Study Melbourne partnered with Melbourne Writers Festival 2018 to host a storytelling competition for international students. ‘Lovely Melbourne’ by Ladawan Suttitammakul from Thailand was shortlisted in the English language training category.

Lovely Melbourne

‘I will go to study English in Melbourne’. I told everyone close to me. I shocked them with this sentence. I had made a decision to go study English in USA but I changed my mind as Melbourne is nearer to my home and has excellent public transportation. These are the simple reason why I chose Melbourne which are maybe the same as other students.

I was so scared of the people here when I had just arrived, as I could not speak proper English. But Melbourne changed my mind!

My husband and I came one week before the start of my school. We drove along the Great Ocean Road where we were amazed by the view. The people here make me feel more comfortable as I we have met a lot of Melbournian during my trip who are so kind and helpful. One thing that makes me feel Melbourne is a lovely city is that I can see and get close to animals in nature like wallabies and birds.

My homestay is in Bentleigh. Val is my host who has excellent skill at cooking. Moreover, she is so kind and caring, and she taught me to speak up, if something happens. Not only did Val helped me with my fear, one incident that warm my heart was that two weeks back, Val invited her colleague back home. Her colleague spoke to me a lot, and I mentioned that I love brownies. Two days later, I saw delicious looking brownie on the table. Val told me it was for me from her colleague who I met.

I feel I’m so lucky. Every day is so beautiful for me here. Whenever I go out, I see people bring their lovely dogs for strolling along the road. I noticed that some restaurants place a bowl of water outside for dogs to drink.

I can feel their kindness. When I want to cross the road, the drivers stop and let me cross first. I also learnt how to take trains and trams. One day, I was taking the tram and an old lady boarded. I offered to give my seat to her, but she refused and said ‘Thank you’ to me with a smile. One more stop later, another old lady came up, and I offered my seat again. Then the old lady from earlier told me ‘You are so nice and kind’. I felt so blessed and shy, but I did it from my heart to return the kindness I received from Melbournians.

I am becoming more and more in love with Melbourne as time pass, and my happiness here is not going to end soon. There are so many things and many places for me to explore on how nice of Melbourne and Melbournians are. Melbournians do not give me scary feeling as I had imagined anymore. After a month living in Melbourne, I know I made the right choice to come here to study and now I know why Melbourne is the world’s most liveable city.