The Art of English

As a Swiss person you learn English from 7th grade on, but coming to Australia made me realize the first few week that English is not just English. It has very different forms and different dialects. When I arrived in Wollongong, the Australian accent gave me a lot of trouble, because my ear was just not used to it. I feel this would be different with English as it is spoken in England or the US, because I know it from the movies. 

Continue reading “The Art of English”

A deep gap in the society of Australia

Europeans were not the first humans to arrive in Australia: Aboriginal people arrived in Australia many 10’000 years before the European settlers did. This creates a conflict that is still present up to now. Aboriginal people did not receive basic rights like voting up to the 2nd part of the last century. The probably last aboriginal family living a traditional lifestyle was contacted only in 1984 ( and it’s assumed that most Aborigines (as they are called in Australia) have only been living a Western lifestyle for a few generations. Continue reading “A deep gap in the society of Australia”


As I write this text, reflecting on the last couple of months and trying to come up with examples of what has become familiar, I sit on the rooftop of my student housing. Here, 21 floors above the ground, I have a perfect view over central Sydney. While there are so many things, stories and people that have become familiar over time, the breathtaking view reminds me of the many stories and aspects I haven’t yet gotten to discover. Continue reading “Family-Arizing”

Heading the right way!

My first interaction with the Australian culture almost made it impossible for me to tell the story about it. After a long and at times very shaky flight, I took the train to Sydney Central Station where I was supposed to check into my Hostel where I would stay before moving into the Student Housing on Campus. Not having slept during the 14-hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Sydney, I was only focused on one thing: getting some sleep as soon as possible. At this point, noticing and dealing with cultural differences or local customs was the least of my worries. After all, so I thought, Australia is surely the most European country in the Asia-Pacific region. Continue reading “Heading the right way!”

How to speak Aussie

Before the courses at my university, the University of Technology Sydney, started, there was an orientation week. While this is a fairly common practice amongst universities to facilitate the transition of students between different cultures, I wasn’t prepared to be in a presentation where somebody taught me how to speak “Aussie”. Once more, my initial beliefs about Australia, namely that people would speak English, were questioned beyond my wildest imagination. However, while speaking like a “true blue” might not be achieved by non-Australian born people, there are a few easy rules to keep in mind when having a conversation with a local. Continue reading “How to speak Aussie”

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