Support services for international students are incredibly important in helping them achieve their academic goals. Pursuing an education in a new country can be filled with lots of new learning opportunities and exciting experiences, but you’ll also likely be met with a few challenges and roadblocks. As you start your overseas study journey, it’s essential to know what support resources and services are available to you as an international student at your educational institution.
To help understand support services for international students at Canning College, we spoke to Carine Siew, who relocated from Malaysia to study Year 11 Secondary Studies and the WA Universities’ Foundation Program (WAUFP) at Canning College. After completing her secondary studies, Carine has moved on to pursue the Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) at Curtin University.
Coming to Australia for the first time to study felt daunting for Carine.
“I felt anxious when I arrived at the airport, not knowing anyone around me. Fortunately, in addition to the very helpful pre-departure pack, Canning College arranged for an airport pick up to drop me off at my accommodation,” Carine said.
During orientation week, the Canning College team assisted Carine with getting all the important aspects of studying and living in Australia organised. From selecting subjects and getting student/concession cards to opening a bank account – Canning ensured Carine had a smooth transition into her life in Perth. You can even seek the College’s support to find accommodation if you’re unsure about where to live during your studies.
“Their support made my life so much easier as an international student who knew nothing about living in Australia,” she said.
The Student Services centre at Canning College is the place to go to when you need any kind of assistance. Here, you can get support with day-to-day matters such as accommodation, academic issues, subject selection, guidance in tertiary entrance, visa/passport inquiries, and also receive pastoral care. Support services for international students are essential to the Canning College goal of preparing students on their pathway to universities.
“Student Services was where I ran whenever I felt lost or stressed due to my studies,” she said. “I could simply go to one of the Student Advisors at the office and talk to them. They guided me and were my greatest support system throughout my two years of study at Canning College,” Carine said.
Canning College also offers additional assistance with literacy and language development.
“Since my first language is not English, my goal was to improve my English language abilities so I could communicate well with people around me,” Carine said. “Thanks to Canning College and the Literacy Support Officer, my English speaking improved.”
English language is taught in creative ways to aid learning at Canning College.
“In addition to the English class, we get to learn the language by watching videos and movies and having discussions with our classmates. I really enjoyed studying English, thanks to Canning College,” Carine added.
To help ensure you are able to meet specific career path goals and university requirements, a one-on-one interview with a Canning College Student Advisor can be held as part of the enrolment process, ensuring that your study is tailored to you and your career aspirations.
Since classes are smaller at Canning College, you’ll get to know teachers and other staff members well, which creates a supportive environment. You’ll find that your inquiries are dealt with quickly, you’ll be able to work more closely with teachers, and it’s easier to make friends.
As you focus on your studies, it is also important to maintain your social wellbeing. At Canning College, there are regular events and local trips for students to help create connections. Sometimes, the trips take students beyond Perth, allowing you to explore the wonders of the Western Australian region.
Carine shared, “Due to international border closures during the pandemic, [and] since most of us were unable to go back to our home countries, Canning College organised an overnight field trip to the Swan Valley.”
Students were able to take a break from their studies to enjoy the gorgeous scenery of Swan Valley.
At Canning College, there are also dedicated advisors available to help students with social, emotional, learning, and behavioural needs. If you ever feel like you need help with any aspects of your study and personal life, be sure to reach out to the School Psychologist, and remember: you are not alone in your academic journey!
Beyond your studies at Canning College, you will find that the College serves as a fantastic springboard to tertiary education opportunities that can help meet your future career goals.
Carine admitted that her scores in science subjects such as biology, chemistry, and physics were quite low before she joined Canning College. That made her feel underprepared to pursue her aim to become a wildlife conservationist.
“It felt like it was just a dream and far from being a reality. However, thanks to the patience of the teachers at College, my scores and English language have improved…boosting my confidence to pursue environmental science at university,” Carine said.
Currently enrolled, she is intending to specialise in Wildlife Biology in her second year.
Canning College and the support services for international students have been a foundation for Carine to enter university to study the degree of her dreams so she can achieve her goal to be immersed in nature and conserve precious Australian fauna.
What are your goals for the future? Check out how Canning College can help you achieve them!