EXCITEMENT is in the air for three second-year primary education students as they prepare to visit Thailand next month.
Hayley White, Stacey Pemberton and Leilani Butler will be among 11 Deakin University Warrnambool campus students taking part in the global experience program, giving them practical teaching experience in Chiang Mai.
Ms Butler said she was looking forward to the experience.
“All my life I’ve wanted to do something like this and I’m so excited to finally have the opportunity,” she said.
“Both my grandparents were teachers and my whole family are all so excited and supportive of me for wanting to take part in this program.”
Ms Butler began studying primary school teaching after spending a year working for a child and family welfare service.
“I have a great interest and passion for helping underprivileged children and I think the program will be a great step in the right direction for me,” she said.
“In today’s extremely competitive workplace for educators, doing this program will hopefully get my foot in the door after I graduate.”
Ms Butler is undertaking her second round of placement at King’s College this week and said her experience working in the Christian education system would be beneficial in Thailand.
She said that her ability to interact with the students had also improved during her time at the college.
“I am definitely more prepared,” she said. Ms Pemberton said she expected to find an experience that she couldn’t access in Australian classrooms.
“It is not only a chance to explore the world but to incorporate multiculturalism into my classrooms in the future.”
Ms White said she hoped to enhance her teaching skills through learning different cultures and gaining an understanding of the diverse range of pupils that may be in her future classes.
“I will be better able to identify and experience the different learning environments and gain a better understanding of their culture,” she said.
“The strategies and classroom management techniques used will be interesting to see.”
Education lecturer Dr Emma Charlton, who will be co-ordinating the tour for the first time, said the student teachers would be based at a private Christian school, the Prince’s Royal College, from November 9 to December 2.
“The school has about 6000 students and is likely to be a big challenge for the practicum teachers,” Dr Charlton said.
Ms White said her main concern was the language barrier.
“It’s a big thing,” she said.
“We don’t know how much English they speak.”
The tour is part of Deakin’s Global Experience Program, through which education students complete teaching experiences in international locations including Switzerland, New Zealand, China, Canada, Vanuatu and Thailand.