Life’s first overseas excursion to Australia

My name is Vishal Kakkar and I am currently doing a Masters of Engineering (Professional) at Deakin’s Geelong Waurn Ponds campus.

My life was going great in India, where after completing my bachelor’s degree I was working as a Project Assistant at the Confederation of Indian Industry (India’s Chamber of Commerce). Out of nowhere, one day my Dad asked me whether I would want to study in Australia? My answer was ‘No’, just because I always wanted to live in the United States. At that time there was a difference of opinion between my dad’s thought and my aspirations. However, dad told me that I had only one option which was ‘Australia’ because he liked the people and the environment over there. I guess my fate was decided then and I said, ‘Yes, I’ll go to Australia and see what is so special over there.’ I’m glad I did so.

I said, ‘Yes, I’ll go to Australia and see what is so special over there.’ I’m glad I did so.

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Exploring Melbourne CBD

The day I was travelling from India to Australia was pretty surprising for me. I didn’t know that I was an emotional person until I was standing at the airport. That was the day I saw an airport for the first time in my entire life. I was emotional as I was leaving my family behind and I was excited also to go on my first ever flight. Before that, I had only seen airplanes in books and on television. I didn’t know how I would reach the airplane with which I was flying. Finally, I got busted with tears when I had seen the plane for the first time, standing to take me to an entirely different lifestyle and at that point I felt I was going away for two long years without coming back.

The colourful streets of Melbourne

The colourful streets of Melbourne

It was a fantasy which was eventually becoming reality as the plane was landing at the Melbourne airport. The view outside the window was fantastic and I felt that I am going to start a life with strangers around. At that moment, I was very nervous when there was no body waiting to receive me at the airport. Out of nowhere, I saw a lady standing with a paper stand with my name waiting for me. She greeted me with a big smile and everything changed from that point of time. The way Australia welcomed me was fantastic and I was overwhelmed.

She greeted me with a big smile and everything changed from that point of time. The way Australia welcomed me was fantastic and I was overwhelmed.

She talked to me in a way that made me feel like I was part of her family returning back from India. She showed me the hanging out places in Geelong and various food spots also. Then, she dropped me at Deakin University (Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus). It was not a nervous feeling anymore as I realised that people over here are very helpful and accommodating.

My first day at Deakin was the most exciting day of my Australian journey. I met a bunch of Connect Volunteers who helped me to find several hidden ways of the university. It was such a great experience so I decided to help new upcoming students with the same passion and enthusiasm and became a Connect Volunteer in the next trimester.

Receiving Global Citizenship Award in Melbourne

Receiving the Global Citizenship Award for my volunteering efforts

Deakin has welcomed me with open arms by giving numerous opportunities to contribute to the community. Deakin has recognised my caliber to give me an opportunity to be a Postgraduate Student Representative, Connect Volunteer, Peer Support Leader, Smoke Free Ambassador and President of DUSA club.

It has been an exciting journey and I look forward to finish my academic career with a fully developed professional attitude so as to be an asset to Deakin in coming future.

For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.

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