Settling into a new life in Adelaide during COVID-19

When Psalm arrived in Adelaide in mid-February, he set about finding a home to get ready for when his fiancé arrived in Australia. He says he wasn’t expecting them to be settling into their new life during a global pandemic, but he’s happy the restrictions in Adelaide still allowed them to explore their neighbourhood. We spoke to Psalm to find out more about life in Adelaide during the COVID-19 crisis.

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International student Psalm from Nigeria

Where were you when the COVID-19 crisis began?

I was in Sydney as the news of the pandemic started filtering through, but there were still no cases in Australia until January when we were making plans to come to Adelaide. I arrived here in February, and then it started to become quite an issue.

You came here with your fiancé. How did you find it settling in and finding accommodation?

I came to Adelaide ahead of my fiancé so I could find us somewhere to live. It was a little hard as the agents weren’t doing many open inspections. So, it took me longer to find a home than I thought it would, but I found a place just before my fiancé arrived. I’m glad I found something, so she didn’t have to worry about looking with me.

Once she arrived, a lot of places started to close, so we settled in by being in lockdown together. We could still explore our local neighbourhood and looked up what activities we could do so we didn’t just spend all day in the house.

Adelaide is such a warm and welcoming place. We came in the summer, which was good because we could still go out for a walk. Back in Nigeria, the lockdown has been stricter. Here we could go for a walk and sit in public places if we maintained social distancing. It was quite an experience, but I’m thankful that the restrictions weren’t so bad that I couldn’t go out of my house.

Tell us how you’ve adapted to online study.

At first, it was challenging because I was only just getting to know my lecturers and their way of teaching. When we moved online, it was a whole new ballgame. There was no more face-to-face vibe and it became a little harder because I couldn’t read body language anymore. But after a couple of weeks, I got used to the new system.

I thought my results might suffer, but I’m happy with my scores so far. We’ve had good access to our lecturers and can email if we have questions or issues. My lecturers have attended to me as an individual to give me all the information I need. They’ve made it very easy.

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

It’s such a relief for me. I feel good right now that I’m in a place that is managing the pandemic well. We have a good system, and I’m thankful for how the government has handled it. I’m happy that I wasn’t anywhere else.

With exams out of the way, I’m feeling more relaxed and hopeful that I can find a job now that the whole society is coming back to normal, so to speak. No one can fault the system for what has happened. We can only hope to return to normal. Things are looking brighter.

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