International - Testimonial - Parul Punjabi Jagdish - TAFE NSW
Parul Punjabi Jagdish
Having studied at several Universities and with 4 degrees under my belt now, I have to pick my course at TAFE NSW as my favourite one largely because it was so practical and hands-on. As much as University education is valued in society, I have found a huge gap in the learning in class versus the skills I require in the workplace. At TAFE NSW, however, the skills I learnt in class serve me directly on the work I do in the field. Such a refreshing feeling to be learning something that you’ll actually use straight away.
- Courses: Certificate IV and Diploma in Community Services
- Campus: Coffs Harbour Education Campus (CHEC)
- Nationality: Indian
- Endeavour Scholarship Winner!
Study with TAFE NSW
I enrolled into TAFE NSW from India and so of course I had to have done heaps of research before picking my course provider, course, location etc. Having completed my Bachelor’s Degree in India and a couple of Masters Degrees in Italy and the UK, I was coming to Australia with a very specific mission in mind. After my 5+ years of management and policy consulting background, my aim was to engage on a more grassroots level with welfare programs run on the ground, and have a holistic view. TAFE NSW’s strong industry connections as well as the quality of teachers, all active within the industry, and the strong practical approach to learning made me pick TAFE.
The student experience
I found all the facilities and services up to date. In fact, I was duly impressed by the fact that at the Coffs Harbour Education Campus where I studied, there was a restaurant (Osprey) run by TAFE NSW hospitality students, as well as a salon run by TAFE NSW Hair and Beauty students. My course was no different and having studied Community Services and with my active spirit of volunteerism, I was right in the community, and TAFE NSW was quite the enabler!
An international perspective
I studied at Coffs Harbour Education Campus, and everyone there was super friendly and supportive – Coffs Harbour being a small town, it was easy to settle in and within 3 months of arriving from India, I pretty much felt like a local.
I didn’t really feel isolated or secluded because I’m outgoing and very friendly and open to life in general. What TAFE NSW gave me was a strong community of friends and near family members (some of my classmates are my best friends today) as well as access to facilities and information on what is happening in the local community.
One of the best memories and advantages TAFE NSW has given me is my friendship with a classmate alongside who I started two not-for-profit community development and social groups called “Coffs Connection & Community” and “LGBTIQ+ Coffs Connection & Community”. Having delivered 20+ key community projects/ trainings/ workshops as coordinator/ facilitator, I have come to know at least half of Coffs Harbour community and am well recognised, having been featured in several local media channels.
Study with the best
The teachers were my highlight of TAFE NSW – extremely patient, well grounded in theory as well as practice, up-to-date with the latest advancements/ updates in the industry and well connected to local employers. Most teachers were super engaging and inclusive of all students’ learning needs. I loved especially a teaching method wherein everyone’s voice felt heard.
Not everything was linked to my current/ future career, but surely I’ve picked several skills that still serve me well in my role heading Global Partnerships at AIME Mentoring, an inspiring movement of change occurring at grassroots level.