at Monash University
- Understanding Australia
The Australian team of the Sookmyung Global Project 2008 had a different schedule compared to others. We had a fixed plan to study at the English Centre of Monash University Peninsula campus for about two weeks. We learned lots of interesting things about Australia, including conservation and environmental protection and indigenous Australian history. Our teachers Terry and Cathy had enthusiastic concern for Australian nature, therefore we could have a chance to learn more about it. Also, we studied international subjects such as world leaders and current issues. Since every class was in English, we weren’t allowed to use Korean. Not only did we study in the classroom, but we also did various activities. We had two field trips: to Wilson’s Promontory and Mornington Peninsula National Park. In addition, we learned sports and did team building activities. After we finished all the classes, we had a certificate presentation and a farewell party. The two weeks that we studied at the English Centre was a helpful time for us to cultivate our English skills as well as learn more about Australia.
- The Most Precious Moment, Experiencing Real Life
in Australia : Homestay
All students stayed in Australian homes. Each person went to a different family. Students met various kinds of families, including an old couple, a nuclear family and a divorced couple. We had to stay with them all the time after finishing school, because the houses were located far apart from each other. Some students traveled with their host family and some had parties with their neighbors. The homestay program gave us valuable memories. We were allowed to try Australian food and experience their real life. The common thing we discovered was that there are many divorced couples in Australia. In my case, my host mother lives with her daughter apast from her husband. However, they looked happy and they didn’t think that it is a shameful thing, unlike in Korea.
- Field Trip 1: Wilson’s Promontory
We went to Wilson’s Promontory National Park for our first field trip. We were very excited because it was the first time that we had gone out that far. Students and teachers met at 9 o’ clock at school and left for the South East Lakes by bus. It took about three hours, which could have been a long time, but the beautiful scenery of Australian nature prevented us from feeling tired. With the explanation about Australian nature from Terry and Cathy, we could better understand it. Appreciating the significant nature through the window, we arrived at Wilson’s Promontory National Park. After we ate lunch, we had a chance to meet a staff member of the park. He gave a short lecture about ‘sustainability,’ and the present condition of the park. We expected to see kangaroos, and wombats, but we couldn’t see them because they are nocturnal animals. Disappointed at the lack of those animals, we went to the beach through the forest, by
walking along a river. On the way to the beach, we could see the beauty of nature. Many plants next to the river made a magnificent scene. We took many photos there. Also, there were many tourists beside us, because the park is also famous for hiking and camping. After a few minutes, we finally get to the Squeaky Beaches; they call it that because when you walk on the sand, it makes a squeaky sound. Unfortunately, because of the weather, the squeaky sound was not that loud, but we could hear it. The beach was impressive, too. The white sand and spacious sea made us feel free. Also, there were many gulls. The other thing that was unforgettable was the cleanness of the beach. We could not find any sign of people, and it was very well preserved. On the way home, most students fell asleep. It was a pretty tiring schedule, but we could learn
and appreciate the nature of Australia.
*Wilson’s Promontory is home to many marsupials, native birds and other creatures. One of the most common marsupials found in the prom is the wombat, which can be found in much of the park (especially around camp-sites where it has been known to invade tents searching for food). The peninsula is also home to kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and emus. Some of the most common
birds found on the promontory include crimson rosellas, yellow-tailed black cockatoos and superb fairy-wrens.
- Field Trip 2. Mornington Peninsula National Park
Before we went on the second field trip, the teachers warned us that we should prepare long-sleeve shirts, long pants, hats and sun block. We knew that we were going to do hard work, but still we worried about it because our teachers stressed this a lot. The day we went to Mornington Peninsula National Park, the weather was very hot, so we could think that it would be a tough day. As on the first field trip, we went there by bus. Again, the scene from the window was splendid. The view from the hills convinced us to take a lot of photos. The clear and blue sky and under it the vast and clean sea spread before us. It was a real grand sight. For a while we forgot the task we had to do and just appreciated nature. After arriving at Mornington Peninsula National Park, three staff members welcomed us. They explained the mission and distributed gloves and vests that were necessary for our work. Then they showed us how to work and we were divided into teams of three or four. Our mission was to cut the bushes from the path for people to walk easily and safely. We used big clippers to cut thick branches. At first, it was awkward and hard, but as time went by, we got used to cutting them. However, because of the hot weather and sun’s heat, our faces and clothes were wet with sweat. After about two hours, we had cleaned up the whole way. The roads were cleared by our effort and we were surprised at our job. Also, the staff praised our work. We felt fruitful that we had made a change and from now on people can walk there more easily. In addition, we visited an important spot for the Great War. There were many remnants of the Great War and we could feel the tension of it. On the way home, we went to Sorento Beach which is famous as a rest area. There were many people enjoying swimming and sunbathing.
*Mornington Peninsula is a national park in Victoria, 77 kilometers south of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula. It is one of Victoria's most popular and most loved parks, protecting lots of the area's natural attractions and providing an important habitat for many forms of wildlife.
- Graduation and Farewell Party
The graduation ceremony was held in a classroom with our host families. Each student received a certificate in front of many people. After the ceremony we took a photo all together. Our hearts
were full because we had finished all the classes at Monash University. The last event of the day was a farewell party. Before we went to Australia, we had prepared three big performances for our
homestay families. The first one was a combination of Taekwondo, a Korean martial art and the national sport of Korea and modern dance. Three students wearing taekwon clothes did a powerful dance with exciting music. The second one was a dance using the music of Wonder Girls, a famous girl group in Korea. The last one was a fan dance. It was the highlight of the farewell party. 10 students wore Hanbok, the Korean traditional dress, and danced to the melody of Korean traditional music. Our host families gave us a big hand and they enjoyed our three performances. After that, we held a quiz show to provide correct information about Korea. We arranged some food and drinks for them and spend time talking with each other.
Australia Day, also known as Anniversary Day or Foundation Day, is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, the day commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, the unfurling of the British flag at Sydney Cove and the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia. Australia Day is an official public holiday in every state and territory of Australia, and is marked by the Order of Australia and Australian of the Year awards, along with an address from the Prime Minister. Before we left Korea, we had planned to do something meaningful. As we searched for various things to do in Australia such as CVA Conservation Volunteers Australia), we came to know that the Korean community in Victoria participates in a parade as culture ambassadors on Australia Day. Therefore, we contacted the Korean community and arranged to take part in the parade together. Our team and the Korean community prepared for the parade which takes place in Melbourne. On Australia Day, there is the big parade which celebrates various countries’ cultures by showing off their music, dance and clothes. People from almost every country wear their traditional clothes and perform traditional dances or other arts. As representatives of Korea, the Korean community prepared displays of
Taekwondo and Samulnori, the Korean traditional percussion quartet. Also, we wore beautiful hanbok and red T-shirts. The Korean participating in the parade held the national flag of Korea and the Australian flag. The parade was huge and lots of people joined in. Every road was closed for the parade and plenty of people watched it. For about two hours, we walked through Melbourne from the central station to Alexandra park. The audience also enjoyed the Taekwondo performance and the sound of Samulnori. It was moving and flattering to spread Korean culture in another country. It is hard to do something for our country even in Korea, but we took part in a parade in Australia. Even though the weather was hot, it was worthwhile and we felt proud of ourselves. I didn’t know Australia well before I went there; Kangaroos and hot weather were the only images I had of Australia. However, this trip allowed me to understand and experience Australia, We did many activities such as attending class at Monash University, field trips and parade. The most unforgettable thing was my homestay. Maybe most members will agree with this. It was my first time experiencing homestay. My host family treated us as real family and we could feel their sincerity. I miss them and if I have a chance to go Australia again, I will visit them. It was a short time to experience all of Australia, but it was enough time to make worthwhile memories: doing volunteer work at Mornington Peninsula National Park, taking part in a parade on Australia Day and living with an Australian family during my homestay. We spent the hottest days there while Korea was very cold, and came back with precious memories. If your first image of Australia is a ‘Kangaroo,' go to Australia and experience real life there. Then, your thinking might change!
The Australian Open Tennis Championship 2009 was held when we stayed in Melbourne. A lot of Australians as well as foreign tourists visited Melbourne to watch tennis matches. Also, our host families liked watching the matches on television. We could feel Australians’ passion for tennis. Also, they enjoy playing cricket. While we studied at Monash University, we had a chance to learn about cricket in our sports class. A cricket match is played on a cricket field at the centre of which is a pitch. The match is contested between two teams of eleven players each. In cricket, one team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible without being dismissed (“out”) while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the other team’s batsmen and limit any runs being scored. When the batting team has used all its available overs or has no remaining batsmen, the role
become reversed and it is now the fielding team’s turn to bat and try to outscore the opposition. You can easily see boys playing cricket on the beach or watch a cricket game on television.
Australians love the beach! Because of the hot weather in summer, they usually go to the beach. Most people swim, play cricket or bathe in the sun. Also, there are lots of houses in front of the beaches which are very expensive. In addition, Australian beaches are famous for their beautiful
nature and the water is very clean.
Nature and Wildlife
Australians are proud of their nature and wild animals such as kangaroos, wombats or wild plants. In addition, they try hard to conserve their nature. There is no subway in Australia, for example, and there are many laws in place to protect their nature. However, bush fires are a big problem. After we left Australia, there was a big bush fire that caused casualties and loss of property as well as damage to the natural environment.