My life was not different from my quintessential Malayali brothers. That means, I was educated well and sent to the 'Gulf' to earn Dirham. Although, I did work in Qatar for more than two years as Electrical Engineer, higher study was always there in my mind as soon as I completed my graduation. Family circumstances and lack of courage to take challenges in life, however, stood as a barrier to turn my dreams happening. There were many moments I fell in dilemma thinking whether to go on with the same job or to quit and pursue my postgraduate dreams. With all my courage and trusting my inner gut feel, I did quit the job and it really was a backbreaking situation for me. But, my goal was clear – I wanted to join an Australian University for higher studies.
I was not even sure if I will get an admission in any of the Universities in Australia; whether I will get an educational loan to satisfy the financial criteria; after all, what if I get to manage everything, but at the end, my visa is rejected. It was scary, but, somewhere inside my heart, someone was telling me to go ahead with my dream and I knew that our life begins at the end of our comfort zone.
I started with IELTS Examination, which is mandatory for visa processing. Besides that, heaps of papers were also required from my end in order to fulfil the documentation criteria. Several times, I was stuck at mid way, but always I could feel the warmth of God's hands around me, which helped me repeatedly to move on. It was almost in mid of January, I applied for Student Visa with Edith Cowan University in Perth Australia. My heart used to tell me to be optimistic about the visa results though my mind was restless. Almost a month passed, still no response from the embassy. Unexpectedly, I got a beep on my phone on a fine evening. Here it is. I got the visa.
I was speechless for a moment. I felt so proud of myself and with the decision I took to go after my dreams. I overcame all the barriers and made it happen. I proved that my decision was correct. I booked tickets, packed my stuffs and all set to fly.
It was an afternoon when I landed in Perth. It was neither cold nor hot. I arranged a short-term accommodation at ECU Village until I get a proper place to stay. People over here are very friendly and supportive. They outlined me about the public transportation and how does it work. I started then itself to arrange a SIM card and some food to satisfy my hunger. The streets are well maintained and the services provided to public are mind blowing.
Apparently, in an Australian University, the professors teach only about the present world, not the theories or histories
There are so many Indians studying here. I never felt missing India as I have so many Indian friends here with me. Cool. University is well structured and organized with lots of greeneries all around. I could see many students sitting and lying down on the lawn and chitchatting.
Educational system over here is extremely different compared to our Indian system - teaching method, study hours, assignments, professors, environment, facilities and so on. I have classes only on 3 days just for 3 hrs/day. In the beginning I felt, would that be enough for a Master student? Yes it is. It is not about the hours I realized. It is all about what you study and how deep you understand.
Classes are interesting as the professors just speak about the current technologies and systems that we are familiar with. Apparently, in an Australian University, the professors teach only about the present world, not the theories or histories. I found interesting when they show us relevant Youtube videos as a part of lecture class. It is easier to relate to what I study when I see a video. Labs are the place where we can get in touch with the professors, clear doubts, practice the lessons that were taught by the professor.
ECU got a huge Library with three stories where students can sit and study in groups, or do a silent self-study at another floor. The university even got career hub, student central as well as a course centre in order for students to get support from all aspects. The most fascinating thing is, a bar is also kept available in the campus for students and employees to chill out and to relax which definitely will be unbelievable for all the Indians. Here it is common.
ECU is actually opening a big door, it only matters - who knocks the door and gets inside. Exams are much relaxed here. They just want to know whether the student has knowledge about the topic. Doesn't matter how many pages you fill with the answer. Even if you complete a 20 marks essay in a single paragraph with relevant points, they are more than happy to give you full scores.
In between, I somehow managed to get a part time job as well to take care of my day to day living expenditure. The job involves the distribution of flyers to the public. I consider it as a golden opportunity where I can speak to many people and socialize. Most of them do not even hesitate to smile, greet and thank. There are so many elderly people who always talk for a while about their experience in life. Give and take respect policy works well here. Even for a sweeper job people pay respect, which I appreciate a lot.
Weekends are real weekends for Australians. Everybody goes out and spends time with family and friends literally with no stress and pressure. They never forget to pay more attention to family, which indeed is essential from my point of view.
It of course was a good decision taken by me and I never ever regret for the same. I do well at my studies, I enjoy my life, relax, and moreover I understand this is Life and this is how life should be. I can find "happy me" here.