Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Nepalis in Armidale

Today I found a good reason to write this blog. Back in my country, I was searching if there were any Nepalis (people also write Nepalese, but I use this only as an adjective, for a noun, I use 'Nepali', which I found logical). But I could find nothing such in the web. So, I am writing a few sentences about Nepalis in Armidale so that future students or comers to Armidale (in NSW Australia) would know about Nepalis here.

Here are very few (about two to three) families who have permanently settled as Australians. Some of them are engineers at City Council and some of them are businesspeople. The wide share of the Nepalis in Armidale is constituted by the students who have come here to study Bachelor's in Nursing and Master's in Nursing Practice (MNP) (You know that Australia boasts on its good future in nursing!!). Few other friends own small businesses such as restaurants and other shops. And, the rest, people like me, are pursuing doctorate at the University of New England, the area's largest employment provider and the backbone of the local economy.

The city is cool and low-inhabited with just around 25-30000 people living in a small but peaceful suburb, but with every facilities that you want in a developed European city. It has cinema hall, major supermarkets (Woolworths, Coles and IGA), major chain restaurants (McDonald, KFC, Subway, Dominos) and private as well as public hospitals. Bus service is poor (I must say) and winter if freaking cold at least for three months starting from about June every year. There is almost no bus service for Sundays and for other days limited bus travel to and from the university every half an hour (but this should not be a major problem). Many students still complain that the city sees pin-drop silence after 5.30-6 pm everyday as economic activities are very limited. Though Woolworths and Dan Murphy (liquor shop) open till late. Pubs are the beauties in this peaceful city, which opens till 1 am or 2 am in the night. Among the population, only 25-30 people are Nepalis. The number may fluctuate every year with the increasing/decreasing number of students in the University.

There are a number of good places to roam around. Armidale is full of beautiful public parks and BBQ spots. Some of such places are Dumaresq Dam, Dangar Falls, Green Valley Farm etc. The city has a very good look in autumn season when all side paths along the streets are bluish, brownish and yellowish with the maple leaves (remember that the City Council organizes Autumn Festival every 15th of March that includes a multicultural and multinational rally of people around the globe).

The most asked question! Be ready to fill out your purse with bucks and bank accounts with sufficient seed money before you come here. There is no easy employment as there are limited opportunities with unlimited contestants. This is also because there are limited experts in certain fields. If you've an expertise such as a barista, chef, health care etc, then you can survive well. But mostly students are busy acquiring the expertise, so the problem is that they do not have sufficient time to gather funds that they need. Plan accordingly. Either come with a scholarship, or a good source at least for initial six months. There are other farmhand jobs from where you can earn good money, but you should have resilience and determination to work in any field that comes in front of you.

Anyway, the university is cool, very peaceful to study. Every surroundings seems like blanketed with green lawns and beautifully trimmed Maple trees. I've some photos here if you're interested. Have a nice travel to Armidale (if you're planning) and nicer stay in this earthly heaven.

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