Participate in one of Deakin's "in-country language programs" which provide a total immersion experience.
You will have the opportunity to spend between six and eight weeks studying your chosen language and culture in its own environment while gaining academic credit for your participation.
The best memory I have from the trip was something that I had read about in my Lonely Planet, but certainly something which I didn't think would happen to me. At the end of my Christmas break …. I was in a service taxi from Amman having travelled all day. Honestly, it was awesome to be able to say one day I was in Egypt, the next Jordan, and then Syria.
Our taxi driver told us he lived in Dar'aa, just across the border and that he would be leaving us as his brother-in-law would take us the rest of the way to Damascus. He told us he had a young family and asked if we would like to meet them … only supposed to be one quick cup, meet the family then hit the road again… but it turned into two and a half hours of chatting, tea, and most surprisingly dinner. The joy we brought to the house when we gave the children presents was immediately noticeable, and something that I won't ever forget.
After improving my Chinese tremendously through the in-country program, I now feel that I can achieve anything. To go from a very basic understanding to being able to have full conversations in another language in six weeks is a very rewarding experience.
All the students on the course were great and I'm sure the friendships that were made will last forever. We met many people from all around the world as there are many overseas students studying at the university. I now have a deep-seated love of the Chinese people and their culture.
Imagine walking down a street made from assorted bricks and pavers, the tree roots have created a dozen levels in the path, planks of wood are used to cross small streams and there are little shops and stalls selling things from large onion-shaped vegetables to mobile phones everywhere. Then imagine many curious people calling out 'Hello missus' or 'Hello mister' or 'Where do you come from?' and taking pictures with you as if you have suddenly acquired celebrity status. The temperature is thirty degrees with 60% humidity, road rules do not exist, KFC sells rice as its main food and chilli is in absolutely everything. Welcome to Indonesia!