Studying in TAFE Australia: A dream comes true

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Studying in Australia is my lifelong dream.

Ten years ago after I graduated from high school, I almost had the opportunity to study there but it did no take place due to several reasons. I was sad and disappointed. However, I never lose hope. I know one day, I will be able to study in Australia.

By the grace of God, through my work at YCAB Foundation, my dream finally came true. I went to Sydney, Australia to study for three weeks in TAFE New South Wales Sydney Institute (TAFE NSW SI). I was enrolled in the program called ‘Skills Training: Cooperation and Collaboration in the Community’. This program focused on training and education, which is highly related to my work at YCAB.

TAFE itself stands for Technical And Further Education. It is the Australian government education system which has high quality and reliable approach. The courses are packaged to be relevant and up-to-date. The program is designed by industry experts and is being updated every two years in order to synchronise with industry needs or the needs in the fields.

TAFE is different compared to universities as the courses are tailored to prepare students to be ready for a job, as well as assisting them to get work placements. It is well equipped with sophisticated facilities to simulate work experiences such as offices, restaurants, saloons, workshops, laboratories, travel agencies, and many more.

To put it simply, TAFE focuses and prepares students on doing practical and hands-on activities rather than thinking and analysing like the university approach.

My three weeks in Sydney taught me much about training and education, specifically in Training and Assessment for Certification IV, which every teacher in TAFE has to pass before being able to teach students in the courses. There, I got to practice how to plan, organise, design, and deliver a learning program for trainings or courses.

Apart from that, I also learned how to do the assessment phases. All of these courses were according to Australian system, and at the end of every session, I was able to demonstrate what I learned in the training based on short session plan.

I believe this opportunity has enhanced my skills in being able to deliver training and program in more proper and suitable methods. Compared to the Indonesian system, Australian system has a clear objective and output that helps us understands the purpose of doing all of the competencies activities. In addition, we are also able measure the learning progress.

And that’s not all of the story. What further charms me is the beautiful city itself. I just love Sydney! Well, as it was my first time in Australia, I didn’t have another Australian city to compare it to. So during my stay there, I kept on comparing Sydney with Jakarta. It wasn’t an ‘apple to apple’ comparison, but I was amazed how well-organised Sydney is in almost every aspect.

Like Jakarta, Sydney also has a very wide spectrum of cultural diversity – there is a representation of every major cultural community from all over the globe. Another important lesson that I learnt from the people that I met and the environment where I was in is this: the attitude of gratitude and respect for humankind.

After all the experiences I had, I believe that the skill and knowledge that I have gained would be beneficial for my personal development. Personally, my studying overseas experience has brought me to the next level of understanding about my own life, as well as it being a spiritual contemplation. In time to come, I am still interested to learn more and take the opportunity to study overseas to better understand people and organisational development.