(Melody) work as a merchandiser with a company who manufacture toys and import to many countries. I was looking after the account of a big retailer in Australia and they asked me if I would like to work in their offices in Australia for 6 months to get experience of how they work. This was how I found out about the working holiday visa for Australia. I was very excited but wasn’t sure I wanted to go alone so I asked Lawrence to come with me.
My office here is a lot quieter than in Australia. There was a lot of activity in the office I was working in and always something happening. It took a while for me to get used to it. The hours were much better in Australia we generally worked from 9am until 5pm whereas we work much later here (in Hong Kong) – until 7 or 8pm most days.
I thought the Australian people were really friendly everywhere you go – even in the shops and restaurants. There are also lots of different nationalities living in the cities. I was really worried that I would stand out but there were lots of Chinese in Sydney and it was easy to make friends. We made friends with two girls from Hong Kong who came with us to Brisbane after I finished work.
We stayed in Australia for almost 7 months. I worked for 6 months and when I finished we went travelling for 3 weeks. It would have been good to stay longer but I needed to go back to my job in Hong Kong.
We lived in Sydney for 6 months while I was working. The company I worked with took me to visit their stores in Melbourne and Adelaide and I got to see a few of the smaller towns in New South Wales also. When I finished working we travelled to Brisbane and to see the Great Barrier Reef
It was a great opportunity for me to work with my customer and see how their business works in Australia. This experience will help me to work with them better. It was good to work in the same office as the people I am dealing with every day from Hong Kong. Lawrence didn’t speak much English before we went to Australia. Working in a bar in central Sydney gave him lots of practice and now he has a better job in Hong Kong where he uses his English every day.
I would tell them what a great opportunity it is. Australia is a great place. I would tell them not to worry about not making friends, it is so easy to meet people when you are here. If you are worried you can find people on the Next Step Australia job portal who are also planning their working holidays in Australia. Lawrence found the site when he was deciding whether to come with me to Australia and he found lots of information about how the working holiday visa works and how to plan a working holiday. We also used the site to find our flat in Sydney.
Mostly I would tell people to try to see as much of Australia as you can while you are here as each city is so different.› Read Next Story