Finding a new community in Tasmania
Born in Jilin City, China, Hexin Tian moved to Tasmania for his secondary schooling. He was drawn to Tasmania by the beautiful natural environment and the welcoming people, and found it a great place to practise his English. Learning a new language was a struggle for Hexin at first, but as he began to open up and meet new people, the experience became a lot more exciting.
A new community
Finding your community is so important when moving to a new place. For international students moving to Tasmania, Government Education and Training International (GETI) can be a really great resource to help connect you with like-minded people.
GETI specialises in connecting international students with flexible education, skills and qualifications from local government education providers. It includes Years 1–12 in Tasmanian Government schools as well as Vocational Education and Training (VET) at TasTAFE. GETI can also help to provide study pathways with credit towards university degrees.
“My best experience in Tasmania was participating in the summer program that was organised by GETI. It was a wonderful program. We visited lots of famous tourist sites, tried lots of Aussie foods and learnt some Tassie history. The experience of this program will always stay in my memory,” says Hexin.
School in Australia
One of the things Hexin liked best about spending his teenage years in Tasmania was the Australian school schedule. Unlike some places in the world where school can run from the early hours of the morning until dinnertime, schooling in Australia usually finishes up in the midafternoon. This meant that Hexin had plenty of free time to get to know his new home and make connections.
“I usually went to karaoke or played some sports with my friends during the weekends or after school. For the holidays, I would always take a short trip with my host family to somewhere else in Tasmania,” he says.
As far as schooling goes, Hexin’s main passion has always been mathematics.
“For me, it is a good feeling to try to figure out maths questions. Maths is amazing when you know some of the theories behind it,” he says.
Hexin’s education journey
Hexin found college (Years 11 and 12 in Tasmania) to be even more enjoyable than high school. By then, his English had improved and he was familiar with Hobart, meaning he was able to participate in many more activities with his peers.
College can be more academically stressful than high school, but Hexin liked being challenged.
“I have always liked this feeling. It leads me forward,” he says.
Upon finishing college, Hexin reached his dream Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and received an offer for university. He is now working towards completing a bachelor of Actuarial Studies.
“I chose this degree due to my interest in maths,” he says. “An actuary’s job is mostly about maths.”
Hexin says that his study at college in Tasmania helped to prepare him for the workload that comes with university study.
“The college life of studying is a good foundation for university,” he says. “I had to work hard to get a good enough ATAR for my dream course. It is very, very busy now – I have to study every day to keep up with the course – but it’s going well, I think.”
Once Hexin completes his bachelor degree, he will go on to do a Master’s, and can then become an actuary.
Advice for international students
“Tasmania is a wonderful place for studying,” says Hexin. “It has a great environment and lovely people. If you find difficulties that you can’t overcome, talk to someone, whether it’s your host family, your teacher or GETI. They will definitely help you. It is important to speak out.”
Hexin attributes a lot of the happiness he found in Tasmania to having a vibrant social life alongside his study.
“You can make lots of friends, as long as you go out,” he says. “Don’t just stay at home every day.”