EF Stories: Gaia from Italy at EF Perth
Gaia shares her experience with EF's language course in Perth, which enabled her to obtain an international language certification.
Hi Gaia! Tell us about your experience with EF.
Hello, everyone! I'm Gaia, and I'd like to talk about my EF language course in Perth, Western Australia. I embarked on this journey in July 2019 and returned to Italy at the end of September. I was 17 years old at the time, between my third and fourth years of high school. Throughout the course, I always felt supported and assisted by the EF team. I had been dreaming of an overseas experience for years, and I truly believe it played a significant role in my personal growth.
Before departure, I naively believed it would be a breeze – that I wouldn't miss home too much and that I'd instantly feel at ease. In reality, it was quite the opposite. Initially, homesickness was heavy, and it was strange to start taking care of everything myself. However, as the course progressed, I found myself improving, experiencing personal growth, and feeling proud of what I had achieved. So, I would advise EVERYONE to participate, if possible, in this type of language course.
What are the three things you loved most about Perth?
I really liked how friendly the Australians were. They were always up for a chat, cracked a few jokes while waiting for the train, and didn't shy away from giving compliments. The city itself was lovely to explore – it was just the right size and had a diverse charm that set it apart from European cities. Perth's beaches were stunning, with long sandy shores along a beautiful blue sea. You could often spot dolphins, surfers, or folks just taking a dip.
The local wildlife was a real treat: kangaroos, though they did give me a bit of a scare, dolphins, unique birds, and the adorable Quokka with its cute smile – I loved them all. It's hard to pick just three things because, honestly, I loved everything.
How has this trip impacted you?
It helped me grow as a person by making me learn to provide for myself. It made me learn to be alone and appreciate it. It helped me become more social and get out of my comfort zone. It has helped me in so many things.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of travelling with EF?
For those who are undecided, I strongly recommend not hesitating and going for it, as it's an experience that truly enhances your life. To those who are about to depart, I suggest thoroughly researching the city you'll be moving to, getting a sense of what your daily routine might entail.
On the practical side, I'd advise planning your packing well in advance – unlike my last-minute approach. Lastly, try not to set rigid expectations for your experience; instead, embark on this journey with a genuine eagerness to explore, connect, and enjoy every moment. Take the leap, leave any doubts behind, and be prepared to embrace this exciting new chapter in your life.
Have you acquired skills that will be useful in the future?
Undoubtedly, my English skills have improved significantly during this experience, and it has also taught me how to cultivate various types of relationships, a crucial skill for the professional world.
What is your next EF destination going to be?
Sydney or Honolulu!