Views #1232 | Intermediate (B1)

Student Life Abroad

Jana talks about how student life was different in three countries she has lived in.

Peter: So, Jana, we were talking about academic life in different countries but how about daily life for students? Did students also have part time jobs and where did they eat? Did they eat at home or in dorms or did they go out?

Jana: Right. So my life in Prague was quite different because I was living with my parents but obviously I would go to university for the lectures or seminars and yeah, I think most of my classmates had part time jobs or even full time jobs and they would study sort of in their free time and in the Czech Republic usually students go to university in their city so they stay at home with their parents but if they choose to go to a different city then they would stay at dormitory. So some of my classmates who were staying, who were living in dormitory, I felt like they had more social life than I do because that's where all their social events happen.

Peter: Right.

Jana: I have actually never lived in a dormitory so I don't know what it's like.

Peter: How about student life in Sydney?

Jana: Yeah, in Sydney...

Todd: Actually can we have Spain.

Peter: So how about student life in Spain?

Jana: Yeah, I suppose again it depends on the students. Maybe local students and international students might have different lifestyles but I was living with a host family and they cooked for me once a week. That was really nice. Every Sunday we had a really nice meal but apart from that I would eat at the cafeteria or cook at home and I didn't have a part time job but I think a lot of my classmates did. It wasn't so easy for international students to find work so...

Peter: Really? So what was the typical lunch in Spain for you?

Jana: Well, there weren't that many options at the university so basically what you can buy at the cafeteria is like a sandwich, kind of snack food so I would often bring my own lunch and heat it up in the microwave so that's what a lot of students did to save money too.

Peter: OK. So you could actually cook at home and bring the lunch?

Jana: Yes. They had a cafeteria and like a diner where you can bring your own food as well.

Peter: Oh, OK.

Jana: So I thought that was quite convenient.

Peter: Yeah, yeah. And then you moved to Sydney? How did that change things for you?

Jana: Well, Sydney was a lot of fun. There are so many international students, so many different cultures and it's a big part of education actually. International education in Australia is a huge business as well.

Peter: Really?

Jana: So there are so many international students. In fact, in my class I think there were maybe two Australians.

Peter: Wow.

Jana: And the rest were from all over the world.

Peter: Hm. I also had a friend who studied as an international student at, in Sydney and he told me it's quite expensive for international students to live there. Is that true?

Jana: That's right. One, you have to pay the tuition fees but also, depending on where you come from, you need to apply for a student visa and often one of the requirements is you need to show that you have enough funding for the whole course.

Peter: Right.

Jana: And the actual living costs might not be that high. It depends where you live. A lot of students share houses.

Peter: Right.

Jana: Or work part time as well.

Peter: So part time work is allowed then?

Jana: Yes. You can work up to twenty hours per week.

Peter: OK.

Jana: While on a student visa.

Peter: Right. So you can have some income at least to support yourself?

Jana: That's right, yeah, but a lot of the students study really hard so there isn't really much time for part time work but yeah you need to try to juggle it somehow.

Peter: Where did you live in Sydney and did you have a share mate or somewhere like that?

Jana: Yeah, I lived in a share house with other students. It's a really common thing to do in Sydney because the rent is so expensive.

Peter: Oh, really?

Jana: So not only students but even working adults often share apartments. Yeah, I actually moved maybe five times while I was there.

Peter: It sounds pretty hard actually.

Jana: It was fun to try living in different areas and with different people.

Peter: Great.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson



Did they eat at home or in dorms, or did they go out?

A 'dorm' or 'dormitory' is a place where university students live, which has shared bedrooms, bathrooms and dining areas. Notice the following:

  1. Do you have a gym and cafeteria in your dorm?
  2. The dorms are completely full, so some of the students will have to stay in hotels.

lectures/ seminars


I was living with my parents, but obviously I would go to the university for my lectures and seminars.

A 'lecture' is a class with a large number of students where the teacher speaks and the students take notes. A 'seminar' is a smaller group with a discussion style. Notice the following:

  1. Seminars are much more fun, because you get to be involved.
  2. I slept late and missed my 8 o'clock lecture.

apart from that


Every Sunday we had a really nice meal, but apart from that I would eat in the cafeteria.

'Apart from that' is the same as 'other than that.' Jana ate with her host family on Sundays, but the rest of the time she ate at the cafeteria. Notice the following:

  1. I jog a few times a week, but apart from that I have no real time for exercise.
  2. She eats fish, but apart from that she doesn't eat any meat.

heat it up


I would often bring my own lunch and heat it up in the microwave.

When you 'heat something up,' you make it warm, usually to eat it. Notice the following:

  1. Don't eat that soup cold. You have to heat it up.
  2. This coffee is a bit cold. Could you heat it up a little?



You have to pay the tuition fees depending where you come from.

Your 'tuition' is the money that you pay for classes, and it does not include money for housing. Notice the following:

  1. There has been a lot of discussion about tuition costs going up again.
  2. The money for your tuition is due next week.



One of the requirements is that you need to show that you have enough funding for the whole course.

'Funding' is a supply of money that will be used for a specific purpose. Notice the following:

  1. We don't have enough funding to hire anyone else to help with this work.
  2. Where does the funding come from for these events?



There isn't much time for part-time work, but you need to try and juggle it somehow.

When you 'juggle' different things, you try to organize your time so you have enough time to do all that you need to do. Notice the following:

  1. You should take a vacation. You've been juggling a lot lately.
  2. It's been very difficult for her to juggle 3 kids and a full time job.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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