“Sometimes it’s hard to survive alone in a new environment.
But if you have a person to rely on, you two can keep the balance and survive.”
– Jasmine Yu
Good company makes good lives. Last year, Yue Yu (Jasmine) came to Australia with her flatmate to whom she was introduced by an agency. For this shy girl, she felt glad herself to have an awesome mate who is the same age as her and a more than competent cook.Without any relatives, Jasmine and her newly introduced friend took a long flight from Dalian, North China to Sydney in July, 2014. Jasmine decided to do a 4-year Bachelor of Social Work in University of Sydney. Despite knowing that this major is not chosen by many international students, Jasmine is passionate about social work. Not only was she inspired by her parents’ jobs in the community, but their encouragement to do what she loved gave her confidence more than anything.
Luck usually comes unexpectedly, doesn’t it?
Back in China, it is often said how challenging and competitive the national entrance exam is. Students study day and night to pass this exam and get a chance to enter a top university. As in Asian countries, studying in a university is very important and it is the only way to get a job or be successful. In short, without attending a university, you have no future. Although Jasmine failed to pass the exam for Beijing university, which is one of the best in China, her parents still gave her a chance to keep on studying in another country.
This is also because Jasmine already has a strong English foundation since she was 6 years old. Australia is a popular choice because it is easy to travel to and most of the universities in Australia accept the results from China.
“In China, people only joke when you’re very close.” – Jasmine Yu.
Yes, this is called ‘culture shock’ – the period of time where you may struggle between Eastern and Western culture.
Jasmine was used to Asian culture, which focuses on the community and the collective. In high school, she was in a boarding school where it was compulsory to live in a campus with many friends.
“Back in high school, you go everywhere with a bunch of friends.” Jasmine laughed out loud while saying this and we know that it is true in most Asian countries.
“(In Sydney) everyone is living in different places. And you know that it is hard to meet them after class” – Jasmine said.
In the beginning, she sometimes felt unaccepted and left out within a group of friends because she was not used to inside jokes. That feeling has almost faded away after Jasmine joined more society events, met more people and got encouragement from them. Her friends also told her that she does not have to be the same as other people to be sociable.
So, talk about culture, because “when you talk about the different culture, you’re different”, as Jasmine’s suggests from the way she did.
Social Work is a job of joy!
In a developed country, social work is totally different. That means the subjects about it will also be more practical in acknowledging sociology, NGOs, Public Welfare or Child Protection and professing the way you help a community.
The chances to practice are also more varied. In July 2015, Jasmine had her very first volunteer work abroad in Nepal for a month during the winter break. It was with an international charity – ‘Take on Nepal’ – created by Friends of Himalaya, a small, start-up company located in Cairns and whose founder and staff are all Nepalese. As her physical health did not allow her to help with the reconstruction, Jasmine took on the opportunity to teach English with the help of a Nepalese guideline. With The Friends of Himalaya, Jasmine was able to go on adventures and made it the most fantastic time of the year for her.
“In terms of career, I like to work in an organization like this. What they do is very meaningful and as it is not a very big organisation, everyone has one goal.” – Jasmine said.
Talking about people who do activities in helping people suffering Ebola, AIDS and so on, Jasmine showed her respect to them: “I don’t think I can do it. I highly admired them. They are the most respectful people in the world!”
Do what you love or don’t do it at all!
“I kinda really know who I am by now. Studying in Australia made me more independent. I make my own decision, with people manipulating me”, said Jasmine. That was what Jasmine wanted and she got it.
As an international student in Australia, everyone takes the chance to earn money by a part-time job. Jasmine luckily got a job at a Chinese traveling agency, booking flight tickets for customers and planning trips based on their needs. “I thought it will be cool but then think it’s boring. I hate talking to people who do not want to spend a lot of money but always asking for the luxury ones”, Jasmine said.
After that, Jasmine asked to change her responsibility in the office to do advertising on We Chat. She started posting blogs and Ads about the agency but in personal writings because she thought the followers would love to read those. However, the managers asked her to follow a technical formula which made her unhappy. And then she quit.
So, at that time, she began looking for another part-time job. She went to an employment website but ended up with volunteer position in VOIS Magazine on March 2015. She uses We Chat as a platform to bring Vois Magazine to the Chinese international student community in Australia. Jasmine’s work is to interview people who love to cook and have a positive life, use their recipes and pictures of what they cook to write articles about them. And Jasmine loves what she is doing at the moment.
“There’s no point focusing too much on studying.
Look further in social life. It’s a waste if you don’t!”
– Jasmine Yu
Last modified: November 27, 2015