Gain entry to your degree with an English course

IELTS score not exactly what you need for your diploma or degree? There are options!

ACU has courses that can help students improve their English language proficiency in order to meet the English language requirements needed for their chosen diploma or degree.

With ACU English Language Centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, students can choose which capital city they want to learn English in!

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) can help students gain entry into their chosen course and learn the academic skills needed for their university program.

Studying General English before EAP is also an option for students to develop fluency and the confidence to use English for general communication in social life, travel or work.

Students begin their university experience when they start studying English as the courses are held on campus and the small class sizes ensure students receive a personalised learning experience.

ACU International spoke to EAP student Clarissa Galman who says the course has improved her English skills as well as her confidence to communicate, write essays and more.

Clarissa studied EAP and is now doing the Tertiary Preparation Program so she can begin a Bachelor of Nursing.

Clarissa improved her English by taking EAP at ACU.

“At first I was so nervous and lacked self-confidence because speaking English is not my native language,” she says.

“However, when I started to study the course it offered different ways and strategies to improve my speaking, listening as well as writing skills.”

Clarissa says the EAP course has helped her improve her use of English in everyday life as well as academically.

“Because of EAP I am more now confident to participate in class discussion, study independently as well as with groups and the most important thing is cultural sensitivity and awareness on how to have a harmonious relationship with my colleagues.”

She says the way the class is taught is really helpful with a “learning by doing” style of teaching.IELTS academic writing

“This way of teaching really improves our way of thinking and to make sure that all the activities and assessments we do are important to prepare us for when we do our bachelor degree.”

Clarissa is from the Philippines and says she loves being a part of such a multicultural university and admires how the teachers educate people from different parts of the world.

To improve her English, Clarissa would visit the websites given to her by teachers in her free time to work on her vocabulary and writing skills.

“In class, activities and discussion also play an important role by attending the class regularly as a student you will learn more about English and the way of living here and much more.”

For students looking at studying EAP, Clarissa says “just always think that nothing is impossible to achieve your goals, just know your priorities and be wise”.

You can learn English at ACU in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane!

You can learn English at ACU in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane!

“Also, the teachers and staffs of ACU are always there to help and guide us!”

ACU offers a number of English courses – read more about them here.

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Eyes on Canberra – Australia’s National Capital

Australia has universities all over the country – so where should you study? Sydney? Melbourne? Brisbane?

Have you considered Australia’s national capital – Canberra?


Our capital has a lot to offer students – it is actually known as the country’s University City with students making up about 25 per cent of the population!

Compared to any other city in Australia, it has the highest percentage of its population studying full-time or part-time – equating to one in nine residents studying or working at a university.

The city also has a median age well below the rest of Australia and 25 per cent of the population is born overseas – which means you can meet lots of young people from all over the world!

Canberra is a very multicultural city connected to the world with over 90 diplomatic missions and embassies located there.

ACU’s Canberra campus (Signadou) has more than 1000 students and over 30 of those are international students.

The Canberra ACU Campus.

The Canberra ACU Campus.

The campus is just 5km from Canberra’s City Centre, Civic, which has the Canberra Centre – a huge shopping precinct with everything from Big W to grocery stores to high-end retailers and McDonalds!

There is also an endless list of (affordable) eateries in Canberra – not only in Civic but in Dickson, Manuka and Kingston.

There is no shortage of good food and coffee in Canberra!

There is no shortage of good food and coffee in Canberra!

Although it can be overlooked for Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, Canberra can offer students a unique experience of living in a city that is almost like a big town.

With a population of around 390,000, Canberra is a pretty big city but terrible traffic congestion (both foot and vehicle) is almost non-existent compared to Australia’s bigger state capitals!

Canberra is home to Parliament House - where Australia's political decisions are made!

Canberra is home to Parliament House – where Australia’s political decisions are made!

“The Berra”, as it is affectionately known, has one of the lowest crime rates of any major Australian city, so it is a safe place to live.

Students have the option of living on campus with ACU on ACU Managed Residences in self-catered accommodation in share houses managed by the university or the MacKillop House offers fully catered accommodation for female students.

The National Library of Australia is in picturesque Canberra.

The National Library of Australia is in picturesque Canberra.

ACU’s Canberra campus has an active student association and there are plenty of clubs, societies, and events for you to take part in – so settling in and making friends will be a breeze!

The campus also has a saltwater solar heated swimming pool available for students. There is also a student common room with a pool table, table tennis table, basketball hoop and Foxtel (cable TV) where students can relax and socialise with friends.

Students will never find themselves wondering what to do with their spare time as there is ALWAYS something to see and do in Canberra.

There is live music every weekend at various pubs as well as food, music and flower festivals such as Groovin the Moo and Floriade throughout the year.

Floriade is a festival held annually in Canberra with lots to see and do!

Floriade is a festival held annually in Canberra with lots to see and do! Night Fest is a must do!

Well-known artists and comedians often visit Canberra on their tours too!

You can keep up to date with this calendar organised by Visit Canberra, a handy site when looking up what is happening in the nation’s capital.

It is home to Australia’s National Library, National Gallery of Australia , Questacon (which is Australia’s Science and Technology centre), the National Arboretum, the National Zoo and Aquarium, the Australian War Memorial and Old and New Parliament House to name a few so there is always somewhere to visit!

The Australian War Memorial is in Canberra.

The Australian War Memorial is in Canberra.

So if you’re wondering where to study in Australia, Canberra is well and truly worth considering!

To find out more about ACU’s Canberra campus, visit the ACU website and browse through our Canberra section.

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课程概览:公共健康硕士(Master of Public Health)















本科成绩平均绩点达到5.5(总绩点 7)或拥有2年在健康领域的专业工经验



估计总学费:42,000 澳元

课程时间:2 年

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Sanger? Arvo? Barbie? WHAT?! Your guide to Aussie slang

English is a difficult language to learn, but in Australia it can be even harder with the amount of slang and colloquial language used by Aussies!

If you’re new to studying English then you are not alone in struggling to understand the average Australian whose slang is ingrained in them – they don’t even realise they’re using it most the time!

ACU International student Anisa Choummanivong says this was one of the most challenging parts of settling into Australia.

“In Australia they use English and sometimes even have Aussie slang which is the most challenging part for overseas students – especially who those who do not have English as their second language,” Anisa says.

In Australia (Straya) they shorten words, quite often ending them in ‘a’ or ‘er’, ‘o’ or ‘y’ or ‘ie’.

For example sandwich becomes sanger or sanga, afternoon becomes arvo, ambulance becomes ambo, biscuit becomes bickie and expensive becomes exy.

You will probably hear Australians refer to University as Uni!


It can sound like another language in itself but you’ll get the hang of it (understand it) eventually!

There is a 99.9 per cent chance these words won’t come up in your IELTS test, but to give you a bit of a hand (help) here are some terms, phrases and expressions used in Australia that can sound completely out of place unless you’re speaking to an Australian!



Ace/ripper/ beaut/beauty/bonza/: All words that mean great, brilliant, excellent

Bathers/ cozzies/ swimmers/ togs/ budgie smugglers/ boardies: These ALL mean swimwear / swimming costume

Barbie: Barbecues – a very popular Australian past-time!

Bludge / Bludger : A lazy person or someone who expects others to loan them things but they will never actually give anything back in return

Bugger: Used as a term when someone something a bit disappointing happens / something has gone wrong… An Aussie way of saying “oh no!” or “dang it!”

Brolly: Umbrella


Cark/ed it/ Cactus: Dead, finished, died, done

Chockers: Really full – said when someone has eaten a lot or they see something that is really full of things! eg: “I’m chockers after all that Maccas!” or “That bag is chockers with textbooks!”

Chuck a sickie:
Said when someone has a sick day off work / school – usually means that it’s not a genuine sick day and they’re faking it!

Chuck a wobbly: Yes, we like to ‘chuck’ a lot in Australia – and it usually means ‘throw’ – this one refers to someone throwing a tantrum or getting unnecessarily angry about something

Come off it: This is usually said in disbelief – so if something is unbelievable someone might say “come off it” meaning “I don’t believe you”

Dead ringer: Looks exactly the same as someone/ something

Spit the dummy: Usually said when someone is very upset about something and throwing a tantrum

Esky: An insulated food container usually taken to a barbecue or on a picnic. It is not a registered vehicle.

Fair dinkum: True, geniune

Furphy: Rumours / lies

Fix you up: No, no one is going to fix anything – this means that someone will pay back! If you bought them something they are offering to pay you back

Galah: Fool or silly person that quite loud and possibly rude, derives from the Australian pink and grey bird called a Galah (which can be very noisy)


Going off: Something that is going really well / is good fun

Go over it with a fine toothed comb: Usually used in reference to checking a document – it means to look at something very carefully and proof it to ensure there are no errors

How’s it going? How are you going? This just means “how are you” and does not refer to you going anywhere, it’s just how we say it!

Hang on: You’re not usually be asked to hang on to something, but they’re saying “wait a moment” or “stop for a second”

Heaps: A lot, many, loads

I’m run off my feet / I’m snowed under : These both mean a person is really busy and doesn’t have a lot of time or has a lot of work to do.

Kick off: begin / start

Mad as a cut snake: In reference to a crazy person

Maccas: McDonalds Restaurant – also the referred to as the ‘Golden Arches’


Midday: 12 noon – the middle of the day.

Reckon: A very Australia way of saying “I believe so” or ” I think” – eg: I reckon it’s a good day!

Sandwich short of a picnic / A few roos loose in the top paddock: Usually used when referring to someone who isn’t very smart or has said something silly

She’ll be right: Everything will be fine!

Shout / my shout/ your shout: I will pay for this / you can pay for this. This is usually said when eating or drinking and someone offers to pay for it – usually under the assumption you will pay for the next one!

Stoked: Really excited / happy about something

Stone the crows: A phrase used when someone is shocked or amazed, not used as much by young Aussies though and usually associated with/ used by Home and Away’s Alf Stewart


Stuffed: Exhausted, tired or in trouble

Thongs: Flip flops, sandals, the footwear worn by most Aussies in Summer (and the brave all-year round!)

Woop Woop / Out in the sticks: A place or town that is in the outback, in a place that is quite isolated or just really really far away

Feel free to add more Aussie slang you have heard or learnt in the comments (But keep it clean!).

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Pui Yee Ng (Joey)是一个在澳大利亚天主教大学墨尔本校区,学习护理本科专业的国际学生。她说当初选择ACU,因为ACU的护理专业拥有很好的声誉,自己很希望可以帮助有需要的人们。

Joey 一位ACU墨尔本校区学生

Joey 一位ACU墨尔本校区学生












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Melbourne in the eyes of an International Student

Pui Yee Ng (Joey) is an International Student in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Nursing. She says she decided to study nursing at ACU because of its good reputation and hopes to help people who are in need.

Joey got into nursing to help people in need.

Joey got into nursing to help people in need.

On Melbourne: ACU Melbourne is a place of cultural diversity and I managed to understand lot of different culture from my friends. Melbourne has lot of beautiful scenery and delicious foods. Having brunch with beautiful views is one of the best moments you can have in Melbourne. Melbourne is a romantic place.


Melbourne, Australia.

On studying at Melbourne ACU: ACU Melbourne Campus is small so I can see different students from other courses around the campus. I get to see my friends around when I know they are studying at ACU but in difference courses. The campus is located in the city, which is convenient for me to travel.

Melbourne's amazing street art and laneways.

Melbourne’s amazing street art and laneways.

Weather: The major difference between Malaysia and Melbourne is weather. Malaysia has only one season – it is summer for 365 days, whereas Melbourne has four seasons.

Melbourne at night

Balancing work and study: Sometimes I don’t know how I manage. I will stay at the library to do my assignments when I have no classes or work. I guess that’s the way I balance my work-study life. Personally, I reckon it is a really good experience to have work-study life in Melbourne. However, I will also balance my lifestyle by catching up with my friends.

Want to know more about Melbourne? (It’s been named the world’s most livable city for six years running!) Visit the ACU website for more on our campus, its history, the courses offered there, student accommodation and more!

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Course Profile: Master of Public Health


The MPH has a focus on illustrating theory with relevant, practical examples of established and emergent public health issues and contemporary social issues with substantial health impacts.

Introduced in 2016, ACU’s Master of Public Health (MPH) is fast becoming one of our most popular postgraduate courses!

It is one of ACU’s recently launched postgraduate public health programs which have been developed in response to the evolving role of public health practitioners within the Australian health system and internationally.

ACU’s MPH program has been designed around the Foundation Competencies for Master of Public Health Graduates in Australia and the requirements of the Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (for medical practitioners specialising in public health).

International competency and practice standards and conceptual frameworks have helped shape the MPH curriculum design.

The MPH program equips graduates with specialised knowledge, understanding and skills in public health to improve and advance population health and well-being.

Based in Melbourne, The two-year course prepares graduates to practice with a community, national or global focus, and with an ethical, social justice perspective.

mph 2
Career Paths:

There is an extensive range of career opportunities available to graduates of Master of Public Health programs in Australia.

About half of all MPH graduates are employed within the health sector, with others finding opportunities within education, government and services sectors.

Managerial, analytical and program-/project-based roles are common destinations for Master of Public Health graduates.

For many health practitioners, particularly medical practitioners or registered nurses, this degree expands their career opportunities within their existing field.


After completion of the first year of core public health study (eight units), students have a choice of completing the MPH either by Research Pathway, which involves additional research training and then preparation of a minor research thesis or by Capstone Pathway which involves a practice-based project or other approved fieldwork/project/experience.

Assessment tasks are designed to simulate practice-relevant data, situations, problems or issues, with students assessed on their responses as public health practitioners.

Assessment tasks are designed to simulate practice-relevant data, situations, problems or issues, with students assessed on their responses as public health practitioners.

Specialised option:

ACU’s MPH program offers a unique specialisation option – the Master of Public Health (Global Health and Advocacy).

It features a contemporary curriculum designed around the new United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

This option allows students to concentrate their studies on issues of global health, sustainable development, food security and humanitarian assistance.

It also allows students to develop their advocacy skills, a vitally important component of public/global health practice so they are trained to not just implement positive change, but to also influence positive change in the first place.

Students may elect to undertake the Global Health and Advocacy specialisation in second year, in conjunction with either the Research or Capstone Pathways.

Further study:

Graduates may be able to progress to a higher degree by research (eg Doctor of Philosophy).

Students interested in doing so are encouraged to complete their MPH via the Research Pathway.


There are a range of scholarships on offer for international students and the MPH is an eligible course for the International Student Scholarship. These scholarships cover 50% of the recipients’ full-time tuition fees.

Why choose Health at ACU?

ACU teaching staff have real world practical and professional experience.

The University has strong links with healthcare partners around Australia, including ACU/partner clinical schools that provide opportunities for clinical placements, community engagement projects and future employment.


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“Even if you are not an OT student, I would highly recommend students to have placement there or a rural placement." - Kelly Kan, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Kelly Kan, 职业治疗专业学生 Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Kelly说:“我很高兴在澳洲乡村的这家医院实习,这让我看到城市和乡村居民生活方式的不同。” Kelly每天早上步行去医院,因为清晨没有汽车。她第一次品尝到乡村生活的滋味,是在到那里后的第一个周末,当一个护士邀请她去自己家吃中饭,护士家拥有很大的农场,养着各种羊,鸭子和鸡。“这顿午餐,蔬菜是采摘自她的农场的,护士的父亲告诉我,他喜欢自己做各种调料,不太喜欢到超市去买。当地的食物吃起来非常新鲜,和从超市买来的完全不一样。当地人生活很传统,他们喜欢自己动手满足口腹,而不喜欢买现成的。”

The hospital in Nhill, where Kelly had her clinical placement.


Kelly说即使她每天都很忙,她并不感到压力,当地环境比起城市压力少多了。她在医院的实习中,从上级职业理疗师那学到很多,他们非常愿意帮助支持学生,也愿意回答学生的任何问题,甚至有时候如果不太确定自己的答案,还会去搜索下相关研究,然后告诉学生。Kelly说:“我觉得和我搭档的职业治疗师,给我很多支持,包括医院中其他的护士和物理理疗师。”我很享受这种放缓的生活节奏,人们的心情都很放松,很友好,对彼此很支持。“人们非常热情,当看到你的时候会和你微笑或打招呼。他们很友好,有礼貌,热心。” Kelly说。

Kelly最享受的实习一部分,是去病人家访问。Kelly 说:“我喜欢和病人聊天,从而了解他们,并建立彼此的信任。一些年纪大的病人很友好,我感到内心暖暖的,每次他们感谢我,我很感动。还有小朋友,他们很感激我花时间陪伴他们,总是很喜悦。记得我最后一次去一个小朋友家家访,他说:“Kelly,谢谢你教我,我很喜欢和你在一起,祝你假期快乐。”顿时我觉得好感动。”


The lake in Nhill, where Kelly would go for walks.


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Tips for passing the IELTS reading and listening tests

jan elicos

Jan Brown

ACU’s resident IELTS expert & teacher Jan Brown has dropped by to share some great tips to help you pass the IELTS reading and listening tests.

This is not an all-inclusive list, however it will provide the main points to consider.

A few recommendations.

–  Listen to news, read papers, books, magazines. Use English everyday – eavesdrop!

–  The Prep. course is not sufficient to pass the IELTS test.

–  Improve language skills especially the ones examiners look for.

     Eg. Use of a variety of tenses, conjunctions, compare / contrast.

  Cohesive devices, inc. pronoun referent words (these,this,those,it etc.)

*  Identify common mistakes and work to rectify those.


* Have a good night’s sleep.

* Prepare adequately.  Pens, erasers, scrap paper, highlighter etc.IELTS academic writing

* Concentrate hard. Do not be distracted.

* Read Instructions and questions carefully.

* Look for key words and highlight them.

* Try to predict, especially in section 1. Think of synonyms.

* Use the time given to keep a step ahead of the recording.

MAKE NOTES…you have 10 minutes at the end to transfer your answers.

   You can use this time to check spellings, grammar, capitals etc.

* If you miss a question – move on. Highlight it and come back to it later.

* Listen for parallel expressions, especially in section 4.

* If three people are discussing something, try to put a name to a voice…recognition. Intonation.

DO NOT leave any blanks on your answer sheet. Guess if necessary.

* Make sure your answers are sensible and appropriate.

* Fill in the answer sheet carefully. One misplaced answer will render the remaining answers wrong.

* Check for spellings, capital letters. Do not include any extra detail which is already there.


阅读 图片来自 glombiowski

Read questions carefully

* Spend between 17- 20 minutes on each passage, but leave enough time at the end to check your  answers.

There is no time at the end to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.

 * Time is the enemy. No specialist knowledge is necessary.

Skimming – General quick view
(Headings, sub-headings, pictures, 1st sentences in paragraphs.)

Scanning – looking for specific answers.

Detail – only need a small section. Read carefully.

* Read the questions and instructions carefully first. Decide which skill is needed.

* Skim the passage first. Get an idea about the content of each paragraph. Do not read every word.

* Look at the questions and scan the relevant section for the answers.

* Highlight important names, places, words or dates. Don’t worry about unknown words.

* Is there are glossary, explanation via brackets or nearby words?

* Do not spend too long on one question if you cannot find the answer – highlight it and move on.

* About one minute per question should be enough.

* The HEADINGS section. If the instructions say a letter may be used more than once, it probably will.

* Look for parallel expressions and synonyms.

* Yes/No/Does not say ( Writer’s opinion ) or True/False/Not given ( Information ) Use correct response.

Remember the qualifying words… few, almost all, a majority etc.

* Do not leave any blanks. If you have to guess the T/F/NG/ section. NG is the least used.

*Make sure your answers are sensible/appropriate and the grammar fits.

We have tips for the writing and speaking tests too!

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A rural placement shows a different side to Australian culture

There are so many different experiences Australia has to offer and as International ACU Occupational Therapy student Kelly Kan learned, they don’t end in the city!

Most tourists and students only see the hustle and bustle of the capital cities but Kelly found that her clinical placement in a small country town taught her a lot about people, culture and building relationships with clients.

Kelly had her clinical placement in Nhill, a small country town in Victoria with a population of under 2500.

“Even if you are not an OT student, I would highly recommend students to have placement there or a rural placement." - Kelly Kan, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

“Even if you are not an OT student, I would highly recommend students to have placement there or a rural placement.” – Kelly Kan, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

“I was so excited to work in the hospital in the country to see the difference between the people in city and the country,” Kelly says.

She would walk to the hospital each morning and she says there were no cars around – even at 5pm.

The hospital in Nhill, where Kelly had her clinical placement.

The hospital in Nhill, where Kelly had her clinical placement.

Her first taste of the country lifestyle was on her first weekend, when a nurse invited her to lunch on her parent’s farm where there were sheep, ducks and chickens.

“For lunch, the vegetables were from their farm and her father told me that he likes making sauce rather than buying it from supermarket. It was very fresh and I wouldn’t have had it in the city.

“It is very traditional and people that live in country tend to do everything themselves rather than purchasing (such as food or sauce).”

Kelly says even though she was busy every day, she was not stressed and the environment was much less stressful than working in the city.

She learnt a lot from her supervisors who were also supportive and happy to answer all her questions, even researching before they got back to her to ensure their answers were accurate.

“My supervisors provided a lot support to me and so did the staff in the hospital such as the nurses and physiotherapist.”

She enjoyed the laid-back lifestyle in Nhill, where people were relaxed, kind and supportive to each other.

“The people were affectionate and would smile or greet you when they saw you. They are friendly, polite, very welcoming and warm-hearted.”

Doing home visits and having school sessions were the things she enjoyed the most while on her clinical placement.

“I loved talking to the clients as I could get to know them to build up a relationship with them. The elderly people were so lovely and I felt warm and touched every time they thanked us.”

The lake in Nhill, where Kelly would go for walks.

The lake in Nhill, where Kelly would go for walks.

Kelly says the children were very grateful for the time she spent with them and they were always cheerful.

“For my last session with a child, he said ‘Kelly, thank you for teaching me and I enjoyed the time with you, wish you have a good holiday’, it was very touching.”

On weekends she experienced the country by walking around the lake and hiking with other students.

“It was a peaceful, safe, quiet and beautiful environment. I felt so relaxed and there were a few people who did walking and running there as well. I also did hiking on weekends as well with other students.”

She said she gained a lot from her clinical placement at Nhill’s hospital and would “definitely” recommend a rural placement to students.

A view from the area Kelly went hiking.

A view from the area Kelly went hiking.

“Even if you are not an OT student, I would highly recommend students to have placement there or a rural placement.

“You will see a lot in the country and learn a lot from the people that spend their whole life in the country,” she says.

“I found that people in city are more rushed and tend to do things quickly and focus more on the client’s needs rather than the whole person (e.g. client’s feeling). You will definitely learn a lot about different culture when talking to the clients.”

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