I am an accounting student pursuing my Master’s degree at the Southern Cross University, Gold Coast campus. I always aspired to studying abroad but I never thought I would travel half way across the world from Mumbai, India and fulfil my dream. I was a little nervous before coming to Australia as I had never stayed away from my family for such a long time. It’s been almost two years now; I’m pleasantly surprised to call this country my new home.
Living on the Gold Coast has been a splendid experience and it has more than met my expectations. Beautiful beaches, lush green mountains and a sparkling river flowing through the city creates an unforgettable experience. Throughout this journey I have made many friends who come from different ethnic backgrounds which gave me a vast array of opportunities to learn and grow with them. I was amazed to know how friendly the local people are here and experienced it right from landing at the Brisbane International Airport in 2015 to even going to a local café today.
Something that I always look forward to is the SCU campus. The International Support Staff and Office is undoubtedly the best at SCU and hence ranked no. 1 for 3 consecutive years. I had the opportunity to work as an International Student Ambassador with the International Support Staff during the Orientation Weeks. Being an ambassador for SCU for 5 consecutive sessions makes me feel proud and has also helped in becoming one of the Mayor’s International Student Ambassador 2017 for the city of Gold Coast. In this program, we have 31 students from 13 different countries. Representing my country India and SCU amongst my mates makes me feel grateful.
On the scenic side of SCU, Gold Coast campus is the location of the university which is so close to the Kirra beach, I was thrilled to see the dolphins while I was working on my assignment. It was so refreshing! Also, I have been to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary many times to cuddle a Koala and take a selfie with Kangaroos. A short drive to Byron Bay is all that you need to unwind which is also the eastern-most point in Australia. I strongly recommend going up to the lighthouse to experience the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. And the easy access to hinterland such as O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and the magical beauty of Springbrook Glow Worm Caves makes it worth staying on the Gold Coast.
Undoubtedly, studying abroad has been the best decision in my life. I have learnt so much about this new continent and have explored my strengths at the same time. I have become more confident, independent and adventurous. I can’t wait to visit Melbourne, Port Douglas and Ayers Rock which are the next destinations on my wish list. If you would like to learn, travel and experience the beauty of nature – Australia is the place to be!