Preparing for a new beginning: Animesh's story
For many international students across the world, studying in Australia is the ultimate dream. With benefits like world-class institutions and great employment prospects, there are plenty of amazing reasons to study in Australia.
And while there are travel restrictions currently in place, we decided to take a closer look at one student’s interest in Australia as a study destination. We spoke to Animesh Sahoo, a prospective international student based in India, exploring his ambition to study in Australia, the overseas application process and his hopes for the future.
Why Australia? Choosing a study location
Animesh completed his Bachelor of Technology in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering at the National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT) in October 2020. But he knew he wasn’t finished with his education. He knew he wanted to pursue a postgraduate degree. Most of all, he knew he wanted to complete it at an international institution.
“I always wanted to study abroad and learn about new cultures and traditions," he says.
He soon began searching for “English-speaking countries [with] high academic standards and chances of employability”.
Naturally, Australia was one of the top results in his search. He then attended an AustraliaX International Student Series webinar organised by Insider Guides.
“That webinar really piqued my interest in Australia as a potential destination for my postgraduate studies”.
Animesh was even more intrigued by the number of world-renowned institutions in Australia.
“The Group of Eight (Go8) caught my attention first,” he says, referencing the group of Australia’s leading universities. “[I was impressed that most of these institutions’ programs are] fully accredited by Engineers Australia. That definitely adds credibility to your career.”
That said, he adds that the list of world-class education providers doesn’t end with the Go8.
“[In general,] the quality of education in Australian universities is topnotch. They consistently get ranked in the top 100 institutions in the world by QS, Times Higher Education and many more.”
Taking the First Step: Applying to Study
It wasn’t long before Australia became number one on Animesh’s list of study destinations. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia’s borders have remained closed. As a result, Animesh wasn’t sure if he would even be allowed to apply for postgraduate programs. When he learned that he could, he was overjoyed. The best part, he shares, was the “seamless” nature of the application process.
First, he took the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test in December 2020 to prove his English language skills. From there, Animesh started applying to universities with the help of an educational consultancy in India. He applied for a Master of Mechanical Engineering at all the Go8 universities for their July 2021 intake. He also applied for the same program and same term at the University of Wollongong.
“In general, applying to any university in Australia involves the same steps and, frankly, they’re not that tedious. It is quite a systematic and efficient process for students,” he says.
According to Animesh, even if students do run into any problems, there are plenty of helpful online resources they can check out.
“Every step for admission into the universities is described on their websites. Plus, it can all be done online, so you can easily apply from your home country without any hassle at all.”
Some of the other online resources Animesh recommends for prospective international students include:
Making the Most Out of the Experience
Due to the travel restrictions, Animesh has yet to arrive in Australia to start his postgraduate degree. Despite this, he has found creative ways to prepare for his new beginning. One of his first steps? Getting involved with the international student community.
“I have been in touch with my fellow international students via Facebook groups and webinars organised by companies like Insider Guides,” he explains. “I am also in touch with the offshore student community via various YouTube channels. These channels have a very active community of international students. I’m also part of various vibrant international student WhatsApp groups.”
Being active on these platforms has helped Animesh build connections with his peers – even from overseas.
By being a part of such a large community, I never really feel alone.
Animesh recommends that other prospective international students also join groups and attend online events. He suggests the following websites as a starting point for all your networking needs:
According to Animesh, these tools offer educational, professional and personal fulfilment you won’t find anywhere else.
“They allow you to meet people working in your field of study and make everlasting connections with them. You can also meet fellow international students studying the same or different courses. Soon, you’ll find yourself connected to a diverse community of dreamers and achievers.”