Tips living, studying and working in Australia by Ale Erizo

Esta entrada del blog sera un poco diferente.
Hoy les quiero dar a conocer un escrito que contiene algunos tips sobre la vida  en Australia. Ale Erizo es el autor y quizo compartir este buen artículo con nosotros.
El post es en inglés y aunque se que puede ser difícil de entender para quienes apenas estan en el proceso de venir y no tienen mucho manejo del idioma, los invito a que hagan el esfuerzo y lo lean, ya que es realmente interesante.

“Do you know what a foreign accent is? It’s a sign of bravery.”
― Amy Chua, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother


I am a Colombian celebrating today 8 years living, studying and working in Australia, many of you might ask the question why I am not writing in Spanish? Isn’t our “Colonised adopted European language”?
The only exception that I would be happy to make is if anyone is proficient in Chibcha, Quechua or any of the more 70 different indigenous ethnic groups of our beloved land. The reason is quite simple, I want to contribute in one way or another to develop your English skills with the information that I am about to give you.
If you still reading after the last paragraph is more likely you got my point and hopefully you find something useful to apply meanwhile you enjoy your experience in this wonderful country.
I could start to describe my own experience, how did I learned English and improve my vocabulary, how did I get my first job, how could I manage the high cost of living and finding good budget deals for travelling, home and personal goods and so on. I decide instead to summarise certain tips to make more efficient this reading.
I normally participate, whenever time allows, in different meet up groups in Brisbane (I used to help to organise a few of them) where everyone contributes with their expertise or knowledge, previous experiences, learn how to move around and solve issues as a migrant. More importantly to build a social network, that might help you to land your next job or even direct you in the right path of your current career.
I have noticed over all these years that some students or workers tend to make groups or socialise with people of their own country or same language, sometimes is quite hard to avoid that for many reasons:
“I Work at G&G and most of the staff speaks the same language and the communication with the costumers becomes repetitive” ….. “I study and practice English in class however in any break ,I would come back to talk to other students in Spanish” … “In the evening my brain is too tired to talk or think in English” ….  “I talk to my family every day on Skype”…
It is obvious that our tendency to talk in Spanish facilitate our daily routine in many aspects, unfortunately that will diminish our ability to make any progress in the process of adapting ideas and thoughts into English. Learning a new language is a slow and complex process, however, there are certain things you can do in your normal routine to improve it.
· Do you have a partner? Great!!! Challenge each other, don’t waste your time talking to him/her in Spanish only even if you are in a bad mood or grumpy, the brain will be more alert. You will probably have the rest of your lives to argue in Spanish, chances are that you end up making up again (talking from experience).
· Please do not make fun of each other or if you do set some boundaries, be fair, many people don’t progress precisely because they are being bullied by the closest friends or family and this is counterproductive in your learning process.
· Is normal to be shy, the good news is that now you have the opportunity rather you like it or not to develop a new personality, I am not kidding here, there are many studies on this topic, I am not saying you will become bipolar in any sense(however the actual definition is somehow vague for the so called “experts”). All I am trying to say is this: Probably initially you might feel frustration of not be able to transmit your ideas and thoughts properly as you would like, and this is a normal part of the process, is like a knot in your neurons, you have the idea in pictures but nobody else can see it and that indeed will block one important part of your personality, the ability to be yourself. Over time you realise the battleground in your head when you talk to someone in English but part of you is saying “that’s not me” and you are right and the best thing you can do is adapt and be aware of those changes.
· Try to interact with children if you can, I know it sounds quite sensitive idea since parents normally don’t like their children talking to strangers, and I am not saying go and harass any children you find on the street until someone call the police. There are normally many events for children in most of the libraries in Australia, story time, reading clubs… in other words be a child again and don’t feel shame on that, I would dare to say is one of the most effective ways to improve our natural ability to communicate.Attend those events, participate, listen to other children when they express themselves and you will see how you can interact and benefit from it.
· Less time in Facebook and more time searching meet up groups. As I state previously I used to contribute in a few of this local meet up groups. is a good starting point. There is one of groups I use to participate and help to organise different events. ESL Brisbane meetup you can find it on Facebook or the meetup website. Is one of the oldest in Brisbane with over a thousand members. We normally meet on Tuesday in the city or Thursday in Garden city for English practice and tips. Some of the topics are create a CV and cover letter with Australian standards, interview preparation, EILTS preparation, important information for further studies migration and so on. This is just one of the many groups that you might find useful to optimise your time off.
There are many challenges when you arrive to Australia, many expectations, dreams, uncertain circumstances, anxiety and even depression. Is an emotional roller coaster and is one of the reasons I decide to share these lines. Being aware of the challenges ahead and how they impact your wellbeing is the first step to deal with any adverse situation you might encounter. Is not easy to grasp the continuous physical and emotional demand to achieve your goals trying to settle in Australia or any other country and sometimes you might ask the question what is the cost of all the sacrifice and the great toll on us being away from home. Just keep in mind that is also a process in which you are not alone and there are many ways you can overcome most of the difficult circumstances. In average, 24 months is the time it takes to settle, if you are prepared and aware of this your settlement will be easier to cope and make better decisions. There are some links below this article that you might find helpful.
I hope this information would serve its purpose and I will be happy to share more information in topics related to your profession, interest or travel tips.

To finish I would like to share with you some of the photos I have taken in this wonderful country, hope you enjoy it. (Find the images at the end of the article)

Thanks for reading this article
Kind regards
Espero les haya gustado la información y agradezco a Ale por compartirla.

Les dejo los links y las fotos que Ale comparte con nosotros en la parte de abajo.

Hasta la próxima

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