I am Elbek Samadov, an Uzbek native, born and raised in Uzbekistan. I attend Charles Darwin University Waterfront Campus, studying International Foundation Studies.
Why did you want to study overseas?
The study abroad experience is quite challenging, as there aren’t many countries that welcome migrant students; however, Australia has an open immigration policy. I can gain a global perspective while learning about different cultures, making new friends, improving communication skills, and studying abroad is the best way to achieve these experiences.
Why Darwin city?
Located at the edge of the Timor Sea, Darwin is a gateway to a relaxed state of mind; I can focus on my studies under the tropical sky, and life is easygoing. It is a great place to discover a real Australia and take a look at the history of the Larrakia people by visiting national parks of the Northern Territory and looking at the masterpieces of Aboriginal art. Last but not least, this city offers a lot of festivals during the dry season, including stalls, cultural performances and many other activities to enjoy.
Why Charles Darwin University?
I choose Charles Darwin University for its innovative approach to education standards, such as critical thinking, leadership skills, communication skills and how to become transparent about success and failures. The university introduces new teaching strategies and methods to improve student’s academic outcomes.
Moreover, it is the second Australian university for undergraduate full-time employment outcomes. Studying in a big city such as Melbourne or Sydney day by day is becoming more popular among international students. However, it can be challenging for some reasons, and there is a lower chance to get a scholarship as the awards are limited, while CDU supports international students by offering a range of scholarships, and it shows a small city like Darwin has plenty of benefits for international students. By accurately calculating my academic future, I am so proud to be a part of CDU and enjoy the educational environment that my university offers.
Why Foundation Studies program?
I choose the Foundation Studies program as I want to prepare for university life with the help of my teachers and other CDU members. I will be studying the Computer Science program in the following year because my inspiration comes from one of my brothers Kobiljon Toshnazarov who is currently doing his PhD in South Korea in data science, and I want to take part in a digital era of ongoing technological developments like he does. It is essential to improve complex analytical and critical thinking skills.
Obtaining these skills during the academic years at the university will help me as a future specialist to deal with complex algorithms and big data to understand and create new patterns of design
What makes you to decide to go study overseas during Covid?
After March 2020, my life has changed significantly, and I couldn’t imagine that our world would face such a catastrophe in the modern era. The impact of Coronavirus was huge; as everything was changing rapidly, I couldn’t make proper planning for my future education and destination to pursue my academic and career ambitions. Choosing Australia and studying at CDU was the best choice I have ever made, as the education standards in this country rank top positions, as it shows in practice. Also, the staff was highly supportive during the pandemic. I am happy to be here, even though I had to wait almost two years.
I managed to get tickets much earlier as they ran out so far. I made two stops during the flight, and the first one was in lovely Istanbul, a city with a great history and friendly people, the second was in Singapore, the city of modern technologies and a great skyscraper with stunning architecture. I was excited to spend two days on my flight to Australia and see the world differently.
Are you excited about being in Australia to attend the classes after the pandemic eventually?
I am so excited to attend my classes offline, as it gives me a whole new experience in getting a high-quality education. Studying online has a lot of benefits, such as having more flexibility, learning new technical skills and better time management. However, offline education can give more chances to grow by interacting better with teachers and other students, learning to maintain discipline, getting access to a library and computer labs, asking for help from librarians with assignments, and participating in events dedicated to self-improvement being a successful student.
How are you finding the learning experience on the campus?
The education system in Australia differs from the one in my country, and here I am surrounded by excellent teaching staff who support me in both academic and mental ways. Back in Uzbekistan, during class, we used to have a heavy study load focusing more on getting good marks. At CDU, during the course, other students and I actively discuss the topics we cover during the lesson by expressing our opinions and critical thinking. I am so happy to be surrounded by qualified teachers who contribute to our future and on whom we can rely most of the time. They make all negativity come as positive, helping us stay motivated and make outstanding achievements in our academic life.
Can you describe your everyday schedule?
My morning starts with a ride on my bike around the beach and enjoying the gorgeous view of Darwin city. After having breakfast, I take a bus to the CDU Waterfront campus, and by the end of the class, I go to the Library to better understand and do some research about the topic covered in the course. One of the things that I do when I have free time is hang out with my friends and go to the beach for the best show in town, to watch the dipping sun into the Arafura sea. I am also interested in listening to folk and classical music; I love to listen to Anatolian folk music and the music of an Italian composer Alessandro Ignazio Marcelo; it gives me outstanding comfort to my soul and mind.
Would you recommend other students to come to Australia to study rather than attending online courses?
Online courses offer flexibility, self-paced learning and improving technical skills. But instead, I would recommend those students who are going to take or already taking online courses rather come to Australia, as the country offers lots of opportunities for international students, helping them obtain a range of valuable skills and find their place in modern society. It is also a great way to see new cultures and get practical communication skills with people who have different views on the world. The Australian education system ranks in top positions globally; to feel it and enjoy it, attending the campus will be the best option
What are the challenges studying as an international student?
From the first day of my arrival in Australia, I was excited to explore a new culture, people, and new living experience. The challenging part was the culture shock. I came from a country with a majority Muslim population, and Australia significantly differs in its traditions and lifestyle. Teaching methods here are different, as the classroom is flipped.
But thanks to my teachers and other members of CDU, I learned how to overcome challenges and be positive to try new things by getting helpful suggestions and advice.
What is the most exciting thing you have done in Australia?
One of the exciting things I have experienced in Australia was my trip from Sydney to Melbourne with my friends. I loved the nature of New South Wales and Victoria. During my visit to these states, I had a chance to travel to national parks such as Royal, Sydney Harbour and Mount Buffalo; I also had a barbeque with friends and enjoyed my vacation as it was relaxing and more adventurous.
What is the next step for you?
I am planning to start my career by working in the IT sector. I am interested in pursuing my career ambitions by getting an outstanding education through Charles Darwin University. I want to know every detail about computer science, techniques and methods. I plan to become an animator since I love creating my heroes and sharing my expression through my works. It will help children improve their cognitive skills, auditory and visual processing.
Your advice for other students who also want to get an overseas education experience?
My only advice for other students who plan to study abroad would be to start planning as early as possible. Studying in a different country will help students improve their communication skills, experience a different teaching style, helpful to expand their academic horizons, and deal with obstacles of any level. It is also an excellent opportunity to see the world, meet new people and engage with them through hobbies and interests or ways of thinking.