Unforgettable Trip in Bruny Island

dsc07562Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs

When you travel in Tasmania in winter, you will absolutely want something ”warm”. Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia and its winter is freezing. At this moment, Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs would be the perfect attraction for tourists. People can enjoy the thermal spring pools, BBQ in natural forests. Also, Newdegate Cave preserves billions years old stalactite formation and people can see the spectacular view of Earth’s history.

dsc07694 dsc07724

Bruny Island

Next, I am going to share the main topic of this blog, Bruny Island. It is similar to North Stradbroke Island that is closed to Brisbane, Bruny Island is near Tasmania’s main island and it is the place for tourists to have wilderness experience, eco-cruise exploring the stunning coastline of the island, and enjoy delicious seafood, handmade fudge, chocolate, truffles, berries, cheese, and premium quality wine. Moreover, Bruny Island is home to fur seals, fairy penguins, white wallaby and many people also come here for bird watching.

dsc07966 dsc07946

dsc07767dsc07765The Neck

It is the isthmus of land connecting north and south Bruny Island and also the most popular attraction of Bruny Island. People just need climbing up the stairs within 5 minutes and can see the breathtaking view which includes ocean, beaches, islands, and the sky.

dsc07778Give me aurora, please!

Seeing the aurora is one of our main goal of visiting this island. For achieving it, we checked the aurora forecast every day during our trip. Unfortunately, we still didn’t see the aurora in this Tasmania trip. However, Bruny Island is one of the best stargazing spots in Tasmania. The night sky is so beautiful that we almost see the galaxy. It is also the best ending of this Tasmania trip for me! Good bye Tassie!

dsc07855 dsc07865Hope you enjoy reading this blog and if you have any opinion that you want to share, please feel free to leave your comment below. Also, don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog! 🙂

 

Tasmania Trip #2

Last blog introduced some travel experience in Hobart and its surroundings in Tasmania. This time I will focus on sharing attractions in Launceston, the second largest city of Tasmania, and other smaller towns.

dsc06923Ross Bridge is similar to the “Richmond Bridge” that was introduced in last blog. It is the third oldest bridge still in use in Australia and was constructed by convict labourers. The bridge locates in the very picturesque and quiet town where also the scenes of famous Japanese anime movie “Kiki’s Delivery Service” was set by Miyazaki Hayao in 1980s. Walking on the street and sitting near the river is the best way to embrace this attraction!

dsc07070Want something exciting?

Penny Royal Adventures is the place that family and friends can try the cliff adventures, rock climbing, and even Tamar River cruises. It is so close to Launceston that people can just visit this attraction by walking from central city. If you are the person who like outside sports, this is the destination where you would love going.

dsc07041

The night view of Penny Royal Adventures

dsc07169 dsc07164

Reserve again? Yes, and you will love it!

Cataract Gorge Reserve, known locally as the Gorge, is also near Launceston city and a unique natural formation. There are three hiking tracks that tourists can walk on to the Cataract Gorge Reserve. People can see the magnificent river view along the cliff face by walking on two pathways originally built in the 1890s. Trust me, this reserve is absolutely attractive for nature lovers!

dsc07097

dsc07349

People can see lots of funny jokes at every blind alley of Tasmazia & The Village of Lower Crackpot

Just bring your humour here!

Tasmazia & The Village of Lower Crackpot locates on Cradle Mountain and includes three main entertainment sections, The Mazes, The Village of Lower Crackpot, and Embassy Gardens. It has 8 mazes and also the largest maze complex in the world. People can try to escape these mazes as quickly as possible and see many funny jokes at every blind alley. Moreover, the Embassy Gardens contain sixty classic buildings from over forty countries for overseas tourists to discover. It is really touched that I unexpectedly found the traditional building of Taiwan, my home country, as well!

dsc07408Finally, there are still many lookouts or waterfalls that can’t be introduces in details in Tasmania. When we drive on the roads, we usually surprisingly found some beautiful and stunning places that are not easily searched on the internet. Tasmania is an island for tourists to explore gradually and create their own travel experience.

dsc07513 dsc07463Do you have any opinion that you want to share? Please feel free to leave your comment below and don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog! 🙂

Brisbane City Hall & Museum of Brisbane

I spent one of my afternoon at Museum of Brisbane and enjoyed hanging around there very much.

Museum of Brisbane is located on top of Brisbane City Hall.

The beautiful Brisbane City Hall in the early morning during winter.

dsc06338

The charming Brisbane City Hall when the night falls.

dsc07920

You can join the free tours if you are interested!

dsc09948

If you would like to receive more information about the exhibition at Museum of Brisbane, check out the website: http://www.museumofbrisbane.com.au

dsc09951

The day when I visited Museum of Brisbane, there have the exhibitions of 100% Brisbane and INK REMIX: Contemporary art from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and also the collection of Story Bridge.

dsc09953

dsc09959

The following photos are some of the interiors at Museum of Brisbane.
dsc09955

dsc09969

Some fun facts from a day in the life of Brisbane I know through the exhibition.  

dsc00005dsc00003

 

dsc09999

 

 

dsc09997

dsc09996dsc09995

I had a sniff of the scents of the city at the Museum of Brisbane. It smells so nice!

dsc09988

You can also listen to a Brisbane story at Museum of Brisbane if you are keen to know more!

dsc00009

Following are some interesting stuff I got to see from the exhibitions on that day.dsc00016 dsc00015 dsc00018

The shop is full of cool stuff!

dsc00021

I learnt so much every time when I visited there. And haven’t I mentioned it is free for entrance right? 😉

Tasmania Trip #1

dsc06429Australia is a country where students can travel easily because of cheap airplane tickets, numerous official and industrial tourism information, and plenty of things to do in different cities or attractions. Today I will share my first travel experience in Tasmania which is also second city that I have ever been in Australia besides Brisbane.

dsc06459Where is Tasmania? Is it attractive?

Tasmania is the southernmost island state of Australia and there are almost 45% of Tasmania are reserves, national parks, and world heritage sites. Therefore, this is the perfect island for tourists who like natural environment and beautiful views.

Me and my friends decided to rent a car to travel around the whole island and it is also the most convenient transportation option in Tasmania. After you arrive at Hobart Airport, you can immediately see many car rental stores in front of the airport.

20160706_131132 20160712_202828

Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, is our first destination and there are numerous amazing attractions in this city. For example, Salamanca Market locates in Hobart is Tasmania’s most visited attraction where you can enjoy the delicious food, art works, or music performances.

dsc06508 dsc06496

Not just nature!

The Port Arthur Historic Site is also the famous attraction near Hobart and it was established in 1830 for punishing over a thousand of notorious convicts and became a timber station at that time. Now it is the perfect base for tourists to explore the history of Tasmania and the you can even take ferry to see this “unescapable” bay and island.

20160706_155708

The Port Arthur Historic Site

Richmond Bridge

Wow… it is the oldest bridge still in use in Australia and also the oldest stone span bridge in this country. It was also recognized the outstanding historic attraction added to the Australian National Heritage List few years ago. Richmond town is so quiet that I even felt that time was much slower than other places. Many local family come here to have picnics, feed the ducks, or shop in several special gift or food stores.

dsc06564 dsc06594

Bay of Fires

I will personally recommend this attraction first to my friends! Bay of Fires is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Australia and also Tasmania’s most popular conservation reserves. Binalong Bay is the area’s main beach where you can walk on sugar-white sand and swim, snorkel, surf in the impossibly clear ocean. Moreover, you can go to the rock section to see the spectacular and unforgettable natural scenery.

dsc06800Do you have any experience that you want to share? Please feel free to leave comment below and don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog! I will also share other interesting travel experience in Tasmania in next blog. See you soon! 🙂

 

Moving from High School to QUT

By Jocelyn Loo, current third year Bachelor of Behavioral Science (Psychology) student at QUT

For a very long time, I wanted to be a teacher because that was the occupation which was most prevalent to me while growing up.  At the end of Year 11, I decided to pursue studying Psychology. There’s more to it than just wanting to be a Psychologist so it looks good on my resumé. Long story short, with the combination of some unresolved grief, the stress of trying to settle into a new phase of life, the common struggles of being a teenager and several other factors altogether, I fell into depression and anxiety. As dark as this all sounds, every bad story has a silver lining and rest assure this story has one. While I was in therapy, I received new insight into what was then a foreign world of mental health. The stigma of mental health that I held on to for a long time crumbled and instead I found a new passion. I discovered the power of conversation and the human mind became interesting to me.

Ever since the beginning of Year 12, I started to browse through the websites of different universities and took note of the prerequisites. I knew I wanted a local university and did not want to move interstate because moving countries was already a huge step for me. Also, I really enjoy the lifestyle here in Brisbane where it is more relax and slow pace compared to the other major cities in Australia. I wanted a university with a respectable reputation and that is recognised all over the world. I knew that I learn best through practical experience and so, that was an important criterion for me. Towards the middle of Year 12, I started to narrow down the options and to be honest, QUT was second on my list. When QTAC application was open and after more contemplation, I decided to go ahead with QUT because of the high recommendations from family, friends, and past students. When the OP results were available, I received the conditional offer from QUT.  That is when it dawned on me that I was really going to university and would be studying something that I enjoy!

10298267_741646372553213_5871359446449948697_o

My overall academic experience here at QUT is excellent despite the occasional setbacks, which rarely happens anyway. I was honestly impressed with the teaching staff and the support services. I thought lectures would be scary and no one was allowed to talk, however, it was the total opposite. My lecturers and tutors were actively engaging and promoting discussions with students. This class setting helped me to speak up and to be bold in sharing my thoughts. Subsequently, the courage to share brought me to a place where I was able to lead student groups and even facilitate workshops for current, new or high school students.

14231928_1241410512560082_6964534043202768517_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my second year, I applied for several roles within the QUT community because I wanted to give back, to gain experience and to make the most of my time here in university. Today, I have a job as an International Student Ambassador where I talk to prospective international students, teachers, parents and even international agents. Additionally, QUT has connections with many organisations and businesses depending on the undergraduate degree. Thus, I was lucky enough to intern as a research assistant at the Centre for Children’s Health Research. It has been a tremendous journey of growth as a person but also professionally. I never thought I was able to accomplish so many of my goals at such a young age. Because QUT has provided me so many opportunities to flourish, I am looking forward to my last year in my undergraduate degree to see where else QUT can take me.

Nonetheless, I have found that university is more than just academic achievement. Instead, it taught me so much more about how to navigate and respond when people come and go, when I didn’t receive the results that I expected, when rejection of an application occurred – it challenges me to never back down. Above all else, the greatest thing about university is having friends from all over the world who are studying different degrees. One of my best university moments are those where I get to celebrate my friends’ graduation. Seeing them put so much effort into their degree is inspiring but more than that, it forms a closer bond within us as we learn to go through the tougher times together. In the end, it all comes down to what you make of your university journey.

11710044_10206439340209573_4804248008288717716_o 13923303_10153698126171806_2860219156160785399_o 12345605_922210624515400_4456509727718230589_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUT Gardens Point Campus

I do not always go to Garden Point Campus because my course is based at Kelvin Grove Campus. So I am actually not very familiar with Garden Point Campus. Today I walked around the campus before my evening jog along Brisbane river and found how beautiful and convenient the campus is.

dsc09945

Library is the place that I am more familiar with at Gardens Point Campus. It is located in the centre of the campus.

dsc09920

Right outside of the library, there are dispensers and microwaves. It is so convenient when students are mugging for exams in the library.

dsc09940

During the exams period, the opening hours is extended until 2am. Another cool thing of the library is we are allowed to have our lunch or dinner inside the building. So students can stay in the library for the whole day to study efficiently.

oqo01

Beside the library, there is a zone for you to chillax with friends whenever you want to have a short break from the study.

dsc09938

I got help for my assignments at the library helpdesk before. The staffs are helpful and approachable! Besides, there is also IT helpdesk which the place that you can seek some IT help!

dsc09942

Lockers are provided in the campus for students to use as well.

dsc09936

There are many emergency poles in the campus. You can easily seek assistance in the campus if you have any security concerns.

dsc09895

Other than the main library, there is also a Law library at Gardens Point Campusdsc09923

dsc09929

dsc09926

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copiers and Network Printers corner at Law library.

dsc09927

Computer zone at Law Library. Other than the computer zones in the library, there are also many computer labs in the campus. Some of them are accessible for 24 hours.

dsc09924

It is really good that kitchen facilities are provided in the library!

dsc09921

Applying to be the member of Healthstream then you can enjoy the swimming pool and gym facilities in the campus.

dsc09918

dsc09883

I enjoy walking around the bookshop. There are many interesting stuffs inside! I like the QUT merchandise too!

dsc09915

Near to the bookshop & café, there are botanic bar and food court.

dsc09881

Students can always approach the friendly staff in the student centre to seek for assistance.

dsc09898

Pharmacy, restaurant and the corner store in the campus.

dsc09890

Following photos are some amazing spaces in Gardens Point Campus.

dsc09902

dsc09908

dsc09905

dsc09913

mhoyu

Following photos are beautiful infrastructures in Gardens Point Campus.

dsc09878

dsc09892

mdfcf

dsc09897

dsc09932

After walking around some parts of Gardens Point Campus, I crossed Goodwill bridge to South Bank to start my evening run along Brisbane River.

dsc09874

Rest on the grass in the halfway of running.

dsc09864

Hope this post helps you to know more about our campus:) Other than that, there are still many other amazing facilities and spaces in QUT campus! Come to explore it yourself 🙂

 

Choosing accomodation

Having never been to Australia before, I was not pleased to know QUT did not have on-campus accommodation because it seemed every other university within my knowledge had on-campus housing for students.

However, QUT does have an Accommodation Service that helps you with settling down, and it’s free! So make use of it, because they provide you with reliable information regarding which realty agents to use and help you find a property within your budget. They may also assist you with going on inspection rounds to visit different property until you find something satisfactory.

20160724_15245020160724_152434

20160901_164759

On choosing accommodation here’s a few points for consideration:

  • Firstly, set a budget. A reasonable budget for weekly rent would be between $150-$250. A room for less than $150 is rather difficult to find and if you do find one, it’s often not worth the price. Work out your weekly pay, or if your parents are sponsoring you talk to them, and set out an appropriate budget. I’d advise you to have some degree of flexibility over this as it is rare to find a room we like for the exact price we want
  • See as MANY houses as possible before settling on one. There is no rush! Please see lots of property before settling down
  • Consider things other than just your room: what amenities does the weekly rent cover? How long does it take to get to uni? How far is the nearest public transport and how frequently do buses/trains arrive? Where is the nearest supermarket or grocery shop? Is the house in a remote/isolated area?
  • The housemates – who are they and where are they from? Do they speak English? Is it a single-sex or mixed house? How many housemates do you have? Does anyone smoke/drink and are you OK with this?
  • Carefully consider if you need a single/shared room. If your budget is super tight and you need a room for less than $150 a week, you may have better luck finding a shared room. If your budget is not constrained, I would HIGHLY recommend a single room. From personal experience, I implore you to meet your roommate BEFORE you sign the lease and talk to them. Set some ground rules – ask if they have any conditions that you must comply with, set your own conditions. DO NOT MOVE IN BEFORE MEETING YOUR ROOMMATE if it’s a shared room
  • Try and get a 6-month lease, because personalities clash sometimes and breaking the lease is expensive. Your loss will be less if your lease term is shorter.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or talk to someone. If you would like to talk to another international student and chat with them about their accommodation experiences, contact QUT and ask them if they can put you through.

I promise to follow up on another post with more accommodation advice for you guys. Happy house-hunting!

Eight Inc. workshop with QUT students and staff

I recently attended a workshop hosted by Eight Inc. to discuss about a new project aimed at improving students’ learning experience at QUT, with both QUT staff and my fellow students.

Yaw talking about his experience as a QUT Connector

Yaw talking about his experience as a QUT Connector

Eight Inc. is a design company based in Singapore. Most of the designers are from the States. I guess QUT chose to work with this design company because of the new perspective a foreign company can bring to us.

During the whole day-workshop, lots of interesting conversation was generated among the attendees.

This workshop gives us students a lot of opportunities to talk about our ideas

This workshop gives us students a lot of opportunities to talk about our ideas

When asked about what makes QUT different from other universities, students talked about their experience of the real world focus that QUT has. For example, QUT offers students many work placement opportunities. I also talked about how QUT encourages students to take part in different programs on campus and forms a partnership with students to deliver different kinds of programs.

dsc00421

dsc00415

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a bit nervous at the beginning of the workshop because most of the attendees are QUT staff on a senior level and there were only five students including me. But I’m amazed at how all the staff tried to talk to us and ask our opinion on a lot of the things.

I’m glad I attended this workshop and generated some meaningful conversation with other people on how to improve students’ experience!

The End of an Incredible Chapter

 

This is the hardest goodbye ever!!!screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-46-38-pm

Last week I submitted my last reports (hopefully)! It felt like a release but shortly after a strange feeling hit my heart… sadness!

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-4-37-02-pm

I would have never thought this would happen, realizing the end of an amazing experience, the end of feeling part of a big family, QUT!

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-4-39-23-pm

I am going to miss every bit of my two years at QUT Garden Point, from the location to the classrooms, for the lecturers to the students, from the excitement moments to the stressful tears, from the arguments to the amazing friendships.

 screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-47-16-pmscreen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-48-39-pm screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-47-29-pm

I am even going to miss the long hours spent at the library (silent zone) overnights and weekends! The amount of knowledge I digest in two years and the experiences the university offered to me!

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-46-52-pm

All the junk food ate over amazing conversations or procrastination as we call in the academic jargon!

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-4-36-26-pmscreen-shot-2016-11-15-at-4-39-40-pmscreen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-49-00-pm

Today I would love to fully enjoy my freedom so long waited, but the confusion in between excitement and sadness makes it hard!

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-48-49-pm screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-48-25-pm screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-48-15-pm

Thank you QUT for all the supports and opportunities you enable me to use, If I had to do it again, I would.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-47-04-pmscreen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-47-41-pmscreen-shot-2016-11-15-at-4-45-31-pm

 

QUT, I will be back and together we are going to ride a part of my life again!

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-48-00-pm

 

 

Australia’s largest Oktoberfest!

14524491_1054972597935139_7984770791111003720_o

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival and it has been originally started in Munich, Bavaria, Germany since 1810. After many decades, this festival becomes more and more popular and now there are several cities all around the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations. For example, Oktoberfest Brisbane is Australia’s largest Oktoberfest and I would like to share some interesting experience about this event today.

img_0448 img_0449

 

img_0459 img_0453

What is the special points of Oktoberfest?

There are more than 40,000 people participate in this event every year. People can have cultural experience of Oktoberfest Tent, singing, clapping, dance with popular Bavarian Oktoberfest Band, relax in the Munich Biergarten, and chat with friends here. Also, there are many entertainment facilities outside that family and kids can enjoy together. The most famous point of the event is that it is the great place where you can have delicious food, tasty beer, wine, and other drinks. When you drink your alcohol, you can also see the performances of traditional dancers, bell-ringers, leg-slappers and yodellers.

img_0460 img_0462

Is it Australia?

The most interesting thing for me was that most of the culture-seeking enthusiasts were all dressed in traditional German clothes and so engaged in this event. When I just came in the event area, I was even wondering if I was still in Australia or not. However, this is why I love this festival, the fantastic atmosphere, well-design performances, excellent food and drinks are all unforgettable for me. Moreover, just like Ekka, the event is held at Brisbane Showgrounds that is closed to city and QUT and it is so convenient for students to experience it.

img_0485 img_0530

Do you have any interesting experience that you want to share about Oktoberfest with others? Please feel free to leave any comment below and don’t forget to follow this QUT blog continuously! 🙂

img_0499