Life As An International Student In Australia
Australia is an amazing country which is loved by a large number of international students coming from all over the world. Students prefer to go to Australia for higher studies because of number of reasons including high quality of education, natural attractions and culture.
While I was choosing the countries for my higher studies, Australia came first on my mind. I looked up at universities and University of South Australia in Adelaide appealed the most to me. The fee was a bit higher but the teachers and quality of education were outstanding.
Being an international student in Australia is not just about going to university, studying and working, it also about getting to know about amazing culture and lifestyle of Australia.
It was May 2014 when I arrived in Adelaide. I was very depressed at first because I was missing home badly. This city was completely new to me but thank god I had family there. My aunt provided me accommodation in her home. So that was a great part about living in Adelaide otherwise I’d have to pay extra for my living.
Life in university
When I first went to the University of South Australia, everything looked strange. There were students from different cultures including Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, USA and also many local students who were too kind and supportive. But with the passage of time, my nervousness went away and I started getting used to the study environment and culture. I made many friends from various countries and that helped me a lot in learning about their culture. Quality of education was very high and I thoroughly enjoyed studying there. Few of my teachers were from abroad while others were local and were extremely professional and knowledgeable in their respective fields.
Looking for a job in Adelaide
Next step was to look for a job because I had to pay tuition fee myself and you must be aware that fees in Australian Universities are higher as compared to other countries. Anyhow, I started applying for jobs everywhere. I remember that on my orientation day, my professor advised me not to put too much experience on my resume. Only add what is relevant to the post you are applying for. So I customized my resume according to the jobs and started applying online at all the recruitment sites I could but NO answer. Then I printed my resume and went to all the markets and stores myself and gave my resume in person. At least, that gives you a chance to interact with the employer yourself.
Finally I got a few calls and went for interview but every time I was failed because of one reason and that is ‘international student’. I saw an ad somewhere for a sale person so I thought to go for it. It was door to door selling job so I opted for it. The company was pretty good and they offered fixed salary that was not too much but they paid commission every time we’d make a sale. If you are good in communicating and convincing people, then I suggest you to go for sales job. At least it’s better than having no income at all. I worked for around 2 months but realized that I couldn’t manage my studies with this hectic job. So I finally started applying at other places.
There were vacancies for data entry persons in my cousin’s workplace. I thought to give it a try and finally got selected after an interview. It was in October 2014 when I started this job. It was just for few days but luckily they liked my work so gave me a causal position as a ‘client service administrator’. I worked for them for about one and half year until I moved from Australia. My salary helped me in not only paying my entire tuition fee but I also saved money for other expenses.
Let me tell you an important thing here; near Christmas holidays all the stores and restaurants in Australia do need lots of employees on a casual basis. If they like your work, they may offer you permanent position later. Other good option is to apply at restaurants. They always need waiters on a part time basis.
Remember one thing: ‘There is no small job. Whatever offer you get, just avail it and start earning whether it’s in an office, as a cashier, as a waiter or any other job. In Australia, pay per hour is very high as compared to all other developed countries in the world and even with working 20 hours a week, you’ll be able to manage your expenses and you can also contribute towards your tuition fee’.
Increase your network
One of the easiest ways to get a job is to increase your network as much as you can. Attend various career programs and local events. You can also work as a volunteer for some time and it may get you a part time paid position later. Join University clubs and meet more and more local and international people and make new friends. This way, you’ll be able to not only learn about various trends and culture in Australia but it will also increase your chance of getting a job.
Living in Australia
You’ll come across many students who are living in posh areas because they belong to high class families. But if you cannot afford to live at these places, there are many options for you including campus residency and shared rooms in various parts of Australia. You can easily get the shared room with rent starting from $70 to $80 a week. Apart from that, many families offer a room in their homes to international students with shared expenses. I recommend you to keep an eye on web sites where people advertise about rooms.
Transportation is awesome in Australia and I absolutely love it especially in Adelaide. Most convenient way for international students is to travel by bus, tram or train. They offer student discount cards which you have to refill once the balance is finished. All you need to do is, scan the card into the machines installed in the bus, tram or train and you are good to go.
Where to eat food?
Australia has a large number of restaurants offering all kind of cuisines. No matter where are you from, you can easily get your traditional food all over Australia especially in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide where majority of International students are living.
Chinese, Malaysian, Pakistani, Afghani, Indian; Australia has everything to cater all kind of cultures. Other than that, there are many famous fast food chains that offer delicious food at reasonable prices.
And not to forget delicious desserts of Australian Cafes.
Are you ready to go to Australia?
Are you considering going to Australia as an international student and worried about expenses and job etc.? Don’t think too much and go for it. Being an international student myself, I can say that first few months are going to be hard but after that, you are going to love living there. You’ll get a job if you look for it carefully. Believe me, nothing in impossible. If you try hard, you are definitely going to get a good opportunity. If I can manage all, you too can. Don’t be disappointed with any negativity and keep moving. You’ll absolutely fall in love with this amazing country, its multi culture environment and food.