Hi everyone, I’m Madihah Husna Mohammad. I came from Malaysia and I am pursuing a Master of Architecture at Deakin University. Before Australia became my second home, I worked in Malaysia with my degree in Architecture from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). I had heard a lot about Deakin at that time, as it is a great choice for students who want to pursue study in architecture. When I first came here, everything was far more fun than I expected!
Remembering the experience of when I first stepped onto the land of Australia was that I was full of excitement. I can still clearly remember when I was picked up by a Deakin staff member from Melbourne Airport and he showed me around Geelong city. My first impression about the city and the country was that it was absolutely enthralling. It is a clean city, and has a great view of the waterfront. I also had opportunities to explore all the beautiful scenery here in Melbourne.
Being an international student, I have found no difficulties in making new friends and adapting to the culture. I feel no alienation here and it overwhelmed me because being a Muslim, and wearing a ‘hijab’ wrapped around my head, this foreign environment actually welcomed me. In fact, with a smaller number of Muslim students here, it surprised me to find out that the university actually had proper prayer rooms and there are even taps provided for us to take our ablutions.
Being an international student, I have found no difficulties in making new friends and adapting to the culture.
Living my life here in Deakin, I have found that the people are very helpful and always support the students, particularly the staff, lecturers, and my classmates. When I had difficulties in my life, the International Student Advisers helped me a lot. Whenever I have problems in my assignment writing, I sought help from a study support consultant and the writing mentors at the library. The lecturers are always friendly and they would always greet me enthusiastically whenever I was in the school. My new friends here also made me enjoy my time at Deakin. The language barrier is not a problem.
Since stepping off the plane last year, I’ve learned that all my initial fears and worries were unnecessary. Being an international student in a hijab has not deprived me, because living and studying at Deakin University is very multicultural and it is a welcoming society indeed!