A Day in the Life of an International Student

Name Kien Tran – Age 18
Start term/year @ CCC Term 1, 2016
Home Country Vietnam
Previous School Quang Trung – Nguyen Hue

How would your close friends describe you in 3 words?
Crazy, a daydreamer, and chaotic.

What do you think your best quality is?
I am very confident.

What was the funniest thing that happened to you at CCC?
Once I thought that a teacher was saying “Hi!” to me, but they were speaking to someone standing behind me. I was definitely a bit embarrassed!

What does your morning routine look like?
I am not really a morning person, so my routine includes drinking a cup of tea and listening to music to energise me.

What are the three things you absolutely need each day for school?
Physically, I need my laptop, definitely the school Wi-Fi, and my notebooks. Mentally, I need a lot of confidence to try new things, as well as a lot of effort to finish my assignments and homework.

What subjects do you study at the College?
IDMT, Certificate II in Business, Drama, Film and TV, Maths A, English ESL

What are your favourite and least favourite subjects? Why?
I enjoy both Drama and Film & TV as they both have a strong creative focus, and they include enjoyable assignments that are less stressful. English ESL is my least favourite subject because my assignments require me to include expert-level, complex phrases in English, which can be quite time-consuming and challenging.

What do you enjoy most about Calamvale and living in Australia?
I really appreciate the kindness and friendliness of the school population, from my fellow students, teachers, and all the way up to the Executive Principal. There’s also a huge range of subjects to choose from at the College – for example, if you’re creative, you can specialise in arts and humanities subjects, and if you enjoy mathematics, you can specialise in business or accounting. Here, you focus on your strengths, rather than just a fixed set of subjects.

What is one interesting thing that you’ve learnt recently?
For an English assignment, I was asked to expand upon a part of a novel which was not mentioned or a plot point which was left unexplored. We could either act out, write down, speak out, or film how we would fill in this blank. This project was perfect for me!

Who is your favourite teacher or College staff member, and why?
All of my teachers are favourites! But if I had to pick just one, I’d pick Mr. Brown, who used to teach me Health and Physical Education. He was incredibly wise, and he actually introduced me to chess.

What hobbies and interests do you have?
I love to play chess, and my friends and I actually participate in both in-school and inter-school chess competitions. I also love to watch movies and listen to music – both of these activities strengthen my creative mind, and I often watch movies to dissect each frame to see how they’ve been produced. I also enjoy playing and watching basketball.

What are some of differences you’ve noticed between Australia and your home country?
To be honest, the people I’ve met in Australia are friendlier and nicer – everybody makes an effort to include you at school. Senior school life is also less stressful – I feel like I am learning the same things as I would in Vietnam, but I am also playing to my strengths. A Certificate or a Bachelor’s degree completed in Australia is also highly valued in Vietnam. Otherwise, my daily life and routine are pretty much the same.

Did you find it difficult to adapt to life/study in Australia? How did you overcome these challenges?
The biggest challenge was definitely language – my English skills were pretty poor when I first arrived in Australia. However, like in basketball and chess, I practiced a lot to increase my vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar. The College really supported me a lot with this.

What are your long-term goals? Do you want to continue to live/study/work in Australia?
I’m not too sure at the moment; I’m happy to live and work in either Vietnam or Australia – this really depends on my circumstances, future salary, and living arrangements.

Do you want to attend university? What would you like to study?
I definitely want to study and learn more in the future, but this may not necessarily mean that I will attend university. I would love to become a film editor and work in film production, so I can pursue this career with on-the-job training opportunities.

Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years?
In the future, I see myself working with a film production team on projects that focus on human beings and their interrelationships. Rather than travelling a lot, I’d like to save money to open a retail business of some kind.