One Year in Australia
I was an exchangee under AFS Exchange program in 1996. AFS placed me with the Vernon family in Wagin, Western Australia. It was very exciting and interesting. Wagin population is approx 1,000 only and hence no Thai. I guess this is why my English language skill is very good.
At the time of departure, I was in Year 11 at Suksanari School and was informed that I would be studying with Year 11 students in Wagin. I was kind of reluctant as I wanted to return from the program ready to enroll in a university in Bangkok. However, I decided to go ahead with the placement given that Year 12 in Australia was no different from Year 12 in Bangkok. Students would have to study really hard to get into a university. Moreover, the program focuses on cultural exchange so I would rather have a balance between school and personal life.
Sixteen year old Bangkok girl living in a small town full of sheep, not really something I ever thought of before. There I learned to live a simple life, no department store, no food vendors and no early class or extra class after school. I also learned to live with other people and shared responsibility on household chores with the host family. They were generous to pay me for the housework I did.
The Vernons took me to Esperance in Albany, the southern part of Western Australia. It's cold all year round. I got to walk on the tree top. We passed several towns with interesting names like Denmark, Dumbleyung, Ravensthorpe, Karlgoolie and Koolgardie. I noticed most town names are Aboriginese for example Ngawangerup, Kojonup, Nannup, Wagin and Narrogin, some of which are not easy for me to pronounce.
I was a very shy little Thai girl so when we had to draw reproductive system in science class, I chose not to and my best friend had to do it for me. It's silly I know. Then the other subject that I could never forget is Health Education. We had to learn how to put on a condom because it's a shared responsibility between a man and a woman. So embarassing for me with the carrots and the condom.
Vegimite, the Australian paste, impressed me in a negative way. My friend tricked me to eat it and I thought it was like Nutella. I like Pavalova, the chiffon with crusty-shell decorated with fresh frutis. And with the meat and carb I had all year long, I put on 10 kilos and came back to Bangkok, looking like a penguin.
Some friends asked me why Australia. I told them that it was the Living Together stamps issued years before 1996 that made me want to see Australia. I saw it myself that Australia is a lovely country and nice people.
I didn't have a chance to go back to Australia to study Master Degree. Instead I graduated from Chulalongkorn. However, that experience and the English langugage I learned in 1996 is the fact that enables me to get in to this famous university of Thailand.
I still keep in touch with a few close friends in Wagin.
ผู้ติดตามบล็อก : 279 คน [?]
Sawaddee ka. My name is Nat. I am a certified translator. I have been in the translation industry since 2004.
I graduated a master degree in English-Thai translation from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.
I have the following accreditation:
- NAATI Accreditation for EN < > TH translation (Australia)
- Court Expert Registration for EN < > TH translation (Thailand)
- Member (MCIL), Chartered Institute of Linguists (U.K.)
See details about my services here http://www.nctranslation.net
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