Year 11, Germany
I stand in front of plenty of pictures I took during my life here and my life in Germany. Since I am here, I had lots of great experience with my Australian and international friends. Be it in school or out of school. Both lives are different, but also have similarities. While we have -5 degrees in Germany right now, here I’m freezing in 18 degrees in the morning. My schools in Germany are different, but I learned a lot for my character and my intercultural understanding.
Now I want to tell you a story about my first day at school.
Someone forget to tell me that I had to go to school, so I was lying in my bed, watching Netflix and immediately had to hurry to school. I arrived here completely over-strained but despite my expectations, everyone treated me as I would be one of them right away. No one looked at me weird for being German. Every time I needed help because of my language, I received help. I never felt alone, because my friends helped me without knowing me properly and without knowing my situation as an exchange student. My homesickness during the first weeks, turned out to be less and less a problem because I totally felt welcome here.
I’ve been here for 55 days, and I am still trying to learn the Australian lifestyle. I’m impressed by how even street artists can talk to random people and get friendly responses. The amount of acceptation in this country is great. Asians, Africans, Americans, Europeans, and Australians live hand in hand together and accept each other.
Thank you for making me an equal part of this school! Thank you for making me feel welcome! Thank you for your intercultural acceptance! Thank you for not judging anyone because of their religion! Thank you for listening to me!
Year 11, Vietnam
(A Harmony Day speech was spoken by Phoebe for her school assembly)
Good day everyone,
Today’s assembly is for Harmony Day, a day which celebrates diversity. But I’m not here to talk about what this day truly is or to tell any stories, I’m here for appreciating. I’m appreciating Australia in general for having an open community of accepting and having us – people from overseas, to live and receive the same service and education. My relatives and friends, who are living in other countries, sometimes cannot enjoy a good time as they experience racism. They suffer the hardship of being discriminated against by the community as their culture did not match. I’m appreciating Australian Science and Mathematics School in particular for having such a multicultural environment so that there is friendship between the international and the native students. Other schools, or specifically the school I first entered in Australia, had a very strong international program which was extremely helpful for international students to adapt as they provided a private lounge for us. It was a good thing, definitely a good thing because we could make friends with other international students, including friends who had the same ethnic backgrounds. I had such a wonderful time there. However, when I moved to the ASMS, I encountered a big shock of a language barrier since this school is full of Aussies and I was used to listening to an international style instead of the local accent. Then, after spending 7 weeks here, I realized that I do not need an international private place anymore because I can mostly be friends with any type of person. Personally, I found it easy to gain friends from various nationalities as everyone is just so friendly to talk to. I even forget how introverted I was in the last few months. I now have many friends at this school, anywhere I go, I can always spot someone I know to say hello or even ask for help.
Can you imagine a reserved girl who nearly burst into tears just with answering a question in class is now standing in front of a whole big crowd sharing herself? That’s all thanks to you guys. My friends here have been giving me a hand to get out of my own world. Thank you for being my friends. Thank you for making me forget the shyness of being different. My dear friends, thank you for everything.
Year 10, Italy
Studying abroad has been always my deep dream since I was younger and I thought about Australia like the most amazing place to live this fantastic experience because of all its awesome places.
On the 20th of July 2016 I caught a plane to Adelaide without knowing what I was going to. In Adelaide, I attended the Australian Science and Mathematics School. Choosing this school has been very easy: I love maths and science. But I did not think that this school would be so cool and exciting. Here I spent my best times. Here I had the chance of studying interesting and amazing topics through fantastic experiments explained by amazing and sympathetic teachers. They helped me every time I got in trouble in understanding some works and they were always happy to answer my questions.
Thanks to this school, I had the chance to study more about my deep dream: becoming a doctor. Indeed, during the ISF (International Science Fair) week, in the Anatomy group, I could study more about the body science and I had the opportunity of dissecting some animal organs like heart, eyes and kidney. That was so exciting!
Also, the free time here has been spent so well in the ASMS. In fact, this school has very cool 3D printers that I could use to make fantastic 3D models. Nothing compares!
Finally, I can just assert that this is the most beautiful school I ever attended.
At the end of my stay, I am really sad to leave the ASMS, Adelaide and my Australian lifestyle.
I hope that other science passionate students from all over the world could join this awesome school and develop their dreams! Thank you everyone for making my experience so great!
Year 10, 2016 – 2017, Germany
I chose to study abroad because I wanted to meet new people and get to know another country and its people. Furthermore, I wanted to improve my English. I was able to choose my school and I really wanted to go to the ASMS- the Australian Science and Mathematics School. I am into science so this seemed to be the perfect place for me to be. Due to that, I convinced my parents to send me here, to Adelaide, Australia. My expectations were exceeded.
In my first term at the ASMS is the subjects Earth and Cosmos, Truth and Perception, Student Inquiry Project, Maths and Abstract Thinking. I enjoyed Earth and Cosmos the most! The teachers are extremely kind and they explain very well. I love how the lessons at the ASMS are hand- on and we are doing so much experiments and projects. It is completely different from my school in Germany.
Even though I have only been here for a few weeks I learned a lot! The most interesting thing for me was that I learned how to 3D- model objects and how to use a 3D-printer. Furthermore, I really enjoyed using the flight simulator.
All in all this term has been great and I look forward to the next semester!
Year 10, Germany
My expectations about my semester in Australia was to improve my English as well as expanding my basic knowledge. The main reasons, to choose Australia, was the impressive landscapes, the history of the culture, the enthusiasm of some friends who went to Australia before and as well to strengthen my self-confidence. I’ve chosen the “Australian Science and Mathematics school” mainly because of the possibility to choose aviation, but as well they used technology to learn more about the backgrounds of scientific expressions.
From my first day to the last it was a great experience. My host family was the best I could have thought about. The first school day was a great experience because the students integrate me straight in their lessons. My favourite subject in school was the “Student Inquiry Project”. I have enjoyed the unusual school system with the option of self-directed learning, which means that you can choose a lot more about what you are going to do. The best thing I’ve done in the whole semester was the adventure space aviation, one of the most unusual subjects I’ve ever had in school. The semester was one of the best things I’ve done in my whole life. It was going without any bigger problems.
All in all, it was an interesting semester with some little troubles to solve. It was a lot better than I had expected.
Ngoc Minh Nhat
Year 10, 2016, Vietnam
It has been more than a year since I first came to Australia and about exactly one year of me coming to ASMS.
Lots of things have happened over the course of one year for me, mostly good things. I made lots and lots of friends that share the same interest with me and I also gain knowledge that I don’t know about through different, unique methods. That is probably also the reason why I chose ASMS in the first place.
ASMS is a unique school here in South Australia. What makes it special is the method that teachers use to help students gain knowledge. Instead of making students learn from textbooks like the majority of high school do, ASMS tends to approach in a real life situation where that knowledge might come in handy and use that to teach students That is what I like about this school because students will understand it rather than knowing it and I also hope that it will continue on like this in the future.
The teachers and students here are also very friendly and helpful which is what I really like. There aren’t really many things that I don’t like about the school apart from the special PE in learning study this year. I believe that I have made the right decision to study at this school.
In general, I hope that this school would continue on the path that it has unfolded and keep staying unique like it is and as long as it stays the same like this, I hope that I could learn more things.
Year 10, Germany
I wanted to study abroad because I wanted to meet new friends and learn to live in a new environment in a new culture. I also wanted to improve my ability to speak English and open new ways of thinking. The choice of going to Australia and not to another English speaking country was made by the choice of my school. The ASMS immediately sounded like the perfect school for me, as I am very interested in science and new ways to experience that.
I first thought the school would offer a variety of different classes to choose from. In the end, it turned out that the courses were set, but interdisciplinary enough to be entirely different from school as I knew it. My stay at ASMS gave me new ways of looking at old concepts and information.
The Australian curriculum is a bit slower, so most of the topics were already discussed at least a bit in school at home. The subjects at ASMS gave me new ways of looking at them and helped my in-depth understanding of the scientific concepts though. The teachers are really into their subjects, which helps to transfer enthusiasm to their students.
The focus on self-directed learning helped my independence even further than the general stay abroad itself. I had to solve problems and analyse data on my own. This did not mean that the teachers did not help and explain when there were problems. That fact gave me a new opinion on self-directed learning because my thought of it before was it being harder and less effective.
Year 11 – 12, Germany
A year without your family, friends, people you like, your normal home and everyday life. It’s about “Choosing your own Adventure” and I’m definitely no writing that, because this is the slogan of the awesome school I went to: The ASMS. The Australian Science and Mathematics School. OK: If you are not interested in Science at all. Do not keep on reading, because as the name seems to be teasing it, everything is about Science (and Mathematics.) Everything! Really: Everything! You love Science? Great: Stay with me.
Well, but there is one problem: Even if you love Science ASMS can be paradise and hell at the same time. Just think about one thing: You need to do stuff. Innovate. Design things. Improve it. Do whatever you want to. If you are OK with that, ASMS may be like paradise. If not: Good on you! Don’t come to this school. Otherwise, you might get motivated to enough to participate in projects extra to your school time. (Yeah I know it’s a miracle, but I heard, that such a thing like motivation exists.)
Of course, it’s not only about school and work and stuff like that. As on probably every other school you may be able to have fun, find friends, participate in activities or do whatever you want to do. (Choose your own adventure!) This relies a bit on you, but it helps when you are interested in Science as well. 😉 Besides school and having a “social life” I participated in a tour to Kangaroo Island and went to Flinders Ranges as part of the School Camp. You should definitely book some of the tours to experience the whole beauty of this incredible country.
But let us be serious again: There are so many things, which I probably can’t tell you all about because otherwise this text hasn’t been published because I’m still writing it and it’s just too much. The best way to understand what I’m talking about is doing my own exchange year. It does not necessarily need to be at the ASMS, but hey, if you love Science THIS is your school. Otherwise, it’s probably not.
Year 10, Germany
When I came to Australia my host family was really nice and welcomed me. The first days were different but really nice. I was tired but my family tried to keep awake so that I’m fast accustomed to the time here in Australia.
The first day at school was nice and again all the people were kind and nice to me. The first weeks were good and the school was easier than I thought. The tasks and assignments were not too hard and the homework I had to do was not too much. I really enjoyed the adventure space aviation and I can recommend it. I learned a lot about aviation and made that I want to get my own pilot license.
The whole time my family was nice and went to different places with me. The first month I had two host brothers from Japan and it was nice to hear about their culture. The rest of the time in Australia I had no host brothers what was sometimes boring but all over not to bad. The best thing I did while I was in Australia was the trip in the outback for Biodiversity because nature is singularly and something special.
I like the concept of the school because it’s different from the one I know from my school and it is nice to manage everything by myself. Also that you have only three subjects which cover all subject is good so it’s easier to concentrate on the things you have to do. For every person who is too shy, scared or not sure about going to Australia just do it! It will be the best time of your life and you will like it.
Year 10 – 11, Switzerland
The ASMS was, in my opinion, the best school I’ve ever been to. I’ve learned more in one year there than I would have in two years in most other schools. Not necessarily school related knowledge, but mostly new ways to live and to see the world around me. I would suggest this experience to anybody that is very open-minded, and ready to something very different.
Thanks for everything and I hope to come back one day.
Year 10, Germany
Kathrin is an exchange student from Frankfurt Germany. Before coming to the ASMS she attended ‘Bad Homburg.’
She came to Australia, out of all places, because to her Australia is the most exciting and could provide her with the best experiences. When we asked her what her favourite thing about Australia was, straight away, she said the many friends she has made. The hardest thing to get used to is the roads, “Everyone drives on the wrong side of the road!” she tells us, saying she has nearly been hit a few times due to not looking the right way.
She enjoys the ASMS because it is a self-directed learning environment; however, the hardest thing here has been to re-learn everything she has already learnt. Her most memorable experience was driving up to the Gorge Wildlife Park with her host family, singing loudly, music up loud and the “scenery is amazing!”
Kathrin’s aim in life is to be happy and have freedom. Her hobbies include dancing and listening to music. Kathrin has made many friends here. She might be departing at the end of this term, however when she does leave the ASMS people are sure to miss her!
Year 12, China: South Australia’s top performing international student in 2012
Studying abroad was always my dream when I was a little child because I wanted to experience different cultures in the world. At the age of 16, I was so fortunate to come to South Australia to do my high school with the support of my parents.
When I first came to here, the friendly and passionate IES [International Education Services] teachers and homestay family made me feel like coming home. My homestay family were a very nice and kind couple. They helped me settled down in this beautiful city. To make me get used to life, my homestay “father” tried his best to make Chinese dish for me. I did not feel homesick in this charming city.
My study in Adelaide is also an unforgettable journey. Australian Science and Mathematics School is an outstanding school. The teachers there are patient and professional. They helped me change my mind about learning and life. Study in Australia is completely different from the study in China. I can do what I want to do. For example, I can choose the subjects according to my own hobby. I think this is the most important fact that leads me to high achievement. The creativity is also the thing that teachers encourage us to develop. Creativity is more vital than knowledge in modern society. I think the students in Australia are all-sided developed people.
I love this city-Adelaide. It has an amazing natural environment, and everyone comes to here will be attracted. It also has a multicultural social environment. The mixture of western and eastern culture can make everyone get to love this city. The two years in Adelaide was meaningful for me. Thank you, Adelaide. Thank you, everyone, in Adelaide.
Year 12, Germany
I’m Stephanie and I was born in Germany in 1993. Since the age of five, I have loved to play the piano and to go horse riding. During my school time, my passion for Science and Mathematics had grown steadily. As a result, I participated in some German Maths competitions. Once I’d finished year 10, I really wanted to go abroad.
For some reason, (and I don’t really know why) my biggest wish was to spent a year somewhere in Australia. My parents weren’t particularly happy but after months of arguing and convincing they agreed with one condition: attending the Australian Science and Mathematics School. That is to say, this school would most benefit my further studies. With this in mind, I started researching the school a bit and my organisation gave me a contact who had been attending school the year before I got there.
Actually, what he told me quite confused me: there are no “normal” classes in year 10/11. There would be subjects like “Sustainable Futures” and “Communication Systems”. Due to my English knowledge, I didn’t understand half of what I was told about the school. In the end, I decided just to wait and see how it’s going to be.
What shall I say, undoubtedly, this school was just simply the best thing that could have happened to me. I really loved the way everything was organised there (and I’m assuming it still is that way). For instance, the combination of “normal” subjects to topics during year 10 and 11 was just a great experience. Furthermore, the help I received during my year 12 studies was incredible. (I’ve completed my SACE at the ASMS, I think I forgot to mention this before.) Coping with the workload wasn’t always easy for me, but in the end, there was always a way, thanks to a lot of teachers and friends.
I’m really glad that I was able to attend the ASMS. It has most likely been the best time of my life so far and I wanna thank all of the staff who turned this exchange year into such an awesome experience.
Year 12, Germany
My name is Stefan, I am 17 years old and from Germany. I stayed at the ASMS for the last 12 month probably the most interesting 12 months of my life so far.
When you first come to the school everything is new to you and you try to understand what is going on then you settle in and feel like home and when it is time to leave you to look forward to seeing your friends and family again back home. During my year at the ASMS I had great opportunities to travel around Australia to locations like the Kimberly National, Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon (with “Kimberly Adventure Tours” and “Heading Bush”) strongly recommended). I also travelled to Sydney and the Gold Coast but if you have to make the decision where to travel to as a future International Student of the ASMS I would recommend to travel to the Kimberly first and then to Sydney and the East Coast.
One of the things I enjoyed the most at the ASMS was to represent the school at the “ Singapore International Mathematics Challenge 2010 “ which was one of my greatest experiences I ever had. I can certainly recommend the ASMS to other students who are interested in sciences and would like to work more independently.
Thank you very much for all the opportunities and support.
Year 10 – 12, Korea
My name is Yeekyeong Kwon. I am from Daegu, South Korea. I am 16 years old and I am currently attending Australian Science and Mathematics School in Adelaide.
One thing special about me is my previous schooling. I have been around the world for my study. I studied in Korea for nearly nine years and one and a half years in Oxford, England. This has always been a special and valuable experience for me, which gives me not only special relationships with other international students but also the eyes that I can take a broader perspective on the world.
The reason for coming to Adelaide is that I was strongly attracted to the ASMS by its way of teaching students and leading them. I have been always interested in areas of mathematics and science and I believe the education system that the Australian Science and Mathematics School provides would be good assistance for my future studies and career in science areas. I have also heard a lot about Australia, especially the city of Adelaide, from my aunt who used to live in Adelaide for a few years. It is such a beautiful, quiet and calm city which is very good for living and studying here. It has a beautiful environment and nature, special culture and friendly people. Its landscape is so magnificent that I find myself loving looking around and visiting many places. I also love people here, including my host family who always welcomes me like family. The people I meet here always smile and are delightful to international students and help us a lot.
On the other hand, the hardest thing about living in Australia is the cultural difference. Of course, Australian culture is different from Korean, and I find a big gap when I talk about ‘Aussie’ things with my friends or learn Australian Studies. Another thing might be homesickness. Although it has been a long period that I have been living apart from my family, I still find it hard to be alone. Luckily, I am quite adaptive and I got used to living in Australia very quickly because I knew that homesickness is one thing I have to get over.
The schooling system in Australia is very different from the education I have had previously. First of all, the timetable and subject choices are different. We do many research projects and assignments which are very different from the work I did in Korea, which I believe will be helpful for my studies at university in the future. We also learn to be self-motivated and organised because we have to set your own learning plans and manage our own time efficiently. The most impressive thing is that we have to learn things by ourselves but teachers are always out there to help us. The teachers are very friendly and willing to help the students at any time, and the students feel free to ask and talk to them. This is a more efficient and metacognitive way for me to learn rather than having a teacher talking and teaching students in front of the classroom. I am indeed learning a lot more since I came here. As I am going into a higher year level, I need to be aware of my choices for university courses, and this self-directed learning system in the ASMS is really helpful for planning my future career. The ASMS also provides wide ranges of special subjects. We study many unique and adaptive topics, as well as scientific facts, which is better than just learning equations and formulas. The ASMS also has many special programs for international students such as barbeque meeting and associations with schools in other countries, which provide us interchanges of cultures and studies that we would not be able to experience easily by ourselves.
My dream is to be an architect. I want to build magnificent and beautiful buildings around the world, which will remain in people’s memories for a long time. In order to achieve my dream, I am working hard with my fellow students and teachers to be a person that the world needs.
I strongly recommend for the international students who have talents and enthusiasm in science and mathematics to come to the ASMS and share our various experiences together.
Year 10 – 12, Thailand
This year has already been my third year of studying at the Australian Science and Mathematics School. Adelaide has always been described to me as a beautiful and peaceful city which is one of the reasons why I chose Adelaide as my study destination.
While in Australia, I have enjoyed spending my leisure time in the magnificent nature of the country, experiencing new food, new culture, and new scenes. I am enthralled by the numerous things I have confronted.
Since I have always been interested in science and mathematics, I found studying at the ASMS an excellent experience for my learning. At this school, the learning environment really benefits me as a student because students are encouraged to assist each other. Because of this, I have learned a lot by sharing knowledge with other students as we discussed our work and sharing ideas.
The ASMS schooling system is very different from my previous school as teachers are available for students to communicate with and we have the opportunity to ask any questions. ASMS students are provided with opportunities to participate in leading-edge sciences, mathematics and technologies to enhance their learning. There are no classrooms at the ASMS but instead, there are learning commons and studios which are designed to have no boundaries in learning which create a feeling of freedom.
When students go study abroad, and if they are under 18 (like I am) they will need a homestay who will become a part of their overseas life. My homestay is wonderfully nice to me and because most homestay house other international students, we are able to share the experience of living overseas together.