As their stay in Australia draws to a close, a small group of Jiangsu Agri-Animal Husbandry Vocational College students today had the opportunity to fondly reflect on their life-changing study tour with TAFE Western.
Six students and two teachers openly praised the experience at a special graduation ceremony in Orange, expressing their joy having spent 12 weeks in Orange, Forbes and the central west, learning important veterinary and English skills which can be applied in their workplace upon return to China.
“It’s been an unforgettable experience for me, I have learned lots of things from study and life that I could not learn in China and other places. It was fantastic,” Chen Jianzhgau (Charles) said.
“Everything is interesting and unforgettable. I have learned Australian culture, English language and Australian humor. At the same time I have also made many friends,” Wu Caihong (Jacqui) added.
The overall consensus from the participants was that Australian teaching methods are much more hands-on than their home country. This meant the student’s relished industry visits to Dubbo Zoo, Bill’s Pet Paradise in Bathurst, various veterinary clinics in Orange, Mullion Produce in Orange, Country Myals Boarding Kennels in Orange, beef cattle properties at Forest Reefs, Moxey Dairy at Gooloogong as well as Merino sheep studs and farming properties near Molong.
“The teaching methods in Australia are better than in China – we have had more chances for practising which can deeply help us to understand what we are learning,” Chen Jianzhgau (Charles) said.
“In China the students always listen to the teacher – it’s not flexible like Australia where the students get to practice and talk to each other and the teacher,” Wang Hao (King) added.
TAFE Western Animal Studies Teacher Debra Coleman said the students were very enthusiastic and keen to participate in activities, ensuring it was also a remarkable experience for TAFE staff.
“The students have had a great time and they told me daily how much they are learning and how much fun they are having,” she said.
“They find pleasure in all of the little things and we have tried to incorporate lots of new and interesting experiences wherever possible. There has been a good mix of learning curriculum, experiencing regular life in Australia with home visits and other excursions and hands-on practical experiences including everything from handling animals and vet equipment to herding sheep, cooking barbecues and chopping wood.
“For me, this has been a wonderful experience. I feel TAFE Western has offered an extensive program that has proven to be very beneficial to the students and engaging for the teachers.
“It has taken us all out of our comfort zones and made us better teachers by enhancing our skills to adapt to students from a different culture. I have learnt a great deal about China and the differences and similarities between us.”
TAFE Western Business Capability Unit Director Brad Polak said this study tour was the first of its kind for TAFE Western and Jiangsu Agri-Animal Husbandry Vocational College, and had been such a huge success it’s hoped that more tours will be held in the future.