The BSSC Language Centre was packed to the rafters at lunchtime as students and staff gathered to celebrate Language Day, a highlight of Cultural Diversity Week.
Tables were laden with delicious food including dishes traditional to Indonesia, France, China, Germany and Australia (including vegemite which some brave international students tasted).
Dancing, singing and instrumental performances added to the great atmosphere as hundreds of students joined in the fun.
While BSSC Language students immerse themselves in the culture of their studies, they remain for the most part, in familiar territory.
In contrast, those international students who have left ‘home’ to be in Australia, move into a new culture find it is no small thing. Here are some of their reflections:
“I was amazed that Australians are so multicultural and love to travel but so few actually speak a second language.”
“Australians are so friendly and there are so many opportunities to play soccer here.”
“Lots of people learn English but the way Australians speak it is so different. When they say ‘How are you going?” sometimes we don’t realise it equates to: hello, how are you?
“I thought Australians were really laid back and spent most of their time at the beach, but they actually work longer hours and have less holidays than Germans.”
“Why would anyone eat Vegemite?!”
“I love that there is so much support for so many languages at BSSC.”
“I thought there would be kangaroos everywhere.”
“Chinese people love the natural environment in Australia and the unique animals.”