A step into the unknown has proved to be life-changing for recent UQ Graduate Gaurav Sood. The 29 year old Indian national has used this year of uncertainty to pave a new path and give back to his IH Community.

I remember 9 February 2018 when I said goodbye to my work life at Oracle India so that I could complete my life-long dream and goal of studying outside India. It was one of the hardest decisions to leave a well-paying job, but I had a feeling that this study path would be worth it. I enrolled at UQ in a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering.

Whilst studying, I recognised that UQ had so many facilities for their students, such as 24/7 libraries, an online blackboard system, residential colleges for staying on campus, and lovely support staff. All of these things helped me settle in and to transition from my bustling work life to my student life. The experience of utilising these facilities at UQ defined the meaning of “Quality Education” for me, as I had not been fortunate enough to experience such support whilst doing my bachelor’s degree.

UQ’s practical way of education has made me realise that we as adults should always keep on learning.

Every good thing comes to an end, and I successfully graduated on 9 December 2019. Since then I have had the chance to volunteer, work professionally in Australia, and also tutor other university students which has been challenging, rewarding and a fun ride for all. I also have high hopes of making Australia my permanent home in the near future.

From the day I landed in Australia, International House (IH) has been the backbone for my stay in Australia. I am thankful to them for letting me stay after my graduation, as I could not go back to my home country due to the COVID-19 restrictions. All of my needs from food to utilities were met, which made my life so much easier, even though I am so far away from my family.

Moreover, due to COVID-19, I have had some free time and have put it to good use in developing a lunch/dinner management system for the kitchen at IH. It will be my legacy when I finally depart, and also allows me to contribute and give back to the IH community.

Overall, I would say that whosoever is planning to study in Australia, they should definitely choose UQ as their education provider, and should also sign up to be a resident at IH, as experiences like these are very special.