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A Student’s Guide to Sydney

A Student’s Guide to Sydney main image

Anwesha Goswami from India is studying the Bachelor of Arts (Pathway to Teaching) program at the University of Western Sydney. She shares some of her favorite things to do in Sydney, and how easy it’s been to adapt to life in Australia.

I visited Sydney with my parents when I was only 10 years old. Having faint memories of the trip, I was definitely happy to return to the city for a longer term.

I spent the first 18 years of my life in Calcutta, India, then soon after my Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) I moved to Sydney. It is different in terms of infrastructure and lifestyle to some extent, but I personally never felt a big gap. I am both deeply attached to my homeland and totally in love with this new country.

What to do in Sydney

Sydney's weather is definitely something I enjoy. And being fond of water, I love the fact that I can actually just get to a beach in an hour or even less if I feel like it. Something small but worth mentioning is the crystal clear color of the sky, which gives a satisfaction to my eyes it’s hard to describe!

The secret beaches of Sydney are beautiful places to spend some relaxing time. Cockle Bay Wharf is another of my favorite places in Sydney, combining fabulous restaurants and cafes with great views across the harbor.

I have a deep interest in taking pictures, and there have been so many times when I’ve just spent hours with my camera walking the streets, sometimes by myself or maybe with friend. Another great memory was going for indoor hockey, which was so much fun for a Sunday evening.

Before arriving, I was concerned that I wouldn’t like the food here, as I thoroughly enjoy eating out with friends or family. But Sydney has more than enough variety of restaurants and cuisines to allow a food-lover like me to live contently.

Adapting to living in Australia

Quite often people back in my home country ask, “Are they racist?" Personally, I’ve never encountered any racism, and have found that people are really interested in sharing different cultures.

One of my interests is Indian classical dance, and I was surprised to discover how much it is appreciated here when I performed at the Holi Mahotsav festival at Darling Harbor.

I believe the culture Sydney has can be very easily adapted to. In fact the transition was so smooth that I never went through a phase where I was conscious of this being a different country. Living costs are quite expensive here, but the rest is amazing.

That said, living in a city far away from your homeland is definitely difficult and we all struggle a bit to settle down emotionally. Only after I moved to Sydney, I realized the importance of people and how much they can matter. Today I love the city beyond its beauty and feel attached to it for having met some wonderful people who make the journey worth it. Also the university provides a lot of support, which really helps.

Final advice? Live, learn, explore, and most importantly don't let yourself feel lonely; good company can do wonders.

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Sounds like you had great experience and Thanks for your Advice. There was also a time for me when I was looking for genuine advice to study in Sydney, Australia but finally, I'm here in Sydney and still I feel like this best decision of my life to studying in Australia.

helloe I've received an offer to do a 2 year long Masters program at Univ of Sydney, Australia. My question is when'll I get permanent Residence? Since it comes only after three years of stay in Australia, will I get PR after 1 year of work after completing 2 year Masters with a total of 3 years completion or will I have to work for three years after my Masters to get PR since I am only in student visa while studying and that may not be taken into account? Please enlighten me on this because I need to make quick decisions based on the long term planning.

Hi Ramya! Congratulations on your offer to study at the University of Sydney! Permanent residency is not guaranteed for international studying in Australia, but as a graduate student so should fall the the category of a skilled foreign worker once you complete your master's degree. This will make your application for permanent residency (after three years in the country) much stronger. But this still means you'll have to stay for one more year in the country after graduation - to do this you'll need to apply for an extension on your visa for work/recreation. Here are some links that I think could be useful to you: How to Get an Australian Student Visa //  (external link) //  (external link) //  (external link).

Hope this helps! Laura