Children's Services students head to China for the trip of a lifetime

Cindy Xiu

On Friday 29 May 2015 between 11am and 2pm, ten students attended a Pre-Departure Briefing at TAFE Western’s Dubbo College. The briefing included discussion, activities, music and food.  Students received cultural information, itinerary updates and authentic Chinese cuisine for lunch. Students were briefed on how to use chopsticks, participate in gift-giving exercises, display cultural and social etiquette, receive Chinese names and be introduced to the flavours of China, such as tea eggs and red bean buns.

BACKGROUND

As part of TAFE Western’s new overseas study initiative, the Outbound Mobility Program (OMP), ten of TAFE Western’s Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care students from Dubbo, Orange, Condobolin, Bourke, Coolah, Molong, Cowra and Parkes will depart on 11 June 2015 for a two week study tour to China. The students will experience life in both metropolitan and regional cities during their stay, and will spend 10 days working and studying alongside Chinese early childhood education staff at a local childcare centre. Students will also undertake cultural activities such as homestays with Chinese families, visiting key landmarks and sightseeing.

In 2014, TAFE Western established its Outbound Mobility Program to increase students’ access to overseas study opportunities. The OMP is an important element of TAFE Western’s strategy to develop well-rounded and broadly educated students entering into the workforce and TAFE Western secured $40,000 federal funding to send 20 students overseas on study tours in 2015. A second group of ten students from the Hospitality, Tourism and Events sectors will head to China in November 2015.

“This is TAFE Western’s first foray into international mobility” said Brad Polak, Director for Business Development.  “We are excited to offer an opportunity for regional and remote students to undertake studies in their chosen field in an international environment.”

Comments from teaching delegates, whose visited China in April to set up these tours included “this experience will be life changing, very inspiring, and an incredible opportunity for students to really immerse themselves in the culture of living in China”.  The enthusiasm of the accompanying teachers is providing further energy to the upcoming tour and students can’t wait to get on the plane.