Wednesday, July 18, 2012

There's nothing like Australia..

Day One : Goodbye Indonesia, Hello Australia.

Sunday, April 22nd 2012.

I had to do a last-minute-check of stuffs I brought so that nothing important is going to be left behind. I already packed all my stuff in my suitcase and I brought a big back pack that school gave us and a small bag to put important stuff in there. I was so ready and excited for Australia. Even I can’t believe I’m going to go to Australia with my friends and teachers. My parents drove me to school at 4.00 pm.
Before we went on the bus on our way to the airport, we gathered up infront of the principal’s office and had our prayers and Mr. Nur Alam gave us some briefing and what to do at the airport. Mr. Nur Alam gave us the photo copy of the ticket, the asurance, and the list of what we’re going to do in Melbourne. After a little lecture from our principal, we head to Soekarno Hatta by bus. But because Faishal was late, he had to go to the airport by himself. We were so ready for an amazing experience. We listened to Justin Bieber’s songs all the way to the airport. It was nearly 8 o’clock when we arrived at Soekarno Hatta airport.
We ate and had our prayers first at the airport. We ate KFC while waiting for our parents to come. After eating, praying, and taking photos, we had to say good bye to our parents and principal. Some of us cried, but I didn’t. We checked in, put our luggages, and settled down for a while in the waiting room to wait for the boarding time.
The journey from Soekarno Hatta to Tulamarine was approximately 7 hours. And the time difference from Jakarta and Melbourne was 3 hours. So when it was 9 o’clock in Melbourne, it’s still 6 pm here in Jakarta.

Day Two : Flight to Melbourne

Monday, April 23rd 2012.

Still on the plane. I used the best facility of the Garuda Indonesia airplane, the TV. I watched Modern Family and listened to Taylor Swift’s songs. We had breakfast on the plane. I ate an omelet and bread&butter and drank a cup of tea. I sat with Dita. I was on the window side so I could see the view well..
 The arrival

I finally step my first step on Melbourne. We checked out and went passed through the guardian dog and securities. We took photos in front of the airport with our school banner. Waited for the school bus to arrive and pick us up. It took a long time but we have to be patient. After all we wait for them, not they wait for us. After a half-hour waiting, Mr. Bilal and Mr. Khamis finally came and we went to the city right away. We went to skydeck and ate at this arabic restaurant it has giant portions! I only ordered chips and mineral water. Classic.. Cause I was still a little home sick. After looking around skydeck, took photos, and had lunch we went to the school to meet our host families.
Mine was Ms. Sonya Hamoud. She’s a single parent and she has 1 daughter, Ferdos. She lived in a little town house in Coburg. She’s a teacher in EPIC. She’s teaching year9 and year11. She’s lebanese but lives in Australia. She wears glasses and has blonde hair. She’s so nice to me, she treated me as a guess, so I didn’t have to do some work.

Day Three : First day of school

Tuesday, April 24th 2012.
First day of school! We studied at East Preston Islamic College, EPIC for short. We studied at EPIC for a few days. We felt special. People treated us special. The students there were so nice and friendly.  I met a whole lot of new friends there. Especially the year8 girls and boys. And some of the year6 likes me cause I like One Direction and I wore this cool shoes that has wheel at the back.
The first day in class we introduced ourselves. And they introduced themselves too infront of class. Their first impression of me was my wristband that says One Direction, that’s how I got friends with them easily. And I also met a lot of teachers such as Ms. Busha, Ms. Rayan, Ms. Gomes, Ms. Sherina, Mr. Azzam, Mr. Esmile, and many more! I can’t remember their names one-by-one but i’ve tried my best.
The friends there in 8G were friendly and loud! Teachers often yell at them cause of what they do. But that’s okay! My class is a slight bit like that too. There was 22 girls in one classroom. I gave them a wayang bookmark for a greeting card.
Some names that I remember : Rahma, Iftu, Asiya, Hibaq, Sumaya, Fadumo, Sarah, Khadijah, Miski, Faiso, Rahama, Mariam,  Huda, Naba, Raghad, Aisha, Rabia, etc.
The primary students and high schools are pretty friendly to us too. They say hi to us, greet us, talk to us. Their all are friendly and fun. And we have something in common.

This is one of the year6 student. Her name is Ama. She’s so friendly and cute. She also likes One Direction so that’s one thing we have in common. I remember almost everyday students there asks me to sing one of One Direction’s songs. I felt like a star there. They all like me. I usually sing What Makes You Beautiful cause everyone knows that song.
Day Four : School & Zagame’s

Wednesday, April 25th 2012.
We studied about Math, English, Arabics, Science, History, and Health. The subjects are a little different with what we study in Soedirman. But we’ve learned some subjects such as Algebra, Atoms, Superlatives. I still have some notes I wrote from the teacher.
In Algebra we studied Associative Law, Communitative Law, Identity Law, Inverse Law, Simplifying expression, Multiplying variables, and Dividing variables.
 (6 + 7) + 8 = 6 + (7 + 8)  
       13 + 8 = 6 + 13
                                    21 = 21

And in History we were studying about the crusade war we had to make a summary about it. In English we studied about Superlatives and Comparatives. I’ve studied that in Pare before. In Science we studied about Atoms, Electrons, Protons, Neutrons. In health we played basket ball which was freezing cold outside.
Anyway, the lesson time there is a bit the same with what we have in Soedirman, but they start school at 8.30, that’s when the school bell rings. And have 2 recess breaks. 1 snack hour, and 1 zhuhur time. And school ends at 4 o’clock.
After school, Ms. Sonya and Ferdos took me to this restaurant. It was called Zagame’s. It’s a restaurant with a playground in it. Like at McDonalds. Only bigger. I ate Beef Spaghetti. Ferdos had Pizza. And Ms. Sonya had some pasta. The spaghetti there is good. And the playground too! The thing I like about it is that I could still be able to play in it. So I played Hide&Seek with Ferdos and a girl we met there, Taylor. There’s alot of things to play on but I didn’t take photos of them all. I only took the Airplane one because my camera battery is low

Day Five : Anzac day! 

Thursday, April 26th 2012.
“ probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.” – Australian War Memorial
No school for today! So we went to ... *drum roll* ... PHILLIP ISLAND! The year8 last year didn’t go to Phillip Island, so it’s our first time there. It was so far away from Preston. It was 3 hours away. We stopped at Warrock to have some lunch and looked around the farm. At warrock, we saw some cows, sheeps, kangaroos, wambis, hens, and more! I milked a cow and it felt weird. And the farmer asked me to drink it and I said NO! We saw the process of sheep shaving. After that, we ate at the Warrock’s restaurant. I ate chicken and chips. After that half-hour rest we went to the Chocolate factory. We looked around about some chocolate stuffs and took photos. I bought an Ice Cream and some chocolates as well. When everyone’s finished, we head to Phillip Island.
Phillip Island is a place full of penguins and koalas! Most of the koalas were sleeping. We also saw the Penguin Parade at night. It was dark, I could barely see the penguins. It was over 1000 penguins wobbling from the sea to their nests. But sadly no one is allowed to take photos cause it’s night and people usually uses flash on their cameras and that’s really not good for the penguins so no pictures are allowed. When the penguin parade was finished we went back in and had some meals. We had free drinks and I took the lemonade softdrink. After everyone finished, we head back home.

Day Six : Barbecue Party

Friday, April 27th 2012.
In the morning we studied as usual. The same subject as yesterday. The same class chaos as yesterday but that’s what I love about the class.
At break time, It was schocking when Mr. Ekrem said that some students wanted to beg as for money and say that their parent’s are broke and didn’t give them any lunch money. SO Mr. Ekrem invited us to a special place. It’s usually a meeting room. It has a big round table in the middle with lots of chairs. We had to have lunch there. We had some delicious pizzas, crunchy chips, chewy nuggets, and soft drinks. ALL FREE! Thanks again, Mr. Ekrem.
When the bell rang everyone got out of class and went home. Some of them took the bus, some of them had to walk, and some parents picked them up. But me, I had to wait for Ms. Sonya. But because Ms. Sonya couldn’t drive me to the Barbeque party, I joined Ilma and Ms. Rayan.
We got home, changed, and head to Coburg lake! There were already some people there, they got there earlier. We took photos, had fun, joke around. The boys played football. Before we had dinner, there’s this lady who lectured us and told us all about Islam. After she finished lecturing us, we ate, and I had some hotdogs.
Day 7 : The city of Melbourne!

Saturday, April 28th 2012
At first it wasn’t a sleepover, Ms. Sonya couldn’t pick me up after the barbeque party, So she asked Ms Rayan if I could sleep with her or not for a night and maybe Ilma could sleep at my house. And she said okay. So we had a sleep over at Ms. Rayan’s house! It was Dita, Tasya, Nire, Ilma, Rawa, and I. It was so fun. Ms. Rayan’s family gathered up and watched a home video of her brother’s wedding. And Ms. Rayan introduced us to her niece, Mariam. She’s so friendly and fun. We watched movies and talked. She is hilarious! I wish I could meet her again.
When it was night everyone had to go home and sleep. We slept at Ilma’s room. Everyone slept like a pig, especially Tasya. I even have a picture of her sleeping, but she’s gonna be mad at me if I post it.
In the morning we took a bath, had breakfast, and went to Mr. Bilal’s house. Dita’s mom’s friend, we call her Tante Nova. She took us around to see the city. We went to the Melbourne Museum and watched IMAX. We went there by tram and went home by bus. After Melbourne Museum, she took us to an Indonesian Restaurant called Nelayan. There were a lot of Indonesian people there. I ordered fried chicken with rice. It costs me $6. It was very Indonesia-ish. That’s because the owner is Indonesian. Even the waiter and the waitress. When we finished eating, we went to a grocery store. I bought candies and marshmallows. And I stopped to buy Slurpee in 7ELEVEN. The slurpee there costs me $2. Then we went home to Mr. Bilal’s house. It was a great adventure! Thank you, Msr. Nova. At Mr. Bilal’s house, Ms. Sonya was already there to pick me up. I went home with Ilma.

Day 8 : Swimming&Bowling with Rawa

Sunday, April 29th 2012.

It was Sunday and we planned to go to northland but I forgot I left my school uniform at Mr. Bilal’s house. So Ilma and I asked Ms. Sonya to drop us there. And we played there for a while. Ms. Rayan picked up Ilma at Mr. Bilal’s house. So  it was just Dita, Tasya, and I. We played with Mr. Bilal’s sons. Yahya, Yunus, and Yusuf. Oh and Ibrahim.
Yahya is 4 years old and he talks alot. Yunus is my moshi monster best friend. He’s 7 years old. Yusuf is 1 year younger than Yunus, He’s 6. And Ibrahim is 1 year old. Mr. Bilal still have 3 more sons and 1 daughter. Zak is 12 years old. Osama is 13 years old. Omar is 15 years old. And Rawa is 17 years old. Zak, Osama, and Omar wasn’t home so we played with Yahya, Yunus, Yusuf at the PS3 room while waiting for Rawa to come home from work because she’s taking us to a bowling alley and a ladies swimming pool. She works at coles as a cashier. She’s so nice and fun!
At the PS3 room we watched Free Willy and ate some chips. I like Mr. Bilal’s sons cause their so nice and fun to play with. At ... o’clock the other boys including Rawa came home. We got ready for bowling. Mr. Bilal drove us to the bowling alley. We waited for Ms. Rayan and her daughter and Ilma to come. We played 1 round. Rawa won, Dita came at Second, I came at Third place. And I bought Calipop Ice Cream. It tasted so good.
After that we went to Mr. Bilal’s house to change and eat. When we all finished what we had to do, we head to the ladies swimming pool. It was indoor so it’s warm. We met our friend Hibaq from school. We swam for an hour then at 8.30 the pool closed and we went home. I slept over at Mr. Bilal’s house. Ms. Rayan picked Ilma. At first I was going to sleep over at Ms. Rayan’s house, but we exchanged, I slept at Mr. Bilal’s House and Dita slept at Ms. Rayan’s house.

Day 9 : A visit to Mt. Hira

Monday, April 30th 2012
As usual we went to school. But because I slept over at Mr. Bilal’s house I didn’t bring my uniform, so I borrowed Tasya’s uniform. It was so cold at their house in the morning I was freezing. I couldn’t get out of the blanket. And sadly I catched a cold there. Now I’m better. And when everybody woke up, had breakfast, changed into our uniform, and head to school.
Some friends already gathered in the canteen waiting for the rest. At first I thought we were gonna go to class and study as usual. But no. First we waited for everyone to come. Then we got into the bus with Mr. Ekrem. We went to his other school, Mount Hira College. Mr. Ekrem is the chairman of Mount Hira College so he took us there. We met the principal of Mt. Hira, her name is Ms. Patricia Gay, Ms. Pat for short. And she also showed us around Mt. Hira College. She showed us the Elementary School, Junior Highschool, and High School. Even the library, gym, ITC room, and art room.
Mt. Hira College is a great school! It’s very neat and big. I also like the uniform. But not all students there wears Hijab. They only wear it if they want to. Not like in EPIC. Mr. Ekrem also showed us the mosque that is under construction. It’s really big. He must of spent a lot of money on that mosque. We also got to play on their playground.  It has a slide, swings, and other playground stuffs.
We had lunch at Mr. Ekrem’s brother’s place. And he also payed for our food! I had a hot dog and some fries.

Day 10 : Shopping at Victoria Market

Tuesday, May 1st 2012.
We all had our Aussie Uniform on. We were ready to go to the .......
At the ..... we met Mr. Agus who is apparently Dita’s Mother’s friend. We talked, and he told us about Indonesia. And some of us shared stories about our experience in Australia so far, Including ME. Because there was Mr. Bilal, he asked me to speak in English. So I shared my experience in English. I was so happy cause Mr. Agus said that I had good English and I should be a diplomat there. We also took photos with him.
We didn’t take a long time there, after we said good bye we directly head to the Victoria Market. I bought a lot of things there. Things there are a little chepear than in the mall. I bought souveniers for my friends. And I also bought things for my self too as well. I bought a key chain, pencil case, pyjama’s, australia plate, and much more!
Day 11 : Ballarat

Wednesday , May 2nd 2012
It was a beautiful day, cause it was our friend’s birthday, Dita! Too bad we didn’t celebrated it.  But we went to the famous Ballarat. It’s in Sovereign Hill. People say it’s nice there. There’s a gold mine there too. We saw a lot of things. We also saw the view from above. Faishal and I took a photo in a western costume.
We also went to the gold museum. We saw a lot of gold some were from the gold mine. And there’s also the history about gold. I got some knowledge about gold.

 Day 12 : Melbourne Aquarium & Cook’s Cottage.

Thursday, May 3rd 2012

Then we went to the Melbourne Aquarium. We saw a lot of fishes, of course. And penguins too! That’s my favorite part. We also saw sharks and some 
When we were done looking around the Melbourne Aquarium we went to the Melbourne Museum. I already went there before with Tante Nova. We took photos and looked at some fishes

After we looked around the Melbourne Museum we went to another place in the city called Cook’s Cottage. It’s a beautiful place. We took photos and had fun J

Day 13 : Farewell Party 

Friday, May 4th 2012.
The farewell party, this was the event that we all had been waiting for.

We went to school. We studied the year8 subjects. We did what the EPIC students have to do. We ate at their cafeteria. We studied at their class. We prayed at their mosque. We read books at their library. We play football at their field. We used their bathroom. We walked in their hall way. But it’s only temporary. It’s only a visit. It’s only 2 weeks. But the good thing is we don’t need to follow their rules. We can wear bracelets and colorful shoes. And people treat us special. But we still have to have manners cause we brought the school name and Indonesia’s great identity.

The farewell party was held at night where everybody’s hostfamilies came and celebrated it. It was so fun. I was the MC for the night with Hanif. 7 weeks of the traditional dancing finally paid of! We nailed the performances. Everybody cheered. And I was so happy. After the farewell party we had dinner and head home. It was the most special event I could never forget..

Day 14 : Bye bye Australia

Saturday, May 5th 2012.
We had to wake up super-early-in-the-morning! We don’t want to miss the plane.
Gathered up infront of EPIC and went to the airport by school bus.
We had to check in and the line was so long.
We realized then it’s time to go home, Bye-bye Australia
Someday I’m gonna come back, just wait J

...we landed home safely and lived happily ever after.




  1. Great experience ;) memang bagus east preston islamic college.Hebat bisa merasakan 14hari hidup bersama warga aussie keturunan the way masih kontak dengan guru-guru EPIC?kamu ikut program student exchange??

    1. yes I'm still in touch with some of the teachers in EPIC and some of the students in EPIC, and it was an exchange program from my school.