Study Melbourne partnered with Melbourne Writers Festival 2018 to host a storytelling competition for international students. ‘Life in a Global City for a Global Student’ by Hung Hsin Ke from Taiwan was shortlisted in the Vocational Education and Training category.

Life in a Global City for a Global Student

Growing up in a middle class family from Taiwan, I always have the dream to live in a global city. I wanted to live in a multicultural place, but I also looked at how happy people are in their city. Melbourne was selected as the most livable city in the world and when I came here, I notice that it is true.

Every morning when I took the train to the city, there is always something interesting happening. Melbournians like to watch a football match on the weekends. They will dress in the same colors their team wears. I also observe the people on the train and try to guess where they are working. Some Melbournians were curious about where I came from, we will talk about the differences our country have. I love this kind of meaningful discussion, and it happens quite often!

Melbournian are very nice to foreign students. When I first came to Melbourne, I couldn’t get use to the accent. It troubled me for a while until I met some friends from school. They helped me by speaking slowly to me so that I can understand their accent. Now, I can understand the daily conversation without a problem.

Another thing that is unique in Melbourne are the slangs. You can hear them everywhere in this city. I realized that Melbournians like to shorten every word they speak, like “Afternoon”, they will say “Arvo”. And “Good day”, they will pronounce it as “G’day”. It really opens my mind.

As an international student I have to work to support myself. I work in a supermarket at the checkout counter. Every day, people from different backgrounds came and buy their groceries here. They all speak different languages and have different culture but they live in harmony. I am amazed by the diversity in this city. I feel so lucky to have this job to experience the differences each culture has.

I am also very fond of Melbourne's amazing flora and fauna. I've travelled to the Wilsons Promontory Park, where I saw wild Kangaroos and Wallabies hopping around the park and having fun. The way Melbourne preserve their wild animals really amazes me. The trees in the park were at least thirty years old, some are even older! During my visit I can see how hard people try to protect their environment. The weather was a bit rainy on that day but the view was breath-taking. I couldn't help but took a dozen of photos to show them to my friends back in Taiwan.

To sum up, Melbourne is a city full of wonder. I feel very welcome in this city as an international student. Most of the people here are so kind and generous; they even invited me to their house on Christmas Eve to sing Christmas carols and enjoy a lovely meal with their families. I would definitely like to recommend Melbourne to anyone who would like to come to Australia.