February 9, 2022

How to THRIVE as an International Student in Australia 🦘

5 Tips to help you thrive in your new city 🥰

With the Australian borders now open, International students are finally welcomed back to Australia. If you are an international student (or if you’re planning to study in Australia), you’ve found the right blog!  

Choosing to study overseas is a massive leap of faith to many. Students tend to alternate between emotions of excitement and exhilaration to worry and fear.

If you are still overseas right now, you might be going through a long checklist of to-do’s – what to bring, what airport outfit do you wear, what not to bring, where to live, who to say goodbye to, how to get from point A to point B… or just simply *HOW*. 
One word with three letters to sum up the overwhelming feeling while you are packing your whole life into a suitcase or two. 

I had an opportunity to speak to a student who is originally from the Philippines, and is now studying in Parramatta, New South Wales. Glaiza Nollora (featured photo) has been in Australia for the past 2 years and 2 months and she gave us her tips on how to thrive in Sydney as an international student.

Tip #1 - Find Work in Australia

Maybe this isn’t the awe-inspiring tip you were expecting, but it can be a great step towards feeling more comfortable in your new city! 

Not only can work provide you with some spending money to help enjoy Australia to the fullest, but it can help you with networking and making connections with likeminded people in Australia. 

On the topic of costs in Australia, Glaiza says “Food is not so expensive, a full meal is around $10, the utility bills are okay, but the rent in Sydney can be quite expensive”. 

Bonus Tip: Don't be too picky!

Glaiza recommends not to be too picky with jobs, especially if you are one with no experience! Take what’s in front of you just to get started, and then go from there because if you do not get lucky on the first try, you will eventually find a better job or better pay – hopefully both.

Be punctual, always be there 100%, and work hard. Hard work pays off and can help to get you more job referrals. 

Glaiza also believes that the Aged Care industry is one of the best industries in Australia in terms of employment as there are many job vacancies. This should give you a hint where to start! 😉
*Study Aged Care at Queensford College*

Tip #2 - Explore and Be Friendly!

“Even with the trains, I did not know how to get by”

Glaiza’s landlord asked her son to tour Glaiza around Circular Quay. “And that’s how I got by, by being friendly.. plus Google is your friend”. Glaiza used the connections she had already made around her by being friendly, to help learn more about Australia and ask for help. According to her, the people in Australia are very friendly. “Even if they don’t know you, they will help you.” 

Just recently while Glaiza was driving, her car got stuck in an island. She tried calling her friends, but they were out of reach. Thankfully, an Aussie gentleman got off his car to rescue her instead. Follow Glaiza’s example and don’t be scared to ask for help 😀

PSA to all international students: Yes – majority of Australian residents are friendly but still, take care!


Tip #3 - Join Communities

Glaiza is a member of a religious community in Australia. During the pandemic, she got
furloughed from her job or her hours were reduced so she struggled to sustain all her needs. Her community sent her groceries and homecooked meals to get her through the week: Survival Tips 101 ✔

There is plenty to choose from when looking for a community to join. From local sporting communities, religions groups like Glaiza chose, or just general International Student groups. Keep an eye out on Facebook and don’t be scared to ask our Student Support Team for advice 🥰

Tip #4 - Take Opportunities for Self-Improvement

Glaiza says there are a lot of free trainings in Australia. The NSW Government just recently announced that they will be funding 5,000 free RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) courses to address hospitality staff shortages. Cross-skilling or being multi-skilled will open more doors for you in Australia. Take advantage of opportunities such as this. 

Tip #5 - Attend Your Classes

Be punctual with your classes, otherwise there may be an impact on your visa.

Lastly, Glaiza advises that when your first step into the country, it will not be easy. She is a living testament of this as she initially had to struggle go through challenges, enduring being alone in a foreign country leaving her husband and three children in the Philippines. However, attending classes consistently and progressing through her course has helped to open doors in Australia and make new friends during class. Having a consistent routine has also been shown to improve mental health, so why not structure your routine around attending classes and studying? 

You will sometimes find yourself needing to go through the eye of a needle to get through the week or experiencing multiple breakdowns in a day, but hang on because that will only be in the beginning. Once you have found your footing, everything else will fall into place for you.

Remember: breakdowns create breakthroughs. Hopefully, Glaiza’s 5 tips will help push you to brave the uncertainties and open the many possibilities of choosing to study overseas. 

Stay QConnected!
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