Nursing students Erica Holmes (left) and Khaitlyn Nott

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has congratulated two TAFE NSW students selected for an exchange program to the United States.

Erica Holmes and Khaitlyn Nott, who are enrolled at TAFE NSW Cootamundra, are part of a group of 10 TAFE NSW students accepted in the program.

The students will travel to Wisconsin for a two-week study tour with Gateway Technical College in October, as part of a three-year international study exchange partnership with TAFE NSW.

Ms Cooke said the program is testament to TAFE NSW being a vocational education and training innovator.

“Visiting Gateway Technical College is an absolutely fantastic opportunity for the students and indeed their teachers to gain a deeper perspective in their fields and grow not only professionally but personally,” Ms Cooke said.

“A trip to the US would be near or at the top of a lot of people’s bucket lists and, while I’m sure there will be plenty of time for sightseeing, this is a great chance for the students to experience different perspectives which will be a great boost to their studies.”

Ms Cooke said Ms Holmes and Ms Nott would be joined by two TAFE NSW teachers: Nursing/Health Team Leader Andrea Purnell and TAFE NSW Horticulture Teacher David Brookfield.

“The TAFE NSW students group have dedicated a considerable amount of time and effort to their education and are currently enrolled in Diploma or Advanced Diploma levels of study in Nursing, Horticulture, Early Childhood Education and Care, Event Management, Tourism and Travel,” she added.

“The TAFE NSW exchange students will return to our region with a broader view of their chosen field of study and the beginnings of an international network.

“By sharing their experience with fellow students and work placement colleagues, the flow-on benefits are likely to be seen throughout the region at TAFE NSW as well in the industries where they find employment.”

Ms Cooke said five of the available exchange positions were offered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students, students from regional, rural or remote areas, students from a lower socio-economic background and students with a disability.

As part of the exchange program 18 students from Gateway Technical College visited the Illawarra in August while on an Australian study tour.