ECS students on their study trip to Victoria Polytechnic, Melbourne

In September 2017, a group of students from the Diploma in Early Childhood Studies (ECS) embarked on a study trip to Victoria Polytechnic, Melbourne. Two of the students wrote about their valuable experiences from the trip.

By J.Harreini, TG205

Going to Melbourne for a study trip was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I got the opportunity to see different preschools and their play-based approach. 

A great take-away from this trip was to bring home new knowledge and ideas about Early Childhood and how to better support children as a teacher. I was ashamed for not being curious enough to learn about the preschool curriculum in Singapore. However, this trip has helped me gain a love for learning. 

At Melbourne, I visited two different children centres: Footscray Nicholson and Jindi Woraback which left me with insightful experiences. The environment provided for the children gave them the confidence to discover and explore independently. The children’s individuality was underlined, and the diversity of teaching styles and materials were refreshing. This trip made me reflect on how one teacher can make a difference in a child’s life. As a future teacher, I am motivated to support, love and advocate children in my own way. 

Besides learning about Early Childhood practices, I was also able to self-reflect and discover more about myself. I was able to make positive changes within myself; to step out of my comfort zone to communicate with people and get to know them better. I have also gained confidence to travel independently to different places despite getting lost at times. 

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. Through this trip, I brought home new ideas, self-confidence, new friends and new experiences. This trip will be an integral part of my life as I learnt that my biggest fear carries my greatest growth. I am grateful for the life experiences and wonderful people I met from this trip. A lifetime of memories!  

By Esther Kimberly Oh, TG301 

Immersing myself in the culture and having the privilege of moving from the confines of my classroom into another continent of the world to learn about the different aspects of early childhood in Melbourne was simply an eye-opening experience. 

Whilst in Melbourne, I had the opportunity to do a short stint at Kids by the Bay Children’s Centre and attended three workshops conducted by the faculty of Victoria Polytechnic. My classmates posed a question, “How difficult is it to change the culture and perspectives of parents?” The answer given struck me. “It is difficult to change the culture and mindsets of parents, yes. But what you as an educator can do is start by making little differences in your school”. 

That motivation and encouragement alone has spurred me to rename these challenges as opportunities in the future. Change is tough, or so the saying goes, and transformations do not happen overnight but we can start by making small differences. 

This study trip allowed me to take a step back not only to learn but also to evaluate my own strengths and weaknesses. Exposing myself to new experiences in Melbourne, such as living with a host family instead of a hotel, waking up at 3.50AM SGT to get ready to travel to campus, while moving between structured group activities and time for individual exploration revealed much about myself that I was not aware before. This introspection was valuable in my journey of growth and made for a more holistically complete study trip; allowing us space and time to thrive and to enjoy learning. 

All of these experiences, and many others not mentioned, made for a remarkable study trip – one that left me pining for a quick return. 

View more on the trip here

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