By Reza Alam:
Living in a foreign country is not as easy we think, but also not as hard as it appears. Many international students come to western countries like Australia to have a good, secure and free life. They thought their life would be like a Hollywood movie; shiny, colorful and brilliant. After they come, they start to come down to earth from the imaginary paradise. They experience the extremely real world. A city that is full of strangers, buzzing with unknown languages, cultures, foods and so on.
Many international students are feeling isolated, living in shared bedrooms which don’t sound cool at all. It doesn’t end there, the most painful experience is when they start looking for jobs after a couple of days. Living expenses, high tuition fees, all these unpleasant issues often force them to do physical jobs like cleaning, kitchen duties or retail work. Simultaneously, they must go to university regularly and attend the classes and complete exams. With all this in mind, attending tutorials every week and maintaining good grades is challenging.
However, every coin has the other side. These stresses help them to get out of their comfort zone. They discover their inner quality and achieve mental toughness like they have never seen before going overseas . These western countries offer many opportunities, and if they are smart enough they can catch it. The first couple of months are a bit difficult to cope with, as they adjust to a new place. Afterwards, things are get better, as they start figuring out what to do. However, A very significant percentage of international students fail to manage all these stresses and eventually they drop out from the university.
Is it extremely difficult to survive in Australia? The good news is no, it’s not as difficult as it may appear. Many students are surviving well enough here and eventually they become very successful. It’s all about discipline, dedication, and time management. It’s even more about knowing how to balance both work and study load. If we picked Western Sydney University, we must have seen that it offers many facilities to the students. Don’t understand a subject? PASS is there for you! Language barriers? Join a language club (or English Conversation Groups)! Don’t understand referencing or library resources, there are STUDY SMART options! Don’t know how to get a job? Join career workshops! Feeling frustrated or lonely? Grab a mentor from our MATES Program. Something bothers you about the campus? Meet your leaders from the student campus councils. Cultural things, networking, café’s, clubbing etc. are all happening at our beautiful campus continuously. How do you find out about all these things? Just don’t forget to check your student email every day.
I don’t like to give advice to people, so I’m just sharing my experiences from the last year. Australia is a very beautiful country. You can even be proud of your University that ranks among the top 400 universities’ list. We all are going through some difficult situations in life, but that helps us to grow great. The only thing you must say to yourself daily is that “I can do it”. Never give up in any situation even if it looks like an unconquerable path, fight back with unwavering optimism. I know it’s not easy, but trust me, years later, when you look back, you can say that feel you proud of yourself. You can make the people around you proud. Sufi mystic Rumi once said that ‘lovely days will not come to you, you should walk to them’. Keep aiming high and never lose your hope!
Reza is the International Student Representative on the Parramatta SCC