International Student Story - Gaurav Naik
Gaurav Naik is a student in the Master of Construction Management program. As students begin to return to campus in Semester 2 2020, Gaurav reflected on his time in Adelaide so far and what he's learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m an international student from India who spent most of my childhood in Bahrain (a tiny country close to Dubai), and moved to India to pursue my engineering, later coming to Adelaide in 2018 to pursue a Master of Construction Management. I’ve always been in small cities and loved it. South Australia, being a festival state, is the perfect mix of quiet and busy living. I enjoy attending social events where I get to meet new people and love hanging out with my friends on the weekend. I have volunteered for the Adelaide University Union (AUU), been an Orientation Day Host for 2019 commencing students, and also volunteered as an Open Day crew member in 2019. In between university and volunteering, I have a permanent part-time job at Woolworths and also completed an internship with a residential builder. I like to keep myself busy and have mastered the art of juggling multiple roles.
What is your goal once you've completed your degree?
The next step is to look for a full-time job in my field of study, but at the same time it is important to visualise what exactly you want to do and how to go about it. If things go well, I will be starting a graduate role in the coming days as I have been shortlisted. The key is to remain patient and stay focused.
How have you adapted to learning online?
I’d say the online lectures and tutorials are slightly challenging as you do not get to work on the problems one-on-one. It’s important to establish a functional work space at home. I was doing four subjects and two of those were entrepreneurial subjects, which are intensive and run from 9am - 5pm, finishing the subject in four sessions. It was challenging to sit for a prolonged time and concentrate. I’m sure even the professors would have had a difficult time.
What support have you received from the University of Adelaide during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The University has been very supportive to international students, providing us with Loss of Income Grants. I also got covered for the IT Device/Data Connectivity Grant which was very beneficial to me.
Have you learnt any new skills from studying online in the past semester?
You need to be really self-motivated and organised. Time-management was key as I had a lot on my plate during the pandemic.
Have you picked up any new hobbies since spending more time at home?
To be honest, I was spending the same amount of time at home pre-pandemic as well. However, I did start learning and investing a little bit into the Australian Stock Market (ASX). I also did some courses on LinkedIn, which are beneficial for my professional development.
What do you miss about home?
This is a tricky one for me particularly - I lived in Bahrain for 16 years and then in India for 6 years and consider both to be home. In Bahrain, I miss the authentic shawarma, machboos (Bahraini biryani), kuboos, kabsa, manakish, home-cooked meals, and my family and friends. In India, I miss the amazing friends, festivals, food, the bustling streets, the crowds, and rickshaw rides.
Zoom or in-person?
In-person for sure!
What's your go-to study playlist?
Space ambient music or soft and serene piano music.
Adelaide Hills or Adelaide's beaches?
In Australia, of course the beaches!
Home delivery or home-cooked?
A bit of both.
Reading books or streaming TV/movies?
I really want to develop the habit of reading, but unfortunately I'm binge-watching instead at the moment! I like Stranger Things, Money Heist, Narcos, Dirty Money, Peaky Blinders, Formula 1: Drive to Survive, and Sacred Games.
3 things you won't miss about COVID-19 restrictions?
- Not being able to catch up with friends.
- People talking about COVID-19.
- Not being able to travel.
3 things you won't forget about COVID-19?
- The panic buying at supermarkets! Buying toilet paper. Remember I work at Woolworths!
- The importance of mental health.
- Likely not having a graduation ceremony.