School in Australia: Gabi Shares the Difference

As part of a special summer program, my daughter Gabi took part in an incredible trip to Australia. She decided to share her journey on Trippin’ with Tara. Enjoy her daily journal with photos and videos.

Today I went to school. Yes, an actual school. I attended 3 classes, 2 of which I went to with my Home Stay. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the differences from teaching in America.

School in Australia Gabi Salinas

School in Australia

My first class of the day was a class on family life. But it was about family life in a homosexual or transgender household. I found this very interesting. This school taught things that seemed “voodoo” or “unspeakable” in classes in America. But it taught something that’s part of every day life. Not only did I get to see the different things that were taught but I saw how different the teachers were with the students. The teacher for this class was very interested in if everyone understood what was being taught and was very considerate in what activities they wanted to do in class. She genuinely cared about each student, and you could tell. It felt like a very open and safe environment.

School in Australia Gabi Salinas

The next class I attended was cooking class. While my Home Stay host cooked, I met a girl named Rose. She told me about the school and how every senior got a jacket with any nickname on the back. This class was later in the day so we were short on time. But I quickly learned that the students here were taught how to live and understand real world things. The class held anywhere from 6 to 10 students and you could tell each teacher had a personal connection with each one.

Australia Koala Gabi Salinas

After the first two class periods we went to a Koala sanctuary. It was really interesting. It was my first time seeing a koala in Australia. The sanctuary was full of koalas being rehabilitated because they were rescues. After learning about the lives of the koalas in the sanctuary, we headed back to school. There was a barbecue for lunch. I found out a barbecue for lunch was out of the ordinary because every kid packed their own.

Gabi Salinas Australia
(L-R) Gabi, Savannah, Claire

We finished eating our lunches and I was given the choice to go to law class while they were taking an exam, or attend the biology. I chose biology and ended up in a classroom with Claire, Savannah, Andrew, and Brandon. We ended up dissecting an eye. The rest of the class wasn’t expecting that. It kind of happened on a whim. We ended up speaking to the teacher about our culture, cop issues, discrimination, and differences in schooling and school environment. I learned that people in this country are very honest and open about everything.

painted rocks Australia Gabi Salinas

Claudia’s mom picked me up from school and we went on a walk. Claudia had math tutoring so her mom, sister, and I went for a walk by the water and up to the lookout point. I ended up seeing the painted rocks that we passed by driving earlier in the day. I found out that they are a mix of marriage proposals, memorials, and decorated family rocks.

We ended up driving back home to meet with Claudia before the big dinner. The big dinner is was when all the delegates met up for dinner with our Home Stay families. I found out a lot more about teenage lifestyle in Australia. I met a lot of new kids and they ended up being really fun. I learned about a game called root or boot. After we ate, the teenagers all headed down to the beach. The water was cold, but we were have fun hanging out and socializing in the sand. It was a great night.

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