Choosing accommodation Part II

As promised in my previous blog post on choosing accommodation, here I am with a follow-up post.

Regardless of how much time and thought we put into choosing our respective abodes, we always end up compromising on something. The trick is to identify your deal-breakers and your perks – feel free to compromise on your perks.

For example, if you would like to be near a supermarket or shopping centre for convenient shopping, but being near public transport is crucial to you, then it’s alright if you settle for a place that has a bus-stop right outside your house, and the bus takes you to a supermarket in 15 minutes.

Consider the size of the room you would like – space is not major factor for me, but I have friends who cannot stand to be in a small room.

Consider natural light – I have visited many student share houses and other accommodation where the rooms are sold at a cheaper price because there is very little sunlight in the room or no sunlight at all! This is a deal breaker for me as I need natural light to function. My previous room had no windows in it and I suffered a lot because of that.

Think about your surroundings if you can afford to – would you like living in an apartment-style accommodation or a house surrounded by a small garden?

Last, but definitely not least, consider the lease terms before you sign the lease. If possible, send it over to an attorney-at-law and get it checked, especially if the jargon is hard to navigate.

Student accommodation agencies vary in flexibility and this is evident in their different lease terms. Carefully read the house rules and any other specifications put in your lease. Some accommodation agencies can be very strict; some do not permit any alcoholic drinks on the premises at any time, have strict rules on visitors and sometimes even on internet usage.

I have had to let go of many places that I liked because their rule on internet usage was that it could only be used for study purposes and not entertainment – everyone loves an occasional movie, right?

I hope you find satisfactory accommodation through your house-hunting ventures! Don’t forget to get in touch with QUT accommodation service for help and advice on accommodation and housing!

QUT Kelvin Grove campus

Today I would like to share with you some photos of our beautiful Kelvin Grove campus.

Kelvin Grove is an inner northern suburb of Brisbane. It is located approximately 3 kilometres from CBD. It only takes around 10 minutes to travel from Gardens Point campus to Kelvin Grove campus with the frequently scheduled shuttle bus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelvin Grove campus is home to the QUT International College and to students in creative industries, education and health. I am a health student so almost all of my classes are scheduled at Kelvin Grove campus.

I am one of the frequent library-goer. I used to stay at a shared-accommodation near Kelvin Grove campus so I can stay at the library until late evening and also walk to the library during weekends. I feel Kelvin Grove library is nicely designed in order to give students a very comfortable and conducive study environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The library is well equipped with the services and facilities for students.

 

 

 

 

 

There are still many other places and facilities which I didn’t manage to include in this blog post. Come QUT to explore more yourself! 🙂

The library consists of six levels. Fifth and sixth levels are the silent study zones. I like the spacious table provided there.

Outside of the window, the view you can see there is Brisbane CBD.

If you prefer open air study environment, Kelvin Grove library has designed the area with excellent view for you as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The area specially designed for researchers only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I always like the view seen from the library. I can rest my eyes well after long hours staring at the computer or reading materials.

Borrow a book from the library is just so easy and convenient with the facilities provided.

There is a collection of music in store for you to borrow as well.

This is the GamesLab in the library. You can still borrow Xbox One PS4 Controllers from the Library Helpdesk to play in the room if you are keen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A rich collection of books covered different fields at level 4.

You can also book a meeting room if you need to have a discussion with your group mates.

Right outside of the library, there is a café.

We can also easily access to the services provided by the student learning support centre at Kelvin Grove campus.

Another good thing of Kelvin Grove campus is there is a Woolworths! Woolworths (aka Woolies) is a supermarket/groceries chain at Australia.

Kelvin Grove campus also has a building for QUT health and recreation. You can find various of health clinic services in this building includes Optometry, Psychology and Counselling, Podiatry, Human Movement, Nutrition and Dietetics. If you are interested to know more about services provided my QUT medical centre, check out the link: http://www.medical-centre.qut.edu.au

There is Healthstream Fitness Club in the building as well. If you want to use the facilities provided by the club, simply sign up to become the member.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student centre is the place that you can go to get your general enquiries answered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUT Creative Industries Precinct is located at Kelvin Grove campus. The building is well constructed. If you are interested to know more about QUT Creative Industries Precinct, check out the link: http://www.ciprecinct.qut.edu.au/about/

The following photos are some parts of Kelvin Grove campus.

There are still many other places and facilities which I didn’t manage to include in this blog post. Come QUT to explore more yourself! 🙂

Solo trip at Newcastle

I planned my first ever solo trip in life to Newcastle to mark the completion of my bachelor at QUT.

Due to my very limited travel funds, I came across Couchsurfing on internet and tried to send some requests to the potential hosts. I got the positive reply from one of the host finally which meant that the accommodation would be free during the trip! So Yeah! However it was a bit daunting for me to just go like that as I have never tried Couchsurfing before. Furthermore, I didn’t know the hosts at all and also I was going there by myself. It sounds like so adventurous for me indeed!

Newcastle is a harbour city with many beautiful beaches at New South Wales. It is located not very far away from Brisbane. The flight from Brisbane to Newcastle only takes around 75 minutes and the one-way flight ticket only costed me for $39 dollars!

My Couchsurfing host is a lovely couple, Cameron and Julie. Cameron is Australian while Julie is from Ireland. They met each other during their backpacking trip at South America and fell in love since then. Their love story is so beautiful.

Besides providing me free accommodation, they also cooked food for me and drove me here and there. I appreciate their kind hospitality very much.

My first home-cooked meal at Cameron and Julie’s house at Newcastle.

During the daytime, I wandered around Newcastle city and the beautiful beaches myself with the assistance of the map.

I went to Newcastle during the summer time in Australia and came across the list of things to do in summer in Newcastle at the mall. If you happen to plan your trip to Newcastle during summer time as well, hope this list gives you some useful travel information 🙂

If you are one of the coffee lovers, Newcastle will be a good place for you to explore because there are many good cafes scattering around the town.

The following photos are one of the best cafés I went at Newcastle, One Penny Black. I enjoyed drinking their coffee and also eating their signature muffin.

     

Other than the good food, the cafe also has the good ambience.

The nicely presented crepe I tried at ‘Coco Monde’. I miss the tasty crepes so much now.

Other than good cafes, there are many cool shops scattering around the town as well. The following photos are some of the cool shops I enjoyed exploring very much at Newcastle.

The popular doughnuts shop ‘Doughheads’ at Newcastle. It tastes so nice and I am craving for it now!

There are so many creative and hipster stuff in this shop which called ‘Blackbird Corner’ at Darby street.

I feel so comfy and refreshing while staying inside this shop. Probably this is the magic power of botanic.

I adore the design of the shop and also the cool products selling inside the shop.

I didn’t manage to visit this shop in the end. However I know I will like it just from the exterior of the shop.

If you are book lovers, you shouldn’t miss visiting the bookshops at Newcastle. I have so much fun while exploring the bookshops there. I believe you will be as well!

The following photos are some photos I took while wandering around the town.

       

       

I was also lucky to catch the free performance by the orchestra in the city.

If you enjoy seeing scenery, Queens Wharf Tower is the place that not to miss. The following two photos are the view taken from the tower.

       

If you have some time, you also can plan your visit to art gallery and museum at Newcastle. These two places are free for entrance.

       

Besides, I also went to many beautiful beaches at Newcastle.

       

        

        

There is a beautiful garden in front of the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spent some good time exploring Newcastle with my hosts as well. They brought me to Newcastle Memorial Walk. I was so amazed by the breathtaking view there.

       

Julie drove me to Mereweather beach and still treated me dessert. How enjoyable to savour the dessert just right beside the sea.

Julie also brought me to Fernleigh Track to cycle.

We went to the wildlife park too. The following photos are the cute animals I met that day.

       

After travelling around Newcastle, I headed to Sydney from Newcastle by train to meet a girl friend and travel Sydney together. The travelling time is only around 3 hours and the train fare is pretty affordable. I will share my Sydney trip with you guys in the future 🙂

My solo trip at Newcastle was a wonderful and memorable one. I was so glad to meet Cameron and Julie during the trip and thanks again for their kind hospitality.

Lastly, I would like to share a quote with you guys I came across at one of the shops at Newcastle.

Sparkling Christmas in Brisbane!

Hey all! Happy New Year. Hope you guys have had a wonderful holidays and break. It’s great to have a long break since Christmas to get recharge before the start of the year! I had an awesome start by going around the neighbourhood with some friends to visit some houses decorated with beautiful Christmas lights!

We did our research to find out and have a list of houses which decorated their place with Christmas lights! There are many houses on the list, but we narrow down our choices and mainly focus on the ones in Jindalee. Here are some of the pictures!

It’s nice to see how cooperative the whole neighbourhood is as all houses on the street were decorated with Christmas lights! We were amazed by the decorations and the effort they put in to decorate the house. Some houses are really creative with their decorations and they really pay attention to the small details. These houses are really worth visiting! Don’t miss out next Christmas!

 

One Week Back to Home Town

It has been almost one year and six month since I came to Brisbane. My original plan was to come back to my home town after I graduate from QUT as my program lasts only for two years. My plan changed as I was offered a short term course in Japan to study Japanese language and culture. The flight time between Japan and Shanghai is only 2 hours, so I decided to visit my family when the program in Japan ended.

Here I am, lying on the couch at my cozy flat where I spent most of my teenager life and writing blogs.

I went to visit my grandparents and they made very delicious food for me. I also met my childhood friends and we watched a very artistic movie about Shanghai after our dinner.

My college friends

One the railway in Shanghai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming back home after such a long time away makes me feel both both excited and nostalgic.

I feel happy being able to meet my family friends, eat Shanghainese food and walk through the streets that I’m familiar with.

Chilling at home

Grandma’s cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the other hand, I miss how Aussie people interact with each other. China, as one of the Asian countries, has more conservative culture compared with Australia. Thus people rarely say Good Morning or smile to each other on the street.

Anyway, I feel very lucky to be able to go overseas and study in another country. I’m also very proud of my home town and cherish the place where I come from.

 

 

 

 

What’s Your QUT Story? #QUTLife

About this time last year, I saw a campaign somewhere on the QUT website calling for voluntary QUT digital leaders. The main job that QUT digital leaders need to do is to share their own QUT life with the wider QUT online community through a hashtag: #QUTLife.

As I like writing blogs and taking pictures, I submitted my application in the form of a video and was very lucky to be part of the 5 digital leaders. Each of us are from different faculties and we formed great friendship in the past one year.

We attended some QUT flagship events together such as QUT Business Ball, Mental Health Week, Global Cafe and so on. I was also pushed to communicate with more QUT students as this is part of my job to listen to their thinking and share their story as well as mine.

Attending global cafe

Attending workshop together

Attending business ball as digital leaders

Recruiting campaign for the new year

Now on retrospect, I can see my footprint in different corners of QUT and as the new year will begin soon, I’d like to encourage my fellow international students to apply to be one of the new QUT Digital Leaders (click for application). It will be a wonderful opportunity to let the QUT community hear what you think as an international student and share your story with others!

 

Behind QUT Navigate Conference

QUT Navigate Conference is a student-run conference focuses on global employability. I’m very lucky to be one of the student helpers for this conference. Today I’ll share with you what I learnt from this conference planning experience.

  • Teamwork makes things easier

The whole student team is consisted of 4 students studying different majors. One is good at budgeting while the other is good at designing. Also we have a student who has great relationship with industry due to her active involvement in student clubs. As a result of that, we were assigned to tasks that we are good at and started planning the conference with right away.

The whole conference planning team with our MC Marvin Fox

  • Realising my weakness and work on it

At the later stage of the conference preparation, I was asked to manage the volunteer team on the day of the conference. However, as I didn’t really have any people management experience before, I was quite anxious and didn’t perform a great job on the day. During the debriefing meeting afterwards, I realised that when assigning jobs to volunteers, I didn’t make sure that each volunteer has enough job to do. Thus on the day of the conference, some volunteers were not sure what their job is or had finished their tasks but not sure what to do next. I’ll try my best to work on my people management skills in the future as I know that’s what I need to improve.

Facilitator Lisa Lee

The conference turned out to be a success based on students’ feedback. This could not be achieved without the hard work of everyone behind the scene. I’m sure it will be even better next year!

Things I learnt from QUT Business Advantage

It has been a year and a half since I started at QUT. Though I heard about Business Advantage during the orientation in my very first day, I didn’t take part in it until my second semester. For those who haven’t heard about this program, Business Advantage is an extra-curricular program aiming to help business students develop comprehensive skills through interaction, group discussion, presentation and even debating.

Usually each workshop lasts for half a day or a whole day and is hosted in the first several weeks of the semester (it books out very fast!) by facilitators from the industry.

After attending four workshops (Public Speaking, Employment Preparation, Professional Facilitation and Business Design Thinking), I’d like to share with you what I learnt so far from this program.

  • We all like those who encourage others to talk

As each Business Advantage workshop involves group discussion, I’ve noticed there are always extroverted people mixed with introverted people in the group. On one hand, there are people who always keep talking and don’t give those more reserved ones the chance to talk. On the other hand, you’ll also quickly fell in love with those who lead the flow of the discussion and ask everyone ‘what do you think?’.

  • Make friends with people you meet in Business Advantage

In Business Advantage, unlike lectures where you don’t really have huge amounts of time to talk with other students, you get the chance to spend the whole day with students from the Business School. I made quite a few friends simply by asking them about their experience of this program and talking about our major during lunch break.

Trust me, you’ll definitely bump into those friends again on various occasions such as careers fair, networking events and club activities.Your confidence will build up when meeting friends in networking events because you know you’re not alone; you are with someone who shares the same goals like you!

  • Try to apply what you learnt in the workshop to real life

The Business Design Thinking workshop facilitated by Kevin Finn, Founder of TheSumof, was extremely useful and practical where I learnt how to use business canvas model to present business ideas. When this semester I saw a sponsorship opportunity to Hong Kong and mainland China where a business plan was part of the application, this business canvas model I learnt came into handy and helped me a lot in sorting my ideas out.

There are still quite a few workshops I want to attend next semester, I’m sure I’ll learn more and hope to see you there as well!

 

Happy New Year!

I love the festive season. I went to the lighting of Christmas tree at King George Square in Brisbane city with friends.

Before they started the lighting of the Christmas tree, there were some Christmas carols singing performances on the stage!

Finally Santa Claus was coming right before the moment of lighting up the Christmas tree!

Brisbane City Hall and the Christmas tree with the confetti. The moment when the lighting of Christmas tree was on like magical. It was so pretty!

Brisbane City is donned with the Christmas decorations. I can feel the Christmas spirit while walking around Brisbane City.

Brisbane is so happening and fun during this festive season. There were also many other free activities and events for the whole family happening at Brisbane. You can easily find yourself occupied if you are keen.

Wish everyone a Happy New Year!

The RoundUp

Apply now to study at QUT!

Thinking about starting your university journey at QUT in Semester 1, 2017?

Make sure you submit your application now so you don’t miss out.

We hope to see you on campus soon!

Read more…

Welcome to Australia Email Course

Our friends at Insider Guides have prepared a free, two-week course written by international students, locals, and experts to help you with things such as working in Australia, exploring your new city, and transport options.

Read more…

Spotlight on QUT research

PhD student, Atiyeh Vaezipour from QUT’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q), has designed an in-car device that aims to persuade drivers to adopt a fuel efficient and safe driving style.

It’s just some of the awesome research happening at QUT!

Read more…

Explore Brisbane’s art galleries

Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) hosts many exciting art installations. The current one, Sugar Spin, features over 250 artworks exploring light, space, architecture, and the senses.The exhibition is free.

A fun place to visit while you’re exploring South Bank in Brisbane!

Read more…

Stay fit and meet new people!

University isn’t just about studying, you will also have time to socialise and get involved in student life.

QUT offers a variety of sport clubs and social teams for you to meet people from all over the world in a relaxed setting!

Read more...

Follow our bloggers!

Read about some of the exciting experiences our our international student bloggers have enjoyed since moving to Australia!

One of our bloggers, Linette, wrote about the beautiful places she has visited near Brisbane. We guarantee you will have a lot of fun here!

Read more…

QUT students stand out from the crowd!

QUT’s Leadership, Development and Innovation (LDI) Program takes students through a series of workshops to re-think what leadership means. Students receive awards for their level of involvement and it is a great achievement to have on your resume’.

The best news though? It is the only program of its kind in Australia!

Read more…

Real stories of QUT international students

You will find all these great stories by following our Instagram account!

Check out @qutinternational and search for #QUTI to read about other students’ experiences.

Have a great weekend!

The QUT Team

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