My friend Eva is leaving Australia. I interviewed her about why she was leaving and her thoughts on her years spent living in Australia.
Not many 19 year olds would leave their home, travel to the other side of the world and learn english for 6 months, but that was Eva’s plan 14 years ago. She never returned.
Eva grew up in land locked Slovakia, and was mesmerised by Coogee beach, where she was staying as an english student. She loved the people and the particularly the beach, so much so that every day of those first 6 months felt like a holiday, ‘I organised my student visa, it was never meant to be permanent, but I fell in love with Australia and never went back’ she said. Her parents were not as enthusiastic about her idea, taking 10 years to get used to the notion that Eva would not return to Slovakia, ‘they tried to bribe me to return, saying they would buy me a new car and an apartment’.
Her first job was washing dishes, and as her English improved, she moved onto waitressing, then retail. When Eva started her finance degree, she started working in a bank and moved up from there. Eva admits the first 3 years were the hardest for her in Australia. Learning English, finding the first job, first apartment, studying her degree and buying a car were hard for her. Australians enjoy Asian food, which took a while for her to become accustomed to, and she found the country to be quite isolated. She found that once she had her degree and permanent residency, life became easier. Eva joined Coogee Surf Life Saving Club and became a lifesaver and last year joined the Australian Army as a finance officer.
However, next week she leaves for the USA. She recently wed an American, Chris, and has decided to move closer to his family. She has no regrets about moving to Australia and would consider moving back with her own family one day.