The Good Life
15 Jun 2018
Francisco Barcellos first fell in love with Australia in 2012 when he landed in Newcastle to study English. After improving his language skills and a considerable amount of surfing Frankie (as he’s known here) headed up the coast with his girlfriend to check out the scenery and chase our best breaks (naturally).
By the time they got to the Gold Coast they knew they’d arrived. Frankie says that while initially it was the waves that first drew him to the Gold Coast he soon realised what the city offered. “Once I got a handle on the lifestyle it just drew me in - everyone’s pretty mellow and relaxed. It’s a good life here.”
After going back to Brazil to study business and then working for a couple of years Frankie was keen to do a Masters’ Degree. There was only one country for him. “Australia is the complete package for me. It’s such a beautiful country and everything works the way it should.”
When it came to choosing which city he wanted to live in he didn’t have to think twice. His former girlfriend was now his wife and she was adamant about where they should go.
“My wife was happy to come back to Australia but she didn’t want to live in Newcastle, she wanted to live on the Gold Coast, she really liked this city the last time we were here. We both feel very much at home here.”
As much as the destination was a big factor in the decision, the clincher for Frankie was the university.
“Bond was attractive to me because they offered a Masters in Communication, which complements my business background. The campus is amazing and they have a very supportive student culture.”
Like Australia, Brazil has a prominent surf culture, which provides a lot of familiarity here for Brazilians and while surfing is a big drawcard, one of the real advantages is that our student visa here allows international students to work here, as Frankie explains:
“When you compare what Australia offers to other western countries like the USA, yes you can study there, but you cannot work legally. It seems these days that everyone in Brazil knows someone who has been to Australia or is currently living or studying here. A lot of it is word of mouth, but you also see the beautiful photos on Instagram and Facebook and the comments about how good life in Australia is, so word spreads around pretty quickly.”
While Frankie is only in his second year at Bond, he and his wife know that this love affair is no fleeting infatuation.
“I want to live here, I love this country - I can’t go back to Brazil now. My life has never been as good as it has living here. My wife is very happy too. When we first arrived on the Gold Coast our Brazilian friends let us stay with them in their house for 2 months. While we have a close relationship with them at the same time we also made good friends with a couple from America and another couple from Belgium. Then through Bond I’ve met many people from other countries as well and of course we’ve become friendly with Aussies too, so it’s a very diverse social group for us. This is something that makes our lives very exciting because we have friends from everywhere.”
When Frankie finishes his Masters at Bond he will apply for a graduate visa which will give him two years’ work experience in Australia. He then hopes to be sponsored by an employer so that he can apply for permanent residency.
“Even if we couldn’t stay and we had to return to Brazil it would still have been worth it because it’s been a very beautiful experience. We have already travelled around much of Australia and the natural environment is amazing – every single moment has been worthwhile. It’s the best country in the world.”
Frankie hopes to find a creative content related job when he graduates. “I’ve always loved to write and very much feel the need to express myself from within, but more than anything I’m hoping to gain my permanent residency, then I’ll become an Aussie – mate!”