Lasting relationship with Launceston by Asif Ahmed
My journey at Launceston started through the Australian Maritime College back in 2010 which introduced me to this beautiful, serene and green city of Tasmania. This was the first time I had gone overseas for study purposes and live away from home for prolong times. Therefore, I had quite a lot of mix feelings from the time I left my country till touching down in Launceston.
On a sunny but chilli morning in August I landed at the Launceston airport from Sydney along with my sister and brother in law. The harsh winter weather turned the landscape tired and lifeless which was unpleasant to see and put me in a quandary of beginning this new life in an utterly strange city. While driving along the highway from the airport, we noticed the signboard “Welcome to Launceston” and the view of Launceston itself was simply breathtaking from that uphill part of the road. The glimpse of the beauty of this valley city took my anxious moment away and instantly I started to believe, this is not an ordinary place, it has got lots of things to offer. We drove around the city and were amazed by the tranquil nature of surroundings where there was no hustle and bustle of big cities. After that, I headed towards the University full of excitement and anticipation. Suddenly, I noticed the angry clouds just covered the smiley face of the sun and the wind started to blow. Obviously, I was not ready for that sudden change of weather and this was my first experience of Tasmanian unpredictable but beautiful weather. Anyway, after that we went to the monumental place of Launceston city “Cataract Gorge”. By the time we reached there, the sun started to smile again and the gusty wind stopped. We were at awe and amazed by the spectacular view of the ‘Gorge’ surroundings. We spent a couple of quality hours with the escort of the native peacocks, rode on the world’s longest single chairlift span and engulfed the beauty of the stunning nature.
From the next week, I started my most anticipated university life. Obviously, the first couple of months I struggled to adapt to my new university life, but I must say the cooperation and the assistance I received from the university staff was unbelievable and still the same. The student advisors, student centre, library staff, IT department, security personnel and senior students are simply amazing. I feel that they are all waiting to help others and they do it with great passion. They take the student’s problem as their own problem and try their level best to solve it as quickly as possible. When it comes to study problems, the help and guidance from the lecturers is quite impressive. I had a lot of difficulties with my studies at the very beginning and they paid a lot of attention to my problems and devoted their precious time to solve them either by face to face or e-mail. Even now, if I face any difficulties, without any hesitation I seek assistance from them and the response is always great.
One of my hobbies is to meet new people regardless of their nationality and know about their culture. There is no better place for doing this than at the University of Tasmania Launceston campus. It has such a diverse cohort of students and the University makes a lot of effort to create opportunities for students to get to know each other. The famous ‘Multi-Cultural Night’ and University ‘Open Day’ is undoubtedly my favourite ones. The good food from different cultures usually made by students or the community and the festive mood on these occasions across the university is the joyous of life.
I love to go out for dinner with friends at different restaurant in Launceston and taste different cuisine. One of my favourite places for spending time with friends and having coffee is ‘Seaport’. Their fish and chips are just mouth-watering; I consider them one of the best in Tasmania. I love to walk next to the Tamar river bank and enjoy the view of beautiful Trevallyn. The demography of the Launceston city attracts me a lot. I love strolling around the City Park and city centre on a lazy weekend. The shopping mall, the cafes and restaurants all are in walking distance.
Last but not least, I have to mention the people of Launceston. I have been privileged to attend lunches and dinners arranged by various members of the community of Launceston. Their friendliness, humble and kind attitude, hospitality give me a feeling of never living far away from my home. I have made lots of good friend here and some of them are adorable indeed. I enjoy every single minute of their company and feel a bond with them as well.
I can’t imagine leaving this place one day. Eventually, I have to do it and I’ll cherish all the moments’ throughout my life. The clean air, frosty morning of winter, the different shades of green nature in spring, and the comfortable weather temperature of summer will remind me its diverse nature always. My bonding with the university and beautiful people of Launceston is never ending and I must say, this will bring me back here again one day.
Asif is currently studying a Bachelor of Business ( Maritime Logistics and Management) at the Australian Maritime College.