CMU-A at the start of 2022: International Students are Back on Campus

Posted 20th January 2022

“I’m sure at some point you were thinking, when is this roller coaster going to end? Well, it ends today,” Professor Emil Bolongaita, Head of Carnegie Mellon University Australia, remarked during the Welcome Lunch prepared by CMU-A for its international students.

Head of CMU-A Emil Bolongaita welcomes international students on campus.

CMU-A takes pride in being one of the first institutions to host international students in person here in South Australia. The semester started on Monday, January 17, to align the class schedule with CMU Heinz College in Pittsburgh. The current cohort is excited to complete their Masters Degree in Information Technology Management, Public Policy and Management, and Business Intelligence and Data Analytics all delivered by world-class faculty from Pittsburgh and Adelaide.

With international students coming in, the campus is filled with life again – the gleeful smiles, warm exchanges, and meaningful interactions as faculty, staff, and students are finally together in-person once more. The Welcome Lunch started strong with a campus tour where Ben Olijnyk, Deputy Head of CMU-A, had the pleasure of highlighting the campus facilities.

Deputy Head Ben Olijnyk takes students on a campus tour on their first day.

The CMU-A faculty members were equally thrilled in engaging with international students after two years of hybrid and full remote delivery.

Prof. Riaz Esmailzadeh, who teaches Information Technology Management, shared that it was a moving experience for him when he saw students in person again. “I’ve met you all in Zoom, but I look forward to having more than just a video relationship with all of you,” he said.

Prof. Murli Viswanathan, an expert in all things Big Data, expressed his delight by saying, “It’s fantastic to have you all here after trying to organize students’ travel to CMU Australia.”

“I’m sure you’ve taken my ODI (Organizational Design and Implementation) class, which is a relief to Murli’s Java classes,” jokes Tim O’Loughlin, Professor of the Practice Public Policy.

And the last memorable remark goes to finance guru, Prof. TK Lim, “In case you can’t remember my name, you just remember that TK is The King.”

This was then followed by an introduction about Australia - its culture, slang, way of life, and most importantly, how to stay safe.

The campus was filled with a joyous atmosphere as the moment everyone was waiting for finally happened.

The Roller Coaster Ride

Each student has their own story to tell about the challenges they experienced during their journey.

Information Management students Shivam, Liyang, and Michael were all in unison in saying that coming to Adelaide was worth every heart pounding experience.

“It’s finally real,” Shivam, who is from India, described the rawness of how he felt after the plane touched down in Adelaide.

Michael traveled from Ghana and he said, “I don’t know how to describe it. It felt a certain kind of calm, happiness. It’s going to be a very lovely experience.”

Liyang from China is already in love with Adelaide. “Adelaide is really a good place to live. We like the weather here and the atmosphere is really nice. People here are friendly.”

Moving Forward

The trio are looking forward to having their classes on campus. Michael said “I really love that it’s not just about being extraordinarily good at grades but also the level of being human, of being concerned and involved with a community and it’s something that I really value about CMU.”

Students who are already in Adelaide will be taking in-person classes. CMU-A is prepared to give students the same level of quality education whichever mode of delivery they choose - in-person, hybrid, or completely remote sessions.

“We would want your experience here to be as rich and as rewarding as possible, and we’re very, very glad that we have been able to get to this point. We should enjoy our learning experience this semester and beyond,” concludes Prof. Emil.