The idea of studying overseas never came to my mind until my older brother decided to do it several years ago. Even though I was familiar with Indonesian communities in Melbourne – such as church and friends – the thought of leaving my comfortable place was too much for a shy person like me.
While it was true that I was having trouble adapting in the first few months there, I committed to persevere. What strengthened my commitment was having a supportive social circle. Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean that I want to be lonely. I was really blessed, since I know few people my age returned to their home country because they experienced personal difficulties while living abroad.
For the people who plan to leave their ‘home’ to advance their education, I strongly recommend not only to focus on their academic performance (which I did initially), but also on finding new opportunities and friends.
For the people who plan to leave their ‘home’ to advance their education, I strongly recommend not only to focus on their academic performance (which I did initially), but also on finding new opportunities and friends. If you don’t have one, then create one! When I look back, I’m always thankful that I didn’t refuse the encouragement from my church to establish a new community. It was daunting and terrifying, especially for a socially-awkward person like me! Afterwards, the experiences with them were memorable for me, right up until I finished my Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology) degree, or now known as the Bachelor of Psychological Science. I was blessed.
The other thing that I’m grateful for is the opportunity to be immersed in my own solitude time that I could never have had in my own country. In Australia, I had plenty of times just being by myself. I reflected on my life experiences, mistakes, successes, strengths, weaknesses, enduring life values, and many more! Not to mention the excitement of looking things from different perspectives because of the different cultures! There are just things that cannot be learned unless we step out of our comfort zones. Wisdom is everywhere, it’s just that it won’t come by itself unless we strive to look for them.
Wisdom is everywhere, it’s just that it won’t come by itself unless we strive to look for them.
At first, honestly, I was a bit skeptical about learning at Deakin, as it was not one of the mainstream universities. But now, oh boy, I’m proud to be one of their graduates. It is one of the most ever-growing universities I’ve ever seen! The staff are really, really friendly. They were so eager to help me whenever I was troubled. At first, I couldn’t believe that I finished my degree with a distinction (70%-80%) average, but it was real. I believe that this was due to how supportive the university staff and my community were. I’m blessed.
Now, I’m working as an intern counselor at IPEKA Integrated Christian School, a prestigious high school in Indonesia. I believe what I’ve learned from my few years of experience overseas has benefitted the students here. I am blessed, and now it’s my turn to bless my country.
At the moment, I’m quite anxious about my Honours application to study back at Deakin. I’m just hoping that I could continue my study there!
For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.