Study Stories – Harshitha
My name is Harshitha and I am a business student at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. I am from a fairly new metropolitan city in India called Bangalore – actually, it’s called Bengaluru now. Funny how names change!
I’m Harshitha to my mother, Harshu to my friends back home and Ash to my newfound friends in Australia. Names have so much power and to me they’ve always held a sort of connection to the places I’ve travelled. Being called by my birth name immediately snaps me back to my mother’s authoritative voice and Harshu brings me back to my high school days, and spending time with my Indian friends that are now scattered across the world, following their own university adventures. And finally Ash, a name that I originally derived from a mispronunciation became a facet to my personality; a new taste on my multilingual tongue.
But my name has stayed with me through all my challenges – from freaking out over exams, to freaking out over university applications, to freaking out about moving to an entirely new country, by myself (and the thought of eating alone, studying alone and living alone). I know now my fears were wrong. One of the things international students worry about is living alone, but what I’ve learnt in the eight months I’ve been in Brisbane is that you’re not alone.
I moved with my family guiding me all the way there, lived with housemates that were in the same situation as me, ate with a multitude of people in the student village, and studied with so many people from the same course as me.
Through all of these situations I made new friends I would never have made as a domestic student. This is why we do it! Well, as well as the great tertiary education abroad, the cultural and educational advantages and the food in Brisbane! FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD! Only in South Bank will you hear a conversation that goes something like this:
“Do you feel like ramen? I feel like ramen.”
“Nah, let’s do burgers it’s right next door”
“Ooh what about the Turkish across the street”
“Hmmm Greek’s right next to it though!”
“Italian’s behind it, I could go for pasta.”
“Well if you want pasta let’s go to the fusion place across from that.”
“I don’t know, I feel like something carb-based. Ramen?”
“Yeah alright I could go for ramen!”
But before all this, I can assure there’ll be some struggle. Well, at least there was for me. Visas, agents, the whole shebang.
I booked my flight and packed up in all of 48 hours! And I missed orientation because of the delay in my visa. But I persevered, and I did it.
Any difficulty you face, someone has done it. You are not alone. I was homesick for days. I broke the watch my mother bought me for my 17th birthday and I’m finally getting it fixed this month. It took me four months before I had the heart to take it off my wrist. And another month to actually build up the courage and tell mother dearest I broke it!
It’s hard, it’s difficult, and it’s painful. But the experience is worth it. Brisbane is worth it. All the universities here have merits and praise valued across Australia.
A last piece of advice – choose to be different. It’s tough to take the path less travelled. But my oh my, the journey is glorious.
Follow Ash on Instagram @harshuxsrinivas