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RL Rundown - Nicole Silveira

Coming from the fast-paced city of Mumbai in India, Nicole was longing for a lifestyle change. Fascinated with numbers and inspired by her father's mathematical skills, she made her lifestyle and a study dream come true as a Resident Leader at the International House Darwin and a Master of Professional Accounting Student (Professional Practice) at Charles Darwin University.

Nicole has been fascinated with numbers since she can remember. When she was a child, she used to test her father's math skills and asked him questions like: "What is 548 multiplied by 25?" To her surprise, she always received a correct answer within 20 seconds.

"It awed me, and I wanted to learn how to do the same! My love for accounting developed because of this. Math was always my favourite subject."

After a holiday in Brisbane in 2016, Nicole was captivated by the laidback Australian lifestyle and gorgeous landscape. She decided:

I want to study in Australia.

After plenty of research, she narrowed it down to Darwin. She wanted to seek different in a small city surrounded by nature. What a lifestyle change from the bustling big city of Mumbai in India!

"Darwin has some of the friendliest people ever. I've often had random strangers say 'Good day, mate' or acknowledge me with a smile as they walk by. It really makes my day! Since then, I, too, have begun smiling at people as I walk by them."

Nicole at IHD's Cocktail Party

Nicole at CDU's Paint and create sessions

Nicole's drive to meet new people, visit new places and try new food led her to apply for a room at the student accommodation at International House Darwin. After only a few months in a vibrant IHD community, she stepped up and became a Resident Leader (RL).

"My favourite thing about being an RL is getting to meet so many new people that I usually wouldn't be able to. I also appreciate having received so much training from IHD, e.g., first aid and fire warden training, as that is very useful in any future workplace!"

Nicole served on the IHD RL team for a year

Nicole loves connecting with people over food. Having made friends of varied cultures, who love teaching her a recipe or two, Nicole doesn't miss any food. She constantly gets to experience something new! She has tried raw oysters, kelp and seaweed in Australia, too. As Nicole loves baking, she tries different cookie recipes and invites her building residents to be taste-tasters. What a great initiative!

Nicole is thrilled with her Darwin experience:

"After carefully scoping Darwin out (thank you, Google street view!) I decided this is the place I wanted to study in, and I think I have hit gold!"


"I get the keys from the office or the previous RL and spend some time in the office so that people can easily borrow bikes and equipment. I then head back to my room to study and catch up on other tasks, and if I get a call, I attend to it. At about 10 pm, I do a security patrol with a guard and then return to my room for the night, with the RL phone on, so that I don't miss any calls. In the morning, I return the keys to the office and fill out a report so the office can be updated on the happenings of the evening."

Nicole during a night duty shift




I'm serious; they are absolutely amazing. If you want to make friends? Go to IHD Events. If you want to discover new things about Darwin? Go to IHD Events. If you want to have a bit of a break from your studies? Go to IHD Events. If you want to – well, you get my point.

Nicole with other residents at Litchfield National Park, an IHD ritual every semester