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After finishing university in China, I worked as an accountant in a foreign investment company. It all seemed to be working out well, but after some time, I felt that something was missing – the work was not challenging enough and I thought that the lifestyle was not the kind that would allow me and my husband to start our family together. We’d heard that Australia was full of opportunities and a wonderful place to live, so we started working towards the goal of migrating.

How I overcame language barriers

However, moving to another country was not easy. First of all, there was the hurdle of language. I had to prove I had the minimum English language skills that the Australian Government requires migrants to demonstrate by taking the IELTS test and achieving a particular score on the scale of English language skills. I was really worried, so I decided to take an English language course called 'an IELTS Review' for six months. It was a course that built up my English skills and also included IELTS test preparation to ensure I was familiar with the test format and ways to manage my time during the test. 

Attending the language classes was worth it – they helped me get over my nervousness, build my confidence, as well as practice my skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. The instructor also shared with us a lot of tips to help us prepare for the IELTS test. What I also found helpful were the videos of previous test takers who offered personal advice.

Preparing me well for my new life in my new country

At first, I thought the IELTS test was all about having to meet the requirements for migration, but the more I attended the classes, the more I came to appreciate that it was preparing me as well for my new life in my new country. When I finished the review class, I was not only ready for the IELTS test, but I also felt ready for my new life with my increased English skills! 

In 2008, my husband and I finally migrated to Australia. We didn’t have any family or friends in our new destination, but we felt both positive and excited for the future. Our dreams started to unfold.

Improving English skills is continuous work

I knew that meeting the IELTS scores required to qualify for migration was not the end of the journey. Improving English skills requires continuous and conscious effort. The professional opportunities I was seeking would be easier to fulfill if I continued learning. 

Upon arrival in Australia, I watched the news and TV dramas to continue to develop my English skills. I was fortunate to immediately find work with people who grew up in Australia with whom I could talk with and practise my English, as well as learn more about the culture every day.

IELTS helped me fulfill my dreams

Nowadays, my husband and I enjoy spending time with our beautiful three-year-old daughter, Michelle. I am now back to my original profession and feeling balanced with a fulfilling family life. I feel I have secured the lifestyle that not too long ago was just in my dreams. 

Moving to Australia as well as mastering the English language weren’t without challenges, but the journey has been definitely worth it.