Alumni Rachele Amana

Meet the Learner: Rachele's journey to becoming a Social Worker

19 April 2021

Name: Rachele Amana
ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and Access to Nursing
City of Newport Campus

As a French speaker from Cameroon, Rachele wanted to learn how to speak English to be able to communicate and interact with other people within the community. So, she decided to study ESOL at Coleg Gwent, which prepared her for further education whilst gaining knowledge and understanding in subjects such as writing dissertations. This enabled Rachele to go on to complete a Higher Education Access to Nursing course and she’s now qualified as a Social Worker and giving back to her local community.

Why did you choose Coleg Gwent?

“I was an Asylum Seeker at the time I applied to Coleg Gwent, so I had limited knowledge of what was available within the community and surrounding areas. Therefore, other people advised me and helped me choose a suitable college on my behalf. However, I would say, they made a perfect choice for me because my teachers and everyone around me helped me to achieve my identified personal outcomes and reach my goals.”

What did you like most about your course?

“As an ESOL student, I enjoyed reading, writing, speaking and listening. I was also impressed with the cultural differences between Cameroon, Wales and Britain as a whole, and the emphasis placed on diversity and the respect of people as individuals at Coleg Gwent. All my ESOL teachers were so positive, tolerant and patient, and they made me feel at home.

Then whilst doing my Access to Nursing HE course, I learnt about interesting topics like designing your own baby – an expensive process undertaken by some celebrities. I also learnt about the negative impacts of some medications available to buy online. I enjoyed most of the modules and I enjoyed writing up my extended essay.

Although the Access to Nursing course was tough, it was manageable because the teachers were extremely supportive and it gave me a good foundation for studying at a degree level.”

What’s the best thing about studying at Coleg Gwent?

“My social life was great! I made such good friends and I’m still in contact with some of my teachers who played an influential role in my life by providing me with advice and support. I’ll never forget the day one of my teachers gave me some lovely clothes – It was so touching. I’ve still got a few that I keep as a souvenir. This only reinforces the fact that Coleg Gwent is not only about education, but it’s also about developing friendships and having caring people around you.

There was also a variety of books available in the library and some books were accessible via E-Books. I didn’t have to buy any books during my time at college as the library was well equipped to meet students’ needs. I also had support such as proof-reading from the staff in the library and there was an additional course available to improve my English called Learn Direct.”

Did you have any challenges before attending Coleg Gwent? If so, how did the college help you?

“As I mentioned above, my biggest challenge was being an asylum-seeker who needed to be able to speak English. I could remember one of my ESOL teachers advising me that ‘if you want to improve your English, you must make friends with other people in the community.’

During all those years at Coleg Gwent, I genuinely enjoyed myself because I had practical and emotional support from all my teachers. The emotional support was really valued, as I needed it the most due to my life situation and circumstances at the time. The practical and emotional support I received kept me going and it made me feel valued and encouraged me to work harder. I even received a Eunice Taylor Resilience Award!”

What are you doing now and what are your long-term career goals?

“My biggest achievement to date was the completion of my MA in Social Work and I also completed a BSc degree in Health and Social Care.

I’m now a Newly Qualified Social Worker working for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council with a year in practice. I’m currently working in Adults Services. However, I recently got a job in Children Services and I’ll be working for Newport County Borough Council.”

What advice would you give to other students thinking of studying at Coleg Gwent?

“If I’ve managed to achieve my personal outcomes, this means that any student can do the same because there’s support available to anyone who shows interests in studying. Coleg Gwent’s teachers and all staff members have massively contributed to my success and helped me to overcome adversities and become the person I wanted to be.”

Rachele achieved her goal to improve her English language skills through our ESOL course and advanced to an Access to Nursing course while making friends for life in the process. With the right support, she shows us that anything is possible, and you could follow in her footsteps by applying today to begin your journey with Coleg Gwent.

Register now for our next Virtual Open Event to find out more!