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‘Nourished with love’: International student talks about life, work and pursuit of happiness in Australia 

Ramandeep Kaur lives with her husband Amardeep Singh Sohi and their five-month-old son in Townsville, Queensland.   Source: Supplied my Mrs Kaur

From financial hardships to health complications, Ramandeep Kaur's life has been riddled with bottlenecks, but the 32-year-old is a fighter who wants to keep scaling new heights in her personal life and career. 

Ramandeep Kaur faced many ups and downs in the past three years of her life in Australia.   

Like thousands of other newly arrived international students, she endured many challenges, including language barriers and financial constraints.  


Highlights  
  • Ramandeep Kaur is a Townsville, Qld based Indian international student  
  • Mrs Kaur has worked as a taxi driver and aged care worker  
  • She is very grateful to her friends for their help and support  

Ms Kaur, who recently completed an undergraduate degree in nursing from James Cook University, lives with her husband Amardeep Singh Sohi and their five-month-old son in Townsville, Queensland.   

Speaking to SBS Punjabi, the young mum looked back at her student life and the hurdles she faced in her academic career and social life.  

Ms Kaur's friends at the nursing school describe her as 'friendly and cheerful.' 
Ms Kaur's friends at the nursing school describe her as 'friendly and cheerful.' 
Supplied my Mrs Kaur

Ms Kaur who claims to be a fighter said while her life was froth with challenges, they never deterred her from fulfilling her dream of living in Australia.   

"The biggest hurdle was to arrange money to pay my tuition fee. But I was never the one to bog down from challenges, so I started driving a taxi and later got a license to drive heavy vehicles," Ms Kaur shared.  

ਉਸ ਨੇ ਤਕਰੀਬਨ ਛੇ ਮਹੀਨੇ ਟੈਕਸੀ ਵੀ ਚਲਾਈ ਤੇ ਫਿਰ ਟਰੱਕ ਡਰਾਈਵਰ ਬਣਨ ਲਈ ਹੈਵੀ ਡਰਾਈਵਿੰਗ ਦਾ ਲਾਇਸੈਂਸ ਟੈਸਟ ਵੀ ਪਾਸ ਕੀਤਾ।
Ramandeep Kaur faced many ups and downs in the past three years of her life in Australia
Supplied my Mrs Kaur

After her driving stint, Ms Kaur also worked at aged care to supplement her income.  

But as luck would have it, she had to quit her job after she fell pregnant and later developed serious health complications.   

"I was going through immense pressure due to my studies and the pressure of assignments. On top, I was dealing with a difficult pregnancy.  

"I had to remain in the hospital after I suffered a heart failure during delivery.  

"But I was lucky that I found a strong support system in my friends who came to my rescue during our difficult times. They have given a new meaning to my life," she said.  

Ms Kaur, who has recently completed her nursing degree, attributes her success to her husband, who supported her passion and helped her save funds for the expensive degree.   

 "He is very kind and supportive. I was able to pay thousands of dollars for my tuition fee because of his patience and hard work. But I am hopeful that we'd be in a better position once I manage to secure a job in my field," she said.  

ਬੱਚੇ ਦੇ ਜਨਮ ਵੇਲੇ ‘ਦਿਲ ਦੇ ਫੇਲ੍ਹ’ ਹੋਣ ਕਾਰਨ ਸ੍ਰੀਮਤੀ ਕੌਰ ਨੂੰ ਕਈ ਦਿਨ ‘ਆਈ ਸੀ ਯੂ’ ਵਿੱਚ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਪਰ ਉਹ ਇਸ ਔਖੇ ਸਮੇਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਨਰਸਿੰਗ ਸਕੂਲ ਦੇ ਸਾਥੀ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀ ਖ਼ਾਸਕਰ ਮੁਰਾਇਆ, ਔਲੀਵਰ ਤੇ ਟੈੱਡ ਦਾ ਸਹਿਯੋਗ ਨਹੀਂ ਭੁੱਲਦੀ।
She had to quit her job after she fell pregnant and later developed serious health complications.  
Supplied my Mrs Kaur

Ms Kaur's friends at the nursing school describe her as 'friendly and cheerful.'  

"I can think of so many fun memories at Ramandeep's house when she cooked us some delicious Indian food. She has always been very kind and has welcomed us into her life.   

"I am proud of Ramandeep for overcoming a serious health complication last year and how strong she has remained throughout the challenging times. I am grateful to have her as a friend," said Olivia, who has been her friend for the past three years. 

Another friend who often assists Ms Kaur with babysitting her newborn said she instantly connected with Ramandeep during their first day at the university.   

"I would go out of my way to ensure she understood assignments and tasks and have always supported her. She made me so proud of her work ethic," Moriah said.  

ਰਮਨਦੀਪ ਕੌਰ ਕਹਿਣਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਉਸਦੇ ਆਸਟ੍ਰੇਲੀਅਨ ਦੋਸਤਾਂ ਨੇ ਉਸਦੀ ਜ਼ਿੰਦਗੀ ਨੂੰ ਇੱਕ ਨਵਾਂ ਮੋੜ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਹੈ।
Ramandeep Kaur is very grateful to her friends for their help and support. 
Supplied my Mrs Kaur

Mrs Kaur, who loves to spend quality time with her friends in Townsville, said she loves to pursue hobbies like pottery, sewing, hiking, boxing, horse-riding, and cycling.  

ਸ੍ਰੀਮਤੀ ਕੌਰ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣੇ ਆਸਟ੍ਰੇਲੀਅਨ ਦੋਸਤਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਮਿਲਕੇ ਸਕਾਈ-ਡਾਈਵਿੰਗ, ਹਾਈਕਿੰਗ, ਬਾਕਸਿੰਗ, ਘੋੜ-ਸਵਾਰੀ, ਸਾਈਕਲਿੰਗ ਵਰਗੀਆਂ ਕਿਰਿਆਵਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਵੀ ਹਿੱਸਾ ਲੈਣ ਦਾ ਸ਼ੌਕ ਹੈ।
Ramandeep loves to spend quality time with her friends in Townsville.
Supplied my Mrs Kaur

"We spend a lot of time together. They often visit my house – we make chapatis and Indian curries. We play and dance together, something that has become an essential part of my life.    

"My English was never that great, but I feel love has no language. They helped me a lot in adopting Australian society and its way of life for which I am always indebted to them," she shared.   

ਰਮਨਦੀਪ ਕੌਰ ਨੇ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਉਸਦੀ ਜ਼ਿੰਦਗੀ ਨੂੰ ਖੁਸ਼-ਖ਼ੁਸ਼ਹਾਲ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਵਿੱਚ ਉਸ ਦੇ ਪਤੀ ਦਾ ਬਹੁਤ ਸਾਥ ਰਿਹਾ।
Ramandeep attributes her success to her husband, who supported her passion and helped her save funds for the expensive degree.  
Supplied my Mrs Kaur

Ms Kaur says she loves her quiet life in Australia and has plans to settle in Townsville once she receives her permanent residency.  

"We feel fortunate to be living in Australia. We are grateful to this country where we had every opportunity to fulfil our career aspirations and a dream for prosperity," she said.  

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at https://www.sbs.com.au/language/coronavirus

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