Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Early Childhood Care and Education

Xu Xuan Ng, 21, Malaysian

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Previously…

I stayed in KL, Malaysia.

I studied in SMK Kepong and later enrolled in Methodist College Kuala Lumpur.

Ever since I’d arrived in Ireland…

Making Chinese dumplings with friends from France (left).
Dingle: met a Spanish who knows Chinese (right)!

My favorite pastime was definitely baking! I was always excited to try out new recipes. As I could find no Malaysian pastries in sight, especially egg tart, and so, this had led me to non-stop baking! Sometimes we baked with other international students and I loved that so much. It was fun and interesting when we had a cultural exchange of food. Besides that, I did some travelling in Ireland itself, Paris and London during my one-year study here and my next stop would be Galway.

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I know I had chosen the right course because I was looking forward to every lecture. To acquire a better understanding of it, I was eager to dig deeper and look up for extra resources for each lesson taught. Thus, I was often the first and last person showed up in the library.

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Snow in Tralee!

My institute is awesome the way it is because the lecturers are very approachable and helpful, yet always encourage independence. Besides, the library is comfortable and spacious, Wi-Fi is good and plenty of resources for my course. The international officers are very nice and always ready to solve any problems met and there are discounted travel trips for international students.

Why did I choose Childhood Education in the first place?
Back to 17 years old, I’d my first job as a day-care teacher. It was during that time, it dawned on me that I love to work with children. Moreover, I’m the eldest in family and taking care of the little ones is everyday job.

My course
Childhood Education is interesting. It’s not solely based on written exams but loads of practical and assignments. They are very applicable once stepping into the working world.

The moment I enjoyed most was preparing my thesis. The topic I chose was about evaluating the methods of improving academic performance of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I truly learnt a lot while doing the research and I liked it.

The roadblocks
The spoken English in the first couple of weeks. I couldn’t catch up with the speed of it as well as the accent. Besides that, the format for writing essays was new to me too.

I was active in badminton, swimming, running and squash. There’s a parkrun held by local community on every Saturday morning and I would go with my friends. Joining different sports keep me alive and kicking besides the busy study life.

My hope
I wish to work in an international pre-school in Malaysia. Hopefully, I could upgrade to childcare professional after years of experience and involve in curriculum planning.

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With my Irish family (my classmate).

What I want to say is don’t be shy. Ask if you’re unsure of anything. The classmates, officers and lecturers are helpful. Follow the motto: Work hard, Play hard!

Now that I’ve graduated…What am I doing now?
I’m embarking on a journey of an au pair. I decided to be an au pair for cultural exchange and learn to interact with children under different conditions. Also, to experience western parenting style. I’m grateful that my host family members are wonderful people; they literally treat as a part of their family. What I find surprising is the independence inculcated by the parents; the baby girl who is only 1.5 years old is allowed to sleep in her own room! In my culture, that’s a no-no. We might be worried about her at such a young age sleeping on her own.

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With my host family.

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