Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Exciting Day

Nique turned 6 last month. At her age here in Australia, she is required to go to school. I'm blessed that as a full time student at Murdoch University, my children are entitled to free schooling in any WA public school.

Nique is quite excited to go to school again especially here in Australia where she'll attend a regular and bigger school. I, too, am very excited for her as she slowly ventures to independence in learning.

In the processing of my children's admission to a WA public school, I have to submit the necessary papers to Murdoch International. This office handles all issues relating to international students. From visa, health cover, school issues among others. I was told by a staff that upon submission of our papers to the Department of Education and Training, it will take about a month for DET to reply. The DET has to ascertain where there is still a vacancy near our declared residential address. So, we waited.

However, a friend suggested that we go straight to the nearest school in our suburb to inquire. Inquire we did and voila, today Nique and Nira are enrolled. Nique is in pre-primary while Nira is in kindergarten.

Hopefully, Nique won't be bored with the activities that she'll do as she's a bit advanced in terms of reading and numbers. As to Nira, I'm sure she'll have a very good time using her creative skills in drawing and coloring into action. :)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Week's wrap

Our first week was very busy as I had to formalize my enrollment, try to find a house, open accounts, meet people among others. It was indeed very good that we have Elaine on hand to accommodate us even on a temporary basis. She was also kind enough to be my mentor for almost a week, showing me around the campus and directing me where to go.

We also attended our first Sunday service at Subiaco Church of Christ and it was great!

Nel misses Thailand, Nique and Nira loves going out with their winter clothes and Dei is going berserk as she tries to secure a place for us (well, both of us are looking for a house online). It was quite hard to find a house at this time as some students have earlier arrived and most of the best houses are already taken, the rental prices has also increased.

We've finalized also our banking requirements, God willing we will have enough savings to get us through on another chapter of adjustment when we leave Australia after three years. We've set aside an account dedicated to savings and emergency funds while I have another student account to receive my allowance and where we will get our fortnightly living allowance.

If we're able to find a house within the month, I'll convert my Thai licence and buy us a car. It's quite hard to find a taxi for a family of five and while public transport is reliable, it is time bound so if you miss the last trip--it's the Maxi-taxi (a taxi that can accommodate more than 5 people) for us.

Well, that's all for now. Please continue to pray for us as we venture to our new life here in Perth, Australia.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Pursuit of a suitable home

I finished my enrollment at the Uni, now our task is to find a house and subsequently a school for Nique and Nira.

We are living with my friend and kumare, Elaine. It was good she and her good friend Stephii allowed us to stay in their house while Stephii's away on data gathering. But she's returning by November. We learned that we must declare to have a permanent place so that Murdoch International could forward my children's placement application with the Department of Education and Training.

Finding a home at this time of the year in Perth was hard as finding a needle in a haystack as rental prices could go high as Aus$550 per week. So, with the prospect that it might take a while for us to find a permanent place, we decided to forward our children's application with the school and see how it would go.

Nique is required by law to go to school while Nira could skip school we submitted her name just in case the Uni will be able to find a vacancy for her. As a full time Uni student, my dependents are entitled to free education in public schools in Australia. The cost of their education comes from a part of the visa application charge. So, whether you're single or not, part of your visa application charge goes to the Department of Education and Training (reason that Elaine was "bragging" that she's contributing to our children's education--eheheh!).

We're glad that it was alright with the Uni to submit my children's application. The second school term has already started late July and will finish by end of November, so barely just in time when Stephii returns. Now, we'll wait for the DETs response to our application. The process is for them to find a vacancy at the nearest public school from our place, otherwise they will forward the application to the next nearest and so on.

I'm quite excited for Nique going to school,a more formal one compared to the one she attended in Bangkok, which has a home-school-based curriculum. God willing we'll be able to find a house nearby with a reasonable price. For now, I'm trying to cope up with the winter weather and find my way around the Uni. :)