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October 26, 2023

Joseph’s Australian roots hop to America

Katie Park
Coppell High School sophomore Arya Joseph and her family migrated from Australia to Texas this year. Although Joseph experienced frustrations in moving to a new continent, she also discovered America and is continuing her journey. Photo illustration by Katie Park.

Coppell High School sophomore Arya Joseph and her family journeyed across the Pacific Ocean, leaving behind their lives in Strathfield, Australia to the foreign land of Texas, known for its leather cowboy boots.

Joseph’s parents found new jobs in Texas, thus initiating the long process of migrating.

During the first few weeks of living in a different country, Joseph experienced both excitement and dread after landing in Texas on Dec. 18 of last year.

“It was exciting, depressing, scary and suspenseful all at the same time,” Joseph said. “When I found out about moving, I was so excited to experience a new lifestyle but as [my family] got into the process of moving, I realized what a huge step I was taking.”

The migration process left a notable impact on Joseph’s lifestyle.

”Initially resistant to the idea of leaving Australia, where she had formed close relationships and was accustomed to the lifestyle, Arya was apprehensive about yet another major change in her life,” Joseph’s mother Maria Joseph said. “This move was especially challenging as it meant leaving a familiar setting during her sensitive teenage years.”

Born in the United States, Arya moved to India at age 3. After completing fourth grade in India, her family then moved to Australia.

“The immigration process was a significant transition for Arya and our family, involving several moves across continents from the United States to India, then to Australia, and back to the USA,” Maria said. “Each move brought its own set of challenges and adjustments, particularly for Arya, who had to adapt to new schools, cultures, and social environments at a young age.”

Leaving the country also meant leaving family members.

“I had a few cousins, uncles, and aunts in Australia who we visited often,” Arya said. “We had to leave and I miss them very much.”

The bittersweet experience formed a deep connection between Arya and her Australian friends.

“It wasn’t until the last few days of school that I realized that I would probably never be able to see her again, so I wanted to be able to spend as much time with her as possible,” Arya’s Australian friend Riyaa Panchal said. “That was honestly one of the moments that made me cry so much on the last day of school.”

Although Arya felt a longing sense of sadness, she was able to manage in a new life. She created new friendships with classmates and embraced American culture, all while keeping touch with her friends in Australia through texts and phone calls.

“I would spend lunch and free time alone wandering around in search of someone to be with at [CHS],” Arya said. “Unexpectedly, though, whoever I sat next to in class talked to me politely and soon I became friends with whom I know I will be spending the rest of my high school days with.”

One of these friendships is with CHS sophomore Krishna Tadimeti.

“I met Arya in the middle of the school year in our AP world history class,” Tadimeti said. “I think our friendship is very genuine because she shares a lot about her personal life and is very honest with her voice and opinions.”

Over time, Arya began to appreciate the opportunities available to her in America.

“She has now adjusted well, feeling happy and cheerful, which has significantly alleviated the initial struggles and concerns our family faced during the move,” Rasna said. “This experience has ultimately brought our family closer together, reinforcing our resilience and adaptability.”

In addition to meeting new people, Arya also discovered differences between Australia and Texas.

“One of the core memories from my Australian school life was walking to the train station with friends to get food and drinks almost everyday,” Arya said. “This is so different compared to Texas because here it’s normal for students to come to school by cars which is a lifestyle beyond imaginable in Australia.”

Moving from Australia to America had significant cultural changes, but Arya faced similar factors of multiculturalism and ethnic compositions in both countries, easing her into the diverse population of Coppell.

“Most of the students in my Australian school are immigrants too,” Arya said. “Unless you’re in the outbacks or the rural areas in Australia, the schools are pretty diverse with most of the population being Asians, so it didn’t really differ from Coppell.”

Arya expressed her discoveries in comparing her new home to Sydney, one of the most known and industrialized cities of Australia.

“In Sydney, there are numerous shops in every suburb with easy and full-time access to public transport,” Arya said. “But the huge difference is how vast and flat Texas is.”

Arya recently joined the TEDxCoppellHighSchool program and found an interest in speaking on various topics.

“I enjoy giving TED Talks because it is something I thought I could never do,” Arya said. “I’ve always thought it was prestigious to say ‘I’ve given a TED Talk’ and being able to achieve it is honorable. Australian schools don’t have as many clubs or volunteer services as I’ve seen in American schools so joining the TEDx Club and being a part of it felt very professional.”

The difference in the number of students attending one high school came as a shock to Arya.

While attending Strathfield Girls High School in Australia, Arya noticed changes in the number of students in each grade compared to CHS.

“[Australian] schools only have about 200 people per grade while there are thousands here,” Arya said. “This honestly makes American school life more interesting.”

Moving across the country created many new experiences for Arya, but she learned to find comfort in her new life by making new friends and accepting American culture.

“Overall [my experience] was adventurous mixed with so many feelings even though it was hard to move on from my old life,” Arya said. “I don’t regret moving because now I’m just as happy as I was in Australia.”

Follow @katiegpark and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter

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About the Contributor
Katie Park
Katie Park, Staff Writer
Katie Park is a sophomore and a first year member of the Sidekick. In her spare time she enjoys sewing and designing her clothing. Continuing along the artistic front, Katie loves using acrylic paint to recreate/draw inspiration from Monet’s paintings. Katie is also a multi instrumentalist, and can play the piano, ukulele, and guitar. A song she loves to play on the piano is Clair de Lune, because it was featured on one of her favorite movies, Twilight. Besides the classical piece Clair de Lune, Katie’s favorite music artists are Laufey and Taylor swift. Her favorite song from Laufey is “Lovesick” and her most favorite Taylor Swift album is Red. Outside of the classroom, Katie finds entertainment in the novels she reads. Recently, Katie completed the ‘A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder’ series while she was in Taiwan this summer. Being of Taiwanese and Korean heritage, Katie explores different aspects of her culture by testing her spice levels regarding Korean food. In the future, Katie aspires to work in the medical field. Like many others, this inspiration arose from her watching of the medical drama series, “Grey’s Anatomy.” She already has a jumpstart to her career this year-by taking both health science and medical terminology.

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