Since completing my bachelors degree, I have had a dream to continue my education overseas. Of course, this seems like an impossible thing for an orphan like me.
I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to pursue my dream. As I have known for many years, the Australia Awards Scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships available in the world. Furthermore, there were 5000 applicants when I applied and only 300 people were selected to continue their education at an Australian university, including me. Thank goodness!
Studying a Master of Arts (International Relations) at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, is one of the most marvellous experiences I have had in my lifetime. Deakin has offered many experiences to elevate my skills in leadership, culture and academia. One amazing academic experience has been gaining real work. I have become a Research Assistant, professionally hired by the Alfred Deakin Institute, which is the research centre of Deakin. Here, my supervisor is an expert professor in the field of which I am studying (Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism). Additionally, the facilities that Deakin offers are so wonderful, and I can contact my professors at any time and receive a quick response. Online resources also help us to understand more of the course content, and we can always find friendly and helpful staff to assist us when needed. Further, mentoring sessions are available to help new students settle into the University. Most importantly, Deakin is an inclusive society within a multicultural environment, and very peaceful. Deakin offers a study environment that I would highly recommend, especially if you like the idea of studying outdoors during beautiful sunsets in summer or autumn. You will enjoy the birds chirping all around the Melbourne Burwood campus. It is so lovely!
As I mentioned, Melbourne and Deakin are very multicultural communities and I have been able to learn more Indonesian traditional dances with the Indonesian Dance Club here. I have gained so many opportunities to perform, including the Dragon Festival, which is organised by Deakin to celebrate diversity. I am proud to introduce traditional dance from my country to people in Australia. As famous author Paulo Coelho said ’Culture makes people understand each other better, and if they understand better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbourhood is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.’
To be honest, after I did a road trip from Melbourne to Sydney (in total 1806 kilometres), I came to the conclusion that Melbourne is one of the most liveable cities in the world. There are hundreds of festivities every weekend, conferences and groups with common interests. Through being involved in these types of events, I have gained many local and international friends. One experience I have had, was going to Macedon with the Explore Melbourne Meetup Group – a special place about an hour from Melbourne by train. Here I was able to enjoy the most beautiful autumn weather and colours. Overall, my time in Melbourne has been like a rollercoaster: balancing study with many local culture experiences available. I am shy no more and living my dream!
For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.