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Minori: An English language pathway to university study

When Minori decided to leave Japan and study abroad, she chose a pathway that began with an intensive English language course. Minori then took a pathway into university via a SAIBT diploma course. She says the pathway helped her go from barely speaking English to having the language, writing and communication skills she needed for university success. We spoke to Minori about her experiences studying in South Australia and how her dad helped her choose Adelaide.

Why did you choose to study in Adelaide?

When I was in my last year of high school, I was thinking about studying abroad. My father has experience studying and teaching overseas, so I asked him which city would be good for me. He was once a visiting scholar at the University of South Australia, and he really liked Adelaide. He told me it’s a good city. Not too big and not too small. One of my father’s friends had also taught in Adelaide and told me about it too. That’s why I chose Adelaide.

Tell us about your study pathway in Adelaide.

I first came to Adelaide in October 2019 to study at the Centre for English Learning in the University of South Australia (CELUSA). After I finished my English course, I started a Diploma of Business at SAIBT, which is a pathway course for the University of South Australia.

Once I finished my SAIBT course, I transferred to the University of South Australia to study for a Bachelor of Business (Marketing). This is where I am now. Because of my academic results, I got an International Merit Scholarship which gives me a 15% discount on my tuition fees. It was all automatically applied by my university. I didn’t have to do anything.

Why did you choose to take this pathway?

I chose the CELUSA course because I wanted to improve my English before I started university. Their English program taught me how to improve my English and how to write essays and manage my assignments. Before this course, I’d never really spoken English. My English was very bad, but now it’s very good.

My course at SAIBT was really helpful as a way to transition to university studies. At SAIBT, we were in smaller groups and classes where we could get more personal attention from the teachers. When I finished, I graduated with a Diploma in Business and transferred directly into the second year of my degree. It was a good experience before starting uni.

How did this pathway prepare you for university study?

For me, it was a lot about communication skills. As a high school student in Japan, there was a lot of just listening to the teacher’s lecture. There wasn’t much conversation in class. But at CELUSA and SAIBT, there was a lot of discussion with other students. It was a new experience for me and helped me prepare to study at university where we talk about ideas and have many group assignments. It was a necessary skill for me to learn.

What’s your living situation in Adelaide? Tell us about your accommodation.

At first, when I did the English course, I stayed in a homestay for three months. It was a really good experience. There was one housemother and one other international student, so it was very small. Every night we would eat dinner, and I could chat with my housemother. On the weekends I hung out with my housemate.

My host mother was an Aussie, so I got to know a new culture. It was the first time I ate Kangaroo meat!

When I returned for my SAIBT course, I lived in a share house with seven people, all in separate rooms. It could be pretty noisy, so after a year, I moved into a new share house which I found on a website. It’s just another woman and me. I moved in here before I started my university study. It’s made a big difference and much quieter.

Why did you want to study marketing?

There are many problems in society, and the government can’t solve them all. I began thinking about how companies or products and services can help solve problems where governments can’t. I’m interested in the relationship between companies and society. Marketing has a lot to do with people's behaviour and how to create solutions to problems. That’s why I chose marketing.

You’re in the second year of your degree. Have you thought about what you’d like to do after you graduate?

At this stage, I’m not sure. I think I want to step up to a master’s degree. My father is a professor at a university. So when I’m considering my future, I also want to be a professor or a researcher like him. Some people say business and sociology or politics are different, but sociology can include marketing and business. It’s all about solving society’s problems.

What do you like to do outside of study?

I’m a very introverted person, so I don’t go out a lot. I really love to read books. In Japan, I read in my house, but I can bring books out to read in the park in Adelaide.

I also love going to the beach because it’s easy to get to Glenelg on the tram. I often go there to relax.

A few times a month, I go out for dinner with my friends. It’s nice to eat in a restaurant because I sometimes miss having a meal cooked by someone else. I love spicy food. In Adelaide, there are so many international cuisines, so I really love to try new things.

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