Brisbane River Fire!!!!


WHEN THE CITY IS ON FIRE!!!

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-8-37-31-amIf you come study in Brisbane there is this one thing you cannot miss, The Sunsuper River Fire.

Every last Saturday of September, a magnificent fireworks run through the entire city, from the Story Bridge all the way to the artificial beach in South Bank.

Photo from 2015 riverside walk

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-07-08-amLate in the afternoon you can see in the sky Australian Force activities such as a Super Hornet RAAF flying around Brisbane, it even feels like its flying in between the high tower!!!

There are a multitude of different spots to enjoy the show, from South Bank to New Farm, from riverside walk to QUT campus (personally never tried but that is worth checking it).

It is all well prepared by the city to make a whole new experience, indeed crowds can tune with local radio as a set is prerecorded to match the firework!!!

The best option is to rent an apartment with friends in the city, so then the party can keep on going all night!

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Photo from 2016 Eagle street Pier.

Enjoy Holiday in Noosa!

20151221_123813Sometimes we would just have some conversations about our lives in Brisbane with friends or family. When you come up with Brisbane tourism, “Gold Coast” and “Sunshine Coast” may be the first two traveling destinations that pop up on your mind.

Noosa is exactly the northernmost area of Sunshine Coast that includes various shopping malls, special restaurants, creative markets, and even one Australia national park, Noosa National Park. Moreover, you can also rent numerous beach equipment such as kayaks, surfboards, umbrellas and so on here to enjoy the relaxing time without bringing too much stuff yourself. Compare to other beaches of Brisbane, a higher percentage of tourists traveling here is Australian but not international people. Therefore, if you are an international student like me, you can also try to experience the Australian holiday styles in this spectacular tourism attraction!

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This day, I went to “Noosa Main Beach” with my friends. Follow this name, you can easily understand it is the main beach in Noosa which is the most popular spot in this area.

Although the length of Main Beach may not be as long as other beaches in Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, it still looks wide and magnificent. Also, there are so many water activities and multi-functional shopping areas to enhance Noosa’s tourism value. Not only the amazing view and atmosphere but also quality safety means all tourists can enjoy the trip and holiday here

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If you like water activities, you can also go fishing, snorkelling, diving, surfing, kayaking, canoeing and so on near this area. Sometimes you would see some Australians just bring their own boats and spend whole day to enjoy the wonderful views and atmosphere of Noosa. Also, you can discover your own personal attractions freely. Some tourists would choose to go diving near Ex-HMAS Brisbane as well. The markets for shopping lovers just locates next to Main Beach and the designs of buildings and streets are quite beautiful and consistent that you will never want to move your eyes from these picturesque surroundings. In summary, it is the place that can satisfy every generation of people who have different hobbies and I will strongly recommend it to my QUT friends as well!

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Finally, if you would like to read more details or acquire more information about Noosa, my blog article may be a good choice for you: Click Here

Also, please feel free to leave your comments below and follow this QUT blog continuously! Enjoy it! 🙂

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Hey, foodies, it is Brisbane Taiwan Festival!

Do you miss your home country?” I am an international student from Taiwan and my answer of this questions is that I love Australia and don’t really miss my country, but I absolutely miss “Taiwanese food“.

minced-pork-on-riceWhy?

Maybe you have heard about “bubble tea”, but do you know it is actually invented in Taiwan? There are various delicious and famous food in Taiwan because “eating” is the most important and enjoyable thing for us. Hence, we unsurprisingly create an amazing “foodie culture”. Moreover, CNN, an American basic cable and satellite television channel, has also written a news about “45 Taiwanese foods we can’t live without”.

fried_riceAlthough Australia is a multicultural country and has numerous delicious food, it is still a little bit hard to discover traditional Taiwanese food here. However, the good news is that there is an annual event named “Brisbane Taiwan Festival” which was held around Moon Festival, a traditional festival for Taiwanese.

img_0090 img_0093You can have a chance to experience lots of Taiwanese food and performances in this event. Also, fireworks and BBQ are other main attractive points of this festival. There is an interesting thing that I can share with everyone here. Taiwan is the only Moon Festival-celebrating country that has BBQ culture on this specific day in the world because there was a super famous TV advertisement launched 30 years ago and encouraged people to have a BBQ with family to share happiness.

p1100605Actually, I still don’t understand why we are easily influenced by just one advertisement and change our traditional habits. Maybe Taiwanese are all TVholics? haha…

img_0094Finally, if you have any question or stories about Taiwan, please feel free to leave your comment below and don’t forget to follow this QUT blog continuously! 🙂

 

 

Brisbane, a safe place to be

As long as I have been studying in Brisbane (over 7 years), I have never ever felt threatened and most of my international acquaintances would agree.

While studying, I have been working in hospitality for multiple different reasons:

  • my first job experience, no specific qualification required at first
  • really flexible
  • depending on the workplace you can get really good tips, which is really good extra money.

There are always a position available somewhere.

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Source: Adeline Martin. Bartender at Mr & Ms G, River Side.

I have been making coffee really early in the morning forcing me to walk the streets at 5am; to making cocktails at night in some of the busiest nightclub areas in Brisbane, finishing work at 4am.

Locals would consider those times dangerous. And most of the time my international co-worker and I would explain to them what dangerous is.

Not once in all this time spent in Brisbane I had any issues: no stalker, no insult, some drunk people through the weekends but if you are careful and no provocation, I do not see a reason for bad things to happen.

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Source: Adeline Martin. Walking home from Fortutide Valley to the City and New Farm

And depending where you work and where you go, some of the night sites are just amazing!

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Source: Adeline Martin. Casino lights from South Bank.

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Source: Adeline Martin. Working in South Bank.

I lived everywhere in Brisbane, my favorite walk home is along riverside with really nice scenery! How could you miss that?!

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Source: Adeline Martin. River Side walk with the Story Bridge view.

Purple spring bloom in Brisbane

Here comes the purple spring bloom season in Brisbane again!

Jacarandas are the purple flowers dotting around Brisbane and its outskirts, however they are not native to Australia. Origin of Jacarandas is from Brazil.

I and my friend had a stroll around Kelvin Grove to enjoy the purple bloom around the suburb and fully use the immensely beautiful backdrop to take photos.

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These purple flowers calm my mind at this intense approaching exam period. Head out of the house or library just for a short while to be surround by the purple blooms if you feel stressed! Trust me because it is really soothing!

LDI – Training Institute

QUT has this great co-curricular program called Leadership Development and Innovation (LDI). I was lucky enough to be a part of LDI Training Institute (TI) which is an intense week of LDI in a camping way held in last week of June.  This was the second time LDI Training Institute was organised. I was super excited for the week long program especially because I was joining the camp as a Leader Counsellor (LC) who helped the participants with their learning and fun.  TI was all about leadership, team building, and personal development.  We had the best in the industry as our mentors and guides.  These are the people one would have to pay thousands of dollars for an appointment and we were fortunate enough to have them with us for a few days.

There were over 60 students who had joined us.  Each day was filled with fun activities which focused on team building and individual development. Every activity was designed to challenge and let the students explore and come up with their own perspectives. Each of them had a journey of personal growth through the whole week. Personally, it was quite challenging for me as I had lost my voice (literally!) and had to depend on non-verbal communication. My team, however, was amazing and supportive. We ended with a super fun campfire with lot of singing, dancing and marshmallows.  Like the amazing Amy Jackson would say, ‘Life is messy, ambiguous and complicated’, and TI has a helped me be a little better prepared to face it!

Sharing a few pictures from the camp!

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Student exchange experiences

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Hi guys! This is Vicky (Wen-yi Lin). She is from Taiwan and studies Bachelor of Business, major in International Business in Tamkang University (TKU) in Taipei. She got to Brisbane last year July. She participated in the exchange program from her university and spent a year here in QUT. She will be returning to Taiwan mid of this year. Here are some of the questions I have asked to find out about her exchange experience in Brisbane!

Q: One word to sum up your exchange in QUT?

A: Life-changing

Q: What are the best experience or highlight for your one year exchange to Australia?

A: Traveling alone to Adelaide and Perth

Q:  3 things you will miss most in Brisbane?

A; My friends, friendly people, and the food

Q: What will you miss the most in QUT?

A: The resourceful library

Q: How do you spend your free time over here?

A: Wandering around Brisbane with friends

Q: What do you gain from this exchange?

A: I learnt a lot about myself and how to be independent in this year. And also my ability to speak/read/write English has improved.

Find out whether could you apply to exchange or study part of your degree over here at QUT:  https://www.qut.edu.au/international/study-abroad-and-exchange/applying/inbound-exchange 

Riverfire!

Hey guys! Riverfire is an annualQUT S fireworks show, to wrap up the end of the Brisbane Festival.

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To secure good spots for the spectacular fireworks show, my friends and I went to South Bank around 3. We thought we were early, but when we arrived the place is already quite packed and busy. Many people are already there camping to get the best view of the fireworks. As you can see in the picture, some came prepared with tents!

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We had like five hours before the start of the fireworks show. We came prepared with board games and snacks! The five hours actually passed really quickly!

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There are a few aircraft performance before the commencement of Riverfire.

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The show lasted around 15 to 20 minutes. Even though it is my second time watching the Riverfire, the firework show still amazed me and I really enjoyed it. The night sky is filled with pretty and colourful fireworks. The long wait paid off as we managed to get a good spot with awesome view!

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Such a beautiful night. Don’t miss out this event next year! 🙂

 

Working in hospitality in Australia

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A cappuccino made by myself

In Australia, it is really common for university students to work in hospitality and retail. However in China, most of university students focus more on study and doing professional internship.

For a lot of international students coming from developing countries, the living expense here is very high. So they start working part-time to make some money and cover their living expenses. The hospitality and retail industry is where most international students choose to work.

I tried my luck to find a job just by dropping my resume to local cafes and was called for training after several days. Having no experience in hospitality before, let alone making coffee, I started my job by taking coffees to customers. Watching my co-worker, Sarah, making coffee, I started trying to make different kinds of coffee as well. Through continuing practice, I can pretty much make all kinds of coffee after 2 weeks. Yes! Practice makes perfect.

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My co-workers in a local cafe. Bengu, Suzy, Sarah and me!

Though it’s rewarding to make customers happy, challenges are always there in hospitality. Customers are always first even if sometimes you are sick and don’t really want to talk. How to immediately fix a mistake when you do something wrong is not that simple. And starting a conversation with customers always makes me, an introvert, feel nervous.

All in all, I learnt a lot by working in hospitality. My confidence and communication skills definitely improved out of it. I can say it’s always a good experience to do something different in another country!

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Aubrey as a waitress in the grand opening night

Home away from home

Can’t imagine it has been almost 8 months since I am away from home. Missing my family and friends and craving for the food too much!

As the cultural diversity of Brisbane, there are always many cultural festivals happening throughout the year. This weekends Citra Malaysia cultural festival was happening in the centre of Brisbane city. Citra Malaysia is an one day festival which serves to expose and promote Malaysian Culture in Queensland.

During the day, there were a series of activities and performances line up. In the morning, participants formed into different groups to participate in Explorace within Brisbane city. The participants have different tasks to achieve at the game stations. The group that completes all the tasks with the shortest duration will be the winner.

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Photo: Participants played the traditional game of Malaysia.

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Photo: Participants introduced Malaysia to local.

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Photo: The winner group of Explorace.

In the afternoon, the performances started at the stage outside of Queen Street Mall. The first performance was kick started by Lion Dance performance which represents the race of Chinese in Malaysia.

The following photos are Lion Dance performance.

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The following photos are singing and dance performances.

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Photo: Audiences were invited to go on stage to learn the dance.

The following photos are some of the Malaysia’s cultural activities for the audiences on the day.

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Photo: Malaysia map with the tourist spots and authentic food indicated.

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Photo: Goodies bag with small snacks inside. It recalls my childhood memories!

Homesick can be tough for international students. This cultural festival makes me feel like Brisbane is home away from home!