For Adit Pawha his entire life has been about cricket. Hence, when it came to making a career choice it did not take much time for him to decide on a sports management course. “I’ve played cricket since I was 8 years old and it has been a major part of my life so far,” he declares. Australia being one of the top education hubs with special focus on sports, especially cricket, choosing one of its renowned institutes - Deakin University- to take his dreams further was an easy choice. Besides, a 100% meritorious scholarship was an icing on the cake and went a long way in helping him to pursue the course.
In this interview with Careers360, Adit talks about his campus life in Deakin University, how the university has helped him take his goals forward and discover his own ability as a global student.
Below are the edited excerpts:
Q: How and why did you choose Deakin University?
A.I have known Deakin to be one of the most innovative and progressive new universities in the world. From my childhood I’ve been interested in sports and then I heard about a course that Deakin offers called ‘Bachelor of Business (Sports Management)’. When I applied in this course, I got my acceptance offer stating that I was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s100% meritorious scholarship based on my sports and academic achievements. After getting my acceptance, I researched a bit more and found out that Deakin at that time was number 3 in the world in Sports Management so I thought which better place to do this course other than Deakin!
Q: Was there any specific reason why you chose to study in Australia?
A. I’ve played cricket since I was 8 years old and it has been a major part of my life so far. Honestly, I didn’t even look at US as an option because of lack of opportunities in cricket there. So I had an option between India, UK and Australia. I wanted to study abroad and hence India was out of the equation. I’ve travelled to Australia and UK both to play cricket before and I found Australia better in many ways such as the weather, the people and of course cricket was one of them.
Q: Tell us about your choice of career. Which factors influenced you decision to pursue sports management?
A.I’ve been into sports from a very young age and hence knew since I was about 15 or so that when I grow up, I want to do something related to the field of sports, if not on the field given the very tough competition, at least off the field and Deakin has given me this opportunity to pursue my dream of studying and thereon working in the sports sector.
Q: Tell us about the campus life at your university. How different is it from the Indian campus life?
A.The campus life here is extremely different from the one in India. First of all, students can select their own timetable according to their own convenience. Deakin has world class facilities such as a well-stocked library, various computer labs and various cafes on campus etc. One more thing I like about Deakin as a student is that there’s no attendance in classes!! And one major difference about living here all by yourself is that you have to make your own decisions regarding each and every matter which I believe helps you become more knowledgeable and mature and independent.
Q: How is the competition level? How would you describe your experience of studying in a foreign university?
A.Well the competition level here is extremely high, be it in academics or in sports. And so far my experience of studying in a foreign university has been outstanding. I’ve learned things which I’m not sure I would’ve at an undergraduate level in India. Being culturally sensitive, accepting and looking at the world as a global citizen is the start â¦ Taking ownership and making choices is something that I have learnt.
Q: Did you look beyond the Indian community while making friends?
A.Initially, most of my friends were Indians and that is because we could relate to each other with a level of comfort. The cultural difference was a huge change for me as a 17-year-old coming to Australia and hence I found it extremely difficult to make local friends.
However, it’s been 7 months since I’m living here and I find it much easier to talk to people from different countries and also relate with them on various matters.
One thing that really helped me understand the Aussie culture was at my cricket club. Interacting with Australians in my cricket club really helped me and in that process I made few very good Australian friends. I live on campus in a five star accommodation with people from various nationalities. It’s great to interact and learn about cultures and study with people from different backgrounds.
Q: Are you a member of any club? How does it help to orient yourself with the university?
A. As of now, I am a member of two clubs i.e., The Deakin Futsal Club, which is the indoor soccer club, and the Deakin Cultural and Diversity Club (DCDC) .
In the Futsal club, all of its members play indoor soccer once a week for about 2-3 hours, and that again helps me to find more new people from different countries having the same interest in sports as I do. Whereas DCDC organises one day trips, movie nights, sports sessions etc for members and that again helps me to meet new people and understand different cultures.
Q: What is one of the most interesting things about your university campus?
A.I think the most interesting thing about my campus is the user-friendly facilities Deakin has to offer to its students. Deakin has got world class facilities which I believe are the best it can get!
Q: Going from India, how is life in a foreign country? What do you do to adjust in a new environment?
A. As compared to India, life is of course very different in a foreign country. The rules, the people, the culture, everything is just so very different. I believe the best way to integrate into any culture is to make local friends and what I realised was that as I kept making more and more Aussie friends, it became easier for me to understand their culture, I relate to their daily discussions etc.
Q: What about food? The food culture is not same as in India. How do you manage?
A. Well the food is one thing that students often struggle about when they go anywhere outside India and I am no different. There’s no in-house dinning at Deakin hence, a student living on campus as I am, has to manage his meals by himself. When I came here, I didn’t know how to cook anything except eggs. However with time I have learned basic cooking! I used to get frozen food and just put it in the oven, I ate a lot of fruits etc. Now I can cook a lot more things than eggs! I learned cooking minced chicken, basic fish, dosa as well and I learned all of this from the net and friends.
Q. Did you hold any part-time job? How does it help in your education?
A.Initially for the first 4 months, I didn’t work anywhere as I just wanted to get a hold of “Melbourne.” However once my first semester was done, I started looking for some casual work and got a job with the Office of Graduate Employability at Deakin. The job really helped me to understand the office environment and provided me with an insight of how the real world jobs are like!
Q. How do you balance fun and studies?
A.From the beginning I have been managing sports and studies. Class 6th onwards I have maintained a scholar badge along with sports which is a very tough task to do, believe me. This has helped be decide when to do what and how much time is to be given for each and every activity.
Q. What are your future plans? Do you want to stay back and work or go back to your home-country?
A.Honestly, right now it’s exactly 50-50. I sometimes miss India and sometimes love Australia. I guess for me it’s too early to answer this question. Maybe a year down the line, I’ll be able to give a more conclusive answer to this question but right now I’m really not sure. I love being here and studying at Deakin is the best decision I made!
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