The Sarina Russo Institute (SRI) hosted their first group of French engineering students throughout September with a second group closely following in early October. The students are all from the French college Promeo and specialise in areas of engineering including industrial maintenance, robotics and automatism, industrial production and IT. Most of the students had never left France and had barely travelled since the pandemic. They relished the opportunity to visit and experience the Australian lifestyle firsthand.
The students attended classes Monday to Friday to improve their English proficiency as well an taking part in a cultural program where they visited universities, museums and participated in activities around Brisbane. JCUB held the “Amazing Race” where the French students could compete with other students, they toured the University of Queensland (UQ) engineering facilities and the Cube and robotics centre at The Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
Sarina Russo Institute hosted networking events for the students to get an insight into the Australian job market and connect with representatives from Australian engineering companies. Students had the opportunity to speak with representatives from Smartsheet, Glencore, Stantec, Santos, BHP, the French Australian Chamber of Commerce, Boson Energy and Engineers Australia. Students were also treated to some VIP guest speakers, including Sallyanne Atkinson AO, First Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Sam Winston Smith AM, Executive Chairman of CME Partners and Kathleen Newcombe, CEO of the Sarina Russo Group, who explored the promising long-term alliance between France and Australia.
Once students met their English language requirement by passing their TOEIC or Linguaskill test, they were able to take part in an alternate program. Our program offered special guest lectures such as David Spediacci from Engineers Australia and Ella Hingston from Stantec talking about the vast opportunities in Australia for Engineers. Also, French expat Martin Jezequel spoke about his experience making the move from France to Australia, Juliana Neves Braga from Joblinx walked them through a resume and cover letter workshop. With 84% of the group one trainees passing the TOEIC test and 93% of the second group passing the Linguaskill test, almost all of the students were able to experience Brisbane to the fullest and participate in the alternate program.
SRI hope to continue to partnership with Promeo and offer the opportunity to welcome more students each year.