Port Lincoln High School is privileged to have four international students enrolled with us at the moment. Last year, we welcomed and introduced Pauline Gandon from France – she has since been joined by Carolina Dalfen from Austria, Lorenz Fedeli from Germany and Alessandro Mazzocchi from Italy.
Carolina and Lorenz have come to us via the Department for Education’s International Education program, whilst Pauline and Alessandro are here courtesy of Southern Cross Cultural Exchange. All four have joined my 11.3 Dharna Group, bringing a wonderful “United Nations” flavour to our classroom each morning.
Carolina, Lorenz and Alessandro were recently asked to complete the following questionnaire about themselves and their experiences in this country; a link to Pauline’s responses from last year can be found at the end of the article.
All four of these young people have integrated positively into our school community and have been wonderful ambassadors for their home nations. We thank them for choosing Port Lincoln High School and sincerely hope that (all things considered), they enjoy their stay here in Australia.
~ Mr Shaun Thomas (International Education)
What can you tell us about your home country and family?
Carolina (Austria): I live in a small town called Purkersdorf, which is directly next to the capital of Austria, Vienna. I live there with my parents and my older sister. My school is very close to my home and most times I ride my bike to get there, together with my friend. I love to play the piano and cello in my free time and to explore new places around me with my friends.
Lorenz (Germany): I live in a small house in Munich with my smaller brother Vincent and my parents Anke and Sebastian. Both my Grandparents live out of town.
Alessandro (Italy): I live in a small house in Bergamo with my parents, sister Elena and brother Giovanni. I have a small dog, Speedy. I love it.
What are your impressions of Australia (and Port Lincoln in particular)?
Carolina (Austria): One of the first things I noticed when I came to Australia is that there is a lot of nothing around the cities and towns. That is something you can’t see in Europe, which made it very special for me. Another thing is that people here are very friendly. Everywhere you go people greet each other, without even knowing them.
Lorenz (Germany): I was happy when I was first told I will go to Port Lincoln and had a quick look at the city over Google Maps. It’s of course not a big city, but I prefer a small town with a nice community. Port Lincoln is located near the ocean which I was happy about too, as I love surfing and hoped I could catch some waves over here. I arrived here on a hot day and was really tired. And of course Australia is different to Germany – first of all the temperature when I left Germany was near to zero. My first real impression of the people over here I got on my first day at school. I immediately go to know some kids in school and they were all really welcoming and nice to me.
Alessandro (Italy): Australia is amazing for me. It is very different from Italy. Port Lincoln is a nice country town and I like it.
What can tell us about your host family and new home here in Port Lincoln?
Carolina (Austria): I think I am very lucky to be in a great host family. Every weekend they show me different places and they make me feel very comfortable and at home. The last two weeks I was in a different host family, because my first one is on holidays, and they are very nice too. They also took me to different places and showed me as much as possible in the three weeks I am with them.
Lorenz (Germany): I’m living a nice house with a good view with my two host parents Katherine and Tony. They have kids but they are already out of town doing their own business. I’m getting to school by bus and after school I always try to meet my friends.
Alessandro (Italy): My host family is very nice. I’m very comfortable with them. We go every weekend for a beautiful trip.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Carolina (Austria): I love to go to beaches in my spare time, since I don’t have them at all in Austria. I also like to walk around Port Lincoln or go shopping there, even though there aren’t many shops here to visit.
Lorenz (Germany): In the last 3 to 4 years, I really got into climbing. That is also what I spend most of my time doing at home. Sometimes, I also go surfing on a river wave in my home town (Munich), but the water is cold and I need a lot of motivation to get into the wetsuit and on my bike to drive there. I’m also interested in film photography and develop those photos with a friend.
Alessandro (Italy): I like to play soccer, run, ride a bike and I love pizza.
What are your thoughts on the school?
Carolina (Austria): I personally enjoy school here way more than I do back in Austria. And since I’m only here for a semester, I chose subjects that are fun to do which makes it better for me. One of my favourite subjects is Outdoor Education, which is something we don’t have at all in Austria. Also, the people here at the school are really nice and I never felt alone.
Lorenz (Germany): School is a lot easier in Australia than what I’m used to, but Australian schools have more creative subjects that I appreciate. I also think that it’s good that in many classes is a teacher and a support teacher – that way there is most of the time someone who can help you.
Alessandro (Italy): My favourite subject is Design. I have lot of friends and the teachers are very nice to me.
What are some of the interesting (delicious or disgusting) things that you have eaten/drunk since you have been here?
Carolina (Austria): A really good thing that I first tried in Australia are Tim Tams, which I love. We don’t have Vegemite in Austria so I tried it here and didn’t like it. Otherwise, food here is not very different than what I’m used to.
Lorenz (Germany): A schnitzel with topping is probably one of the weirdest things I have eaten here – it’s something you would never see in Germany. I like a sausage roll for lunch and the Coca Cola tastes the same.
Alessandro (Italy): I eat meat pie and a like it, but I ate Vegemite and I don’t like it.
What do you want to do/see while you are in Australia?
Carolina (Austria): I’ve already been to Adelaide for a weekend and looked around there a bit. In the term break I’m hoping to go on an outback tour for nine days and visit Uluru and Alice Springs, which I am very excited about.
Lorenz (Germany): I would like to see a kangaroo, catch a big fish and get some good waves.
Alessandro (Italy): I want to visit a lot of places.
Link to Pauline’s responses: https://www.plhs.sa.edu.au/bienvenue-to-pauline-from-france/