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2022 International Student of the Year: Nachi Kunitake


    Originally from Japan, Nachi Kunitake says she was drawn to Australia because of the country’s beautiful weather, stunning natural environment, and friendly and welcoming people.

    Nachi is currently completing a SIT50422 Diploma of Hospitality Management in Perth at South Metropolitan TAFE’s Bentley Campus.

    While she maintains a busy schedule of study, work and social activities, she says she’s also enjoying the laid-back lifestyle that attracts so many international students to Australia each year.

    “I love how relaxing Perth is,” she explains.

    We spoke to Nachi to find out more about her journey, experiences and recommendations for others considering an exciting study abroad adventure with TIWA.

    An unforgettable study experience 

    Nachi has been studying in Australia for almost two years. Throughout this time, she’s had plenty of great moments to reflect on.

    In particular, she has loved the camaraderie she experienced and the friendships she built with her fellow students during her course.

    She says a real highlight of her time at TAFE has been studying with her classmates.

    “I like how everyone helps each other to get through the study.”

    Nachi’s commitment to her studies earned her a nomination for a student award in 2022. She was put forward for the award by one of her lecturers.

    “I was really grateful when I got nominated as International Student of the Year.”

    Why choose TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA)?

    According to Nachi, when it came to places to study, there were lots of reasons TIWA was at the top of her list.

    “The lecturers at TAFE are very knowledgeable and skilled. They’re always willing to help their students when we’re struggling,” she explains.

    Studying at TAFE has also allowed Nachi to put her newfound skills to the test. Students here have access to a wide range of modern facilities to help them build hands on experience and prepare them for the workplace.  

    “There’s a barista classroom and bakery where people can actually buy coffee and pastries that students make.”

    Finally, her studies have been invaluable for building her professional network, a vital step towards launching a successful career.

    “I got to meet new people through this course, including industry people.”

    Experiencing Perth’s hospitality scene

    Getting the chance to live and learn within a different culture is one of the many benefits of studying overseas.

    During her time in Australia, Nachi has embraced Perth’s vibrant hospitality scene and noticed that it has many differences from Japan’s.

    “How we communicate with customers can be a little bit different,” she says. In Japan, she notes, hospitality workers are expected to be a bit more distant from their customers.

    She adds that she’s enjoyed working in more informal environments during her stay here. “In Australia, I enjoy the small talk with customers.”

    According to Nachi, while there are many differences between the two cultures, the hospitality scenes in Japan and Australia do share some similarities. In particular, they both value diversity and communication.

    Working towards a bright future

    When it comes to her future, Nachi hopes to one day either move into management or own her own business.

    Luckily, her TAFE studies have helped prepare her for wherever her career goes with practical lessons that are applicable to real-life scenarios.

    “We learn how to manage people, look at the budget, laws and more.” She explains that this is exactly the preparation she’ll need to become a hospitality manager or owner in the future.

    In addition to her studies, Nachi has taken advantage of some of the great opportunities for volunteering and work experience. This has given her an invaluable insight into different aspects of the hospitality industry.

    “I participated in volunteer work at a hotel function and also an event,” she says.

    Advice for other international students

    Finally, we asked Nachi to share her words of wisdom for anyone else planning to study abroad in Perth.

    She advises keeping on top of your schedule, as this is key to making the most of your experience.

    “Time management is really important,” she says. “Having a good balance of study, work and social life makes your student life much more enjoyable.”


    Want to find out more about studying abroad with TIWA? Get in touch today for help navigating your career and study journey.

    Last updated on December 13, 2023