I have undertaken different volunteering programs over the past few years, mostly something local in my home country, Indonesia. I’ve been teaching voluntarily in the capital city down in the rural areas, building a better community at villages, guiding less fortunate children through motivating activities and programs, and so forth. It has always been a thrill to do so, to be a part of a change even so little. After all those years, at the beginning of 2018 I thought to myself “this is my last year of campus. I’m not going to have a long holiday anymore for at least several years- I gotta work.
The Confucius Institute is a non-for-profit organisation which aims to promote Chinese language and culture. QUT Confucius Institute was established in 2008, the first in Queensland. It has worked with both QUT and local schools to deliver educational workshops and Chinese language classes.
While studying in China, I had heard about the Confucius Institute program where you can go overseas to teach Chinese. I was very interested in this opportunity, however, you need a teaching degree to be able to apply, so I wasn’t eligible.
After studying in Australia, I realised QUT has a Confucius Institute and I emailed them to show my interest in volunteering because I’m still very keen to teach Chinese even though I’m studying business. ( If you are also interested in volunteering, you can just email email@example.com. )
One event that I participated in this year is Queensland Chinese Speech competition where both primary, middle and high school students from various parts of Queensland attended. They were grouped by age and background (being Chinese-speaking and non-Chinese speaking). I was very surprised to see the big turnout of both students and parents.
While volunteering as a floater in the competition room, I also got the chance to sit and listen to students’ speech. Some students stumble, others very fluent. Regardless of it, I can see how much effort they put in learning another language and how much support the peers show to each other.
Recently, QUT Confucius Institute hosted a thank-you event to thank the efforts all the volunteers put in during this year. Some previous volunteers also showed up and they now teach Chinese in local schools. So if you are a teaching/education student and are interested in gaining some experience, start with being a volunteer at Confucius Institute because they have a lot of teaching opportunities and collaboration with Queensland schools.
P.S. If you are interested in learning Chinese, QUT Confucius Institute run basic Chinese classes every week. 🙂
Are you thinking about going for an exchange? If one-semester is too long or too expensive for you, maybe you can join a short-term exchange program for 2-4 weeks.
At the end of last year, I completed a short term exchange program in Japan for three weeks. It was an unforgettable experience for me where I met lots of friends and sharpened my Japanese language skills. As this program is so good and I hope more students can know about it, today I volunteered for 2017 QUT Exchange Fair.
This event was held in Kelvin Grove campus because the Young University Summit was happening in Gardens Point campus at the same time. The stalls were arranged according to different countries. There were more than 20 stalls at the event with exchange student representatives at each stall.
I was volunteering for the short-term exchange program stall. A lot of students showed up to ask about what short-term exchanges are and how could they participate. I noticed that many students are interested in Japan and UK.
I came across my friend Jodie when volunteering who attended the exchange program in Sonoda Women’s College with me together last year and she offered to help out at the stall. Thanks, Jodie!
We had a good time sharing with students our experience in Japan and encouraged them to apply either for academic study or professional development purpose.
If you are interested in going abroad to study for a short period, definitely go and check out this QUT website: https://qutvirtual2.qut.edu.au/ismms-core/outboundStp/listUpcoming
You can find the detailed information of each program, the application due date and program start date.
Good luck and have fun!