International House Darwin ended up being the perfect meet-cute for Marty Sison and Veronica Mok who were residents at IHD from 2014 to 2016.
Veronica was on exchange for a semester and they ended up being together for two months, before starting a 5-year long distance relationship.
Marty studied a Master of Accounting, whilst Veronica was an exchange student from Hong Kong.
Marty and Veronica have now been together for 9 years and this year will be their fourth year married.
How the love story began
Marty and Veronica first crossed paths at IHD when they both attended a beach barbecue at Casuarina beach. According to Marty, Veronica was hanging out with the ‘cool’ exchange students.
A ‘chance’ meeting
According to Marty, it wasn’t until they both had a ‘chance’ bus ride to Casuarina Square that they really started to get to know one another.
“Our first real connection though was by chance when we both rode the IHD bus at the same time going to Casuarina Square. She striked up a conversation and asked me if I would like to go Church which I said yes.”
Though it seems this ‘chance’ meeting may have been manufactured as Marty later confessed that from his bedroom in Building 15, he could see Building 11, where Veronica was and may have decided to go to Casuarina Square because of her.
Marty reflected on some fond memories he had at IHD with Veronica. They often used to cook in the kitchen together, stretch the little money they had to go on date and explore Darwin.
Supporting the next generation of CDU students through mentoring
Since their time at IHD, both Marty and Veronica have secured jobs at Charles Darwin University and like to mentor and support current students.
Marty says it’s great because the students are often a captive audience.
“We also meet with students in our free time because I just want to share what I wished someone would have told me when I was a student at CDU.’’
Looking to the future, Marty and Veronica are enjoying living life in Darwin.
“’We’re planning to continue on living our simple life and perhaps meet some new friends along the way.”
A picture from the archives: Marty and Veronica's first time apart
This photo is our first separation which gripped both our hearts. I had to stay in Australia to finish my studies while Veronica had to go back to Hongkong to finish hers. We did 5 years of long distance relationship and it never got easier. This photo was taken when CDU’s tagline was “Change your world” and it did ours.