I am an international student who has been in Australia for three years. I am in my second year of a Commerce degree, majoring in Accounting and Finance. I heard about Compass through an advertisement at uni, and it immediately sounded like something I’d like to get involved with. I thought it would be an opportunity to have a different experience, as well as to help high school students to get into uni and make more informed choices about their future. I also thought it would be a great way to get to know Australian culture.
From my volunteering with Compass I have definitely learned to be more patient. Some students are unwilling at first to participate, or have significant problems understanding things I try to explain, and learning to be patient with them has been really helpful for me.
I have also learned the importance of clear communication, and how differently young people think to adults. Learning how to be on the same level as the kids and become friends with them has been really eye-opening.
The school I have been working at has been really supportive – if I ever have any problems I know I can consult with the library staff and the teachers, and that they will be helpful. Although some of the children didn’t want to learn to read at first, I have found that once they understand the program they become really engaged.
I have one student in particular who is always actively thinking and friendly, and even prepares maths questions for me before I arrive! The Compass staff are really lovely too. The thing I enjoy most about volunteering with Compass is being able to answer all the students’ questions – that makes me feel like I am actually being helpful and teaching them something. I would absolutely recommend Compass to other people – it has been a great experience.