Expats Around the World Series – From South Africa to Australia

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St Kilda

In our 7th article in this series we explore the journey of Nabeela Mayet from South Africa to Australia.

  1. What is your name?

 

Nabeela Mayet

  1. What country were you born in?

 

            South Africa

  1. What job did you have in your home country? 

 

            Attorney / Law lecturer

  1. How long have you been living in your new country for?

 

             2 and half years

  1. Did you immigrate alone or with your family and kids?

 

           immigrated with my husband

 

 

  1. How are the schools in the new country?

 

We don’t have kids yet but have friends who have immigrated with kids, From their experiences and stories their children seem to have settled and adjusted well. The education system is really good both public and private. There are also many madrassahs as well as Islamic Schools which are excellent.

 

  1. What is your job in your new country?

 

I decided to take a complete step back and change of career and now work as a facilities Co-coordinator and executive assistant within the engineering department of a Private hospital in Melbourne and loving every moment.

 

  1. What do you enjoy about your new country?

 

We enjoy the liberty of being able to take a walk without having to worry about our safety. The quality of life and the ability to be free is one of the best things that we have experienced being in Australia. The use of public transport and being a female feeling safe travelling alone and not have my husband have to worry about my safety. Being welcomed so openly by people who have never regarded you as strangers from the moment you met them and who have now become not only friends but family. They have all opened their homes and hearts to us which made it so much easier to settle.

The vibe and the place as a whole is beautiful – it has so much to offer.

  1. What do you miss the most about your home country?

 

Both myself and my husband are social people and come from big families. We miss our family and friends. We miss the good hearty South African food and franchises and the spirit of South African Culture.

 

  1. What advice would you give someone that is contemplating to immigrate to the country you have immigrated to?

 

Whenever making such a decision always turn to the All Mighty – Make istigarah and dua that Allah opens your heart and mind positively to embrace this experience. We have found that placing our full trust and faith in Allah has helped us through this journey and being able to settle well. It is also very important to have an open mind and be positive to new experiences and meeting new people.

Australia is a beautiful country with so many opportunities. We were so pleasantly surprised to experience the diversity and acceptance that this country has to offer. There are so many people from all across the world and so many muslims who have chosen to make Australia their home. The more we stay on the more we have realised that we want to make this home.

  1. What challenges, if any, would you advise them to anticipate based on your experiences when you first moved to your new country?

The biggest challenge is being moved out of your comfort zone and everything you know and certain of.

 

Every change comes with its own challenges and it’s about having a positive mind and outlook in embracing these challenges. It is also very important to have both spouses willing to give this new experience an opportunity to work. When one spouse or someone in your family group is unhappy about moving it could make things challenging in terms of settling. Leaving family and friends behind and moving to a new country is never easy and it takes time to adjust especially when moving to a country where you may not know anyone. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to go through the motion of emotions but always remember the reason for your move.

 

Everything will be overwhelming at first but give yourself the time to adjust to your surroundings, we are all afraid of the unknown but with each day comes clarity.

 

Alhamdulillah through the mercy and guidance of Allah both myself and my husband were able to adjust with minimal complication and challenges. 

 

  1. What advice would you give them to overcome those challenges based on how you overcame them?

 

To be honest any life changing decision can be overwhelming. It all seems very exciting at first but once the novelty wears off and the realisation that this is a commitment you can feel a range of emotions. And there will be so many moments where you will question whether the decision you made was the right one. My advice is as I have said previously the continuous remembrance of Allah. This has assisted us in so many ways when we felt down or uncertain. Be kind to yourself in every way and allow yourself to feel these emotions.

 

Having a positive mind and outlook and the willingness to embrace change. With every situation in life positivity is very important. Having a positive mindset and the willingness to give this move everything you have. Embracing the changes that come with it because countries are different and do things so differently. Be willing to accept those changes and to learn and experience new beginnings and challenges that come with it. Put yourself out there and be willing to make friends and build a community of your own that become like your family. You will soon realise that there are so many people that you meet that have the same story as you do and will offer assistance and guidance on what helped them through their move and settling in.

 

The bond between you and your spouse will only get stronger as you realise through the most difficult challenge of settling in you only have each other to rely on and you will learn to navigate your way together.

 

And always make shukr that Allah has blessed you with the ability, strength and opportunity of making a better life for you and your family which could open so many possibilities and opportunities to you, your children and those around you.

 

And most importantly if it doesn’t work out and you are not happy, that is also okay. As long as you have given it everything you have, you won’t have any regrets in taking the plunge and moving back does not mean you have failed in any way or form – It just means that Allah has other plans for you and trust in them.

 

 

  1. How was the visa process for immigrating to your new country?

 

The Visa process for Australia is a very strict one. They have tough rules and regulations which are constantly changing.

 

If you fill the criteria for the Visa which allows you to immigrate whether it be a working skilled Visa or a PR visa – The actual Visa process once documents are submitted is a smooth one. It does take time and a lot of documents need to be submitted but it is well worth the effort.

 

  1. How is the cost of living in the new country compared to your home country?

 

It is relatively higher but once you earn in the currency of the country you are living in, it makes it easier to budget like you normally would.

 

  1. Anything else you would like to add, or any advice you would like to give to anyone that is contemplating moving to your new country?

 

 

If you have the opportunity to move, take it and embrace it positively. Australia has honestly exceeded our expectations in many ways. We love living in the state that we do which is Melbourne. People have opened up their homes and hearts to us and that is what has overwhelmed us the most – the ability of others to so willingly accept people who they don’t ever regard as strangers from the moment you meet them.

It is diverse and you can easily adapt to the lifestyle and culture. Believe and trust  that Rozi & Rizq comes from Allah. Trust and turn to Allah in every turn and you will find things will fall into place so much easier.

 

Here is a link to our blog page where you will find the rest of the articles in this series.

 

 

 

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