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AE 501 – Interview: How Artur and Luma Moved to Australia from Brazil
G’day, guys! Welcome to this episode of the English today I have a special episode for you with two of my housemates when I was living in Canberra.
So, this is a few months ago. I’ve been saving this one up for a rainy day, and today I get to chat with my housemates, my old housemates, Luma and Artur. So, these guys are from Brazil and I thought it would be a good excuse to sit them down and tell me their story about how they ended up Down Under, right.
So, you’ll get to hear about why and how they move to Australia, the challenges of learning the language, different accents, and obviously, how they got work and what visas they’re on, and all that kind of jazz okay.
Also, I just want to mention that this is going to obviously be Sunday’s episode. So, I have been busting my arse working on episode 500 all week, which came out I think on Thursday, maybe Wednesday, Thursday? And I lost track of time and didn’t have enough time to also make an expression episode, so that is why this one is out today on a Sunday instead of an expression episode, though, I will try to get one out next week, but I’m also tinkering with a few different things to see what I can do on the podcast to really jazz things up to do things differently. So, anyway, thanks for your patience. Thanks for your understanding, guys. I really appreciate it.
Before we get into the episode, guys, this episode is brought to you by the Native English course. So, this course is aimed at intermediate students wanting to get to an advanced and more natural level in their English. You will save 15 percent coupon AUSSIE, that’s A U S S I E. When you go to the website lingova.com, that is L I N G O V A. So, all the links will be in the transcript, guys.
It’s a really good course. There’s a lot of really good material in there from my friend Justin who is really passionate about helping intermediate to advanced learners of English.
So, if you’re having trouble at the moment with sounding more natural, using spoken contractions, using culturally appropriate English, I really recommend going to Lingova.com, signing up for this course, giving it a go, the videos are wonderful, and I think there’s also a free section that you can check out before you sign up so that you can see what the course is all about. So, go give that a look.
And now let’s get into the episode.
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Hey, guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English! Today I have a special interview with my housemates: Luma and Artur or Artur.
There you go, that’s alright, Artur.
So, you guys are Brazilians and I want to get you on because you’re a couple and you’ve gone through the whole process of moving from Brazil, learning Australian English, getting settled in Australia in multiple locations. And so I thought it’d be good to have you on the podcast. For anyone who’s going to be going through the same kind of situations, I guess, so let’s just start at the start. Why Australia? What made you guys decide like we want to move to this place with kangaroos and people with difficult accents?
Yeah. So, hi Pete! We both came to Australia we didn’t know each other but we came to Australia maybe almost 10 years ago. First time, just travelling or spending like… he came to spend, I don’t know, six months here?
So yeah this was before you guys had met.
Independently, you both came here.
Yeah, we came here by ourselves. I came in 2006, my brother used to live in Sydney with my… my brother and my sister in law, that’s right. They used to live in Sydney and I came over just to spend three months as holidays and then I fell in love with Australia straight away.
What was it about Australia though?
I was about the lifestyle, the warm weather, the people, the surf, the lifestyle very much and then I had to go back to Brazil, I was still int the college and then…
So, was that six months to study English?
Three months, just for a holiday, actually, but I had I had to learn English somehow because I was working as a labourer, even though I was 16.
And then I had to go back home and then went through the whole uni process. But ever since then I’ve always had it on the back of my mind that I would like to come back to Australia once and then five years, six years later I decided to come abroad once again and here I am.
What about you, Luma?
I came, I don’t remember exactly the year but I was 18 and it was in the middle of my university. I went to an exchange in New Zealand so, I was there for eight months.
So, it’s like 90 percent Australia, almost there, but not quite.
Yeah, exactly! And then I decide to go travelling because I was supposed to be in Australia for only a month and end up staying six months.
So, how did you do that? Did you have a certain visa…?
Actually, I was with a tourist visa, but that time was easier to get the tourist visas so I got three months visa that I applied straight from New Zealand. And then once this one was finished and applied from Australia to another three months visa. But I believe that nowadays is much harder to do it.
And so, what happened after that, you went home to Brazil?
Then I went home. Finish my university was building my career back in Brazil and then I was like no I want to go back to Australia. I always felt… I love Brazil it’s my country, but I felt that the problems that we have in Brazil is what we have here and what makes life so much easier our life quality that you have here in Australia it’s… you can’t compare.
So, what are the biggest differences with regards to quality of life? And I guess too, aside from that, what makes you come straight after university? Because that seems like it’s probably the hardest time to move because you’ve just, you know, graduated you have your career going, because Kell did exactly the same thing. She was a journalist, worked for a few years after her degree and then left it all to come to Australia effectively start from scratch, it seems like a lot of Brazilians are doing that. So, what are the biggest differences between Brazil and Australia?
I feel that in Brazil we kind of okay, you finish your high school, you need to go straightaway to university. Is more cultural than here in Australia where a lot of people once they finish their high school they can’t have their own time to decide what they want to do with their lives.
And they tend to go overseas.
Then they go overseas and then once they are back in they know exactly what they want to do then they start doing uni or they can even do some technical course but in Brazil is really rare. You have like really few options to do it. So, normally people finish university, finish high school, go to university find a job and then decide building their life.
I heard that it’s hard, like Kel was saying she was working 12 hours a day, six, seven days a week and getting paid nothing.
That was the main reason, actually, the salary is really bad back home.
Because that blows my mind too. You were saying Arthur, you are a lawyer and their salary is bad, whereas for me in Australia that’s like…
You can’t even compare, actually. The salary was… was really bad and I was working like 12 hours a day, without seeing the sunlight and I thought, alright, I’m 23… More time I spend back home, more roots you create and it’ll make it harder to travel abroad once again. So, I thought alright that’s the right time to do it otherwise it’s going to get harder.
It’s never going to happen.
Eventually, I’ll get married or… that’s pretty much the process that you’ll plan now.
That’s funny because most Brazilians you meet here probably are at that stage in life, right? They’ll finish university or… in fact, yeah, they tend to finish university and be at that stage where you would otherwise be organising your career, but then they come to Australia and just say no, screw that, I’m starting again.
That’s right. And here, for example, back home to eventually just to buy a car, as simple as that, you have to work for at least one year, saving up as much as you can to buy this simple car you can find.
That blew my mind as well. Kel was telling me about that and that some people you pretty much can’t get on without a loan from the bank. That it might be 10 years’ worth of repayments.
So, expensive to have a car there.
Unless you are in a high position…
Petrol can be like 2 dollars, 3 dollars a litre?
Even more, even more nowadays.
Because that’s something we take for granted. But so did that blow your mind when you guys both came to Australia and you saw that things were completely differently here at least with regards to all these things that previously you would have thought we’re out of your reach or at least very difficult to get? Did that shock you?
I need to say my experience back in Brazil, I was building my career and I was actually getting paid well. So, I couldn’t really complain like just finishing graduation and be able to work in a big company and getting paid good money. But then you feel that… I was really young, I was 23 and started like okay… I still have so many years to do exactly what I am doing now and what I feel here in Australia it’s much easier for you to get all these things, but you need to work hard. Is not like everyone thinks like you arrive in Australia and you’re going to have the dream life. It’s not like that. The life… at the same time you get paid really well, your life cost is high as well, but in the same time if that’s fair.
It pays off.
Yeah exactly, you get everything, basically, from the government even if you’re still not Australia you feel safe in the country, you know that with the money they would get even working as a waitress or a cleaner or whatever you do, you’re able to survive.
And then start saving money and doing your things, when in Brazil if you don’t have university or anything is just like… if you don’t have your family here… it’s almost impossible.
That’s one of those things, I was chatting to Kell about it recently, I kept mentioning her because this is our connection with Brazil, but I feel like it’s sort of a double-edged blade where in Australia you can rely on the government for a lot more so you don’t have to rely on your family for much and so that those connections aren’t very strong. Like, if you don’t just decide to live in the same place as your family, you might, you know, not really see them very often or you don’t need to rely on them for anything. It’s kind of like we live in a society that’s so good today that our familial and social connections aren’t as strong because we don’t need them.
So, it’s a double-edged blade, but what surprised you about cost of living here in Australia too? Are that things that were more expensive, things that were less expensive, things that shocked you or was it just like you sort of got what you expected when you came?
I think the main point will be the rent, the rent in Sydney is quite expensive.
But as soon as you start working you realise that you have enough money to organise yourself, but if you compare the rent, in Sydney let’s say, where we came from and compared back home it’s extremely high. You wouldn’t think that it’s affordable, but once you start working and then building up your own budget you can easily deal with that.
What did you think of certain jobs too, like being a waiter or even being a tradie, being jobs where you can actually make quite a bit of money?
That’s right. It depends how keen you want to learn something new.
And I think it’s amazing as well like. It’s fair to everyone. I don’t believe that you need to have a degree to be someone and get paid well, you’re all doing a job and you should be that need to be valuable like it is still a hard work. You need to have your knowledge so…
That’s what was crazy, I feel like tradies here in Australia and I’m so used to people who build walls, build houses, do the electrics, do the plumbing everything like that, at least for me, those people make a lot of money. They have to work in their arses off, but they make a lot of money and that would be… I remember going to school and having a guy who was in primary school with me. I remember when we were in high school he dropped out of high school at year 10 so, he was 16 and became an electrician or something and the next year he had a new car, a few years after that he bought a house and we were all just like, you know, barely at university and just like what the hell that we decided?
That blew my mind that that was not the case in other countries. When I heard about Brazil and if you’re a bricklayer or builder or something you just do not make much money at all.
And one of the good points about that it’s even if you’re getting paid really well here in Australia you hang out with the same guys that are getting pay way lower than you do.
Yeah, there’s not the separation, classes or anything.
And back home if you are getting paid really well usually you won’t have to deal that much with whoever is getting paid your way lower than you do.
There’s a big separation there.
That’s right. So here in Australia it’s…you can easily get motivated with that because you see the guy just beside you, doing eventually the same work as you do or slightly different, getting paid really well…
So, the motivation is there and you know you can get there because 10 years ago he was in your position.
But you need to consider the population, like the population of Australia compared to the Brazilian population. Here they need people to everything basically so, the service need to be charged more.
And I think we have really high standards. You’ve got everything has to be perfect, everything has to be safe, and so, as a result of that you can charge through the nose because you got no option.
Because you really know what you’re doing.
Well, you can’t build a house without it complying to all those safety regulations and everything or else that will be torn down because it’s illegal. And so the builders could be like well, if you want it, it’s much.
That’s the price.
And there’s a lot of houses being built, right?
So, what were your first jobs when you went to Australia and how easy were they to find and what were your experiences getting work here?
My first job was as a kitchen assistant, actually…in the city.
I didn’t know what to do and I used to walk around the whole city just handing resumes all over. I was struggling to find a job actually because you don’t know how to deal with your employees, it’s your first time trying to find a job.
And how was your English at this time as well?
It was quite bad. I was able to understand, but I was quite shy to speak, I couldn’t interreact that much, if you know what I mean? It took me a month to get a first callback and he said alright, come over and let’s do a trial. It was a disaster, actually.
It was a disaster?
It was a disaster, the trial was a disaster. Because I didn’t know what to wear. They asked me to wear boots, I said what sort of boots? I went with shoes and jeans and everything and he said man, you are completely wrong! And I said alright let’s give it a go.
It’s my first day, give me a break.
It’s my first day, take it easy! It flows, as soon as you start walking by yourself. It gets easier.
So, was that what you expected to be able to get a job that soon or that slowly?
I just hope I was hoping for it, actually. I thought I would be able to find a job way earlier that I did. Because I was eventually overconfident on my skills, but as soon as you step here and you hear different accents and you try to understand everything, the reality is way different then you think. But it’s challenging at the same time, it’s rewarding when you find a job and say alright, I did it by myself, I’m proud. So, that’s there was a first major step as a kitchen assistant in the city.
What about you, Luma, what did you get?
The first time that I came to Australia actually I worked in hospitality as well and I was working as a cleaner as well. Basically, my English was… I was still improving my English and took me a while actually, because I was young as well and had no experience so everything was new for me. The second time that I came to Australia I was a little bit more confident with my English and with the accent as well because I’d been here before. But is it still like the Australian accent is so hard even if you like you think ”I know English” no once you come to Australia you don’t know.
You need to start again.
Yeah exactly. And that I got two jobs as well. In hospitality and was also in retail. It was my first experience with retail as well and it was winter so… to everyone coming to Australia winter is harder to find a job in the main cities because summer is like more tourists so they need more people.
Especially in hospitality.
Exactly. So, it took me a month as well to find a job. It was a little bit desperate because I didn’t have much money as well. I had my course to pay and the life cost here it’s not easy, but once he got the first job I got the second one as well and was… everything worked well.
Everything fell into place. How did you get it, though? Did you do the same thing as Artur where you…
The same thing. I just did two different kinds of resumes, one more to hospitality, because I would say is the easiest way for you to step in in any kind of jobs here in Australia is Hospitality and then I did a different one to try retail as well, because I still wanted a place that… because of the hours flexibility as well, I was studying and I fell that retail I would practice my English a little bit more as well.
So, there was one point that we should be proud of ourselves as Brazilians. Like if you step in here by yourself, right? you don’t know what to do. You know you don’t know where to go when you get a chance to meet somehow a Brazilian community and they know what you’ve gone through to get here and they know how much you’re looking for or you’re trying to achieve your position. So, they will help you out somehow. Yeah. And I’ve been talking to a lot of different friends from all over the world and Brazilians they have this some strong bond to help each other. So, eventually if you’re struggling to find a job, you can make sure that if you find a Brazilian they’ll help you out.
Especially those Facebook groups, right? You know, 10 years ago you wouldn’t have had that, but nowadays Facebook groups is where it’s at, right? If you need help, you need sell something, buy something or find a job.
So that’s the point that we should be proud of ourselves like helping each other. It happens often.
There is such a strong community, but you have to sort of take care not to fall too deeply into that community?
That’s what I was going to say.
It might become a trap if you stick together for a long time because you get out talking with you like a few days ago you can easily live your life in Australia or at least in Sydney…
Get comfortable, right?
Without talking English, without getting to know a different language. You can, I mean, do pretty much everything without… not everything, but if you don’t have the wish…
Becoming easier and easier to avoid using English.
You can work with Brazilians, you can… I mean…
That’s the double-edged blade with multiculturalism, right? Once you get to a certain threshold where there are so many people from every country it is sort of becomes very, very easy to avoid having to interact with the locals and learning the language.
There is a fine line and you must be aware of that.
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So what advice would you guys have for people who come from Brazil or any other country where there is a big community in Australia and you first get here? How do you sort of balance interacting with that community to help you, but at the same time not falling in too deeply with it so that you don’t spread your wings and get a job and speak English and integrate?
I would say the main thing would be like stay aware about where you stepping in. As soon as you first get here, somehow you need to interact with people from back home, just to get used to get some tips to know where to go, what to do.
Otherwise it feels like solitary confinement, right?
Otherwise it becomes harder, but just stay aware because we are here for a reason, right. The number one reason for all of us mainly is to learn a new language, pretty much.
So just don’t get too comfortable.
Don’t get too comfortable, that’s it. You don’t have to go out of your comfort zone, like say, to learn English you can easily do at home you know like, watching movies with subtitles, research, you have YouTube, you have like amazing YouTube teachers as you do.
Good plug, good plug, check me out on Youtube, guys!
And even like okay, if you’re looking for a place to live, try to find a place that is not only like Brazilians living over there, people for other places that I need to speak English and even when you’re trying to find a job as well, try to be… Try to find jobs at places that you know they need to speak English. I know people that been here in Australia for four years, sometimes even more and they’ve been their whole life here and working as a cleaner, only work with Brazilian people and they don’t feel confident even trying to find a job in Hospitality.
After that long too.
After four years in Australia because they think their English is not good. And I know people that have been here for that long and don’t speak English at all.
The good thing I think about hospitality is there’s so many different positions in a restaurant that require different levels of English that you can kind of work your way up, right? Like I to work as a dish pig, washing dishes and then you can move into the kitchen or you can move in to being a waiter. You eventually become a manager and all that sort stuff as well.
And what I think as well, it’s even bad like for as a Brazilian coming here only, for example, if you go somewhere you only be speaking in Portuguese, you need to interact with the people from the country that you decide to live.
Well, why come otherwise, right? The last thing I would want to do if I went to Brazil would be where are the Australians? and how do I avoid speaking Portuguese? Although It can happen, you know, passively, right? Without necessarily wanting to, but I think it’s good to have that self-check of like okay, I’m hanging out a bit too much with people my country and working with them, I’m living with them. What are my goals? I guess, so you need to keep that in mind.
So how do you go with the language and learning it? What did you actively do aside from obviously coming here and getting a job with other English speakers? Did you guys look specifically for houses with English speakers? Did you study at schools? Did you study on your own? What was that process of learning Australian English like?
I was mostly studying on my own, actually, as I said before I used to watch a lot of movies with subtitles. I used to read a lot. But I think for me the main point and the most useful tool that I had was my boss actually she used to correct me all the time and I was trying to talk, trying to speak as much as I can and she used to pick every single mistake that I did.
Did you have to ask her to do that?
She was just a natural teacher. Artur, you were doing that and you need to do this way. So, it’s good when you when you get to meet people that are keen to help you out and correct you. Because you can easily talk, I mean, not exactly on the right way, but they can understand you somehow.
But that’s the first step, right? You communicate and you want it perfect. You have to work even harder.
I was lucky enough to have someone to correct me for at least one year. And then you was probably the major point that I’ve had to improve my English somehow.
What about you, Luma? What was the process like?
So, I actually when I decided to study here I was basically studying only with Australian people. So, it was like, you know what?… I was living with Brazilian…
You got thrown in the deep, Luma.
Yeah because it’s easy for you to live with someone for your country in the beginning and, I need to say, even I wanted to be all the time with English speakers, and living with someone that speaks the same language with you sometimes give is like okay, I had a big day I can get home and speak Portuguese, but I was studying only with the Australian people and all my jobs there was not even one Brazilian. So, I was speaking English my whole day and what I feel as well a lot of people come here to Australia, they pay just a course to stay here in Australia because as Brazilians you can only get the student visa. I think now you can have a working holiday, but a tip that I would say to people go and really enjoyed the classes because even though it’s not what you want, even though they seem like really not the best course, you’re still spending your money on that and it is still a way for you to prove your language.
And meet people.
I see from my sister, she she’s here to learn English and she goes through every single class, she does all the assessments and she says I’m paying for that and I know how hard I’ve worked for that and even though I know a lot of people don’t even care, I’m doing it and I’m improving my English. So, yeah, if you come and spending money here just make sure that this money is bringing something back like.
Yeah you get something out of it, that’s not just effectively paying all that money for a visa.
Well, shifting onto visas. What visas are you guys currently on? And what was what’s that process been like getting those visas? Because you’re on…
We’re currently on a bridging visa. We did apply for the 187 visa in February and I am a swimming instructor nowadays. So we had to go through these skill procedure, like you have to prove that you are… I’ve done this sports coaching diploma in Australia and then you have to prove a few extra things like you have to go through the English test.
Yeah, was it ILETS?
Yeah, it was IELTS and you also have to find an employer who is able to offer you a two year contract.
So, they don’t necessarily need to sponsor you and pay for the visa or anything, but you need to show that you can find work that will last for at least two years.
And especially, well this 187 visa it has to be in a regional area of Australia.
And that’s how you ended up here, right? in Canberra.
That’s how I’m in Canberra. And so that was the process that we had to go through.
Yeah, but that’s good, right? Because after that what’s the step after the 187 visa and you finish your two years here in Canberra at least?
So, once the visa is approved you get the residency straightaway and then after that you still have to stay with this employer for two years. So, you’ve got the residency ever since the beginning of the visa and you just have to stay on the same employer, on the same workplace, for two years more.
And so Luma you’re on a partner visa?
Yeah, I’m on a partner visa here with him, but I arrived here as a should and as well. I applied for his student visa, but I was studying industrial design here which is a little bit different from what most of the people who come to do here in Australia. But I had like, at that time, I was able to get skilled visas and everything, but it changed. So, what is happening here in Australia is that the visas are changing a lot, every year or even every six months they’re changing the laws, which makes it harder if you decide like… to come over here and you have a plan, save your money to do something and then suddenly it doesn’t work like that anymore, but the good thing when I got here was I went to an immigration agency and spoke with a lady helped me a lot and she said something that actually nowadays makes a lot of sense. That she said don’t come here and just study anything because of the visa. Because then, for example, if you were studying you’d be a hairdresser for example maybe next year it’s not there anymore and if it’s not what you love then you spent your money, you spent your time you wasted it. And what are you going to do now? So, do what you really wonder or at least something that’s close of what you want to do in your life or something that you like, because you never know and sometimes in the future that thing that you studied can come back. So if it is something that you like it won’t be a waste, even if you decide to go back to Brazil are you going to use it that over there.
Yeah, it does say a lot about planning, right? And thinking about where am I going to want to be in two years, three years, four years… far out. So, I guess I should probably finish up soon. I’ve kept you guys for a bit. What’s the plan in the future? What are you guys hoping to do once… I guess Artur, I guess once you finish the two years at this workplace, you planning to stay here in Canberra, move elsewhere? Go back to Brazil? Move to Thailand?
I’m having a good time in Canberra, but I don’t think this is the place that I would like to live for 10 years more, let’s say, because I really like the lifestyle of the beach. So I’m looking forward to spend this whole time in Canberra, as I should, and then eventually move up the coast, eventually close to the Sunshine Coast or something, and just have a lifestyle slightly different than Canberra so, that’s my main plan nowadays, just going with the flow and see how we go.
And would you go for the citizenship and that sort of stuff?
Yeah, that’s the plan, that will be the consequence if everything goes well. So fingers crossed. You’re still positive about the outcome, let’s see.
Ah, brilliant. Luma, what about you?
Still, I want to build my career, I think that’s my main focus now. Work as industrial design here in Australia, but I also have to have residency. I still want to spend some time in Brazil. I don’t know for how long, if it’s for or six months or…
Just to work or?
Just to feel how it’s over there, after I’ve been so long far away from home. Sometimes it is good to go back and be close to your family and see how you feel at home and once you have the residency you have the options so, at least knowing that you are able to choose where you want to live that makes a big difference. And yeah…
Artur, Luma, thank you so much for coming on the podcast.
Thank you so much, Pete. It was a pleasure!
Awesome well that is it for today, guys. Thank you so much for joining me.
Remember, this episode is brought to you by the Native English course. If you would like to sign up for that, go to lingova.com, L I N G O V A .com and use the coupon AUSSIE, A U S S I E, to save 15 percent.
Thanks again, Arthur and Luma, for coming on the episode. That was amazing to chat to you guys in here about your experiences moving to Australia, struggling with the language, finding work, and then getting a visa, and all that kind of jazz. Thanks again!
Guys, I hope you have an amazing weekend and I’ll check to you soon. See you later.
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AE 500 – Thank You! Here’s to 500 More!
Wow. Episode 500, guys! That is incredible! And that went so fast! I remember the first day sitting down in the park, doing episode number one where I was talking about me, what I had planned, what I do, who I am all of that. I remember sitting on a log in a park in Melbourne.
G’day, guys! Welcome to the very first Aussie English Podcast. My name is Peter Smissen, I’m a 28-year-old PhD student from Melbourne.
Anyway, that is zoomed by. Today I have a very special episode for you, guys. I am looking so forward to showing you Kel, chatting with her a bit about how we met and then showing you some of the members in the Aussie English Classroom and their English, ok? Where they’re from. Why they’re learning English so, stick around for that and at the very end there is a special deal if you would like to sign up to the Aussie English Classroom for two months for a special price, but you’re going to have to stick around if you want to hear about that. Anyway, guys, let’s get into it!
Pete: Why are you here, Kel?
Kel: I don’t know, you made me come
Pete: She was sleeping and I was like ‘come, come, come! Make a video, make a video with me!’ Alright, guys, so I wanted to do this for episode 500 and I’m glad that I can have Kel here. and I guess, first and foremost, I wanted to say thank you to all of you, guys, because, you know, you’ve been hanging with it, you’ve been listening to the podcast, you’ve been on YouTube, Instagram, all of that stuff, supporting the podcast in the classroom, everything related to Aussie English enough that I can keep going.
Pete: For the last… two and a half, three years now. Been battling it out and it even got me this one, right? Aussie English got me this one. Do you wanna tell them that story? We might as well share that, this is a special episode. So we’ll tell you some stuff about us, some news about us and then I have a bunch of videos that I got from Aussie English classroom members. I ask them to specifically put together a video answering a few questions about who they are, where they’re from, why they’re learning English and I just wanted you guys to see that. You know, there are lots and lots of people listening to the podcast, probably experiencing the same problems as you, having the same worries as you, so yeah that’ll be at the end, but first…
Pete: Kel, how did we meet? She hunted me down.
Kel: No, I did not.
Pete: She came, she was chasing me down.
Kel: No, you always say that!
Pete: She was on Instagram, she saw that she was like ‘I like this guy, I want this guy, this is my husband’.
Kel: No, I was studying English and I found your podcast.
Pete: You did.
Kel: It was really random. Like, one night I was like I can’t sleep. So, you know, let’s keep studying and I found Aussie English Podcast and I was like oh, that’s really nice’, and he mentioned that he had a YouTube channel. I was like I’ll check it out tomorrow.
Pete: And that I was single.
Kel: No, you didn’t.
Kel: So next day I was on Youtube and I found his channel. I just like… just left a comment like ”what you do is really nice, I like your job” you know, just being friendly and I wasn’t expecting him to reply to me because, you know, those famous people online they never never…
Pete: Que isso? What is this? Famous? I’m not Johnny Depp yet.
Kel: I’m glad you’re not. So, he did, he replied to me and he was really friendly, saying where are you from and things like that. So we got talking and…
Pete: I found you’re from Brazil and obviously I was learning Portuguese at least, to a limited extent back then and I think it’s one of those things, a single male and you are learning Portuguese and so you’ve got to give yourself at the time I was like, you know, meet as many women as you can wherever, don’t assume anything, you’re not going to find the one if you don’t go out of your way to constantly meet people.
Kel: So, you were telling that ‘help me learn Portuguese’ to a lot of Brazilians?
Pete: I said… that’s it. that’s it.
Pete: But I saw that and I was like okay if you want to, you know, chat a bit about learning Portuguese and learning English like just talk to me on Instagram and I said that to her thinking she’s not going to add me on Instagram or talk to me, she’ll be like oh this guy’s a weirdo, but you sent me a message and we just clicked, really well I guess ,pretty quickly I don’t know, she has a pretty wicked sense of humour. You probably don’t get to see it on the videos much and you probably don’t get to see too much of my sense of humour. Oh well, a little bit, but it’s tame, it’s very tame, guys. I am… I have a bad sense of humour.
Kel: So, yeah I remember when I replied to you on Instagram it was just like… No, the first time, I tried to start the conversation like hey, how are you doing? He seemed…he didn’t really seem interested. He was like… ‘yeah’.
Pete: I was probably there like don’t seem too interested, don’t seem too interested.
Kel: And then the next time you replied to me he was something about a fish, I was just so confused. Like, I don’t remember what you’re saying, it was about a fish and I was like I really need improve my English because this guy is talking…
Pete: Ohh the Brazilian fish, there’s a little fish in Brazil that if you go into the river it can swim up your penis or into your vagina, I was like have you heard about that? It’s crazy!
Kel: I’m like…wow.
Kel: We just, you know, became friends.
Pete: And you happen to be coming to Melbourne. You ended up coming down to Melbourne. We got along and the rest is history.
Kel: That’s it. And so, I know, crazy things. These are all the things that Aussie English has given me, right? I’ve got a whole bunch of students who are about to show you videos. I met Kel we are now in… I don’t know, what is it? Three weeks from now we’re getting married. The ring has arrived and we were more worried about these and thought we would just put them on because… they are expensive, guys. Kel walked into the shop and was like give me the cheapest ones you’ve got. And she’s pretty much like fifteen hundred dollars.
Kel: I think she wanted to show us, you know, the ones with rocks and stuff. And I’m like… just don’t even got there.
Pete: We’re not interested in putting a lot of money into this tiny little thing. It’s more what it means than what it is, I guess. So, that’s crazy. Looking back on it for me, at least, it’s like whaaat?! We’re getting married after a year and a bit and Kel has other news as well that I’ve been trying to…bite my tongue and not say anything.
Kel: What is that?
Pete: It’s about the size of a blueberry at the moment.
Kel: It’s a baby!
Pete: Kel is pregnant, guys, Kel is pregnant! Kel’s got a little belly, I’ll bring it forward a bit. No, she’s got nothing. It’s 100 percent small normal.
Kel: It’s 100 percent food right now.
Pete: So, you’re only about seven weeks pregnant, seven weeks pregnant Kel. And that blows my mind. I keep having these moments where I’m like what the hell? I’m going to be a dad in June.
Kel: And that makes me worried because sometimes he’s like…he’s looking at the ring like…
Pete: That just because I’m getting used to it, it’s not because I’m thinking about it again, I’m not second guessing it!
Kel: Are you sure you want to do it?
Pete: No, no, no, no. But yeah, that’s crazy! That’s what English has brought me, guys. You guys, obviously Kel, have completely changed my life. The baby is going to change my life. It’s just crazy where you end up, you know, like three years ago I was studying my PhD wanting to become a scientist and graduated that and just haven’t touched it since and have been doing this full time, full time.
Pete: We’ve gone to Canberra, Kel had a job there, we’ve come back from Canberra, we’ve had a lot of adventures!
Kel: Like, just…made so many enemies.
Pete: And friends.
Kel: And friends, a bunch of friends. Has been a rollercoaster.
Pete: It has been a rollercoaster, exactly, but it’s been well worth it. Anyways, guys, hopefully we’ll tell you more about marriage and pregnancy in the near future and I’m glad that Kel’s on the videos and interested in being involved a bit more now so… That would be really fun, but yea, big thank you. Thank you so much, guys!
Kel: Thank you so much.
Pete: And we just had 10,000 people on Instagram. How crazy is that? Kel’s been on Instagram posting things for me as well, getting involved. It’s all her. She got us over 10,000.
Kel: No, it’s your dance.
Pete: It’s my dance!
Pete: Anyway, I’m going to try and keep it up, guys, I’m going to keep trying to improve, keep trying to deliver good English resources to you. And yeah, I guess I will see you soon and leave you now with all the videos from…I don’t know how many people, hopefully more than 15 or so. So, I don’t know how long this is going to be. People are still sending me videos, but we’ll see how it goes. I hope you enjoy it and I will see you in the next 500 episodes! See you guys!
G’day, guys. How are you going? My name’s Prameshwor. You can call me Promise. I’ve been learning English for a few years. And I met the Aussie English Classroom on 25th of July of this year, 2018. So, I think it’s been approximately three months, ok guys? One of the main reasons of learning English, and particularly Aussie English, is to enhance my listening comprehension. My pronunciation, word stress, intonation, all from the scratch! I think speaking well allows me to make a bunch of friends from all over the world, ok? It will uplift my career as I always wanted to work in a very good reputable organization. As a customer service officer. So, thanks a lot, Pete. It all the credit goes to you. This is a wonderful platform that you have been providing to us. Alright? So, have a ripper of a day. See ya!
Good day, guys. This is Mona and I want to talk about what Pete suggested. Okay, now I am from Egypt. I am old. I’ve been learning English for quite some time, but the way I learned English is just in writing at a rate that I think is not that bad, it’s ok. But I just found out that I just have an issue with the book and pronunciation so, actually Pete thank you very much, Pete, I really learned a lot, a lot. I mean, vocab and culture and there are things that, you know, I wouldn’t know about. I mean, so thank you very much and I really enjoy being with you, guys. I mean in the Facebook. Thank you! ok, bye!
G’day, Pete! How is it going down there? My name is Duaa I’m a mechanical engineer from Jordan. I’ve been studying English since I was five. It’s a mandatory language to be learned here in Jordan. In addition to that it’s the official communication language for engineers and I deal with many foreign engineers from many nationalities. I enjoy your posts and I enjoy the expressions you always come up with, especially in the information you keep giving us about the culture in Australia and other things. Thank you.!
Hey guys! my name is Emma and I’m from China. I started to learn English since junior high, which is like 20 years ago. Two years ago, I came to Australia to do my PhD. At that time, I find the Aussie English Podcast. So, I really love it. So, I start to learn Australia English from Peter. For me, English is really important for my academic career. I wanted to present or communicate well with my colleagues or peers at daily life or even any conferences. And besides that, I really enjoyed living in Melbourne so I wanted to make more friends from a different culture background and English can help me to do all these things.
Hello everyone! This is Hetal here. I’m from India and I’ve been learning English for the last five or six months and It is an amazing experience to be with the Aussie English Classroom and having amazing videos and podcast every time. And my dream is to explore the world. Thanks so much for watching this video!
Hi everyone. How you going? This is Thomas Di. I grew up in a small city in the north east of China. I lived in Beijing for 18 years before I moved to Perth four years ago with my wife. We really enjoy the life here. I joined the Aussie English Classroom I think in May this year. I really benefit a lot from the class because I’ve learned so much expressions, vocabulary and lot of things. Sometimes, you know, after I a phrasal verb or a expression the next day I can hear someone using it in the office. So, you know, I’m so excited! So, in terms of the purpose of learning English originally so, I learned it. You know, you have no choice because you need to get good marks in the school so, you can get into a good university in China, but it’s mainly just for the exam itself. But after I moved to Australia I realised that it is all about communication. So, you need to use English. You know, you make mistakes, but there’s so much to experience. So, in the Aussie English Classroom I found that everyone is brave. We help each other and we share our experience which is quite helpful to each remember. So, if someone says English is a tool, but for me because it’s more than that, it’s a window. So, you can see the world through it. You can communicate with almost everyone in the world even to someone, you know, English is not their native language. So, yeah for the 500 episode, I would say thank you, Pete, and all the best the whip or the Aussie English Classroom. See you later, cheers!
Hi, guys! Hi Pete! I’m Pasquale from Italy. I’m 45 years old and I have been learning English for more or less three years. I am the moderator of Canguru English official, we Christian Saunders and I’m so glad to be part of this amazing work with you, Pete, which is the Aussie English. English is changing my life completely. I love this amazing language and it helps me a lot, ok? Bye for now and see you soon!
Hi, how are you? This is Daniel Jung and I’m from South Korea. I have been learning English for around 10 years, though, but I still feel that I need to improve my English. Maybe because I couldn’t find a way to improve my English effectively, but luckily, I found Pete and have been picking up fair dinkum Aussie English and learning Australian culture as well, obviously, I’m really enjoying them. Speaking English for me it’s like communicating with bigger world so, I can communicate with more people and feel and learn much more things. Anyway, I really appreciate for Pete to make this kind of chance for us. Thank you!
Hey guys! This video is for answering Pete’s questions. I’m Man and I’m from Hong Kong. I’m just join Aussie English for three months. Why I need to learn English? Because English is international language. If I know more about English I can…I can go travel around the world, I can communicate with other people and I can meet different people in the world. What will speaking English allow you to do? If I have a good English, fluent English, I can easily find a better job and I can start master program or maybe I can move back to Australia. I love Australia. A few years ago, I have been to Australia before. I really love Australia culture, the food and people, I love it there, yes. I hope you guys enjoy Aussie English. Thank you.
Hi, guys! How’s it going? My name is Shinichi, I’m from Japan and I’ve been learning Australian English nearly for four years. I’d love to live in this country because I love this country Australia. It’s pretty good, isn’t it? I love also to communicate with people all over the world. That’s why I’ve been learning English. Cheers!
My name is Fatimah, I’m from Malaysia. I joined Aussie English around 10 months, almost a year, I think, and I love learning many languages one of them is English and I find this. Interesting online class, which is Aussie English Classroom and I learn a lot from this. And basically, with language you can expand your knowledge, you can learn many things, you can communicate with may people. That’s it. Thank you!
Hi, everyone! This is Vivian. I’m from Hong Kong. I also live in Singapore for more than 10 years. Currently I live in Melbourne. I have been learning English since I was nine until now more than 40 years. Why I learn English? First of all, I like English very much. Secondly, I know English is the tool to connect to the rest of the world. It broadens my horizon to whatever knowledge that I’m interested in. Like currently, we’re building a studio at my backyard. I have done a lot of researchers through the Internet. It helps a lot during the whole building process. If I don’t know English, we don’t know how I can complete the whole project smoothly and successfully. My aim now is to progress from an intermediate level to advanced level. Cheers!
Friends, my name is Fan Zhang and I’m from China. I started to learn English about 30 years ago when I was a middle school student. Two years ago, I started to learn English with the Aussie English Podcast. So, about two months ago I started to learn English with the old English Classroom. The reason why I keep learning English is that English is the most widely used the language of the world today and also the people, most people that represent the frontier of the development of science and technology are written in English so, speaking English better can help me enjoy a more comfortable life in Australia and also help my career development in Australia. Currently I am working and leaving Australia. So, join us, join the Aussie English Classroom. This is the most efficient way to improve our English. Thank you!
Hi, everyone! My name is Alex. I am from Russia. I have been intensively learning English for the last four years. I subscribed to Aussie English on YouTube in May, 2016, and later I joined the Aussie English Classroom and I work there for this time. I am learning English in order to pass English exams and to get a better job. Speaking English will get me a lot of opportunities to live and to work in better conditions.
Hi! My name is Aykhan and I’m from Baku Azerbaijan. I’ve been taught English by my aunt and this was happened roughly in 1996 when I was at first form, but after graduating from the University in 2011 I had a huge break in my English lessons. So, that’s a period when I forgot a lot of things which I have learnt before. But last year, I have decided to become an Aussie English Classroom member, and there are two causes why I decided to do it. The first thing is that I want to migrate to Australia and I want to learn Australian English and improve my common English as well. And I need to pass PTE academic exam and Aussie English Classroom help me in it a lot. So, the second cause why I became a member of the Aussie English Classroom is that I just like this language and I want to live in the English spoken country. So, the English classroom is the best way where you can improve your English. That’s all for me. Sorry for my voice. I am under the weather and I wish you good luck!
Hello, everybody. Hello Pete. Hello Kel! Hi, guys! I hope you are all doing well. My name is Rocio. Most of you already know me. I am from Venezuela are in South America and first of all I want to congratulate Pete on reaching 500 episodes and just say that you are an amazing, mate! I’m really enjoying Aussie English and I wish you all the best in the future. So, I guess they started learning English when I was in high school, but honestly, I learned English in a really basic level. I remember that I was even able to do well in testes, in the way like filling in the blanks or first conditional, second conditional. I just learn how the pattern work and I was able to fill in the blanks and do well in my test without even knowing any of the words in the sentences. So, that’s how bad I was in high school and even at uni. So, then many, many years down the track I was working for IBM in Venezuela. I missed a great opportunity to get a promotion because I wasn’t able to speak English. I felt very sad, but I thought it was very late for me to start learning a new language. A few years passed by and I was in a different company.
I was at Citibank and one day you realise that when I got a promotion as well and I was in a situation where I needed to speak English because I have a lot of stakeholders that I needed to liaise with. So, I was able to communicate with them by e-mail, but it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t doing a very good job because I needed to speak to them and, you know, speak about things and get people engaged and things like that. So, there was one day that I just decided ah that’s it, I need to get better in English and I talked to my boss and we decided that when I was able to take out a long leave and I went to United States and I did an immersion course in there. So, I went to Chicago for12 weeks, three months and I went there and I loved there, I think that was the point when I started really loving and really liking English. I felt so so good because I was alone and I didn’t speak Spanish for three months so, I was so, so happy! I was able to communicate. I was able to get the things done, you know, buy things in the supermarket and get around the city by myself. So, I felt that I really… that was a reality, I was able to speak English so, I went back to Venezuela after those three months and we had a bad political and economic situation in that. So, my husband and I decided to come to Australia mainly because we wanted to do a masters because they wanted to upgrade my skills. So, we came to Australia hoping that the situation in Venezuela got better in those three years that I was doing my masters and my husband was able to work full time and I was able to work part time as well. So, that was a great benefit. So, you know, I did my Masters and then the situation there back in Venezuela didn’t improve a little bit so, we decided just to stay in here and yeah that’s why I’m still here.
I discovered Aussie English a bit over a year ago now, and when I saw how Pete was able to explain things and to give us tips about Aussie culture, about how people say these things or how people really think, I really, really love it. It was mind blowing for me because that was what I really was looking for because I learnt English in an American way, let’s say. So, I was always in doubt if these expressions or these were actually used in Australia or not or is this English, American English, or is British English.
So, Pete has been able to reassure for me how things are in Australia and that the bar that you really love the most about Aussie English. Apart from that, I have learned tons of new expressions and new vocabulary and more so I have had a lot of fun doing this!
So, yeah, I think the last question was about what will I be able to do if I had a better English and I think, in my case, because I’m already here in Australia and I’m already working in a company full-time for me if I’m able to speak more fluent English, better English, I will be able to reach higher positions in the company and I will also engage a lot of… more in conversations and make decision, decision making situations. So, yeah that’s my journey with English. Pete, please, please, please! Keep doing this because this is really awesome. You are the only Aussie guy out there who is teaching English in this level that you are doing it. So, please keep going and I just can’t wait to see how you have prepared for us for the next 500 more episodes, I guess. So, thanks so much, Pete and peace out!
Hello, mate! My name is Patrick. I’m a French Brazilian since 1974 living in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The name of the state is Minas Gerais. It means mining and agricultural around mining areas. I learn American English for research activities and now, since a month ago, Aussie English for a new project regarding common goals management and aborigines’ point of view, cultural relevance for social management of mining in the future.
Hey there. My name’s Paula. I’m from Colombia and I’ve been learning English with the Aussie English Classroom for around 7 months. I’m learning English because this is a significantly important requirement in my country if you want to get a better job, but I’m also learning because I really, really enjoy travelling. So, I think English is useful when you want to get to know about many different people and cultures. That’s it. Bye!
That was absolutely incredible, I’m so proud of you, guys! I hadn’t actually watched any of those videos until I had gotten around to editing it, which I am currently doing and so I’ve just gone through. I’ve just edited everything I’m making this outro, but yeah, I want to say that I’m really impressed with you, guys, and to see you guys improve working so hard every week in the Aussie English Classroom as well as all those others that are listening to the podcast, that are commenting on YouTube, that are engaging with the material and working really hard. It is not easy, guys! It is not easy and yeah just know that I am really, really impressed and I’m really, really proud of each and every one of you.
So, thank you so much, guys. Thank you for making this possible. Thank you who’s watching right now. Thank you very much! I want to let you know that if you would like to support the podcast, you can go to my Patron page and you can also make donations via PayPal if you want to do one-off donations. The links will be in the transcript or they’ll be below on this video on YouTube. If you would like the transcripts for the podcast as well as the MP3s and you want to support the podcast you can go to theaussieenglishpodcast.com, you can sign up there and for the price of a coffee per month you will get access to all of the transcripts, all of the MP3s for every episode, ok?
And then on top of that if you’re interested in signing up to the Aussie English Classroom, where I put up weekly courses designed to help you improve your listening, your speaking, your writing and your reading in English, but with strong, strong, strong emphasis on speaking and primarily on Australian English then go to theaussieenglishclassroom.com and I’ve got a special deal for you, guys! To celebrate this episode, for the next week, whenever this video is uploaded for the seven days after that, you can use the coupon code ‘episode500’ to get two months for the price of half a usual month, ok? So, instead of the first two months being about 40 dollars, you’ll get two months for 20 dollars, ok?
So, use the coupon EPISODE500. That is EPISODE500, a single word. EPISODE500. Go to theaussieenglishclassroom.com, use that coupon and you’ll get two months for $20 bucks.
That is like $2.50 a week, guys! That’s half a coffee a week to get in there, use all the materials, get into the Aussie English classroom Facebook group, meet the guys that you have just seen in this video or heard in this episode and practice your English with them and with me. So, I’m looking so forward to the future of Aussie English and to, hopefully, seeing you in the Aussie English classroom, guys.
Thank you so much for sticking with me.
I’ll see you soon! Peace out!
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AE 495 – Expression: Dodge A Bullet
We all recognise the face, I mean, how could we forget? 15 years after the Port Arthur Massacre that photo of Martin Bryant still sends a shiver down the spine.
Nowadays, we like to think that his eyes are a little crazy and that expression is ever-so-slightly off kilter, but that’s all in hindsight. The fact is, apart from being a bit troubled as a kid and intellectually limited, really Martin Bryant could be anyone’s son, but he just so happens to be Carlene Bryant’s son, and the burden of that has been devastating for her.
Carlene Bryant is tormented by the same questions that trouble us all. What made a seemingly ordinary if dim-witted young man go out and kill 35 people?
What is going on, you mob? How’s it going? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English, although that’s about to change as some of you may know.
If you listen to the recent episode, this podcast is going to have a slight pivot, a slight shift and a slight change in focus to hopefully focus more on just general English. Obviously, guys, though it is going to be from me an Australian English speaker so, I’m going to be using Australian English all the time. The odd slang word, the odd expression, all of that sort of stuff, hopefully still Australian guests and everything on the podcast, but I want to sort of broaden my horizons a little bit and get other folks on the podcast from all over the world, whether they’re English-as-a-second-language speakers or they are native speakers of English from South Africa, America, England or wherever it is. I want to sort of broaden and things out a bit.
So, thank you so much to everyone who sent me an e-mail responding to that last Walking with Pete episode. I think it was 494, a lot of you got back to me and the overall consensus from you, guys, was that it was a good idea to be focusing more on general English. Obviously, you will still get exposure to all kinds of dialects, but primarily Australian English as that’s what I use, as I said, but hopefully we’ll start covering other topics, hopefully things like collocations, I’m really keen to do a course with that and Kel is thinking about helping me with that as well so, that might be the first thing that we tackle and we’re probably going to be putting that into a course in the Aussie English Classroom as well.
So, as usual, this podcast the Aussie English Podcast is brought to you by the Aussie English Classroom. If you would like to learn English from a more sort of in-depth, thorough study kind of perspective, where you get courses every single week and you get courses from all the previous expression episode, sign up at theaussieenglishclassroom.com.
If, however, you aren’t interested in studying courses or maybe you just don’t have enough time to study, but you still like reading the transcripts and you want access to the MP3s as well, go to theaussieenglishpodcast.com and you can sign up there for the price of one coffee a month to be able to get all the transcripts, you’ll get unlimited access to the transcripts for each podcast episode. Anyway, guys. It has been a really good day. It has been a really good day!
A few things happened. And one really, really big thing, but I think I’m going to have to wait and tell you about that in the near future, but it is my one-year anniversary with Kel tomorrow.
So, we went out today, though, and had dinner, that was amazing. We also went out at sunset and took some amazing photos at a lake nearby called Blue Lake, in Ocean Grove, and this is this amazing lake where there are so many different bird species all in the one area. And I’ve been there probably five times in the last week and a half. It is phenomenal.
Anyway, moving on to this episode, guys, the segment at the start there, guys, was from a 60 Minutes report about the Port Arthur massacre and I wanted to talk about this because it’s a big part of Australian history and it has shaped gun laws in Australia and obviously talking about guns is related to today’s expression to ‘dodge a bullet’, but before we get into that, let’s do the Aussie English joke, ok?
And it’s a good one, it’s a ripper of a joke today, guys! A good pun, alright? So, here it is, here’s the joke:
Why do you call a gun that doesn’t kill anyone? What do you call a gun that doesn’t kill anyone?
A ‘vegun’…It’s so stupid! ‘A vegun’.
Get it? right? Cause vegans are people who don’t eat any meat or any animal products, right? I think they avoid milk and honey anything that’s come from animal that they just eat plants, right? So, what do you call a gun that doesn’t kill anyone? A ‘vegun’… Oh my gosh, I need to get some better jokes.
Alright, guys, so today’s expression is to ‘dodge a bullet’, to ‘dodge a bullet’, and this one came from Zinnia in the English classroom. She suggested this in the Facebook group for members of the Aussie English Classroom, we voted on it. Good job, Zinnia! This was a really, really good expression and I have used this quite a lot.
So, let’s go through to find the words in the expression to ‘dodge a bullet’. Obviously, there are only really two words here worth defining.
Dodge. To dodge something. If you dodge something, it is that you move out of the way, right? So, if something is coming towards you, usually something dangerous that’s going to hurt you if it hits you, you know, like a bullet, a rock, maybe it’s a car, maybe it’s a person on a bike. If you shift yourself out of the way quickly, if you move out of the way and you avoid being hit by that thing, you are dodging that thing, you have dodged that thing, you’ve moved out of the way.
A Bullet. A bullet is the ammunition that goes into a gun, right? It could be a hand gun, machine gun, but that is a bullet. There is gun powder in the bullet. There is a metal slug made from lead or tungsten some other kind of metal on the front, but the bullet is the entire thing, ok? A bullet.
Alright, so let’s define the expression, to ‘dodge a bullet’. If you dodge a bullet, it’s that you managed to avoid a difficult or unwelcome situation, you know, like being shot by a bullet. So, it is to avoid a difficult or unwelcome situation. It is also to have a narrow escape, to avoid injury, disaster, or some other situation, ok? So, overall, it is just to avoid something unpleasant, an unpleasant situation.
So, let’s go through some examples of how I would use the expression to ‘dodge a bullet’ in a sort of day-to-day life, right? If I was just using English as I normally do each day, alright?
Example number one. So, imagine you gone into the city to do some shopping. You’ve parked your car on the street in front of the mall or shopping centre where you want to go and do some window shopping, get some new clothes, whatever it is. You’re in a rush and you forget to purchase a parking ticket, though, you know, you need a parking ticket to stay in that spot. Maybe it’s two hours’ worth of parking in this two-hour parking spot and you forget to buy a ticket.
So, you rush inside and the ticket inspector is doing the rounds and eventually comes around and gets to your car and he starts looking at your car and is he is like ‘alright, there’s no ticket here… I better write a ticket to this person or for this person”…
So, as he starts to pull out his note pad, you know, that he is going to write this ticket up on, just in the nick of time, just before anything bad happens, you arrive and see that he is about to do so, and you start to apologise profusely. So, you say to the ticket inspector: I’m really sorry! I didn’t know that I was meant to buy a ticket here! I’m about to leave, anyway. Is there any way that you can find it in your heart to not give me a ticket today? Today is not my day. Please don’t give me a ticket!”, and for some unknown reason he decides to give you a pass. He lets you off the hook, he doesn’t give you a ticket!
So, you feel so lucky because you’ve dodged a bullet and you don’t have to get a ticket. You don’t have to pay the ticket fine that you would get. That could have been hundreds of dollars. You dodged a bullet. And in this case, the bullet was the ticket. You avoided the ticket. You dodged the bullet.
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The thing that it is, Aussie English today, right? With the Aussie English classroom, with all the
Example number two. Imagine you going to a footy match, right? A football match at the MCG, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the MCG in Melbourne. It’s one of the more famous places around Australia that you will see footy matches if you come here. So, you’re seeing your favourite match play. (It) could be Hawthorn or Essendon, and they’re playing against some other team that you hate, maybe Collingwood. They have to win this match, right? If they win this match, it means they can enter the finals for this year’s shot at winning the footy premiership. So, the game’s neck and neck the whole time, meaning that the scores are very, very close to one another and they keep passing each other, but your opponent’s team is just ahead of you the entire time until right at the end where your team just manages to squeeze forward and at the final siren it gains one point and wins the game, right? 70 to 71, for example. So, your team dodged a bullet when they won this match by one point and they got their chance to enter the finals. They avoided a bad situation, which would have been a losing this match that would have been the bullet, they dodged a bullet.
Example number three, ok? Imagine that you are an overweight person who’s been eating a lot of really bad food, a lot of junk food, right? So, lots of fried food, like fried chips, KFC, Maccas, you know, McDonalds. You haven’t been exercising very much. You haven’t been active. And to top it off, you’ve been working at a desk, you’ve had a very sedentary kind of lifestyle where you’re not moving around, you’re working in a desk 9 to 5 every single day. so, one day you feel some pain in your chest and the pain shoots up into your left shoulder and suddenly you realise you’re having a heart attack, you call 000, which is the police, the fire brigade, and the ambos, the ambulances in Australia and you get the ambulances to come and pick you up and take you to the hospital. So, they arrive, they whisk you off to the hospital and they save your life with the treatment that they give you, but only just, right? They only just save your life. It could have been a hell of a lot worse. You could have died. So, when you wake up in the hospital bed, the doctor might tell you this that this was the case you only just had your life saved. You dodged a major bullet and you need to change your lifestyle and get healthy. The bullet obviously being the, you know, situation where you could have died, the heart attack, the act of dying. You avoided this, you dodged a bullet, so it was a close brush with death. Hopefully you’ll change your ways and, you know, get outside do a bit of exercise, get the blood pumping a bit every day.
So, hopefully now guys you understand the expression to ‘dodge a bullet’. This is to manage to avoid a difficult or unwelcome situation, to have a narrow escape, to avoid injury, disaster or any undesirable situation. So, as usual let’s go through a listen and repeat exercise, guys, where you guys can practice your pronunciation, whether you try to nail the Australian accent, in which case copy me as much as you can or you’re just trying to perfect your English accent whatever English accent that is. Just listen and repeat after me, Let’s go!
To dodge a
To dodge a bullet x 5
Good work! Good work! Now we’re going to conjugate through the different pronouns. I, you, he, she, we, they, it and we’re going to do so in the conditional perfect tense, right? ‘Would have’ plus the past participle of a verb, would have done, would have seen, would have thought, ok?
So, pay attention to how these are contracted when I speak naturally. I’m going to fully contract these sentences, guys, so if you would like to learn more about these contractions and the sort of steps to learning how to do this while you speak English, make sure you join the Aussie English Classroom and you’ll get a video today describing the pronunciation of these sentences and these contractions, ok? So, listen and repeat after me, guys, this is fully contracted, how I would say this normally, ok? Let’s go!
I’d’ve dodged a bullet.
You’d’ve dodged a bullet.
He’d’ve dodged a bullet.
She’d’ve dodged a bullet.
We’d’ve dodged a bullet.
They’d’ve dodged a bullet.
It’d’ve dodged a bullet.
That may sound weird, guys, but that is actually how I would say that when speaking really quickly and naturally, right? I’d dodged a bullet, he’d dodged a bullet. That’s how I would speak quickly and to get your head around these will really help you understand native speakers when they speak quickly, but also make you sound a lot more natural when you speak English.
Anyway, guys, let’s get into the Aussie English fact for today which is a bit of a somber fact, it’s a bit macabre, it’s a bit…. It’s a bit sad, but it’s worth knowing, guys, it is important that you guys know more about Australian culture if you’re coming to Australia and yeah that’s why I thought I would talk about this today.
So, today I want to discuss the Port Arthur massacre, guys. This occurred at, obviously, Port Arthur, the Port Arthur Historic Site in Port Arthur, Tasmania, on the 28th and 29th of April in 1996.
So, the Port Arthur Historic Site was a penal settlement that began as a small timber station in 1830 and it is a tourist attraction that you can visit in Tasmania, but tragically it is now well known in Australia for this massacre that happened where one of, if not the largest, mass shootings occurred in Australia. So, 35 people died and 23 were wounded. The murderer was Martin Bryant and he had a subnormal IQ and was intellectually disabled. And he pleaded guilty for the incident and was given 35 life sentences without the possibility of parole.
So, he is currently serving something like over a thousand years in jail in Tasmania. So, this event underpins some fundamental changes of gun control laws in Australia that came into place shortly after this incident.
But what happened? What exactly occurred? Let’s chat a bit about the story.
So, Martin Bryant was this kid who grew up in Tasmania. He, for all intents and purposes, had two normal, loving parents. He was bequeathed about $600,000 in property in assets from this eccentric woman that he became really close friends with. She had apparently, like, 40 cats and 16 or so dogs that he was paid to take care of as a job, but she tragically passed away in a car accident and he gained all of this inheritance.
So, he went on many trips around the world from 1993 onwards and was withdrawing quite a lot of money during this time, obviously, spending it on himself and life experiences, but he also spent this money on some guns including an AR-10 semi-automatic rifle through a newspaper advertisement that he had seen in Tasmania and then later he went on to buy an AR-15. At the time, non-handguns in Tasmania were not required to be registered.
Switching on to his family, though. Bryant’s dad wanted to buy a bed and breakfast called Seascape, but unfortunately a couple called Noelene and David Martin bought the property before his father could organise his finances. Unfortunately, his father fell into a deep depression and ultimately committed suicide. And so, this, coupled with Martin Bryant’s best friend, that woman, having passed away, set him on a path to destruction. He blamed the Martins and described them as the worst people in his life.
So, what happened on the fateful day?
Martin woke up at about 6:00 AM and saw his girlfriend off to visit her parents. He switched on the burglar alarm and left the house at around 9:40. He went to the Seascape bed and breakfast and shot and stabbed both for Martins to death. He then travelled to the Port Arthur Historic Site parked his car in the parking lot near the Broad Arrow Cafe and entered the cafe with the sports bag and a video camera. He purchased a meal, ate the meal on the deck outside and then walked back into the cafe to return his tray. This is when the story becomes macabre.
He pulled out his bag on the table, pulled the gun out and started shooting at people. Within 15 to 30 seconds he had already killed 12 people in the cafe and 10 more were wounded. He moved into the gift shop, killed another 10 people and wounded two more. He walked out into the car park and killed another four people and injured another six. You see the pattern here. He just was on a rampage. He ended up getting into his car and actually sounding the horn and waving at people as he was leaving this scene.
He killed a number of people on the way out including a woman and her two daughters who were three and six. Just horrible. He ended up hijacking a car with a man named Glen Pears in that car and his girlfriend Zoe Hall. He forced Pears into the boot of his car, and then shot Pears’s his girlfriend who was trying to climb into the driver’s seat of her car.
He headed to the Seascape Bed and Breakfast again and forced Pears inside and handcuffed him to a stair rail in the house, and at some point, he also set the BMW on fire.
The police arrive shortly afterwards, and after an 18-hour stand-off, they caught him the next day when the guesthouse was set on fire and Bryant came running out of the house on fire himself with his back and buttocks severely burned.
He was arrested and taken for treatment in a local hospital where his victims were being treated and it was later discovered that Pears, the man he had kidnapped, had been shot before the stand-off had even begun.
So, by the end of the day, the body count was at 35 dead people and 23 wounded people. An incredibly tragic event and the only positive side to this event was the fact that after this, shortly after this, all states and territories of Australia restricted the legal ownership and use of self-loading rifles, self-loading shotguns, and tightened controls on their legal use by recreational shooters. The government initiated a mandatory buyback scheme with the owners paid according to what they had in their possession.
Anyway, guys it’s an incredibly sad story, but I think if you come to Australia, if you go to Tasmania, in particular, you’re probably going to hear about how this happened and the tight laws in Australia surrounding guns. Australia is incredibly different from places like the U.S.. I have never seen a gun in public. I have never seen a hand gun. It’s just a very different place if you come here. That is something that you will see.
Anyway, guys I hope you enjoy this episode. I know it was a bit of a long one. Keep at it and I will see you soon.
See you, guys!
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AE 494 – WWP: A Change in Direction for Aussie English
Well… that was a big fail! I was about to go for a Walking with Pete when I got ready, got my mic set up, got my phone here that I’m recording on and I went to walk outside…. Just opening the back door so so I can go outside, I wanted to walk outside to get my little walk and realised that it was raining. And now here is just as bad.
There’s cover there, but the rain is coming from the south…. Squishy shoes and wetting everything under the balcony there.
Anyway, let me try this side of the house… This looks better. Here we go, no! cat’s trying to get outside. Alright, so outside so, we’re back… we’re back in Melbourne. We just move back.
And Kel and I are living at my parents’ place. They’re over in Britain at the moment. Travelling around for five weeks and we are taking care of their cats. So, that’s been good fun. It’s nice to be back down near the beach, near family, near my sister and her husband or boyfriend. Long term partner, I guess, you would say, and their child and… I’ve just been rethinking things really with regards to Aussie English so as you guys may or may not know, I mean you probably know when you look at the number on the front of this episode, Walking with Pete, it’s probably going to be. 494, 495, I guess, we’ll see when I release it.
You’ll see that we are almost up to five hundred episodes on the podcast. Five hundred. That’s amazing! I never expected to get this far from the very beginning, you know, I remember starting this maybe three years ago, four years ago now? It was in 2015. So, three years ago, almost four. And initially just thinking, you know, I’m trying to start this up to help friends who were having trouble with Australian English and obviously it has evolved into the beast. The thing.
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The thing that it is, Aussie English today, right? With the Aussie English classroom, with all the courses in there, the Aussie English podcast, website obviously, I’ve got the YouTube channel and then I’ve got courses that I’m selling as well. So, it’s all evolved from there.
And yeah, it’s been really good, it’s slowly growing, you know, this year it’s been… it’s been pretty continuous. I’m still sort of, you know, scraping by, I’m not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s obviously been able to keep me afloat as in keep me with my head above water financially that is, to be able to keep doing what I’m doing, even though I had finished my PhD last year and decided, you know, I’m going to let this go and I’m going to keep teaching English and keep doing that full time and. Not get a job in the area that I had been studying in for 12 years. So, anyway I’m really proud of myself, proud of the podcast and everything that it is and proud of you, guys, to it for sticking with it. Some of you guys have been there since the very, very beginning and that to me that is really, really impressive and really touching as well because it makes me know that I’ve struck a chord with you, guys, and I am helping you improve your English. I also want to say thank you to all of you guys who have given me feedback over the years as I’ve been trying to improve and trying to come up with ways to, you know, innovate, change, teach you guys and do things differently. And so, I’ve really, really appreciated all of the support and all of the feedback.
Sounds like it’s stopped raining. Maybe, maybe for now, anyway. So besides that, the reason I wanted to put this up was because I was thinking about going in a new direction. So, now that we’re almost up to episode 500, you’ve probably got enough resources out there to learn Australian English five times, you know? Like, you’ve probably got more than enough resources from the 500 or more episodes of the podcasts that are out there all or at least most designers specifically focusing on Australian English and so more recently I had been thinking about changing it up and aiming at everyone and anyone wanting to learn English from say upper intermediate to advanced levels. So, I wanted to sort of shift the focus of this podcast just a little bit and deemphasise how much Australian English is the focus of the podcast and focused more on Advanced Learners of English.
So, I was thinking…just going to go inside..
I was thinking about more potentially interviewing people from all different countries all over the world learning English or speaking English, you know, whether they’re from Scotland, Ireland or America. Every now and then I have had them on the podcast recently, but I’ve sort of tried to get more Australians on that. So, that was one thing that I was thinking about. Switching on to, you know, focusing more on getting other foreign speakers on the podcast. And then also just focusing on the episodes that…I don’t know, were… focused on problems that advanced English speakers have, right? So, learning things like collocations or scenarios… Kell has suggested recently we sit down and talk on this podcast in episodes about specific scenarios. So, for instance if you’ve got to go to the airport what are five expressions you could use at the airport and where would you use them? Who are you likely to need to talk to? What are you going to have to say to be able to prepare you for those sorts of scenarios? And so I wanted to make this episode to let you know, you know, my thoughts see what you guys think and see where you guys would like the podcast to head because, after all, this podcast is there to help you, guys, and to help you improve your English whether it’s Australian English or any other English now, you know, hopefully from now on after episode 500 will switch over to something different.
Maybe I’ll change the intro and the outro to the podcast. I don’t know. I’m just thinking about it, ok? So, anyway I would love to know your feedback. That’s probably enough for today’s little Walking with Pete episode, but I would love to know what you think, is a really bad idea? Would you prefer that Aussie English stays the way it is or is it a really good idea? And would you like for Aussie English to be a little broader and focus on English accents, English dialects from all over the world? The experiences of people in different countries learning English in different countries? America, New Zealand, Africa, South Africa, as well as more of a focus on advanced English in episodes on the podcast so maybe I’ll come up with some new episode themes or content where we’ll focus on different Collocations or different Verbs or things that Advanced Learners can use in their day to day life when they’re using English.
So, your job today is to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org Ok? So, that is email@example.com
I want to know what you think. I want to know your opinion. So, when you receive an e-mail saying that this episode is out, I want you to reply to that email or just go to your inbox and type in firstname.lastname@example.org and send me your thoughts. I want to know what you think. Is it a good idea or is it a bad idea? And I think as, you know, any democracy out there if the majority of you say it’s a bad idea, I’ll rethink things and maybe stick with what I’m doing, but if the majority of you say, you know, hell yeah! that’s a good idea! I guess we’ll start changing things up as of episode 501, I guess.
So, anyway, guys, that’s enough for today! Thank you so much again. I really appreciate each and every one of you who listens to this podcast, who is in the English classroom learning each week, who is signed up to the podcast site, who’s bought any of the courses or who watches any of the videos on YouTube.
You guys are amazing and I wish you guys all the best and I will hopefully see you very, very soon.
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AE 493 – Expression: Go Pear-Shaped
I was out the front mowing the nature strip and I could see a bit of attention on the other side of the bridge of people looking and taking photos, and I thought, wow, there’s something going on, so (I) went and had a squiz, and then once I saw what I saw, I thought, yeah, this is gutsy.
Honestly, it looked like someone (had) done damage to the bridge since the way it’s got the hole in it. I had no idea who’d done it. I thought, well, someone around here has got talent.
I probably should’ve got permission, but I thought, I’ll just go and have an experiment. It’s only chalk. It’s going to last a couple of days. If it rains, it’ll come straight off. I did it on the Friday, (I) thought, if it’s not washed off by the Sunday, I can go down with some water and hose it off.
Hey, you mob. How’s it going? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone or wanting to learn Australian English.
Remember, guys, if you would like the transcript and the MP3s to this podcast, you can get access to all of them, unlimited access, when you go to theAussieEnglishPodcast.com, hit ‘sign up’, and for the price of one coffee every single month you will get access to the MP3s and the transcripts to download them and listen to them, consume them, do whatever you want with them, anytime, anywhere.
If you’re a more serious English-language learner and you would like to get more out of every single one of these expression episodes, then I thoroughly recommend enrolling in the Aussie English Classroom, and that is theAussieEnglishClassroom.com. Head over there, sign up, it’s just one dollar for your first month at the moment, guys. So, give that a go. And you will get all the bonus content for these episodes, the videos that go through things like pronunciation, the expressions that are used in these episodes, the more advanced vocabulary, you’ll get speaking challenges, and you can take part in the community and meet other people. We recently had a whole group of people in Melbourne here who were in the Facebook group for the classroom, they all got together and were practising in whilst together in the CBD. Anyway, guys.
With that, let’s go through the movie scene there at the start. Now, I found this on Facebook this week and it blew me away. It blew my mind. It was mind-blowing. I loved it.
So, this was the story of how this mural was painted on a bridge wall in Warrnambool, which is in Victoria close to where I live. Well, three hours away, but relatively close, you know, in the grand scheme of things in Australia. And this guy painted this mural on the wall, another guy found it and saw it, and decided that he would prefer this mural to be permanent instead of just washing away next time it rained as the mural had been done in chalk, which is what the original artist’s plan was, for this to be just temporary.
Anyway, that video will be linked in the transcript. I really recommend going and checking it out. It was an amazing video full of humour, Australian humour, and it was from ABC News. Okay? So, these guys are an amazing resource if you want to practice your Australian English by watching the Australian news. I love ABC News. You can check them out on Facebook and they also have a live stream on YouTube that is 24 hours a day. Just type in ‘ABC News’ into YouTube and you will find that. Anywhere, guys.
That’s it for the intro. A quick apology too if I sound a little congested. I have just moved back to Melbourne or to Geelong, rather, which is about 70 kilometers south of Melbourne, and I’m living at my parents’ place and they have cats, and I’m allergic to cats. It always takes me a few weeks to get acclimated to them, to sort of… for my body to become used to them, and I have to take anti-histamines in the meantime, you know, and I feel like I to sneeze all the time. Anyway.
As usual, let’s get into an Australian joke, and I’ve got a killer for you today. (I) told this one to Kel and she was like, you need to include this in the episode. Alright, here’s the joke.
Why did kangaroos hate rainy days? Why did kangaroos hate rainy days? Because their children play inside.
What do you reckon? Is it a good one?
Why do kangaroos hate rainy days? Because their kids play inside. Get it? Because kangaroos have pouches. Anyway.
Today’s expression, guys. Today’s expression is for things ‘to go pear-shaped’, ‘to go pear-shaped’. This was from Alexander who suggested this in the Aussie English Classroom. We all voted on it. Good job, Alex.
So, let’s go through the definitions of the words in this expression ‘to go pear-shaped’.
So, ‘go’. ‘Go’ can mean a lot of different things. You know, usually, it is talking about moving in a direction, right. You’re going forward, you’re going backward, you’re going to a place. But here, if ‘go’ is followed by an adjective here like ‘pear-shaped’, it’s more than it means to turn into something. So, to pass into or to be in a specified state, especially, an undesirable state. Right? So, it’s sort of like to turn bad, to become bad, to go bad. So, you might often hear things like ‘things have gone bad’, ‘things have gone wrong’, ‘things have gone awry’. Those are some collocations you’ll often hear with ‘go’, where it means to sort of change state, to pass into another state.
‘A pear’. ‘A pear’ is a sweet yellowish- or brownish-green edible fruit and it is narrow towards the stalk end above where it attaches to the tree and the wider towards the base. So, you’ll often have likened overweight men to apples and overweight women to pears, right? Because men seem to carry the weight around their stomachs and women around their hips. So, men are shaped like apples, women like pears.
‘Shaped’. The word ‘shaped’ is the external form contours or outline of someone or something, right. I am obviously shaped like a person. If you carved a rock into the shape of a love heart, maybe a heart, okay. It is shaped like a heart.
Now, we can combine words, often nouns and adjectives, into compound adjectives. Right? So, this is where you’ve got multiple words describing something and we put a hyphen between them.
So, in this case ‘pear-shaped’ means ‘in the shape of a pear’, and instead of saying ‘in the shape of a pear’, it’s much quicker to just say ‘pear-shaped’. Okay?
So, let’s define the expression. If something ‘goes pear-shaped’, this means that it goes horribly wrong, it goes awry. So, for things to go bad, for things to go wrong. That is when things ‘go pear-shaped’.
So, I was looking around trying to find the origin of this expression and it seems like there’s no clear-cut origin for it. However, the first citation appears in a book called Air War South Atlantic in 1983, and it seems like it may have been slang from the Royal Air Force. Okay? And the quote from this book was, “There were two bangs very close together. The whole aircraft shook and things went ‘pear-shaped’ very quickly after that.” To say that, obviously, things went wrong, things went disastrous, right.
So, let’s go through some examples of how I would use this expression, ‘to go pear-shaped’, in day-to-day life, in real life. Alright.
Example number one. So, imagine you are planning a weekend trip away with the family. So, you want to go camping somewhere, somewhere nice nearby, maybe in a forest somewhere. So, if it’s nearby me, obviously, you could go to places like the Great Ocean Road or to Willson’s Prom, Wilson’s Promontory. You guys, if you’ve been to Victoria, may have been to these places. So, you put all your camping gear in the car, your tent, the ropes, the pegs, to hold the tent down, your portable gas stove, food supplies, sleeping gear, like mattresses that are inflatable and sleeping bags, and maybe a fishing rod or two. After you pile your kids in the car and you get your wife or your husband to get in the car as well, you jump in and you head off on the road towards this destination where you’re going to go camping. On the drive, the weather is beautiful and this was the whole reason that you wanted to go camping in the first place, you know, you were hoping for really good weather and it turned out to be the case. But then as soon as you get there, the clouds cover the sky, the day becomes overcast and rain starts pouring down, right. It starts raining cats and dogs, it starts pissing down, it’s raining heavily. So, because the weather’s turned so horrible, your plans of a wonderful weekend away camping with the family have gone pear-shaped. They’ve gone horribly wrong, they’ve gone awry, your plans went pear-shaped.
Example number two. Imagine you are a soldier in the army and you have a platoon of men that you obviously are a soldier with. You guys have a mission. You’ve got to go behind enemy lines and you have to capture a certain building. Okay? So, it’s really dark. It’s dark at night when you guys have to leave. There’s no moon. You’re hoping to be able to get there under the cover of darkness, meaning that no one will see you. You can use darkness as a means to hide whilst you infiltrate the enemy territory. So, just as you’re entering the building with all your men, an enemy soldier spots you. He puts a light on you and things go pear-shaped. You have to bail, you have to escape, you have to run away as your platoon receives enemy fire, meaning that the enemy is firing their weapons at the platoon. But fortunately, you make it back alive despite the mission going pear-shaped. Things went pear-shaped.
Example number three. Alright, imagine you are a pregnant woman, right, a woman who is close to giving birth. You’ve got two kids and a husband already, obviously, and this means that, usually, the house is incredibly noisy. There’s a lot of noise. There’s a lot of kids running around screaming and you find it very difficult to take a breather, to take a time-out, to have time to yourself to relax. Fortunately, this weekend, your husband’s offered to take the kids to the beach so that you can have a day off, right. You can take time for yourself and watch your favorite chick-flick, kick back, have your favourite nibblies out of the fridge.’Nibblies’ being food, something you like to nibble on, your ‘nibblies’, that’s a good Australian slang term. So, you put some chocolate out of the fridge after the kids have left with your husband, gone to the beach. You sit back, you kick your feet up, you relax, but just as the movie begins, your kids and husband rush back inside, and it turns out, when they got to the beach, there was a shark at the beach. And so, there were sirens going off, the lifesavers were there saying no one can go in the water, you can’t swim, it’s not safe. So, as a result, they all came home and your plans have gone pear-shaped. Your plans have been disrupted, things have gone bad, the situation’s turned horrible, things have gone awry, things have gone pear-shaped.
So, hopefully, by now, guys, you’ll understand and can use the expression ‘to go pear shaped’, it means for things to go bad or for things to go awry, for things to go wrong.
So, as usual, let’s go through a little listen and repeat exercise here, guys, where you can practice your pronunciation. By now, I am sure that you guys know the drill. Let’s just get straight into it, guys. Listen and repeat after me. Let’s go.
To go pear-
To go pear-shaped x 5
Good job. Now, I’m going to put this into a sentence with ‘to make’ in the past tense, like, I made…, you made…, he made…, she made…, etc., …things go pear-shaped. Okay? I made things go pear-shaped, you made things go pear-shaped. So, listen and repeat after me, guys.
I made things go pear-shaped
You made things go pear-shaped
He made things go pear-shaped
She made things go pear-shaped
We made things go pear-shaped
They made things go pear-shaped
It made things go pear-shaped
Good job, guys. Good job. Remember, if you would like to go through this exercise in more detail with a fine-tooth comb and learn all of the more interesting aspects of pronunciation in English here, join up at theAussieEnglishClassroom.com, and you will get a pronunciation video for this episode, as well as all the previous episodes, and it will really help you improve your English quickly.
Today’s Aussie fact, guys. Let’s just get straight into it. Today’s Aussie fact I thought I would talk about cane toads, and I’m not sure if I’ve talked about these before or not, but maybe you guys have heard of cane toads in Australia. If you go north, you will definitely see cane toads.
So, I recently saw a news article this week about the genome having been cracked for cane toads, meaning that the genome of the cane toad, the DNA sequences of the entire DNA of the cane toad, has been successfully sequenced now, and it got me thinking about the cane toad, and I thought I would go through a number of different facts about it. Okay? And there’ll be a link in the transcript for this article if you’re interested.
Alright, cane toads. So, cane toads are a type of frog and they were introduced into Australia, they are an invasive species in Australia. They are not natural. They aren’t endemic here.
They’re about four to six inches long when they get to fully-grown size and they can weigh up to about four pounds, so close to two kilos, which is pretty impressive for a frog, and the females actually end up a lot larger than the males, and this may not come as a surprise, because females are, obviously, the animal that produces all the eggs. The males produce the sperm. The females produce the eggs. So, they’re egg producers and layers.
Once fully grown, the females can deposit up to 30,000 eggs in a single night. That’s crazy. And it only takes three days, 36 hours, for these eggs to hatch into tiny tadpoles. This is obviously one of the reasons these guys are such successful invasive species.
So, these tadpoles slowly grow their back and their front legs, usually the back first then the front, and they transform into froglets, young frogs, after only four to eight weeks.
They can live up to 10 or 15 years in the wild and up to 35 years in captivity. That’s four years older than me. Crazy!
Cane toads are highly poisonous, though, they’re very dangerous, and produce a toxin in the glands on the back of their neck so that if anyone picks them up or bites them, attacks them, often this toxin, when pressure is put on this gland, is released, it’s spat out of the frog and it can kill really quickly. So, that’s why there’s such a danger to native animals, especially, animals that hunt them.
So, the cane toad isn’t native to Australia. We established that at the start. And it was ignorantly introduced into Australia in 1935, so 83 years ago, by a man named Reginald Mungomery. So, he brought these over to Australia in a flight from Hawaii where he picked up a 102 of these cane toads, 51 males and 51 females. And this guy was supposedly trying to fix the problem of cane beetles, cane grubs, that were destroying sugar cane crops in northern Australia. So, these insects were eating the crops and he thought, you know, I’ll get some frogs. Obviously, frogs eat insects, and we’ll let them go, and hopefully this will sort out the cane beetle problem.
The problem was that the frogs can’t jump very high, right? So, they became beetles at the top of the cane, the sugar cane, which can be metres high, and the frogs don’t get up that high.
So, these toads were initially released around Cairns and Gordonvale and Innisfail, in Far North Queensland, and shortly after this ‘the march’ of the cane toad began. And this is known as the ‘Invasion Front’ in Australia. I remember this at school always being spoken about. Where the cane toads at now? Which cities or towns are they about to get to?
So, the march of the cane toad moved at about 10 kilometres a year until the 1960s when it significantly began to pick up pace, it began to speed up. By 1945, the cane toads had reached Brisbane, which was 1,600 kilometres south of where they were first released. They started knocking on the doors of people in Byron Bay in New South Wales in 1965. And by 1984, they were stealing the cat food from unsuspecting kitties in the Northern Territory. And in 2009, they finally marched across into Western Australia on the far west of the continent.
So, until today, the cane toad is one of the most catastrophic ecological disasters to have ever happened in Australia, much worse than any other introduced species. Whether it’s rabbits or foxes or donkeys, the cane toad has been devastating.
Despite this, scientists are still hopeful that they can fight against the cane toad by coming up with unique ways to control cane toad numbers. Although, we’ll never be able to completely eradicate the cane toad, hopefully, studies such as the one I mentioned at the start, where the genome has now been completely sequenced, will allow scientists to identify weaknesses in the DNA of the cane toad or maybe in diseases that affect the cane toad, but don’t affect native animals, and they can use these to exploit the cane toad and control their numbers in the future.
So, my question for you today is one: have you ever seen a cane toad in real life if you’ve been to Australia? And two: have you seen the awesome cane toad documentary Cane Toads: An Unnatural History? So, I recommend checking out that doco. It is amazing. And it is full of Australian humour and you will learn a lot about… not just Australia and Australian culture, but also about the cane toad too if you check that out.
Anyway, guys, that’s enough for today. I am struggling, I am very congested, and I’m going to have to edit this episode a lot to get rid of all the coughing and repeating of myself. Anyway, I hope you have an amazing week, I hope you’re enjoying yourselves, and I chat to you soon. See you, guys.
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AE 492 – Interview: How to Get Permanent Residency in Australia with Mai Medina – Part 2
G’day, guys. How’s it going? Welcome to this interview episode of Aussie English. This is part two of, obviously, a two-part series with Mai Medina from Mai’s Journey.
So, hopefully, you guys checked out the last episode that I did with Mai, that was 490 – How to get permanent residency in Australia with Mai Medina. And remember, this interview ended up going for quite a while. So, I think the interview totaled like an hour and a half of time. We were having a lot of fun when we were chatting on Skype and I thought that might be a bit too much for you guys if you have to sit there and listen to, potentially, an hour and a half of me talking. One, I can imagine my voice gets pretty annoying, and two, it’s just a lot to absorb.
So, I’ve broken it up into two parts, guys. Here is Mai Medina from Mai’s Journey on YouTube. Remember, the links will all be in the transcript, and if you would like access to these transcripts go to theAussieEnglishPodcast.com, click ‘sign up’, and for just five dollars every single month you can get access to all of the transcripts and MP3s so you can study anywhere anytime. Anyway.
I give you Mai Medina from Mai’s Journey.
So moving on slightly. How did you get used to Australian English? What was, you were saying that you were having trouble at first when you started your University Masters here in Australia and that the teachers spoke obviously with an Australian accent, what did you do to get used to it and to overcome that language barrier?
Well I… because I didn’t have any Australian friends at uni. And at home we were all internationals of course, none of them were Australians.
But I think this is going to be… this is why it’s good, right? Because you have overcome it. And I think a lot of people listening are going to, at least if they’re in Australia or they end up in Australia and they haven’t done so yet, I think they may end up in a similar situation where it seems it’s always very difficult to penetrate the world of the native Australian speaker, right, and surround yourself with them all the time. So what did you do and what do you recommend people do if they find themselves in a similar situation?
I started dating.
Oh yeah. Ok, so you got on Tinder, huh, and started meeting Australian guys?
Yes. So I started dating and I was dating Australian guys. And then you get used to it. You go out with them, if you don’t understand a word you can say “can you say it again?” which is not the case in a classroom environment, you are not going to stop the teacher at every sentence trying to figure out why he just said. And then you just get used to it with time. Like, I don’t know, the first month was very hard. The second month not so hard. Right now I listen to lots of podcast and that also helps a lot. But back then podcasts were not a thing so I can’t say that I used that. But one of my friends, she is studying for her IELTS and she has been listening to podcasts, like English, Australian podcasts and she says, she said to me like a couple of weeks ago like “oh I can understand those girls”. And I was like “just keep listening, because you’ll get used to it” and she said “oh yeah”, I mean, yes, there are a few things that I can’t understand but you just get used to the way the pronunciation and the way you…
Well that’s it, right? It’s kind of like you’re doing a puzzle, right? And it’s not like you start the puzzle when there’s nothing on the board and then all of a sudden, it’s finished. You do little bit by little bit and slowly the picture emerges and it’s the same, I think, with English and improving your ability to understand native speakers. It’s not like you just do this one thing for this set amount of time and now you understand 100 percent of everything everyone says. Like, I still say “Pardon me” to other native speakers all the time if I miss what they say. But I definitely think you’re right, there are loads of podcasts, especially Australian English ones. You’ll find things like obviously mine, the Aussie English podcast, you’ll find Conversations is a good one. Hamish and Andy are two really funny comedians who have one. So there’s heaps on there, they’re free guys, get on there. But also did you watch Australian TV and were you doing any extracurricular activities that introduced you to Australians?
Not really, apart from dating that is the extracurricular activity. Not really, because I was studying full time and then I had to work to pay rent. So I was working at night and I was working as a cleaner. So I was cleaning a school in Toorak but then I didn’t have any interaction while I was cleaning because it was just me.
That’s a job I tend to try and get people to sort of like avoid if they can. Like it is good if, you know, you don’t need that many skills to get paid but it’s all alone or it’ll be with other people who speak say Spanish.
But I have to say that my English was good and that was the only thing that I found. So one of the sad realities is that if you are from Latin America and you are coming here to study and you are looking for a part time job, most likely you will start as cleaner.
Well, I was doing my PhD working as a waiter. I had to clean the toilets every day. I had to, like, you just have to take that piece of humble pie and just deal with the fact that you… even Australians take these shitty jobs to get through university. It’s not just you. It’s not because you’re foreign, it’s just that those jobs are open and they’re easy and you don’t need skills.
And also those are the ones that fix your timeframe, like your timeline, the time that you are available to work because I was studying during the day so I can only work at night and that was the only one. So… yeah!
That’s a good point. So can we dig into Tinder a little bit? What was your experience like dating in Australia? What should other Colombians or people from anywhere in the world who come to Australia and get on Tinder, obviously you can’t really speak to it from a male perspective but from a female perspective, what was that experience like and interacting with Australian men?
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It was different.
What does that mean Mai?
Oh… Ok so this was four years ago. So Tinder wasn’t as bad as it’s now.
Was Tinder out four years ago?
Wow, I am getting old! Far out!
Because I now have a boyfriend that I met on Tinder. But I haven’t used Tinder in four years. And my friend said that it’s really shitty now but before then I did Tinder and I did… what’s the other one?
There are a lot.
RSVP and Online Harmony, eHarmony?
Yeah, there are a lot of them, yeah.
So I did those three. And it was hard because first Australian guys are completely different to Colombian guys. The Colombian guy is very romantic. They are not upfront with what they really want. So they’re kind of like they’re sweet.
So that’s a bit more cat and mouse going on, where you don’t know what’s going on. Does he like me, does he not like me? Where with Australian guys, was it a different story?
Australian guys were very to the point. This is four years ago, but the ones that I met, some of them, not all of them but some of them were like “Oh you are a Latin, you are hot”, then “We want to F”, right?
We want to have sex, yeah okay.
And I was like “No I just want to date, I just want to go for a coffee or a dinner” but then they were expecting more.
Yeah. So how do you navigate that? What advice would you have for girls coming to Australia who want to date guys or who may end up dating them? How did you obviously navigate through all of these guys who were very upfront and find your current boyfriend who’s obviously done the right things, whatever the right things are?
Well my first advice is never go on dates at night, if it’s a first date. I mean the first date, don’t accept drinks because that’s just like a synonym of have sex. And if you are not up for that, don’t do it. So my recommendation is go for a coffee date at, I don’t know, 3pm or a brunch date. Something like that, that it’s not…
I think a good sign is, with that too, that if it is ever going to lead to sex on the first date, it’s going to have been after eight hours. It’s not going be, you know, it’s the kind of thing where it’s like you’ll have to have spent the whole day together getting to know the other person before anything happens, if it’s gonna happen.
And then the other thing is : don’t expect the guy to pay.
Really? Why is that?
Well with my boyfriend it was different but with different…, I mean I’m all for half and half, I don’t have a problem with that but I do know girls who are expecting the guys to pay for everything. And then because they are paying then they believe they have rights. Anyway, …
Well, it’s just mixed messages. Yeah, it is mix messages.
You have to be very upfront with: this is my half.
I think though from my point of view too. From my point of view, when I was dating a lot more, I would get almost the same way I think you would feel as a woman if someone was just like “okay come back to my house, I want sex”, you know? I would feel like, in the same sort of way, I would feel like I was being used, if you didn’t even offer to pay for the meal or anything. If you just assumed that it was my job, I’m paying for your time, for me it feels just as bad as if it were me assuming that you’re coming home now after all the stuff that I’ve done for you, by paying for the meal and, you know? So that’s a good expectation to have though when you come here and you date someone: your job is to offer, his job is to pay.
Yeah that’s correct. And the other thing that was very different, and it took a while to get used to, is that the fact that you are dating an Australian guy doesn’t mean that you are part of his life.
Really? What does that mean?
In Colombia you date a guy and immediately you meet his friends, you are part of his family and you are all the time with that person. That’s normal in Colombia. Here, you date a guy and normally the guy will keep things apart. He will date you, but then his friends will be his mates and that will be his priority until much… like a long time passes and you become the priority. And that is completely different in Colombia. In Colombia you’re in a relationship and it’s like your world just changes and you are just with your couple. Whereas here it’s completely different. It’s kind of like you have to earn that place in his social circle before he agrees to introduce you. Like it’s not immediately.
I guess though, that’s a good sign though too, right? Because, it’s kind of like, if he does say he wants to introduce you to his friends pretty quickly after dating you or his family, that’s a massively good sign that it’s serious and that he’s not just screwing around.
Yes he’s serious when he does that, whereas in Colombia it just really doesn’t matter.
And so how long have you been with your boyfriend now and how did the relationship compare to one in Colombia? Is it much the same at the point you’re at now?
Well we have been together for four years.
Oh wow so you really met him straight away.
I was one year single, only one year single. And now after three years we’re moving together, and yeah like he was very… like he has a really good relationship with his parents which sometimes is not the case with Australian guys. Like it’s another thing, like Australian guys, Australians in general, like the millennials or whatever, they tend to leave home quite early after they finish high school. So they live by themselves or with mates but then in Columbia it’s the opposite, they stay at home.
I think for us, Australians, we kind of… Did you ever watch the TV show “Everyone loves Raymond”? Have you seen that?
So there’s two brothers, one of them has moved out, has a family. The other one’s single, lives at home, he’s 40 years old and he’s kind of the joke. That’s the joke of the whole like the tension between them, that one brother’s young, has a family. The other one stayed at home and has failed all his relationships and that’s kind of the epitome of I think for Australian guys, we don’t want to end up the guy living with the family because, at least our sexual market value, if you go out with a woman and she finds out you live with your parents after your 20 something, it’s like she’s going to be like “What’s wrong with you?”. So I guess that… And it is interesting because I had a housemate from Estonia and his relationship with his mother was very different from mine where I chat to mine all the time but it’s kind of like I text message or chat to her on Facebook or I’ll see her or I call her maybe once a week, once every two weeks and then get into it and chat to her for quite awhile. But he was on the phone every night for like an hour. Like yeah and that was… I don’t know if that’s normal for Estonians but it was a lot more like he was very connected to that relationship. So yeah it is a bit different I think.
Yeah it’s a bit different. But yeah.
That’s interesting. Crazy okay. So you got Step one : get to Australia after sorting out your visa, your IELTS, the university. Step two : find somewhere to live. Step three : get a boyfriend. Step 4 : conquer Australian English.
Step 3 was finding a job.
Yes, okay let’s talk about that. What did you do in order to find a job?
After finding a job, I got a boyfriend.
So what did you do in order to find a job here in Australia?
I was very lucky. I have always… like I’m Catholic so I believe in God and I believe God just wants me here because I only had one year. My visa was only for one year. So I needed to leave Australia by the end of December 2013 and in August I applied for a job on LinkedIn. A random job at Nielsen which is a marketing research company. And around… no no that was like July. And on August they call me and say “hey, you applied for this job, this is to be a trainer”. I was like “a what?” “A trainer”, and I was like “I don’t have any” well, I didn’t say that but I was like “I don’t have any experience training people”. It was kind of like an HR kind of role and I was like okay so I went to the interview and after one interview they called me and say “yeah sure the job is yours”.
And I said “Look, I need to leave the country in December and I’m studying, so I only can work up to 20 hours per week. If you do give me the job, is it possible to get a sponsor?
They said “well, just start working and in November we will decide”. So I was like “okay”. But I didn’t have any other option I like “great”.
So is that the usual story though? What advice would you give to people who are thinking about coming to Australia and studying and then getting a job? Would you suggest getting on LinkedIn, websites like LinkedIn and submitting CVs and trying to go for those jobs?
Okay, so I think the marketplace has changed a lot since then. My advice is just check that your career is on the list at least.
Yes for permanent residency and citizenship later on down the tracks.
Or not even for PR, just for getting a sponsor. That’s it. And it is heart breaking because many careers are not in the list. And if you do not have the experience, you don’t get to be sponsored either.
So is that something you would really suggest sort of keeping in mind before you even come to Australia, look into that and try and work out, plan ahead what kind of career am I ultimately going to try and go down that road of that will hopefully lead to me getting permanent residency or citizenship or sponsorship in Australia?
Yes so my recommendation would be: if your career is not on the list just keep in mind it’s going to be really hard to stay. If your career is on the list, just look at Plan B because the list changes all the time.
That’s the other thing I was going to ask.
The original occupation that I used to get a sponsor in the first place is no longer in the list.
Okay, it changes.
And the one that I used to get the PR is no longer in the list. So I was lucky.
So you really need to keep your finger on the pulse, right? And stay up to date with things.
One of the things that in my channel I get lots of questions about how to stay, what can I do to stay in Australia? My recommendation is go to a Visa advisor and see what are your pathways because sponsorship is one pathway but you can also get a state visa but then that means you have to go to live in Canberra or Tasmania or Perth for two years to get the visa. But it is important that people do know what are the options if they have any because it is becoming really hard. Like if someone in marketing, it’s almost impossible to find sponsorships now because it’s not in the list. And if it’s in the list, it’s only the one that gives you two years with no option to apply or extend. It is getting really hard.
So the takeaway message there is just stay up to date with the list and the different requirements for these visas and the best way to do so is talk to an immigration agent and ask them for advice. And do you need to pay for that? Are there free services that you know of?
Normally the agencies that help you with the studies, normally they will know what is up to date. But I do believe for the ones that are more like PR and all that, you need to pay like a fee for the advice for them. But it’s very important because although all the information is online, it is really tricky to know what it is. Like, I have on that Visa Advisor Australian Government website so many times looking for answers and it’s so complicated, it’s not an easy “oh yes this is ABC”, no!
Yeah, that’s it.
And it keeps changing and one thing is that the website page is not up to date sometimes because the list is still the old list. So it is confusing.
So don’t leave it up to chance, guys. If you need to know more about this and you’re just winging it, you’re just improvising, make sure that you go and see an immigration agent or maybe ask your university or ask your English School for advice on who to talk to about this and get it. Get your ducks in a row, right. Have things organised. Have a plan of attack. All right, so what happened? You got sponsorship from this job.
I got a sponsor.
Yeah, and what did that lead to? You got to stay here for another three years before you got PR?
So the visa was for four years. And after two years of working on that job and four years of working or living in Australia, no I think it’s just after two years of working on that position, you can get permanent residency. So again I asked my job, my company…
Sorry, what did you say? It broke up again. You asked your job.
So I asked my boss in my company if they will be willing to help me with the PR because although I do have one Australian boyfriend and I could have done the PR by my Australian boyfriend, I wanted to do it by myself. So I talked to the company and they said “yes, sure we will sponsor you to the PR”. But then I had to take the exam again, the English test again.
Well I had the choice. I had.. you could take either the IELTS, the TOEFL or the PTE.
Okay, and which one did you choose and why?
I took the PTE, just because the IELTS… I think the IELTS is, to test English I believe the IELTS is the best of the three, because you get to interact with someone in your speaking and you get to write a proper essay in your writing. Whereas the other two are just computer based and it’s awful.
I do believe the PTE is way easier than the IELTS.
I’ve heard it’s a double-edged blade though because I have a student who did the PTE and I think he did incredibly well in everything except for speaking and it ended up being he got like 10 percent and he rang them up and was like “What the hell?”. And they said “oh the files that you spoke and sent through just came through but it was broken up and the microphone that you used or whatever wasn’t good and that’s why you got marked down”, so…
Yeah. I mean I think it’s easier because the machine is evaluating you. Like a human is not listening to you, it’s the machine. Because the machine is evaluating you, if you can speak English then you have very good chances of passing because they have to be more flexible because it’s a machine, right? Whereas if it’s a person, well, no. The person, it will be her opinion and her opinion only. And she will be listening to you for real, whereas the other one is a machine. But the problem with the PTE, and this is why I really recommend you, if someone is going to take the PTE, just buy the two exams for free, no, the two extra exams that you can buy from the website and for practice, because PTE is not about speaking English, PTE is about memory.
So what are the pros and cons? How much does each cost the PTE and the tough one, the IELTS?
If I remember correctly, all of them are quite the same. I think one is fifty dollars more expensive than the other one but they’re around 300/350 dollars. Yeah, I remember there was one more expensive but I can’t remember which one.
I think it might be the IELTS because I think my girlfriend did that maybe six months ago and it was 500 bucks.
Oh wow. Yeah no. The PTE is not that expensive. But the other thing is the PTE goes over two days. So one for the… No sorry. The IELTS goes over two days : one for the interview, one for the actual exam whereas the PTE and the TOEFL is just one day, you just go there, you just sit down in front of the computer and just pray to God that you are going to remember. Because one of the worst… I hated the PTE although it’s the easiest one, I hated it because the speaking part, like 90 percent of the questions of the speaking part were like “this is a sentence, remember all the sentence, and then, say it back”.
So you can’t miss a word or you get penalized completely. It’s like it’s all or nothing.
Exactly, that was my lowest score speaking. And I consider myself like a good English speaker but in that exam by the time the guy had finished saying whatever he was saying, I had completely forgotten how did it started.
I guess that’s a good point for IELTS where if someone’s listening to you or speaking with you, it’s kind of like they can fill in the gaps with their intuition or whatever, if you miss a word they still understand exactly what you’ve said and it’s like “okay, yeah you communicated successfully”. You might get marked down but you don’t get a zero.
Exactly. Where with the PTE that was the worst. But on the flip side the writing part is not an essay, because for the IELTS you need to have like a structure, you need an introduction, two paragraphs or one paragraph of content and a conclusion. Like it’s very structured and you need to follow that structure, otherwise you won’t pass, whereas with PTE they said “write an essay, but no more than 200 words”. How you are gonna write an essay 200 words?
That’s half a page.
It’s just a paragraph, and that’s it and I got the highest score in writing because it’s not an essay. So yeah, I hated the speaking and I got a really bad result in the speaking, but I still passed.
That’s pretty funny because you would tend to have the opposite in IELTS, right, where the writing is always the worst one for most people and speaking or listening tend to be the best.
So I recommend the PTE if you are very good at speaking and your writing is not that strong because the writing part is really easy.
Okay so you had to do that, you had to do those exams again and get a mark to get your sponsorship or to get PR?
The PR. You can not apply for PR if you don’t have that English level which has changed. So I was very lucky, so everything changed after I applied. Because now to get the PR, you have to be sponsor… I mean you have… it can only be done… oh no that’s for… I mean I think the levels of English have increased now for the PR.
Yes, I think there’s six and a half to seven band on the IELTS or something like that. Or maybe 6 and above. I guess the key is stay up to date with the requirements, no matter what you’re doing if it’s sponsorship or, you know PR, or citizenship, whatever it is, just make sure you find out what the requirements are, before you get into it too deeply. But what was it like when you were sponsored? Was that easy once that was done and you’d found someone who you worked for who is willing to sponsor you? What was the process like? And then what happened with PR? Is it easy once you get the ball rolling?
Yes, so if your career is on the list and the company said yes, it is very easy.
Of course they do it… my company did it via Fragomen which is a visa institution helping thing. They are very expensive but they are very good, like they get things rolling very quickly. Normally you get that, normally companies have an agency that helps them with that. I have heard of companies that they just said “yes, we are gonna sign the paper and the recommendation, it’s up to you to do everything” and that is very hard because you have to complete many papers, forms, you have to take a medical examination to get your PR. But in my case, it was really easy, I just sent my papers and that was it, like I took the exam, took the blood test and that was it, like I was done.
So did you pay anything for your sponsorship or for PR or was that paid for by your company?
So in my case, it was paid by the company.
Lucky. What could be expected though, if the company is not willing to pay for it but they are willing to accept it, what’s the kind of amount of money that you would expect to pay right now?
So for the PR, they can do whatever. So they can say “we cover all the costs”.
Who, the company or the government?
No, all of it, it’s the company.
So, the company can say “I will pay everything” or they can say “50/50”, or they can say “you pay everything”, that is for PR. For the other visa, for the first visa, for the sponsorship to stay in Australia, they have to cover everything. It’s illegal for them to ask you to pay.
But for PR, it’s up to them. In my case,… Normally what they do is, if they cover, I don’t know, whatever they cover, if they cover 100 percent or 50 percent, normally they will ask you to sign like a contract saying that you will not leave the company until X amount of years or otherwise you will have to pay them back. Once you are PR, you are not attached to the company. When you are sponsored, so 457 that doesn’t longer exist, but in that when you are sponsored, you are attached to the company.
Yeah, well they’ve invested in you and they just want to know that you’re not going to get the sponsorship and then leave.
That’s correct. So for example, in the first one, you are attached, so if you stop working there, you will need to find another sponsor right away, otherwise your visa will no longer be valid. Whereas with PR, as soon as you get the permanent residency, you are free to do whatever you want.
So even if you lost your job tomorrow, you’ve still got that there as long as you obviously can support yourself. Sorry?
I’m no longer there.
Ah cool! So you did change work obviously but the ball still was rolling with PR.
So I got my PR last April, so April 2017, sorry not last April. And I’ll leave my company in December, sorry January.
Brilliant! Far out! And so what was the process to go from PR and getting that to getting citizenship and I guess before you get to that, what made you decide to do it yourself as opposed to with your boyfriend?
I just didn’t want to depend on him. If there was no other option, I’m sure he would have said “oh sure let’s do it”. But I just didn’t want to, not because he would say “Oh thanks to me, you have PR”, no but more like for internal realisation and myself.
You did it all yourself. You didn’t ride on the coattails of anyone else. And what happens too if you got PR with your boyfriend and you guys broke up, are there any issues there?
No, because if you want to apply for a PR with a partner visa, you have to show and demonstrate evidence that you are in a long relationship. You have to present pictures and wedding invitations and tickets and everything because of course it’s very easy visa to fake kind of.
Otherwise yeah exactly.
The government tries to make sure that you are actually a couple. But once you get your PR, again you are free to do whatever, and if you are not together, that’s fine.
And so what’s the process then from PR to citizenship? Does PR lead to citizenship ultimately or you still have to go out of your way to get it and what made you decide to do that?
So PR it’s like indefinitely, like you kind of stay in Australia forever kind of thing. I think there is a limit of… like you can stay in Australia but you can not leave Australia for more than five years.
Yeah. I think at least when my supervisor was doing PR, he couldn’t leave Australia for a quarter of the year at a time I think. Like while he was trying to get citizenship or aim for it, for four years he couldn’t have been out of the country for more than one of those four years total.
Yes, something like that. So in theory you don’t need to apply for citizenship. I was very lucky. So when I applied for citizenship, you only needed to be PR for one year. From July this year, so in 2018 July 1st, that will change to four years. You have to be a PR for 4 years before applying to the citizenship. So I applied in April and I’m still waiting of course, the process takes up to 15 months.
And it’s really easy, like if you have the PR requirements then you just submit a form with a picture of you and the driver’s license.
It’s almost like “time served”, is it? You’re just sort of like “oh yeah, she’s been a PR for this long, yeah, give her citizenship”. And what’s the point? Was that just for you, you wanted an Australian passport or is there a benefit to it?
Yes. So, I think the biggest one for me is to get the Australian passport because being a Colombian, my Colombian passport still is not accepted in a lot of countries, so I do need a visa to get into lots of countries. Whereas the Australian passport is more trustworthy and countries are more willing to accept Australian passports without a visa. So that’s my first motivation. The other thing is that you can start voting and it will become mandatory of course for you.
Make sure you do, you’ll get fined 20 bucks if you don’t vote once you’re a citizen.
Yes exactly, which is not the case in other countries but yeah, it’s also another benefit. And the other thing that when you become Australian you can apply for benefits for school, high school, oh sorry, higher degrees like a PhD or Master.
You can get on the dole, you can get, you know, a retirement fund and all of that sort of stuff, you get the pension.
Yeah and also if you’re a girl and you have babies, if you are an Australian, you can get the benefit of the maternity leave, which is not the case with the others, if you are just a resident.
That’s crazy. So I guess you had come full circle, like you’ve left Columbia, you’ve come to Australia, you got educated here, you ended up finding a job and getting sponsored here which gave you the benefits of being able to work and stay here. Then PR, which meant you could obviously not be attached to the job and you could leave that job and do whatever you want, stay here for as long as you like, as long as you didn’t leave the country for too much of that period, right? Each year you had to stay here for three quarters of your time and now you’re getting citizenship, which will give you full citizen rights to Australia. Wow! That’s a pretty good story, I guess we should wrap up it’s been like almost an hour and a half.
I know, it’s been way too long!
That’s all good. I’m sure that the listeners will love it, there’s a lot of information there. So, where can people find out more about you, Mai? I know you’ve got an amazing video that I sort of found you through, or at least saw you for the first time. We’d been chatting online for Instagram and a few other things, but where can people find out more about you and what you do?
Yeah, so I do have a YouTube channel. It’s mostly about my life in Australia, so I do have some educational videos about how the health care system works, the transportation, how I got my PR, how I applied for the citizenship, how to get the driver license. Some of the videos are educational videos, but also some of them are more like my life, my favourites of the month, type of relaxer, my YouTube channel is YouTube… Well you can just go to YouTube and look “Mai’s Journey” or also on Instagram Mai Medina and that’s me.
Yeah, I’ll get the links to it and I’ll put them in the transcript. But it’s definitely good. Check out the YouTube channel guys, especially if you’re Spanish speakers because I think I noticed you had Spanish captions for some of these videos, so if they are learning English, the videos are in English, at least the ones that I saw were in English and you had captions in, I think, Spanish and English as well or just Spanish?
Just captions in Spanish. Yeah, just because my mom doesn’t speak English, so I do the captions for her.
Oh, that’s amazing.
But more than welcome everyone to watch those. Because funny enough, my audience in my YouTube channel is not Latin American people.
Exactly. I was wondering like, they would be other people in Australia, right, having difficulties with these things?
No, like 90 percent of my audience is people from India.
Oh wow! Okay.
So yes, and I get really like lots of questions from people from India on how to come to Australia. So, that’s why I keep it in English because I think I can reach a wider audience instead of just the Spanish.
I think you’re definitely right. Well Mai, thank you so much.
Thank you so much. It’s been a great Friday night.
No worries. Hopefully, I’ll get you back on the podcast in the future.
Thank you so much for having me.
See you guys!
Alright, guys, so that was it. Big thank you to Mai Medina. That was an amazing interview. I had a lot of fun doing this with her. Hopefully, I can get her on in the future and chat more about her experiences Down Under in Australia and what she’s gotten up to now, as it’s been a few months since we recorded this, and I’m sure a lot has happened. Anyway.
I hope you enjoy this episode, guys, and I hope to chat to you very soon. All the best. See ya.
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AE 491 – Expression: The World Is your Oyster
Oyster farming is quite a manual job. There is planning involved as well, but a lot of the work involves manual labour and jumping into cool water in winter. So, we have seasonal benefits where in summer time it’s quite nice and very enjoyable out on the water, and in the winter time we’re in and out as quick as we can, get a load on board, and then back to the shed.
Alrighty. Let’s get started. No window open today, guys, no window.
Alright, so, g’day, you mob. I hope you’re going well. I hope you’re havinig a good weekend. I hope you’re having an amazing week. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. This is the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English.
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If you are the kind of student, however, who likes to study and wants to get a lot more out of these kinds of episodes, and wants to study the vocab in these episodes, the expressions, some of the pronunciation tips in more depth, and kind of wants to go through this with a fine-tooth comb, I suggest signing up at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com, and getting into that classroom and consuming all of the content in there. There are videos for each of these episodes each week and you will get access to all the previous expression episodes too, as well as some other courses in there on pronunciation amongst other things. Anyway, guys.
That’s the intro. That’s enough of that. Welcome to this episode. I hope you like the intro scene there. I’m always trying to add these things in so you get access to other Australian accents and you also get introduced to things like the ABC Australia’s YouTube channel there, which is where that little snippet came from, so that you can find other resources and learn about Australian culture.
So, that was from, as I said, the ABC Australia’s YouTube channel, a little series called My Australia where it was following a Chinese girl called Jingjing as she visited an oyster farm in Port Lincoln on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. So, I really recommend checking out that entire video. Go to the ABC YouTube channel. I will leave a link in the transcript so that you can do so, but it’s a great way to watch more of their videos to learn about Australian culture and practice your listening comprehension for the Aussie English fact. Anyway.
Let’s dive into the Aussie joke for today, guys, and it is a shellfish joke, because, obviously, the expression is related to shellfish. So, the joke is:
What did the oyster say to the crab when he took his pearl? What did the oyster side of the crab when he took his pearl?
Don’t be so ‘shellfish’. Don’t be so ‘shellfish’.
Do you get it? The play on words here, the pun here, is with the word ‘selfish’ and ‘shellfish’, right. “Don’t be so selfish” would be the real way of saying that. Don’t steal something, don’t hold on to it, don’t keep it to yourself, don’t be selfish. And the joke here is that oysters are shellfish and we often call crab ‘shellfish’ as well so, don’t be so ‘shellfish’.
Alright, so today’s expression is ‘the world is your oyster’. The world is your oyster. I wonder if you guys have heard this expression before. This came from Michal who is from Poland. He is an awesome guy. He’s in our Aussie English Classroom Facebook group and his posting videos all the time when he’s out and about walking around. So, they’re always interesting to watch. If you guys want to be a part of that, go to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com, and then asked to join the group, and we post videos each week practicing the expressions from these episodes. Anyway.
Let’s define the words in this expression.
So, ‘the world’. ‘The world’ is the Earth, the planet on which we live, together with its countries and its people. So, it’s not just the physical rock that is the planet, but it’s also every country is a part of this world and every person is a part of this world. Right. The world.
‘Is’, obviously, present tense third person ‘to be’. He is. She is. It is.
‘Your’. ‘Your’ is the possessive pronoun for ‘you’. This is your thing. This is your car. This is your oyster. This is your phone.
And, ‘an oyster’, if you don’t know what ‘an oyster’ is, ‘an oyster’ is any number of bivalve molluscs with rough irregular shells, and they’re usually eaten raw as a delicacy, but they also might be farmed for pearls, the jewellery that you will get out of them. Those small spherical white, kind of iridescent, pieces of jewellery made by shellfish.
So, let’s define the expression ‘the world is your oyster’. ‘The world is your oyster’. If someone says to you that ‘the world is your oyster’, it’s the idea that you are in a position to take all the opportunities that life has to offer. So, you can do anything that you want. You can go anywhere you want. Everything is a possibility for you. ‘The world is your oyster’.
So, this is, I think, the first expression where it’s actually from Shakespeare. So, you guys might know Shakespeare, the famous British writer, playwright, I guess. And he coined this phrase. This phrase is from the Merry Wives of Windsor where Falstaff says, “I will not lend a penny.”, to a guy called Pistol who says, “Why then the world’s mine oyster which I with sword will open.”, and then Falstaff replies, “Not a penny.”.
So, the idea here is, and it’s the English’s kind of screwed up, you know, this isn’t how we would speak, today at least. So, the original implication of this phrase that Pistol is saying, “Why then the world’s mine oyster which I with sword will open.”, it’s referring to using violent means, i.e. using a sword, to steal his fortune, i.e. the pearl, that one finds in an oyster.
So, we inherit this phrase absent, though, of its original violent connotation, to mean that the world is yours or ours to enjoy. Okay? You can get everything out of it.
So, let’s go through some examples of how I would use this expression in real day-to-day sort of situations. Okay.
So, example number one. Imagine that you are a student in your final year of school. So, you’re in high school in Australia, you are in year 12, you’ve just completed all your exams, you’ve passed your exams with flying colours, so you’ve done incredibly well in these exams. When you get your marks back, your Enter Score, which is what we used to refer to as the final score you got at the end of high school so that you could enter into university, when you get your marks back, your Enter Score is as high as it could possibly be. So, you’ve done as good as you could have possibly done. And it will allow you to enter any university in Australia, do any kind of course that you would like, whether it’s medicine, science, arts, economics, law, engineering, you have your pick of the litter and you can choose anything you desire. So, as a result, when your parents find this out, they might be as proud as punch, incredibly proud, and they might say, “Well done! The world is now your oyster.”. You can choose anything you want. You can go anywhere you want. The world is your oyster.
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Number two. Imagine now you are that same student, okay, and you have entered university and you are studying science. But imagine you’re from a non-English-speaking country, right. You’re Brazil, from China, from India, from Nepal, from somewhere in Africa, you know, Zimbabwe maybe. And besides studying science, you’re also working your butt off, you’re working incredibly hard, to learn to speak English at a fluent and proficient level. So, you’re a very studious and diligent person who’s always studying science all day at university only to get home in the afternoon and start studying English. And the reason you’re studying English is because you want to have as many options as possible for your future career. Right? You want to be a world-renowned scientist one day and unfortunately for non-English speakers it requires that you learn English, right, so that you can take part in the English-speaking world of science. So, you know if you work hard and finish a science degree and you have the ability to speak English fluently and at a very proficient level, the world will be your oyster. You’ll be able to travel anywhere, you’ll be able to work overseas in any country, English-speaking or not, because you can use English there, and you’ll be able to apply to any jobs and positions in countries where English fluency is a prerequisite. The world is going to be your oyster.
Example number three. Imagine that you are a racecar driver, a real hoon, a real rev head, you know, you’ve always grown up loving cars and driving fast, and it’s led you down the road to be a racecar driver. So as a kid you battle your way up. Maybe you were driving go karts and then suddenly you got into more powerful cars like V8 cars on the Bathurst circuit, but your ultimate goal has been to get good enough, to get enough experience under your belt, to get enough street cred, to get enough street credentials or credibility, in order to race in Formula One, in the F1. So, you have one final race where if you win this race you’re going to be able to then race in Formula One. You end up winning it by a milestone, by a landslide, you absolutely dominate, and you fulfil your dreams and can now race in the Formula One. So, the world is now your oyster. You can do anything you want to do. The world’s your oyster. Alright.
So, I hope you understand the expression now, guys, ‘the world’s your oyster’. It means that you are in a position to take every opportunity that life has to offer. You can do anything. Go anywhere. Every possibility in the world is yours.
So, as usual, let’s go through a listen and repeat exercise, guys, and then we will jump into the Aussie English fact where I’m going to talk about oysters and some of the economics of oysters in Australia and some interesting biological facts as well. So, the listen repeat exercise first. Listen and repeat after me, guys. If you want to practice your Australian accent, then pay attention to the details of how I pronounce these things, and if you are just interested in your English accent, whether it’s British, American, Singaporean, could be from anywhere else, you don’t want an Aussie English accent, then just use your normal accent. Okay, guys? Let’s go.
The world is
The world is your
The world is your oyster x 5
Good job. So, now I say it using the phrases, “I said the world was my oyster”. “You said the world was your oyster”. Okay? So, it’s sort of like reported speech, but we’re going to use it in the simple past tense. Okay? So, listen and repeat after me and practice conjugating the verb ‘to say’ and ‘to be’ in the past tense. Let’s go.
I said the world was my oyster.
You said the world was your oyster.
He said the world was his oyster.
She said the world was her oyster.
We said the world was our oyster business.
They said the world was their oyster.
It said the world was its oyster.
Good job, guys. If you want access to the video that will be breaking down today’s pronunciation exercise and going into more depth about connected speech, pronunciation, intonation, all of that kind of stuff, make sure you jump into the Aussie English Classroom, guys. Sign up. Remember, it’s just one dollar for the first month, guys. You will have 30 days to give it a try before you have to pay the full fee. You’ve got nothing to lose. Give it a go and start upgrading your English. Anyway.
Australian fact. The Aussie English fact for today. We’re going to talk all about oysters and I’m going to be a little ‘shellfish’ and talk all by myself for five minutes, okay, about what I want to talk about. I’m being ‘shellfish’. Get it? Alright.
So, facts about oysters and the oyster farming industry in Australia.
So, oysters are a type of mollusk, as we said at the start there, guys, and it is a fancy way of saying a snail, right? A snail. Except these mollusks are from a group known as ‘bivalves’, which means ‘two shells’. So, any time you find things like… I don’t know. What are they? Clams and scallops, I guess. It’s hard for me to think of different kinds of mollusks. Those are all bivalves where you’ve got two sides to their shell.
So, oysters can range in size from a few centimetres to a foot across, so 30 centimetres across, and they can live for many decades, sometimes up to 40 years, right? That’s older than me. Mind-blowing.
Oysters live in marine and brackish water habitats, so the ocean, estuaries, rock pools, that sort of stuff, salty water, but not in freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes, etc.
There are three species commonly eaten in Australia. So, oysters are a common food here in Australia. The Sydney Rock Oyster, the Pacific Oyster, and the Flat Oyster. The Pacific Oyster is commonly eaten worldwide, however, the Sydney Rock Oyster is an endemic Australian species, it’s only found here in Australia, and has an annual production of 70 million oysters. That’s like three oysters for every person in Australia, and that rakes in about $35 million every year. Pretty pennies. That’s a lot of money.
So, oyster farming is one of, if not the, oldest and most valuable aquaculture industries in Australia, and it has been contributing to the economy for over 140 years.
Besides being part of the food industry, though, oysters are also a big part of the jewellery industry, or more specifically, the pearling industry. The pearling industry has also been around for over 100 years since the late 1800s when pearlers is first established themselves in Broome, which is on the north western coast of Western Australia in the Kimberley region.
So, by the year 1910, Broome was the largest pearling centre in the world benefiting from newly introduced diving suits as well as its fertile waters and the booming international pearl button market of the time.
The pearls extracted from Western Australian oysters are some of the largest and most lustrous found in the world, and in recent years a single Australian pearl fetched a price of $1.5 million dollars when it was sold. That’s ridiculous. That’s like a house or two. Jesus!
Aside from the pearls, the shells of oysters known as ‘Mother of Pearl’ as well as their meat is also highly valued and traded around the world.
It’s nice to hear how humans can exploit oysters and make money by feeding them to people or beautifying the rich with their shells and pearls, but what about the environment? What do oysters do for the environment?
So, oyster shells provide important habitat and substrate for other marine-dwelling organisms as their shells are uneven and when they grow they tend to grow together on rocks, and they provide numerous nooks and crannies for other animals such as worms and snails, sea squirts, sponges, small crabs, and fishes, all to hide amongst these shells and they can more easily evade predators thanks to these friendly oyster neighbours.
Oysters are also filter feeders, that is that they feed by filtering the water of things including microscopic plankton, suspended particles in the water, and even bacteria. And they can filter four to five litres per hour, which on a daily basis is the equivalent of 50 x 2-litre Coke bottles. Wow! That’s a lot. 100 litres a day! As a result, they keep water’s incredibly pristine clean, and other organisms like seagrasses and seaweeds and coral can, thus, more easily absorb light and grow healthily, you know, to keep these sorts of environments really, really healthy.
The last cool fact about oysters is that they can change their gender, they can change their sex. All oysters start out as males and they spawn, that is, they release sperm into the water in their early life. However, at around two to three years of age, they’ve grown to a big enough size and they have developed sufficient energy stores that they can now produce eggs and release eggs when they spawn, you know, as females, because, obviously, it requires a lot more energy to create one egg than it does to create one sperm.
So, let me know, guys, have you ever eaten an oyster? And are you the proud owner of some real pearls?
Fun fact about me, I do not own any pearls, unfortunately, and I have never eaten an oyster. I’ve seen them many times, but to be honest they kind of freaked me out, and I am yet to ever eat one.
So, with that guys, I hope you enjoy this episode. I hope you got a lot out of it. I hope you have an amazing weekend and I’ll see you next time.
All the best, guys.
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AE 490 – Interview: How to Get Permanent Residency in Australia with Mai Medina Part 1
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
I have another interview episode for you today. It’s going to be broken up into multiple parts as it ended up being quite a long interview, and I know that it can be hard if you want to listen to certain parts and it’s an episode that goes for an hour or more, right. Anyway.
Before we get into the interview today and what it’s all about, I want to let you know that today’s episode is brought to you by the Native English course. So, this was the course that I was interviewing Justin Hammond about in episode of 475: How to Become an Advanced English Speaker. Native English, the course. You can get access to this course for 15% off if you use the coupon code Aussie, that is A U S S I E at lingova.com, that is L I N G O V A.com. All other links will be in the transcript. Anyway.
This is of course designed for intermediate English learners who are trying to get to an advanced level in English. If you are wanting to sound more like a native speaker when you speak English or you want to understand native speakers when they speak English, I really recommend this course if you are an intermediate English learner who is struggling at the moment, especially, if you’ve just arrived, say, in an English-speaking country.
This course is so good in my opinion, because it focuses on things like culturally-focused speaking, the kinds of words and phrases that men will say that women won’t say or that women will say that men won’t say. There are other components to like speaking-focused grammar, the way that grammar can change when speaking as opposed to writing. I really, really like that section. And then, obviously, it covers things like slang, phrasal verbs, and reductions. I love that it covers reductions. So, saying things like “I’m gonna” or “I’mena” instead of “I am going to…”.
So, it’s a really good course. Remember, you can save 15% if you use the coupon code AUSSIE. That is A U S S I E. Just head over to lingova.com. Anyway.
Today’s interview is with my dear friend Mai Medina. Mai is a girl from Columbia, in South America, and she came to Australia a few years back. I stumbled upon her when I found her on YouTube talking about this process and how she got permanent residency in Australia, and I thought, you know what, I need to cover this subject in an interview. I would love to have you on, Mai. And she said yes. And the interview ended up being incredibly long and that’s why I have to break it up into a few parts. So, we had such a good time chatting about how she ended up in Australia, what she was studying, how she got into different universities, the English courses that she had to take, and the exams that she had to pass, and then the journey to getting permanent residency in Australia. So, if that is your goal, this interview is going to be really helpful for you.
So, let’s get into it. Mai Medina from Mai’s Journey on YouTube.
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G’day guys and welcome to this episode of Aussie English! I’ve got a special guest for you today; this is an interview with Mai from Mai’s Journey on YouTube, and that is “Mai’s Journey,” right?
Did I get it right? Alright, awesome! And so you are a Colombian, originally, from South America.
And you have… I guess you’re in the process of migrating to Australia I take it?
Well I already migrated and I’m not going back so…
You’re not going back, it’s sorted, it’s done!
No, I don’t think so!
Mai, what can you tell us about your story? How did you how did you end up living in Melbourne enduring this bullshit cold weather that’s outside currently in 2018? How did you end up here? What’s the story?
So I first thank you for having me, it’s kinda… Really nice, this is my first time in a podcast so I’m really excited! So yes, so I’ll just say I’m Colombian and I arrived to Australia five years ago. So I came to do my Masters in marketing. I did it all at Deakin University and then I was very lucky to find a job that is sponsor me, and then after few years they help me with the PR process and now I’m a permanent resident of Australia, and I just like… Two months ago I apply for my citizenship…
…That’s like… I’m staying for good. I got PR, it’s kind of like deal, like “done deal,” like yeah.
So that’s the hard part, but we’ll get to that, we’ll get to that at the end. But so tell me, where in Colombia were you originally from? What was it like? And what made you decide to come to Australia, out of all the different English-speaking countries?
Yeah okay so uhm… I was born in a town called Ibague, which is not very famous. From all the cities in Colombia, that’s not a famous one. But I did my uni years in Bogota, which is the capital. And Australia, well… I don’t know, like I always was very into koalas and kangaroos and uhm… And yep… And then I also read one book when I was at uni. I read a book called “The Voices Down Under,” or something like that… Something “Down Under,” and it was like a book talking about… Like explaining how a journalist went to the outback and they spent a week in the outback and she kind of went through these amazing experiences with indigenous people there. And I remember reading it and I thought “One day I would be there, I will go there and live in Australia,” and funny enough, I’ve been here 5 years and I haven’t been back! So when…
It’s on the To Do list? It’s on the To Do List?
It is definitely, yeah. And then so when I graduated I tried to come to do my master right away, but coming to Australia five ye- no, seven years ago was almost impossible…
Why is that?
Because you needed… This is kind of like visa processes, but basically before, you needed to prove that you have the whole money that you needed for your uhh…. For your tuition fee and your living expenses and everything. So in theory I had to prove that I had, I don’t know, like $30,000 in my account, which I did not! So I worked hard.
I’ve never had that amount of money in my account either Mai, so don’t feel bad!
I worked for a couple of years and then with my family, and I got a loan and I finally decided… because I was working very very hard in Colombia, like I… My days, my working day started at 6 AM and it will finish at 11pm.
And what were you doing? What did you study for your bachelors and what was your job over in Colombia?
I did industrial engineering and uhm bus-… uhm… Administration or business management.
What is with that every Colombian girl that I meet I swear is an engineer? Why is that? why you guys are so into engineering. There are no girls in Australia who want to be engineers!
Okay. So let me tell you why. So there is a big difference in the education system here and in Colombia. When I graduated… Like… You if… Okay, how can I say it? You, first you need to do… You need to go to uni. I mean, going… Not to go to uni is not an option.
In Colombia or here?
Right? because if you want to get a job you need a degree. With… So that’s not exactly the case in Australia. But in Colombia you need a degree. Second: You don’t get… You know how in Australia you get like the first year out of uni, you get to take different disciplines, like different units, across different things that may be, like may interested in you, and then you get to pick what you are actually going to study.
In Colombia that’s not the case. In Colombia when you are in year 11, which is the last year of high school, you take a test, like a national test and with those results you start applying but there is no… Oh no, I think now there are those programs but most likely… Like back in my time you actually needed to pick a career right away, like before graduating high school. And in Colombia you are either an engineer, a doctor, or uhm… Engineer, doctor… Or a manager, like business management. Those are like the three top… Because there are so many engineers, like… I don’t know, ten different engineer- type of engineers. So I went with industrial engineer, which was kind of like one that wasn’t good in… Like, because I always have liked maths,… something related to that, but also related to business or… Industrial Engineer was like that mix of everything.
It was the thing that bridge- those two subjects, huh?
Yes. So back to my story of why I came back. Why I came here. So I was… I was working in my research agency. And the industry in Colombia, It’s really like… The employment and in Columbia there is no life… life/work balance.
Yeah yeah. It’s just work work work work work and that’s it.
And in my industry, agency side was worse than everything.
It’s funny that you say that, my girlfriend Kel has the same kind of story. She was in Brazil working as a journalist and says the same thing. She would start work at 5am and she would finish at 11 p.m. and it’s just like… It seems crazy that you guys have to work so hard and, you know, that’s just to get by.
Yes exactly. And I was even working on Saturdays and Sundays, going to the office. But that’s the normal, right? Like you don’t know anything else.
That’s how the market is. So there was one point in 2012 when I was like “That’s enough,”… The other thing is that, like is very… That surprised me a lot when I got to Australia is that if you want a better job in Colombia or if you want to get a raise or… Yeah, if you want to get paid more you need a master. The master, if you want to get paid more than normal, you have to have a Master from overseas. It is not the same if you do the master in Bogota as if you do it in Barcelona, or in Greece, Australia. So I started looking at different places… First I wanted to leave Colombia, because I was just sick of it, although I know my country but I was just like…Tthe traffic and everything I just needed a… I needed to rest and I needed like a different environment.
Just a change of scenery right? You just want to say something else, and I even feel that from time to time in Australia. When I was in uni I was always like “I just want something different in front of me,” you know, a different country, it could be any country, but just a change in scenery.
Yes. So U.S. was never a consideration. I really don’t like that country.
So is that… Is that because of the, sort of, of you not liking the country? Or is it a lot harder to get a master’s degree happening there and to get permanent residency and citizenship? Or it’s just that you were just, “Mmmm, not into the U.S.,”?
Not into the U.S., in general. I never even consider how hard will be to stay in, just… No.
What about England? What about England? Do you- Same sort of thing as..?
Yea, so my two considerations were UK, and… A university in Brighton or something like that, I can’t remember… And Australia.
And then uhh… And then I went to one of these fairs or, like, uni meetings, they, like, many unis come, and you can ask for the curriculum…
Like an open-day or something is it? Where they tell you about everything.
Yeah. I went to an open day of universities in Australia and I met a lovely girl from Deakin University and she gave me like all the information on the master. The master was only one year which um… Wasn’t that expensive, it was…
Was this in Bogota? Or was this in…? Yeah.
In Bogota, Yeah.
So a girl came from here, went to Colombia to do that open day.
And then I decided to come to Australia then. I was like “yes this is it. I’m going to Australia now,” because I remember the UK was more expensive… Going to the UK was more expensive than coming here, because in the UK you can not work.
So you have to have saved up all of that money before you can go there and study? And had Australia… Obviously at this time Australia’s visas had become more lax. They’d become relaxed; you didn’t need the 30000 dollars at this point?
Oh no, I needed it.
Oh wow, okay.
But… But then, because I was… I had already worked for a little bit, and I got some money from my family, so and I got a loan from my dad’s side; so I got the money. But now you don’t need that. Now, the things have… The rules have changed. SO That’s why There’s so many Colombians in this country now. Because it’s easier to come now.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh great, so what was the process? You went to this open day, you met this Australian girl representing Deakin, you spoke to her. Obviously you didn’t just say “Okay, I’m in,” and bam you’re in Australia. What was the process from deciding this is what I want to do to actually getting your feet on the ground in Australia and stepping off the plane, you know? What was that initial step like? What did you have to do?
It was a very long process because… Okay, so first I decided Deakin but then I also wanted, like, all the options. So I did a research of all the same… Like similar programs, Master of Marketing, but in different universities. So I… if I have had the money, I will have gone with Melbourne University, but the price was double the price, the cost of Deakin, right.
Wow, okay! For the same thing!
A university vs another agency. But then I was like, “You know what. At the end of the day it’s what you do with that information.” And I just didn’t have the money.
I can’t imagine having to pay full fee for… For reference for people listening right now, for an Australian citizen I get paid… It’s paid for by the government, and then I owe the government a certain amount of money and I only ever have to pay that back if I make past, I think it’s like $58,000 a year, and then they start taking it out by just charging you slightly more tax. But yeah you guys… Foreign students have to pay… Complete the full fee, you know, upfront right? Or at least a semester by semester fee, I take it.
So for example… And you… We pay more. If you are international and you pay more for education.
Yeah yeah yeah exactly. So there’s no discount and it’s full-fee. You have to pay upfront. And what were the prices, if I can ask, just for reference?
Yes. So for my masters I ended up paying… Okay thr Masten was one year only. Because it was only one year, it was… I think was $28,000.
Wow and so for Melbourne Uni it was twice that for one year equivalent?
Melbourne uni was like $57,000. It was something crazy. I was like “no!”.
Jeez! That’s more than a thousand dollars a week! Wow!
It’s higher because the Master in Melbourne Uni last one year and a half.
Ahh, okay gotcha.
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So it’s one semester more. But then yeah… I didn’t have the money anyway. So I decided to do Deakin, and you have… When I apply you have to write like an essay. And then when you… To get your visa you need… Oh no no no, Before applying, You need to take the IELTS.
Right? because you need to prove that you are… And back then was rank 6.
Yeah. So you have to show you are competent in English before you could even enrol in the university and go for a visa?
That’s correct. Because if you didn’t have the English, what you can do is you can come, but to do like uhh… One semester English first and then you can do your Masters. But that semester will be really really expensive If you do it with Deakin.
And did you still have to do the IELTS at the end of that semester? Or that’s ignored?
No that’s ignored. Just… You can just… They grant you pass right away…
As long as you pay upfront!
I started… What I did was… Like I…
Sorry, it broke up. What’d you say before the IELTS? Sorry just go again.
I already knew how to speak English. I have been in the U.S. working on working holidays, and I studied English different institutes on the… Over the weekend since I was kid. So that’s why my English was quite good at the moment, like back then.
But then… I wanted… Because the IELTS… One thing about exams, English exams, are they don’t test your abilities, they just test how good are you at that exam. So what I did was I prepared. So I paid for IELTS course, and I prepare because I knew… Like all exams are different, so I needed to understand how the writing was… Like what are the expectations when I’m writing.
How are they’re assessing you for each of the different components. Because, as you say, because if you did Cambridge vs. IELTS vs. PTE… All these exams are assessed in a different way.
Yes. So I took that course. it was a 3 month course. It was very good and I took the exam ,and I got very good at scores for everything but writing.
That seems to be the story for everyone though.
Yes, so it was very disappointing because I needed… band six with nothing below 5.5.
And I got… in reading I got nine out of nine, so very good. Speaking was like eight out of nine. But writing was 5.5.
Yeah. But that’s good then, right? So you go through by the skin your teeth.
No I couldn’t! Because you couldn’t have any band below 6!
Oh okay, “below 6,” gotcha. Damn.
So I wrote to university saying “,hey look this is like… All the other bands are so high. Can’t I just apply with that?” And they say no you need to actually pass.
It was a good try. A good try.
So I had to do it again. And then the second time I pass all the bands, But then because I was nervous, I think I got worse… Like as good scores as at the beginning…
But not all of them above six, obviously, or six and above?
Okay. And then after that… And then and then you apply to university. You have your English, you have the essay. There’s an essay that you have to write saying why you want to study there.
So is that important? If you… Say you do absolutely crush the IELTS, you have all the money that you need, how much… How important is that lette,r that essay, for the university? Is it still required that that could, you know, they could decide no or yes? Or are you just…
I don’t think so, because money is money after all. Like… I don’t think so. It’s just like uhh… Like “oh let us…” Yeah it’s not a competitive entrance. It’s not like in Barcelona, there is a marketing university that is very competitive. You have to actually show that are worth for university. I don’t think Deakin is like that.
Well they have more than enough spaces so that they could yeah… So you still just have to have gone through the process of writing that letter to show that you’re serious and then go through the process. So what happened? You had the money saved up from a few years of working your arse off. You had contacted this uni through this girl who came over at one of these open days. You had gotten above six on everything in the IELTS in order to be able to… Is that just Deakin University or is that all Australian unis?
I think it’s all Australian unis. Yeah I think so.
So for anyone who is thinking about doing a masters or some kind of uni degree in Australia, it’s more than likely you’re going to have to have done the IELTS before trying to enroll or get a visa. So what do you do then for getting a visa in order to come over here? You had those things sorted out. I take it, do you need to get the visa before you enroll? Or do you need to enroll before you get the visa?
You need to enroll… So you send your papers and when you get your confirmation, like your letter offer, like offer of position or the based in uni. Then with that letter you apply for the visa.
So you don’t say anything yet. You just get an acceptance letter saying that if you do come to Australia you’re in.
Yeah, I think… No no I think you have to pay like a portion. You have to pay 50 or something again to get… No, but you get a letter. But if you have to pay something to actually say you apply for the visa, you have to have accepted that position.
So these two things kind of have to be done simultaneously?
Then for the visa, you also have to write a message saying why you want to come back to your country.
Oh! Really? is that you know that Australia feels comfortable that you’re not going to try to overstay or..? So is that… What were you thinking at the time then? were you thinking “Oh, this is all bullshit. I’m not coming back. I don’t want to come back,” Or were you thinking “oh yeah no, of course I’ll do my degree and I’ll come back?”Llike what was your mindset like?
No my mindset was : “I’m not going to come back.” Who goes back? I mean no… I mean yeah. There are people that go back, but 90 percent of people stay so… Yeah no… Of course I… You have to write something, so of course you say that you would be alone in Australia and family ties are in Colombia, and you want the country to grow and you want to contribute to the prosperity of the country and you want to know the culture there, but then bring the knowledge back, and all that BS.
Alright, so you did that process and then how much did the visa cost and how quickly did you get it?
Ooh the visa costs…
Roughly, it doesn’t have to be exact but just to give people a reference.
I don’t remember. It’s not that expensive.
A few hundred dollars is it?
I can’t remember, but I remember… like… I don’t think it’s that expensive. I think it’s like 400 yeah like $300 maybe 250.
So after having paid the tuition fees for the university it was effectively nothing. You were like this is not an issue.
All right, sweet, so you got on the plane. You had all that sorted. What did you do with regards…
Oh yeah then before that, for all the listeners that want to come to Australia to study a Master, I really recommend you to check if there is any grants or any scholarships for international students. Because I won and just by applying like I apply. When you get acceptance, you get the chance to apply with the letter acceptance you can apply for International Scholarship. And that was four thousand dollars for my tuition fee.
And so what were they looking for and how did you find information about whether or not those scholarships were available?
Well… when I did my research I talked to the girl to see if there was any scholarship that could helped and second, all the universities have the information on their website. Sometimes it’s really hard to find them and that probably the actual information because there are so many different like links and the scholarships are by Departments so like Business Department or whatever Department. So but then yes, you just have to look online and see the scholarships and normally they do have a scholarship for International Students. And if you have like a good CV and you have like good grades back in uni because that was another thing. You have to show, you have to send your grades, like how you did in uni. And I got the scholarship and it was just by e-mails.
Yep. So literally, you know, you could have just ignored applying for that and missed out on 4000 dollars which would have been you know what like at least a month or two worth of tuition.
Crazy! So what happened to with that, if you… did you just have to fill out a form online, submit it to the university with those forms, your grades, the acceptance notice and everything.
Yeah it was… yeah I don’t think it is… I think it’s just an e-mail to the Department saying that you have been accepted and that you would like to apply for the scholarship, International Scholarship, and these are the papers and this is why I think I deserve it. And that’s it.
And so was it specifically for that Master’s degree and there are like scholarships offered for all of the degrees or is it just a university wide kind of international student scholarship?
I think the one that I got, I think it’s for Business International so any Master under the Business Department. And it was only for International students.
That’s a good point and I think too even if you’re in Australia right now, after having you know gone through and done my Bachelors, Masters and PhD, during those degrees you can still apply for these things. So I think even if you forget to do this and you’re listening right now and say you’ve just arrived or you’ve been here for a year, if your degree is ongoing, still you’ve got six months a year ahead of you, you might still be able to get one of these, if you apply. So I’d probably say yeah do a search for International Student Scholarship and then the name of your university so and you’ll find it on Google I would recommend. But that’s crazy, so did the money just get put straight into your account while still in Columbia or did you come to Australia and then you received it?
No because I only pay half at the beginning. They discount it to just four thousand, and then the other half I just pay the taxes.
So in this case you didn’t receive any money and it was up to you to do whatever with it. It was just that they reduced the fees that you had to actually pay?
That’s interesting because there will be some I think at least with the girls that I went through my PhD with where some of the scholarships they received although these were four Australians but there are international ones they would just get a certain amount of money sent to them every six months and it would just go straight into their accounts. So there are those kinds of options I believe.
Awesome. So did you sort that out obviously before you came to Australia? So you already got the discount?
Awesome. Then what? What did you do? You got on the plane?
Then I got my Visa, and then for the flight, this is another tip for people who are coming from Latin America, if any, there is an organization, OTA, I think.
Yeah… it’s organisation… I will have to check. It’s an organisation, it’s called OTA something.
But what does it do exactly? What’s the function of it?
So I got my tickets half of a price.
Yeah, it’s for students, and it’s the students that are doing Masters overseas and you get discounts on tickets. The only thing is that they buy the tickets. So, you don’t have a say on what’s that route or what’s the date, like, you just give them a range of dates, and they… and the papers, again, like, why do I do deserve the discount. And then, they go back to you saying okay this is the ticket and you just pay half of it. So, my tickets were two thousand dollars and I only have to pay $1000.
Oh wow. So, another way of saving. So, you’ve already saved five thousand dollars and you haven’t even arrived in Australia yet.
And another good point too would be to contact some of those English schools. What are they? I mean if you’re studying English. Maybe not if you’re doing a Master’s degree, but like Go Study English or Go Study in Australia in Melbourne, I know they were saying, I was interviewing Lorena from Go Study recently, and she was saying if you contact them, quite often they have discounts they can get you through different airlines too. If you’re coming to South America or Europe, they can often get you 10 or 20 percent off if you go through a certain airline that they organize.
Okay. So, you got the ticket, you got on the plane, you arrived in Australia. Had you organised anything else before arriving here like where you were going to stay or…?
Yeah, so, the only thing was where to stay the first week because my university was Deakin in Burwood.
Which is very far away from the city.
It’s about an hour away, right, by public transport from Melbourne, from the CBD.
So, it’s not easy to find accommodation online, like… Yep. So, what I did is one of my friends, my high school friends, is living… she was living in Melbourne, and she contacted me with a guy that had like a balcony with a bed.
Jeez! Any port in a storm!
Well, it was January. It was February so it was easy. Well it was a balcony but it was like a big balcony, and I slept there for two, for one week, one week and a half.
And did you pay rent for that or was that just a…?
Yes. I had to pay per week. I remember that it was quite expensive for…
Yeah I was going to say what do balconies go for these days with regards to rent? I don’t think I’ve seen a balcony available for 50/100 bucks a week.
I’m grateful that he agreed to do it. But like I didn’t have… the walls like I had one of those curtains but they are like clear curtains.
Okay so you were protected but it was still somewhat like the ambient temperature of outside. You wouldn’t get rained on but you were sort of a victim of the outside temperature whatever that decided to do.
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Yes and everyone who was outside could see me sleeping.
Okay gotcha but I guess beggars can’t be choosers, right?
Yeah. But I was grateful I didn’t know better. I mean I didn’t have any other place to arrive and I didn’t have to pay for a very expensive hotel so I stayed there and then the first three days I went to Deakin to the invitation day and I dedicate myself to look for accommodation in a student house.
Okay so too what would you do if you went back and you didn’t want to do that? Would you recommend say people who don’t have friends in Australia whether they’re from Colombia or not, how would you recommend that they find accommodation for or short term accommodation? What kind of options do they have?
Well I was not very well-informed when I did the process but I know that some universities, at least Deakin, they have a community service that they allocate homestays. So homestays where you stay with a family and the family gives you the food and a room and WIFI. Of course it’s a little bit more expensive than just renting a room because you are like with a family. But I didn’t know that was an option. Otherwise I would have payed for at least a week on a homestay near close to University instead of. Because that place was… I was living in Bundoora which is like opposite side.
That’s also quite a fair way out of the CBD as well for those listening.
Everyday, 2 hours from home, I mean 4 hours to get there and back, yeah.
So do you know the prices off the top of your head for, roughly, weekly prices for homestay? Like a week 200 bucks?
I think it was more because I ended up paying 180 for my room.
For the balcony?
No, no, 180, when I found a place near Uni I ended up paying 180.
And was that shared or was that just you?
No, it was just me but it was a house with 10 people and one toilet and one shower.
Wow. Okay so scraping the bottom of the barrel there, a little bit.
It was bad but I didn’t have much money so I had to go with that.
It’s a learning experience but I would suggest if you don’t have anyone that you know, obviously check out these homestay options through the university, so contact them, look online. But also hostels short term, if you can handle sharing a room with other people tend to be a pretty cheap and affordable option and they’re everywhere in Melbourne and they’re probably 20 or 30 bucks a night.
Yes. Also I didn’t know back then but now I know that Facebook, there are lots of communities. So Colombianos in Melbourne or Chileans in Melbourne or I don’t know Europeans in Melbourne. There are tons of groups that you can join and most of the time there are people offering like a room or a bed or something. So you can just ask.
What would you say, if that’s the case though, because I know you’re right and I’ve seen those, how much do you think it’s important for people coming to Australia who want to study and study English here to avoid living with fellow people from their homelands like so that’s the tradeoff right you want someone to stay but would you recommend that they maybe only do that if they have no other options because then they’re probably going to end up in a house full of Colombians for example.
Yeah so what I will recommend is that for the first two weeks or first week that you’re in Australia, definitely go with those, if you can with a house with other Colombians, or whatever is your nationality, because you not only get to like I mean you get kind of… how can I say that? Like you get to a safe place.
Yep okay, so you can feel comfortable you find.
Comfortable. They can explain how everything works, the tram and everything. You don’t have to figure it out yourself if you haven’t done it on online before arriving. But I would recommend that for just one week up to two, until you find something on your own.
So you need to keep in mind, okay this isn’t permanent. I’m doing this for a short period, don’t get too comfortable. You know, it’s kind of like getting too close to the fire and then falling asleep and you fall in the fire.
Okay. Alright so once you found a place, what was your experience like with sharing this house with other people? And do you have any advice there for people who would be obviously looking for a share house?
I will say that if you don’t have patience and if you are not very into… like if you are very picky, I wouldn’t recommend a house with lots of housemates. Because one thing that… like cultures are completely different and I was sharing my house with people from Russia, people from Asia, like different parts of Asia, also people from Europe and all of them have different habits.
And expectations, right? Some of them are probably comfortable with dirty like plates sitting around and laundry out and others are probably like “no I can’t handle any of this”.
Even with hygiene, like I use deodorant every single day but there are other cultures that they don’t use deodorant so of course they have a natural smell, that for me that’s a really bad smell but for them is normal.
So it’s just to have that expectation in mind and realise if you live with a lot of foreign people, it’s the more of them that they are, the more difficult it may be for you.
Yes. So if you have the money because everything comes down to how much money you have per week. If you have the money what I did after getting my first job in Australia was moving out of there and moving into one apartment with another girl, only the two of us. I found her on flatmates.com.au. She is from the Maldives. And it was just the two of us, it was way better. We had space in the kitchen. The hygiene for both was the same and but then of course that was way more expensive than the little room within the house that I was sharing with 10 other people.
That’s the tradeoff, right? I think that happens where initially you’re like “ok I’m going to find somewhere cheap so I can save money” and then you realise it comes at the cost of mental well-being, your psychology, you know. So, what advice would you have for people trying to find these houses? Where were you looking, where did you find this one with the girl from the Maldives? And what are the prices, if I can ask, that you’re paying just so that people have a reference?
So I think I was wrong at the beginning when I said it was 180 per week. This house, the share house, it was 160 per week. And the first house I found at… like Deakin has a website with all the listings for international students. And just an advice, landlords are kind of dodgy sometimes. So, just be careful not to sign anything. My landlord wanted me to sign a one year lease and I was like “No, I can do only six because” and I said “oh I’m just doing one semester at Deakin and then I’m going to change” something like that. Because yes like… landlords are tricky, especially in those student homes, they’re tricky. So I found that one by our university listings, because yeah it was right next to uni. And also I would recommend if you’re looking for a place…
Sorry what did you say? It broke up there for a sec. You recommend?
I recommend that if you’re going to study in Australia, you wait until you are actually here to actually find or sign a contract or commit yourself to stay in a place because for example Deakin is really far away. So it would have been really bad if I had committed to rent a place in the city because that’s two hours away. Or maybe… yeah like I mean, apartments and houses and rooms can look really nice on the pictures, on the photos, but the reality could be completely different.
I think that’s a good point to make too : make sure that you go in person and inspect a lot of these places, don’t sign up online before you’ve seen them because they can tend to be different and photos can be doctored. They can be made to be a lot nicer than reality.
That’s correct. And then if you really want just to go with a normal flatmate, like you want to rent a room in an apartment that is not like with other students, I really recommend flatmates.com.au. You will have to pay like a subscription fee, getting on to the listings. But that is why it’s so good. Because there are no rubbish, there are no dodgy adverts in there. Whereas if you go with Gumtree, expect the worst because you never know what is in Gumtree. I wouldn’t recommend Gumtree, unless it’s like your last last resort, but I would go with Facebook or or flatmates.com.au.
Oh brilliant, alright. And so, you had that sorted out. What was studying at university like in Australia? Did it meet expectations? Was it difficult? Was it easy? Was it a nightmare? What was it like?
It must mix emotions because I have so much expectations. My expectations were really high.
And what were you thinking? What were your expectations after you got off the plane? What were you thinking it was going to be like?
Well I thought it would be like, yes, multicultural. I knew that, but I didn’t know the extent and I was expecting to study with local people. More Australians, which was not the case because I was doing a full time Master. That means that my classes where during the day and unfortunately during the day, Australians don’t go to class, they go to the class at night. So my team, like my…
Yes, the people who I was studying with, were from everywhere but Australia. I found two of my best friends, I found them there, like I met them there. But it was hard because, I don’t know, we Latin people, we are very open. We tend to be really nice and open to everyone, but I found that some cultures are more close. So, the Asians for example, the people from China or from Japan, they will always like close together like they didn’t talk to you, they didn’t say hello. And…
I think it’s very very difficult too, because at least in places like Melbourne University, I experience a similar sort of thing especially with the Chinese and it’s difficult because there are so many Chinese students that it’s obviously, you know, it’s the path of least resistance. They go there, they see a lot of Chinese people and they become good friends with them. But then it makes this kind of barrier there, because they’re always with their Chinese friends, they’re always speaking Chinese, that there’s no real way for you to kind of enter that conversation and never meet a lot of these people, because it would be like me going to class and seeing a heap of Colombians speaking Spanish and not having any Spanish and I’d be like “wow I’ll never get to know these people.” So, I guess that it’s on both sides, you know, try and push a little bit and get to know these people even if they’re speaking other languages, but also if you find yourself in a situation where you make a beeline straight for other people from your country, keep that in mind. And don’t think that people are ignoring you or don’t want to be friends with you because of that, but they may just feel like they can’t, if you’re always with Chinese people or always with Colombians speaking your native language.
And also the English was very broken for them. One of the things that I noticed is that, although, yes Australian English at the beginning was horrible for me, like so fast, I was like “what are you saying? Oh my God, how am I going to pass this class?”. I couldn’t understand my teachers because they were just speaking fast. But you get used to it, right? But then, my English was way better than my team members’ English. Like they never speak up at class, they never contribute to the classes. So it was a little bit… I don’t know. And then, no Australians whatsoever. So, it was a little bit disappointing. I took eight units, so four and four in two semesters. And out of the eight units, I will say, three were really good with really high quality teachers, professors. The other ones, I felt like I was back at uni, like a normal uni, just read the textbook and ABCDE type of… Yes some units, I was like “this is not helping me at all. I mean, I’m not going to use this ever”. So, I think the curriculum is a little bit tricky. I mean, it depends on what you like, but I wish I had knew that because I would pick other electives.
I guess it’s difficult though because you don’t know before you get there and you start doing it, right? You don’t really have many options.
I guess so. But yeah, I mean I don’t know. Like I had good teachers but I had bad ones too and I was very disappointed because I was like “I’m paying a fortune for this” and this isn’t the level that I was expecting.
I guess you just have to make the most of what you get though, right?
Yes, but then some of them were like… there was one class that the last assignment, the final assignment, that was like 70 per cent of the final grade was just copy paste the Internet. It was like “pick a country and develop all these different subjects for that country”. So I picked Colombia and it was just copy paste from the Internet. I was like “this is… I didn’t pay to do this”. So yeah, you just have to be prepared, and also it depends on what was your uni like, what was your experience at uni. Because I had very good expectations, very high expectations, because at my uni, I studied in very good uni in Colombia so it was very very hard, whereas this was a walk in the park compared to back then.
So, that’s the interview for today, guys. I hope you enjoy it. Just remember that that is part 1 of 2. So, if you would like to listen to the second part of this interview, stay tuned for part 2.
If you would like to check out Mai’s Instagram you can find her @MaiMedina, that is M A I M E D I N A. And you can also find her at Mai’s Journey on YouTube and that is M A I ‘ S space journey, J O U R N E Y. Okay.
The links will all be in the transcript. Big thanks for Mai for coming on the interview.
And don’t forget, guys, if you would like to get access to the Native English course, use the coupon code A U S S I E to save 15%. That means you’ll get it for less than $60 at lingova.com. L I N G O V A.
And there’s some stuff that’s coming out in the future. I’ve been chatting to Justin about this course. He’s wanting to add more components to it about slang and expressions and grammar used in other countries so that people can get used to different accents, and he has asked for me to do the Australian section in this course. So, hopefully, in the near future you’ll hear from me and see me in some videos in that course. Anyway.
Thanks for joining me today, guys. I hope you had an amazing time and I will see you soon. Catch ya.
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