Monday, 31 August 2015

Au revoir France

Five things I got out of my Antips Experience!

PROJECT: Tutoring & Immersion
WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Khouw

1. I now have the utmost respect for immigrants, especially if English is not their first language. It’s hard. It’s really hard, and I only went to a European country of which I’d studied the language for six years and everyone knew a bit of English anyway.
I can’t imagine coming to Australia from somewhere like China or Iran. So please be kind to migrants. They’re trying their best.

2. I learned that the Western world is incredibly Anglo-centric. Us native English speakers are so lucky but we constantly take it for granted that European schools have to teach our language, that the vast majority of music and movies are in our language, that Europeans know all about Anglophone cultures but we rarely know theirs.
They’re used to it, but it seems a bit unfair that all the radio stations play mostly music in English, and ninety-nine percent of their movies have to be dubbed in French. I’ve watched many of these movies and there’s so much lost in translation- expressions, accents, idiosyncratic voices and so on.

3. I have a new-found appreciation for Australia. I miss all the little things that don’t exist in France- cricket, netball, meat pies, driving on the left, our amazing beaches- but also the general laid-back vibe of the whole country. It’s a beautiful thing. Everything’s relaxed and people are rarely bothered about minor things.
Not that everyone in France is uptight and stressed, but few places are as comfortably laid-back as Australia.

4. I’ve definitely caught the travel bug! I’ve been inspired to travel to every continent, but after I’ve had a break. Surprisingly, I’ve been thinking a lot about potential domestic trips, which is new. Most of my time here has been spent taking small trips around the region to visit other towns and villages, and I’m now looking forward to when I can do the same thing at home.
Seeing as in Sydney I can drive, it’s so easy to just go down to the beach for the day, or spend a weekend visiting my friends in Canberra and Melbourne.

5. On the other hand, all this travelling has made me feel a little more settled. I’ve gotten all this restless energy out that I’d had pent-up from HSC then doing nothing for six months afterwards.
I’m looking forward to going to uni next year, and I can do it secure in the knowledge that I’ve completed one of my life’s dreams before I’ve even turned twenty!
This is my last blog entry before I go off to Paris for Bastille Day, so thank you for reading and au revoir!

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