April 17, 2023

Tips for New International Students in Australia

Meet Bibek! 👋

18-year-old Bibek came to Australia in 2018 immediately after he finished Year 12 in Nepal. When he was asked what his motivation was to leave home and come to Sydney, he said he wanted to ‘discover himself.’ His parents were apprehensive as Bibek does not have anyone in Australia. He only knew a friend of a friend. However, he was persistent to get out of his comfort zone to get know what he wants for his future.

When Bibek first touched down in Australia, he was greeted with pouring rain and cloudy skies. He immediately asked himself, “Is this a mistake?” However, there was no turning back. In the last 4 years that Bibek has been in Australia, here are his 3 tips to those who want to kick off their journey to self-discovery:

Tip #1 – Conquer Your Fears.
Do not be afraid of making mistakes.

“I made a lot of mistakes. My parents used to cry, worrying about me as I had no one over here. I miss them a lot, I used to cry but I would never tell them.” Definitely leaving the ‘comfort zone’ is not easy as it seems. We often miss on realising that it is not just about leaving the convenience of having parents and family by your side to support our physiological needs but also not having safety blankets for when we are struggling, or loving arms when we are down.

On making mistakes, Bibek advice:  Do it. Make mistakes. He says, “Initially it was so hard, but I had to learn by experience. I used to be too shy to apply for jobs, I would avoid calling and just text them. But, you have to try everything. I was shy but I kept going, I kept doing it. Then, I slowly built confidence.”

Tip #2 – Save Money

Fortunately for Bibek, despite his parents reservations regarding his travel overseas alone, he was initially financially supported by his mom and dad. However, Bibek found his way around Sydney and is now self-sufficient. According to him, there are a lot of employment opportunities in the country. Hence, back in Nepal, when he and his friends were discussing on whether to move to the United States or Australia, he chose the land down under.

Major saving tip from Bibek: Have 2 Bank Accounts, 1 for saving, 1 for spending.

Tip #3 – Listen to Your Parents
(but don’t forget to listen to your heart too)

“I am grateful for having parents who has supported me with coming here in Australia despite all the apprehensions. Even if they were upset about me leaving Nepal, they did not try to stop me as they knew that it was something I wanted to do for myself and my future.

I am privileged that my family in Nepal does not need my support financially. My parents would often tell me not to think about them. They would tell me, ’Think about your future, we are old. Focus on yourself. If you do good, then we are happy and proud.’ I would hang up the phone and cry. Then call again.”

These are the three tips from Bibek Hamal, who initially thought this whole journey was just his teenager self being reckless. But undoubtedly, worked out really well for him. He currently works as a cook in a restaurant, but is about to pursue his passion in healthcare. He is enroled to study Bachelor’s in Nursing in university in North Sydney.

YOLO. Start the process of getting to know your true selves – your desires, your ambitions, your passion. It all starts with the question – “What do I want?”

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