Olivia from China

Olivia shares her experiences of settling into Australia and tells us how her Master of Teaching degree led to a rewarding career.

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16 May 2024

International student Olivia standing in front of a gate surrounded by plants

Why I chose Australia 

When people mention Australia, the first thing that usually comes to mind is sunshine, beaches, and a chill-lax lifestyle - which is all true. But for me, there were more reasons to study in Australia.  

Australia and Asia have similar time-zones, which makes it much easier to talk with family and friends back home. Australia is also a safe country. My parents and I thought it was a good idea for me to live and study in a peaceful environment. 

Settling in 

The first day I arrived in Australia I had nothing but my three suitcases. I rarely practiced my English when I was in China, therefore studying here was initially a challenge for me.  

However, as I immersed myself in the foreign language and used it in my day-to-day life, my English improved. I was getting lots of practice! At the same time, I made many friends from different cultures and backgrounds. Some of these friends are now like family for me in Australia.  

Life in Australia 

My perspectives on lifestyle, language and culture have broadened and deepened since I became a member of the Australian community.  

Living here helps me to grow as a person – nothing is impossible, I can always give things a go and be who I want to be.  

Back at home I never had to work because my family had always taken care of me and my finances. Studying abroad in Australia has given me the confidence to become more independent.  

With that said, it is also important to balance social life, work, and studies. When you find the right balance, you’ll have amazing experiences and find that opportunities just open up! 

My course 

I graduated with a Master of Teaching (0 to 12-year-olds) at Western Sydney University. It has a very nice campus, and provides students with a welcoming, lively, and inclusive learning environment.  

The course I studied combines both theory and practical skills - we studied theories in depth and learnt to apply them in real world scenarios. This helped build a very stable foundation in the first year of the course before jumping into intense practicum. When I started the practicum, I could genuinely see how prepared I was.  

The course also included group work, which encourages students to develop their collaborative and leadership skills. We learned how to communicate effectively with our team, allocate tasks, and work efficiently towards a common goal. Being an educator requires you to interact with different people every day, so this is an important skill to have.  

For me, the best part of the course are the practicums. They provided me the opportunity to observe, practice what I have learned in university and receive first-hand, real-life experience. It was so much fun, very practical, and extremely meaningful to me.  

Advice for other international students 

Try everything and make the most out of your studying abroad experience. When you complete your studies, you do not want to remember it just as a moment of stress and drowning in essays. You want to remember it as an enjoyable experience where you took so many opportunities that made you a better person.  

People say ‘we only live once’, but if we can achieve our dreams and do the things we are passionate about, once is enough.  

Starting my career  

I am currently working as a classroom teacher at a public school in New South Wales.  

My primary teaching duties involve planning and preparation for learning for my class of 30 students, delivering teaching and assessment each day from 8.30 am until 3.30 pm, playground supervision and collaborative work with our whole team of teachers, and ongoing meetings and communication with parents and caregivers.  

I am really enjoying this job and love working with the people around me. It is very meaningful as we are building the future of the world, the possibilities are unlimited.  

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