So, I finally sit down to share my exciting journey.. my move to Australia…
As you all know, I recently moved to Australia to pursue an International Masters in Business Administration at UniSA (University of South Australia). This didn’t happen overnight and has been a long planned out process. In 2015, I had planned to move to Melbourne for my Master’s and gained admission in Swinburne University, but due to several personal issues the entire plan had to be postponed. Around mid-last year, it was decided that I would be moving to Adelaide for my Master’s since my elder brother and family were relocating here on a TR. Having a secure management job at a highly reputed global organization, earning well and personally very settled, it was a tough decision to leave that behind and move to Australia on a fresh start. The only solace was that I would have my family to support me and it would be a better life for my daughter. Personally, it was difficult to leave everything behind,my friends and the balanced life I was accustomed to, but I know with a couple of years of struggle, life would definitely change for the better. So, I again connected with IDP, one of the best international education agents in Mumbai& who are co-owners for IELTS and have several affiliations with universities in Australia. This reputation certainly built the confidence that they would be the right organization to approach and to add to it, they are a free service to the students as they earn off the universities. They also provide certain scholarships through the universities.
Located in Andheri, I had visited their office back in 2015 when I had processed my application for Melbourne, so I re-connected with the same person, Shreya from the team who gladly gave me download on the options I would have in Adelaide. Since Adelaide is a much smaller city, the options of universities are limited and those offering 2yr Masters courses were just a couple.
The timing was perfect as the UniSA Head of international admissions was visiting the IDP office and it was a great opportunity for me to meet with him and get a feel of the university opportunities. I met with Peter Stevens, who has been an amazing support throughout the application process and I highly appreciate all his assistance. He explained the various options available and knowing my extensive background advised me on what would be the best course options for me.
Once I was convinced on the university, I applied through IDP providing all my relevant documentation. This included personal documents like passport copies, proof of ID, proof of address, education proof, work experience proof, financial standing proof and sponsorship letters from my parents and my brother (since I need to show a working member as a sponsor).The course fees increased over the years and my 2 years fees works out to a whopping 35 Lacs!! Besides this there was the costs of insurance coverage for myself and my daughter, my daughters school fees as she would be travelling as my dependent and cost of living for the two of us. My family has been my pillar of strength through this entire process and my parents are financially supporting this entire 2 years of struggle. I had even inquired about a student loan but need to have an earning family member on the loan as well, which was a problem for me, so the loan option was scrapped and self-funding was the only option.
Post loads of running around and meeting the documentation requirements, it was all submitted, but there were more struggles when the university reverted that the statement of purpose wasn’t strong enough. The Statement of Purpose is a justification submitted by me of why I would like to study there and what I intend to achieve post studies in Australia entailing how it would help me back in my country. I had to re-do my SOP with a lot more detail and thankfully the university staff were very helpful in advising the requirements. At this stage, I was quite disappointed with the processing at IDP as they apparently missed sending all my documentation and there were several slip-ups in information sharing, like missing important communication to be passed to me. It was during this time I reached out to Peter for his help, and he in turn assigned Juan, from his team, to help me sort out all the hiccups. Juan was like a diamond in a coal mine and assisted me in sorting out all the requirements. The documentation was finally cleared and I received my letter of offer from UniSA in November with no conditions. I then paid my first term fees to get a Certificate of Enrollment with which I had to apply for my daughter’s admissions. Her admission process was fairly simple as it was all through the government. Pay the fees and I get her enrollment confirmation, and where ever I end up residing, post my arrival in Australia, I just need to have her registered in the local government school. With all the formalities of admissions done, I applied for my Visa and then waited!
It didn’t take too long though and within a couple of weeks I got the visa for my daughter and myself. Such a sigh of relief over 6-8 months. I then went into the process of winding up my life back in Mumbai.Resigning from my job with a 2 months notice, after 11.5 yrs with the company was a difficult thing to do. Had made many friends there and of course intend to keep those friendships but the fact that I won’t be working there any more was quite a painful blow!
I booked my tickets looking for the best deal possible, and ended up with Qantas tickets who provided a great baggage allowance of 45 Kgs per person but were quite last minute and I landed only a day before I had to attend university.
Sold my car off too since there was no one here to drive,but kept my bike for dad to use though my parents would spend maximum time with us in Australia too.
Before flying out there was so much more to do. Bank formalities to update my cards to international cards and have extended expiry dates on them.
& the toughest job was the many goodbyes to say, so many tears to shed!!
I may have a lot of friends, but I got to be honest I am attached only to a few. As with everyone, there are some people I hold most close to my heart and leaving them behind was the toughest.
My closest childhood friends, my special someone, a few from my work place (which was like second home considering I spent so much time there),and those special few who touched my heart over the years. I miss them dearly but with today’s technology its not too difficult to stay in touch.
July 30th, I packed up everything and my daughter and myself, along with my parents took a flight to Adelaide with stop overs at Singapore & Melbourne. It was a long flight and started off with a 2 hour delay in the first flight thereby disrupting all connecting flights, but the staff were helpful and we landed in Adelaide on 1st August 2018.
This was just the beginning..
More to continue in subsequent posts… Drop any questions you may have in the comments and I promise to be as helpful as I can 😊
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