By Amuril Muhamat
I regard Adelaide as more than a place where I pursue my PhD studies. It is actually a place where I can foresee spending my time with my wife and my little daughter, as well as focusing on my studies. In contrast with my working life back in metropolitan Kuala Lumpur, where I must travel 60 kilometres five days a week, and sometimes work from 8am to 10pm, my life in Adelaide is more balanced.
Get up in the morning at 5am,commuting to UniSA City West at 8am and returning home at 5.30pm—travel time is less than 30 minutes and gives me ample time to spend with my family. Adelaide is close to nature—with beaches to the west and reserve parks and forests to the south-east—which provides some of the best places to enjoy family moments. Within our first three months here, we had been to Henley Beach with its impressive scenery of white and soft sands and our little one was the happiest person on earth during that moment. Last December, we climbed the Adelaide Hills for cherry picking which was actually a turning point for me since I was a cherry-hater before. However, the taste of fresh and juicy cherries has changed my opinion of them once and for all.
Another positive aspect of my short stint in Adelaide has been UniSA—particularly the School of Commerce—which has a really good research environment with dedicated staff and librarians. I was very grateful that the library managed to buy the latest book on takaful (Islamic Insurance) published by the World Bank in 2012. It was a really prompt response from the librarians! Furthermore, the facilities provided for the PhD students are world-class and incomparable to the university in the UK where I did my Masters.
On the other hand, Adelaide is an expensive city when it comes to utility bills, especially electricity. As an international student, I presume the matter must have been discussed heavily by the public here, but that it is decided by the authority. If only the cost could be lowered, other goods would also become cheaper, like in the UK. Car registration is also another costly item in the list. I suppose I should not complain about the rising cost of living since I am aware it is happening everywhere around the world. Maybe I should be grateful for what we have, as things could become worse than this. Thank you, Allah.
All in all, we really treasure our moment here, despite some hiccups here and there (which I consider as normal in daily life as human). I wish that the good things will be sustained, if not bettered, and the less favourable parts will improve.
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