My name is Saba Rawdhan, and I am from Iraq.
In my country, I completed a Bachelor of Computer Science and I worked for five years in the industry before coming to Australia in 2015. When I arrived here, I studied English at Certificate II then III with a different provider before coming to CIT to study the Certificate IV in Spoken and Written English for Further Studies. I studied part-time at CIT Gungahlin and completed the qualification over two semesters.
When I first started studying English at CIT, I lacked confidence and wanted to study at a Certificate III level again, and with the support and encouragement of my wonderful teacher, I was able to improve my confidence and believe more in myself. I still work hard to improve my English for example, by talking to people when I’m shopping and by watching Australian and American shows with subtitles on Netflix. While I speak Arabic with my son so that he can keep the language, I have started to think in English.
I am now studying Certificate IV in Community Services at CIT. What I learned when studying English prepared me very well for this course. As part of the course, I did a placement at Companion House working with refugees and Asylum Seekers. I am especially interested in this because I love helping people and as I have had similar experiences with trauma, it means I can empathise with the clients and better help them.
Even though I am still studying, I now have casual employment at Companion House which is the first step in furthering my career, which is very exciting. I have also just become an Australian citizen, which is also very exciting!
The most important lesson I have learned through my studies is not to be afraid of making mistakes, not to stress about mistakes but to learn from them.
I would strongly recommend CIT to others. I have little family here in Australia so I see CIT as my second family. The English course was not just about learning English, it was so much more - counselling, student support and friendship. It was a community.