I remember how I felt when my flight landed in Australia for the first time. It was actually a feeling of numbness, where I did not know what to expect. Neither a feeling of excitement nor anxiety but a feeling of nothingness. To be honest, I was very overconfident to feel that I will settle in easily and quicker than other students. But I was completely wrong. I don’t mention it to freak everyone, but it happens and we need to prepare ourselves to deal with that kind of emotion. How do we prepare ourselves for a ‘culture shock’? We have to embrace it and work on it. I know! It’s easier said than done. When I went through it, I didn’t even realize that it was a culture shock. I saw it as being moody, as we all are I am sure, however, it wasn’t the case really.
So, what did I do? That’s a million dollar question for people who have been through this, from the ones who are ready to commence their new journey. I didn’t realize that I had the ultimate solution to this shock. First, I want to mention my “being lonely” situation. I can’t claim to be totally alone, as I was staying with my best friend whom I have known for eight years for the first two months. Yet, I was lonely and lost, that’s when I figured out that it’s a hell of a shock.
So, how did I deal with it? Well, Before coming to Australia, I did a fair bit of research. Not that I am a brilliant student here, not at all! But I am curious about a few things. Whenever I go travelling, I am very curious about where to eat, and places not to miss on out on.
With Australia, I wanted some insight on how generally things work and I sincerely wanted to avoid a situation where usually people go “Oh, you don’t know about that?”
So what did I gain from the research? I learned that I can work part-time at the easy fun jobs we watch in Hollywood shows. Remember Rachel from Friends, when she ran away and started working at a coffee shop? Something like that, so it was like the ultimate student fantasy. I did two things when I got here and I worked really hard for it. I started looking for part-time work right away and that became a major goal.
Getting your first job in Australia can be a task; some people get lucky and some find one through hard work. I got my first part-time work after almost 45 days since I got to Australia. I don’t mind because I worked hard for it and earned it. A piece of advice: take your resume very seriously.
I also didn’t want to work too hard right after getting here, and looking at how beautiful Brisbane is, who wouldn’t want to explore? Therefore, I followed my love around Brisbane: coffee. It was so exciting to leave the apartment with my aim to discover a new café before my class at 9am in the morning. It helps to be a morning person sometimes. Now I take my friends to different and interesting places for coffee, they are amused by the different cafés I explored – I’m so proud of myself!
So two things: make sure you have an aim before coming here, no matter how big or small. Mine was to get part-time work and volunteer for different events because back in my country I was a lazy person at college and missed out on the fun things. The fun things lie in making the most out of what the college or school is offering. And why not? You are paying a good money to them. So try to change your living pattern as a student, either by joining a club, volunteering or finding part-time work. The busier you are, the more engaged you are, the less of an outsider you are going to feel like. No matter where you come from, the culture shock is real and you are going to face it. The difference is how you deal with it?