Australia has always been my promised land – breathtaking scenic landscapes, awe-inspiring natural wonders, vibrant cosmopolitan cities, quality education and diverse culture. With its metropolises being some of the most liveable cities in the world and their high standard of living, it’s no wonder that the land down under has become one of the world’s most popular expat destinations. So, when I decided to finally move to Australia, I couldn’t be happier. When I started considering where I would like to live, I realised that deciding on the city was just one of the numerous decisions I had to make. However, by taking one step at the time and doing enough research beforehand, I managed to get through my expatriation process. It was one of the most challenging periods in my life, but somehow, I survived.
I used to talk about living in Australia so passionately and rapturously. But whenever one of my friends asked me why I actually didn’t move there, I could think of millions of excuses. I quickly realised that none of those excuses were good enough. My friends and family supported me, I had great chances of getting a scholarship and I knew the language. The truth is I was scared. I was so scared to venture into the unknown, leave everything behind and start all over again. Once I had accepted the fact that I was just scared, I decided not to let my fears prevent me from getting to my promised land. And this is how it all started.
The first step was thinking of a plan, an Australian life plan, If you will. Since I wanted to study in Australia, I had to find an appropriate program that offered a scholarship. At the same time, I was looking into all the requirements I needed to meet. I spent months looking into all the documentation, browsing through different programs, reading about living in different cities and researching everything I could think of. I had to plan everything ahead so that I would be ready when the time came.
Each of Australian cities is unique in its own way, so it took me a while to decide where I would like to move and study. While Sydney is a high-end metropolis, Melbourne boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene. Perth might be isolated from the rest of the continent, but it features a lovely Mediterranean climate. Since each and every one of them had something to offer, I felt like I had to make an impossible choice. So, I came up with a list of my requirements that a city needed to meet and started the elimination process, crossing cities off the list one by one.
Sydney was the first to go. Sure, it’s the most popular city in Australia, but it’s also the most expensive one and I simply couldn’t afford to live there. Melbourne was next because, let’s face it, it doesn’t fall much behind Sydney in terms of cost of living. Eventually, it all came down to Brisbane. It has a great location and lovely weather, it’s not too expensive and it’s one of the most popular destinations for international students. I spent some time looking into different programs, but it didn’t take me long to find one I liked. I applied for a scholarship and several months later, I was on a plane to the promised land.
Once I arrived, the adventure of my lifetime started. It had its ups and downs, but I got used to it pretty quickly. I somehow felt, and I still do, that this is where I belong. I was lucky enough to find fantastic student accommodation in Brisbane close to my university. I could choose whether I wanted to live with other students or on my own and I had access to different amenities, including study rooms, laundry facilities, lounge areas, etc. Apart from its affordability, this type of accommodation is perfect for adventure seekers, if I may call myself one of them, because it brings a certain type of excitement into your life. I met a range of different and wonderful people, found a part-time job in a local café and everything else worked itself out.
The greatest challenge was dealing with the inability to see my friends and family every day. Of course, we video chat, but it’s not the same. While I feel that I left a part of me home, no matter how difficult it may be at times, I’m glad I did.
My life in Brisbane has been extraordinary, exciting, fulfilling and adventurous, but also challenging, exhausting and even felt impossible at times. However, despite all the challenges and obstacles, excuses and justifications, I got to my promised land.
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