Akira joined Lexis back in July after already having spent two years in Australia. Today I asked him to tell me his story.
What did you decide to come to Australia?
Because I love surfing! Two friends of mine had already been to Australia on working holiday visas and they told me that the surfing in Australia was excellent. Then the owner of my local surf shop recommended Byron Bay. He said there was a really strong surf culture here, and that it was a nice quiet town surrounded by beautiful nature.
Did you come straight to Byron when you arrived in Australia?
I spent one week in the Gold Coast first and then came down to Byron. I found work easily both as a dishwasher in Twisted Sista restaurant and as a hotel cleaner. I’ve worked in a number of restaurants in town including Fishheads, Byron Fresh and O-Sushi. I loved it here so arranged to do farm work so I could get a second year visa. First of all I worked in a blueberry farm in nearby Newrybar. Unfortunately, though, because of the bushfires and the rains there wasn’t enough work for me to complete my visa requirements so I then had to go up to Caboolture to pick strawberries for three months. Once this was done, I came straight back to Byron for my second year.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to go to TAFE to study plumbing. I worked for a plumber for two years in Japan and think this would be a good career for me. I work as a plumber’s assistant here now and I really enjoy it. I’m also working at Top Shop restaurant.
Why did you decide to study at Lexis?
Well, first and foremost, I needed to improve my English so that it is good enough to be accepted onto a TAFE course, or for me to be able to get sponsorship as a plumber’s apprentice. I’d maybe like to stay in Australia or live and work half and half in Japan and Australia so having a good level of English is really important to me. I also needed a new visa as my second year working holiday visa was coming to an end. My friends said that Lexis is a good school where students are expected to study hard and are pushed to reach their goals so that’s why I chose Lexis.
And how have you enjoyed your time at Lexis so far?
It’s really good and I think that my English has improved a lot. I find the course challenging but it makes me study hard. When I first started here, I didn’t feel confident talking to new people but now I feel much more comfortable and even have an Australian girlfriend!
Finally, what advice would you give to someone who was thinking about coming to Lexis Byron Bay to study?
Do it. It’s a great place to study and to surf. But save some money before you come because Australia (and Byron Bay in particular) can be expensive. Once you are here and settled it is an awesome life!
Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE, and English plus Surfing in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.