Three international students of Strathfield College Melbourne  candidly talked about their student experience while pursuing their Certificate IV in Information Technology and why they chose the program. Ichiro Okura from Japan along with Renzo Miguel Palabrica and Narciso Maria Salazar from the Philippines shared both the challenges and the growth opportunities that come with studying in Australia and learning about Melbournians and their culture.

Ichiro Okura

Ichiro has always been fascinated with technology and with how things worked since he was young. The prospect of studying abroad also fueled his interest and so with the support of his family and the encouragement of his education agent in Indonesia, he enrolled in a certificate course in information technology at Strathfield Melbourne campus. “I chose this course because I have seen how important it is in everyday life and in my future,” he says. “Strathfield College is a great school with helpful staff and competent lecturers.”

When asked about the challenges he faced as an international student living in Melbourne, he readily mentioned the public transportation system. “Railway maintenance and replacement buses are annoying,” he says. The good side? “People in here are diverse because Australia is multicultural. There’s no discrimination and people are tolerant of each other’s cultural practices and beliefs.”

Ichiro plans to further his studies once he graduates from his course and continue on to a bachelor’s degree program.

Renzo Miguel Palabrica

“I chose this course because I wanted to learn more about technologies, computer programming and other related topics in information technology,” says Renzo Palabrica, an international student from the Philippines.

Renzo, as he prefers to be called, learned about Strathfield College from relatives in Australia. “After scouting around and researching about Strathfield College, I decided to study here. By now, I feel that I’ve already known this school and I believe that my IT course can give me a good career in the future.”

He is halfway through his course now since arriving in Australia last August. Renzo plans to work in the ICT industry specifically as an IT maintenance professional.

Renzo happily volunteers that Strathfield College was the right choice for him because he is in a very comfortable place and the classrooms are conducive to studying. “Students, trainers and office staff are very nice and understanding,” he adds.

When asked about his general impressions of /Australia, and Melbourne in particular, he relates that visiting iconic attractions like Mount Buller opened him further to Australia’s naturally beautiful features – seeing snow for the first time, watching people skiing and playing in the snow and trying out skiing himself gave him a feeling of exhilaration that’s beyond description. He felt right at home in his surroundings.

He also enjoyed the sights and sounds of Melbourne which he considers a vibrant city for young people like him.

Just like any young, fun loving person, Renzo loves watching his favorite sport – basketball – online and posting about his favorite players on social media. Most of the time though, he is kept busy with  his studies and part-time work. Part of his study goal is to pursue his Diploma in Information Technology for another year and then embark on a career in the ICT industry.

Narciso Maria Salazar

Narciso Maria Salazar, who goes by the nickname Sal, decided to go abroad to pursue further studies in information technology in order to qualify for a promotion in his job in Malaysia. He eventually settled for Australia after comparing various factors with other study destinations. Once his decision was fixed on Australia, his education agent recommended Strathfield College.

When asked about his impressions of his new host country, he says, “Australia is a diverse country with no  prejudice when it comes to international students. The only culture shock is that the toilet and bathroom are separated and that the toilet has no bidet.”

Sal has not made up his mind on whether to pursue his Diploma in Information Technology after completing his Certificate IV in IT.  For now, he is just focusing on his studies while making time for his hobbies – sleeping as well as watching movies and TV series.