October 13, 2023

Louise : 2 months in Perth

“I arrived in Perth one month ago”: Louise.

I am Louise, an intern at TrueBlueStudies. At 18, I fulfilled my dream of coming to Australia. It’s been over a month since I set foot in kangaroo territory, and I’d like to share my story with you.

It all began on July 3 when Thibaud called me on Instagram and said, ‘Hi Louise, how
are you? If you’re still interested, I invite you to book your plane ticket and join us as soon as possible.’ Wow, I got an internship in Australia! I released all the pressure, shed a few tears, and called my mother. After convincing and reassuring my parents, I started the administrative procedures, announced to my family and friends that I was leaving for 6 months, and that’s how I arrived in Australia on August 20, 2023.

Here I am in the customs queue at Perth airport with my two suitcases after a 24-hour journey, fillig out this yellow form in a language I couldn’t understand: English. So yes, it might seem funny, going to an English-speaking country without speaking English. But I was also there for that, to learn English. I got into a taxi, heading to the ‘Britannia On Williams’ hostel. It’s 2 am, I enter my room all stressed, afraid of waking up the other girls, and I go down to the courtyard to realize what’s happening. I meet two Belgians playing pool, and other French people arrive, well-dressed, coming from a nightclub. They immediately included  me, made me comfortable, we laughed all night, and I knew at that moment that it was going to be amazing.

So, after that first night, after a first day of completing all my paperwork—mobile plans, TFN, superannuation, opening a bank account, and RSA—a little routine started to set in. Wake up at 8:30 am, shower, coffee, and breakfast in the kitchen, say hello to everyone in the hostel, and walk to the TrueBlueStudies offices in Perth. After my internship days, I had some small habits like going grocery shopping, exploring the city, having a drink with friends, or watching sunsets on the beach. In the evening, people went out, and everyone gathered in the hostel courtyard. Thanks to Thibaud, I found a job as a waitress at a nightclub for the weekend. And that’s how I had an amazing week filled with new encounters and outings.

The following week, I dropped my bags in an apartment I had found from France on Flatmates. I stayed with this Australian for only 4 days, no more, because at 1 am, I was kicked out of the apartment and found myself on the street. The story is long; I invite you to listen to it on our TikTok account if you’re interested. I spent the next two days at a friend’s place while waiting to find a place in another hostel. Honestly, I didn’t believe it—being able to find a place on a long-term basis two days in advance. But luckily, at the Billabong Resort Backpackers, I found a spot in the dorm.

New stress, arriving at a hostel I don’t know with people I don’t know, being the youngest again, having to start creating bonds with new people, being in a mixed 6-bed dorm and being the only girl. Fearing taking too much time in the bathroom because they were in the rooms, fearing going to the kitchen because everyone was there at the same time, talking loudly and laughing. And then, finally, you ask someone for information, that person becomes your best friend, introduces you to other backpackers, and the same pattern repeats—I created bonds, and I was no longer afraid of anything.

I resumed my routine, saying hello to my friends every morning who went to work, going to my internship, meeting them in the evening, relaxing by the pool, cooking together, and going out. Going to the beach on the weekends and then working in the evening at the Hip-e Club. I stayed in this hostel for 3 weeks, and then I finally made a connection at the Mustang Bar that allowed me to move into an apartment with three people of Brazilian origin. Cheaper than hostels and more comfortable, of course. I’m still in this apartment, I like it, and one of the big advantages is the improvement of my English level. (Indeed, hostels didn’t allow me to improve because there were too many French people.)

However, locking yourself in an apartment for a shy person is also more difficult to meet people, make friends, and it also means having fewer job opportunities and feeling a bit more alone.

Today is October 9, 2023; time passes so quickly. I can hardly believe that I’ve been here for almost two months. I’ve achieved all my goals, found a job in addition to my internship, found permanent accommodation, and learned English day by day. I’ve proven to my family and friends that I could do it, overcome my shyness in hostels, overcome my fear of making mistakes in English when I speak. Now I have one goal left: to convince you to come to Australia too.