Excitement is high among a group of 10 TAFE NSW Community Services students, who are embarking on a historic learning expedition to India next week.
The students, from Bathurst and Orange, on Saturday set off to become the first students from TAFE NSW in the central west to study in India as part of the life-changing Outbound Mobility Program.
Under the watchful eye of TAFE NSW Community Services teacher Sharna Dean, participants will spend 10 days in India, working with indigenous Indian students from remote and disadvantaged areas. They will introduce them to the English language, as well as host a number of social activities.
“This is such a unique and valuable opportunity, especially because we are the first TAFE NSW group from this area studying in India,” Ms Dean said. “The students will immerse themselves in the ways of another country and need to find strategies to work effectively with diverse people who have low-level English skills.
“The critical thing will be around respect and value for difference. Part of being a Community Services worker is about the ability to reflect and improve upon practice, and there’s no better opportunity than this to learn and develop these skills.
“It will also teach the participants about being non-judgmental and the ability to work with diverse people, regardless of their background – a vital skill to have in this sector.”
TAFE NSW Bathurst Community Services student Scott Dorin said he was excited about the prospect of learning in India, describing it as a mutually beneficial opportunity.
“The thing I am most looking forward to is the opportunity to learn from, and engage with, people from a totally different culture to my own,” he said.
“I hope the experience will allow me to offer, as well as receive, a much enlightened perspective and better appreciation of cultural diversity and traditions. It will be something special to be able to contribute to the lives of these people and hopefully leave them with some lasting memories of happiness.
“I believe this is a very exciting learning opportunity provided by TAFE NSW as in my case, it allows someone from a modest background the opportunity to experience and learn in an environment that would be otherwise totally unachievable.”
For more information about the life-changing overseas learning opportunities available at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafewestern.edu.au