Adventures around South Bank

Thomas, Diploma in Engineering, QUT International College

Hi there, I’m Thomas from Vietnam, currently a Diploma student in Engineering at QUTIC. Today I’m going to share my exciting experience at South Bank, Brisbane.

This time, me and my friend Condi planned to have a day full of sun and water!

Christmas tree in King George Square

South Bank is just one bridge away from King George Square, and there are many things to explore: parklands, museum, art galleries and more! Mostly everything is free, but remember the closing times for museums and galleries are usually 5pm.

Morning is the best time to visit. Bringing umbrellas, hats and sunscreen is a good idea because it’s pretty sunny during the day.

1.First stop, the Ferris Wheel, the iconic thing in South Bank and it’s quite expensive to get a ticket:

$20 for Adult

$14 for Children

You can get a cheaper ticket when buying online. I think you got a nice view but I’d give the wheel a 7/10 for overall value.

2.  The pool and artificial beach is beautiful, lots of sun, people and joy, and it’s free! There are also coffee shops, restaurants, souvenirs and a children’s play ground.

The best way to keep cool in summer!

If you want to take a swim, you might want to get a locker.  For 3 hours, a small locker is $4, twice that size is $6, and you must pay by coins.

Because I’m the only one who have coins, as you could guess, here goes my $6. Also there are also bathrooms with shower cabin for us to change and shower afterwards.

I love the artificial beach, it’s clean and very comfortable. I feel like I could stay there the whole day, relaxing, enjoying the coolness of water under the heat of the sun.  Overall, 8/10

Streets Beach at South Bank

3.The Queensland Museum & Science Centre is our next stop; free to enter, except if you want to see the Gladiator show, which is $18 for Adult and $12 for Children. Going to this science museum is such an excitement for me, since I’m a real nerd.

Me, Myself and Dinosaur

The museum consists of three floors, starting from level 2 of the building (down below is the bus stop). It showcases us the evolution, the beauty and a variety of animals, plants and humans in Australia along with technology and the solar system.



Everything is so well organised and designed, that it could make a person who had no interest in science and biology (my friend) become excited and curious.

I would definitely rate this museum a 10/10.

4.The Queensland Art Gallery is astonishing, there are so many cool pieces in there. Although I’m not a big art fan, I was in a good mood when leaving this gallery because it is quite relaxing being among all of the beautifully crafted creations.

The entry is free, and they even have paper and pen for you to create your own work of art!

I would say, if you have even a little interest in beautiful or creative things, give it a try. 9/10

Unfortunately, the trip ended early (after 4 hours) because we were too tired and both of us had some things to do in the afternoon. It’s such a pity because we missed the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) which is home to many famous travelling art shows. I promise myself to return to South Bank one more time to finish my journey!

After that, we traveled back to the city and had lunch. Luckily, it’s on him!

Sushi time!!

Student Voice

At QUTIC, my voice is being heard and my opinions are being used for the better of the group, which I have witnessed and experienced at several occasions described below.

In my last semester at QUTIC, I had the opportunity to be the student representative for the Diploma of Business students. We had three meetings and my role was to receive feedback, concerns, and ideas from my fellow classmates then discussed those matters in the meetings with QUTIC staff. Our monthly meetings mainly focused on ways for QUTIC staff to understand students’ feedback, hence how they could improve the student experience at QUTIC. Students’ feedback can sometimes be straightforward and hurtful, however, I observed that the staff responded positively when dealing with these difficult circumstances.

Student Representative Committee Meeting

There was one time when my study group came together to ask for our assignment  to be remarked because we weren’t satisfied with our result since we put lots of effort into our it. After having a consultation with the tutor and a re-evaluation with the Unit Coordinator, we successfully made some changes by showing our reasons why we deserved a better mark. Everything was settled nicely and we were glad that we had a chance to present our case and have our say.

Another experience is with my friend, Immanuel Ishimwe. We were both invited by Mr. Kenneth Beutel (Director of QUTIC) to participate in the International College Academic Board (ICAB) meetings. This was a rewarding opportunity for both of us to represent as part of the Student Voice at the table where strategies and changes are discussed. The ICAB is designed to enhance decision-making related to learning and teaching, academic standards, quality, and risk at QUTIC. Immanuel and I are doing our best to contribute and make a big impact to improve the experience of future students.

ICAB Meeting
From left to right: Mrs. Annetta Spathis, me, Immanuel, Mr. Ken Beutel.

Finally, at the Student Voice Session at the QUTIC Professional Development Day, together with other fellows, I got a chance to help teachers to understand and know more about international students’ perspective when adjusting to Australian learning environment. The student panel was divided into small groups with teachers to discuss the student studying experience at QUTIC under three topics, which were technology, assessment, and culture. By doing this staff and teachers’ can find an effective way to assist the student in their learning and make changes to improve student life at QUTIC.

QUTIC PD Day. From left to right: Zairo, Kim, Lesley, me, Mimi Smith, Mary, Nicole, Sam.

To make these events possible, I had to seize the opportunities by taking on roles, be open-minded and listen to other people’s concerns and be responsible.  Indeed, I got to know more students and teachers and I learnt lots from attending these sessions. I appreciated that QUTIC gave me these opportunities to be actively involved and make my own studying journey more efficient and memorable.

Most important of all, QUTIC takes students’ feedback into account and strive to enhance the learning environment better every day. I remember one staff member told me that “everything we got from today is built on students’ feedback”. So do not hesitate to give QUTIC your feedback, and make a difference while you are on your path to success.

The Round Up February

New postgraduate courses in Engineering

Interested in expanding your knowledge in Engineering?

QUT now offers two new postgraduate courses with February and July intakes:

New course: Master of Counselling (PY12)

Gain advanced knowledge and skills in counselling therapy with an applied and experimental focus to your studies. You will also gain practical experience in QUT’s own Psychology and Counselling clinic.

Read more

QUT at the Forefront of Startups in Australia

In the 2017 Startup Muster survey, QUT was found to be the second most attended educational institution in the country.

Read more

Jessie gets a Life Changing Experience in Silicon Valley

QUT Creative Industries graduate Jessie Hughes was chosen as one of 20 young (18-29 year old), high-achieving, tech-focused Australians to go on a study tour to Silicon Valley, USA.

Find out how Jessie’s curiosity of choosing tech-heavy electives at QUT and travel have opened up a world of endless opportunities.

Read more

Education Courses Available for Mid-year Entry

July entry is now available for the following courses:

Bachelor of Education

Master of Teaching

Admissions in July is with suitable advanced standing (credit) only.

QUT Lecturer Australian University Teacher of the Year

QUT’s robotics vision Distinguished Professor Peter Corke have been honoured as Australian University Teacher of the Year 2017, the nation’s most prestigious higher education teaching award.

Read more

QUT to Lead National Robotic Defence Research

Federal Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne announced last month that QUT will lead research in the new Defence Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Trusted Autonomous Systems. QUT will headquarter the potentially $121 million research facility in Queensland.

Read more

New App to Help with Summer Safety

Summertime can lead to many burns giving you lifelong scars and year’s of treatment. To prevent this, QUT’s Dr Leila Cuttle has partnered with Australian technology company iPug to release “Cool runnings”, an app to educate people on burn prevention and burn first aid.

Read more

More stories from QUT and Brisbane

Home Away from Home: Student One

Student One Wharf Street: 5 Bedroom Apartment Views

Moving to Brisbane has been the best decision of my life, but also the toughest because moving to a new city, adjust to a new lifestyle isn’t always as fun as people think it is. I’ve been living in Brisbane for a year now and one thing that I’ve noticed that is common for international students is the feeling of homesickness. I personally believe that your surroundings can be a factor to this feeling – which is why choosing where you will be living is one of the most important decisions you have to decide early on (even before you move to Brisbane!).

Student One is a premium student-built accommodation that provides study focused facilities (a whole floor dedicated to studying + computers you can use!), flexible room options, laundry areas, and of course – the perfect location! It’s located right in the heart of the city, which makes everything accessible and in reach. The building is staffed 24 hours which makes the environment safe and secure for students.

Study Floors at Student One

Study Floors at Student One

Computers: Provided for students at the Study Floor

Laundry Area

Laundry Area

The life of an international student is not all about studying – it can also be fun! One of the best things about Student One is the recreational areas that they provide such as: BBQ areas, swimming pool, gym area and not to forget, a sky lounge that provides you with the most amazing views of Brisbane city!

4th Floor: Recreational Area

39th Floor: Sky Lounge

Not only is the location so perfect, but the living conditions too. Based on my personal experiences moving into this accommodation, I have built not just a sense of community with friends that I know will l forever cherish, but it has made me feel as if I’m home, away from home.

For more information, visit Student One

Newbie in Brisbane

Brisbane welcomed me with heavy rain in June 2017. Growing up in a hot and humid region, Brisbane winter season made me worried. I don’t know what other people’s experiences are, but when I first arrived at Brisbane airport, my lips cracked and bled because the weather was cold and the wind hit me with no mercy. Thanks to QUT airport pick-up service I arrived safely at Iglu Kelvin Grove – Student Accommodation. I chose Iglu as my first accommodation because it was on the QUT Home website.

Iglu Kelvin Grove – Brisbane Student Accommodation

I couldn’t bear the cold and at the same time being lonely, but I had no idea who I should ask for help. I was caught up in a mix feelings that lead me to a very bad mood, until I got a message from an acquaintance.

Portrait picture of my heroine (May)

May knew that I had arrived and she was sure that I would need some help due to her past experience when she first studied abroad. May and her boyfriend took me to Westfield Chermside to buy a heater and other necessities. Without that heater I think I couldn’t make it through the night because of the cold weather. Once again, thank you May for being my heroine.

I spent nearly an entire day in both QUT campuses to memorise the map (Haha, How nerdy am I?), so I would not be running around asking for directions on orientation day.

The Cube in P Block caught my attention.

Miranda – on the left. We did not know that we come from the same country until Iglu’s staff introduced us. Surprisingly, Miranda also took the same course with me in QUTIC

Miranda and I had a great afternoon at South Bank. We were watching the sunset while drinking milk tea. I’ve heard, some people think Brisbane is boring even before getting here. Some of my friends tried to convince me to study at other majors cities, but the beauty of Brisbane touched me. Indeed, Brisbane is not very big compared to other cities, however it has everything I need.

I did not know this building is a casino until one of my friends took me for dinner in the casino’s restaurant .

View from Victoria Bridge

On the next day, I got in contact with a friend. He is a friend from high school best friend’s friend in middle school (I know, the connection sounds so complicated) , and he has lived here for a very long time.

Lyo – on the right

First, Lyo introduced me the shuttle bus from Kelvin Grove Campus to Garden Point Campus. From there we walked along Brisbane River from the Goodwill Bridge to the Story Bridge. Brisbane’s scenery along the river was calm and peaceful. It made me feel very welcomed.

Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

At the end of the day, I knew a lot more about Brisbane and I feel so blessed to receive all the help from May, Miranda, and Lyo.

Why I become a QUTIC mentor?

Signing up for a mentor recruitment program was the first step that led me to other interesting events during my studying period in QUTIC. A quick flashback to my O-week, I remember I was nervous and excited at the same time. Everything was unfamiliar to me, and it took me quite a long time adjusting to college. This is the reason I wanted to help other international students who might face similar challenges, and to enhance their acculturation process. Below is a quick snapshot of what we (mentors) went through.

How excited we were on the orientation day for TP3, 2017?

When I knew I was selected to be a part of the Mentor Group for TP3, 2017, I didn’t expect to gain anything from this program. However, the teachers and friends who I worked together with throughout the whole period have moved my heart.  Nonetheless, becoming a mentor is not the only way to make college more memorable, there are plenty of opportunities and activities that are run by QUTIC. I strongly encourage QUTIC students to become more actively involved in social activities because you will never know what you have missed out on until you try. Watch a sneak peek of my mentor training journey.

Mentors in the jungle – (at Binna Burra Lodge)

Before this training, all members from the crew were strangers to each others. There were no greetings or a hand-waving, although we sit next to each others in classes and I didn’t understand why. No one took the opportunity to change the awkward atmosphere in the rooms, outside the classes, in the hallway, and in the eating area, or maybe it was just only me who felt that way. QUTIC is not that big, so we can get to know everyone in the same course within 1-2 weeks, but most people kept to their own.

After my mentor training, my schedule got busy due to extra work from being a mentor, but this change was a good one. I cared more about friends around me, started more conversations with acquaintances, interacted more with teachers, and invited students to join QUTIC’s activities. Despite of tons of homework waiting for me at the end of the day, I became more confident and excited to get involved in class activities more often. Eventually, I took on more roles and participated in other events because I know no matter the results, I will always have my group to back me up.

We threw a surprised birthday parties for Tony after the training.

Tony and the Girls

Tony and the Boys.

I’m glad that I made it through the program with all the members taking part in this teaching period. Everyone has directly and indirectly taught me something. I would like to give a big shout-out to Mrs. Lauren Bulter and Mrs. Suzan Gredig for their hard work with the Mentor Program. Making friends is absolutely going to make your studying journey more exciting, and there is nothing to lose. Besides, it is all about experiences and memories, and every single member of this Mentor Group TP3, 2017 are part of making my studies at QUTIC more memorable.

My first trip with my QUTIC friends

For my first semester break in TP2, 2017 at QUTIC, my classmates and I went to Cleveland to do some sightseeing as our beloved teacher Mr. Tim recommended. Cleveland? Well the story began when Lynn and I were assigned to work together for a presentation as we had lots of consultation with Mr. Tim. Since we have no prior experience with Queensland’s train system, and Lynn had never traveled “very” far away from her place, Tim suggested that Cleveland was close for a day trip. I didn’t have any expectations but I’m glad that I had Lynn and Miranda as travel buddies.

Raby Bay

We arrived to Raby Bay quite early in morning. We wanted to walk to Old Cleveland Lighthouse since it looked quite close on the map but after 2 hours of walking in the sun we gave up.

Old Cleveland Lighthouse

We soon to get bored with Cleveland Point and decided to go somewhere nicer.

Stradbroke Ferries

We got a good price when buying a ticket to North Stradbroke Island using our QUT student ID card. ($14 for return)

Point Lookout at North Stradbroke Island

We had lunch at Point Lookout while enjoying this wonderful view.

It took quite a bit of time for us to find the way to the nearest beach.

Stairway to heaven

We nailed it!

Lynn – on the left

Before the trip, Lynn and I were not that close. We were actually tired of seeing each other in the group meetings. At first, we didn’t work well together because we had different ideas, our learning style wasn’t similar due to our previous educational background and living environment. However, we put up with each other, and received a high score for the presentation. This achievement would not have happened without great efforts from both of us and a positive attitude during presentation even though we felt quite uncomfortable.

Looking back, working with Lynn was a good experience. It makes me realise that studying at QUT International College is not the only way to learn about different perspectives from other cultures. It also requires you to think about your own values and other culture aspects. Meeting Lynn is my first new friendship in QUTIC.

Harold Walker Jetty at North Stradbroke Island

I never told Lynn how grateful I am to have her as my friend, but I am sure that we have mutual feelings. After all the up and down with Lynn, she is my study buddy because we are very familiar with each others’ style of learning.

How I landed an internship in Singapore

It has been two weeks since I started my internship at EY Singapore. This was not an easy start because I arrived to a new country by myself and I didn’t really know what to expect. The feeling I got when I first arrived Singapore was somewhat similar compared to when I first landed in Australia.

For many accounting students, getting an internship in the so-called “big four” is a very desirable goal. As an international student in Australia, it is really hard to get into the big accounting firms in Australia. So I decided to apply for an internship with the big four accounting firms overseas. Singapore, the financial hub of south-east Asia, became an ideal option for me.

All the EY 2017 winter interns

The application process was very straightforward. I submitted my internship application online. Then after 3 weeks, got a phone call from HR scheduling a Skype interview. After the interview, I waited for about one week and was told by phone that they decided to offer me a place.  During the 30-minute long Skype interview, I was asked to introduce myself and share the reason why I wanted an internship with EY.

This recruitment process was much simpler compared with the Australian big four recruitment process, where you also need to go through an online testing and assessment centre.

EY Orientation day with my team

It turns out that during every winter season (summer in Australia), the local accounting firms in Singapore hire lots of students studying in Australia because it is their peak season for auditing in Singapore. The local university students cannot commit to the 3-month long internship due to the short winter break. On the other hand, it is summer break for Australian universities so students are usually free from December to February.

One of the most popular public transportation in Singapore – MRT

In summary, that’s how I landed my internship in Singapore: partly because I’m constantly exploring opportunities to work overseas and partly because of good timing. If you, my fellow accounting peers, are also interested in working in Singapore, why not give it a shot next year!



Travelling to Melbourne

Last holiday, I traveled to Melbourne, the sixth city I’ve visited in Australia. First of all, I just want to say I LOVE BRISBANE after I finished the trip because the weather is much better than Melbourne’s! lol

My trip was in November, when Brisbane is warm and people are enjoying outdoor activities. However, at the same time in Melbourne, it was only 9°C, which made me feel like I was back in a country in the northern hemisphere.

Royal Exhibition Building

Although the weather wasn’t as good as  Brisbane’s, there are still many excellent tourist places that I would like to share with everyone.

1. Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, where you can see the 12 Apostles, get up close to native wildlife, and take in iconic surf breaks, pristine rain forest and misty waterfalls. After visiting this place, I have to say it’s definitely a place you must visit!

2. Puffing Billy Railway

I still remembered when I chatted with my Airbnb house owner, a Melbourne local, about this tourist attraction. She told me she went there as a little girl and  it is a perfect place for family, kids, and tourists. Puffing Billy was built more than 100 years ago and the purpose was to enhance the economic development of the countryside. Now the railway have become Australia’s premier preserved steam railway still in use. Tourists can enjoy the amazing views and the history by taking the trainride.


3. Melbourne City

Some people say that Melbourne city is just like “a big fashion show stage”. There are many beautiful corners, buildings, churches, parks, or markets in this city. For example, Queen Victoria Market, Royal Exhibition Building, Federation Square are all the attractions where tourist can go. Just walking around the city and you will definitely find some places you like!

Queen Victoria Market

The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant

Have you ever been to Melbourne? Do you like it? Feel free to share your experience below and don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog! 🙂

Short trip to Perth

Perth is the capital of Western Australia, situated where the Swan River meets the southwest coast. I went to Perth for a short trip to explore a bit around the city region and nearby suburbs. The flight from Brisbane to Perth took me around 5.5 hours and another interesting fact is  that Brisbane is 2 hours ahead of Perth even though both cities are in the same country.

From my impression, Perth has a similar urban design as Brisbane so it gave me a familiar feeling. I feel Perth is more spacious compared to Brisbane as I had to walk quite to get from one place to the other.

Photo: Elizabeth Quay at Perth.

Kings Park is a big park located at the western edge of Perth CBD. The park is renowned for its spectacular views due to its prime location on Mt Eliza overlooking Perth City and the Swan River.

Photo: One part of the Perth CBD landscape from Kings Park.

Photo: The view from Kings Park.

Photo: A good spot at Kings Park to enjoy the breeze with an excellent view.

Photo: Beautiful view from Kings Park with lovely weather.

Photo: One of the parts of Kings Park.

There are quite a few historic buildings turned into shopping areas in Perth CBD, so people can do their shopping under the historic ambience.

Photo: One of the shopping areas at Perth CBD.

Fremantle is the place that I would strongly recommend you to pay a visit whilst visiting Perth. I really enjoyed spending my afternoon there and I believe you would love the ambience too! Fremantle is part of the Perth metropolitan area and it is a port city.

Photo: Fremantle.

Photo: There are some entertainment facilities provided at Fremantle.

Photo: Seaview at Fremantle.

Photo: There are some street performance at the outside of Fremantle markets.

Photo: Chill away our afternoon with hot tea at Fremantle markets.

Photo: Delicious food from Fremantle markets.

Western Australia is well known for its beautiful beaches so I didn’t want to miss the chance to have a coastal walk!

I enjoyed exploring Perth. I believe you will enjoy exploring the beautiful city too! 🙂