I am neither Theresa Turner, nor did my life start over in Iraq, but I find a piece of Theresa’s story in my life. My life was different from most of the other teenagers. I didn’t have a crazy awesome life, as most of adolescents have. Indeed my life was really boring, living in a small town in Albania. I was drowned in a monotonous life. My only entertainment was reading Russian novels. But as Theresa did, I said ‘Yes’ to new unusual opportunities. It happened that one day I met a very generous woman (you won’t believe but I met the real Theresa Turner) in my parents’ shop. She was a professor at an international school. Maybe she was the first one who was able to notice that I wasn’t really enjoying my life. Or maybe she was able to understand that I could achieve much more than reading Russian novels and going to a national university just for the sake of getting a degree.
I just heard her talk about how students at her university lived in three different countries, and came from 27 cultures and I knew that was going to change my life for real.
Well, I got a very generous letter from the university and I was ready to kick off my new life as a Jaguar at S P Jain.
Singapore was really amazing. A totally new culture, and all the fun a young student could ask for, new friends, a lot of partying, all what was supposed to happen in my adolescence. Apart from that, the faculty was just great. They were very nice people who helped us to integrate in this totally new world, and they were understanding and good friends for us at the same time.
Dubai was just different. It was a different culture for most of the students. Personally I found it a bit similar to my home-country culture in Albania, which is also mostly Muslim. Totally new different learnings, Dubai wasn’t just about drinking at Boat Quay (the most famous area in Singapore for clubbing). It was a culture that could shape your personality if you were able to touch the depth of it. I learned a lot from this rich and ancient culture. The most important lesson I learned from was that Dubai you should always be unique and outstanding to survive to new trends.
The student life manager in Dubai was smart enough to know how to entertain us and make us learn more about the culture at the same time as having fun and experiencing new things.
It is extraordinary how a young student can learn so much just by living in new countries. It sounds funny to our friends back home when we say ‘Can Lah’ (the most common phrase in Singapore) and we end a sentence with ‘Inshallah habibi’ (the most used phrase in Dubai, meaning God willing, dear).
Now starting my third year at S P Jain, my journey to Sydney is about to begin. I am sure that it will be an amazing experience like the ones in our previous ‘homes’, Singapore and Dubai.
~Noli Bostani, BBA14, Albania