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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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Children’s innocent smiles melt my heart every time

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

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

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spare time – selfie with our teachers!

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

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

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

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Group picture for everyone!

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

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Sunrise picture in Angkor Wat

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

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

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

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

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Our student volunteers are sharing teaching experience in their spare time

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The facilitator gave feedback to volunteers’ teaching performance.

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Love Piggybacks the most!

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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!

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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!

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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 

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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

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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

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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

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我们可不是在说悄悄话哦 我们在玩一个叫Chinese whisper的游戏

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认认真真在学习的孩子

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短短两天 师生间就建立了深厚的情谊

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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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南半球生活日记:说说我的澳洲好邻居

古语有云:千金置宅,万金买邻“,意思是要择邻而居,房子隔壁若是住着好邻居,生活将会更快乐,可见邻居的重要性。所谓远亲不如近邻,如果邻居可以彼此照应,遇有急难则能及时伸出援手,一定能令生活更美好。

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今天我想和大家分享,让自己很感恩的一段澳洲邻居情谊。Ally是我认识的一个澳洲女孩,19岁,在大学读言语病理学。有一天她兴奋地跑过来跟我说想学中文,作为一个地道的中国人,我欣然表示很乐意。于是就有了我们第一节中文课,在当地一个图书馆。我们两人见面后,就开始热乎地聊起来了,聊着聊着就扯到各自住哪里,让我们惊呆的是,我们居然是邻居,仅一街之隔。哈哈,接下来的故事就是,Ally邀请我去她家做客,我们开始了第二节中文课。

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我们的中文学习,非常有趣,完全是以玩为主。为了不让Ally被中国的汉字吓倒,我们开始学习很简单的拼音音标,以及四声练习。有趣的一个段子是,当我们在练习“奶奶”的发音时,Ally问我“奶”是什么意思,我说是“milk”,她随后笑着说,奶奶就是”milk milk”我也忍不住大笑。我们还学了简单的中文数字歌,她很喜欢,有时碰到中国朋友,就哼一段。

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过了几周,Ally一家邀请我去他们家做客,说喜欢吃中国饺子,想让我去他们家包饺子。于是,Ally和她的妹妹Lily和我一起开车去超市,买饺子皮,鸡肉肉糜,青菜,酱油等一些佐料。然后,我们在他家张罗开,准备包饺子了。我虽然很久没有包了,手法有些生疏,但是凭借着儿时的记忆,包起了长得像馄饨的饺子。她们连声称好,接着大家突发奇想,开始随心发挥,Lily开始包起星星,月亮造型的饺子,Ally包起了像方形的的手提包似的饺子。包完饺子后,我们烧了一大锅子水,开始煮饺子,因为Ally家兄弟姐妹共有5个,加上她爸爸妈妈,总共7口人。所以,一批又一批的饺子被送进锅里煮,我们三个女孩在锅子边,被上腾的蒸气熏得有点热,不过我真的很开心,仿佛在自己家。虽然当时已经过了晚饭点,Ally的爸爸妈妈自从回到家后,就和其他几个孩子坐在沙发上看电视,大家都饿着肚子,但都很耐心地等待饺子慢慢煮熟,装作很享受电视的节目。我们三人把厨房弄得乱乱的,她家大人也随我们去,完全不过问。随后,饺子出锅,我们一起分享,一人捧一碗,大家吃得很香,然后边吃边问我这味道和中国的一样吗?哈哈,在你们家仿佛像在自己家一样,我唱到了浓浓的亲情味道。

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澳洲的夏天,仿佛一个火炉,澳洲人避暑的一个良方就是去海滩。这不暑假的某一天,Ally就邀请我还有她的两个朋友Sarah和Evie一起去悉尼一个小而美的海滩,名字也很小清新,叫“淡水“(fresh water)。我们驾车去这个海滩,一路上大家边吃,边聊,边听音乐,相当欢乐。大约30分钟到达了这个海滩,此时正值中午,我们准备先填饱肚子吃一顿“鱼和薯条”(fish and chips)。然后吃饱喝足后,我们走向海滩,先在沙滩上支起了一顶伞,给自己开创一片“树荫”可以舒服地躺在沙滩上休息片刻。来海滩最重要的一件事,当然就是和大海亲密接触。在澳洲土生土长的Ally,Sarah和Evie个个是游泳能手,他们带着我一起,并教我如何踩浪,踏浪,和大海嬉戏,虽然很多次被浪头冲回岸边,但还是很赞叹大自然的鬼斧神工。回家的路上,Sarah开着车,我们一群人坐在后面,都呼呼大睡。

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去年圣诞节,Ally全家更是盛情邀请我,去她妈妈那边的家共度圣诞节,圣诞节真的很有趣,我也借此机会,认识了她的奶奶和舅舅,舅妈等家人。他们全家,准备了丰盛的圣诞餐和各种饮料,让我们自助。Ally也教我如何写“书法”,没错是艺术感的美工字体,她说:“她妈妈给她的圣诞礼物,就是一本如何写美术字图书,是二手的,但是却非常实用和有趣。“我们聊天中,Ally说起她去乌干达当志愿者的经历,她分享到” 乌干达当地人虽然物质上不是很充裕,但是内心精神世界却很丰富。“所以有时候,在圣诞节这个对当地人来说全家团聚的日子里,她更觉得比起物质的高大尚,如果一家人快快乐乐,充满爱,彼此珍惜再一起的时光,互相理解包容,多给对方带来笑声,多尊重体谅家人,才是最珍贵的。

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晒晒我的澳洲寄宿家庭

到去外国留学,很多人第一时间关心的问题就是“我住哪里? 在外面我怎么照顾我自己?”而这恰恰也是许多父母所关心的重要问题之一。那么恭喜看到这篇文章的你,主页菌将分享我自己留学时Home stay的经历以及和Home stay相处的一些经验。

Homestay,就是我们常说的“寄宿家庭”,所谓的Home Stay就是一些在当地的家庭,他们会给留学生提供住宿和饮食,也就是相当于同学们在外国的“第二个家”了。每个家庭收取的费用都不相同,要取决于家庭所在地的消费水平,但通常都不会太贵。

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我的寄宿家庭房东名字是Melinda, 是一个把自己生活安排的满满的,精力超级充沛的母亲,她是澳洲第三代中国移民家庭孩子,英语说的很溜,中文就有点捉襟见肘了。他的老公名字是Andrew,是香港人,年轻时去美国留学,然后因为和Melinda相识相爱,来澳洲定居。他们有两个孩子,一个女孩名字是Adeline,在大学读商业本科,另一个男孩,名叫Ryan,在本地一所高中读书。他们在悉尼属于中上收入家庭,生活有滋有味的。我很喜欢他们,我也觉得我运气很好。而我有些同学运气就比较差了,摊上个房东鸡毛蒜皮,就连洗澡的水龙头都会做小文章,让水流变得好慢,变相节约水费。

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自从我搬进住宿家庭起,自己就有在养老院和医院打工。大家都知道,这些岗位都是要求三班倒,平时很难在饭点准时回到家。于是,我如果到了饭点肚子饿了,超级简单方便,在外面买自己喜欢吃的,美美享受一顿。当然,有时遇上假期或周末,自己在家休息,房东也会叫上我一起吃饭,Melinda一般很注重饮食健康,所以荤素都会有,中西式她都拿手,晚餐一般是他们家庭的重头戏,比较丰盛。到了临近考试的时候,Melinda一般都会做些甜点,蛋糕,并用各种容器装上各种零食,放在厨房的桌子上,供我们自己享用。

cake made by the mother

房东家有5个房间,一个大客厅供看电视和娱乐用,他们自己用一个主卧,女儿一个房间,儿子一个房间,我睡一个小卧室。他们家还有个叫Elvis的狗,大约有我半身高,性格憨憨的,看到食物就流口水。。。也挺可爱的。Elvis在花园里有自己的小屋子,每天早上他们的大女儿Adeline都会喂他吃东西,晚上要带他出去溜溜。

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我最喜欢澳洲的夏天,房东家自己有个游泳池,给夏日生活带来了很多乐趣。一步之遥就可以跳进游泳池,逍遥一番,既锻炼了身体,也是给力的解暑良方。游泳池四周绿荫环绕,环境很宜人,不过有件让人发愁的事情就是,这随风飘荡被吹落的树叶,经常铺在游泳池水面上。偶尔几片叶子还是蛮有意境的,有时满满一大片,就得用一个打网捞树叶了。

我和房东家的女儿Adeline相处不错,她是个兴趣广泛的女孩,从小练习跆拳道,酷爱运动健身,所以房东家的一个车库,就被改装成了健身房,跑步机,杠铃哑铃样样不能少。有一段时间Adeline教我如何打跆拳道,因为我是个菜鸟,平时还要打工谋生,在互殴前,我跟她说自己伤不起,于是她就给我带上了拳击手套。这样好玩的同时,我们也体验到了跆拳道的真谛。Adeline还喜欢画漫画,是个高手,这和她喜欢日本动漫上紧密相连的。我有时在家,她就教我画漫画,还给了我一堆漫画绘画教程书,并亲自一笔一画演示给我看,如何画动漫人物的脸,如何画眼睛鼻子嘴等,虽然我的画工平平,但她还是一直鼓励说不错很好。

下面就和大家分享以下如何和Home Stay打好关系?

1、称呼那个家庭的人别用名字

亲切地称呼会无意间增厚你们的情谊,所以Home妈如何称呼他们自己的孩子,我也如何称呼。

2、注重见面礼和过节生日的礼物

礼物是破冰石,刚开始的送份见面礼,逢时逢节就送,生日也要送,送的东西不用太讲究。我从中国回来,就会给他们带茶叶。今年圣诞节,本来准备做一个起司蛋糕给他们一家的,后来烘培失败,就赶紧去市中心超有人气的起司蛋糕店买了一个起司蛋糕给他们。住宿家庭并不是想要你的礼物,所以也不用准备太贵重的,他们想要的是你对他们家的热情,那份心意。

3、多做家务别懒

或许在国内的时候很多同学在家都不怎么做家务,有阿姨或者妈妈做。但是记住了!你现在是住在别人家里!尽管自己再怎么不喜欢不习惯,也要学着做一点。

4. 和他们一起玩

放开点来,和他们玩在一起,他们在屋子里唱歌你也唱,跳舞你也跳,没什么的。以前我有个住家有很多和我差不多年龄的青少年,他们没什么事都会跟着音乐跳起舞,随便跳那种,我就会和他们一起玩起来,也是乱来的那种。他们会觉得你很有趣很能够融入他们的生活文化,关系自然也就好起来了。

5、离开他们家之后保持联系

这一点很多同学都会忽视掉,以为走掉就没任何关系了。其实倘若你偶尔给他们写一封问候邮件,或者在Facebook上打打招呼,开开玩笑,甚至可以FaceTime一下或者Skype一下,他们都会非常高兴。这种事不能懒的,毕竟别人也在生活起居上照顾了你那么久,无论过得好不好,至少都应该感恩他们的接待与爱心吧。

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Australian foods you have to try

Lets face it, a fair sized slice of your travel stories will revolve around food – and for good reason!

For Australia Day, what better opportunity than this to talk about the MUST TRY Aussie foods!!

The top of the list goes to the one, the only…


vegemite jar

1. VEGEMITE!

Our signature spread cops a lot of flak ( that means it’s unpopular/ criticized ) because people eat it incorrectly.

Perhaps don't use this much vegemite if you're a beginner!

Perhaps don’t use this much Vegemite if you’re a beginner!

Just because it looks like Nutella, doesn’t mean it should be eaten in a similar way! Do not, I repeat DO NOT eat this stuff by the spoonful or you will be turned off forever and miss out on this incredible spread.

You need to spread vegemite sparingly on your toast or vita-weet/sao biscuit/ rice cracker – with butter.

Add some smashed avocado for an even tastier treat! That creamy, salty mix is delicious.
Cheesymite scrolls are also a good way to try vegemite! Bakeries sell these goodies.

 

Fluffy, light, chocolatey and covered in coconut - it's irresistible!!

Fluffy, light, chocolatey and covered in coconut – it’s irresistible!!

2. Lamingtons

A messy and fluffy cake that is a favourite among Aussie kids! Lamingtons are sponge cakes, sometimes with jam and cream in the middle, covered in chocolate and rolled in coconut flakes – whats not to like about that?! Buy them from a bakery to get the freshest and most delicious lamingtons of all!

tim tams

Eat just one Tim Tam? Impossible…

3. Tim Tams

You’ll struggle to find someone who doesn’t like Arnott’s Tim Tams!! A chocolate biscuit that can be eaten as a snack on its own or used as a ‘straw’ for a Tim Tam slam!

The Tim Tam has two layers of chocolate-malted biscuit which is separated by a light chocolate filling and is coated in chocolate.

There are several different flavours including caramel, dark chocolate, limited edition coconut, strawberry and more but you can’t go past the original!

The Aussie Meat Pie - Wiki Commons

The Aussie Meat Pie – Wiki Commons

4. Meat pie/ sausage roll and sauce

The perfect lunch or dinner in Winter, Autumn and early on in Spring, you can’t go past a good pie! Again, a bakery is the best place to get a pie. Mince meat, flaky pastry and a good helping of tomato sauce (ketchup) is a winning combination!! For the vegetarians, a spinach and feta rolls are commonplace these days and these are also delicious! (Perhaps not really an Australian dish, but a great alternative to the meat options!)

Instagram photo: @brisbanefoodlovers

Instagram photo: @brisbanefoodlovers

5. Sausage sandwich

The smell of a barbecue in Summer ( or all year round on a weekend at establishments like Bunnings!) is something that is hard to walk past. It’s actually the aroma of cooked onions that draws people in but once these are thrown on a piece of bread with a sausage and some sauce (tomato, mustard or barbecue), you’ve got yourself a tasty treat that’s pretty Australian!
This term is also dependent on where you are in Australia – for NSW it’s a sausage sandwich, Queensland and Victoria call it sausage in bread.

Sausage sandwiches are usually available at polling booths in Australia so when we go to vote, we have something to look forward to!

Fresh fruit and cream - mmmm!

Fresh fruit and cream – mmmm!

6. Pavlova

The pavlova is a meringue based dessert with a crisp crust and a fluffy light inside that is usually smothered in cream and covered in fresh fruit such as seasonal berries, passion fruit, banana, kiwi fruits, mango… Whatever tickles your fancy! To be clear, this is an Australian / New Zealand dessert… We are constantly battling about its origin!

Crunchy & Yummy Anzac Biscuits - ready to eat!!!!!

So simple you can make them yourself!

7. Anzac biscuits

Some like them crunchy, others like them soft… try them both and decide which your prefer, either way you just have to try an Anzac biscuit! They are super easy to make too – all you need is rolled oats, desiccated coconut, flour, sugar, butter, golden syrup, baking soda and water!
These biscuits  are available all year round but are in abundance leading up to and on April 25 – ANZAC Day.

Aussie kids are Weet-Bix kids!

Aussie kids are Weet-Bix kids!

8. Weet-Bix

How many do you do?
In Australia when you get asked this, it’s referring to how many Weet-Bix biscuits you have for breakfast.  The wholegrain cereal is popular among Aussies and has recently gained a following in China.
A bowl of Weet-Bix in lots of milk is a great way to start the day! Not only is it a good source of iron and Vitamins B1, B2 and 3, it’s low in fat and sugar.
Add banana or fruit to it – or some hot water in the colder months!
Some Aussies even eat them dry with peanut butter or throw them in the blender with milk and fruit for a Weet-Bix shake! It’s a surprisingly diverse food.

kangaroo and emu...emblems and food!

kangaroo and emu…emblems and food!

9. Our national emblems

Yes… In Australia we eat kangaroo and emu meat – this one is entirely based on personal preference (unlike vegemite, you can’t come here without trying that!) so if you’re keen, you can find kangaroo in most supermarkets these days!
Emu meat has a higher iron content than beef, is low in cholesterol and virtually fat-free while kangaroo is also low in fat.

Tried anything (or everything) on the list? Let us know what you think!

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