To Surf With Love


After qualifying as a teacher in Japan, Ryo Sekido chose Bond University on the Gold Coast to study for his Master of Arts TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), so that he could teach English in Japanese classrooms.

Ryo arrived in Australia midway through 2021, completed the one-year program at Bond and recently returned to Japan, but he took home an extra, unexpected skill… surfing! Ryo tried it for the first time on the Gold Coast and has only one word to describe it: “Awesome!”

Q: What led you to study to be a teacher? 

Since I was in primary school, I wanted to be a teacher, which led me to do a Bachelor of Education to get a teaching licence in Japan. With my Bond course, I will be able to teach English in Japanese high schools.

Q; And why did you choose Bond University on the Gold Coast? 

At Bond University, students can finish their Master of Arts TESOL in a year and we do a teaching practicum. [This is where students learn from and observe other language teachers in action for about 30 hours, and they perform a minimum of six hours of supervised teaching.] I heard my friends who study the same course in the UK don’t have the practicum although it is so beneficial for our future career. In addition, I wanted to live close to beaches since I have never done that.

Q: What was your welcome to Australia like?

I feel that people on the Gold Coast are more friendly than people in Japan, no matter how old they are. Sometimes strangers would talk to me on the bus, tram and on the street.

Ryo enjoyed the chilled out vibe of living on the Gold Coast

Q: Can you tell us about your experience of studying on the Coast?

I was a bit nervous about studying my course in English, since I felt my English proficiency was not high enough to listen to the class and write essays. However, there were many ways that the university supported their students, such as an academic skill centre and library support. Without this help, I might not have been able to finish my Masters.

Q: How has studying on the Gold Coast shaped your personal life?

Making friends from other countries made me realise the cultural differences between our countries, which will contribute to my future career as an English teacher. I noticed the importance of teaching English with (reference to) its own culture.

Q: Do you have a favourite experience from your time on the Coast?

I tried surfing for the first time in my whole life and it was awesome. My favourite things to do on weekends were eating fish and chips for lunch with Australian-made beer, followed by drinking coffee on the beach. It was so chill.

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering studying on the Gold Coast? 

Studying on the Gold Coast presents so many great opportunities. Therefore, do not hesitate to take action! If you don’t, you might miss this awesome experience forever.