Melbourne Beginnings: Yufei Wang

Presented in partnership with Study Melbourne, this annual storytelling competition is open to all international students living and studying in Victoria. This year, entrants were invited to write or create a visual work that shares their Melbourne story.

Winners will be announced at a virtual award presentation ceremony on Thu 21 Oct. Book your place here.

High School Shortlist

Melbourne Beginnings by Yufei Wang

My parents and I have always wanted to visit Melbourne because it has been voted one of the most liveable cities in the world for many times. We finally made our trip to Melbourne in 2016 and that was my first trip overseas. When I first set foot in Melbourne, I found myself surrounded by people with blondes and blue eyes. I was afraid of coming to a strange place at first, but these foreign people in Melbourne were friendly and made me feel warmly welcomed.

This is how my story began. After our trip to Melbourne, my parents decided to send me to study in Melbourne and enrolled me at Ashwood High School. However, due to Covid-19, I was not able to arrive in Melbourne for my study. Thanks to my Principal Mr Moore, who kindly decided to offer online learning to students overseas, I was able to undertake online classes from China since Term 1 2021.

At the beginning of my online classes, I was dispirited because I couldn’t see my teachers and classmates. They were close to me on the computer screen, but they were also far away from me because they were on another continent. But all my teachers were very kind and helpful to me, it warmed my heart and I did not feel upset anymore. We have Ms Li, a Chinese speaking teacher to support our online classes; Miss Li goes to our classroom and sets up the computer with webcam in front of the teacher’s desk; Ms Li also gets students in Melbourne to greet us or discuss questions through the camera. If we have questions with our homework, we can always ask Ms Li for help. I am proud that I am doing very well at Ashwood High School and I received the Principal’s Award in Academic Endeavour in August this year.

We also have wonderful support from our International Student Manager, Ms Williams. Ms Williams has cared for me since I was in the language school. Ms. Williams always encourages me to get involved in school activities and I have gained a lot of confidence from my participation. Ms Williams also organizes after-school activities for us to practise our oral English. Recently Ms Williams convinced our parents to accompany my fellow classmates from China to meet in real life during Term 3 break by organising a visit to the Study Melbourne Hub in Shanghai. I was very touched and I am now looking forward to meeting my online classmates from Melbourne soon.

Although I am not yet in Melbourne, the help provided by Ashwood High school gives me a great sense of belonging. I look forward to travelling to Melbourne for Year 11 study so I could thank my principal and my teachers face to face for their support and help.