Melbourne Travel Diary 2016

It was such a delightful experience to travel in Melbourne and spend exciting days exploring with friends. Cities are different, the Gold Coast is sunny and everything flows so much slower while Melbourne is a busy place with old histories to be discovered.

When we first arrived the weather was gloomy and the clouds were grey, but there was no rain. Our first mission was to find food, so we found this hot pot restaurant and spent the first few hours warming up in there whilst chatting with friends. Our next stop was St Paul Cathedral and Flinders Street Station, both places have remarkable heritage aged two hundred years old, Flinders Street Station is the oldest and very first train station in Australia. Our hotel was a little small but cozy and convenient.

The second day we had Yum Cha for breakfast and went to Hosier Lane Graffiti Street where we saw a lot of photographers and artist taking photos.  We then we went to see China Town and it felt like being back home. In the evening we watched a musical called Heathers and I felt really inspired.

We had to get up early on the third day and go see the University of Melbourne.  We took a lot of photos there, all the buildings were beautiful and full of history, and some of them reminded me of castles. For lunch we had BBQ and then we hit the stores shopping for the rest of the day.

By Joanna Bao Year 10

Melbourne Trip 2016

I've always wanted to go to Melbourne and I was really happy when my school gave me this opportunity. From 21st to 23rd of May, 2016, I explored the city and really enjoyed it.

On the first day Maria and I went to the Art Gallery, threw a coin into the little river there to make a wish and then by coincidence we found one of Melbourne's famous graffiti streets. It was really impressive and remained to be my favourite spot in the whole city.

On Sunday we decided to join a FreeWalking-Tour. With about 20 other tourists and our guide we walked through the city for three hours. Our guide created the first half more historically and told us some really interesting facts but also stories for example about Melbourne's Robin Hood. The second half focused on the city's culture and also included some restaurant and cafe tips. Sunday evening was my favourite! The musical 'The Heathers' was stunning, the audience was in the best mood and clapped and roared every time a song was finished.

On our last day we visited the famous Beach Houses at Brighton Beach which was really pretty to see. Also the huge State Library was impressive and it made me look forward to the time when I'm studying at university, maybe also here in Australia for a while. All in one, this was an amazing weekend which we will look back to a lot more times.

Andrea Zechner Year 11

Between the 21th of May and 23th of May, 2016, we went to Melbourne with the school. Melbourne‘s architectural style was a combination of modern and classical. There was famous buildings like St. Paul's Cathedral, Flanders Railway Station, Graffiti streets and the China Town of Melbourne was also good. The University of Melbourne was the first reason that I would like to go for this trip because I really like the University of Melbourne and that was where I would like to go for University. Thank you to Tania and Judi for taking us to see different cultures of Australia in a different city. This has allowed me to have a deeper knowledge of Australia. I had a good time with you guys! Thank you very much! J

Sophie Liu Year 10

It was the first time that I go to Melbourne. Melbourne in my mind, it is filled with a breath of early British architecture.  I was so lucky to join this Melbourne trip. Just because of this trip, the relationship between me and my friends is getting closer. Although, Melbourne and Gold Coast both are in Australia, they are significantly different. Walk in Melbourne City, I felt the people around me the pace of walking quickly, the rhythm of people’s life is also fast. Conversely, the people lives in Gold Coast seems like more relax and comfortable.

We had two group activities, a movie and going to the theatre. The theatre didn’t disappoit, it was one of the best musicals that I ever seen. So, I really had a good time in Melbourne with my lovely friends, beautiful Judy and beautiful Tania.

Amber Lai Year 11

One year study abroad student - Maximilian MAYERu, Germany

My name is Max and I'm an international student from Germany. I live with my parents and my two sisters in Paderborn, a city in the western part of Germany, about two hours drive from Cologne. I came to Australia for one year, from last July 2008 till this July 2009. But why Australia? Why Benowa? “Sun, surf and beaches” that’s what a travel guide says about Australia, and that was Australia for me when I decided to come here. The laid back and relaxed lifestyle of the Australians also appealed to me. Benowa State High School was called to my attention by its exceptional reputation as an international school, but also because of the French immersion program as I wished to continue my French studies during my stay.

Well there I was, new country, new culture, new people, new family, and a new school. But thanks to every student at Benowa State High School, the friendly and always-helpful staff, and especially the international office; I integrated fairly quickly into my new environment. I was lucky enough to live with the best host family I can imagine and can call them now my second family.

It might sound hard to leave home, family and friends behind, it isn’t, not if you feel as welcome and accepted as I felt when I came here. The time away from home gave me a completely new perspective on everything that was home for me and showed me to appreciate things I didn’t before.

I really enjoyed my time in Australia; it was the best time of my life. I gained an insight into a different culture and society, met new people and found friends. Everything I did, achieved and experienced inside and outside of school formed me to another person.

For me an improvement in my English skills never stood in the foreground of my stay, more so experiences and my new independence away from my parents. When I leave Australia in two months, I will be devastated as I leave the best time of my life behind, but also proud of what I’ve achieved and the fact that I can say that I leave Australia as a different person.

Thank you

Maximilian MAYERu 

OP 1 student - ZHENG Miaobing

I am an international student from China, and I studied at Benowa State High School for 2 years. Although it’s not long, it’s just sufficient for me to realize the supernatural and colourful nature of Australian culture as well as the enthusiasm of Australians.

The school gives special care for international students; a happy comfortable study environment is created by Benowa State High School. Special international student coordinators are doing a great job. They placed me in a happy host family and helped me with a great variety of situations. Although I was alone in Australia, it just felt like home and I never felt lonely.

I was really impressed by teachers at school. They are just like close friends to student, which is exactly opposite to education in China. During these 2 years, they played a significant role in my achievements. Teachers just work together and make their great efforts to achieve the slogan of Benowa “Many pathways and no limits”. Whenever I had problems, they always tried their best to help me. It’s their zeal that encouraged me to study further and feel the pleasure of study.

I’m so glad I made a right choice to study high school at Benowa. I believe Benowa is a great school, not only a best school to study, but also a great place to make friends!

ZHENG Miaobing

Achievement level: OP 1

17 February 2008

2005 dux of Benowa State High School - Keyvan Sartipi, Iran

As an international student, I found Benowa State High School to be a fantastic place to engage with another culture, another way of life. Not only does a second culture, especially if it is correctly absorbed, allow for more insight into others, it also helps you become more of a self-aware person. Looking at situation through more than one angle makes possible to better understand people. Understanding then provides solid ground for friendship and that is an essential ingredient to having a good time. Benowa State High School, with it's French immersion and the long running international programs, celebrates diversity and demonstrates to students just how fruitful tolerance to other cultures is. This practical education at Benowa State High School moves students closer to the understanding of the wide world outside of school, the "global village."

The staff at Benowa State High School certainly contribute a great deal to the achievements of this school and its students. As for the international students, home-stay families are of great help, support and allow the students to concentrate on their studies. My host- family, Mr and Mrs Berry have become my second family. Over the time I have stayed with them, we have formed a relationship composed of friendship, honesty and trust. I will never forget the time I have had with them.

Dedicated and experienced, teachers work hard together with the administration staff to facilitate the learning process so that we learn as much as possible. International students receive more assistance both from teachers and the international co-ordinator, Mrs Marilyn Nethery.

While some may not agree with me in how good our school is, I have to say that Benowa State High School really did make the difference for me. My opinion is merely that and is produced as a result of comparing Benowa State High School with the schools I have attended. Coming from Iran, I believe Benowa is the best school I have ever attended.

Year 12 dux of Benowa State High School 2005,

Achievement level - OP 1

ISP student - Iran

Kristen Nielebock, Germany - 2005

Australia was great experience to me and I’ve got to know so many lovely people and friends for life. I will miss my host family and all my friends I gained in Australia. I’d love to come back in a couple of years, maybe for university. One thing I learned Australia is: You never know what is happening next!

Kristen Nielebock


t from Germany 2005)

Xiao Ying "Inky", China - 2004

I really liked the teachers from the school. When they have international students such as me in their class, they talk to us like they talk to Australian students. They always give us a fair go. English was one of my big problems in year 11. I had absolutely no idea of how to deal with it till I had a talk with my ESL teacher and also my English teacher. They both gave me a clear expression of how different genre structuralizes. I achieved HA6 for my year 11 English and HA10 for my year 12 final result. I was really impressed with my language improvements while I was at Benowa State High School.

Maths is my favourite subject, therefore the maths block became my favourite spot in high school. All of the teachers here are like my friends. They made me even more interested in maths. Their teaching method was excellent. They gave me more time of thinking difficult questions with the hint. I was very lucky to have one of the best maths teaching groups of Queensland to be my tutor.

The year 2004 made my life magnificent. I had lots of awards and happy memories in that year. I was so glad I chose Benowa as my first choice high school in Australia.

Xiao Ying “Inky” ZHU

(Student from China 2004)

(Achieved an OP 1 currently studying bachelor of commerce at University of New South Wales)

Ivan Bueno Causo, Brazil

My parents were happy with my achievement at school and I was enjoying being 10 minutes from the surf, so I decided to stay for a further six months. Now it has been 1 year since I left Brazil, and looking back to all the friends, academic achievements and fun I had I decided I wanted to stay in Benowa State High School until I finish year 12.

Ivan Bueno Causo

(Student from Brazil)

Thomas Boucajay, France

Benowa State High School is close to the beach, we can go for surf in the morning before school and after. The Gold Coast is a good place, always sunny and warm, lot of good beaches, the Indy300 in October. At Benowa State High School we have good equipment for photography and performing arts, friends are easy to make, and there are a lot of international students from different countries.

Thomas Boucajay

Praphakorn LIMMANEE, Thailand

At Beno

wa I went to a very fun dance party in year 10 and a few sports events that show the spirit of the students in our school. These fun events happen every year. There are also multicultural days, swimming carnivals, and not to forget what Benowa State High School is famous for is our school production at the Art Centre. Overall I think Benowa is a great school, it’s educational and fun at the same time.

Praphakorn LIMMANEE

(Student from Thailand)

The Department of Education trading as Education Queensland International (EQI) CRICOS Provider Code: 00608A
Last reviewed 14 May 2019
Last updated 14 May 2019