“Being at Flinders is not limited to study; it gives you a new lens of how you see the world and yourself.”
Originally from China, Mengxin Han has always dreamt of guiding and shaping young minds. It’s this dream that brought her to Adelaide, South Australia, to pursue a Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) at Flinders.
“I like this delicate and beautiful field as early childhood is the beginning of life, and what we teach might bring long-lasting influences on children. It is such a rewarding experience when I witness the progress children make.”
When it came to choosing where to study, Mengxin soon discovered that Flinders was the perfect place.
An innovative course structure
Mengxin shares that the curriculum and teaching methods at Flinders are highly specialised. She highlights that the university focuses on both theoretical knowledge and practical skills to prepare students for real-world challenges and opportunities.
“The course is a wonderful combination of theory and practice as there are two 6-week block placements in early childhood and primary school settings to apply our learnt knowledge in practice.”
For Mengxin, these placements were invaluable in refining her skills, boosting her confidence and expanding her connections in the field.
“The placement provides me with wonderful opportunities to utilise what I learned, reflected and wrote during class. I have built great relationships not only with children but educators. Apart from professional knowledge, this experience also enhanced my interpersonal and communication skills, which are critical for my future career.”
Most importantly, shares Mengxin, Flinders doesn’t just offer these practical learning opportunities – it gives students the time to reflect on these experiences.
“The reflection equips me with the capabilities of critical thinking that contribute to my future teaching pedagogy.”
A peaceful way of life
Having come from a small city in China, the laid-back lifestyle and serene surroundings in Adelaide suited Mengxin perfectly.
“One of my favourite hobbies is walking in the botanic garden back home as Adelaide has many similarities with my hometown.”
One of Mengxin’s favourite spots in Adelaide is the footbridge in Flinders Bedford Park, which offers a breath-taking view of the hills around the city.
“I almost walk [on] the bridge every day. I can see the [water] shining from the sunset through the mountains, which greatly soothes me whenever I am anxious or stressed.”
Feeling at home at Flinders
Mengxin is now well settled in Adelaide and at Flinders, thanks in large part to the warm welcome she received from her new community.
“As an international student as well as a member of an ethnic minority group (Mongolian Chinese), I’ve found Flinders a welcoming place for students with diverse backgrounds. At Flinders University, I always feel that my culture and stories are gently embraced by this warm community. I have a sense of belonging and acceptance when I study here.”
A bright future on the horizon
After completing her studies, Mengxin hopes to become a primary school teacher – a dream she is confident will come to fruition thanks to her training at Flinders.
“Since studying at Flinders University equips me with critical skills both in study and life, I believe this plan is not implausible. I believe in five years, I will become a sophisticated teacher with critical thinking and a growth mindset.”
Most importantly, Mengxin highlights that her studies at Flinders extend far beyond knowledge and skills. Rather, her experience here is completely transforming her outlook on life and the bright future that awaits her.
“Flinders is a cradle of fulfilment and a bridge to your dreams.”