Her first semester at UWA complete, Desirae Goh is full steam ahead since arriving from Singapore to complete a Master of Teaching (Early Childhood).
The structure of UWA’s course aligned well with her personal values on learning and this influenced her decision to study here rather than undertake a more academic focused program in Singapore.
“At UWA we cover eight learning areas and I believe it gives early childhood students a well-rounded basis for education and provides the best possible opportunities for children who all learn differently.
“In Singapore I think they expect way too much of very young children especially when they are still refining their fine motor skills. As a psychology graduate I believe it is better for children to learn through play,” Desirae said.
She was thrilled to be involved in a practicum for on-the-job experience before formally taking up a teaching position. Desirae believes she learns most effectively out in the field where she can practice and improve her new skills.
“This opportunity isn’t offered at home. If I’m going to learn something I want to do it in the right way and this will improve my teaching skills as an early teacher.
“The prac also helps me confirm I’m studying the right course for me – the kids just make me really happy,” Desirae said.
Growing up in Singapore, Desirae says the pace of life is a lot faster and there is limited time for recreational pursuits.
“We would spend eight hours at school and then do additional classes, or engage in compulsory co-curricular activities, so there’s really not much time to rest and unwind at the end of the day.
“My family did everything for me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate that, but I just found it especially hard to achieve independence.
“For me freedom was a big priority. When I floated the idea about studying in Perth, my dad was against it but my mum surprised me and was all for it.
“I’d set my mind on studying at UWA but this was further cemented when I attended the Singapore Departure Event and I heard UWA Future Students staff and alumni speak.
“Best of all I’m really growing from having my independence – I’m learning about different cultures, points-of-view and lifestyles and comically, I’m appreciating my family more!” she said.
At UWA Desirae can value her heritage from a distance and still appreciate the space, nature and calm that envelopes her at our 65 hectare evergreen campus.
“In Singapore the heat makes us stay indoors in air-conditioning but the clear skies, fresh air and proximity to Swan River and Kings Park invite me out and I’m walking everywhere – just one of the benefits of the relaxed lifestyle here.
“For me the ultimate goal would be to graduate and find a teaching position in WA,” she said.