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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 138 | October 4 , 2009|


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Life in the Down Under

Umme Wara Mishu

IF I start evaluating my eight months in Australia, only good memories come in to my mind rather than bad ones. Yes, I have experienced a lot in these months and I have discovered myself as well. I have learned how to buy groceries and how to carry those heavy shopping bags from bus stop to home, how to cook food and how to wash dishes, how to clean the kitchen and how to run to the bedroom to find out an antiseptic cream after burning finger while cleaning the hot stove. I came to Australia on January 3, 2009 under Ausaid's Australian Leadership Award Scholarships Award (ALA) to do one year postgraduate programme from University of Wollongong on Transnational Crime Prevention. Before that I completed my LL. B. And LL. M. from University of Dhaka with first class in both of them. The scholarship itself is a very prestigious and competitive one and has given me the opportunity to not only develop my knowledge in international crimes and law but also to learn how to live your life and take care of yourself when your mom is not there to do everything for you. Being always a pampered child of my parents, it was really tough for me to start my journey in Australia but as I always say I am God's special child, I found Parven Apa beside me from the very first day who is an elder sister from the same department in DU. In the first two months whenever I felt lonely I used to have meals and pass time of my time at her house. Besides her, other Ph. D students like Sarwar Bhai and Mousumi (India) was always there whenever I needed them. As I am very much attached to my family, relatives and colleagues back home, I tried to keep in touch with them as much as possible through facebook, skype or gmail! After I started my class in CTCP Centre, I met some wonderful people like Prof. Duncan Chappell (Supervisor of my major research on foreign bribery), Tracy Wood (education officer), Simon Ng (Research Assistant), Raphael Luman (PNG), Majed (Saudi Arabia), Nora (Kenya), Surya (India) and few other people who have been always there to take care of my mistakes and bear all my nagging for being the youngest one in my class! Here I need to mention that coming from a non-native English country, initially it was difficult for me to catch the Aussie pronunciation in intensive classes and the way of study is also different in various ways which was another challenge for me to cope-up with. Though I am quite settled now in every aspect but my life in Australia is incomplete without mentioning about my crazy flatmates who came from different parts of the world especially Saeedeh (Iran) and Seeniya (Maldives) are the closest to me though at first we found ourselves very different from each other. We five girls live in one of the student accommodations unit named “Kooloobong”. It took time to get close to each other but when I got sick and Seeniya cooked tuna rice for me, Saeedeh had exam and I made coffee for her, or when Seeniya had cold and I asked my friend which medicine to take, we discovered we became like family members. Now we share our lives, our problems, even our foods! Now I know how to make Iranian Gormesabzi (mutton curry), Maldivian Gulha (fish ball) or Japanese seafood soup! I also know how to say I love you in other languages! “Ashaq e tham” in Persian or “Ahare Mina De ke Lobive” in Maldivian language is now my favourite while “Ami tomake valobashi” is theirs. That is my life in Australia, full of emotions and experiences. On February 21, when I was depressed thinking of Shahid Minar and Probhat Feri, someone very special told me "This pain is the heat of fire that is turning you into a piece of gold!", I could not understand the weight of the line that day, but now I can realize I am discovering myself, loving my country more and more, feeling responsible to do something for the people of Bangladesh after coming back in December. Yes, that is life in Australia, a journey to discover myself.

(University of Wollongong, Australia)

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