Religion is always an interesting subject. Meet Adelene Ooi, who can speak 4 languages – English, Mandarin, Malay, and Hokkien (dialect), and find out what made her keen to learn the Bible and become a Christian.
Hello, I am Adelene Ooi. I am from Penang Malaysia which has good food and great tourist attractions. I came to Adelaide, Australia in July 2015. At that time, I had just finished by high school and started a course of Accounting at TAFE SA. I chose Adelaide instead of Sydney or other busy cities because I like country atmosphere and I feel safe living here. It is so peaceful, quiet and I get to be surrounded by nature.
I would say that I did not find it so difficult to live in Australia without family because coming to Australia for my future studies is my dream. Language is not a challenge for me; however I will still need to keep improving daily by communicating with friends, reading, and more.
How did studying overseas change you?
I feel much more confident about my communication skills. I am more independent and cooking better. Overall, I am still trying to improve myself everyday.
During high school back in Malaysia, I played many sports competitively such as volleyball, running marathons and jogging. After relocating to South Australia, it eventually suited me a lot and felt just like my second home. Whenever I felt tired of studying, I go hiking, cycling, enjoy sunsets by the beach and more to energize myself.
Australia is a beautiful country and the local council also does a great job at maintaining the national parks for visitors to stay safe.
If you are in Adelaide, I would recommend the top of Mouth Lofty in Adelaide Hills. You will get to see the stunning Adelaide landscape at the top look out and the sunset/sunrise. While you are there it is also great to go hiking and explore nature around you. If you are really lucky, you can meet joeys, see koalas hugging trees and different types of birds.
How did you manage your time and improve your personal skills?
I do not have any part-time job, so I am not struggling with time management. On weekdays, I go to class and do all the homework, and I have the weekend free to relax and do what I love to.
Local people living in Adelaide are really kind and friendly. I try to involve myself in English conversations everyday to improve my English skills.
What did you find interesting and inspiring about your major – Accounting?
“I do enjoy it! If not, I really am having hard time doing it….”
Never regret starting from TAFE because the classes are small and more of the course work is focused on practical skills. Since the class is small, teacher and students have time and chances to know each other. There will be a lot of homework, but the lectures give us support. So just make sure that you are hard-working, and you will eventually get on the right track. For me, I love the subjects I am doing.
“I will finish my course in TAFE for 2 years and then credit transfer to university.”
What do you do to reduce stress or enjoy studying?
In my free time, I go to church on Sundays to catch up with friends and chat about life. I also like to go hiking for short distances such as coastal walks along the beach by myself.
I volunteer to coach basketball and other sports to special education high school kids. It requires me to have a lot of patience and compassion. In return I do learn many things like team work, problem solving, initiative and enterprise, planning and organizing, learning, using technology and self-management.
How did you become a Christian?
Everyone has awesome history to begin with, that’s why you have your awesome today! My introduction to church was a little bit random. I met a girl at the beach some time in April and after a great chat she invited me to go to church for Bible studies. She thought I wouldn’t turn up, but I eventually did.
After that, I went to the church more frequently and begin to read the Bible. To know what the gospel is about, you also need to dedicate yourself to reading, investigating and asking questions. For me, just listening to the preachers wasn’t confronting enough.
From just a random encounter at the start, in the end it was far from random. I just decided to make the first step and see where the surprising (but trustworthy) invitation led me. Now I believe that becoming a Christian was not my duty, but my destiny. We are not born perfect, we all need each other to play our part to reach out to people who need help.
- If you could give an advice for international students what would it be?
Stand up for yourself, don’t be afraid for everything. Don’t be scared of anything. And work hard!
- What would you say to inspire international students to get better in the future?
Join some clubs. You can go to the church to meet new people. Show yourself, and be cool for volunteering to see the world.