that many videos that were catering to international students and we played around with a few different things like travel and vlogs and things like that, and we fell into this one.
Yeah pretty much. These are the things that a lot of people that look for, they are coming here and there are so many people coming to Australia. So there was nothing there. like I myself before coming here was looking for these things and it wasn’t there. So we just decided “Why not just make it?”.
So what were you left with Dave? And when did you get to Australia? Do you want to talk a bit about that story and how you discovered all these things on your own before there was a resource for you to search for and get this information?
Yes. I’m in my 3rd semester at Monash University. I’m doing my Master’s of Business there and I came here late last June and when I was coming here… Before coming here obviously I was looking for things like how is Australia and how are people and what’s the weather like all the basics questions that a lot of people that are coming here they have. So I was just looking for it and there weren’t much things, like if you talk about the United States there are a lot of things that by each State you would get to know. But in Australia particularly they weren’t videos and these days a lot of people don’t wanna read pages and pages.
Exactly! I’m one of those people. I’m always… I open an article and I’m like “oh my God! more than 500 words! Can’t be bothered.”
So that was pretty much it. And they’re… It’s pretty surprising; students from almost 200 countries come to Australia every year.
It’s amazing. And then we just started and in a month or two the response that we got was pretty amazing.
I definitely noticed that. But I mean how did you guys meet too? And how did you… Did you come up with this idea together or was it something one of you is doing beforehand and you just decided we’re going to work better as a team?
Well basically… So I already had a YouTube channel, I just stopped uploading. I was originally a make-up artist and then I started uploading make-up tutorials and things like that back in the day, 2014/2015, when it was really popular. And then I’ve also got a background in photography as well. So I had all the equipment and everything and I knew how YouTube worked and social media and things like that. Then I actually went to India and when I came back I met Dave and we started talking randomly at a party and he also had an interest in photography, so then we just basically kept talking. And he’s wanting to do YouTube and things like that, and he already sort of had an idea of where he wanted to take things, and obviously I had that technical background in everything. So we just kept brainstorming and this is what happened.
So what was it step by step? For any of the listeners right now thinking “I want to start a YouTube channel!” How did you go through that process and how did you get started? Did you just jump in and you were like “Look, it’s going to be quick and dirty to begin with but we’ll just give it a go and see what happens and get better as we go,” or did you fully plan things out and try and make it as professional as possible from the beginning?
I’d say we researched and planned a lot. Like I said, I had the technical and experience on youtube and I had somewhat grown a channel. I also had friends that are doing really really well on Youtube; it’s their full time job, so I had that support. But in saying that it came down to knowledge about SEO and basically the knowledge that we had in the videos. So making sure that… Obviously we had all the information for the particular videos and then… I don’t really know what I’m trying to say, to be honest…
I know what you mean…
I think the most important part to somebody who was actually goiing to start a YouTube channel is think of an idea, shortlist it, and just go for it. You never know whether it’s going to be successful, it’s not going to be successful, but you don’t do it to make it successful. You do it because it’s your hobby. So just do it that way, because a lot of people… I think there are 22 million YouTube channels these days…
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Yeah! But the important part is the consistency. Like the way you keep uploading your new language lessons that we have been learning, it is really cool! So that’s what you have to do. That’s consistency is the key.
I know. It does feel like throwing shit at the wall quite often, where you just like “I keep having to just keep doing it and eventually something random will happen and suddenly people find it…” But yeah, you can sort of nail or cut down on the “buying lottery tickets” kind of style of making videos when you can implement really good SEO, definitely learnt that the hard way after probably a year of doing really really bad search engine optimisation and then finally sort of having friends go, “Maybe you should try this,” and that made a huge difference. So what have you with… Some of the videos that I like that I really wanted to chat to you about was cities around Australia and things like cost of living and lifestyle. If I was a foreign student thinking of coming to Australia and I came to you guys and said “Okay I want to study at university,” could be anything, but which city would you recommend if I could live anywhere in Australia and why?
So what would we recommend to those people? We’re biased! Melbourne, obviously!
Why Melbourne then? Why Melbourne? I’m sure people always say that because they will here all the time “Melbourne! Melbourne! Melbourne!” What makes Melbourne so much better than everywhere else in Australia? And then what’s the number 2?
So I actually come from New South Wales. So I was brought up about four hours away from Sydney itself. I lived on the coast and it was beautiful and I love NSW’s beaches, and the bush and everything. But when it comes to Melbourne it is a totally different atmosphere and there’s so much more culture here. There’s a whole art scene which I’m really into as well. So personally for me I feel like I fit in better here in that respect, because there is more things for me to do, more of my interests that are based here. And it’s just… I think it’s a more relaxed city and for me I feel like it’s easier to get around, but I’m in the city basically 24/7, so I’m just on TransLink and so… If you want a really relaxed lifestyle, obviously then you’ve got Brisbane. It’s a lot more quieter. It’s basically like a country town to be honest.
Yeah, I’ve been there to pass through, but never actually hung out spent some time getting to know the place.
I’ve only gone for holidays and things like that but people that I know that’ve liked there a long time; they really get to know the community and everyone around there. So you want that community and you want that small town and you want to know pretty much everyone who’s anyone then Brisbane is the place to go. And I guess coming third for me would be Sydney. The only reason coming in third is because to me it’s just too big, like Crazy! And for me the traffic – I can’t deal with that.
I found out recently… My girlfriend and I drove in for the weekend to go to some restaurants and we saw three accidents in a single day and I’d never experienced that, where a car had… And it wasn’t like big accidents it was just they’d gone into the back of someone. That same accident I kept seeing. I couldn’t believe it, three times! and I was like… I never see this in Melbourne so I don’t know if these guys are just overly aggressive, or if this was a chance thing, but it definitely did feel more claustrophobic too. I don’t know if it’s like… Everything’s very close-in. There’s nowhere to park. There’s yeah… Seems crazy but it is very beautiful there. But what about you?
So I was just going to say that I’m taking Dave and his friends to see Sydney this weekend. So it’s their first time, so it’s going to be really interesting.
What are you planning to see? Are you planning to go to restaurants? You planning to see the sights or?
As much as possible. Obviously all the touristy things like Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Beach. We’ll be staying on the beach so they’ll get to see the Bondi Wharf, everything like that.
So what about you Dave? What was your experience coming to Australia and obviously you ended up in Melbourne. Did you start in Melbourne?
Yeah I pretty much started in Melbourne, but I friends all around the country. So because… Whenever we make a video we obviously talk to somebody who has lived there, who knows everything there. I mean, I would I like Melbourne, and I had heard it has come 8 times straight “The Best City to Live in.” But I don’t know why do people not complain about the weather here!?
Yeah! The weather, you can’t deal with it! Was it a shock? Were expecting it to be pretty…
I was not expecting it! I was not! I didn’t think it! Any commercial about Australia… What is shown? It is shown that it’s sunny. There are beautiful beaches. It’s amazing. Nobody ever talks how cold that is!
Yeah that’s pretty surprising! I think too… We just moved to Canberra. So we’ve been here for maybe three months now and aside from it getting pretty cold at night, I was really shocked with just the consistency of the weather, to be honest. That was like reverse shock for me because I’m used to Melbourne. I’m like “Okay, it’s going to be cold in the morning. It’ll probably get hot when the sun comes out, it might rain and that’s probably gonna be cold again. But in Canberra it was like even when it was cold you walk outside and there’s no clouds and the sun just burns you and you’re like “Oh okay, well it’s like this for the rest of the day.” Yeah it definitely is pretty funny. So have you ever travelled around Australia as well, much in your time whilst you’ve been here?
No. I’ve travelled around Melbourne but Melbourne is pretty much where I’ve been based. So next thing would be Sydney, this weekend.
Oh wow. Awesome. Well I hope it goes well. And how did you find acclimating to the language here in Australia? How how did that go? And was it a tough experience, or did you come prepared, or..?
I definitely did not come prepared. If I talk about myself… I think it was my second day in Australia, and then somebody was showing me around and they just took me to some mall and they just greeted and they must have said “How are you going?”, and I had no idea what they said. I’m just staring at them for two second then I’m like “This is gonna to get awkward, so I’m just going to smile and leave,”.
Man, I came up with the best response. My girlfriend… We were walking – she’s Brazilian – so we’re walking into Safeway the other day and there was a guy there who must have been from somewhere in Southeast Asia working there. He walked up to us and he was just like he said something like “Angi mangi maa!” I just had no idea what he said and I’m just like “That’s it!” And the guy just started laughing and was like “Yeah man!”, and we walked off, and my girlfriend’s looked at me and she’s like “What the hell did he say!?” and I’m like “I have no idea, but if you just point at them and say ‘that’s it’, it doesn’t matter if it is a question. It doesn’t matter what it is!” So did it take long to get used to the slang?
I mean… it pretty much did. I don’t really understand a lot of slangs, but because a lot of people that come here, they are pretty comfortable with English, so that… Obviously you’re going to be able to communicate well and that’s… It not gonna to be a major issue. But when it comes to really Australan language, those slangs and everything, then you know this goes top of my head. I don’t get it at all.
I think it’s one of those things. It takes time and you have to not really think that all of your English is going to require you to understand every single slang word. It’s like context or give it away or you just asnk someone and they’ll be like “oh you know.” Anyone who keeps using too much slang with a person who’s clearly from overseas too is just an arsehole right. Especially if they can see you don’t understand and they keep doing it… So what about you Jocelyn? How have you go on with learning Australian English? Obviously you’re native, you’ve been doing this a while!
Obviously. Growing up, born and bred!
Do you have advice for students or foreigners like Dave coming over here that would better prepare them for the language and the difference… The differences they may experience compared to the US or the UK?
I don’t think there’s much you can do to prepare yourself particularly Australian slang. It’s something that you just learn once you get there. But the more people you talk to and the more open you are to meeting people, you’ll start to get used to it. And obviously people understand that you’re not from the country so if you’re just like “what does that mean?” you’re not you’re not gonna look like an idiot, because… Some of the stuff even I understand. sometimes I go to other states and I’m like “I don’t even know what that means and I’m from this country. What are you talking about?”.
I think it was a rude awakening for me when I finished high school and left Geelong and then I remember… I think we went somewhere interstate and someone was talking about “togs” and I was like “What the hell togs!?”… “Swimmers!” and I was like “Oh my God. Bathers, Jesus!”, but now I use “togs” all the time and I’m just “Togs, of course!” It’s so funny that you kind of absorb these things all the time. Crazy. And so what about getting used to uni life here in Australia? I saw that you had a lot of videos talking about paying for university fees, finding a university. Do you have any advice for students who are thinking about coming to Australia or who may already be here, with regards to just setting up their lives as students in Australia?
Yeah so primrary thing that I think benefited me was that I was very open to talk to people from all over the world. And that’s one thing that I want everybody to do. What happens is that because you don’t have family here, you may have come out of your house for the first time in a different country, you don’t know anyone. So you try to speak with people of your country. Which would be with Indians and Saudis… All the countries. It’s just more comfortable because you can talk to your language, you’re a little bit homesick but you don’t want to accept and… I would just say that just have more friends from all over the world, because it’s just amazing fascinating to know everything. To know a different culture. Just journey with other people. And once you start doing that another thing that you don’t even consciously do but you’re going to network like crazy. And that’s going to come handy so much.
So is that how you guys obviously met, too? You were putting yourself out there, getting social and going to events, and you guys obviously met as a result?
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What kind of activities or events would you suggest people do then? Because I know you know if I… Tomorrow I move to Sri Lanka or Africa or something I would be thinking “I have no idea about what activities to do here, I’m just gonna look for Australians or people who speak English.” And obviously if you want people to avoid doing that what can they do in order to try and do that as seamlessly as possible without it being really traumatic?
Yeah I think the easiest is going to be is if they’re student, they have the university.
They’re forced to meet other students.
Yeah there are going to be students from all over the world so that is the easiest, and if… So i always tell everybody when you go to university and when you graduate you should have five people that you should count on that’s going to be even when you die. So those five things… Those five people you should care about, you should have in your life…
And make sure they’re not from your home country!
Exactly! And that should be from different countries.
You can have one! your allowed one from your own home country, that you can talk with in your native language in breaks when it’s just you two. So would you put a lot of emphasis, though, on having native speakers as your friends if you want to improve your English or is having people who don’t speak your mother tongue but speak English as friends just as good because it still forces you to be using English all the time?
Yeah. I think if you want to be good… If anybody wants to be good at English they shouldn’t have the best friend who’s Australian, because their English is going to get stuck!
Why is that?
That’s just a joke!
Could be true!
No, but definitely they should not talk… Even when they are with their people from their country, they should make sure that they talk in English, because it’s just about being comfortable with that language. So when you reach a level when you start thinking in English that’s when you’re going to get comfortable speaking, and it’s very difficult.
Was that something you had to sort of build over time? build that confidence? Or did you just come in all-guns-blazing and you were like “I don’t care, I am just going to just put myself out there,” or is it something you just have to be obviously conscious of growing over time?
Even myself, I was very conscious that if I had to talk to anyone, I have to walk and talk to anybody you say, I don’t think I still can do. I can if I need something from them or if I have something to talk about, but if it’s just like “Hey, yeah, what’s up? What’s your name?” That’s something that is really difficult… But it starts from there. You have to put out there, not everybody’s going to respond to you well, but it’s just practice; You’re gonna learn, you’re going to understand what to say, when to say, how to say, how to present yourself, how to market yourself. And that only comes with practice. You cannot read it. You cannot watch any videos. I mean you can learn little bit, but if you want to master it you have the practice it.
Well I’m always saying that if you wanna run a marathon you don’t learn on YouTube, you can get tips, but she ultimately have to do the running, you have to do the time on the road, and it’s the same with any language, I think, where you just have to keep doing it, doing it, doing it. That’s awesome. Jocelyn I’ve got a question for you: with regards to Australia compared to the US, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, what would say, obviously from a biased point of view, are the reasons you should choose Australia compared to those other countries for studying or living abroad?
Well I mean…
I mean, you can go to new beaches for 27 years straight…
Is that once a day is it? If you go to one new beach a day you’ve got to take 27 years or something, is it?
Literally! That’s what brought me here, and then came to Melbourne and then I realised I cannot even go to swim, it’s so cold!
Yeah, and there’s sharks right?
Honestly just being able to travel so freely in Australia, obviously with the road trips, the a country itself, and the people. The people are amazing and I love Australia.
So what would you say people don’t expect? Are there any things you would warn people about… When they come to Australia, are they any things that most people get shocked about, that they had no idea about before getting here?
That we have so many metropolitan areas. People seem to think they come here and it’s the middle of nowhere. Again, the weather. So many people have said to me “Why’s Melbourne so cold? Where is the summer?”, we get three months of summer, guys… You got to go to Brisbane.
And it’s 40 degrees on several of those days, so it gets hot but it still sucks!
Exactly! So just expect a lot of that.
I think another reason why… Because I personally, before coming to Australia, I was looking at different countries and I was 99 percent sure that I was going to go to the United States and then Trump happened! And that’s it. I’m not going there!
So that wasn’t so much that you were unable to go there., did you just see that and you were like “Nope. Not doing that.”
I mean… I had a visa, I can go today. But the point is that Australia is, if you think about it, United States, Europe… Australia is still growing, and growing quite fast. So that’s exactly why people… A lot of people from all over the world wants to come to Australia. Canada is growing as well, but then Canada comes… They don’t even get three months of summer that we get here. And you need that. You want to go to the beach, you want to stay there, chill for a weekend, all the things that you want. It’s this quality life here. Australia has pretty much everything; if you want a little bit chill yet fast life, you come to Melbourne. You want really fast life, you go to Sydney. You want chill life, good weather, amazing, you go to Brisbane. And there’s so much to do. So I think Australia has been pretty much on top three countries that people want to go to, even to stay, to study, for anything.
And are you thinking about staying here long term after you finish studying, or would you like to live elsewhere, or go home, or what is it sort of like from a student’s perspective and is it easier to get PR and citizenship if you were wanting to stay here than, say, America or Canada?
So based on our research, and obviously we’re not… You have to give any advice regarding immigration, you have to be authorized, but we’re not. And personally, I’m not really sure if I want to live in Australia because the reason I wanted to come to Australia was to explore, and there is so much, and the world is so huge. So I wouldn’t be able to say that I want to live here or not. And in fact… I come from India. And India is so diverse and so amazing, so if I can live in my country I would be more than happy there. But thinking about it, I think I would… I personally would, and a lot of people who are thinking that they just want to go to Australia, you guys come to Australia, it’s great, but also main thing that anybody comes to Australia should have is an open mind over everything. Think about what you have been doing; these languages, listening to 50 sentences every day. Learning these things. That takes a lot. And that happens when you want to do something new, maybe you wanna grind. That’s so amazing. That’s the thing everybody should have: an open mind to learn things.
So do you think in your experience too Jocelyn, have you met people where they tend to do a lot better if they do have an open mind and are a lot more open to opportunities as opposed to “this is what I’m doing and I’m not deviating from that path at all”?
Yeah definitely. And I think… Going back to the English thing as well, I’ve seen so many people that have come from overseas just so intensely with their language themselves just by hanging out with English speaking people or just forcing them and their friends to speak English. And then even with myself, just in career and everything, when I started there I was like “This is what I want. This is what I’m doing. this is where I’m going.” I was opening myself to other opportunities and then the last couple of years I was like “No like I have to stop doing that,” and so many things grown from that including obviously Melbourne VIBE, and meeting so many people and… So I agree, definitely. Open up yourself to as many possibilities as you can because you’ll definitely grow tenfold.
And switching now on to cost of living in Australia. How does that compare? Because you guys have done quite a few awesome videos comparing the different cities in Australia and the cost of living in these different cities, which I really recommend anyone listening – if you’re thinking about coming to Australia to check out these Melbourne via videos on the different cities… When you were doing that, did you find anything that surprised you? And what is the average cost of living? Does it vary a lot? Could you talk a bit about how it differs between cities in Australia?
The most variation is going to be your accommodation. That is where it’s really gonna get you. So obviously if you’re looking at Sydney, I think it is the most expensive city in Australia by a lot.
Canberra’s catching up.
Yeah Canberra is crazy. All of the politicians they’re buying out of all of the houses probably.
We got here and we went to some inspections that had a hundred people inspecting this… Like crack dens, horrible houses and the rent for our little room, which is this tiny, tiny room we can’t fit a desk in It’s 350 dollars a week for two of us.
Yeah I used to live in Canberra. Even 10 years ago, it was stupid amounts of money for studio apartment. I pay half in Melbourne than I was 10 years ago in Canberra, and I get more in Melbourne.
I left Melbourne thinking “Oh my gosh this is one of the most expensive places in Australia! I can’t wait to get elsewhere and save money,” and it was like “WRONG!”
No unless you’re making twice as much money!
So it’s going to be a culmination between these places and can you offset that, though? Even if you look these numbers up and you see, “Okay, oh god. Melbourne’s 600 bucks a month to maybe 900 dollars, depending on where you want to live,” is it easy to offset that with working as well? I remember I just saw a video from you David, talking about making up to three thousand dollars a month, right? from 20 hours of work. So obviously if you do the right hunting, you can actually make enough money, as even a foreign student, to cover costs by a mile.
So one video that we are coming up with, and that blew our mind, that is something that we have never heard, is I just… I was talking to somebody who grabbed a job for $55,000 a year, and she only has to work 20 hours a week! And that is unbelievable! I still cannot digest that!
What job is that? Can you tell us?
It’s part of her degree. She’s doing part-time work, or a project-management company, so she’s actually able to study in her Masters..? She’s studying a Masters but she’s already got some form of work experience, so that obviously helped her. The advice would be if you have a degree behind you, find companies that you can try and work part time for, because you’re going to half the wage, which obviously when you have a degree in Australia your wages are going to generally be higher than working in hospitality or as a delivery driver or anything like that.
And you’re pretty much set up for a job once you graduate.
Exactly. It’s obviously harder in the beginning to try and get those jobs. Once you lock something that is going to set you up for the next 20 years, or however long you want to stay.
And I think the important part is that if it comes to work… Because students can work for only 20 hours. Or even in future, even if you can work for 50 hours 60 hours, just work your ass off! That’s what happens! A lot of people who just don’t do that!
That’s it. they want a free ride, right?
Yeah yeah. So they’re like, “When am I getting promotion?” But you’re not putting enough hours made… That’s what you have to do. Even if as a student, somebody gets 20 hours, then make sure you work for 30 hours in those 20 years.
Don’t just go there, cruise along, take your paycheck home and think “I did a good job,” but put the effort in and try and build the relationships or show them that maybe after you finish studying you’re worth hiring. And so what else was it like? If accommodations obviously really expensive and that’s the biggest thing people need to worry about, obviously after they’ve paid for their degree, assuming they paid for that upfront, what are the other things that they should factor into cost of living in Australia?
Obviously putting aside the essentials like eating and accommodation and utilities, things like that, we mention all of that on our videos. So a student can generally around a thousand dollars to $1500 a month, depending on how they choose to live. Obviously as a student you don’t need that much, so we always recommend you share your room, share as much as you can, barely going to be there anyways…
Exactly. I work full time and I even keep on costs because I want to save for my future as well. I mean… Exactly, prioritise. But I think the biggest thing is when you do come to a new country you want to experience that country as well and travel, so that’s going to be another big expense for you. So obviously working three to six months and then wanting to go and travel in your university breaks, it can set you back a couple grand just travelling around Australia itself, which is crazy and I think a lot of people don’t realise that when they come here…
So they come empty handed, expecting they can do everything, but then realise…?
Yeah. Obviously travelling around in your own city… There’s so much you know Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, where ever you end up, so much you can do for free. But obviously once you start looking at travelling to different states it’s going to get expensive.
So maybe also factor in, “Okay, where do I want to go and visit Australia as a holiday or as a tourist?” And maybe think about cities that are close to that location so that you can just peak your head out on the weekends as opposed to having to take an interstate flight.
Yeah exactly. And as you probably know, flights in Australia are not cheap. I think it’s cheaper to go to Bali than it is to go to Sydney.
So overall, you should be able to live off about 1000, maybe 1500 if you’re a bit extravagant a month, and how much you’re expecting to make? Even the lower end, I think I remember from your video David, was even if you’re on like 15 dollars an hour, 20 hours a week, that’s 450 what’s that 900 a fortnight? So about eighteen hundred bucks, and that’s the lowest end. So as long as you can find a job as a waiter or something somewhere, you should be easily able to make the money that’s that’s required for all of your living expenses and a bit to save to travel right?
Yeah 100%. So students generally get jobs of 20 dollars an hour and they can work for 20 hours, so thats 400 dollars a week. So that’s around $1600 to $2000, so what you said was right. So that’s what they can. And the things that we see in our videos is it’s very… We ask people not to spend a lot of money, because this is the time – if a student is watching – this is a time when you can save money. This is the time when you don’t have a lot of responsibility. This is a time… This is the only time probably, the last time that you to share your room. Because after you’re 25, 26, 27, you just want your space, you have started working…
Pretty much! Until you meet someone and then you’re like, “Oh I guess I’m sharing the room for the rest of my life!”
So that’s why all the amounts that we say is low. Because I’m sure you will have experienced, we know people that they actually their minimal expense in Melbourne and at least $2500, $3000, and it’s not something extraordinary. It’s just that they’re $1,300 is going in the rent! So it’s just for students, that these $1000 or $1200 dollars that we say, that they can manage it.
What sort of tips would you guys have for ways to save money in your research for making some of these videos? Have you found any unique or things that most people might not think about with regards to being able to save a bit of money here and there? Or is it just the standard stuff of “Don’t eat out, don’t buy extravagant stuff, don’t waste money on things you don’t really need.”.
That’s obviously, having said that, it is very important. Another thing is that, I personally have started this only after coming here, because when you are your own country, life is very comfortable. So one thing that I was wait for sale if you want to buy something. Very simple!I was like, “I like this! I’m gonna buy this,” and I buy it. And then I realise that it’s fifty dollars less. I think, “What did I just do!?” So just think about it, if you want to do something there is going to come a Boxing Day. All you get to do is wait for 4:00am or 5:00am in the morning if you want to but that laptop!
I keep having those moments at the moment, where I’m out. And I love my camera gear as well, as you can probably se I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff. And I always walk into Teds and check out their camera gear and I’m like, “Crap I really want it. Do I buy it?” And I’m like, “No, go home, Get on the internet, find a cheapo, you just have to wait two days for delivery,” and I always end up saving like 60 bucks and I’m like, “Oh thank god!”
That’s so important, that’s amazing. It’s just self control, it’s don’t buy this right now, just for two hours, you’ll find something 100%.
I think we’re almost trained nowadays, with social media and being able to get access to anything any time, to just not want to wait. A lot of the time I have an idea, I want something, it’s like, “Well I’ve got I’ve got money, I’ll go do it. Bam,” and I don’t think about it, I just do it. And it’s like you have to retrain yourself to be patient, to be a little more frugal, to save money and not be so wasteful.
True. In fact, what you say was, I think I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuck from the United States, and he said the exact same thing that you just said right now.
Well I think… Was it him who was just saying, “Stop eating all the effing smashed avacados!” And it’s so true. Eating out in Australia is frickin ridiculous… Even for me, if I go out and I’m like, “Oh my God! two burgers and two beers? that was $65? Are you serious!? Are you kidding me?” And you could do that everyday easily, if you had the money, but it adds up quickly.
Yeah, really quick!
Alright guys, well finishing up, what’s next for the channel, Melbourne VIBE? You guys are running out of cities to review, with regards to living expenses, where are you guys heading and what are you going to be covering in the near future?
Actually it’s pretty exciting because Melbourne VIBE is actually turning into a Startup, and that is going to provide a one stop solution for all international students, no matter where your from.
Yeah. So in the near future hopefully if you talk about accommodation, we’ll be able to provide. If you talk about jobs, we’ll be able to provide. You just name it, we have it.
How are you planning to do that? Is it going to be something like a website? A walk-in company? An app on the phone?
Yes so it obviously will be a website, everything will be online. As of now we just don’t… We don’t want to reveal everything because in the pipeline right now. It’s going to be a portal it’s just basically going to make all those hundreds and thousands of students who are gonna come to Australia every year. It’s going to make their lives easier. So that’s what Melbourne VIBE started with, that’s what we want to do, and that’s what we’re going to do in the future.
Do you have any timeline on when that might be ready? If people are listening right now and they’re like, “Oh man, I’m coming to Melbourne soon!” How long ’till you think things will be up and running?
Well we’re basically going hard for the next three months. So we are working we’re with a whole team at the moment to get this up and running but we don’t have… Well we have a deadline, but we don’t have a launch date at this stage.
Yeah and in fact the amazing thing is that I think a lot of people are listening and planning to come to Melbourne, is that Melbourne VIBE is launching and having a party, a meet-up, for all the new people that are going to come here in July. And that’s something that’ll be very regular. For the people who want to hang out and meet people from all over the world. That’s that’s something pretty interesting happening in July.
Awesome! So how can people find out about that? Obviously you’ll be mentioning this through social media, where can people go to hear about parties?
The best thing to do to keep in contact with that would be to join our Facebook group. Facebook.com/groups/MelbourneVibeStudyinAustralia. Basically because we can put announcements on there and that’s just going to go through to everyone’s Facebook. If they don’t have Facebook, there’s obviously Instagram and Twitter, and they can follow us on social media like that or we’ll announce it on YouTube as well.
Awesome guys! Jocelyn and Dave thank you so much for coming on the podcast today.
It was lovely talking to you!
No worries, Cheers guys!
All right, guys. That was Melbourne Vibe, the team from Melbourne Vibe. Thank you so much again David and thank you so much again Jocelyn.
Remember guys, if you want to find out more about these guys, if you want to check out their amazing videos, you can jump on to YouTube and just search ‘Melbourne vibe’. That is two words: M E L B O U R N E, Melbourne, and the second word is ‘vibe’, V I B E. Okay? And make sure you give them a thumbs up, give them share, and give them a comment saying “G’day from Aussie English”.
Anyway, guys, I hope that helps. I hope your stay in Australia is going really well if you happen to be an overseas student who has just arrived and needs this kind of information, and if not, I hope it was still helpful. I hope you guys have an amazing week and I’ll chat to you soon. See ya!
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