Keeping score.

In 1994, after I graduated MBBS, I learned the hard way how useless an Indian degree is. I  wanted to do my master’s degree and every single University ( in Canada, US and UK) denied me admission only because my basic degree was not up to their standard. And then there was the international student fees, I never understood the rationality behind calling me  a person from third world country, yet making me pay exorbitant fees in the ten thousands, yet the students from first world paid fees in the thousands.

Two things I learned then. One, I will never let my children suffer because of where they studied, two, I will never pay International student fee for them.

The best way forward was to migrate and the migration agent wanted 10000RM as fees. As a government servant, I had to work few years to save that much money. so I opted to apply directly without using an agent. This was before internet era and there was no one to help me. I chose Australia because it was closer to Malaysia, I have family here and I was worried about winter in US/Canada. ( I had never seen snow then)  The application form had to be filled in manually and every mistake I made was costly for I had to get a new form photocopied. I then had to get all my documents certified true and I remember the gleefulness on the China man Commissioner of oath near my home. My salary then was 1350 RM and he charged me 250RM to certify true all the documents. I do remember that application form to migrate to Australia was kind of elitist. There were two pages for you list out all the club membership you have. ( Malaysia’s 5C’s of success, Cash, Car, Credit Card,Condo, County Club membership)

Along the time, I applied to migrate, I also got admission to do my master’s degree in England. I informed the Australian High commission In KL and they transferred my file to England.  A week after I completed the degree, I got a letter from the High commission, letting me know that my application was denied because my degree was not recognized in Australia. When I called them to let them know that my master’s degree is from England and is recognized in Australia, they had the audacity to tell me that ” you didn’t have your master’s degree at the time you lodged your application” That decision was so flawed, because had I had a major illness after I lodged the application, they would have denied the application, even though at the time of lodgement of application, I was hail and healthy.

There are certain things in my life, I keep a score. I can never forget spending 250RM to certify true the documents and scrimping through that whole month. And I was determined to live in Australia.. ( after all I am Methran Thambi’s grand daughter).

Today, I am an Australian Citizen. I don’t feel any patriotic love for Australia, but it felt good when the officer at the DIAC ( department of immigration and citizenship ) asked me “Why don’t you put your children’s name in your application, so they too can get their citizenship?” I replied “Nah, they are not interested”

At one time, they didn’t want to give me the Visa and now they are offering citizenship to my children.. How the tides turn.

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