This month the directors message comes from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where we welcomed the first program of the TGS year – Swinburne Global Tradies group, who will spend 10 days on a project in rural Kampot. This is the third iteration of this project, where Swinburne TAFE work with a local NGO MOVE (formerly Mayibuye) to improve the facilities at the Chumkriel School.
April also saw the TGS inaugural Australian Internship forum for potential hosts in KL, where interested companies attended to learn more about their responsibilities for hosting interns, the expectations of universities, and the role of TGS in developing the internships and supporting students in-country. The demand from Australia for international internships has been equalled by keen interest from potential hosts who can see the value in providing an educational experience for Aussie students while internationalizing their workplaces. KL is recognized by partners as being able to provide valuable internship experiences for their students due to the prevalence of English in workplaces, excellent infrastructure and accommodation, and a safe and secure environment. KL’s location as the transport hub to the rest of SE Asia makes it popular with students who take advantage of regional travel both before and after their internship, but often during the long weekends that often occur during the programs.
The rest of the first month of our new year has been spent in assisting with NCP bids, including a couple for consortia, working on rebranding marketing materials and administrative documents, and preparing for the arrival of the mid-year programs, where we will welcome 4 groups of interns, plus the RMIT Criminal Justice Study tour, the Deakin Team Internship to Penang and the Global Education Practicum which will for the first time include a group in Kuching, Sarawak.
This month we hosted our first Internship Forum in KL. It was the ideal way for us to meet with new host companies as well as re-engage with existing companies. The forum was designed for potential hosts to find out more about hosting Australian University students, with talks conducted by a 3 of our experienced host companies, each with a different focus.
As the number of students coming to KL this year increases we need to find new companies to accommodate them all. Present on the day was also Damien Hickey from the Australian High Commission, who spoke to the forum about the Governmetns commitment to the region through the NCP.
The day was a great success and we are already planning our second forum to be held later in the year. We will be sure to share details with Australian Universities so they can forward them onto their Alumni networks.
Swinburne Global Tradies
Currently in Kampot, Cambodia are our 3rd iteration of the Swinburne TAFE Global Tradies. In a first for the program, and possibly for the local community, it includes two female plumbers in a usually male dominated program. The orientation in PP includes an introduction to the history and local culture including a visit to the Killing Fields. In addition to the project, the group will be involved in after school activities with the local kids – playing football, learning Khmer language and traditional dance, and assisting with English language classes. The project will be a huge challenge for the tradies who must complete the project works during the hottest time of the Cambodian calendar, while adhering to Australian OH&S regulations which means working in full work boots, clothing and safety gear!
Volunteer Programs- Volunteer Vietnam
Following the success of the inaugural program with Deakin University last November, Volunteer Vietnam is seeking further Aussie volunteers to assist in the various programs they offer at the Social services Centre caring for people with disabilities, the homeless elderly and orphan children. The centre is located in Da Nang, on the coast halfway between Ho Chi Min City and Hanoi.
There is no requirement for volunteers to hold a tertiary qualification, however, it provides a valuable experience for those students in the health services field (Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Aged Care and Nursing), Education, Community development and Social work, but students from any discipline are welcome as training is provided.
Volunteers have accommodation provided at the Green House, which includes 3 meals a day, and transport to the worksites.
At the end of the month we will be welcoming an Intern of our own to TGS. Jan’s niece Grace will be joining our team for 12 weeks and we hope that she gets a lot out of the experience both professionally and personally. Grace is hoping to use the opportunity to decide where her future career lies, not only from working with us, but by shadowing some study groups during their time in Malaysia.
NAFSA- May 28-June 2- Los Angeles, USA Global Internships Conference
June 13-16- Santiago, Chile EAIE September 12-15 Seville, Spain (Right) Changing Places Prato September 14&15 AIEC- October 10-13- Hobart, Australia QS Summer School Summit December 10-12 Johannesburg, South Africa