• Carlos Augusto Albán Vela

The Australian Dream

The issue migration faces are psychological, sociological, economic, political and social aspects. It is a mixture of complexities that have been analysed over time, it is a characteristic phenomenon of humanity since its inception, nomads were the first to live this situation, potentially with the difference that, due to their instability, emotional detachment and uprooting was not so strong, I suppose.

Today we are talking about international and migrations one that occurs in Australia specifically, in the case of international students as they are known, I will make specific reference to Latin Americans, Colombians in particular with whom for reasons of shared nationality has facilitated this work.

The general consul of Colombia in Sydney, Nancy Benítez, said during the launch of our portal "While I live" that only Colombia has a record of 11 thousand nationals in this country. This means that, from some Australia, it has responded to the expectation of finding opportunities, specifically in the economic field, it is estimated that the salary of a person can be four times higher in a trade compared to what he could sometimes earn in his native country exercising a profession.

Recently I read an article in The Economist, about migration and I was struck by a phrase that said 'to make the world richer, let people move', I would complement saying, that there is nothing that makes the spirit grow more than traveling.

I am going to read a separate article written by Robert Roberts, published last November 14 in The Economist.

“Under an improvised umbrella next to a half-dry riverbed on the Indonesian island of Java, Eddie Sebastián is taking a lunch break. It's hot and tired. Earn $ 2 per day by collecting stones, breaking them with a hammer and selling them as building material. When asked if he has better tools, he says: "Our most advanced equipment is that " He said pointing at a rusty wheelbarrow.

Mr. Sebastian's talent is wasted. Not only because he would be a good comedian, but also because he was born in the wrong place. If I lived in a rich country, I would be operating a mechanical excavator and earning $ 20 per hour instead of $ 2 per day. ”

This mention allows to reflect the reality of migrants not only in Australia, but to any place of opportunities.

It reflects the differences that bring the result of being born in one place and not in another, but also the difference that many bring when migrating from one place to another.

I know several people who have been living in Australia for years and feel established, with the price that means being far from their homeland and their loved ones especially, but they have seen their children grow, they have contributed to the economy, their families and they have achieved surely what would not have been so easy to obtain in their country.

But to get to that point they had to go a long way, which I see as the newcomers travel and that surprised me in these almost four months of staying in Sydney to the point that when I decided to launch my portal in this city, I felt this was a subject I was forced to deal with.

It was especially, because the purpose of While I Live, is to show human realities from different parts of the world and contribute so that those who face difficult situations can find a better well-being.

Australia has become an option of opportunities and they exist, but there are realities that must be made visible.

On the positive side there are many entities that offer to bring people to Australia and they are in charge of showing it and it is true, it is a place that opens doors, but there are some realities that must be made visible so that your beginning in this country is less traumatic.

The other day on a page that brings together Colombians on Facebook, a young man announced his arrival in Sydney in the next few days and the response of a national who had spent more time in this city was:

“Welcome to ‘The Hunger Games’.”

A very strong comment to welcome someone who would come to live in one of the countries with one of the highest happiness rates in the world.

This welcome greeting was a trigger for today to be talking about this topic, for those who do not know,

The Hunger Games is a novel that became a film trilogy. Everything is set in what was the United States, which now is a nation that exercises strict control over the 12 districts that surround it and are isolated from each other. Each district is forced to send annually a boy and a girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, that are broadcast live on television. It is a fight to the death, in which there can only be one survivor.

What I am going to say next is not due to a thorough study, but to direct conversations with people who work with migrants in this country at the government level, at the foundational level, conversations with young people who have left and others who have stayed . One of the sources is Father Ignacio, whose interview appears in the blog of While I Live, a Brisbane priest who works with young migrants.

That was the invitation to follow the blog!

The young man's vision when migrating Australia does not correspond to the reality he faces. I speak of the one who comes to look for a future, with good economic resources and with the illusion of working, studying and making the Australian dream a reality.

What is preconceived the Australian Dream?

A young man thinks he arrives and immediately gets a job. The truth is that it is a process that takes time.

You must have a reserve budget that allows you to pay your basic expenses while you find a job.

Many times they arrive after, they raised money so that they can come or make a loan in their homeland. This forces him to work in whatever need be and in many cases with lower wages than expected. To repay loans.

The comfort of your home is lost for a long period of time and on many occasions you must live in overcrowded conditions.

There is a disadvantage, caused by not mastering the language, for this to be possible it is necessary for people to try to arrive with some knowledge of English, saving time and money, but above all tranquillity. As they say in school it is a matter of practice, but there are cases of young people who arrive with very low knowledge of the language.

One day I spoke with a fascinating woman and she told me that I was interesting, but that she was not an English teacher, another told me that she would take me to a gathering, but nobody spoke Spanish. We must be willing to feel a little illiterate , but also understand that it is transitory for some, but that the barrier exists. It is a comfort to me a phrase that I hear very often, is that we are learning a second language and they only speak one. I don't think about it.

There is a very typical characterization of many Colombians and it is the issue of appearance, that is why everyone takes the photo in the emblematic places, but not of their workplaces, which generates in those who see the images, an ideal life which in many cases generates motivation for others to arrive. But on the other hand it is also the pleasure to enjoy the beautiful locations that this country has to offer ,for that they are the networks, to show us to enjoy life and natural beauty which Australia has a lot.

Young people are poorly advised in many cases and offer them some travel packages, which, although they fulfil the promise of good language training,

when they are student visas and surely of adequate accommodation, when included, the environment of the points mentioned above are not mentioned. And on this issue I want raise, I have heard that the agencies that sell the plans do not offer much information about the risks. The responsibility lies with who, the PLANNER.

And all this situation that this brings ?, depression, anxiety, unhappiness, hopelessness, longing. Once the impact of the wonderfulness of the place has been overcome, the reality becomes hard, to the point that there are young people who have finished in psychiatric clinics, have attempted suicide or worse yet have committed suicide.

Others live the adventure, learn English, learn humility with the trades they assume, look for ways to apply for other types of visas or return, quiet.

But for those who live that hopeless look these reflections go:

After this I invite you to make these situations an opportunity, While you live.

1.-Feel proud

You are a brave, managed to reach a new country to look for opportunities. Many would like to come to study English, to work and you are already here. Live it

2.- Understand the environment

Many wonder:

How is it possible that this is one of the places where people are happiest and I am so unhappy? Understand that the study mainly refers to who was born, grew up and have been in the place for many years. That does not mean that you cannot seek wellness opportunities and also achieve it.

Know the political reality of the country, the laws, the prohibitions and do not see them as a limitation, but as an opportunity to learn from new life models. Opening our mind allows us to understand that the world we know, in which we grew up, is not the ideal model, it is only one in a thousand.

3.- Be Thankful that you have the feeling of detachment

You in another country value everything you had in yours, home cooked meals, friends, the space you inhabited. Express it, write to those people and thank them for everything you have received from them.

Making gratitude effective helps to minimize the impact of longing, because on many occasions we do not express that feeling of gratitude when we were in our country, but there is still an opportunity.

4.- Have support networks

Know that people or entities can help you at a certain time, if you are part of a religion, see if they congregate here and find out what work they do with young migrants. In Brisbane’s care, for example, professionals who at the time were international students, offer voluntarily support in The Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

On the internet there are groups who do weekend excursions, conversations, meetings. Go and meet people.

But there are still social organizations that comply with this support, especially when there is arbitrary or physical, labour or discrimination abuse.

5.- Look for references

On this issue, social networks play a very important role, ask for the agencies that support your coming, for the institutes where they have studied people, establish communication with people who have linked to places where you aspire to work and this helps you to have A better decision.

6-Do not compare

You are in Australia, not in your country. Live based on what you have, not what you need. You arrive with your culture, but you also learn from which culture the place that receives it.

Think that it is an opportunity what you are receiving what you need.

7.- Trust

It is necessary to put aside prevention and give yourself the opportunity to meet and make yourself known. In the world there are people of all characteristics. Friendship is cultivated in these places, as friends become family.

8.- Do not despair

In some instances, you start looking at Latino women and men, desperate to get married and get a visa. Quietly, think that if you find a partner, enjoy love, regardless of the type of passport.

9.Everything happens for a reason

Understand that you are living a process, that everything happens for a reason and that you always have several alternatives, improve your situation by looking for other options, such as returning.

Returning must be understood as living, not as losing. Sometimes we believe that we should give explanations to other people, when we must give an account to ourselves, that we were the ones at risk. And in the end everything happens for a reason.

10.- Look for techniques to relax

Work days are sometimes exhausting, but try to calm your mind, go to a guided meditation, go to a yoga centre or find recreational activities in the nearest parks. Do a sport, go for walks, places and take what it offers.


Father Ignacio told me that sometimes we do not listen to others, in adverse situations that is very important. In those signs of helplessness there may be a claim of a hug, a hand in time, a conversation in time can save a life. One day I greeted a Latin American hug me and told me, hey, for three months, nobody has hugged me. Hug your friends.

12.- Finally, which should be the first

While you live

Feel that the world is an opportunity and try to make the most of it.

Wake up from the Australian dream and in the end it's up to you to make it a great reality or a nightmare.

Better said, while I live.

Thank you very much