The stranger in the classroom

The words we say can be so powerful – and the story behind my coming to Australia is the perfect example of this…

My little Aussie mates waving the flag…

The story behind my coming to Australia is pretty random…

Back in 2001, I chose to study one year of my undergraduate degree in Boston as an exchange student.

On a cool winter morning, I came across another student whose name was also Kim. She showed me a brochure on Australia she was holding tight onto, hoping that some day she might be able to visit that far far away land. “Australia is so beautiful, isn’t it,” she rhetorically asked. My answer was vague, thoughtless. I had never before considered this country people name ‘the land down under’.

I forgot about this brief encounter and, at the end of the school year, returned to my home town in Canada for the third and final year of my degree. I had enjoyed the autonomy, challenge and diversity life in a new country had offered… and I wanted more. Studying had been a great way to settle somewhere and learn more thoroughly about the local culture, so I decided to undertake a master’s degree somewhere else in the world. But where?

That brochure jumped out at me in a news flash. “Australia? Why not!” And the rest is history…

Exactly 11 years ago today, I landed on this amazing, beautiful part of the world. And all this is thanks to a five-minute encounter with a girl named Kim who I never saw again. Unbeknown to her, she had a huge – I mean HUGE – impact on my life.

The words we say can be so powerful – they can give someone’s first smile for the day, help them overcome a dilemma or even change the direction of their lives. Although in some instances it’s done with blissful ignorance (such as with my Australian story), we each have the power to purposely and positively impact others with our choice of words, whether they be our family, friends, colleagues, neighbours… or the stranger in the classroom.

1 comment on “The stranger in the classroomAdd yours →

  1. Quelle belle histoire et quel beau vécu!!! Tu as même trouvée l’Amour avec un grand A!!!! Je te souhaite une belle continuitée et lâche surtout pas!!! Tu es mon idole Kim!!! Je t’aime beaucoup et passe une belle journée !! xxxx

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