Mariana Santos had always envisioned an enlightening international student experience — interesting discussions in class, exciting work placements, and ultimately, a qualification to proudly show to her family and kick-start her career.
She found all that and more at TAFE NSW in Australia.
At the Vocational Education and Training (VET) provider, Mariana knew she made the right choice to leave her home country Brazil to go abroad to drive her career ambitions forward.
“I chose TAFE NSW because it is the biggest training and vocational education provider in Australia with a reputation for providing high-quality teaching and education that empowers students with practical skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the industry,” she said.
Work-based learning across Australia
Mariana enrolled at the TAFE NSW Ultimo campus, located in one of Sydney’s central education, cultural and entertainment precincts.
There, she was close to student hotspots like Chinatown and the Powerhouse Museum.
Mariana also got to work side-by-side with the companies located in and around the CBD. Workplace learning is a key feature of her diploma, requiring students like Mariana to complete 180 hours of on-the-job training, secured by and assisted throughout by TAFE NSW teachers.
“Employers around Australia value students from TAFE NSW because they know the skills they will learn there are updated with the industry requirements,” she said.
That includes gaining the know-how on the latest technologies, newest equipment and a wide range of industry-standard facilities and practices too.
For instance, TAFE NSW has on-site computer labs, specialist technology workshops, a childcare centre, and Counselling and Career Development Services that will help you build your career and professional skills.
Mariana also benefited from “The Apprentice,” a top-rated operational training restaurant in Ultimo that’s open to the public.
“The facilities are very good, when I was studying commercial cookery, the kitchens were complete with high quality equipment and each student had their own cooking station and access to a wide range of tools, enabling practical learning.”
And with a selection of Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate Certificate and Degree courses that take a hands-on approach, you too can graduate from TAFE NSW with industry connections and an employable skill set like Mariana.
Scholarships that steer your career in new directions
With many campus locations to choose from, TAFE NSW has something to suit each of its students.
For instance, Phaeng Xaphokhame from Laos found his future at TAFE NSW National Environment Centre (NEC) in Thurgoona.
Since arriving here, he has benefited from several experiential learning opportunities.
“I get to go on field days and farm visits, and I have better access to learning materials and equipment that help me to better my performance.”
Phaeng is a Destination Australia scholarship recipient, which means he has the incredible opportunity of pursuing his Certificate IV and Diploma in Permaculture at TAFE NSW Thurgoona. Destination Australia Scholarships are funded by the Australian government, designed to attract and support students who choose to live and study in regional communities.
TAFE NSW even took Phaeng’s hands-on learning to a whole new level by developing a farm design for property that was destroyed by recent bushfires.
“This scholarship will enable me to be further involved in this project and it will help me to build relationships between Laos and Australian grassroots farming communities,” says Phaeng.
Phaeng believes that TAFE NSW is very welcoming towards international students, as teachers have been “friendly, supportive and informative” since the first day he arrived on campus.
“The teaching and content of the curriculum is fantastic. After exploring theories, students can directly apply their practices to the real-world because TAFE NSW NEC is located on a farm,” he added.
The Destination Australia scholarships are worth up to AU$15,000 per annum for up to two years, so international students like Phaeng can achieve their career goals without the fear of financial barriers.
“TAFE NSW is a very supportive organisation and the courses are connected to global networks. The scholarship also enables you to gain more experience,” Phaeng said.