A major problem migrants run into when they move to the Bega Valley is the difficulty of learning a new language.
As the Adult Migrant and English Program is no longer offered on site in Bega, this has created an extra challenge for some migrants.
On the first Wednesday of each month the Migrant Activities Group In Community, which offers support to migrants, is run in Bega.
Attending October’s meeting, Pratima Panthi from Nepal, Noi McCallum from Thailand and Ali Imran Imam from Bangladesh all had differing fluency of English.
Ms Panthi came to Australia on a working visa about five months ago and said there was no course to learn English in Bega so her husband had paid to do an online course.
While she wants to find work, hopefully as an accountant, first she wanted to improve her handle of English.
“Without English it’s not possible to find a job,” the Merimbula resident said.
“It’s very difficult to be in Australia without English.”
When Ms McCallum came to Australia three years ago, she could only “speak English a little bit”.
But she is now a permanent resident who lives in Quaama and goes to TAFE one day a week. She knows 10 other Thai people living in the Bega Valley, eight of which have permanent visas.
“Everyone wants to learn more English,” she said.
Mr Imran of Cooma was fluent in English, which he studied in Bangladesh, but said sometimes he struggled with the Australian accent.
“From the very first day here I heard the phrase ‘no drama’ and that phrase really confused me," he said.
“Even though I know English a little it’s a bit of a struggle for me.”
A MAX Solutions spokesperson said the AMEP offered distance learning.
They said the distance learning service provider who delivers AMEP nationally was TAFE NSW and could be contacted by calling 1300 362 418 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.