An Electrical Engineer from Govt. Engineering College Idukki, Kerala, Nikhil R. S. is now a postgraduates student at Edith Cowan University, Australia. He writes about his life as a student in Australia.
- By Nikhil R. S.
To begin with, I will have to tell a little bit about my Qatar life as well. I had been working in Qatar for more than two years as an 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 postgrad dreams. And, it really was a back-breaking situation for me to quit the job. But I did it. With all my courage and trusting my inner gut feel, I did it. I quit the job and returned to India.
I was not even sure if I will get an admission in any of the University in Australia, whether I will get an educational loan to satisfy the financial criteria, afterall what if I get to manage everything, but at the end, my visa is rejected. Many scaring dreams and thoughts came to my mind including the faces of my parents. But, somewhere inside my heart, someone was telling me to go ahead with my dream. So, I decided to face all the consequences and started with IELTS Examination which is mandatory for visa processing. Besides, heaps of documents 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 again and again 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. Yes, I did it. I did it. 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. Yes, I did it - my heart whispered several times to me. I overcame all the barriers and made it happen. I proved that my decision was correct and was from my heart.
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 till I get a proper accommodation to move with. People over here are very friendly and supportive. They outlined me about the public transportation and how it works. I started then itself to arrange a SIM card and some food to satisfy my hunger. Everywhere it’s well maintained here and the services provided to public are mind blowing.
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’s not about the hours I realized. It is all about what you study and how deep you understand. Classes are really interesting as the professors just speak about the current technologies and systems that we are familiar with. They always teach about the present world, not about theories or histories. I found interesting when they show us relevant Youtube videos as a part of lecture class. It is more 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 don’t 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.