Certificate III in Horticulture, Sunraysia Institute of TAFE (SuniTAFE)
My name is Jiwon Han. I am from Seoul, South Korea, and I am 20 years old. I came to Australia on the day following my high school graduation ceremony. I have been living here for 2 years.
I am studying horticulture at Sunraysia Institute of TAFE (SuniTAFE). My passion and interests are in horticulture production, which is why my first visit to Australia was on a working holiday visa (I had a farm job).
It’s better to study horticulture production in Australia because horticulture is a big industry in this country. There isn’t a lot of potential in Korea due to the small amount of farming land available.
My step-father is an Australian and lives in Mildura. He recommended the horticulture course at SuniTAFE. I checked the SuniTAFE website for information about the Institute and its courses. SuniTAFE is a government TAFE and was awarded Australia’s Large Training Provider of the Year in 2019. The horticulture industry is the biggest industry in this region and the SuniTAFE horticulture course is one of SuniTAFE strengths. SuniTAFE also has an extensive Smart Farm where students study and practice, so I decided to choose the horticulture course as a pathway to my future career.
I love the horticulture course very much, in particular the practical work, which is very different from the study in Korea. Here the classrooms are located on the Smart Farm. The teachers take us out of the classroom and we do lots of hands-on training. We touch the soil, recognise plants, learn to use different chemicals, drive farm tractors. We can try many farm processes and we do many hours of practical work to gain skills and knowledge. My friends in Korea, who are studying similar courses, are surprised when they hear me talking about my classes – they just study from books in class.
I like living in Mildura. The area is quiet and peaceful, the sky is blue and there are many sunny days. The weather is very hot and dry in summer, but the climate is good for some plants and fruits.
Previously I lived in Sydney, which was very noisy. Mildura is so different and there are many surprising points. It’s more relaxed compared with living in busy cities like Sydney and Seoul.
In Mildura many students have a part-time job in a restaurant or on a farm. I work on my step-father’s farm. My Mum is married to a local Australian, so I live with them. I am very lucky to have a warm home in Mildura.
I really enjoy the course and recommend it to other people who are interested in horticulture. Our teachers are nice and friendly and they always explain things with great patience. I look forward to graduating and contributing to the Australian horticulture and agriculture industry.
Study in Australia is really beneficial and interesting, but you will also meet lots of challenges. My advice is:
“Don’t be afraid of asking questions and facing challenges and, importantly, enjoy your study”.