Australian teachers college graduate returns home to Canada
It’s safe to say Amanda Zimmerman took full advantage of the opportunities available to her while completing her Australian teachers college degree.
When the Brantford, Ontario native left for Australian teachers college in 2008, she was determined to make the best of her time in Australia. And that she did.
She enrolled in the James Cook University Teachers College Graduate Diploma of Education program at the Cairns campus, fulfilling her longtime dream to become a teacher for Grades 1-9 students.
“JCU Cairns was an amazing time in my life,” she tells OzTREKK. “I would have to say that the whole experience was fantastic. As for the campus, I liked the diversity of students, who were from all over the world, but also that there was always something exciting happening, including pub nights, lectures and events.”
While attending the James Cook University Teachers College, Amanda lived at the JCU Student Lodge across the road from the campus, where she was the pub bartender and a resident assistant. She also worked at the YMCA just down the road.
She fell in love with the JCU Cairns campus immediately.
“The campus is small enough that you don’t feel lost, but its rainforest surroundings make you feel as though you are in the middle of paradise.”
The JCU campus is only minutes from the ocean and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and with such beautiful surroundings, she embraced the Cairns culture.
“I got my diving licence in the Great Barrier Reef and enjoyed the beautiful beaches,” she explains. “Overall, it was a valuable choice to venture to Australia for my teaching education.”
She says her program was intense, and better faculty organization would have made the James Cook University Teachers College program flow more easily.
But completing her practical classroom experience was undeniably helpful.
“Doing my practicals in the Australian communities was a great way to learn about the culture and people,” she says.
Amanda liked it so much in Australia, she taught for a year at Trinity Anglican School in Cairns. Following her year teaching in Cairns, she moved to Brazil where she taught for another two years.
She recently returned home to Canada, where she is catching up with family and friends after being away for four years.
She continues her quest to work as a teacher in Ontario.
“The teaching situation is a challenge here, but I’m volunteering and feel that my opportunity is coming,” she explains.
As for any Canadian considering an Australian teachers college, Amanda doesn’t hesitate to provide insight.
“Do it! You won’t regret it,” she exclaims. “Especially with help from OzTREKK, you can’t go wrong. Australia is a beautiful country surrounded by other beautiful countries and it will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I miss all the great people and my friends from that experience. I wouldn’t change it for anything!”
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Find out how to apply to the James Cook University Teachers College.