Being an ally!

I am from India, a country where marriage equality is still a dream for many.  Though I was always an ally for the Sexuality & Gender Diverse, Intersex and/or Questioning (SGDIQ) community, I was never sure if I could speak for someone else’s experiences. I never had to experience what they go through in their daily life and was it alright to speak about things I do not have personal experience of?

Well, coming to QUT definitely changed that. Apart from the university’s focus on equality, there are two amazing support groups for the SGDIQ students, The Queer Collective and The Pride of QUT. I was unsure if I would be welcome in the groups. Boy, how wrong I was! Both the groups have been amazingly fun and supportive. There are safe spaces in the campus where people can come in and chill. I haven’t been able to be involved in their activities as much as I would love to. There are rallies, plays, stalls at fairs, and my favourite, movie nights. The pic below is from one such movie night organised by The Pride of QUT.

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I absolutely admire the team leaders of both these groups. They have been so understanding, patient, and supportive with me despite my ignorance when it comes to a lot of things. And today I can confidently tell you, it is not necessary to experience injustice to actually stand up for it.

 

Exam de-stress: puppies & pancakes

Exams are undoubtedly stressful.

QUT Guild understands students well and so they brought us puppies and pancakes into the campus to soothe our nerves.

QUT Guild is a student association and it is our personal uni wing-man. To help us through our study journey and connect us with good times on campus, the Guild provides us services, support, representation, events and resources. The Guild supports over 45,000 students with academic advocacy, legal & tax advice, welfare, student rights and provides vital funding to student clubs and campus sports. Here is only the brief introduction regarding to QUT Guild, if you would like to know more about the Guild, feel free to click on the link and check it out: http://qutguild.com/.

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As well as puppies & pancakes, they also brought other fun stuff like what you see from the photo below. How fun and cool is it to toss and turn your body in the bed of colour balls under the clear blue sky! And colours help to de-stress so it is good to be surrounded by colours haha!

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Feel like flexing your muscles after sitting in front of books and computer for long hours? There is table tennis prepared for us! All things are set so we can just jump into a fun game!

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Some free-of-charge pancakes and drinks for students to collect.

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And also free massage!

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The weather is just so enjoyable to chill and laze on the grass. How relaxing is it!

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Awww isn’t it so hard to resist not cuddling or patting these cutie pies?

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I think QUT is the only university that we can see alpacas hanging around the campus haha!

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How thoughtful of the Guild to help us de-stress in these various ways! Thanks for making the campus overload with cuteness!

My kind of international student life at QUT

Time flies. I still can remember how hard it was leaving back then but I think the exposure and the experiences I got from here so far are worth for the leaving.

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I am passionate in photography. When I have some leisure time from study, I walk around Brisbane city and suburbs to chill and take some photos. The picture above is a peek view of the night scenery in Brisbane city from Kangaroo Point Cliff. If you are the one into sightseeing, I believe Brisbane definitely will satisfy you from amazing city landscape to breathtaking natural view. The picture below is the view taken from Mount Coot-tha lookout point.

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In term of safety at Brisbane, it gives me a sense of security even though I am staying late outside. I always see security guard walking around the campus to ensure the safety of every student. Besides, QUT provides night shuttle service to send students who stay nearby the school home. I benefited from this service a lot because I usually stay in the school ’til late for assignments during the semester. The safety at the region outside of campus is also good as well.

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The biggest challenge for me at Brisbane is English communication. My primary language is Mandarin. At the initial period I came to Brisbane, I have many times in the situation of not understanding what are the people saying, sometimes also feel lost in the lectures. However, people here are nice and there are many free English communication workshops happening in the school. Besides, there are many international students at QUT who are also facing the same difficulty as you. We are all learning together during the journey so you will not be alone.

Brisbane lifestyle is more laid back compared to my previous living environment. The business hour here is much shorter too. I like the healthy lifestyle of the people living here as I always can see people exercising at the park in the early morning or in the evening. I also enjoy the slow pace here which give people a less stressed environment.

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I enjoy doing lots of travelling. So whenever there are holidays, I will plan to travel to somewhere. I have travelled to Gold Coast, Cairns, Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle and many other places around Brisbane. I gain different types of exposures from every trip and I am looking forward to exploring many other wonderful places in Australia soon.

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Weekend activities

After five days of classes and dealing with assignments, the weekends are always the best time to chill and get away from the stress. There are so many activities and things to do over here during the weekends.

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  1. Brunch. Brisbane is famous for its cafe culture. Grab a coffee and indulge in some bacon and eggs! There are many cafes all around Brisbane especially in the CBD, Paddington and West End area.

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2. Walk around Story Bridge! The view from Story Bridge overlooking the CBD is amazingly beautiful.  Best to go before sunset. After done walking around Story Bridge, you can take the CityCat ferry from the terminal to the city and catch the sunset during your ferry ride. You can take up the challenge to climb up the Story Bridge as well (I have yet to do this!)

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3. Road trip! Plan a day road trip to Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast. Head to the beach or go for bush walking! During the Easter break, a few friends and I rented a car and drove to Sunshine Coast. It was fun exploring Noosa Heads. We went for coastal walk (Trail 4 from Noosa National Park). The view is beautiful as we walked along this scenic view. You can pack some finger foods and have picnic by the beach! Road trip is fun and sometimes filled with surprises; just like how my friends and I bumped into a koala in the middle of the road while driving!

Why QUT Classic is a must-attend event for you?

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What’s QUT Classic?

QUT Classic is an annual running event hosted by QUT at Gardens Point Campus. The money you pay for the registration will go to the Learning Potential Fund to support those students coming from a low-income background.

Why it’s a must-attend event for you?

  • Being more fit while contributing to the QUT community

You can choose to run 1km, 5km or 10km depending on your physical situation. Even if you haven’t been running for ages, it’s totally fine to finish it by walking. Trust me, this event is not all about running, but about being part of the QUT community and contribute to help those students coming from a low-income background.

  • Free warm-up lessons, T-shirt, food and photograph!

The early bird registration fee for QUT Classic is $15. And I feel like each cent I paid was worth it. First, I got a really cool and comfortable T-shirt. In addition to that, QUT invited professional fitness teacher to give us warm-up and cool-down classes. What’s more? I got my new Facebook profile picture as well!

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  • A sense of belonging

Though this is my first year at QUT, I have already felt a sense of belonging and pride. That morning when I was wearing the QUT Classic T-shirt with my QUT Business School bag, I felt so proud that I could be a QUT student. During the event, you will also see those QUT alumnus bring their family to attend this event. This year, we also had an 89-year-old runner John coming back and finished 10k. Check out this video here of people cheering John Rigby crossing the finish line.

So come and join us next year! It will sure become a great memory for you.

Here’s a video my friend Cameron made while we’re running 5K. It’s really funny, check it out!

 

 

 

The RoundUp

Hi, everyone!

We hope you’ve had a great week at uni! If you are in between assignments, we’ve got the latest news from QUT and Brisbane for you to read.

Aussie adventures

Our friend, Hao, current QUT International student and International Digital Ambassador shares some of his experiences of Australia so far. Look out, Kangaroos ahead!

Read more…

Budgets are your friend

We understand student life can be overwhelming at times, especially when it comes to finances. To help, the team at Studies in Australia have shared a great article to give you some budgeting tips.

Read more…

Foodies, this one is for you!

Want to sample some of Sunnybank’s best cuisine? On Saturday 18 June take a self-guided tour around the Brisbane suburb renowned for its awesome Asian food. There will even be live music and entertainment.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to this event, you can experience Sunnybank at any time of the year. Feel free to take us with you!

Read more…

Join one of our clubs or societies

We have many fantastic clubs and societies where you can connect with other international students from different countries, courses and of various age groups.

Our Digital Ambassador, Linette, joined the Malaysian Student Association, as well as the Yoga and Meditation club. Which ones will you choose?

Read more…

Job applications: some tips and tricks

Are you looking for work at the moment? Not sure where to start with your CV? We have found some useful information on the GradConnection website to keep you ahead of the pack.

Read more…

Have a whale of a time!

Want to try something different? Why not experience whale watching! Get up close and personal with humpback whales in their natural habitat from now through to November while aboard the ‘Eye-Spy’ ferry.

Read more…

We are on Instagram!

That’s right, you can now follow @qutinternational on Instagram for real stories from our QUT international students. So, what are you waiting for?

Read more…

Things Aussies say

If you are new to Brisbane then you might be wondering why Aussies (look, I’m doing it already!) shorten everything. Here is a quick video tutorial to help you out. See you at Maccas this arvo!

Read more…

Until next time, have an awesome weekend!

The QUT Team

Check out these scholarship opportunities:

International student interview: Gargi Singh Ahluwalia

 

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Image: QUT International student, Gargi Singh Ahluwalia

 Where are you from?

  • India

How long have you been in Brisbane?

  • Since February 2015

What course are you studying?

  • Master of Information Technology

How do you find being a part of QUT?

  • Compared to my home country, QUT offers a very multi-cultural learning environment, which enhances my overall study experience. Besides the academic support, QUT provides services like counselling, accommodation, financial assistance that are very useful to me. Most importantly, I feel safe and secure to hang around in the campus, especially when I stay until late in the campus. Even though I am living away from my family and home, I do not feel alone and insecure, because of the support provided by QUT to international students.

What do you like to do during your leisure time?

  • I love singing.

What is your favorite quote?

  • “Take it easy and enjoy every bit of your life.”