“What’s life without a bit of a challenge!”
Agree?! Let’s meet Nurafiqah Adabiah binti Yusof, a Malaysian teenage girl who soon to be 18, and see how is a life of a teenager studying in Australia.
I am currently living in Sydney and just finished a diploma in accounting at TAFE. I was residing in Saudi Arabia with my family and did high school there. Choosing Australia to study mainly because I have always wanted to go to this country, where the accent is unique, nature is beautifully filled with beaches and parks. It is also close to Malaysia and a little bit cheaper than universities in America. Plus, I have a friend who is studying in Sydney so my parents thought “Why not? At least I will have a friend.” I came to Australia last year in August. In the beginning, I had a little issue of making friends, but as class started, I managed to make a couple of friends. I also had a few difficulties with public transport because I have never had to use it before.
Apart from a few difficulties with public transport because I have never had to use it before, moving to Australia has not changed much about me. This is because I have been overseas basically my whole life. I do feel incredibly humbled to be able to study abroad and meet people from various cultures and backgrounds. It enriches my understanding of the world and helps me learn ways to coexist. One of the best things about Australia is that I think Aussie accent is distinctive and lovely, but I still have an American-ish accent.
Although I have a close friend in Sydney, sadly we do not usually meet. This is because I am underaged, and I have to stay in a homestay. There are rumours of how terrible homestay life is, according to many international teenagers. However, the woman I am staying with is such a pleasure to be around. She comes from Greek, is a widow and her children are both married and have their kids now. She cooks great food and always makes me feel welcome at home, especially when she has some friends coming over. My host is pretty chill if you just follow the rules and do not be rude.
“Be open to various opportunities and don’t be afraid to take small (or big) steps out of your comfort zones to improve yourself. It is all about learning and enjoying the process.”
A challenge I faced when I first started TAFE was trying to understand what is being taught in class. I had never done Accounting before, and I was afraid that it would be a boring subject. Though it may be challenging at times, Accounting is a versatile field, and every industry will need an accountant. It was not bad after all.
I was lucky to have a reference point for when things in the class did not make any sense to me, and it was a friend of my mum’s who teaches Accounting in the University. I asked her for help with some homework assignments. Also, I had a study group with a few people from my class. It was great to collaborate on questions and learn things from each other.
To reduce stress, I watch some TV shows or a movie. Also, I might go out with friends over the weekend and enjoy what Sydney has to offer, and sometimes I record those adventures too. I also love photography, and for my photography, you can find it on my blog at nrfqhysf.wordpress.com.
My objective is to make something of myself to support my passions and goals. Short term goals would be to survive the first year of university and to enjoy it at the same time. I plan to go to higher education after TAFE. It may be an Accounting degree at University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). I choose Accounting basically due to its versatile, and every industry needs one although it will be hard for me. However, hey, what’s life without a bit of a challenge!
I have not figured out the specifics of my long term goals yet, but right now it is probably just to get a job and settle down here.
The first step is to make myself open to different opportunities and taking baby steps out of my comfort zones. If I had not stepped out of my comfort zone, I would not have gotten the internship position at VOIS Magazine! So I am glad that worked out. I sent my resume to VOIS after I saw an ad in the MASSA group that Thi posted and a few days after, I went for an interview. Then a few more days after, I was accepted as an intern. At the moment, I am an intern but probably soon become a writer.
If you could give advice for international students what would it be?
“You will always be able to find home away from home if you let yourself.”
What would you say to inspire international students to get better in the future?
“Everyone has got their way of studying so it is important for you to figure yours out so that you can always try your best at school. Understand what works for you and roll with it.”
Last modified: October 24, 2016