Alonso Navarro fell in love with Australia after watching the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Fifteen years later, the chance to make the huge leap from his home country Mexico to the Land Down Under finally came by. “In 2015, I was accepted into my master’s degree programme and I finally got to go to Australia,” Navarro says.
Navarro pursued a Master in Community Planning and Development at La Trobe University (Bendigo campus) and graduated in 2017. Now, the 34-year-old still resides in Australia, having fallen in love with his best friend whom he’s currently dating.
“My first step was to research universities and check what programmes they offered,” Navarro tells us. When he found what he was looking for, he put all his organising skills into action to get his application right. This whole process was guided by Destino Australia, an agency dedicated to support the application process for Mexicans to Australia and New Zealand.
The pomp and grandeur of the Sydney Olympics may have been the main reason Navarro set his eyes on Australian universities. Since arriving, however, he’s discovering there is so much offer the country has to offer. From flora and fauna like no other to its beautiful beaches, Navarro says that this continent has exceeded his expectations and beyond.
“I also found out that the quality of the education here is one of the best in the world, and that Melbourne was a top city to live in,” Navarro says. He’s been here for five years now and says that this continent has exceeded his expectations and beyond. “I love travelling around, the continent is so big that the diversity of nature and landscapes is incredible,” Navarro says.
Another reason why he loves Australia? The people. It’s multicultural — residents encourage and welcome this. Exploring the Great Ocean Road never fails to take his breath away, saying “Melbourne is so vibrant”. Coming from a Mexican, that’s a pretty big statement!
Does he miss home? Yes, particularly the food. Street food stalls that pepper every street in Mexico is just not a thing in Australia, so cooking at home is what he makes do with when he misses his tacos.“I love going to a restaurant in Melbourne called ‘La Tortilleria’, as it really has authentic Mexican food and products,” says Navarro.
Navarro recommends all international students to always engage with the local community and join all the events and workshops they’re invited to. Volunteering in a field he was interested in has allowed people to get to know him in a professional setting. “Share your culture, but embrace the local traditions,” he tells us.
Navarro has been in Australia for five years now — and he’s not leaving anytime soon. “After finishing my studies, I applied for a post-graduate visa because I started dating my best friend. We have been together for over three years now and even adopted a dog. I’m currently working in the student mobility sector, I have no plans to head anywhere else!” he says.