Australian Sunrise: Alissa’s journey to rise above her challenges

Moving from Vietnam around ten months ago, Alissa says she was most impressed by the Australian sunset.

“I love the sunset, it’s beautiful,” she said.

Alissa moved to Australia as she had recently married a man from the Northern Territory, with whom she now resides with in the centre of Darwin city. Despite noting the beauty of Australia, Alissa says that the change in language and the change in cuisine were two of the paramount dilemmas she initially faced.

Wanting to feel more comfortable in her new home,  Alissa joined STEPS after four months in Australia and has currently completed six months in the program. When asked about the AMEP program, Alissa said that the program has helped her a lot before explaining that not only has her English improved, but so has her confidence and her social skills.

“When I study there [at STEPS], I gain more friends,” said Alissa.

“My English is much better, and it is easy for me to have conversations with my friends,” she said.

Alissa says that the skills she has gained from the program are also “good for my job”, as she currently works as a masseuse near her home.

Back in Vietnam, Alissa proudly ran her “own salon” and was able to financially support herself through the business. Now in Australia, and with the support and encouragement of STEPS, it is Alissa’s dream to have her “own busy spa” in the Darwin area.

When looking back at the challenges she faced, Alissa offers some advice to anyone who may be contemplating a move to Australia.

“If you want your life in the future to be better, you should improve your English first,” she said.

Alissa adds that, with the improved English skills she has gained with STEPS, she believes someone could “easily get a job” and that graduates from the AMEP program will be able to “understand anything from day one that they tell you, [especially] how to do your job”.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning English language skills, STEPS AMEP can help. We have classes in Alice Springs, Palmerston and Casuarina. Call 08 8950 7600 to find out more about classes in Alice Springs and 1300 585 868 for classes in Palmerston and Casuarina.

 The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.

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AMEP student Yan LiRina, student