‘Every cloud has a silver lining’; that famous proverb attributed to John Milton perfectly illustrates Arpan Kuwar’s story. Made redundant from an IT job during the COVID-19 crisis, Arpan has discovered a completely new path in life studying nursing at Southern Cross.
“My decision to change professional paths was initially driven by career security and job stability. When I lost my job, my sister, who works at the Gold Coast University Hospital, encouraged me to switch to the health sector,” he said.
While studying Nursing at Southern Cross University, Arpan worked for a year at an aged care facility located in the Gold Coast. He then moved to Lismore to continue his studies while working as an Assistant for Nursing in the Mental Health Ward at Lismore Base Hospital.
“That first placement in the Gold Coast completely changed me; it was an eye-opening experience! I absolutely love my job; it is very rewarding. It feels so good to be able to help the community,” he says.
Born and raised in Nepal, Arpan arrived in Australia in 2016. He first landed in Sydney, then spent four years in Melbourne before moving to the Northern Rivers. Soon after arriving in the country, Arpan joined Southern Cross University, initially to finish his IT degree and later to study a Bachelor of Nursing.
“My experience at Southern Cross University has always been great. After finishing my first degree, I couldn’t have chosen any other university for my second one. It feels like home.”
“The Nursing course is structured in a very nice way. All the resources are available online so you can see your progression and plan accordingly. For a student like me, who also likes to study over holiday breaks, that is a clear advantage.”
Arpan has studied at several Southern Cross University campuses. He laughs as he says: “I pretty much know all Southern Cross east coast campuses. Although I’m currently based in Lismore, I previously studied in Sydney, Melbourne and at the Gold Coast.”
“I really like Lismore campus. When I arrived here, I was amazed by its size. It reminds me of those beautiful massive campuses you see on American movies.”
Like many in the Northern Rivers region, 2022 wasn’t an easy start for Arpan, as he was affected by the devastating floods.
“The support we received from the University after the floods was beyond expectations. Southern Cross team members were checking on us regularly and one afternoon they even showed up with hot food and other personal care items. I felt supported, looked after all the time. Many people lost everything here in Lismore. I’ve never felt alone despite the havoc around. For me that is very touching.”
Asked about his future, Arpan says his life is in Australia: “This is home for me. I’ve been in the country since I was 18. I got married here and have several family members spread all over the country. My parents are overseas, but they visit often, and we do too”.