I am back, but feel I do need to clarify some things. So today is going to be more of a general post, with some do’s and don’t I have picked up along the way.
Why??.. Well I know many feel it is a brave step to start fresh, back to studies after such a long time and in a new country with a kid… and it is! It did take a lot of guts to take this step, but I honestly had the courage to do so because I had the strong push and support of my family.
To be honest, I was quite content in India, with a great job, amazing boss, wonderful friends and colleagues. My daughter was doing well too, in a great international school with her group of friends. Ya, the inconvenience of travel in Mumbai is terrible but I drove around everywhere and I gotta say I was doing well for myself, being quite content with the life I was leading. Professionally I was doing well too with a good growth & learning path. The whole move to Australia was initiated quite a few years ago by my elder sister-in-law when her close friends moved to Melbourne and started enjoying the life Australia has to offer. It was then decided that we would all plan to move and once my younger brother got his PR couple of years ago, there was no looking back. Being a close knit family, I was just pulled along with the idea, and though my university fees would be the biggest burden I would have to deal with, I had the confidence I would be able to recover it post my education. 😊.
Since my elder brother has a daughter too, it made sense for us to move together so the kids can be taken care of. Besides, if I were to take up studies and work part time only, I would need that support during the study years as my daughter and my expenses would be too difficult to manage alone even with me exhausting my savings.
So once my elder brother got his PR in Adelaide, I took up admission here too and thus began this saga!
I think the most important aspect of moving to a new place afresh, is how to manage the expenses. Student Visa’s restrict your working hours to 40hrs a fortnight during term, but on study break you do have the option to work full time. That being said, it isn’t easy getting even a part time job here. In fact, it isn’t that easy getting a job at all in Adelaide. Whilst people moving to Melbourne, Sydney and any of the other metro cities may differ in opinion, Adelaide being an upcoming city has very limited opportunities and someone on a student visa is even more restricted. A lot of the jobs here are available on a reference, meaning networking here is most important. If you have someone here who is helpful enough, its great, else it can be a struggle.
I have to say that I have come across many helpful people here especially when you connect within the Indian community. Actually, most people here in Australia are quite helpful. There are a lot of people going out of their way to help new immigrants, from airport pick-ups, to finding accommodation and even guiding in job hunting. I was lucky to connect with an ex-colleague, Aurora, who was exceptionally welcoming and helpful connecting me with many amazing people here.
The universities do help a lot too, so for students travelling on their own, there is assistance available within the university too. From accommodation services, free airport pick ups and available guidance for everything else.
Regular expenses are the one stress most students have, and if a single student is to move to Australia, it really isn’t too difficult to manage expenses with a part time job. Accommodation is really the only excessive expense, otherwise it is manageable if you spend smartly. It, of course will be difficult if one is to try covering the course fees during that time, cause with limited hours and only base jobs available for students, the course fees are too difficult to cover. With a kid, it’s near to impossible to manage alone and that’s where I need to clarify that I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my parents, who are covering my university fees, and my brother & sis-in-law who are covering most of my expenses.
The accommodation here is mighty expensive if you look for something decent, even the single room accommodations are nothing less that $150 a week, and are extremely small. Though there are multiple options available. Many students opt for home stays which include food & utilities in their rent but can come with time restrictions and limited privacy. Shared accommodations are most feasible but if you don’t have the right pick of room-mates, life can be difficult!
The regular day to day expenses are manageable even if you get a base paying job, but one has to be wary of the numerous employers who are looking to exploit students with below the minimum wage rates. I have encountered such employers and refused to encourage their illegal activities. I do understand that many students take up such jobs with the thought that some job is better than none, but that encourages such people to exploit the students more. The authorities really need to come down stronger on such employers and take action.
The simple fact remains that one needs to be accepting of different types of employment. Starting fresh generally means starting at the bottom, and in a country like Australia they expect you to have some local experience to consider you and then give credit to your international achievements. So be prepared to start at the bottom, gain experience and once you achieve your degree can look forward to better employment terms. I would also recommend trying different kinds of roles, retail and sales being the most available profiles.
Finally, my number one suggestion.. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!!!
Everything here runs through references, and that’s the best way to go. Make the right connects and develop professional relationships to progress in your career. Stay engaged and opt for volunteer work, if you have the time, as it is considered in high regard.
I guess that’s a lot said for now, will be back next week.. hopefully … with more updates on my journey!
Don’t forget to follow my blog for many more such posts and check out my other social media links too. Bye till next time! 😊
*Some images in this post are obtained from google & other websites