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Sunny feels the kindness of the CDU community

This article appears in: Education, Studying in Australia
CDU student Sunny standing in a garden smiling

Growing up watching her Mum teach secondary school English in China, it was only a matter of time before Sunny followed in her mum's footsteps to study teaching at CDU. What she found was more than just a classroom.

Darwin’s relaxed lifestyle attracted Sunny to move here, having grown up in Zhengzhou, China, and lived in Melbourne for five years.

I was drawn by Darwin’s unique sceneries and the welcoming, multicultural community. Having lived in metropolitan Melbourne for 5 years, Darwin was a nice change from the hustle and bustle of a bigger city.

After undertaking a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in journalism and psychology, and a short stint working in journalism and marketing, Sunny decided to make a move overseas. Her destination? CDU’s Casuarina Campus to study a Master of Teaching .

"Teaching and education have always been interests and passions of mine," says Sunny. "My mother has been my role model and inspiration for me to choose this career path."

While Darwin’s world-famous sunsets and the community have been welcoming, life in Darwin has taken some adjustment. One of the biggest adjustments has been the style of teaching here in Australia.

"The most challenging aspect of studying so far has been understanding the local school culture and teaching pedagogy (which are the types of teaching methods used) in Australia," explains Sunny. "I didn't go to secondary school here, so it has been challenging to engage with Australian secondary school students in a student-centred classroom."

And if school culture wasn’t hard enough to grasp, there’s also Aussie slang for Sunny to get her head around.

Australians love to abbreviate almost everything. Words like “footy”, “arvo” and “barbie” may take a while to get used to, but once you do, it’s actually quite fun to use them!

CDU student Sunny looking through a document with a CDU staff member

A caring community

Fortunately for Sunny, the CDU community has made the transition easy.

My lecturers and other staff at CDU have been very accommodating and always make me feel supported and cared for.

"There is a wealth of resources and support available for students at CDU both in and beyond the classroom. The student organisations and clubs at CDU also make studying here a fun experience," she says. 

When Sunny’s not studying, she’s working on the CDU-supported Kindness Shake initiative, created to support students experiencing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19.

"Being part of this great initiative makes me truly feel like a member of the community. I have made long-lasting friendships while studying at CDU," says Sunny. 

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