By Samaneh Soleimani Najafabadi
Studying is a long journey. From the first day you enter a school, you will learn that you must be best in everything to be a good student. My journey began eighteen years ago and now I am here in Adelaide, 17 hours away from my country.
Before coming to Adelaide, I was an international student in another country, The Philippines. My first contact with one of the professors at UniSA made me very surprised. She replied to me very pleasantly and concisely. She made me very impressed to come to this university and study with these precious people. After one year being in touch with my supervisor, Dr Kim, and exchanging many emails that she always answered patiently, finally I became a PhD scholar at UniSA. Everything was precisely organized. Through warm support from each organisation in the university that I had contacted, my fear and stress reduced.
The day arrived, the airplane took off and after 17 hours, the second airplane landed in Adelaide at night. At first, I saw an old, prestigious man with my name in his hand. He greeted me in a way that seemed as though he had known me a long time. He called somebody to announce my arrival and he told me that he had been waiting two hours. It made me very calm to know that my presence was very important, and that everything was organised. We went to the hostel that had been arranged beforehand with the accommodation representative of UniSA, and when the man was completely sure that everything was alright, he left me.
The first day after my arrival, I met the research coordinator and my supervisor. Both of them were incredibly kind and before talking about my study, they assured me that they would always support me—not only in my study, but also whenever I felt loneliness or had any personal problems. My supervisor also introduced me to some other people from my country who I could be in touch with and speak to in my mother tongue.
The friendly environment of UniSA is the most important aspect of this university. It had a vital role in my adaptation and coping with problems. I am sure that my remaining time at UniSA will give me some of the most evocative memories of my life.