“I decided to choose this path as I love and adore children,” says Nicole Kee, a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Special Needs) and Bachelor of Disability Studies student at Flinders. “I have always been interested in how they learn and develop across their lifespan.”
Nicole’s degree was in part motivated by her mother’s career.
“My mother was a Special Needs educator in Malaysia,” she says. “This has inspired me to explore and gain more knowledge of diverse individuals with disabilities and inclusiveness in education, the community, and the environment.”
Transitioning from Australian high school to uni
Studying in Adelaide is nothing new for the university student, who graduated high school locally.
“It was an easy transition from Year 12 to meet the University Entry Requirements based on the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR),” Nicole says of her transition from international Year 12 student to uni.
“In Year 12, all students are required to apply it through the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) website to choose and list their options of courses and universities in South Australia.” Nicole was accepted to Flinders University after the ATAR results were released which gave her the possibility to undertake the course.
“The process of enrolling was not difficult and straightforward, therefore students who would like to enrol in their course would not find it challenging to do so.”
Studying in Adelaide
“I decided to study [university] in Adelaide as it is more affordable than other capital cities in Australia; the cost of living here is lower,” she says. “In my opinion, Adelaide is a peaceful city that makes living and studying easier, especially during stressful times.”
In addition to the peace of the city, Nicole enjoys the many perks of the natural environment in South Australia. “I enjoy going on walks and hikes as Adelaide has amazing conservation and reservation parks and beaches – as well as accessible transportation.”
Beautiful campus and facilities
It’s not just the beautiful South Australian landscape that appealed to the Malaysian student.
“The Bedford Park campus has a lot of greenery, especially where the Education building is located on the hill,” says Nicole of her college facilities. “It makes me happy being close to nature, surrounded by trees, a lake, birds, ducks, and a clear, blue sky.”
It’s an invigorating environment for students, visitors, and staff alike – many who can be found breaking their workday with a lunchtime stroll around the lake.
“Study-wise, the library is suitable to work on assignments or to find a quiet area to read.”
Flexible and engaging learning
Nicole has found the learning experiences and teaching at Flinders University to be open, flexible, and supportive. “Lecturers and tutors are supportive in my learning, particularly when I struggle to understand the requirements for any topic assignment.” The lecturers and tutors are responsive, answering quickly and kindly, either in person or through email Nicole says. “This makes learning more flexible and engaging in the field.”
Five stars in Teacher Education for median salary (undergraduate)The Good Universities Guide 2020
Placements and industry projects
For Nicole, fieldwork is an important aspect. “I started my placement (Professional Experience in Early Childhood) in a childcare centre in Semester 2 in 2019 and Semester 1 in 2020 with children from the age 0 – 2 years old,” Nicole says of her placements thus far. “This has helped me observe, learn and experience being an early childhood educator or pre-service teacher in that age range, getting to know children and their interests and the ability to plan lessons according to the Early Learning Years Framework (EYLF) and Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL).”
This has proved vital for the education student, whose career ambitions are to work in a child care centre or primary school “…as an educator with an age range from birth to eight years, catering for students with disabilities, learning or behavioural difficulties.”
Advice for prospective students
“Students from overseas can also join clubs and societies to connect with other people of the same interests, build friendships or to develop a professional skill,” says Nicole. “Flinders has guided and supported me as an international student with resources and services that can help me cope with studies,” she happily recommends to fellow international students. But her favourite aspect of her time here?
“Flinders University stands out because I find the whole environment beautiful!”
If you’d like to discover the friendly teaching environment and beautiful surroundings of Adelaide’s Flinders University for yourself, get in touch with our team who can help answer any questions.