Study tips from top student

Singapore students Bob and Carina dropped in to say hello to Canning College staff recently.

The pair were among Canning College’s best performing WA Universities’ Foundation Program students last year and are both now studying a Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy) at Curtin University.

After catching up with Human Biology teacher Simon, we asked if they had any tips for students approaching important exams.
Carina’s response was typically honest and extremely helpful.

2021 09 29 news carina student tips
Pictured above: Carina (right) with Bob (centre) and Human Biology teacher Simon.

“I think one of the major factors that helped me in my final exam was having revision/study sessions with friends,” Carina said. “During the final lap of the study period, Bob and I would just have a list of questions on the content and test each other on our knowledge. I think that really helped me to gain confidence in the knowledge that I’ve built up, and to really engage with the materials that we were tested on.

“Studying together with other friends has also helped me to consistently revise and relook at the content as well. The group of friends provided encouragement to push on towards the end of exams and a sense of comfort when I was kind of struggling with homesickness as well.”

As many 2021 students are studying online, students can connect with each other using Webex or other video conferencing tools to adopt a similar shared-learning approach.

Carina’s advice also came with a warning about the potential for students to overfocus on school work.
“One thing that I would do differently would probably be to take breaks more often (or when I needed to),” she said.

“I think it is quite easy to get caught up in the pace of things – trying to get as much revision/work done. But I should have gotten out of my study space for some exercise or doing things that I like doing, just to get my mind off studying for a short bit. I think it seems so counterintuitive to do so but breaks and taking care of oneself are so important.”

Wherever our students are in the world, we encourage them to make sure they are balancing hard work with some time away from the rigours of study.

A final word from Carina:

“Wishing the students all the best in their exams, and I hope they’ll learn to just trust the process, and all the hard work that they’ve put into it so far.”

Thank you to Carina for the tips, and good luck to all our students.

Fast cars goal for John

Hong Kong student John is on track for a career in cars after making the most of a challenging situation.

The impact of the pandemic hit the world hard soon after John had arrived in Perth to begin his international student experience.

Although the pandemic resulted in travel restrictions, John was among a group of students who continued to enjoy the relative freedom and comfort of studying in Western Australia, where COVID had minimal impact on the local population.

But after a long period away from his family in Hong Kong, and after seeing the evolution of Canning College’s online learning programs, he made the decision to return home.

John completed the WA Universities’ Foundation Program online and is now studying at one of the world’s best universities.

Watch the video to find out more about his journey and where he hopes his hard work will take him next.

Special guests on campus

Canning College today hosted some special guests, who took a close look at the online teaching and learning methods that provide international students with pathways into universities.

Department of Education Director General Ms Lisa Rodgers and Deputy Director Mr Jim Bell were joined on the campus tour by Principal of the School of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE), Mr Paul Mathews.

The visitors met with Canning College Principal Wayne Axford, Deputy Principals Maria Leslie and Adelfo Sabatini, Manager of International Operations Lisa De’Ceglie as well as teachers and students.

“Our online learning programs have been up and running for more than a year now and our teachers continue to do an excellent job in adapting to the circumstances,” Mr Axford said. 

“It was great to have Lisa, Jim and Paul visit Canning to observe and participate in several lessons with our onshore and offshore students. The students appreciated the opportunity to share their experience of online learning.”

The Director General was also introduced to Canning College’s students leaders Khaasyiyah (Representative on the Board), Linda (Ambassador) and Risto (Ambassador).

Canning College launched online learning for international students last year and have enrolled students from various parts of the world into a range of live and interactive programs.

The visitors were shown some of the techniques that teachers use to engage online students, as well as how they overcome the challenges of having students both in class and online for some lessons.

All Canning College programs are available online to international students, who are unable to travel to Perth.

Canning College, which first educated international students in 1982, has been focused exclusively on international education since 2019.

Music hits the right note

Support from Lotterywest and StudyPerth has helped Canning College improve its instrument collection and add new activities to engage students.

The music room is available during break times and after school to current students, while some former students have also joined in our recent sessions.

Our instrument collection now includes guitars, drums, banjo, ukulele, bongos, a mandolin and percussion items.

The music room is a great place for students to engage with others, develop social skills and to explore their creativity.

Uni visitors add to science

It just wouldn’t be Science Week without serving up delicious ice cream made with liquid nitrogen.

This week, we called on an expert from Curtin University, former Canning College student Dr Katya Clark, and a team of Nutrition and Food Science students to join in the fun.

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The Curtin team made an avocado and coconut ice cream, while Canning College played it safe with a tried-and-proven red velvet chocolate flavour.

The entire ice cream-making process takes just a few minutes as ingredients are stirred in a bowl and cooled using liquid nitrogen, which has a freezing temperature of around -200 degrees Celsius.

2021 science ice cream 1

Dr Clark said she and her students were delighted to participate and were very keen to compete again with another unique flavour in 2022.

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The end of an historic term

2021 Adelfo

It has been an historic term for Canning College with a group of Mid-Year WA Universities’ Foundation Program students becoming the first to complete a year-long course entirely online.

This is a great achievement for the students, who have continued to study towards university entry despite being unable to join us on campus. It is also very satisfying to our teachers and support staff, who have been asked to learn new systems in order to deliver the program to the same high standards that have been the hallmark of Canning College for many years.

While online learning has allowed students to continue their studies from the comfort of their own homes, we hope they will have an opportunity to visit Perth and join us on campus in the near future.

I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of our on-campus students, who have faced challenges of their own during these testing times. Border restrictions have kept students away from family and friends for longer than anticipated and students should be commended for their resilience and maturity.

Please remember that our office will remain open during the holidays and our Student Services staff are available to assist and provide support.

It has been great to see online students develop friendships beyond the virtual classroom and to hear about their genuine interest in Australia. During a recent excursion to the WA Museum Boola Bardip and the StudyPerth Student Hub, many overseas students joined the tour online and were keen to exchange ideas and ask questions of our teachers and the tour guides.

Although Perth continues to cope well during the pandemic, the final week of term has been met with a new round of restrictions, including a WA State Government directive for people to wear masks in public. This did not affect Canning College students and teaching continued without interruption. At the time of writing, restrictions were due to be lifted after midnight on Friday, July 2.

We ask students, parents, guardians and homestay hosts to stay safe during the holidays by adhering to all Government advice.

Students should also monitor emails and Canning College’s Facebook and Instagram accounts for information specific to college operations.

Enjoy the holidays and stay safe.

Adelfo Sabatini

Acting Principal

Student joins Canning Board

When Singapore student Khaasyiyah Kamsani decided to change from landscape architecture to physiotherapy, Canning College became an obvious choice to help her bridge the gap on her pathway to university.


After completing a Diploma of Design at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, she had taken a break from studying before setting her sights on a new academic adventure.

“I like sketching, designing and drawing – that’s where the passion started,” she said. “In my secondary school, I did Design and Technology. I like designing things, creating ideas, then making it and helping people use the product.

“But physio is also a passion, especially when it comes to helping people.”

With a degree in physiotherapy her new goal, Khaasyiyah started investigating where and what she could study to achieve entry into a degree program.

“My mum had a friend who knew about education exhibitions so we went to one and had a look around,” said Khaasyiyah, who met Canning College Director of International Operations Lisa De’Ceglie at the IDP Singapore event.

“My mum took the initiative and asked her a lot of questions about the school. I also did my homework and I decided to come to Canning College.”

More than a year into her Canning College studies, Khaarsyiyah earned an unexpected learning bonus with her appointment as a student representative to the Canning College Board.

Canning College Chair, Dr Bruce Mackintosh, was delighted that the Board would benefit from Khaasyiyah’s input.

“Khaasyiyah will provide a mature and experienced voice for the student body, while also expanding her knowledge of governance and administrative procedures,” Dr Mackintosh said. “This opportunity will certainly be of mutual benefit to the Board as a whole and, of course, to Khaasyiyah.”

After first completing a Canning College Bridging Program, Khaasyiyah is now almost halfway through the WA Universities’ Foundation Program, which is recognised by universities across Australia and overseas.

“I did my Diploma in Singapore then took a gap year, so I decided I shouldn’t just jump into Foundation,” she said. “I thought I should take the Canning College Year 11 Bridging which was sufficient for me to catch up and prepare for the Foundation Program.”

Khaasyiyah arrived in Perth before border restrictions were imposed in response to the global pandemic. But COVID has had a minimal impact on life in Perth, which has allowed her to get the most out of her experience.

“Perth is a really multicultural city and you get to meet other people from other countries and exchange ideas,” Khaasyiyah said.

“I like the city life. I like the museum. I find it interesting to find out about the Aboriginal culture, and I like nature and running.”

Khaasyiyah is yet to decide where she will study physiotherapy with institutions in Australia and New Zealand in her thoughts.

New museum gets thumbs up

Students studying Canning College’s online programs joined their on-campus classmates during a recent excursion to the WA Museum Boola Bardip and StudyPerth Student Hub.

While a group of students and teachers physically attended the activities in Perth, around 40 overseas students connected through video conferencing.

Teachers exchanged messages and held discussions with online students, who also heard from museum guides and StudyPerth staff.

Canning College students were guided through the Ngalang Koort Boodja Wirn gallery, which focused on the knowledge, history and achievements of Aboriginal peoples.


Pictured above: A museum staff member speaks to students about Australia’s early history.

After hearing from StudyPerth Student Community Coordinator Jesse, students had lunch, played games and chilled out at the Student Hub in the city centre.

Student Ambassadors Risto and Linda took on extra responsibilities on the day, co-hosting a video presentation.

*This initiative was made possible with the support of Lotterywest, WA Government and StudyPerth.

History made at Canning

A group of graduating WA Universities’ Foundation Program (WAUFP) students have made history as the first from Canning College to complete a year-long online program.

All but one of the 18 students enrolled in the 2020-21 Mid-Year WAUFP completed the program using the College’s live online learning system.

Dzabeed, who is from Singapore, started and completed the program in Perth and was the only student to physically attend yesterday’s virtual graduation event.

Canning College Principal Wayne Axford congratulated the students, who joined the virtual celebration from their homes in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia and China.


VIDEO ABOVE: Teachers show a lighter side to their personalities in a lip-syncing performance.

“The completion of your Year 12 studies is a particularly notable achievement given the impact of coronavirus on your intended mode of study,” Mr Axford told the students.

“The completion of a full year of study online was certainly not something anyone would have predicted in 2019. Indeed, the courage that you, your parents and agents demonstrated in supporting this new mode of delivery is to be commended.

“You chose not to pause, which would’ve let the virus slow down your education. Instead, you chose to take on a great challenge, which has meant you have wasted no time at an important stage of your life. You are to be congratulated for your determination.”

Kiu Yee, who is from the East Malaysian town of Sibu, won the Top Student Award as well as the Chemistry and Mathematics Methods Subject Awards.

Chun Yin, who is from Hong Kong, was the top student in Computer Science and Physics, and Tzyy Shin, from Brunei, won the Awards for English Language and Australian Cultural Studies as well as Human Biology.

Singaporean student Jia Kai won the Mathematics Applications Award and Hui San (Malaysia) was the top Accounting and Finance student.

VIDEO ABOVE: Students reflect on their Canning College learning experience.

Canning College launched online programs in July, 2020, to assist students who were unable to travel to Australia. The live, interactive sessions across all programs have attracted students from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Mr Axford said the combined determination of students to complete their university pathway studies and the professionalism of teachers and support staff in transitioning to live online program delivery had resulted in immediate success.

Education Agent
Kiu Yee
Top Student, Chemistry, Maths Methods
MMS – Sibu
Chun Yin
Computer Science, Physics
Hong Kong
Tzyy Shin
English Language and Australian Cultural Studies, Human Biology
James Hon Marketing & Management
Jia Kai
Maths Applications
Overseas Academic Link
Hui San
Accounting and Finance
MMS – Sibu

VIDEO ABOVE: A show of appreciation for the efforts of online students.