06 Mar 2020
Beautiful beaches, unique landscapes, student-friendly cities, high quality of education, global recognition, multicultural society, and so forth—more than enough reasons for international students from all over the world to love and prefer Australia as one of the best study destinations.
I always wanted to pursue my higher studies in a foreign land. Among different countries in the world, I chose Australia. Personal reasons? As I said above, I have got more than enough reasons. Next plan was to select a university. While it was difficult to choose from several universities, I got one that fitted best for me. Even though the fee was a bit higher, the outstanding teachers and quality education of the University of South Australia in Adelaide attracted me the most.
Apart from the university, study, and work, there is much more to explore in Australia for international students. Fantastic culture and lifestyle of Australia is incredible and adds value to the life of any international student.
As planned, I landed in Adelaide in May 2016—the day I can never forget. That day I realised how painful it is to leave the beloved family and friends behind for better opportunities ahead. As the saying goes, "You have to lose something to gain something." Everything was new. Thankfully I had my Aunt living there for decades. She supported me in every way from providing me with accommodation to helping me get familiarised with the city. It meant a lot to me, economically and mentally.
Everything looked strange on the first day at the University of South Australia. As I entered the gate, I saw a different kind of faces. I could guess the students were from China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, USA, and a native of Australia. I felt anxious. But, the support and kindness I received from them swiped away my nervousness. I enjoyed learning from professional and knowledgeable teachers from different parts of the world., I liked the study environment. I practised cultural exchange along with the high quality of education.
Finding a job was crucial for me to cover up my living expenses along with the tuition fee. I was prepared beforehand with my resume and applied for different jobs until and unless I got a confirmation. Yes, resume. "Small things make a big difference ", I learned this from the professor on my orientation day. The tips and tricks he shared became a valuable asset for me when I was hunting for a job. I experienced failure again and again just to get success at last.
In the resume, I only added the experience relevant to the post I was applying. I avoided putting too much experience on my resume. Following this rule, I customised my resume based on the job post and applied for almost all jobs on recruitment websites. But I didn't receive a single call. Of course, I was frustrated, but I didn't let myself down. Then, I started to meet with the employer in person just to give my printed resume. As expected, I got a few calls but never passed the interview. 'International student", the reason for the failure.
No matter how hard I tried, I failed again and again. I was already embarrassed to ask for money from my family. But luckily, one early morning, I saw an ad for a salesperson, applied for it, and got selected. For an international student like me, it was a pretty good job. Even though the salary was insufficient, the company provided us with a commission as long as we made a sale. But I could work no longer than three months as a salesperson because of a time management issue.
After this, I got a referral from my friend to apply for data entry jobs. Salary from the job was exactly what I needed at that time. Without a second thought, I applied, gave an interview, and finally got selected. The company offered me an official position as a 'Client Service Administrator' after three months of probation period. I was part of this company for two years. This job helped me to cover up my expenses and also made a saving out of it.
Australian stores and restaurants offer lots of casual jobs near the Christmas holidays. There you can get a permanent position based on your work performance. Besides, restaurants are also good options to do work and study at the same time. You can apply there as a part-time waiter.
Whether you work as a cashier, waiter, or any other job—no job is small or big. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step." So, whatever you get, accept it. Best of all, Australia has high pay-per-hour in comparison to other developed countries. Along with living expenses, you can also pay your tuition fee by working 20 hours a week in Australia.
In almost any field, whether you are looking for internships, jobs, or acceptance letters, networking plays an invaluable role in landing opportunities. I was ignorant about this until and unless I attended career programs and local events. Besides study and work, my time in Australia was satisfactory enough to participate in volunteer work and grow my networks. Slowly, I began to get exposure through different events, meet more and more local and international people, and connect with them. While learning about a different culture, various trends, I was also enjoying the opportunities that I got through my networks.
Even though the cost of living is high, it is nothing in front of quality facilities you get here. However, not all of us can afford to live in deluxe areas. But the good news is that there are many student-friendly options available. Even though I lived with my Aunt at first, late on, I moved to live with my friends by sharing expenses. The rent of a shared room started from $80 to $100 a week.
Besides, you can also live in campus residency areas to lower the cost of living. For this, you can also keep an eye on websites where people offer a room in their homes to international students with shared expenses.
Australia has an incredible means of transportation. As an international student, I found it convenient to travel by bus, tram, or train by scanning travel cards preloaded with money. You have to recharge it like a sim card once the balance is over.
Reality surpassed my expectation in terms of food. I thought I would have an unimaginable craving for cuisines of my home country. But I was wrong. No matter where you are from, Australia caters to cuisines of all nations. Chinese, Indian, Nepali, and, Malaysian to name a few. Moreover, you will get delicious food at reasonable prices in many fast-food chains. Whether to taste local Food, traditional Food or ethnic cuisine, the choice is yours!
The living expenses, job availability, and so many things matter when you decide to choose a study destination. If you are planning to go to Australia for higher studies, then I have a few words for you. I learned many things from my experience as an international student in Australia. Initially, it was hard for me to adjust to an entirely new environment, finding a job was hard, and many things happened. I struggled for the first few months, but over time I loved living there. Life is a challenge, and you should be daring enough to accept it. The only formula for success is hard work. Even if you fail, you should take it as a lesson and try again. There are many opportunities, grab it at the right time at the right place. You will love everything about Australia— its natural attractions, its multicultural society, its lifestyles, and so forth.