My Space: Balancing Family & Research; PhD Student’s Australia Odyssey

My Space: Balancing Family & Research; PhD Student’s Australia Odyssey

Transitioning journey from India to Australia for a PhD while balancing roles as a wife and mother has been enriching.

Nasreen Fathima Assoo HaneefUpdated: Monday, June 17, 2024, 11:16 AM IST
article-image

Donning the hat of a PhD student, wife and mother of a seven-year-old beautiful daughter, my transition from India to Australia has been profound. Although I encountered various challenges and cultural shocks, the experience has been incredibly rewarding and enriching.

Why Australia

It’s renowned for excellent research facilities and a welcoming attitude toward international students. 

Moreover, Australia places significant emphasis on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, which align perfectly with my interests.

It was a dream come true to be offered a joint doctoral programme between Deakin University and VIT. 

Encountering Australian education system

One of the most significant differences I've noticed between research in Australia and India is the emphasis on providing ample time and support for comprehensive research. In Australia, there is a strong commitment to ensuring that researchers have the necessary resources and assistance to conduct their work efficiently and effectively.

Highlights of my journey so far

My journey has been a blend of joy and challenge, especially as a young mother separated from my seven-year-old daughter for six months, as I wasn't aware of Australia’s dependent visa for students' family members. 

My family's unwavering support fuelled my determination to seize this opportunity without letting my roles as a woman, mother and wife hinder my ambitions. Once they joined me, my life became a harmonious blend of family and career pursuits.

Culinary exploration, from Aussie barbecues to global flavours has been a crucial part of the journey. I've cherished visits to iconic Melbourne spots like the Great Ocean Road, Chocolate Factory, Thousand Steps, Chinese Traditional Museum and Historical Botanical Gardens. 

Adjusting to the direct and informal Aussie communication style took time, but I embraced its warmth and friendliness. 

Adapting to Australia's unique weather patterns, like experiencing summer in December, brought surprises, including a warm-weather Christmas.

Homesickness and managing expenses

To cope with homesickness, I've found a few strategies helpful: Staying connected with loved ones through video calls and messages. Engaging in activities that bring joy, like maintaining a routine, pursuing hobbies, or participating in community events, helps distract from homesickness. 

Finding suitable accommodation in Australia was challenging, and was complicated by financial constraints and specific location preferences. Initially, I settled into a shared flat at the University housing, but eventually, I found a more permanent solution in a shared house in Vermont, where I currently reside.

Utilising checklists and thorough planning, I manage my stipend meticulously, ensuring every dollar is wisely allocated. By prioritising essential items and avoiding unnecessary expenses, I can effectively support my family's needs while also fostering a lifestyle conducive to my academic pursuits.

The author is currently pursuing her Ph.D., Deakin Cyber, at Deakin University, Australia

RECENT STORIES

Over 4 Lakh NEET UG Candidates To Likely Lose Marks After Revised Merit List, 44 Toppers To Slip In...

Over 4 Lakh NEET UG Candidates To Likely Lose Marks After Revised Merit List, 44 Toppers To Slip In...

GATE 2025 Registration Window To Open On August 24; Check Important Documents, Application Fees &...

GATE 2025 Registration Window To Open On August 24; Check Important Documents, Application Fees &...

NEET UG 2024 Counselling To Begin Today; Check Important Documents, Guidelines

NEET UG 2024 Counselling To Begin Today; Check Important Documents, Guidelines

NEET UG Counselling 2024 To Begin Tomorrow, SC Rules Out Re-Exam

NEET UG Counselling 2024 To Begin Tomorrow, SC Rules Out Re-Exam

IMTS Institute Pioneers Dual Degrees And Online Education, Produces 70,000 Successful Graduates...

IMTS Institute Pioneers Dual Degrees And Online Education, Produces 70,000 Successful Graduates...