Bangladeshi Student Comes Out of Her Shell

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Born and raised in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, Maliha moved to the Gold Coast to study economics at Griffith University in late 2018. After a pandemic-caused disruption, the 23-year-old is now in the final year of her degree. While studying on the Gold Coast, Maliha has written feature articles for her hometown’s metro newspaper to share her experiences and offer advice for students wanting to study in Australia.

Q: Can you tell us why you chose to study for a Bachelor of Commerce on the Gold Coast?

Primarily, I chose this degree because I wanted to study economics and this degree provided the option to major in economics. The Gold Coast choice was mostly because of the campus. I absolutely love how vibrant, lively and colourful the Griffith campus is on the Coast. It has so much to offer, not to mention the Gold Coast is amazing with all its beautiful beaches. It has a very relaxing aura to it.

Q: One of the articles you had published by The Daily Star in Bangladesh advises people wanting to study overseas to research the culture of your host country. What was your research experience?

Thank you for reading the article! I think interesting bits about Aussie culture came to me when I actually arrived, not before. Since I was mentally set on coming here, I will admit, I didn't research as much into the culture as I should have. Although it played out well for me and I enjoy Australia.

Q: What did you find most different about Aussie culture?

I was surprised at the sheer number of Aussie phrases, things you don't quite get to learn or see unless you actually stay in Australia. The shortened phrases amuse me a lot and I love using a few of them here and there.

Q: In another article, you warned that students may experience homesickness. How did you cope?

My primary way of dealing with it was to be involved in campus as much as possible – attending events, volunteering, keeping an eye out for interesting things not just on campus but around the city. It is a really effective way to make the most of your time, enjoy and abate some of the anxiety, loneliness and homesickness you are facing.

Q: How has studying on the Gold Coast shaped your life in a personal way?

I used to be someone who liked staying at home and was not involved with many activities. Leaving behind the life and people you knew your whole life to pursue your dreams in a foreign city all by yourself has forced me to break out of my shell, develop confidence and be involved in more things. Now I am involved in many things, and my desire to make an impact has gotten stronger.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is considering studying on the Gold Coast?

This is a bit off-topic, but if you can learn how to drive before coming here, it will open so many doors for you. For a country like Australia, driving does maximise your chances of visiting as many new places as possible. So if you can, enhance your experience.