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Study in the Sun with TAFE in Victoria

Looking for a vocational educational course and a different environment in which to study? In the beautiful state of Victoria, Australia, there are 17 Government-owned Institutes of TAFE (Technical and Further Education), that welcome international students.

Victoria’s TAFE Institutes offer a wide range of tertiary education courses which are strongly orientated towards providing you with skills for employment in specific jobs. Courses are fully accredited by the state government, and are available at various levels from basic entry to advanced skills. Many higher level courses at Diploma level offer credit transfer into university degree courses.

Victoria is rapidly gaining a good reputation as a great place to study. It has a range of beautiful scenery and a temperate climate which is excellent for outdoor living. World class facilities are offered for athletics, tennis, golf, cricket, water sports, hiking, skiing, canoeing, motor car and bike racing and football. Victoria’s capital city Melbourne, with a population of more than 3 million, is the second largest city in Australia. It has been judged "the world’s most liveable city", according to a two year world survey of 100 capital cities, because of its clean and safe environment, its cost of living and quality of housing and education.

Melbourne is known for its music and cultural festivals, its quality fresh foods, good restaurants and entertainment, beautiful gardens, architecture and excellent shopping. It is Australia’s major manufacturing and industrial centre with strong business and financial representation.

There has been a strong growth in the number of overseas students coming to the state. Today, there are more than 2500 international students studying at TAFE in Victoria, in courses such as business studies, computing, marketing, tourism, hospitality, agriculture and rural studies, building, engineering, manufacturing, art and design, aviation and health. In the vocational education and training sector, Victoria has the largest intake of international students of any state in Australia. Some TAFE Institutes have more than 500 international students.

A wide range of courses is available through TAFE. Intensive English language courses are offered which improve spoken and written skills, introduce students to the Australian way of life and help to prepare them for tertiary study. English courses commence almost every month, while most other TAFE courses start in February each year, with a smaller mid-year intake in July.

There is no need to feel apprehensive about travelling to Australia to study, because all 17 of the Institutes are experienced in assisting you to settle into the way of life of a TAFE student. Before you enrol, they can provide advice on course choice and procedures to obtain a student visa.

Many will meet you on arrival in Victoria and assist you to find accommodation. TAFE Institutes offer orientation programs to help international students learn about cultural differences and Australian styles of teaching and learning. They also offer advice on financial budgeting and obtaining part time employment while studying.

Daisuke Noguchi came to Australia from Japan to gain a TAFE qualification in tourism. Mr Noguchi, 23, grew up in the industrial city of Toyama, where his father is a building contractor. He moved to Tokyo to study English for two years at a private language college, then came to Australia to complete an English course which would improve his speaking skills. "In Japan, we focus on the grammar and the written work," he said. "Once I was in Australia, I discovered the wide range of TAFE tourism and hospitality courses, and I wanted to learn something which would give me a good job back at home, as employment is becoming very hard to get in Japan," he said.

Daisuke Noguchi is now in the second year of Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE’s Travel and Tourism Diploma, which is offered by five Victorian TAFE Institutes and five private providers of training in Victoria. He sees the chance to study in a country which is one of the leading travel destinations for Japanese people as a major bonus. And it gives him an unparalleled opportunity to absorb Australian culture.
"I share a house with an Australian family whose children are my age, and in the holidays I do a lot of travelling around Australia," Daisuke said. "In my first year, I went to Sydney, the Gold Coast. Perth, Ayers Rock and Adelaide." Daisuke works part time as a waiter in a Japanese restaurant in Melbourne so earn money for travelling. The main advantage of studying in Australia is, naturally, the chance for continual improvement of his English. "My class at TAFE is rather a noisy group, very Australian, and I like them a lot," he said.

Victorian TAFE Institutes work independently in an open training market, which encourages competition and quality in delivering vocational education and training. For this reason, there is no central application service. If you write to individual TAFE Institutes, they will send you information specifically for international students, including details of the courses they offer.

A general information brochure on TAFE studies in Victoria may be obtained by writing to the Author:
OFTE Market and International Operations Branch, P O Box 266 D, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia.

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