Decided to study overseas, I approached Joshua Tang from AAC. After hours of discussion with Joshua, my family and I took his advice and made the decision to study The Foundation Year of the University of Queensland (IES) in Brisbane, Australia.
Education – Unlike secondary education of Hong Kong, the foundation year focuses on the preparation of students’ university studies, such as research skills and self-discipline. Some of the syllabus of IES, however, may have been covered in the HKDSE syllabus, and therefore, I do not think the syllabus of IES is hard to grasp at all. Having said that, IES offers a 1-year course which comprises of high school year 11 and 12 with a little bit of uni year 1 syllabus, therefore, the pace of learning would be faster.
In terms of pressure, I personally think that studying the foundation year was way less than that of the secondary school study in HK, mainly because of the study atmosphere. HK study requires students to attend different extra-curriculum activities to learn a range of skills and to widen the horizon, whereas the foundation year encourages students to have a balanced life style.Another benefit of studying at IES is that there is a guaranteed admission to the degree we chose as long as we meet the GPA (and IELTS) requirements. In other words, the students are self-competing. There are not any inter- or intra-competitions among students. Everyone is fighting for their own targets or dreams, and therefore, I discovered that students were more friendly and willing to help others in academic studies.
Homestay – Homestay is a great accommodation option for new students to begin with! I stayed in my homestay for almost 11 months. The hosts were very nice, the food were yum, and the dog was friendly. However, remember to tell the Homestay Agent your preferences. For instance, if you are allergic to pets, then you must tell the Homestay Agent not to arrange a homestay with pet(s).
Here are some of my own feeling of having homestay as my accommodation option. Firstly, the homestay hosts will be able to take good care of you if you encounter any difficulties. Secondly, living in homestay had really improved my English in both written and spoken. Thirdly, living in homestay made me feel warm and, most importantly, safe as I am alone outside HK.
All in all, personally I enjoy studying in Australia foundation year since the life there was more balanced, relaxed and comfortable as compared to that of HK. I would like to use this opportunity to deliver my most sincere gratitude to Joshua Tang from AAC. He has provided professional advice which helped to organize my study in Australia, in addition to, assist me with all the problems that I faced in Australia in different ways, even we are 9-hour flight far away. Thanks for his patience to me.
I hope my experience will help you to get a better understanding of studying aboard. Wish you all a delightful, enjoyable and fruitful study life!