Life and times as an international student in Geelong
By Syed Shabih-Ul-Hassan
My name is Syed Shabih-Ul-Hassan and I am an international student from Pakistan. I studied at Deakin University Waurn Ponds campus, Geelong, where I pursued a Master’s degree of engineering with a specialization in engineering management. I moved to Geelong from Pakistan in the mid of 2017. Since it was my first time in Australia, it was pretty mind-blowing for me being introduced to a new culture on top of navigating my way through independent student life.
Moving to a new country is no easy feat, especially when you are an international student. For the majority of international students, it is our first time leaving the nest. We are no longer able to turn to the comforts of our home and family like we used to, so I understand that many of you, starting a new chapter in a different country can be daunting. However, do not fret. Here are some of my most memorable experiences that helped me get through to adjusting to my new life in Geelong and will hopefully help you settle in as well.
As an international student, I can categorize my time in Geelong into 3 subsets of experiences, in order of significance:
- As a student ambassador for Study Geelong
Being a student ambassador for Study Geelong has allowed me to meet and work with like-minded individuals and to get a glimpse into the professional work environment of Australia. The student mentoring program helped us with our professional development and confidence building for networking. Rest assured, all of these interactions serve their fair share of long term and short benefits, both at a personal and a professional level.
- Being a student at Deakin University
It was a privilege to be a student at Deakin University. It has a purpose built campus decked with facilities ranging from sports grounds and state of the art lab equipment to large study spaces and experienced personnel. Deakin University provided an inclusive environment and implemented a system that supports all students.
- Living in Geelong
Prior to coming to Geelong, I did not know anything about it because I had never heard of it. This was mostly because such places get overshadowed by the fame of other mainstream cities such as Melbourne. Upon doing some research about it, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it readily checked out many boxes for some of the basic concerns I had. This included but was not limited to things such as a thriving community, friendly and welcoming people, halal food, safety and or course ease of accessibility to Melbourne as well as the great coastline along the great ocean road.
All in all, I would say that Geelong is a very peaceful place and with being so close to a big city like Melbourne, it is the ideal place that offers the best of both worlds.