Students Stories

PEACS interviewed current PNG international students who are studying at our partnered institutions. They kindly shared their experience of studying in Australia and they are all inspirational!

TAFE Queensland (Cairns)

Smithfield State High School (Cairns)

TAFE Queensland (Cairns)

TAFE Queensland (Cairns)

TAFE Queensland (Cairns)

Smithfield State High School (EQI)

TAFE Queensland Cairns 

Certificate III in Travel

Eltonia

Papua New Guinea

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I am from Central Province of Papua New Guinea, and I live with my god-parents in Cairns.

 

Please tell us what you have been studying in Australia

I studied Year 11 and 12 at Smithfield State High School first, then went back to PNG to apply for a new Student visa. Now I am studying the Certificate III in Travel at TAFE Queensland in Cairns and I will be starting the Diploma of Travel and Tourism in 2017.

Why did you choose to study Tourism?

I just love Tourism! It really interests me. PNG is a beautiful country but Tourism is not well developed yet, so I want to make the best use of my experience and knowledge when I return to PNG.

 

Why did you choose to study at TAFE Queensland?

With this Tourism program, I get to go out to so many great places in Cairns. I’ve been to the Great Barrier Reef, Skyrail and the on the Kuranda Train. We are going to the Daintree next week. I really enjoy visiting beautiful places in Queensland. I just love studying at TAFE!

 

What is your student life in Cairns?

I have a part-time job which supplements my living in Cairns.  I also work at the Cairns Wharf Cruise Ship Terminal arrival gate over the weekends as part of my study. It is quite easy to find jobs here and it’s great that I can work in the Tourism Industry as I study.

I have lots of PNG friends as well as my Australian and other international student friends from other countries also studying here so I don’t get home sick at all!

 

What is the best thing about studying in Australia?

Teachers provide so much extra support which I would never expect in PNG. They are so helpful, very patient and understanding of my background.  They walk me through the process and almost personalize it.

I also like that there is a safe and reliable public transport here.

 

What did you find the most challenging?

Language is a constant challenge for me. I have to read the same sentences over and over again to fully understand. I learn new vocabularies everyday. But teachers are always happy to assist and help me whenever I get stuck.

 

What is your advice for Papua New Guineans who are thinking to study in Australia?

Just make your way! Ask help from agents, come here and experience and learn here. It’s really good. Facilities are amazing. Makes learning much easier. Whatever we learn here will be so helpful when we go back home.

 

What is your plan after you finish your diploma?

I am planning to return to PNG and find a job in Tourism. But I am also considering to continue my studies at university in the future.

 

Grace

Papua New Guinea

TAFE Queensland Cairns 

Diploma in Accounting

Where are you from?

I am from Western Highlands Province.

 

Please tell us what you have been studying in Australia

I just completed Diploma in Accounting at TAFE Queensland.

 

Why did you choose to study at TAFE Queensland?

Because the Australian qualification and its standards are very high across the world and it prepares me with both theory and practical skills so that I will be work ready!

It also creates the pathway to the James Cook University for further study.

 

What is the best thing about studying in Australia?

It has really helped me to manage my time with studies and my budgeting especially being far away from my parents. Also meeting new friends from around the world with different cultures.

 

What did you find the most challenging?

The biggest challenges that I faced were by completing my assessments and meeting deadlines particularly understanding the concepts since English is not my first language.

Although I was able to overcome by getting extra support from teachers, spending extra hours on each tasks and talking with my classmates. My teachers are always  there for me!

 

What is your advice for Papua New Guineans who are thinking to study in Australia?

One of the best opportunities you will never regret taking in the future. The learning environment and the people around here will make you feel determined to reach high goals and your dreams will come to reality. Try to see new places, what studying really is, and think that how important it is to compete with others and challenge yourself, so that you can either go back home to develop our nation or gain a great career.

 

What is your plan after you finish your diploma?

I have been offered a place at James Cook University to continue my study for the Bachelor of Accounting from next year.

 

TAFE Queensland Cairns 

Certificate III  in Health Service Assistance

Diploma of Nursing

Nathalie

Papua New Guinea

Where are you from?

I come from parents of Central Province and Manus Province in PNG.

 

Please tell us what you have been studying in Australia

I just completed Certificate III in Health Service Assistance and I will start my Diploma of Nursing next year in 2017. 

 

Why did you choose to study at TAFE Queensland?

Everyone goes to university but it wasn't my option. I wanted to learn something that I could put in practice back home. So I thought coming to TAFE would be easier and faster.

Cairns is also close to my home as well. 

 

What is the best thing about studying in Australia?

Great people, great teachers... Everything I experienced here so far has been amazing. There are so many eye opening experiences that take me to the next level. It makes me feel both overwhelmed and heartwarming.

 

What did you find the most challenging?

Settling in to Cairns first. Cultural differences and meeting people from around the world with different cultural backgrounds. But as soon as open up myself to others it was fine, and I have lots of amazing friends from all over the world now!

 

What is your advice for Papua New Guineans who are thinking to study in Australia?

Whenever you are ready, just go for it!

 

What is your plan after you finish your diploma?

After I finish my study at TAFE I am planning to go back to my village in PNG and find what I can contribute from what I learnt. 

 

TAFE Queensland Cairns 

Certificate III  in Information , Digital Media and Technology

Jalita

Papua New Guinea

Where are you from?

I am from the Highlands region of PNG.

 

Please tell us what you have been studying in Australia

I have been studying the Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology at TAFE Queensland Cairns campus.

 

Why did you choose to study at TAFE Queensland?

I have seen a lot of productive people produced out of TAFE and also because it is the pathway to some of the best universities in Australia. Though I wasn't accepted in school back in my country, I was accepted here at TAFE which gave me a big opportunity to keep on studying to succeed as a young woman.

 

What is the best thing about studying in Australia?

For the last couple of months, I came across a lot of good experiences whilst studying here, especially meeting new people and getting to know how it really feels to be around different people from different backgrounds and cultures. I am always learning new ways of doing things here.

 

What did you find the most challenging?

At first, as soon as I walked into the classroom, I couldn't see any female students and I thought that was a really big challenge, but actually studying away from home was the biggest one. I had to learn new things and cope with the new life that I came to live and study. It was hard for the first couple of weeks dealing with family loss in PNG. But I fought back the isolation every time I came to TAFE campus because the atmosphere is always very friendly and exciting which makes me want to focus on my studies and learn more. The most important thing that helped me overcome theses challenges was not losing my faith and trust in God, and I'm proud to state that.

What is your advice for Papua New Guineans who are thinking to study in Australia?

PNG is a developing nation and there may be many opportunities that some people cannot see in their life. It is a matter of trying your best to seek for opportunities and grabbing them as you climb up every step of the way. Studying in Australia is one of the best opportunities you will never regret. The learning environment and the people around here will make you feel determined to reach high goals. 

 

What is your plan after you finish your diploma?

I am almost finished with my course so I am planning to study further doing Diploma of Information Technology (Networking). I am hoping everything works out well so that I can continue to achieve my goals and it will lead to a successful IT career in the future.