DANIEL Driscoll looks at what international students can expect from studying at Box Hill Institute, recently named International Training Provider of the Year.
The Box Hill Institute has been named International Training Provider of the Year at the 20th Australian Training Awards, held on 22 November. The national award recognises outstanding achievement in all aspects of vocational education and training to full-fee paying international students.
Box Hill Institute CEO, John Maddock said the Institute’s achievement was a testament to staff and managements’ commitment to the institute’s international vision.
“This award belongs to every staff (member) and manager within the Box Hill Institute Group for the wonderful job they have done over many years…building both the business and reputation of the Institute,” Mr Maddock said.
We are their family while they are here.” – Joy Barret, International Student Learning and Language Advisor, Box Hill Institute
The award comes soon after Box Hill Institute student Huong Thi Dang was honoured with two prizes at the inaugural Victorian International Education Student Awards.
The judging panel named Box Hill Institute as an industry leader in course development, teacher development and practice, technology, and facilities. The Institute also scored highly for its attention to international student needs.
Joy Barret, International Student Learning and Language Advisor said the Institute’s small team of international student support staff try to do what they can to help the students, even if it means going “totally out of the box”.
She recalled a how once a student from Chile had suffered a cerebral brain aneurysm and was left with a massive hospital bill due to a gap in his medical insurance. The Institute put on a fundraiser in Brunswick which raised $4000, enough to pay for the student’s medical bills.
“We are their family while they are here,” said Ms Barret.
Before students begin their first semester at the Institute, they attend a compulsory orientation program. Information presented during orientation includes everything students need to know when they first start studying, working and living in Australia.
Azucena Sánchez Aguilar from Mexico, who is currently studying for a Diploma in Children’s Services, took part in the orientation program and said it gave her the confidence and know-how to face the challenges of living in another country. Azucena noted that she learned a lot from her teachers, who were encouraging and constructive whenever she had a question or struggled with English.
International students are also supported beyond their academic responsibilities, by having access to a range of social programs developed to help their transition and experience of Australia.
According to Ms Barret, Box Hill differed from other institutions by offering a more personalised support service. “We develop in some sense a personal relationship with the students as we work quite closely (with them). We recognise their needs are different and require specialised support, not only with their studies but also with their transition to life in Australia, living arrangements and social adjustments”.
“It’s a little less institutionalised and a little more personalised,” she said.