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Opening a Door into Asia at the University of Melbourne

In April 2015, 108 secondary school pupils – and their teachers, AEF Asia Literacy Ambassadors and University of Melbourne students – came together to discuss how learning about Asia and Asian languages can positively impact lives and careers.

Organised in partnership with the University of Melbourne's Asia Institute, students of Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and Arabic were able to see for themselves what being Asia capable really looks like through a number of interactive sessions and talks. 

Asia skills in the workforce 

The first session, Asia skills in action, kicked off with a viewing of Asia skills videos. A number of Asia Literacy Ambassadors introduced themselves and discussed their career development. The Ambassadors represented a diverse range of sectors, including law, banking, professional services, diplomacy and education, and each had their own unique personal and professional reasons to pursue studies of Asia.

Ask an expert brought together students and Ambassadors in a 'speed dating' style of exchange. This animated discussion gave both groups a chance to ask questions and share their experiences. Japanese drumming group A.YA got the whole crowd up for an interactive drumming activity, all in Japanese of course!

Pathways to the future

During Tips and tricks for learning a language, university students shared their experience of learning Asian languages at a tertiary level, highlighting the many opportunities and benefits of doing so.

The day ended with a reflective activity around how Asia skills, based on what students had learnt throughout the day, can support their goals and aspirations beyond school. 

Students talk with an Asia Literacy AmbassadorAsia Literacy Ambassador Richard Gruppetta shares his experiences

Students perform using drumsStudents have a go at Japanese taiko drumming

Students talk with an Asia Literacy AmbassadorUniversity students discuss why learning Asian languages is so important


Images: AEF

Note: AEF Go Global Programs refer to the suite of student engagement initiatives that include the program formally known as School Business Partnerships. Asia Literacy Ambassadors, as a result, are now referred to as Go Global Ambassadors

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