Laura Ortiz Baquero, 35, Educare College

It didn’t take long for Laura to “fall in love with this amazing country” when she arrived in Australia from Colombia three years ago to study English. It made her want to do more, to study more and to work here. She now calls the Gold Coast home, describing it as “a paradise in which your dreams come true”.

Q. Why did you decide to further your studies on the Gold Coast?

After studying English, I decided to study further. I wanted to study something that I am passionate about and at the same time that can help this beautiful community. So I studied for a Certificate III in Individual Support, which covers aged care, and continued with my studies until I finished my Diploma of Community Services in May 2021.

Q. And why did you choose Educare College?

Educare College has flexible learning and an incredible environment in which you can develop your skills. In addition, Educare can help individuals gain admission into Australia’s leading universities through Certificate IV and Diploma courses. Also, as an international student, Educare is an affordable school with very good facilities.

Q. Are you working in the aged care industry now?

I am a personal care worker in an aged care facility. I have been working for two years with elderly people and the experience has been amazing. Apart from the fact that I have improved my English, it has also helped me to get experience here in Australia, which is essential for my professional career.

Q. Can you give us a quick insight into your work?

As a personal care worker, I help elderly and vulnerable people in their daily activities. This may include personal hygiene, providing meals, administering medication and other health and wellness-related activities.

Q. What do you love about your job?

What I like most is that I can interact with people who have incredible stories and backgrounds, and from whom I can learn how to be better every day.

Q.  What’s new and awesome in your world?

Living on the Gold Coast and studying at Educare changed my life. It gave me a quality of life, new friends and job opportunities to continue improving my professional career, so now everything in my life is new and awesome.

Q. How did studying on the Gold Coast shape your life?

It gave me the opportunity to get a job and be independent. The Gold Coast is more affordable than other major Australian cities, which is an advantage, especially for international students. Also, I made many friends who are now like my family and it makes me feel very lucky.

Q. What was your favourite memory from your student days?

After school, on the beautiful Southport beach, with my classmates, we had picnics where we shared typical food from each of our countries (Philippines, Colombia, India) and we talked and shared stories until sunset.

Q. What would you say to someone who is thinking about studying on the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast is a fantastic place to live and study. It has wonderful weather and beautiful beaches, waterfalls and mountains. It is a multicultural city in which you can find diverse festivals and incredible food. Even though the Gold Coast is a small city, it is possible to get a part-time job, so you can work while you study. The Gold Coast is an amazing place with heart-warming people and an amazing lifestyle.