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English Classes help women settle in Australia

Kangan Institute's Adult Migrant Education Program has empowered many individuals to carve a real future for themselves in Australia by developing their English skills. The course is specifically designed to prepare new migrants to Australia for work. Oryana Ibraheem and Howraa Faiz are our latest success stories, with both students set to undertake work placements with interpreters at Northern Hospital. Both students were invited to deliver heart-warming presentations about their experiences at the Northern Health Asylum Seeker Study Day on Wednesday 28th August 2013. Oryana and Howraa left Iraq at the peak of the war in 2004 and found different paths to Australia. Howraa's father first came to Australia by boat via Indonesia while Oryana's family waited in Syria to be granted refugee visas. After arriving in Australia with very little English ability both students enrolled in Kangan Institute's English for Women course which bridged them into more formal learning of English. Their ability to address nearly 100 nurses, doctors, social workers and volunteers at the Asylum Seeker Study Day, is testimony to their progress. Oryana said she wants to help other migrants learn to understand and be able to communicate with others. While she was given lots of information about life in Australia before she arrived as a refugee, Oryana was surprised that her functional English was not as good as she had thought. Howraa faced a similar struggle to learn English and has been studying at Kangan Institute for 18 months. "Before I arrived in Australia I thought I understood English, but when we arrived at the airport I had to ask my mother what language people were speaking. I did not understand anyone," said Howraa. "One time we were waiting in the emergency room for hours and hours and we did not know what was going on because no one could talk to us." Kangan Institute's assistant manager of Vocational Education, Pauline Morrow, said that the English for Women Course and the Adult Migrant English Program were essential ingredients for settlement in Australia. "The English for Women Course helps women connect with others across the community which in turn affects the way their families connect and settle. "By empowering these women with the ability to communicate they can look for work, and be able to communicate with their neighbours just like everyone else. They can also better navigate the health and education systems." "It is everyday things like being able to explain to a nurse about your symptoms or talk to the doctor when something is wrong," said Pauline. English for Women is currently accepting applications. Please contact Kangan Institute's Language Studies department on 03 9279 2446 for more information.

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