Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

International student explains how he found a home at Warrane

Nick Azurin at his time at Warrane College

When Nick Azurin came to Australia from the Philippines he says he was a typical international student: at first he felt like he did not fit in and doubted that he would stay.

“Being placed in a foreign culture, beliefs and ways of life isn’t the most appealing thing,” he said. “I can speak on behalf of every other international student out there in saying that ‘culture shock’ is a very real thing, and makes it hard for us to find a place where we can truly to be ourselves.”

But Nick said he found such a place when he made Warrane his home. He says the College had a growing impact on his life as he became more familiar with its atmosphere, “and most importantly, its people”.

“It quickly became a place where I could not only feel at home, but also find a sense of comfort and support for the things I love to do,” he said.

“The College environment was nothing short of amazing and an almost essential experience for me. My floor mates quickly became my extended family. I shared hardships, happiness and experiences with them – experiences that I thought I could only share with lifelong friends.

“And I felt comfortable sharing them with people I had known for under two years. But I learned that Warrane was built on these foundations – on the foundation of creating lifelong friendships, and in turn, providing one of the most amazing experiences of my young adult life.”

Nick said every day while he was attending classes, he looked forward to “coming home” to Warrane to see what everyone was up to.

“And if there was any way I could join in the little adventures – well, that I will remember for the duration of my life.”

While at Warrane, Nick completed a music degree specialising in Audio Engineering at the Australian Institute of Music. And, “on the side”, he also composed music on his guitar. His debut recording, a 6-track extended-play record titled “Chase Lights” will be released later this year.

“It is a record I’ve been working on for over a year now,” he said, “and I’m super excited about its release in December. The majority of the tracks were written and recorded in my room at Warrane.”

While he was a resident, Nick was involved heavily in College activities. One highlight was the College’s 2015 Film Night, for which he directed the winning entry.

“For Film Night, I was the director for 4th floor’s film “Honest Interviews”. I was so excited to be a part of this event because once again Warrane provided an outlet in which I could express myself the best in what I’m passionate about.

“It was so fun working with the floor, and integrating everyone’s ideas and bringing them to life on the big screen.”

Other highlights included inter-college band night and getting involved with a College work camp in the Philippines.

“Through all these events,” Nick said, “Warrane provided an ever-changing and dynamic environment fit for anyone no matter what they specialise in. It gives everyone an opportunity to foster their passions and really indulge in what makes them truly themselves.”