< Back to previous page

Nepali scholar Jileshan Saha savours student life in Australia

Posted: 25 March 2024

Nepal, Disability, Experience, Scholar,

Jileshan Saha from Nepal is studying a Master of Education (Inclusive) at Flinders University in South Australia, with the support of an Australia Awards Scholarship.

In the following video Jileshan, who is a person with disability, shares his transformative experience as an Australia Awards scholar since starting his academic journey in Australia.

Prior to applying for the Scholarship, Jileshan had worked in Nepal’s education sector for more than two decades. However, he recognised that he had more to learn and more to give to education in Nepal. He identified that further study could help him address weaknesses in the education sector, in particular in relation to inclusion and teaching of people with disability, through researching evidence-based solutions. This led to his lifechanging journey as an Australia Awards scholar.

Since commencing his academic studies in Australia in mid-2022, Jileshan has enthusiastically applied himself to the pursuit of new knowledge. He has relished the chance to study contemporary issues relating to disability, education policy and teaching practice, and to learn how to ensure inclusion and cater to the needs of all students.

Jileshan says that he feels supported by Australia Awards and his university and is included in all aspects of life in Australia.

“As a person with disability, I’m supported from everywhere… [A] person with a disability is encouraged [and] included,” he says about his experience in Australia.

“Things are created in such a way that a person feels like, ‘Yes, I’m a contributing member of this society’.”

Jileshan interacting with other Nepali colleagues at the Scholars Symposium in Adelaide.

Through Australia Awards, Jileshan has participated in professional development beyond his studies. Most recently, he attended the Scholars Symposium organised by Australia Awards – South Asia & Mongolia. At this event, which was held in November 2023, the South Australian Governor, Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, discussed strategies for scholars to lead change. Attendees also networked with representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, peak bodies and the development sector.

Jileshan has also actively engaged in life on campus, benefiting from the opportunities provided to students. Ahead of the start of first semester 2023, he completed an internship with an Australian training and education organisation. This experience provided an insight into the Australian business environment. “I had a nice learning opportunity,” Jileshan says. “Australian business organisations treat their staff like family—they want you to be happy.” Jileshan has also worked part time at the university library.

Jileshan has been able to give back to the university community by volunteering, including as a mentor, at Oasis, Flinders University’s student community wellbeing centre on the Bedford Park Campus, enabling him to talk to people from diverse backgrounds.  Jileshan also successfully stood for election for a position on the Flinders University Student Association, with his peers electing him to the position of Mature Age Officer, where he advocates for the rights and interests of students aged 25 years and older.

Jileshan (fourth from left) and other Australia Awards scholars met with Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, the Governor of South Australia, at the Scholars Symposium in November 2023 in Adelaide.

On his return to Nepal, Jileshan aims to use his newfound knowledge and research ability to strengthen the education system—particularly in Madhesh Province, his ancestral home. “I want to train teachers in remote areas, establish libraries and build a reading culture, and revamp public schools, some of which have been neglected” he says.

Jileshan also has some words of advice for other Nepalis considering applying for an Australia Awards Scholarship. “Don’t be scared to apply, and prepare your application well,” he says.

“It does not matter where you are from; through an Australia Awards Scholarship the Australian Government invests in Nepali people directly, allowing you to build the skills you need to lead change.”

Applications for Australia Awards Scholarships for master’s degrees study commencing in 2025 close on 30 April 2024. For more information visit www.australiaawardsnepal.org/how-to-apply-intake-2025