English education buoyant in Cairns
THE English education sector is buoyant in Cairns with the graduation of 35 students from the United Arab Emirates, a contingent of French teenagers and increasing interest from China.
Study Cairns president Carol Doyle said she believed the Emirati students were the first contingent to come to Cairns.
She said while Study Cairns' strategy targeted Asia because of direct flights, the sector also needed to look further afield.
She said the Emirati students could be the precursor to more studying here, particularly with Qantas and Emirates announcing a code-sharing alliance.
She said there was also a group of about 30 French students in the city.
Thirty-five young men from UAE graduated from the Navitas English College's course at the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre last Friday.
Senior teacher Andy Pak Poy said the Emirati students, aged 15-17, won an all expenses paid study trip to Navitas Cairns from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates.
He said they were among 600 top-performing Emirati students in Grades 10 and 11 who spent a month studying English in the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Mr Pak Poy said they took part in classes with students from Brazil, Korea, India, Japan and France and stayed with Homestay families for a broad cultural experience.
"In addition the students had a busy social and recreational agenda visiting tourist attractions all around the Cairns
region," he said.
Humaid Abdullah Mubarak Al Shamisi said he enjoyed his time in Cairns.
"My Homestay family was wonderful and I would like to come back to Cairns to study in the future," he said.
Khalifa Mohamed Abdulla M. Almenhali said Cairns was very different from his country.
"It was a great experience. I loved the camping at Fitzroy Island and the activities we did," he said.
Mr Pak Poy said representatives from the Abu Dhabi Education Council also toured JCU, TAFE and the Cairns School of Distance Education.
"The ADEC representatives will be writing a report which will include a recommendation for professional development programs for groups of ADEC representatives in the future," he said.
"This would be a further opportunity for Cairns aside from potential students' programs."
Mr Pak Poy said the emirate of Abu Dhabi had donated $30 million towards building category 5-rated multi-purpose cyclone shelters, including at Edmonton, in Far North Queensland.
"The Emirati students' visit strengthens ties with Queensland," he said.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Trailblazers: Fahed Sulaiman Alneyadib (left) and Humaid Abdullah Mubarak Al Shamisi were among 35 students from the United Arab Emirates to graduate in English in Cairns.