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Past international students


Monja Koehler, Germany

"My stay at CDSHS was amazing! I enjoyed every single moment of my time here. The teachers were really nice and helped me with my assignments. It was no problem if I had difficulties with my English at some stages - they were patient and explained it again. Not only the teachers, by also the friends I made here, helped me to improve my English and made my stay an unforgettable time.

I lived in a nice, big house with my host parents, two host brothers and a Chinese host sister. After having such a good time with them it is hard for me to leave. I spent a lot of afternoons with my host brothers, and they became like real brothers for me.

My best experience here was travelling around Australia. I tried to make the best out of my time in Australia and to see as much as possible. I went to Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and the Great Ocean Road, I got my dive certificate in Cairns at the Great Barrier Reef and finally got to see Fraser Island. Having an International Coordinator was good, our International Coordinator is lovely and supported me with all my travel plans. My stay at CDSHS was probably one of the best times of my life so far!"

Eva Hansen, Germany

"My stay at CDSHS was really good. The teachers were all friendly, nice and helpful. A huge thank-you to Miss Laing, the International Coordinator, who was there whenever I had a problem or a question. I could go to her every time, even just for a chat. She made my stay at Cleveland High wonderful!

My homestay was just perfect, my family was beautiful. I felt like part of the family from the beginning and never had any problems or stress. They showed me different parts of Australia and taught me a lot about Australian habits and history. This family was a perfect choice!

One of my best experiences was definitely the day at North Stradbroke Island with the International Coordinator and the other International students. We learnt how to surf and did the Gorge Walk which offered us an amazing view of the coast and the beaches. We had so much fun and it was surely a day to remember!"

Lisa Hennemann, Germany

"My stay at CDSHS was one of the best experiences of my life. Teachers and students are really helpful, which helped me especially in the first few weeks to follow lessons and find new friends. I really enjoyed wearing the school uniform - it showed me that I was like all the others. One of my friends came to me before class one day and said, "You are one of us now!" I liked going to school, even if the days were longer than in Germany. I could follow all my hobbies here at school - I played in the Soccer Academy on the Open Girls team, and also played basketball in the interschool team.

CDSHS gave me the chance to meet people from different cultures and countries, other than Australia. I have made friends with people from Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Vietnam and China, while I stayed here. I would like to say 'Thank you!' to our International Coordinator, who was always there for me and had always an open ear to listen to me.

My homestay family made me feel welcome since the moment I arrived. They are lovely and kind and I always had a lot of fun with them. I even started going to karate with them. Ever second weekend was our 'special' weekend when we went down to the Gold Coast or up to the Sunshine Coast. Sometimes we went to Movie World or Wet'n'Wild. I loved baking with my little sister and I think they enjoyed our cookies and coloured cupcakes. We talked about everything, which really helped me to improve my English. My Aussie slang got better and better each day.  I love my Aussie family, they did so much for me and after ten months it is hard to leave something behind that has become such a big part of my life!

I hope I can always keep in touch with my Aussie friends. There are a lot of amazing experience, such as surfing with the International Students on North Stradbroke Island, going to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, going on a two-week holiday in New South Wales with my homestay family, celebrating Chinese New Year, going to Sydney, and a trip to Cairns to see the Great Barrier Reef. I am so glad I got to know all these amazing people and got the chance to live my dream. Thank you to everyone who made my ten months here so special!"

Jenny Feuerholz, Germany

"I am really, really happy at the moment - school is fun, my friends are great and I have finally reached the point where I can be confident with my English!

At the beginning of my journey I was really nervous to go to school here because I wasn't sure with my English. But as soon as school started I got more confident and started to get to know a few people. I found some subjects harder than others but I tried to do my best and I got good results. This kept me really motivated as I wanted to show everyone that school in a different language and country is still possible to do. Now I am really good at school and I feel like this is my second home. The teachers are always really nice and try to help me as much as possible.

My host family are really nice and try to help me all the time. I really started to love them. I'm lucky I have really good friends here. I got really close to some Australian students, and I'm really happy about that. I don't know what the future holds for me but I'm really looking forward to it!"

Marco Baronchelli, Italy

"I have enjoyed my time over here at Cleveland District State High School. I have found the teachers helpful and supportive. I have made many long lasting friendships, and I will make an effort to keep in touch with the people I have met.

I have been really lucky to have found a homestay family like mine. They have always given me help when I need it. I have learnt new recipes to take home and cook for my family. I felt they have treated me like I'm part of this great family! We'll definitely keep in touch.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to become a Kirra Lifesaver. I also enjoyed my time surfing at Straddie and the Gold Coast, and my time over at Moreton Island during Christmas. I could write so many experiences that I had over here - the time was too short, and I wish I could have stayed longer.

I will not forget the experience I had at Cleveland High!"

Simone Zhou, China

My name is Simone. I am an accountant working in the city. I studied at Cleveland State High between 2006 and 2007.

Lucky enough, I could choose my own high school before I came to Australia. To be very honest, I didn't want to stay in a place where many people speak my own language. That is why I didn't go to Sunnybank and study there. If I did, my life will be quite different now. My high school was always very helpful when I needed assistance. I asked if I could have an Aussie homestay to stay with because I needed to improve my English knowledge and skills. My school organised everything for me and I stayed with my beautiful homestay family for 4 years. Yes, I lived there for 4 years. I treated them as my own family, even though I had to move close to my university at Logan, I still keep in touch with them a lot.

My high school life was crucial to my success today. If I didn't develop a solid foundation during that period of time, I would not have my life today. I was a very determined and competitive kid. Always wanted to be the top in the subject and become an accountant in future. I was so lucky that I had a very close relationship with all my teachers, so whenever I had difficulties they were there for me. Without their kindness and help, I wouldn't get an excellent result of OP1. My school had everything I needed - facilities, International students support, ESL class, etc. I didn't have to worry about anything because I had such good supports from both my high school and my homestay family.

I am still on my way to success. So far, so good. I was employed by Pilot Partners Charted Accountant early this year and hopefully will secure a full-time role next year after I finish uni. My uni life is also brilliant. Most importantly for me, I am still a high achieving student. I also balance my life with socialising and making heaps of friends from different countries.

I wish all the best to my fellow International students. You have a beautiful and quiet environment to stay and study. Try your best and your dream will come true one day. Good luck!