My life in Melbourne by Balachander
This is a story about my life as an International student in Melbourne and how I found my course at RMIT. Here’s my story.
I had never been a bright student and am sure I always would not but that did not stop me from submitting my application to RMIT for my Masters. Mum asked me to choose Environmental Science as my major discipline and so I chose Food Science and Technology. I like neither worms nor getting dirty! I was happy when I received my conditional offer letter from RMIT. This was followed by the conventional protocols of VISA, health check, purchases and finally I boarded my flight. I didn’t bother take one last look back at my home country. I was already feeling Aussie inside. I had to break my journey at Thailand for a couple of hours. During my brief stay at the airport I began to feel jumpy and I just wandered around window shopping all brightly coloured things and a faint note of nostalgia struck me when my gaze fell upon a statue of an Indian deity! I shrugged it off and finally boarded my second flight from Thailand. It was during this journey that I had Mr. Nice guy (I forgot his name) in the seat next to me. He asked me “Going back to Aussie eh?” to which I replied “Nope! This is my first time!”
He helped me with my menu for the night and that’s when I came to know about what a quiche was. My flight finally touched down at Tullamarine airport and I looked outside at the darkness and thought “That’s it? This is Melbourne?” It was cold and way too dark to decide anything so I collected my baggage and went straight outside to meet my new brother! My parents had arranged for my accommodation with him and hence he had come along with his family to receive me. They were a family of three and lived in a place called Pakenham. I found myself wondering about whether Pakenham was a street in Melbourne or another city since all my pre trip Google map visits to RMIT city campus never displayed Pakenham!
We finally reached home and my new sister-in-law served us food. I think the introduction of “new” family members would serve as a statement to how they have been with me ever since I came here. They gave me a new room to stay, good food and helped me with each and every essential problem that an international student would face once in Melbourne. My new brother, Mr.Sudhakar, also helped me with securing a part time job at Moorabin and also offered to drop and pick me up from the station after I started working. I would totally lay it down to this family if I ever succeed in settling down in Melbourne for the rest of my life.
The very next day I went to my university and it was only daylight that brought about the feeling “Oh boy! So THIS is Melbourne” I was totally flattered by the city’s architecture. Melbourne was indeed the most liveable city in the world. Mr.Sudhakar dropped me at Building 8 and I wasted no time in getting to the Applied Sciences building where I met the course co-ordinator and enrolled myself in the program. My first class was at Building 14 and I have to emphasize this, I had a really tough time finding my way through the city especially with my map in hand. The thing made life so morose that I ended up running around in circles all over building 8. I somehow found my way and entered my classroom.
I managed a quick look across the room and saw a couple of faces staring at me. And as any other normal human I chose the most secluded spot in the entire class. To my astonishment I found myself taking notes of what the lecturer had been saying but then I remembered my vow to study hard and.. and. Well and do something but study hard in the first place! Post class i spoke with a guy who eventually became a really helpful friend. He explained me how things would work at RMIT and about my course structure, classes and everything. It was nearly 6 in the evening before I was standing at Pakenham station and my brother came to pick me up. I had to make a few wellness calls to home that night and I narrated the entire day’s experience as it was expected although I never did want to. My brain kept getting flash flooded with memories of India and those of my first day at Melbourne kept draining them as I finally dozed off.
It was only during the second week that I made two very good and funny friends, Siti and Cindy!! We had a great time studying as I never knew studies could be so much fun. They also showed me a lot of interesting places of good food around Melbourne. We had waffles together at a small shop near Flinders street station! We have been friends ever since and I hope we would be so for quite a while. Exams kicked in a couple of weeks later and we stayed back at the post graduate lounge late at nights and studied hard. We gave them our best and finally bid farewell to each other for the holidays with Paranormal Activity 4 at Hoyts!!
Some problems faced in Melbourne
Holidays were supposed to be interesting according to my calendar but they never were and still aren’t. My job at Moorabbin was getting a bit wobbly due to lack of stock and that’s when real trouble started. I had to look out for another job and thus I applied to various posts and even attended interviews but all in vain. When I was just about to feel that the apocalypse part of my life had started my brother came to the rescue and helped me get a job at a 7 Eleven close to home. The pay was low and the timings were irregular but still something was always indisputably better than nothing and thus I started working there.
My few months of stay in this city had taught me if not a lot, at least a few bits of useful actualities. I had learnt that life was tough, I had learnt that Melbourne always expects the best from you as it is used to giving you the best and I also learned to take care of little things whenever time allowed me to. Just as I am typing this down on my day off from 7 Eleven!!