Raúl: “I absolutely love being in Australia, my happiness is absolute”
There is a lot to Raúl’s story. Born in Puente Genil, Córdoba, 26 years ago, at 18 he moved to Granada to study a diploma in Teaching PE. Then, he moved to the capital Córdoba to start his degree in educational psychology, where he met a boy from Jaén who loves to travel and who helped Raúl discover how wonderful it is getting to know other cultures. Raúl decided to go to Poland with an Erasmus grant. When he finished his course, he travelled to England and lived there for three years. Last month, he volunteered in Begaa (a small town in southeast Morocco) for 21 days…And that was when he decided he wanted to keep doing what he loves most: travelling.
He has just arrived in Melbourne, with his student visa tucked under his arm. For his first two months, he will study at an English academy with the aim of getting an IELTS certificate, then he will start a diploma in Remedial Massage at the Max Therapy institute for fifteen months. Here is the story of Raúl, the adventurer.
How did you get to that moment of deciding: “Right, I am going to Australia”?
After my stay in Begaa as a volunteer, my heart was calling out for something new, for new experiences. I felt that my time in the UK had finished and that I needed to open a new door. I wanted to go to an English-speaking country to continue my learning, and Australia was my chosen destination. Without thinking twice, I got in touch with Let’s Go Study Australia. And here I am, achieving my dreams.
Why did you choose Melbourne?
After a bit of internet research on the different cities in Australia, I was left deciding between Melbourne and Sydney. In the end I opted for the former. There were several reasons I chose this beautiful city – firstly, the fact it is a cosmopolitan city with people from practically all over the world sharing their different cultures. Secondly, it is a city geared towards young people – there are so many events every week in different parts of the city. There is no time to get bored. And the third and final reason is that sport is so important to the people. If there was one thing that all the experiences I read before coming had in common, it was sport – having the chance to practise an endless number of sports that we know nowadays, as well as hosting the Formula One Grand Prix and the tennis Australian Open. Three great reasons to choose it.
What have you done during your first few weeks in Australia?
The first weeks have flown by. I have had time to get to know the city a bit, especially the centre, and to make new friends and go out partying. I have also been looking for a room to rent and a job. I had time for everything! After two weeks, I started English classes and now I am a bit busier.
There are more and more Spanish students in Australia who have taken the leap from the UK. What differences have you noticed between the two countries?
The differences are obvious from the start. The main thing is the weather. Seeing blue skies and shining sun seven days a week is something I had really missed. Another thing that has really struck me is the gastronomic variety there is in Melbourne. There are so many restaurants with different types of food from all over the world, it leaves the big brands I was so used to seeing in the UK in the shade. Here, every restaurant has its own food and its own particular way of cooking – there is always something to surprise you, wherever you go. Lastly, I would go so far as to say that Australian people’s personalities are much more open than British people’s. I never like to generalise, because it is unfair, but it is true that in the UK it is harder to get that closeness that you get here within ten minutes. In that, Australians are more like Spanish people, or we are more like them.
What are you hoping to get from Australia?
The first thing I wanted to find here was happiness…and I found it just hours after landing. I feel really happy and really content about the start of this new adventure. My aim is to keep learning from the experiences life is giving me. Every day is a challenge, and routine means it is time for a change. I hate routine, and there are a lot of opportunities in this city. I will try to take as many as I can and make the most of them. For now, I am liking everything I have seen in the city more and more. I do not like to make plans for the future but I do feel sorry for my parents and my friends on the other side of the world – that I have a lot left to do around here. I have only just begun!
The best thing about Australia?
What I like most at the moment is how multicultural it is. Without a doubt, a very important factor in making Melbourne the best city in the world to live in for the past five years. Here, people from all over the world share their cultures and live happily. In the hostel I am staying in, these first few weeks there have been Japanese people (the majority), French people, Italians, Kiwis, Portuguese people, Indians, Brazilians…and you learn so much. All those cultures living together in the same space. I love it, I value it a lot.
A motivational phrase you want to share?
One phrase in particular from Paulo Coelho that I really identify with: “if you think adventure is dangerous, try routine – it’s lethal”. There are lots of others that I really bear in mind in my daily life, for example from the famous American novelist Henry Miller: “One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.”
What would you say to those at home who want to come to Australia?
Stop thinking about it, because while you are thinking, the most important thing is passing by – time…and you cannot get that back. If they are scared, I would tell them that we should be more scared of living there with everything that is going on. Now is the right time, not tomorrow. Stop making easy excuses like “I will go after Christmas”, “I will go when summer is over” or “I will wait a few months to see if the situation in Spain improves” …because you never know what the future holds. If you want to come and you still have some doubts, contact me, and I will get rid of them for you!
Anything more you would like to add?
I want to say thanks to Let’s Go Study Australia for giving me the chance to come to Melbourne. For me, it is a really important step in my life and you guys are the foundation. I absolutely love being here. My happiness is absolute. Now to enjoy it!
If you want to have an experience like Raúl’s, get in touch with us and we will make it really easy for you. To read about more experiences of our students in Australia, take a look here.
And if you want to know more about Raúl, we recommend you visit his blog… you are sure to learn a lot from his carrots, eggs, and coffee beans (Spanish).