Hi everyone my name is Giulio,
Since I was young I always wanted to come to Australia and be a marine biologist. I do not really know why Australia and why not some other tropical state, but I think because of the singularities that only Australia possesses. The presence of so many birds, marsupials, snakes and spiders and therefore the way in which people in Australia see the nature and take care about it.In order to achieve this goal I studied biological science at the University of Bologna, Italy, and at about the start of the third and last year I started looking for universities in Australia. Why I choose the James Cook University (JCU)… I suppose because of the professors that I now have the great honour to know inasmuch as are The Professors in the fields of marine ecology that I like most.
It wasn’t easy to understand how an Australian university works, the structure, the fees… I was quite lost. In order to understand all the office work, application and so on I’ve been at the embassy in Milan where to be honest I’ve not learnt anything. Then I look for European ambassadors for the JCU, and I virtually met Aude Pélamourgues. I’ve been helped in everything, i.e. they explained to me how the JCU is structured, what was necessary, how to obtain it and all this stuff. I’ve to admit that I wasn’t an easy case, I never studied English and just talking via email I suppose has not been an easy task, but even that they have always been able to help me.
In January 2013, whit an endless luck, I reached Australia. Is not how people say, is not like is shown in documentaries and they do not speak English. I’d like to underline that my English was horrible but I was good to understand American movies… but I was not in the US. Once here I started looking for 2 things, a Job and an Accommodation. Is not easy, or at least I’ve not been lucky, but without a job they do not like to rent. Anyway, eventually I found a place and surprisingly two wonderful people that are now among my best “MATES”. I also found a Job, wonderful people as well, but they invested too much in me and I finished to work way too many hours, but at least I had to learn English as soon as I was able to.
The first semester at the JCU was a nightmare, I don’t want to scary anyone but is important to keep in mind that at the JCU everything is a big deal, only the top 15% of the class can obtain the highest mark, with my English I’ve been lucky to obtain modest marks. They want people, in particular Master students, to be able to write in the best scientific way and quickly(once I had to write about 7500 words in a week for 3 different subject), again my English was terrible. But eventually I learnt how to write, how to explain my ideas and during the second semester I achieved the highest marks for all subjects and become eligible for the minor project (the research component to get the PhD). In a couple of weeks from now I will have to do my own project in Papua New Guinea supervised by one of my all times hero.
Is a really various environment, so many nationalities, so many backgrounds and I learnt a lot just having a chat with them. Concerning outside the university, I came here to study and, because I wasn’t able to pay, I had to work when I wasn’t at Uni. Therefore I cannot really tell how Australia could be if you have the time to travel, the time… is not like in Europe, in Townsville there is not so much to do and to see beautiful places you have to drive for a couple of hours… but it is worthy… I surfed with dolphins, I ate the biggest burger of the Central coast and went to concerts that I will not forget.
I do not really like to write a conclusion, because I do not think this adventure will finish here, I actually think it has just started. But I’d like to give you a couple of take home message. First of all, do not stop believe in yourselves, if you really want something, nothing is impossible. Second, do not trust in what people say, and try always on your skin, i.e. if you are expecting to see the GBR as the BBC shows the GBR, you are far from the truth. I’m from Italy, and yes, here there are more job positions but this doesn’t mean that they will be after you. want, what you really want, and, because nowhere will be an easy journey, do what is need to achieve it. Indeed all what I have is because people like Aude have been so kind to help me, therefore do not be scared to ask for help or ask information. I will never thank them enough.