Language and Culture Learn English

The best way to learn academic English

A group photo from graduation of the Dep

I am writing this post in the Griffith International office as a student intern.

But I suppose not many of my friends know the fact that I used to be one of the students studying English at Griffith English Language Institute (GELI) and really bad at speaking English.

Back in Dec 2014, I commenced my study as a DEP student at GELI. I really liked it and clearly the DEP opened up a new horizon of my career in Australia.

What is the DEP program?

Our Dep class

For those who may not be familiar, DEP is a short for Direct Entry Program. It is designed for international students to improve their English language skills to the equivalent of that required for entry to a Griffith University degree. Over 97% of DEP graduates achieve pass and above grades in their degree studies, hence the DEP program has been the best possible pathway to Griffith University. Simply if you try hard and do well, you can start studying your degree.

Students from 130 different countries

Since I am from a small island in East Asia, literally separated from the world, I did not often see many foreigners back in Japan. However, I was able to form close friendships with students from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. In my DEP class, I saw people from Andorra, China, Columbia, France, India, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam. I know I will look back on it as a great experience in my life.

Every time I touched a culture that I never knew, that experience paved a new path and broadened my mind. Not until you get yourself out of your country, will you ever know how small the world you lived in was. I didn’t know Indian people do not necessarily say “Thank you” to friends, because we are friends and are supposed to have a great deal of tolerance and kindness. I did not know that Korean food tastes really good. I did not know Columbian people like dancing. So many things in this multinational country. Australia has been a new discovery for me.

It is not just an English program

The reason why I chose the DEP was simple; I was really keen for academic success, and the DEP offers academic English courses specific for university.

It may come as a surprise, the DEP is not just an English school. Of course, all classes are run in English, and all of the courses are designed to improve your English, however, basically what you learn in DEP is academic-based English and the focus is on how you can be successful at university. The aim is to be able to practically apply our English to assignments and exams at university, for instance, referencing, research, debating and critical thinking. If you are interested in studying business or commerce, learning additional skills is very helpful and not something you can easily learn by yourself.

There are tens of thousands of schools where you can study English, but in terms of academic English, no other English school is as sophisticated as the DEP.

The place where you study is outstanding

When I was studying at the DEP, I found the facilities, teachers, proficiency and reputation made the environment of studying great. This is because even students who study English are still treated as part of Griffith University so you are able to use the library, 24-hours quiet study area, printers and computers. Not to mention, hundreds of thousands of books, thesis, journal articles and databases capable of being used for academic writing are available anytime you want.

Moreover, GELI’s capability of teaching English is backed by excellent teachers and awards. Over 80% of teachers have postgraduate qualifications and the Griffith English Language Enhancement Strategy has won many awards.

Success at DEP = Success at University

Let me tell the story of a friend of mine, Kei’s achievement in the DEP. He was nominated as the top of our DEP class, the top out of about 80 students. It is obvious that he did a great job at DEP. However, the DEP is only the start of his career in Australia. And what is more, it seemed a natural extension of his high motivation and proactivity that Kei proved really successful through the MBA program at Griffith Business School and now he has a full-time job in Australia.

As for me, just after I graduated from the DEP, I managed to get an internship with the Griffith International marketing office. Since there was no evidence that I could possibly use to prove my skills in Australia, I must have done something right at DEP program (not to brag or anything!). I am sure, there are plenty of opportunities on the cards after the DEP.

Wonderful Graduation Trip

Having put yourself through 10 weeks of hard work, you deserve to have a wonderful day trip to North Stradbroke Island. After 10 weeks, classmates that I did not know anything about finally became good friends of mine and then I realized it was not just about how I could improve my English skills. More importantly, I was able to make friends using my English.

If you are hesitating about studying the DEP, I would say, why not? Clearly the DEP course will provide you with new opportunities and equip you with the skills to give you an amazing career in your future.

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