Marta Silvia Delachi scored a dream job in the fashion industry thanks to studying in Australia. “I met my mentor there and she connected me with the first company I worked for in Italy,” she says. “I did an internship in Australia with a wholesaler of luxury brands where I met a person based in New York who was working for a fashion company in Milan. She passed my CV on to them.” Marta’s work experience was part of the English language and internship program conducted at the University of Queensland’s Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education (ICTE-UQ) in partnership with the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) in Italy. The program particularly appealed to Marta, who had already completed English language summer schools in the USA, the UK and Canada, as it was the only one offering a combination of intensive English language training (5 weeks of English for International Business Communications) followed by a 6 week professional internship placement in leading national and multinational companies. The global financial crisis, according to Marta, has created a massive amount of challenges for young people in Italy and English language skills and workplace experience are a big advantage in today’s global job market. “I really wanted to go to Australia,” she says. “I wanted to improve my English and change my career. I dreamed of working in fashion and for the first time in Australia I imagined myself doing that in an international environment.” “It was really exciting and so new for me, so different to Europe,” she says. “The University of Queensland is such a good place to study: good teachers, good lessons, good structure and great extra-curricular activities.” It was, she declares, “the best experience”, and one which lead to her rethinking her future in Italy. “It wasn’t just the different environment at UQ, it was the technology, the facilities, the healthy environment, the international experience and integration with lots of different people from diverse cultures. It made me want to see more and do more. It gave me a different perspective.” Marta now works as a product merchandiser for a premium high street fashion brand in London. It is, she says, a very particular job, which sees her following the life cycle of a fashion product, from sketches to choice of fabric through to production and the appearance of the garment in stores. “I have to be able to produce the product, make sure production goes well and ensure the result is commercial. I work with amazing people,” she says. Marta, who holds a degree in business and economics from UCSC, says the ICTE-UQ course definitely perfected the business English language skills that are so pivotal to her current job. “The approach used in the course changed my English a lot, it was a huge improvement and that was so very important,” she says. She describes studying in Australia as being “very valuable” to her career. “Even now when I go for interviews, one of the things that attracts the most attention on my CV is the Australian study. They see that I have experienced another country and that this gives me a different perspective on life. It is such a great experience…everyone should go.” She lists some of her most memorable experiences in Australia as sleeping under the stars on a beach at Fraser Island, whale watching at Byron Bay, taking time off to enjoy the summer, as well as studying and working long hours to achieve her dream. “I am open to everything,” she says.