Moving forward to achieve his dreams during COVID-19

When Pranish arrived in Adelaide from Nepal in February 2020, he was full of hopes and dreams to study, work and continue his judo. While the COVID-19 crisis slowed things down and changed the way he’s studying, Pranish says the pandemic hasn’t stopped him pursuing his dreams. We spoke to Pranish to find out more about his experiences in Adelaide during the COVID-19 crisis.

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International student Pranish from Nepal

Where were you when the COVID-19 crisis began?

I arrived in Adelaide in February. I came here with lots of dreams to complete my pathway program at the South Australian Institute of Business Technology, leading to a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of South Australia. And I also want to keep playing judo at my university. I represented Nepal in judo, and I want to keep that up.

Tell us how you’ve managed the move to online study.

It was hard for me to manage in the beginning. I’ve never studied online. I think it helped me to have had about three weeks on-campus first. I’m an extrovert. I like meeting new people, and I met a lot of friends in that short time.

In our first few online classes, the lecturers took the time to make sure we understood how to use the features and functions of Zoom and set some rules to make things run smoothly. They’ve also given us quizzes online to keep things interactive and make sure we’re paying attention. My lecturers have been very friendly and cooperative. I know I can email them after class if I need any extra help or support.

You live in a share house. Tell us how you all manage to get some quiet study time.

Yes, I share a house with two other students. We know we all must study, so we give each other space and quiet time during classes. I share a room with a friend who has also come here from Nepal. When we have an online class at the same time, one of us goes into the lounge room so we can have our own ‘classroom’. And I’ve kept up my judo by doing exercise sessions and training programs via Zoom.

How has the pandemic impacted your plans to find part-time work?

When I arrived in Adelaide, I started looking for a part-time job as a barista. I trained to be a barista back in Nepal. But as the pandemic grew a lot of cafes closed or became take-away only so there weren’t as many opportunities. Even though it was hard to find work, I still thought it was a good time to get experience and learn about local culture, so I started volunteering at a Save the Children op shop.

With Adelaide being so safe, the cafes have opened again, I’ve found work as a barista, which I love. It’s a relief to be earning money and good to be meeting new people. I still volunteer at the op shop once a week.

How do you feel about being in Adelaide during the pandemic?

I think being in Adelaide is the best thing ever. When I hear on the news how cases are rapidly increasing in other places, including my home country, I think Adelaide is the best place for me. I’m thankful my family is ok, but I feel very safe here. I still have my dreams to complete my course and work here. The South Australian government has handled the pandemic really well, so I think I will get back to on-campus studies and continuing my judo soon. COVID-19 hasn’t stopped me chasing my dreams.

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