Bacolod, a city on the northwest coast of Negros Island in the Philippines, is where Nancy Mansinares, Demy Lauron, Mary Mae Joy Marcial, Justin Dela Paz, Duane Ruiz, and Joery Rio proudly call home.
The six Bacolod students successfully obtained a government scholarship: Negros Occidental Scholarship. “We went through a series of interviews, took the IELTS exam and medical check”, Mary said, “We were very lucky to pass all the tests and get this scholarship.”
Nancy, Demy, Mary, Justin, and Duane came to Darwin in August this year and are currently enrolled in Certificate IV Hospitality, while Rio is doing Certificate III Commercial Cookery.
“I was super excited to study in Darwin and ICAE”, Nancy said in the pre-departure interview, “I was excited to come to study in ICAE to enhance my knowledge and skills in the field of hospitality because aside from classroom training, ICAE provides an opportunity for industry placement. I was expecting to discover more about the hospitality industry in prominent organisations and be a part of the management team.”
“Darwin is such a accomodating city, people are very friendly to international students. It just took me two weeks to land a good hospitality job.” Duane said proudly, “Now I have two jobs, which support me significantly covering living expenses here.”
In ICAE, students usually have class from Monday to Wednesday each week, so that they can work part-time from Thursday to Sunday, which are the most demanding time in the industry. “For the past three months, ICAE nourished my mind and helped me in many ways. Everything that was discussed in our classroom is also being practiced in our workplace”, Justin said, “Moreover, we learned about the legislation of alcohol consumption and more in Australia, especially in the Northern Territory.”
As part of the course, students have real-life exercises while studying. Recently Dementia NT and ICAE held a function together for the elders, during which hospitality students were serving about 200 customers.
“It was an opportunity to apply what I’ve learn from my trainers during the event to deal with people as we all played the role as real waiting staff during the event”, Demy said. “It was quite difficult at first. As a waitress I had to be careful to approach to every guests because some of them have hearing impairments and did not want to feel they were a burden to others, and needed sincerity in what I said. But what I have learned from that is ‘always be patient and act professionally.’”
“I chose Commercial Cookery class because I love cooking”, Joery said. “The trainers are very knowledgeable and I have learnt a lot during the class. Living miles away from home is not easy, but being with my colleagues, new found friends, classmates, teachers, and bosses, life here is somehow fun and the challenges are bearable. I’m looking forward to more learning, experiences, and memories here at ICAE.”