Tales from the Departure Lounge

#36 Devarshi Desai (Keep It Real)

March 17, 2024 Andy Plant & Nick Cuthbert Season 3 Episode 36
Tales from the Departure Lounge
#36 Devarshi Desai (Keep It Real)
Show Notes Transcript

Dev Desai is part of the 'studytuber' phenomenon of student influencers. He generated millions of views on social media by documented his study abroad experience in Australia and answering questions from other students online. Fast-forward five years since his graduation and he has turned that online community into a successful media company and peer-support service - Internash and Studynash. This is the GenZ dream.

Awarded the IEAA Rising Star Award in 2023, he talks to the TFTDL crew about the real India, student 'screw-up' stories, getting fit (and filming it) and why you should never rely on getting a visa on arrival! 

Final boarding call: Ahmedabad, India 

Not to be missed! This inspirational graduate story is brought to you in partnership with The Ambassador Platform, a leading peer-to-peer marketing and recruitment platform that connects your current students to prospective students for honest advice. Check out www.theambassadorplatform.com 

Tales from the Departure Lounge is a Type Nine production for The PIE www.thepienews.com

Nick:

Click record. Let's go.

Andy:

Uh, you're the funny one, Nick.

Nick:

Let me stitch that in. Welcome to Tales from the Departure Lounge. This is a podcast about travel for business, for pleasure, or for study. My name's Nick and I'm joined by my co-pilot, Andy. And together we're gonna be talking to some amazing guests about how travel has transformed their. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey. Welcome to the podcast.

Andy:

Today on the show, we speak to Dev Desai. He is an influencer from India who's set up a couple of companies.

I guess we can class them as a study tuber. As an international student, he documented his journey on social media. From going to study in Australia through to graduation, through to getting permanent residency. And he got millions and millions of views. In the process.

Andy:

Essentially he couldn't find anyone that looked like him or sounded like him or gave him trustworthy advice. So he did it himseLf.

Yeah, he's not a vlogger. This isn't what he's having for breakfast or documenting where he lives. He's answering questions from other students as he's going through the experience. This is such a gen Z perspective. He's so comfortable making content. Which grows a community. And now he's learnt how to turn that community into a business.

Andy:

He is a little bit younger than us, not that much younger Nick, but a little bit younger than us. He. understands how students around the world will have an influence in the future, how powerful India itself and those students are going to be. Having a real pride in where he's come from as well.

Yeah, he's representing a young, modern Indian perspective.

Nick:

He's curated content and events for the federal government in Australia. and he went on to win the IEAA award. Rising star award in 2023, just five years after he graduated.

Andy:

Yeah, really impressive. He's had a great idea, hasn't he?

He started these events in Australia. Where students have a safe place to talk about their screw ups as he terms it, which I think is a great idea. We can relate to that. Call me Andy.

Andy:

Speak for yourself. He's the young Gen Z influencer from Ahmedabad who finds himself in Adelaide enjoying the sun. He believes if everyone studies overseas we'd have a much better world. Just don't get his advice for on arrival visas. let's get some tales from the departure lounge from Dev Desai.

Dev:

one thing I think that Indians in previous generation did not have that Indians have now is just pride in their country. And I think that is quite beautiful to see. I was like, you know what, the people who don't have jobs end up being YouTubers. That was me, In a few years that we have been doing this, we have, six, 7 million views. one of the things that I had recognized when I came to Australia was, just somebody who looked like me, who had similar background as mine. Uh, there wasn't nobody telling me what their experience was. And that was something that I was looking for. I haven't met an Indian person who have traveled India. Well, how is that possible that somebody who's not born in India would have traveled in India? You know what I mean? hello. Hello

Nick:

So before we get into the episode, a quick word about our latest sponsor. Most of our listeners spend a lot of time traveling the world, staying in hotels or apartments, often where they haven't stayed before. I don't know about you, but whenever I'm choosing a hotel, I like to check out online reviews, or even better, ask friends or colleagues for recommendations. International students face the same uncertainty with their study choices, but the investment that they're making is much greater than the price of a hotel room. They'll be investing in that study destination for years. This is where the Ambassador Platform helps your prospective students. It links them up with your current students to receive honest, personalized advice and to answer any questions that they have. This is a direct and trusted source of information. It provides instant reassurance for students and improved conversion for your university. And it's not just messaging. Your ambassadors can generate their own content and videos to share, showing prospective students from anywhere on the planet what life is really like at your institution. And it gives them confidence and reassurance about their decisions. we're really excited to have teamed up with the Ambassador Platform to bring you some tales from the Departure Lounge with real students and graduates, to show you how powerful the student voice can be. So to find out more about this highly impactful peer to peer platform, or to book a demo with one of the friendly TAP team, please visit the link in the episode notes or go to the ambassadorplatform. com.

now let's get on with the episode

Andy:

Dev, welcome to the show. It's great to have you on.

Dev:

Thank you so much for having me. Really excited to be here.

Andy:

IS it Adelaide you're in?

Dev:

is correct. It's pretty warm out here in Australia right now.

Andy:

And it's zero degrees here, so don't

Dev:

Oh, no. Do you guys enjoy that weather? Like, what's your preference?

Andy:

It's just rained for about two months solid.

Nick:

When you say preference, it makes it sound like there's a choice. There's no choice, Dev. It's like this all the time.

Dev:

I mean, we have a choice. Where do we want to live?

Andy:

That's true. Although, then you marry someone. Then you've got half a choice if that. So,

Dev:

that is correct. Or no choice at all.

Andy:

that's the right answer, yeah.

Dev:

Uh, I've been through the questions and, I was like, Oh dude, these are really good questions. I wonder if travel is a metaphor for life

Nick:

well, we've got 11, 000 listeners, Dev,

Andy:

It's not four million subscribers or whatever you have.

Dev:

We got to reach 11, 000 before it reaches a million. So we're on the right track.

Andy:

This is the entrepreneurial mindset, I like it.

Dev:

Yeah. I think it's really good because if you look at just addressable market. Your addressable market would have a lot more, high profile sector people who would want to know what's going on. And if they are a million, then they're not as valued out there. So

Andy:

exactly

Nick:

you want to write the sponsorship pack for us? Because that's what we've been trying to say.

Andy:

Awesome. The first question that we ask all of our guests is our final boarding call. If you could take our listeners anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Dev:

I have been living in Australia for about seven years. And I'm originally from India. There's a If I had to take you guys, um, I would probably take you to my hometown, which is Ahmedabad. it's a beautiful city. our city this year is turning 613 years old, one thing which is a lot of people find surprising is that that specific state That's the only state in india. It's a dry state. So we don't get alcohol. Compared to other states. and Recently, there was a poll done that there is one specific place where they may allow selling of alcohol because a lot of people from across the world and, companies across the world are coming to that city. and surprisingly, a lot of people in the states said that they don't want alcohol, I would take you to Ahmedabad and, take you guys to all the heritage places, take you through the culture and just the amazing food

Andy:

we've got one day, Dev, I land in Ahmedabad, and you're going to show me around. What's our itinerary for the day?

Dev:

okay. So you are at the airport. It is 8 a. m and we have about 12 hours. So first thing that I would take you is, for breakfast, there is something called fafda jalebi. That's a very Gujarati food. jalebi is a sweet, dish and fafda is just, it's basically, what a lot of people eat on the weekends and, also on some of the festivals. So once you have done that, then we are going to hit some of the famous spots. majority of the listeners would have heard of, Mahatma Gandhi. you would have heard of Gandhi. So Gandhi ashram. Is in Ahmedabad and, that would be a really good site to visit some history, what has happened in India, and what was, India a hundred years back or 200 years back. Learn about the city and the freedom of movement. That is really important. so, I would take you there. Second is we have beautiful, restaurants. And eat more traditional food. I'll ask you guys to wear like Indian traditional clothes as well, and then I would take you to something called riverfront. This beautiful walk by the river the sunsets are beautiful. and looking at the city, when it comes alive

Andy:

I was hoping it was a day when the cricket was on, but That sounds pretty good, what you've described.

Dev:

If you are into cricket, I would take you to the largest stadium of the world because that's also in Ahmedabad.

Nick:

Nice. Can we go to your mum's house while we're there?

Dev:

Well, if we have time, then I'll ask mom to cook for us.

Nick:

Yes.

Dev:

And then it'll be a lot of fun.

Nick:

And no hangovers.

Dev:

No hangovers. No, no alcohol.

Andy:

I did go to Ahmedabad, for a day, many years ago, and somebody did take me to a heritage site, and it was down, a well or something? I remember it being very spectacular,

Dev:

It could be well, there is really famous from, I think, 1400s. Uh, if you're talking about our dialogue, that's what it is. There's a lot of carving and it's, it's a really beautiful site.

Nick:

And what sort of temperature are we talking, Deb? How hot is it in the day?

Dev:

I would not take you guys in april may june because it's Hot when I say hot it's like 45 degrees. if not 48 50, so it's like me coming when you're like, zero degrees or it's minus like i've never experienced that I come there and I just You know Dislike myself being there. so I would not ask you to come there, in like April, May, June. But, if we go around November it's starting to, cool down a little and also Diwali is in November. So the whole country is just in the festival mode. That's like the biggest festival in India for those who don't know.

Andy:

The Festival of Light.

Dev:

That's it.

Andy:

I did go in summer and it's like somebody turns a hairdryer on in your face.

Dev:

One of the reasons I did not choose Canada, or even a us for that matter, I cannot imagine myself living where, six to eight months it's cold or even when it's raining. I think, it impacts your happiness level. That's what I think. In Australia, majority of places, it is 25, 27, 28 degrees. And I wake up so happy. I'm going for a run in the morning. I'm just so active. The sun sets around 8pm. I have whole day by myself. I can work till late. And when I finish work, it's still bright outside. I, and I think that goes back to like where we grew up. oNe of the things that I tell people. Before you go to India, talk to an Indian who is born and brought up in India. Because that is so important. A lot of people who go to India They do similar thing. They land in Mumbai or Delhi then they do the Taj Mahal because you have to and Take a couple of photos upload that it's like this my India trip whether it's Bill Gates or anybody else That is like a checklist that you have to do. Bill Gates uploaded this photo a couple of days back and then you go to if you land in Delhi you go to Mumbai and talk about Bollywood. You go to Goa in case if you want to have fun, equivalent to Gold Coast, and beautiful beaches. You go to Kerala because that's just like green and beautiful and that's it. and then they're like, Oh, I have been to India and I haven't met an Indian person who have traveled India. Well, how is that possible that somebody who's not born in India would have traveled in India? You know what I mean? So I always recommend people that if you're going to India. Talk to an Indian person who is born and brought up in India and have traveled India and let them make your itinerary.

Andy:

This is a theme that we keep coming back to actually on the podcast it's that immersive experience. If you get the opportunity, that's why Nick wants to go and see. Your mom, when he goes over to Ahmedabad, you get a true feeling, a true sense

Nick:

everyone's going to be messaging you now Can you create my itinerary for the real India?

Dev:

I, I would I love India in general. and I think, some of the stories told about India. it doesn't represent the whole of India the richest house in the world, that's in India. And then we see the biggest slums, is also in India. Some of the most powerful people in the world is also in India. And then we have Himalayas and then we have a desert in Rajasthan and it's just literally everything you can imagine.

Nick:

Deb, how old are you? You're representing young India here, give us your perspective on what you think about the future of India, about all of the Western countries, courting Modi, about the tech industry exploding Give us a real insight into what you think as a young person. Hmm.

Dev:

is such a cool, question. Okay. What does the news say right now? One is that, Modi has really good relations with Western countries and Western countries are also helping. India grow. That's number one. Number two, India is also maintaining relations with Russia, which may not have as good relations with Western countries as it has with Asian countries. We look at the stats. India has one of the highest, young population. there was a recent report, said that more than 1.3 million students just from India went to different countries to study in 2023. That is a massive number. It's like 250,000 is just United States., 80,000 just Australia. Is one of the major destinations and even the government wants it to be a major destination for quality international students And so is canada. but one thing that is not talked about a lot is The number of students who study abroad and want to go back to india has also never been higher one thing I think that Indians in previous generation did not have that Indians have now is just pride in their country. And I think that is quite beautiful to see.

Andy:

This is the soft power that we talk about from international education as somebody living in another country. Bringing that trade, looking back to India what you're doing as a businessman, multiply that by, 1. 3 million, Indians around the world doing that. That's pretty awesome.

Dev:

I think you're right. The position that I'm in now is because to be able to do business in multiple countries, we help students study abroad, we make it easy for them, whether it's our media company or whether it's our edtech product. That is what we want to do. and in an ideal world, I think whether a student is from UK or Ireland or United States or India or any other Asian countries. I think if people can afford the chance to study abroad, we're going to live in such a A beautiful world and that just excites me every day morning.

Andy:

your dodge next question about how old you are

Dev:

I'm 30 right now.

Nick:

Dev, you graduated in 2019, And you were, in 2023, named the IEAA Rising Star Award. So tell us how you've got here, from this graduation in Australia to being celebrated by the international education industry.

Dev:

I'm super new, in this sector and learning every day, I was awarded a high commendation, for the rising star award by IEA. Uh, and that is primarily because the work that we have done, for media company that we run, which is called inter Nash, and the ed tech startup that we have called study Nash. And, the award was definitely a surprise and I'm really glad that it happened, So I started at Monash University I came in July 2017 and graduated in July 2019 I started Masters of Business one of the things that I had recognized when I came to Australia was, just somebody who looked like me, who had similar background as mine. Uh, there wasn't nobody telling me what their experience was. And that was something that I was looking for.

Nick:

And you're talking about, on social media, the communications channels that you're consuming. Not in the places you were online.

Dev:

you're, you're a hundred percent right. And thanks for pointing that out. I'm talking about when I search on YouTube, and I type, Indian student studying in Australia, I couldn't see a lot of videos who would transparently talk about what the university life, there would be vlogs. There would be like how beautiful Australia is or how beautiful London is. But I wanted somebody to, to talk about like the real things that happen in an international student's life. And I didn't have a job. And I was like, you know what, the people who don't have jobs end up being YouTubers. That was me, couldn't find a part time job and I had a camera, it's like, may as well just shoot this. If there are people, coming to study in Australia, because that's all I knew, I couldn't talk about London, I couldn't talk about, Toronto or New York or LA, but if they're coming to study in Melbourne. Then this is what the experience is like and, it looked like that was the gap in the market because, in few months, we gathered like hundreds and thousands of views or thousands of subscribers. I started creating content on YouTube, in a few years that we have been doing this, we have, six, 7 million views. We have created so much, like hundreds of videos of international students just talking about what it's like to study. This course or what it's like to study in x university or this specific city or what's it like to live in melbourne or adelaide? If I can convey how beautiful this experience is and the ugly good bad everything makes The word beautiful, right?

Nick:

Were there any particular posts that elevated the numbers to the next level,

Dev:

I understood how the algorithm worked. Did I have like one shot success? I did not, but, there were a few things that was really good, I think the authenticity. Was something that that caught people's eye When I look back, because I've been creating content for five years, it shows the whole journey of what an international student, and it was nothing special, like getting a full time job is not special, but like just recording it and going through the struggles was something that resonated with people. And then, applying for permanent residency or whatever visa, I recorded the whole journey.

Andy:

So that's a very personal journey for you that you've recorded.

Dev:

Yeah.

Andy:

that, is that the business model? Are you replicating that with lots of other students and people are following them?

Dev:

Maybe that's that's also a good suggestion. I should do that. Uh, we're not doing that. So it's not a vlog, I'm not showing you my house, I'm not showing you what my life is like or what my friends are like. I'm taking a problem, like, let's talk about employability. And how do we get a part time job as an international student in Australia? Are you going to be offered a job on a silver platter? No, you'll have to work hard for it so explaining people how things work what things work and then giving a solution as like here Are three things that you can do? I did not start it as a business, but because it was gaining so much traction, we got an opportunity to work with the federal government of Australia and different state governments of Australia. And then we ended up creating the largest community of international students in Australia. So we did a lot of events for them. One of the things that I am excited about, is a series of events that We are doing in different cities called, international student screw up stories where, uh, you know, like international, where people can come up and talk about their stories and their screw ups. and just keeping it really very real.

Andy:

And the name, International Study Nash, is that an homage to, Monash University?

Dev:

I have been asked that before. The honest answer is, one of the startup founders that I look up to. is, Melanie Perkins. She is founder of Canva. Canva is one of the Australian startups that is just massive. Canva, they just removed S from canvas. So I just removed AL from international. I didn't really think that much. And I was like, okay, that makes sense. And I just kept it. And because we already had Internash, I wanted it to be something similar. and because we want to solve problems for students who want to study abroad. So I just kept it StudyNash.

Nick:

I always describe this. This podcast is the misadventures of travelers. So I love this screw up ideas. To have this authentic view that we all make a lot of mistakes.

Andy:

Getting people to lean in, of course, people want to hear about the screw ups.

Dev:

Well, next stop should be London.

Nick:

Yes.

Andy:

100%.

Nick:

Can we just have a very quick break? I need to just make sure my son is going to school.

Dev:

Yeah.

Andy:

What, is there a danger he won't?

Nick:

Uh, yeah. This is parenting screw ups right now. One second.

Dev:

Oh,

Andy:

literally just left the house. The next section of the podcast is called Any Laptops, Liquids, or Sharp Objects? So Dev, what do you have to take with you when you're travelling, or do you have any travel hacks?

Dev:

There are two things that I always keep with me. one is my tripod. Because, I like to create content. I love to share stories. so tripod is something that I have with me. Not camera because I just shoot it on my phone So that if there is anybody who wants to create content and things that oh, I don't have Sony this camera And it costs like 5, 000 YouTube videos with like hundreds and thousands of views are shot on my phone. And other thing is my running shoes. I have got the running bug since last few years. I did my full marathon and like few half marathons. Also did my triathlons, but that's just a lot of things to carry. But I do have my running shoes with me, wherever I travel.

Andy:

You and Nick are both runners.

Nick:

I'm trying.

Dev:

One of the things that I recently did in February was a triathlon. There were people who were 70 year old faster than I was and they were so fit

Nick:

I find it mentally really tough people who are much older or, wearing fancy dress and for these people, it looks easy,

Andy:

there's a guy in the London Marathon, who carries a fridge.

Dev:

That is insane. Somebody recently finished Boston marathon, keeping a pineapple on their head.

Nick:

A pineapple.

Dev:

Yeah. HOw is his neck not paining? What? Like, just beyond my imagination.

Andy:

Do your best, forget the rest. Have you got a challenge that you're heading for, Dev,

Dev:

2024 is the year for half Ironman. Half Ironman is 1. 8 kilometers swimming, 90 kilometers cycling, and 21 kilometers running back to back to back. And once that is done, we'll head to doing a full Ironman, which is double the distance. in 2025.

Andy:

Are you going to film it?

Dev:

I'm really hoping to, I am going to be the next fitness influencer that you could see on your Instagram.

Nick:

Just what the world needs

Andy:

Yeah,

Dev:

I don't know if that is me in being in Australia, but I don't see a lot of brown people in general doing these things. And then I'm like, where are my people exactly? Like what? And they're like, we're happy sleeping. We don't have the trauma that you have to run a business mate. So, so yeah, but yeah, I am going to record it.

Nick:

Are you going to get the Iron Man tattoo? That's a video I want to see.

Dev:

I don't have any tattoos actually But I have seen people having stickers on their cars and wearing those t shirts in gym It's like I am and I'm like, okay. I could do that

Andy:

Must eat like toast!

Dev:

I'll share one story. I'm not very proud of this story. This doesn't put me in the best light. I was going, to Thailand. to do a diving course, in an island called Kota. it's a beautiful island, that's where I was going. And for citizens of India, we don't have to take a visa. It's on arrival visa. When we go to Thailand, so I figured it out I wasn't landing on their main airport, which is Suvarnabhumi Airport, but I was landing on the other airport, which is slightly smaller and like really early in the morning, I asked a friend of mine say yo, how much is the visa? And it's like, X amount of And I was like, cool. I have that. I had double the money. he said like 4, 000 rupees. In Australian. It's like, 80 or something. And I was like, okay, cool. I'll just keep 160, which is not a lot of money, but I was like, whatever. Um, I reached there and then they said that, oh, you need a passport size photo in order to get the. Visa, I was like, I don't have a passport size photo. It's six o'clock in the morning And they have a booth and they were like, it'll cost you 40 australian dollars. I only have 160. So I gave 40 then they're like I was like, do you have somewhere where I can get? The money, they're like, okay, cool. You have to walk 700 meters down the line. And I went there and I gave them my card and they're like, it's six o'clock in the morning cards aren't working. Now I have 80 Australian dollars. and then I get the exchange done because in my head, it's still Four thousand rupees or eighty dollars. For visa and I was like, okay, I just have enough money I do that. I fill up the form I go there and they're like, oh, sorry It's three hundred dollars which I don't have and now i'm panicking It's like what is going on? This is the most basic thing to check before going to another country And I didn't check that because I trusted a friend of mine who probably I don't think he has even been there He asked somebody else and that was the information he was getting and then I go back To the thing and i was like, hey, is the card working now and they're like no it isn't where are you from? They're like i'm from india as well It's like okay, cool. I'll make sure somebody transfers money in your indian account so, all this is happening. Finally got the wifi, got the money, my parents back home. they transferred the money to this person then I go there and then again I'm standing in the line and I was like, yo, I have a flight to catch. I need to go there. And they're like, when's your return ticket? I was like, what do you mean return ticket? And they're like we need to we need you to have a return ticket that you're going to leave the country In order for us to issue the visa. It's like what is going on because I didn't know how much I was going to like it So I didn't book my ticket to australia. I was coming from india to thailand thailand to australia And I don't have a return ticket now So I get out of the line everybody's like who is this guy going back in back out back and I was like Yo, can you give me a break? I'm looking at different tickets It's a thousand dollars or something because i'm looking at like in five days or six days. Finally, I found a ticket hundred dollars to bali. I was like, okay, I just need to book a ticket That's all they need. It may not have to be like australia bali is also like on arrival visa Indonesia is on arrival visa. So I book bali I go back. They took the passport they took all the papers and they just vanished just went into this room and just like crickets And i'm just standing there. I was like, nobody really cares I'm, just standing there There's nobody to talk to because like different language they may not understand They're like and they're dealing with 200 people like me. They're like, who is this guy? We see 50 of these every day We are not going to entertain this dude, and then i'm just standing there and then 10 minutes they come out They're like cool And I was like, oh my god, thank you so much. That's really nice of you. Where is this next fight? They're like, oh different building that's where the domestic airport is and domestic flight is and now i'm panicking I'm running and I'm a brown man with a beard running in an airport does not look good Like as much as I want to be inclusive like it does not look great and then Running with a bag and suddenly i'm looking at all these people. They understood that I probably would miss a flight they opened like a new row for me. They're like, okay this guy this guy seems in a hurry and Went to the different, airport, when they got my boarding, uh, and reach where it was going to board. And they're like, Oh, we just got an announcement. The flight is one hour delayed. And I was like, what is going on? Yeah. um, yeah, that was. Probably the wildest experience that I've had nothing was going right. but eventually it worked out and for anybody wanting to go to Koh Tao, I highly recommend, it's the diving paradise of the world.

Nick:

That feeling of panic, when you're stuck that adrenaline, you just feel sick and you can feel time ticking away.

Andy:

And it's magnified when you're on your own as well.

Nick:

This is why people go to the airport, six hours early they don't want any of what you've just described.

Dev:

And I am the opposite. I was like, when does the gates close? I'm, just gonna go like five minutes before hello. Hello

Andy:

The next section of the podcast is called what's the purpose of your visit? So why do you do what you do?

Dev:

have actually thought about this quite a bit because I think Anybody who loves what they do gets bored of it at some point of time, whether it's creating content, whether it's like doing the best job in a media company or running a small business or a big business and that's when we go to our why, right? I think the world would be such a great place if everybody has an opportunity to study abroad and that's what I truly believe. A lot of international students, especially, people of color ask if, if studying abroad is safe. Uh, and where do we think that comes from? a lot of those things come from the movies that they have seen from the news articles that they have seen, my YouTube channel, connects students who want to study abroad with international students who are studying abroad. I really want to make it easier, more accessible, more transparent, so that more people study abroad. And, that's the reason why I do what I do.

Andy:

Sounds like a pretty good reason. Nick was actually on, campus at a UK university and it was their, their global week.

Nick:

I just couldn't get over the atmosphere. There was stands for lots of different cultures. You know, the music and the dancing and the food. And some of that I find a bit cliched, but it was the atmosphere of people wanting to learn about other people. I was like, I'm going to make some content. I'm going to walk through this crowd and ask what nationality you are. And I honestly, in two minutes, I got to like 50 nationalities

Dev:

How cool is that?

Nick:

We talked about this influencer led world. You have the eyeballs on social media, but you were very passionate about going the step further about actually offering tangible support and, building a whole operation around supporting those students who come to you for that advice. And I was very impressed with that because it would be very easy for you to just keep making clickable stories, rather than going through with the whole process.

Dev:

Yeah. Thanks for saying that. If you look at the current system, there are elements which are quite major where there are education consultants, who send students abroad, but after that, it's like, Oh, universities will take care of it. But there are certain things that only a fellow international student or a community can do. Right. And if you just go back like 10, 000 years, that's why. Communities were evolved, uh, and we all lived in a communities and, that's how civilization worked. And just some of those concepts, like problems around loneliness. Those problems can be solved, through community. And one of the things that we discussed about the screw up stories, the series of events that we are doing, in Australia, is just. Creating this place safe space where international students can come meet. A new people make friends. I Believe is the person who solved the problem of loneliness is basically is going to create the next unicorn.

Andy:

The last section of the podcast is called anything to declare. This is a free space for you to talk about whatever you like.

Dev:

My message is for everybody who's working in the sector there are thousands of international students having the best experience because of the work that we do And indirectly, we're changing a lot of people's lives. I am one of those persons whose life is changed because I decided to study abroad A lot of my videos, by the way, and I have already told a lot of people in your team this, but when I want to verify my information, I go to your, your articles and make sure that whatever I'm saying is correct and verified.

Andy:

Maybe don't do that with Nick's articles.

Nick:

Yeah. Dev, there's a couple of politicians in Australia who are very active on social media, like Julian Hill, how do you rate their, uh, content game?

Dev:

I may not agree to a lot of things that they say, but I love the content game that they have. Being from India have you seen the social media handle of our prime minister, Narendra Modi? it is so different. They have the best team. and even like Rishi Sunak, for that example, some of the reels that UK prime minister has, and I was like, who does the editing night? Like I want to learn from that guy. All these politicians they're they're getting on to it and it's just fun to see

Andy:

Why do you think your content does well when other platforms, perhaps governments posting the same sort of thing, doesn't do so well?

Dev:

I actually have tHought about this question quite a bit because, if you're working with the government or the university, we can help them grow their social stuff and their reach. one of the things that we do really well is, relatability is so much higher and, it's really hard for a university or a government to move quickly because their organizations are massive and, the things that they have to follow for example, the branding guidelines or, how quickly can a video go out or how many people do we need to get that video, approved by, those are some of the things that as a small media company, we may not. necessarily have to do. We have a lot of, creative freedom and most importantly, we follow what our audience tells us. I get stopped in the street, like, yo, I've seen your videos or whatever. Thank you. I would just ask for feedback and that is something that we do really well because we keep it real. We don't overcomplicate the whole situation so they can relate to it and keep it super, super simple.

Nick:

There's a campaign in the UK called We Are International, and it's probably one of the most successful national campaigns where the universities got their students to explain their experience. But one of the rules was that the universities couldn't include any branding, they couldn't include logos, there was no benefit to the university other than having their students in the campaign.

Dev:

Yeah, that's really good. That campaign should be done in each and every country where they want international food.

Nick:

Could go global.

Andy:

Dave, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. It's been amazing having you. Perfect.

Dev:

Thank you so much for having me and having this great chat. Legend, you guys.

Nick:

Hello everyone. Thank you so much for listening. As always I want to say a massive thank you to the ambassador platform for making us focus on these incredible students and graduates and telling their stories. I hope you're enjoying this series.

We have a new social media campaign. People are sending us their travel pictures and we're putting them all up online. Or you can send them to as sick bag tales from the departure lounge.com.

Nick:

Uh, it's really good to be back. and Andy's made a jingle to celebrate. Safe travels.

Andy:

Welcome back, welcome back. Hi mum. Yeah, my wife, thanks, good to be home. Nah, jet lag's okay actually, just a bit tired. Oh, don't kiss me in public. What's for tea anyway?

Nick:

Tales from the Departure Lounge is a type nine production for the pie.