Aussies – Not So Scary After All!

I entered the lecture hall, a large hall packed with about a hundred students and I didn't know any of them. 

Fearing my conversational English language skills, I was embarrassed to speak.

Despite being ten years older than most students, I felt like a schoolboy on the first day of school with thousands of worries and anxieties.

I had just migrated to Australia, and after a period of depression; living in a new country, I realised that my Iranian Veterinary degree and work experience were not approved and recognised in Australia and I had to re-take the final two years of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Melbourne.

Now, on my first day at university, I encountered a hundred students that I didn’t know, whispering happily to each other. I was so shocked and very confused by sitting in the middle of the lecture room with all these people around me and not knowing anyone! 

A middle-aged lady who is now an award-winning Professor in Pharmacology, was speaking and greeting the students. At the end of the lecture, while everyone was leaving, she came straight over to me, with her warm smile, short grey hair and a very positive attitude!

She asked me my name and if I had any friends in the school or if I knew anyone at all. 

My response was “No, I don’t.” She called out two students (she picked them very wisely, making sure they are the right match and keen to be helping others).

We were introduced, and they were asked to help me and show me around. I am still wondering how thoughtful a person she was; to spot the new student in the auditorium sitting alone among a hundred students! And how caring she was to come to me right after her lecture and offer help!

She probably has done many similar kind things in her life and has touched many souls and probably doesn't even remember me.

But I will remember her forever!

Being aware of people around us, being sensitive and intuitive about details and showing care and attention can make a massive impact for a lifetime. These experiences have been shaping my character....

So thank you Professor Elizabeth Tudor… You will be always in my mind as a kind and caring person.

You made my first positive experience in my veterinary journey in Australia. Wishing you all the best!


(c) 2021 - Dr Hootan Shah - aka 'The Singing Vet'

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