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Sandeep Kirpalani
Graduate Student

Master of Development Studies  |  University of Melbourne  |  Year 2

How have you found living at Queen’s?

On the whole, living at Queen’s has been a very warm experience, especially as an international student. To be continuously welcomed by the members of the community, including the staff and fellow students, and also being able to contribute to back the sense of community, has been rewarding.

What academic advantages are provided at Queen’s?

More than I could have asked for. A 24 hour library with an extremely supportive library staff, peers in a variety of educational fields (including law, medicine, humanities) and visiting scholars from within/ outside Australia enable a wholesome educational experience, that goes beyond the immediate field of study.

What social advantages are provided?

The community has enabled some close friendships, with whom I’ve been able to celebrate successes and share challenges of student life. The variety of activities, ranging from sport, theatre, chapel service and a conducive junior/middle common room which allows for downtime with members of the community makes it a good home away from home. The environment also encourages active socializing which is quite refreshing, though not burdening.

The support services at college have helped me by:

In the first 2 months, adjusting to a new country was challenging. While the community helped, it was also great to see a counsellor that the college provided. In addition, the jobs that the college provided (duty officer, tutoring, and other odd ones), helps make the financial burden manageable. In general, to know that food’s always on-time and utilities are take of is extremely comforting.

What is Queen’s beyond simply a place to eat, sleep, and study?

People, people and people – all either on an academic journey, or encouraging you to make the journey worthwhile.

One thing I didn’t expect to experience at college is:

Honestly, I didn’t realise the amount of time college life would take. It’s really a choice as to how much one wants to be involved – and I chose to get quite involved – which had a flip side, that I wasn’t making too many friends at University from my program. In the last 2 semesters, I’ve tried to strike that balance – though it’s challenging at times. Guess we can’t have everything can we ?

As an international student, what are the benefits of living at Queen’s?

Firstly, an instant access to a community in a foreign land and an introduction to Australian culture in many ways – are in my view, the biggest advantages of living at Queen’s. Secondly, the proximity to University and a supporting management is very comforting. Lastly, the presence of many other international students allows one to believe that ‘we’re all in it together’, despite the challenges in our individual journeys.

To be continuously welcomed by the members of the community, including the staff and fellow students, and also being able to contribute to back the sense of community, has been rewarding.