Why I chose to study in Canberra
Canberra has widely recognised cultural and educational institutions, including many public libraries, in an environment that is fantastic for studying.
I come from a very small village in Pakistan, so I am used to living in a peaceful environment which is close to nature. Even though Canberra is Australia’s capital city, it still has these qualities, so adjusting to life in Canberra was quite easy for me.
Nature and wildlife
The most important reason I love living in Canberra is the surrounding nature.
It’s just two hours away from the beach and two hours away from the Snowy Mountains, so whenever life stresses me out I can easily go to these places and spend some quality time in nature.
It’s amazing how when you look at the city from above, like from the top of Mount Ainslie or Mount Pleasant, you see mostly trees. You almost don’t notice that there are houses hidden everywhere!
I don’t need to go to a zoo to see kangaroos - they are all around. If you visit Tidbinbilla, there are koalas, wallabies, platypuses and all sorts of animals. There is an amazing lake there that you can walk or ride your bike around. It’s also perfect for swimming and kayaking in summer when it’s hot.
The city life
In Canberra there are many multicultural festivals celebrated every year, which enable everyone to go and enjoy different foods and music, and to make new friends.
Public transport is well organised in Canberra.
It's very easy to get around using the bus services which offer special student rates.
The kindness of strangers
I have had so many memorable experiences, but one will remain in my memory forever.
When I first arrived in Canberra, I found a job at a restaurant. The first Sunday I worked there, I finished my shift at 9:30pm and headed to the bus stop.
I quickly realised I had missed the last bus to get home and there were very few people on the road at that time. I was unsure of what to do next.
Fortunately, I saw a group of young women who were on their way to a party. I explained the whole situation to them and asked if they could call a taxi for me.
They were so helpful. They did not want me to have to wait for a taxi. Instead, they dropped me home and gave me very useful information about public transport and other ways of getting around in Canberra.
This experience along with many others made me realise that people in Canberra are very friendly and helpful.
I am so happy with my choice to come to Canberra. I believe that it is the best place for living and studying.