Representing Sydney to help international students

What better way to get to know your new city than to learn all you can about it and represent it?

Australian Catholic University student Seavmeng (Meng) Hun was one of 32 candidates selected from 119 applicants to be an International Student Leadership and Ambassador for the City of Sydney.

The candidates for the International Student Leadership and Ambassador (ISLA) 2016-18 Program include students from 15 education institutions and 14 countries.

the 2016-18 ISLA group

The 2016-18 ISLA group

The students were selected for their previous leadership and volunteer experience in their educational institutions in the community and their country of origin.

Meng, who is also the vice president of the ACU International Students Club, studied his Bachelor’s degree in Cambodia and was determined to get as involved in the Australian culture as possible when he began his Master of Commerce/Master of Business Administration in 2016.

“When I did my Bachelor’s degree in Cambodia, I focused on my studies completely and it was good but it could have been better. When I came to Sydney I decided that this study experience would be different and I would get more involved,” Meng says.

“I promised myself that I would say yes to opportunities and get involved in the community as much as I couldthrough volunteering and programs that were available.”

Meng was excited to be selected for the ISLA program and said he initially thought he had missed out until the deadline was extended.

“I applied and after an interview and a screening process I was selected.”

Between December 2016 and February 2017, Meng and the other students attended an extensive training program to help them better understand the roles of the City of Sydney and a range of international student related services and receive information from relevant government and non-government organisations.

The 2016-2018 ISLA for the City of Sydney Photo: City of Sydney Twitter

The 2016-2018 ISLA for the City of Sydney Photo: City of Sydney Twitter

They also received training on leadership skills, communication and cultural intelligence to enhance their capacity as effective international student ambassadors.

“We got a lot of training and built on soft skills such as team work, strategy planning and event management.

“I believe that by participating in the ISLA program, I can also hone my skills for future employment.

“It’s been a challenge in a good way and a great experience – I’ve enjoyed being busy and learning to manage my time,” Meng says.

“I’m learning transferrable skills that I can also bring back to the ISC and help the members with organising events.”

While building his skill-set through ISLA has been great, it’s the people Meng has met that have made his ISLA experience such a great one so far.

meng and friends

The people Meng (far right) has met has been a highlight of the ISLA program.

“What I’ve enjoyed most is meeting new people and learning about new cultures. It’s such a diverse group and there is so much to learn from everyone.”

During the 18-month program from December 2016 to June 2018, Meng and his fellow student ambassadors will be involved in planning and implementing events and projects to help international students meet new friends, get to know more about Sydney and build the leadership skills of youth leaders in the community.

The ISLA 2016-18 Program Ambassador Official Induction Ceremony was held on March 15 where Meng and his fellow ambassadors were welcomed to their new roles.

Meng receives his ISLA City of Sydney pin.

Meng receives his ISLA City of Sydney pin.

The ambassadors will assist the City in promoting and running a number of key events, such as the Lord Mayor’s International Student Welcome Reception on April 4, 2017, the International Education Sector Forum, and the City’s information booth and workshops at orientation events.

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Keeping your mental health in check at university

quote2Good mental health is vital to succeeding at university and one of the most important things to realise is that it is OKAY to ask for assistance!

Your university is an excellent place to start – support services are always available for students . Like many places, ACU offers free and confidential counselling if you are experiencing personal, study or work-related issues.

All ACU counsellors are experienced and trained in mental health, emotional well-being and enhancing mental performance.

We spoke with ACU’s counselling services to learn more about what students can gain from reaching out…

What sort of assistance can counsellors give to international students?

Assistance can be provided in a number of ways. We offer many approaches to improving your life, building your skills and improving your ability to deal with the many different challenges that you may face.  Particularly for international students – assistance can be provided in dealing with issues of transition to a new culture and managing ‘culture shock’.

Throughout the year you can attend a variety of Counselling workshops and events on campus to help you manage your well-being and make the most out of your studies. Specifically there are campus based workshops and ‘national’ workshops which are conducted online. The counselling service has a LEO presence (more below) and can be found on here.

What benefit is there for an international student to visit counselling services?

A session with a counsellor will help to put matters into perspective.  Generally you get stuck because you repeat the same behaviours and/or you are not aware of options.  A session with a counsellor will assist you to find what options you have and commence the process of turning around your situation.

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What sort of unexpected issues do international students face?

On top the usual difficulties associated with being a student there are additional issues of being in a different culture and being physically removed from friends, family and the usual people who you mixed with.  The unexpected shocks can range from not being able to find your usual breakfast cereal to the unexpectedly high cost of books. It is often the little things that have big impact.

When would you recommend an international student consider visiting a counsellor?

As you know, it is always best to see a counsellor sooner rather than later. While easy to say, we know that this does not always happen.  If the problem persists for more than a week, get some assistance on the eighth day.

Workshops, events and assistance on LEO:

There are a range of workshops offered, from mastering maths anxiety, mastering exam anxiety, mindfulness, being focused, managing stress and more.
There are Mental Health First Aid Courses for all students as well as specific courses for nursing and law students.

These vary from campus to campus and students can visit the LEO site to register.
There are sections on mental well-being, seeing a counsellor, personal matters, study support and for those needing urgent help. Information is available for students who need assistance and they can also book appointments with counsellors through the site.

Appointments can help reduce student distress and get you back on track. ACU students have access to a number of free counselling sessions per year. Each session is 50 minutes of face-to-face counselling for the opportunity to discuss any issues of concern within a supportive, professional relationship. There are also 30 minute drop-in consultation sessions on campus each week.

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10 cultural do’s and don’ts in Australia

Every country is different when it comes to what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. 

What is deemed offensive or inoffensive in Australia may be very different to other parts of the world!

Here are 10 etiquette guidelines that will keep you in the clear:

Tipping

Let’s start with a good one – tipping ISN’T necessary in Australia. With a fair minimum wage, it’s not something that Aussie workers rely on. You won’t get terrible service or frowned upon if you don’t leave a tip. People do tend to tip at a fancy restaurant where you feel that the service is exceptional, but again it isn’t compulsory!

Greetings

When you first meet someone you can shake their hand but it isn’t necessary if it’s a really informal situation. Just make good eye contact and say hi or hello – it’s quite simple!

Be informal!

We’re not very formal here, (mostly) everyone goes by their first names, and it is usually shortened! You will find many university lecturers will request you call them by their first name.

the great ocean road

To the left, to the left…

Go to the left

In Australia we drive on the left-hand side of the road. That also means we walk to the left when on the streets, stairs and stand to the left on escalators – make sure you don’t stand on the right because you’ll block the way of those in a hurry!

Don’t be a tosser

While our streets aren’t perfect, we do not take kindly to those who litter. It’s actually illegal in Australia and you can be fined – we take it that seriously. In many states you can report people if you see them tossing rubbish out their car window. For example in NSW, you can report them online and they could be fined $250 while in Victoria these fines can be up to $622. NEVER flick a cigarette butt out a car window – you don’t want to start a bushfire!

So always put your rubbish in the bin. If you can’t find a bin, hold onto it until you do.

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Let other passengers off first!

Public transport

If you’re jumping on a bus, train or tram you’ll need to wait for the passengers to get off before you get on. Buses have courtesy seats at the front reserved for the elderly, pregnant and disabled so if the bus is near empty you can sit there but if anyone in need gets on, you should give up your seat for them… so take your eyes off your phone or book every now and then!

NEVER jump the queue

We just do not accept queue jumpers in Australia. We take our queues very seriously. Whether it be to jump on a bus, buy a drink at a bar or lining up for ice cream… you simply do not push in. If you’re not sure where the end of the line is, simply ask someone in the queue and they’ll tell you. If it’s not a ‘line’ queue and you’re all standing out the front of a sandwich shop, be mindful of who was there before you and if you get approached first, point out the person who was there before you. It’s good manners!

food

No one wants to see your chewed up burger!

 

Eating / Dining

– This one almost goes without saying, but if you’re eating – do it with your mouth shut and don’t talk with your mouth full! If you absolutely HAVE to speak, cover your mouth so no one has to see what is rolling around in there.

– When you’ve finished your meal, put your knife and fork next to each other in the centre of your place – this is an indicator that you’re finished and your plate will be cleared if you’re at a restaurant.

Don't let your germs spread!

Don’t let your germs spread!

Preventing the spread of germs

Don’t cough and sneeze on or near other people – if you feel a cough or sneeze coming on do it into a tissue or your elbow – not your hand. If you cough into your hand then hold onto the railing of public transport, the germs will spread like wildfire! Don’t spit in public either.

Space bubbles

Aussies aren’t used to being squished in like sardines… while our trains and buses do fill up, we still try not to be on top of each other. Try to stand at LEAST 30cm away from people if you can. If there are several empty seats at the movies or in an eating area, don’t sit right next to someone.. they’ll get uncomfortable. This goes for car parks too… if it’s near empty, don’t go and park next to someones lonesome car!

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Should I study EAP or IELTS?

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for a course there are a number of options you can take to get there!

Two of these are English for Academic Purposes which can give you direct entry into your degree and the other is an IELTS preparation course to get your IELTS in line with the requirement!

But which path is the one that will suit you? 

We spoke with ACU’s English Language Centre‘s Assistant Academic Manager Svetlana Lukovic to help determine which option is best for which kind of student!

The IELTS is scored on a 9 band scale.

There is more than one way to improve your English!

What are the advantages of EAP?

EAP focuses on developing English language proficiency and approaches to academic study in order to help students successfully complete university level courses. At the same time, it allows students to become familiar with campus life and the resources and services available.

The assessment tasks in the EAP course are similar to those undertaken in university courses at ACU.

Some of the skills to develop include listening and reading comprehension; critical thinking and note-taking skills; academic speaking and writing skills, including referencing skills; further knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary.

IELTS Logo

What are the advantages of an IELTS preparation course?

IELTS preparation courses equip students with the skills they need to sit the academic module of IELTS test with increased confidence.

These courses develop their general English language proficiency, but also test taking strategies, and students can practise test taking skills and the increase their confidence to write about and discuss a wide range of topics.

The course is designed to balance all the needs of the test taker in a dynamic, professional classroom environment.

It is skills-based, and organised around specific weekly objectives that cover the four skills tested: listening, speaking reading and writing. At ACU, students can take a free IELTS Test when you enrol for 10 weeks in IELTS Preparation course.

Why should I do EAP instead of IELTS?

  • You will experience academic studies and learn academic skills in highly structured and scaffolded EAP programs and friendly environment.
  • You have continuous assessment and you can play to your strengths
  • Gain entry into ACU degree and diploma programs
  • Study on campus and take part in university social activities
  • Small class sizes mean you will get the extra attention you need
  • High student success rate.IELTS academic writing

Why should I do IELTS instead of EAP?

If you are more exam oriented, and want to measure your level of English using an internationally recognized test, IELTS preparation course would suit you better. You are free to sit for the test or not. If you want to study at ACU, you might need to know that some faculties and courses do not accept Direct Entry EAP programs.

  • Learn key skills and strategies to maximise your IELTS result
  • Improve your proficiency in all four macro skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing
  • Expand your academic vocabulary and increase your grammatical accuracy

 

 The IELTS requirement for the course I want to do is more than 1.5 points (or more) higher than my score, should I do IELTS or EAP?

ACU’s Direct Entry Courses / programs are 10 or 20 weeks long and students should be 0.5 or 1 point respectively below the overall band they need for their potential course.

IELTS courses are offered for 5 and 10 weeks, and it is generally accepted that a candidate on average needs at least 10 weeks to move 0.5 on the band. Thus, if your score is lower, that is more than 1.5 points on the band, the suggestion would be to do some General English courses to improve overall fluency and accuracy, then do some pretesting to see what level you have achieved and then continue with the course you believe will suit you best: either Direct Entry EAP program courses or IELTS preparation courses.

Do you have any more questions? Put them in the comments below!

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Staying connected with an Australian phone

 

An Australian phone number is one of the first things you'll need when you get here!

An Australian phone number is one of the first things you’ll need when you get here!

One of the first things you will want to get sorted when you get to Australia is a mobile (cell) phone so you can keep in contact with family and friends back home and organise life in Australia!

But do you buy a new phone? Which company should you go for? Is pre-paid or a plan a better option?

These are just some of the questions you will need to think about when connecting to an Australian phone network.

One of the great things about the phone plans in Australia is that many have deals for international calls, so calling home doesn’t have to break the bank!

Here are some things to consider when joining an Australian phone network…

Should I go pre-paid or get a plan?

Pre-paid

If you go pre-paid, which means you pay-as-you-go, there is no chance you will be shocked by a bill if you go over your data or phone limit.

There are a few different options with pre-paid.

Prepaid phones are quite affordable these days! Photo: Harvey Norman

Prepaid phones are quite affordable these days! Photo: Harvey Norman

– You can use your own phone and buy a sim card but you’ll need to ensure your phone isn’t locked to the carrier in your home country
– buy a new phone outright and a new sim
– or buy a new pre-paid phone with a network – these phones are usually locked to the network you’re buying from.

How it works: You buy credit and it lasts for a certain amount of time – for example 30 days – and then expires and you lose the remaining credit if you don’t use it or it rolls over if that is how the carrier works.. You can still receive calls and messages if you run out of credit, but you cannot make them until you recharge.

The pre-paid deals are pretty generous in Australia so it’s a good way to stick to a budget and you aren’t locked into a contract either!

Plan

If you are going to be in Australia for more than two years you might decide to go with a plan. It’s a good way to avoid a large up-front cost if you decide you want a fancy new phone and you’ll never run out of credit.

Photo: Samsung

Photo: Samsung

You will get messages from your provider when you’re getting close to using up all your calls or data so you can keep on top of it but you will have to pay more if you go over your limit.

You are locked into a contract when you go on a plan, which means you sign a legal agreement to use the provider’s service for an amount of time – usually 24 months.

Each month your bill will be broken into a number of sections – usually it’s the handset repayment, call/message costs that are ‘capped’ – for example you might be on a $50 plan that allows you to use up to $600 worth of national calls every month and perhaps 120 minutes of international calls.

If you decide to exit the contract early you could be charged an early exit fee, you will have to pay out the handset at the non-discounted rate and any other costs that are listed in your contract.

Most importantly… Read the fine print!

Which network should I go for?

There are three networks in Australia – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. There are many other service providers and they all work off one of these networks – they are usually smaller companies and their services can cost less as their overheads aren’t as  high, they’re called mobile virtual network operators (MNVOs).

Telstra is the largest mobile network and has the fastest 4G speeds with the most coverage so you will have reception in the cities and beyond – which also means it can be the most expensive.

Service providers with great deals are popping up all the time, Supermarkets Aldi, Coles and Woolworths even have their own services! They use the big networks – as you can see there are 36 options using finder.com.au – so many to choose from!

Australia's phone network providers. Photo: Finder.com.au

Australia’s phone network providers. Photo: Finder.com.au

Everyone will have an opinion on which network is the best value for money, best coverage and customer service. If you have friends in Australia, ask them which provider they use and see what their experience has been.

Narrow it down to two or three providers and visit their websites to see which deal is best for you.

Tech stuff

Australia’s digital network is compatible with GSM 900 and 1800 handsets. Australian mobile networks operate on GSM and 3G/4G technology.

The CDMA network was scrapped in Australia so if you have a CDMA-only phone you’ll need to buy a new one once you arrive in Australia.

If you’re buying a sim, chances are it will be a micro sim so if you have an older mobile and you’re not upgrading, you’ll need to ask for the bigger sim card.

Where to buy

You can buy sim cards or phones at supermarkets, newsagents, post offices, department stores such as Big W or Target or from the service provider’s stores which are in shopping centres and around every corner in city CBDs! You will need to provide your licence or proof of ID when purchasing a new phone.

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Homestay: what it’s really like

When it comes to moving to Australia, there are many options! one of them is Homestay.

Homestay offers international students the opportunity to live in a local home while studying in Australia. By living with an Australian family, you will improve your English and get a better understanding of Australian life.

Whether you want to do this long-term or short-term – it’s up to you!

ACU International spoke with Bachelor of Nursing student Angela who chose Homestay as long-term accommodation and has loved every minute of it!

Who I live with:

I live with an Australian family with a dad, mum, two children and a dog. They live in a large house with a big backyard and a swimming pool. The father, Andrew, is from Hong Kong and is the head of the household. He is out at work during the day and flies overseas for business trips quite often. The mother, Melinda, was born in Australia and has a Chinese background. She is works full-time and looks after the house and the children. Their daughter Adeline is studying at university and son Ryan studies at a local high school. My homestay family are very welcoming and love to meet people with different ideas from all over the world. It is always interesting to share our similarities and differences in food, culture and our way of living.

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Angela has learnt a lot about Australian culture with her Homestay family.

What does it mean to be a “member of the family”?

I feel very welcome with my own private room on the second floor of their house and accepted as a member of their family. On my arrival, my host family helped me to settle in by carrying my luggage to my room and made sure that I was comfortable and served me a delicious meal. They often involve me in their family activities such as watching movies and going to the beach. On Christmas night, they prefer to celebrate the special holiday with Christmas themed movies. Last Christmas, we enjoyed drinks and snacks while watching the comedy film Home Alone and a fantasy movie Miracle on 34th Street.

During Halloween, they decorated their house and invited me to watch a scary classic Halloween movie for that night. They also organise outdoor activities -last spring, they invited me to Balmoral beach which is an ideal spot for a picnic. We had fish and chips for lunch and lay down in the grass, either chatting together or having a nap. Following that, we walked through some gardens and reserves along the beach. At the end of the day, Melinda drove us back home.

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Angela has always felt welcomed by her Homestay family.

When I feel upset and stressed about my difficulties in life, Melinda always takes time to talk to me and generally makes me feel “at home”. I remember one day when I was weeping due to homesickness in my room, their daughter Adeline asked how I felt and gave me a cup of warm lemon & peppermint tea and a pack of tissues. When Adeline and I are cramming for exams or working hard on an assignment, Melinda always prepare snacks including cupcakes, chocolates, bananas, crackers or nuts on the kitchen table for us to help ourselves. My host family not only care about me, but also respect me.

One of the cakes made by my Homestay mother

One of the cakes made by my Homestay mother

Due to my part-time shift work at a hospital, I am not able to have meals at a particular time with their family. Therefore, I prefer to cook for myself and Melinda is very understanding and supportive of this. When I have one or two days off from work over the weekend, she sometimes invites me to join their meal time and shares with me her tips on baking cakes and cooking.

My bedroom

My bedroom! This is my space. There’s a desk, TV, chair, bed, wardrobe and bookshelf in my bedroom. I asked Melinda first when I wanted to put a wall calendar at the back of the door. She recommended a method2017-01-08 16.14.01 that would not damage the walls. I think it is very important to treat my hosts as I would treat my own parents – with respect. They see themselves as my equal even though I pay them money, and naturally they are the “boss” in their own house. It is my responsibility to keep my room clean and tidy. I am free to watch TV and use my computer in my room, but I need to be aware of keeping the volume down and turning these appliances off before I go to sleep.

 

Developing friendship in Homestay

Their daughter Adeline is very interested in Taekwondo which is traditional Korean martial arts. I googled the meaning of the word and found it can be broken up into 3 syllables. “Tae” means “foot or leg”; “Kwon” means “fist or fight”; “Do” means “the way or discipline”. Adeline is very happy to teach me some basic Taekwondo. She emphasized that they are very helpful for defending yourself and keeping your opponent away.

Manga drawn by Adeline

Manga drawn by Adeline

She also showed me how to block a high round house kick. In order to protect my hands (since I have lots of hands-on tasks due to my nursing job), she gave me a pair of boxing gloves to put on for protection. Adeline has another hobby of drawing manga. She ran a how-to-draw Manga tutorial with me during the summer holidays and supplied me with some books about tips on drawing manga. I followed her steps to achieve drawing a basic manga girl’s face.

My Homestay family has a pet dog. His name is Elvis and he is an important member of the household. Elvis is very gentle and obedient. He has his own bed in the house and his own wooden house in the backyard. Melinda takes Elvis to the dog groomers for a wash and haircut regularly. Playing with Elvis is fun! Ryan showed me how to teach Elvis to fetch. I used a dog toy and got Elvis’s attention with the toy. While it was still in my hand, Elvis’s eyes track it as I moved it around, and then threw the toy. I then called Elvis back to me with the toy.

Angela and Elvis, the family dog.

Angela and Elvis, the family dog.

My reflection

I love my homestay experience! Homestay is an opportunity to make new and lasting friendships. Homestay life is also a journey in self-discovery: as you live in close contact with a family, observing their different way of life, my understanding of myself becomes clearer and deeper.

If you are interested in Homestay, click here for information on long-term, here for information on short-term or visit the website!

 

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距离ACU迎新日一周倒计时!你做好准备了吗?

对于出来乍到澳洲的留学生,university orientation是筒子们进入国外大学的第一课。很多学生党或许心里纳闷,什么是 orientation!

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虾米是迎新日???

迎新日Orientation, 是大学里正式开学前的迎新周,指的是新生注册和欢迎活动,表明了Orientation week的内容: 教你如何更好地利用学校资源和更好地发挥自己的潜能,简而言之就是新生入学指南。

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你能从Orientation学到什么?

①    学校电子系统:国外大学都会给每一个学生专属的邮箱,你将会被要求开通这个邮箱,并学会怎样好好运用这个邮箱。

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②    各种表格的填写:住址,学号,医疗保险……你的信息需要根据入学指南中的步骤依次递交。别小看了这些表格,每一张表格都是校方为了更好地服务学生而建立的信息档案,重要性可想而知。

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③    学习指南:每个学校都有一些不同的学术及文化氛围,怎样快速适应国外大学的教学方法?怎样有效地和专业老师沟通?怎样进行论文写作?怎样和其他国家的同学一起完成小组作业?这些都能在每个专业楼的大厅找到。

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④    生活指南:无论衣食住行,身居国外的你都将开始一段全新的体验。也许你会感到陌生,不适应。没关系!国外大学的学生会以及国际学生办公室都会帮你解决这些问题,你需要了解学生会或者学生办公室什么时候安排这样的讲座,然后准时参加那个讲座既可。之后你就可以知道如何找到适合你的宿舍及入住方式,如何找到超市,如何乘坐公车等。

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⑤    活动指南:校园活动当然是必不可少的内容,每年学校会组织什么有趣而又有特色的活动,你能怎样参与其中。多留心在校园里发放的各种小宣传单,也可以在学生会的公告中看到,或者国外大学的官网页会有相关信息。

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以上文字来自:http://www.hotcourses.cn/study-abroad-info/destination-guides/what-is-orientation/

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ACU重量级优势专业:职能治疗本科Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

什么是职能治疗?

职能治疗是使用“有目的的活动”来治疗或协助生理,心理与社会功能上有障碍的病人,使其能获得最大的独立性生活,同时维持健康。在临床上,职能治疗师会利用各种辅助工具,以及以治疗为目的的活动来帮助病人,治疗的范围包括生理疾病,心理疾病,小儿疾病三个领域。治疗对象包括脑中风,脊髓损伤,腕隧道症状群,肌腱炎,精神分裂症,发展迟缓症,感觉综合异常等。职能治疗强调在治疗病人时,不只是要看到病人的病,也要看到病人的人,这也是职能治疗领域中一个很重要的基本精神。

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职能治疗的前景           

ACU职能治疗在澳洲有非常好口碑和传统,历届该专业毕业的学生很多都去向著名的医院当只能治疗师。随着澳洲人口的老龄化,工业社会所造成的各种身心压力增加,未来职能治疗的被需求程度必然增加,是一个前景看好的新兴医疗专业。

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ACU职能治疗专业

可选择校区:布里斯班,墨尔本,悉尼

学时:4年,每年2月开学

雅思:平均分7分,每个单项不低于7分

职能治疗师,对个体病人的康复和社区的健康,扮演重要的角色。他们照顾病人,参与了解病人的平日闲暇活动。为了做到这一点,职能治疗师需要知道人体各个组织器官是如何运营工作的,同时也需要一定的技能有效安全地练习。同学们会学习如何分析和评估职能表现,运用各种辅助手段,让职能表现更好,或者有时候还需要和病人及病人家属有效沟通。ACU的职能治疗专业会给学生提供1000小时的专业实践操作,从本科一年级开始,和不同年龄层次的人一起工作,有效和客户沟通协调,帮助他们战胜身体,认识和社交障碍。

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毕业去向

职能治疗专业毕业生,有资格向澳大利亚“健康职业人员注册机构”Allied Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) 申请从业资格证。毕业后,学生可以在医院,社区,康复中心和私人诊所工作,就业比较广泛。

想了解更多有关ACU职能治疗专业,请点击这里

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Shout out to ACU students at Brisbane campus for volunteering abroad in Cambodia

Community engagement opportunities are very popular among ACU students. Giving back to the community becomes an integral part of being an ACU student. There is a variety of community engagement experiences for ACU students to choose from either in Australia or overseas.

What do people do during these experiences?  The following is a journal written by Cherry Gan who led students from ACU Brisbane campus to volunteer teaching English in Cambodia at the beginning of 2017.

1

In order to gain an insight into these opportunities, I joined one of the programs in Cambodia and worked with our ACU students as well as the local staff to offer education in an informal setting to children who are at risk of living on the margins. During the trip, I had the privilege to reflect on the work the students do, take many photos of them and interview some ACU student volunteers who participated in the program. Let’s take a look in our photo database and unlock the wonders of this experience.

2

A local non-governmental organization (NG0) in Cambodia hosted a welcome dinner for ACU students, which made us feel very welcome throughout the night. It also allowed us time to mix and mingle with the NGO staff and other coworkers.

3

Our community engagement program was scheduled to kick off on Monday. On Sunday, the employees from our local partner drove us into the city and did some road trips so that we could be a bit familiar with the landscape. Battambang is the second biggest city in Cambodia and is a three hour drive from the city of Siem Reap where Ankor Wat, a vast network of ancient temples hidden deep in the Cambodian jungle, is located.

4

We had a briefing session before we started our community engagement.

5

On Dec 5 (Monday) 2016, the community engagement program kicked off officially – Hooray! We had 9 people in our team and were allocated into 3 groups. ACU students were volunteering as English teacher and teaching English language courses either in a government school or a local NGO school.

6

On our first day teaching: lesson one is “name and age”

7

This is the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. Even though they may not be able to express their feelings in English, their smiling faces told us everything:D

8

Hey our awesome “ACU teachers”! As a teacher with an education degree in China, I was very amazed by our students’ effective teaching methods to WOW local children and hold their attention so powerfully! I have to let you know there is only one student majoring in an education degree in our group. All the other students are studying different degrees, such as occupational therapy and speech pathology. One of the strategies ACU students used is classroom game, which is a great way to keep children engaged and they always have fun in learning. No doubt, the secretary of the principle at the local school commented that children love having English class run by the volunteers!

9

Hi Miss teacher! let me try, let me try!

10

Hahaha! Our children were addicted to our smart phones! They were discovering the world like never before!

11

Haha, we are not gossiping in whispers:) We are playing a game named “Chinese whisper”

12

I am concentrating on my drawing of family tree! Are you interested?

13

In only two days, a strong bond was formed between our students and the local children.

14

Do you know what we are doing? We are studying the vocabularies about weather and making our own clouds, haha:)

15

We can display the changes of seasons on our own artwork!

16

For young children, they needed more hands-on practice and became more deeply engaged in games and artwork to strengthen their learning experience.

17

Racky is the founder of Children’s Action for Development. He has established three local schools to provide extra academic support for children. In Cambodia, government schools only offer half a day course for students due to the lack of facilities and teachers. Racky opened up his own schools to compensate for the government schools and offer free courses to children in the community.

18

In an afternoon, ACU students and I were teaching English in one of Racky’s schools.

19

Children’s innocent smiles melt my heart every time

20

In another classroom, ACU students were teaching the vocabularies about the human body!

21

“Slap the wall” is a game to challenge our fast reaction.

22

spare time – selfie with our teachers!

23

Children like to climb onto the shoulders of their teachers. They are like little Koalas!

24

Older children in the school are studying “time and activities”

25

One week was gone! We will have to say goodbye to this class and move to teach students in 2nd and 4th grade. Ahhh…..

26

Group picture for everyone!

27

Holiday is coming! ACU students and I had a bus tour to the legendary Angkor Wat.

28

Sunrise picture in Angkor Wat

29

Wow! Tangled roots of a tree grow over a temple in Angkor Wat

30

Eventually, we climbed up to the top of Phnom Bakheng and saw the sunset.

31

Hello Monday! We were back to the classroom and met new faces!

32

Hi Miss teacher. Could you please have a look at my assessment?

33

Our student volunteers are sharing teaching experience in their spare time

34

The facilitator gave feedback to volunteers’ teaching performance.

35

Love Piggybacks the most!

36

Today we are studying “countries and places”

39At the end of the program, I was very privileged to have an opportunity to interview the secretary of the school principle and the project manager of FutureSense Foundation. They were very thankful and grateful to ACU regarding the long-term support to build up the understanding between people in two counties. Apart from the educational programs, ACU also contributes to health promotion in Cambodia by sharing health programs such as the safety of water use and hand hygiene and teeth brushing, which are very important small tips for the prevention of bacteria and virus in our daily life.

If you are interested in ACU community engagement programs, please find more information here.

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ACU布里斯班校区志愿者柬埔寨行

都知道ACU有一个community engagement,是每个学生的必修课。这个社区服务可以选择在澳洲本地做,也可以在海外进行。可是这到底是怎样一个活动呢?这次 ACU的Cherry老师有幸全程跟踪采访了ACU布里斯班校区的学生在柬埔寨进行的社区服务。接下来就请跟着ACU的Cherry老师的镜头走进ACU社区服务啊!

1

2

当地NGO组织FutureSense为ACU同学准备的欢迎晚餐。在轻松的环境下,ACU的学生和当地NGO负责人及本次活动的合作方迅速打成一片!

3

社区服务将于周一正式开始,周日当地合作方带我们进城转转,熟悉地形。Battambang是柬埔寨第二大城市,距离吴哥窟所在地暹粒三小时车程:)

4社区服务前的briefing session 

5

12月5日 星期一; 社区服务志愿者活动正式启动; 九个人 分成三组 ; 上午在政府学校教英文课 ; 下午在当地NGO办的补习学校教英文

6

第一课 我们这组教的是: 名字和年龄

7这是我见过最灿烂的笑容! 孩子无法用英文表达 但他的笑容说明了一切

8

学生们的教学习法让国内科班出身的小编都自愧不如。。。要知道这个团队只有一名教育专业的学生 其它都是occupational therapy和speech pathology啊 教学都是寓教于乐型 各种游戏 让孩子们在玩中学 难道政府学校的校长秘书都说 孩子们最喜欢上的就是志愿者教的英文课了

9

老师老师 让我来 让我来!

10

一群迷上手机的娃 课间聚在一起研究老师的手机

11

我们可不是在说悄悄话哦 我们在玩一个叫Chinese whisper的游戏

12

认认真真在学习的孩子

13

短短两天 师生间就建立了深厚的情谊

14

知道我们在干什么吗?我们在学习天气相关的词 所以我们在动手做天气哦 

15关于春夏秋冬,我们也可以用手工来呈现

16

低年级的孩子需要更多地动手 通过游戏和手工的方式来加深印象

17Racky先生是Children’s Action for Development的创始人。至今已经创办了三所为学生提供辅导课程的学校了。在柬埔寨,因为设施和师资的匮乏,政府学校只提供半天课程。Racky先生创办的学校为社区内学童提供免费课程

18

下午小编和同学们就在Racky先生其中一所学校教学

19又见孩子们无邪的笑脸 这笑让我的心都融化了

20在另外一组的课堂里 孩子们在学习身体相关的词

21Slap the  wall,这是个考验快速反应的游戏

22

课余时间

23孩子们特别喜欢像树袋熊一样爬到老师身上来

24

稍微高一点年级的同学在学习Time and activities

25一周时间好快过 下周我们就不教这个年级了,改教二年级和四年级的学生

26集体照时间

27周末咯 休息时间到咯 小编和同学们一起坐着大巴晃啊晃 晃到了传说中的吴哥窟

28

在吴哥窟的朝阳下合个影

29

再去塔布笼寺看看树缠庙 庙缠树的美景

30最后登上巴肯山观赏日落

31又到周一 重回教室 这一次我们教的是另外一群孩子

32

老师 你看我的作业本好看吗?

33志愿者在课间互相交流教学心得

34志愿者辅导老师在给志愿者提供课堂反馈

35最爱piggyback

36

今天我们学国家和地名

39

Cherry Gan: 我有幸采访到了学校的校长秘书和FutureSense Foundation的柬埔寨国家经理和项目经理。他们都对ACU长期以往在柬埔寨提供的援助表示了衷心的感谢。ACU在柬埔寨参与的不仅仅有教育项目,还有健康项目哦,给当地居民提供义诊以及普及卫生知识,例如饮用水的安全啊,日常刷牙啊这些我们平时看起来很小很小的事情哦。 

 

 

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