Student management

Save, work and study – letter from an international business student in Australia

(This letter is part of a series from The Indian Express where we bring you the experiences of students from different overseas universities. From scholarships and loans to culinary and cultural experiences – students tell us how different life is in these countries and the things they are learning other than academic)

—Akhilesh Johnson

My love for traveling and experiencing different cultures brought me to the University of Canberra. I had always wanted to start my own business and in the process of realizing this dream, I came here to study a Masters in International Business.

I highly recommend studying abroad as it will help you define your life, gain new meaning, and learn and grow. Be sure to open up to people, make friends wherever you can, and expand your network of relationships and contacts.

Always keep your documents close at hand

Initially, I contacted the consulting group, IDP, who helped me with all the documentation and paperwork. I started gathering all the essential papers and documents before working on my Statement of Purpose (SOP), where I outlined everything clearly. I found it helpful to go through some sample SOPs from previous applicants as it helped me customize my own.

Simultaneously, I also made electronic copies of each document and put them in a folder and made two photocopies of all the documents to be transported to Australia. Due to possible delays in the signing of documents by the respective authorities, it is always worth preparing things as soon as possible. For example, I recommend completing your IELTS early, as the results are valid for two years, so you’ll have plenty of time to use it. Your medical evaluation is another one to do early – be sure to check back after a few days to make sure they’ve forwarded the medical reports, just in case someone forgot to upload it.

The documents I submitted included my recent passport photo, passport, offer letter, COE, IELTS results, class 10 and 12 mark sheets, baccalaureate mark sheets, the graduation certificate, my parents and my own affidavits in case one took proof of student loan or employment, parents payslips and bank statements.

Scholarship and study loan

I bagged the UC International Merit Scholarship which was definitely helpful to me. There were certain requirements, including academic grades, that I had to achieve in order to be eligible for the scholarship. There is specifically not much paperwork or documentation involved for this scholarship except for the international student application. Therefore, it was quite convenient for me to apply.

In the application, they assessed my previous academic achievements as well as my extracurricular activities. To qualify for this, I had to have either a GPA of 5 or higher or 70% (or equivalent grade) or higher in my bachelor’s degree, and since I scored over 70% in my bachelor’s degree, I qualified for the stock market. Also, to secure my scholarship, I only had to accept my offer letter. It was really a major benefit for me and my family, because I had taken out an education loan to finance my studies at UC.

As for an education loan, I took out one from Axis Bank in India. I did my own research to check which bank offered the best rates and the least additional fees and charges. It was a great moment of relief when the loan documents were approved by the bank. Plus, they pay the college fees on my behalf, every semester, reducing the stress of doing that as well.

The procedure is similar in all banks. Banks require proof that the money is taken for educational purposes only and therefore they will check the offer letter, COE and other additional documents. They would also require some sort of collateral and other checks after which one would qualify for the loan. The procedure of getting a sanctioned loan is definitely not easy as it requires a lot of paperwork and one might face some issues but in the end it is worth it.

Save, Work, Study — Surviving in a Foreign Country

One thing I’ve learned from being here is to say “Yes” to every opportunity that comes my way, as it helps me gain experience and expand my network.

During the second week of being in this new city, I was able to land my first opportunity in a bakery. I was able to learn so many things from this place including customer service, time management, task prioritization and team management. These skills have helped me land jobs on campus here at the University of Canberra.

Another lesson I learned here is that networking is important here. Being connected with the right people definitely helps you grow and improve in personality, career, and in many other ways.

The seventh week after I arrived here, I remember applying for the position of student ambassador and from that day on, my life changed for the better. Thanks to the exposure I received from this role, I was able to progress professionally, which changed my life. Now I can speak confidently in front of huge crowds, help students transition into a new college lifestyle, and mentor new students. I have also been able to tutor refugee students and provide them with as much help as possible, both academically and in adjusting to life in Canberra.

I also had the privilege of serving as vice president of two student-run clubs. It helped me learn new ways to improve the student experience so they grow in every way possible.

Currently, I have three jobs on campus and have learned the art of living on my schedule. Every weekend I plan my schedule for the week ahead, it allows me to do so much in one day. Plus, I’m waking up more motivated than ever to make the most of everything, and even to grow and learn from it.

Talking about surviving on your part-time job income, one of the main life skills I learned was money management and independence. During the first month, I received money from home for rent and other expenses. I was also lucky enough to get my first job within the first two weeks and it was truly a proud moment for me personally to become self-employed and start saving money and managing my finances. After the first month, I also landed my first on-campus job as a Student Ambassador, which paid me well. So after that, I never had to rely on my family for finances.

I also implemented a system of only keeping 30% of what I earn in my main account, and started saving the other 70%. Thanks to this method, I will soon be financing my own tuition fees and I will be able to start repaying my school loan.

Indian vs Australia – education system

The study experience varies between India and Australia. A major difference is that the students here are motivated to work in groups, which means you can learn a lot by hearing different ideas and methods. Peer learning in classrooms contributes enormously to success.

The best thing is for students to be encouraged to prepare things before class so that class discussion is more productive. Finally, there reigns here a healthy spirit of competition between the students which motivates everyone to give the best of themselves.

Although Covid has disrupted millions of lives around the world, the university has ensured that students can continue to get an education in the best way possible, while ensuring that nothing affects their mental wellbeing. in any way.

The University of Canberra has relaxed the testing system while placing more emphasis on assignments and group projects, just to ensure that social connectivity between students is retained as much as possible. Even when it came to lectures, UC made sure to provide the best A/V services possible to ensure that lectures were recorded with the utmost clarity. In addition, the professors were constantly engaging with the students to make sure everything was going well and smoothly.

Post-pandemic, UC is offering more events, activities, workshops, and seminars just to restore connectivity and ensure students have the best experience. They are also ensuring that students have a safe environment to study, by making it mandatory to wear masks inside classrooms, providing sanitizers in common areas and wipes to clean tables and the like. surfaces.

Finally, the university also offers students free vaccines, Covid boosters and even flu shots.