How an English language course helped a Brazilian doctor achieve her goals


Learn how English language helped one student build the confidence she needed to succeed.

I am a doctor from Brazil and wanted to improve my English to have the opportunity to study and live with my family in Australia.

Christiane Teixeira Vasconcellos's passion for learning proves it is never too late to achieve your goals. The international student had already found career success in Brazil as a doctor but her ultimate aspiration was to join her family and become a doctor in Australia. The 47-year-old was able to see the vision to achieve this goal once she started her study of English language at Torrens University Language Centre (TULC).

We are delighted to announce that Christiane is one of the finalists for the 2022 NSW International Student of the Year Award in the ELICOS category.

The pandemic changed everything

Back in September 2020, Christiane was due to arrive in Sydney to join her family, but her plans were postponed due to the pandemic. During this time, she was pregnant with her Australian born niece, being a surrogate mother for her brother and sister-in-law.

Once in Australia, it was not a smooth transition for her as not only did she have to adapt to a new way of life, but she had to help her 14-year-old son transition too. She knew that coming overseas from Brazil to study would not be easy, but knew the benefits to her career and family would pay off in the long run.  


Building confidence in English is key

Unlike most international students, Christiane did not come to Australia with the intention to study a degree. Her focus was on supporting her family and completing the surrogacy. She also knew how hard it could be as an international student to study a degree in another language. Christiane saw the perfect opportunity to get into study with a Torrens University Language Centre (TULC) course, as they have multiple intakes per year, giving her no excuse but to start. She decided to enroll into the General English course at TULC to help develop her English.

The General English course taught her the core skills to communicate confidently and independently in English, which has seen an improvement to her employability within Australia. The flexibility of the course allowed her to choose whether to study on campus or online – only requiring 20 hours of classroom study per week. The short 10-week course and encouragement from her lecturers was all she needed to pursue further education in Australia.


With the opportunity to enrol into Academic English - which helps to prepare for University entry in Australia – Christiane instead enrolled straight in the Double Degree of Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Health at Torrens University Australia.

The new-found confidence from the General English course not only saw Christiane pursue further education in Australia but she was be able to participate in a fortnightly group of doctors in English – keeping her passion alive.

It is never too late to start further education

Through the challenges of the pandemic, Christiane saw this as an opportunity to improve herself through pursing further education in Australia. Her recent enrolment in the public health course is the key fit for her professional life, that will help her achieve her aspiration of becoming a doctor in Australia.

Studying at Torrens University Language Centre (TULC) made her “realise that it is possible to study at University in Australia” as the General English course helped build her confidence to follow her career goals.

For anyone who feels in two minds or uncertain about their career journey Christiane hopes “I can inspire many other success stories” as the 10-week course set Christiane on a new path for the better. 

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