Ayaka ‘Zaki’ Yamazaki is from Nagano, Japan. Since she was a child, she’s dreamed of studying overseas.
In Japan, Zaki completed physical education studies at university. She also worked in travel and retail, before embarking on her next journey and fulfilling a long-time dream by studying a CUA51020 Diploma of Screen and Media Film and Television at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Perth campus.
Life in Perth
Zaki explains that, for her, Australia feels like home.
“I love Perth so much!” She says.
Having travelled across Europe, Asia, the US and Australia, Zaki says her decision to study in Australia was simply based on a feeling, particularly thanks to our “chill mood” and lifestyle.
Like many international students, Zaki has enjoyed visiting popular Perth spots like Kings Park, as well as her local beach. She also enjoys meeting her friends for coffee during her downtime.
Studying at TAFE
Zaki’s time studying at TAFE has provided her with plenty of valuable learning experiences.
She’s also had the opportunity to connect with her fellow students, who she says have supported her when she’s been met with challenges.
Zaki tells us that after completing English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) studies, she was still having some trouble with her English. Luckily, her fellow, supportive students stepped in to give her real-life English language experience.
Now, Zaki has found confidence in speaking, writing and learning in English.
Gaining relevant skills
As a screen and media - film and television student, Zaki’s classes have given her the opportunity to learn in a hands-on environment. She’s discovered how to use professional film and lighting equipment, direct news programs and design lighting plans.
Zaki tells us that her experience shooting a short factual film has been a highlight of her time at TAFE. As the producer and director of her own project, Zaki was able to work with colleagues outside of TAFE to create her film, which is currently in editing and will be released soon.
She describes the experience of learning in a professional environment as “amazing”.
Exploring working styles
During her course, Zaki has also learned about working as a freelancer in the film and media industry, including how to calculate budgets and find clients. While she understands freelancing can be challenging, Zaki says she’s excited by the prospect of fully independent work.
“I think after graduation, I will be freelance in this industry in Australia and probably Japan, too. I can choose my work style,” she says.
In addition to her studies, Zaki has worked in cafes and restaurants in Perth. Many international students find this a great way to further immerse themselves into Australian culture.
“I didn’t know how to make coffee but now I like making it so much!” She says. “Also, people in Perth are often in a relaxed mood, which I love so much.”
Zaki’s career goals
Thanks to her recent work experience, Zaki now knows how much she enjoys working in hospitality. In particular, she enjoys speaking with customers and says she would love to build her own business in the future.
In the short term, Zaki hopes to work in the field of screen and media in the area of film and television.
“I want to have experience in the industry and confidence,” she says.
Zaki plans to continue to produce her own projects, as she hopes to keep gaining new knowledge and inspire others with her creations.
Advice for fellow students
For anyone who doesn’t come from an English-speaking background and is considering studying in Perth, Zaki has the following advice.
She says that classmates, lecturers, and housemates will be there to help you in an understanding and respectful way, even when you’re not feeling confident.
Zaki also says it’s important to be passionate about studying, and to be clear about why you want to study abroad. For Zaki, her experience has allowed her to participate in studies that she loves, while also exploring Australia.
“Just come and have fun!” Zaki adds.
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