Student Accommodation Blog

The student who came via the Darwin charter flight during the pandemic


Hello my name is Shanyi Yang. I am an international student from China currently studying for a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at Charles Darwin University (CDU).

In October last year, my agent told me the information about the charter flight which can take CDU international students from China, Vietnam, Japan and Indonesia to fly to Darwin. When I heard this news, my parents and I were all excited and grateful because I had been at home for several months due to COVID-19. I’m very glad to study in Australia since it gives me chances to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures.

My parents prepared many necessities for me and we even went out to take some family photos because this was the first time I had been away from home. Basically, we were all in a good mood, having no sadness and reluctance but only hope for the future that my study life and the charter flight can go smoothly. Unlike normal flights, we needed to fill out a lot of forms to support us to fly here and everything should be treated seriously and carefully.

After reaching Guangzhou, I didn’t need to worry about anything else or be afraid of missing the flight but only to follow the travel group leader which gave me a sense of safety and enjoyment.

Finally, we successfully arrived at Howard Springs from Singapore, the country where students from different places assembled, to start 14 days of quarantine. Unlike what I imagined, the activities in Howard Springs were interesting and abundant, such as daily care, online coffee, yoga, dance and some lectures and workshops for English study and employment. However, it was a pity that I had begun the summer semester study so that I could not attend most of the activities provided. Another thing I must say is the food was very delicious and basically in line with our dietary habits.

After quarantine, we took the bus to different places where we would stay and I came to UniLodge Darwin with my new friend who stayed in the room next to me during quarantine. Everything in UniLodge Darwin is new for me; new staff, new room and new flatmates. Luckily, the reception staff are kind and my flatmate also helped me a lot, introduced the facilities, taught me how to use the microwave oven and allocated the space equally in advance. In the beginning, I just planned to stay at UniLodge for a year to be accustomed to the surroundings in Casuarina but now I think I will extend the lease unless anything happens. Living at UniLodge Darwin has more advantages than what I thought before, for example, it is nearby the Casuarina Square, which saves me time and energy to buy groceries and essential items; it is not far away from the bus stop and the public transportation is convenient. Moreover, UniLodge has its own mobile app which we are notified for the new events that will be held at the property. At these events we can enjoy free snacks or coffee and chat with others who are also staying here. I believe that it is indeed a good accommodation for me while I am at university.