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Taking Care of Each Other: The MIT Language and Cultural Exchange

If you go for a wander around Murdoch University campus, you’ll hear students speaking languages from all over the world. At Murdoch Institute of Technology, our community is vibrant and diverse, and that’s what makes us so unique. We recognise that for many people, moving away from friends and family can be a daunting experience. That’s why we created the Language and Cultural Exchange (LACE) program, in partnership with Murdoch University’s Equity Projects.

LACE is a student group designed to foster friendship. The program hosts fortnightly social English sessions where students can chat in depth and get to know each other. LACE also run a range of other events during the year and facilitate a mentoring and buddy program. We have seen tremendous success within LACE and know that MIT students thrive from our supportive, personalised approach to teaching. Don’t just take it from us though!

We recently caught up with one of our star graduates, Keddy Akara. Originally from Thailand, Keddy began studying at MIT a few years ago and went through our courses in General English, English for Academic Purposes, Murdoch University Preparation and also a Diploma. Now, she’s just finished her final exams in a Bachelor of Business Law at Murdoch University. As one of the first LACE members, we have been privileged to see how much Keddy has grown and developed as a student and what she’s achieved. Here’s what Keddy’s had to say about her time at MIT.

Hi! My name is Keddy and I’m originally from Thailand. I decided to join the LACE program because I proactively wanted to improve my interpersonal skills and knew I would benefit from learning around people with different nationalities.

What were your hopes?

My only goal was to get a degree in Australia. During my student journey in Perth I have met so many wonderful people, and now I want to continue living in WA.

What did you find difficult?

As an international student, a difficult part at first was the language barrier. It’s an obstacle that often limits you from obtaining valuable opportunities, like professional work for example.

What did you want to study initially and did that change as you continued?

Not really. While I always wanted to study a Bachelor of Business at Murdoch, I was not sure at the beginning what major I should pick. Fortunately, MIT’s Diploma course is extremely flexible, meaning I had the chance to comprehend what major I would like the most.

How did the English and MUPC courses help prepare you for university?

They helped me a lot. I would say that without the English and the MUPC courses, I would not have finished my degree at Murdoch University. First of all, they helped me adapt to university life, which is very important for an international student like me as I had no idea what Australian university was going to be like. Secondly, they prepared me for my university course regarding academic language and structure, and ultimately ensured that I would not struggle when entering the second year. Moreover, they encouraged me to talk and share my opinions in class as well as engage with teachers. I was never afraid to discuss any projects with my lecturer or classmates either.

Was there anything about your experience that was unexpected?

The only surprising thing was just how friendly the MIT teachers and staff were. They were always so nice which made me excited to come to school every week and enjoy my classes. Not only were they supportive and helpful for academic purposes, but also on a personal level. Even if I was struggling, they were always cheerful and ensured students maintained a good work/life balance.

Where did you end up living? With a family or in student housing?

I used to live with my friend’s family, but now I’m residing in a share-house.

What are you doing now?

Now I have graduated, I am working as a retail assistant in the city. I am also searching for career opportunities for my professional career in accounting or business law.

What would you like to do in the future, and why?

I would love to work in an audit firm as it is an excellent combination of law and accounting.

What were your favourite things about studying at MIT?

One of my favourite things about studying at MIT was the classroom environment. I didn’t feel stressed asking any questions. Also, to have staff and teachers who were that supportive towards my goals was invaluable and I was very grateful.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

My journey at MIT was incredible. I succeeded in every path that MIT provided which included general English, English for academic purposes (EAP), the Murdoch University Preparation Course (MUPC), and the Diploma. MIT gave me strong background knowledge about my major going into Murdoch University. MIT has built my confidence to network and make new friends, which are paramount for university life. Thank you to the teachers and staff at MIT who responsibly look after their students in a family manner, which makes everyone feel at home.


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