Sveta is a past international student from Russia. She came out to Australia to study English. However after studying English for a year, she realised she loved the country and decided to stay on and study Commercial Cookery and Diploma of Hospitality at Holmes College on The Gold Coast. She graduated in July 2017. Pathway to Aus then successfully helped Sveta apply for and was granted her Temporary Graduate Work Visa (Subclass 485) in September 2017

She is now working her way through the Job Ready Program and will hopefully receive the equivalent of her full skills assessment as a chef and apply for General Skilled Migration next year.

This is her story….

What were you doing before you studied commercial cookery?
I graduated with a bachelors of marketing back home in Russia and working in administration. However I was also travelling a lot and exploring myself. I did some part time work as a bar tender and DJ in Brazil.

Where did you study?
I studied English, then the Cert IV of Commercial Cookery and Diploma of Hospitality at Holmes College on The Gold Coast.

Where have you lived when you were studying and now?
Now, I actually live about 2 hours away from the school on NSW north coast in a town called Byron Bay. I love it here. When I was still studying I lived in Surfers Paradise on The Gold Coast. I loved it there, it was pretty cheap and I had a view of the ocean from my room.

How many days do you go to class per week?
When you study English you go 5 days per week. However when I did attended class 2 full days per week. One day was theory and the other day was practical in the kitchen.

Did you have homework?
Yes we had a lot of assignments to do.

Do you have a chefs knife kit?
Yes when you sign up for the course you need one. We had to buy a chefs kit. It was quite expensive, but the quality was high. And I have use these same knives in the kitchen today.

Did you do vocational placement? If so, where?
Yes I did. You need to in order to get the Graduate Visa. I did mine at Helm Bar in Surfers Paradise. I found it myself and I actually received paid work experience which was great. I learnt so much on the job. It is very important to do both school and work experience.

How did you deal with money?
It was tough to do at the start when I had to pay for the commercial cookery course, because it is more expensive than hospitality. But I managed to pay for most of it myself. Obviously when class is in session you can only work 40 hours per fortnight, but in your holidays I worked heaps of hours. It is great that you can work full time on the holidays. You have to be smart about your money

How were your teachers?
They were quite nice. I had two different teachers. One for commercial cookery and then another one for hospitality. In the cookery class it was cool, you can cook almost anything. So we actually got to talk to the teachers about what we would like to cook. We got to decide which was amazing.

What is the best thing you have ever cooked in your classes?
I cooked my favourite in my Philadelphia Sushi. It is with fresh salmon and cream cheese inside and avocado.

Tell us about your classmates?
We had a really international class. Classmates from Thailand, Brazil, Korea, France all over the world. I think we had about 12 people in each class.

What is the average age of classmates?
Around 23 – 30. But we had a few older students.

What are you most surprised about the course?
I like that they are practical classes and you can take the food that you cook in the class home. It is really good for saving money taking the food home. Every day was something different and every day I learnt something new.

What is the most difficult thing about the course?
Work placement was really difficult sometimes. Because when it is busy there is so much pressure in the kitchen to deliver the food on time. But it was more interesting then difficult.

How are the facilities?
The facilities were always really clean, nice and kind of fancy. The kitchen that we actually used was in a real life kitchen in a restaurant.

What are your plans now that you have graduated?
I will continue to work as a chef for another year on The Job Ready Program. Get my full skills assessment and then hopefully go for General Skilled Migration if possible.

Did you feel like you are learning a lot?
Yes I learnt a lot and it was all really helpful. Couldn’t have done it without it.

What is your favourite things to cook?
I like to cook sea food and vegetarian food.

Do you think it will be difficult to get a job in the industry?
I think the hospitality industry has a lot of vacancies. So I should be fine. Everywhere they needs chef in Australia. All over the Gold Coast I was always able to find one the same day when I was looking. When looking for a job, I would always recommend going in person. Online is so impersonal.

How do you feel about the school?
I loved it. It was a great school to go.