TAFE SA student Thi Minh Khue Nguyen is “over the moon” after being named the top student in the vocational education and training category of StudyAdelaide’s 2020 International Student Awards.
“I was thrilled to be representing TAFE SA at the ceremony and to receive my award from the Governor, Hieu Van Le,” says Thi, who won the award for Academic Excellence – Vocational Education and Training.
TAFE SA student Joana Hamann Azambuja, of Brazil, received the Highly Commended Award in the same category.
Thi, who comes from Vietnam, is studying a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and says being involved in the awards has given her the chance to reflect on her achievements so far.
In 2016, she was studying and working in business in Vietnam but felt unsure if it was what she wanted to continue to do.
“I decided to explore the world and open my mind and find out what would fulfil me,” she says.
After travelling around Australia, working and volunteering in various regions, she found her calling working with children
“In 2018, I was in Sydney and I spent six months working with Guardian Childcare and Education, and I really liked it,” she says.
“I found I gained energy through the working day because of the children and I liked making a positive difference in their lives.”
When Thi decided to further her education, she says she researched each city and chose Adelaide because it was smaller, less expensive and had a lower crime rate.
However, now that she’s living in Adelaide, she says she is most impressed by the strong sense of community.
“My neighbour shares her garden tools with me and when I go to places like Morialta Conservation Park, people are helpful. I also volunteer at my local library and I find that people are very inclusive,” she says.
Studying at TAFE SA has also been a positive experience and she’s full of praise for the care and support her lecturers have shown.
“My first language is Vietnamese and I thought it might be a barrier, but my lecturers have been so helpful and inspired me to learn more,” she says.
“I appreciate the knowledge I’ve gained about children and feel the course has changed me and the way I look at the world.
“The more I work with children, the more I want to do and in the future I want to do something that has a positive effect, perhaps in the area of children’s rights.”
You can read more about the International Student Awards 2020 on the Study Adelaide website.
For more information on TAFE SA International courses, please visit the TAFE SA website.