Last fall semester, I finally signed up for what I had been wanting to do for some time: flying away to someplace far and foreign. Like most people around my age, I was involved in my school studies as well as extracurricular activities.
I narrowed down which country I wanted to go to: It had to be an English-speaking country which offered internships, as I had not signed up for any English language courses. I also wanted to experience the atmosphere of a workplace. An internship program held in Australia from March to July was the program that most suited these conditions.
Life in Australia, Brisbane has been amazing so far. Through this program, I worked in an Australian company and experience its office culture. Also, with a lot of spare time, I met a lot of new friends here.
After attending two weeks of English language and job-training courses at James Cook University, which offers the internship program to students, I was assigned to a company called “Migration Guru”. It is a company that helps its clients obtain their visas. My role in the company is fairly simple; I organize files of clients, fill papers where they belong, or fill in missing documents.
Frankly speaking, working as an intern is sometimes dull because my work is very simple, which could be done in 20 minutes. I was also disappointed to find out that my company had no advertising department, and wondered why the director of the internship program at James Cook University had assigned me here. Still, I think working in an Australian company is a valuable experience because I can directly see myself how the working atmosphere is in this country.
Although people sometimes look tired and irritated because of their hectic schedule at work, they do not forget to celebrate their coworkers’ birthdays and they enjoy friendly chats. I have celebrated with them, and have had the chance to enjoy two slices of chocolate cake thus far.
Even though I work five days a week, since my work finishes early every day, I have a lot of spare time to meet new people. Instead of going back to the dorm, I attend lots of programs and activities that enable me to meet new people. For example, once a week I head straight to the University of Queensland after work to teach Korean to students. To my surprise, quite a lot of people are interested in Korea and eager to learn the language. Besides this, I go to the city library to attend the “Free English Conversation Session” where people of all ages from various countries around the world get together in groups and talk about certain topics they are given. Last week, we talked about “party planning” where we discussed how a party should be held and what the theme should be.
I have also met new people inside the dorm where I am staying, which is the accommodation for students. With these people, I sometimes eat dinner or cook for them. We also play games and have drinks together. They are from a variety of countries such as Colombia, Malaysia, India, and others.
Even though I miss Korea sometimes, especially the food and the Internet access, I have an awesome time here. Yes, Australia has some negative aspects, such as the Wi-Fi access being limited to only 10 Gigabytes of data per month, or the offensive drunk remarks I frequently hear at night towards Asians. However, they are nothing compared with the other nice things I am experiencing in this beautiful country and city. I definitely recommend people to visit Australia to get a chance to say, “G’day, mate!”