Research Internships for Science Undergraduates

It’s almost a rite of passage for the current day for undergraduate students to do a summer internship for at least their last two years of study.

As international students we may have the slight disadvantage of not having any connections in the industry for us to land an internship – we often require more effort and time compared to that required by a domestic student.

However, QUT has in place a Vacation Research Scheme (VRES) for which all QUT students can apply! You will usually get an email in your second semester giving you more details about the VRES projects available and the supervisors in charge of each project.

The projects are categorised by school so it is easier to find a project that suits your interests and academic field. I come under the School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, so I skipped over all the other projects to look at the projects listed under this school because they would be more relevant to me.

You are required to choose and nominate three projects that interest you, in order of preference. You must email the supervisors of each of the three projects and meet up with them beforehand. This allows you to show interest in the respective project and to also get to know about the nitty-gritty of the projects. After your chats with them, your order of preference may change. So this needs to be done before you submit the application.

As per usual you need to state why you want to take part in VRES. As places are limited, the entry to this is very competitive. The supervisors have high expectations of the students who do get into VRES, and you get paid for each week of research you do.

In general, it is rather uncommon for a first year to get in, although you’re more than welcome to apply. Most supervisors prefer students from the second year and upwards due to the simple fact that by the end of the second year, you would have more knowledge and experience in the field, so the project would be more beneficial to you. However, a few first year students do get into VRES each year, so don’t let that discourage you from applying.

Read the details early on so that you can organise a time to meet up with the supervisor easily, because they tend to be very busy and often don’t have time to see you on short notice.

Keep in mind, this is just one of many opportunities that will come your way. Check in other places such as Engineers without Borders and CSIRO for other internships that maybe available to you. VRES is really good place to start looking, because it is from QUT itself.

QUTIC’s new student testimonial videos

Hear from students’ in their own words, in their own language:

Brazil: https://youtu.be/bTHtoJAstec
Colombia: https://youtu.be/DdeV447pCBQ
Hong Kong: https://youtu.be/N1QtNPjrU4E
Indonesia: https://youtu.be/SmOF8nMnjVs
Japan: https://youtu.be/A6N9vycAIp8
Korea: https://youtu.be/WbUXO7_p1QA
Malaysia: https://youtu.be/5D6gkMcDPOQ
Sri Lanka: https://youtu.be/yg-fQwIAPHo
Taiwan: https://youtu.be/QIgh8nCi-gc
Thailand: https://youtu.be/2dyufXcxIvo
Vietnam: https://youtu.be/Ymlj7XCxm5c

QUTIC video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGzUKEnhM8M&feature=youtu.be

New Year in Singapore

The famous Merlion

 

Guess where I am?

Can you recognise this Merlion?

Yes I came to Singapore. Merlion is the icon of Singapore.The fish body represents Singapore’s origin as a fishing town.

 

 

 

After my exchange in Japan and prior to my departure to Germany, I came to visit my friend Ada who’s doing an internship in Singapore at the moment and managed to catch up with two friends I met in QUT, one of them being my fellow international student blogger – Linette.

I have long been wanting to visit Singapore, a place people call Garden City and head of Asia’s financial hub.

As my friend was working most of the time, I visited a lot of places by myself. This was technically the first time that I travelled by myself. To be honest, I enjoyed it a lot. You can control your own pace and stop at places however long you want.

I spend my first day at Gardens by the Bay.

Sky trees in a rainy day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When getting out of the MRT(Singapore’s railway) station, I didn’t see Gardens by the Bay straight away. The reason I thought is that I got off one stop ahead of the stop where I was supposed to get off. So I took a stroll along the riverside and saw another Merlion and the Durian Museum.

Durian Museum

Another Merlion near Raffles Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I kept walking, I happened to see Marina Bay Sands where the famous infinity pool was located. This is the world’s largest rooftop pool. Imagining I have a hotel room there one day, I giggled and said to myself: You need to work harder and take a photo there one day.

Marina bay Sands. Does it look like a ship?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I understand why people call Singapore garden city. It is a very very small country but is also the financial centre of south east Asia. Even in the city area where there are lots of skyscrapers, plants, trees and flowers fit really well with the high buildings.

City centre where plants co-exist with high buildings.

Night view of the sky trees

Back to the MRT station from Gardens by the Bay

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional Chinese Food Hawker Stall

China Town in Singapore

Indian Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a lunch catching up with friends on the second day, I went to China Town and Little India to see the culture and shops. There is a very unique Indian Temple in Little India and the food was so authentic and cheap.

The third day was well spent in Singapore Zoo. It is literally the most amazing zoo that I have ever went. Not only did they have a wide range of animals, you get the chance to see them in an open environment. That is to say, sometimes monkeys walk pass on the trees beside you and there was no fence to separate you from the animals. I also saw Orangutan first time in my life. I guess you can only see them in Singapore or Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orang-utan eating food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My last day in Singapore was well spent in Sentosa Island, the southern most point in southeast Asia and at friend’s place eating traditional Chinese Sichuan style hotpot. That day was the last day of 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentosa Island is actually a famous tourist resort where you can spend the whole week and not feel bored. They have a range of amusement facilities which include casino, cultural cuisine, 3D museums, universal studio, beaches, high-end hotels and many many more.

Due to the short time-frame, I only went to one beach that day. Luckily I went there early enough because it started raining soon after 2 pm in the afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

It started raining and a lot of people left the beach. That’s why there was nobody on the suspension bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you ask me what I miss the most from Singapore, my honest answer is food! The exchange rate of Singaporean dollar versus Australian dollar is almost 1:1. But the food there usually only costs 3-6 dollar from food court (also known as hawker centre).

 

 

 

 

 

There are quite a few exchange programs running between QUT and universities in Singapore. If some of the opportunities come up, please make sure to grab it because Singapore is truly a city worth exploring and a place you will fall in love.

 

Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) turns 10!

I went to Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) turns 10 party with my friends. GOMA is an art museum located in the Southbank precinct of Brisbane.

On that day, there were backdrop and lighting prepared right in front of GOMA entrance. Anyone can take the photos there if you are keen.

The current major exhibitions at GOMA include art of Australia and the Pacific, a captivating new light work by renowned artist Anthony McCall and also over 200 contemporary artworks exploring light, space, architecture and the senses. If you are keen to know more information, simply check out the link: https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au

Feed your eyes with the colourful exhibitions there.

The following photos are some artistic exhibitions at GOMA.

Other than seeing exhibitions, we found back some childhood fun through some hands-on artworks.

I created my own lego robot!

This is the area for you to write your thought for the world, your pet or anyone you miss in the world.

After finish seeing the exhibitions, you can still hang out with friends at the open air pub there.

The exhibitions brought me into the artistic world. A very recommended place for you to visit if you have some free time to spend at Brisbane. Forgot to tell you it is free for entrance too!

 

 

 

A Book lover’s paradise: Lifeline Bookfest!!

I did not know about the existence of bookfest until it had already started and gone halfway through its scheduled dates for January 2017. I have to thank my lovely friend Ashlee for enlightening me about this. Being the massive bookworm I am, I love nothing more than cheap books. If you happen to share the same endearing quality, then Lifeline Bookfest is your slice of paradise!

Lifeline is an Australian charity that provides crisis support and suicide prevention services to Australians. It plays a pivotal role in supporting the mental wellbeing of people throughout Australia. Thus keep in mind that every purchase you make at bookfest is going towards a worthy cause.

How it works: people from everywhere donate their books (from all kinds of genres, even textbooks), stationery (that is in good condition) and even CDs and DVDs to Lifeline; a bunch of volunteers and lifeline staff congregate and categorise them and sell it at bookfest. All funds generated go towards supporting Lifeline.

That is all the background info in a nutshell. Feel free to do some of your own research. Now to the fun bits and pics.

All the six books above, I got for a total of $9. HOW COOL IS THAT??? I would imagine each of those books to cost a minimum of $15 bucks at a bookstore. You’ve got to admit that it’s a real steal.

My only problem at bookfest was that I wanted to buy half of the books displayed there, which would mean I have to sell my soul. So naturally, I had to limit my spending.

As you can possibly gauge from the above pictures, there’s an almost impossible number of books to navigate through, so if you’re as into books as I am, then be prepared to come in multiple days. Do not fret, as bookfest runs for over a week, so can come in every now and again.

Pro tip: bring a sturdy grocery bag with you. You’ll love yourself a little more if you don’t have to balance 20 books in your hands on a 40-minute bus ride.

Look at that BARGAIN!!!!! *insert heart eye emoji*

The books are divided off into 3 sections: $1 section, $2.50 section and the ‘High-quality books’ section. The ‘High-quality books’ are priced anywhere at and above $4  and this is usually where you would find some useful reference books. Inside each section the books are arranged into tables labelled fiction, hardback, paperback, biographies, rare & collectables, etc. There’s a lot more sections than I can remember, I’m afraid.

After you’re done in each section you have to pay for your books at the checkouts pictured above, where they will put your books in a plastic bag and seal it. Do not break this seal until you’re done with bookfest for the day. This seal helps prevent books from different sections from getting mixed up.

You can always google up Lifeline bookfest for more information. Don’t forget to like their facebook page as this will give you updates on their events.

Bookfest happens twice a year and couldn’t happen without the lovely volunteers or patrons, so feel free to volunteer at the next bookfest.

 

Winter Exchange in Germany

Last semester, I applied for several short term exchange programs overseas. It turns out that going abroad is less difficult than I thought because a lot of the programs are easy to get into and QUT provides great support along the way.

I applied for 5 programs last year and was admitted to 3 of them. Due to the timeframe of the programs, I picked two of them to attend this winter. After exchanging in Japan, I was off to Germany for another three weeks. I can say it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my university life.

To me, Europe is a completely unfamiliar continent and German is another completely different and hard language. But I’m glad I stepped outside my comfort zone and spent 3 weeks learning German language.

This winter program consists of four parts: German language class, business seminar (you can choose between business seminar and culture seminar), photography workshop ( other workshops on offer are cooking and dancing) and excursions.

A snapshot of International Winter University in Fulda, Germany (first week)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall the program is really hectic and we have things to do almost everyday.

My first impression of Germany is: it is so cold! I was very unprepared when I landed in Frankfurt and was shaking all the way to the hotel.

Eurotower

Point Alpha – It was so cold there

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know what? The university education in Germany is for free. Besides, there are government food subsidy to students as well. So if you eat at school canteen, it usually only costs three or four Euro.

Food in canteen only costs 3 Euro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides studying, the highlight of this trip is of course different fieldtrips! We went to Berlin for the whole weekend, exploring the art and history of east and west German. Then we toured these two little towns called Nuremberg and Wurzberg with castles and ancient cathedrals. At our last day, we headed to a ski resort called Rhon for sliding.

Nuremberg adventure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berlin loves you – near Topographie Des Terrors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor’s House in Fulda where our university is located

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got so excited when slidingGoGoglo

Most of the program participants are from Australia and America. For some of them who are from Brisbane and California, they have never seen snow before. Thus sliding made them really really excited.

I want to say thank you to all the people I met in this journey who made it an amazing experience for all. I’m sure some of us will meet each other somewhere in the world sooner or later. Danke!

Sunflowers

The semester is starting in less than a month?!!! That’s fast, where did the time go? It feels like yesterday where the holiday started. My friends and I have been trying to have fun and travel around before the start of the stressful period. Last week, we went for a road trip to see the sunflowers at the Sunflower Route.

We drove along the road from Warwick to Allora and were welcomed by sunflowers. However, some of the sunflowers were not blooming. Nevertheless, it was a nice drive with a nice view.

Smiling brightly!

We went there in the evening to catch the sunset as well (too lazy to wake up early for the sunrise :P) and it was beautiful! It was fun travelling around and discovering the beauty of Queensland.

 

 

Winter Exchange in Japan

Last year, I was very lucky to get the chance to travel and study in Japan. It has always been my dream to come to Japan since high school as I watched a lot of Japanese TV shows and wanted to experience the Japanese culture by myself. Now after almost one month of stay in Japan, I can say my Japanese improved a lot and I learnt more Japanese culture.

I came to Japan early before the start the program and went to Kyushu area for travelling. Even in winter, the mountains in Kyushu was so pretty. I still remember how nice the people I met there were. When I was trying to go to the mountain in Kirishima and was told there was no bus access, a taxi driver offered to drive me and my friend there. Not only did he charge us a little, he showed us multiple hidden spots on the mountain and tried to explain the history behind it.

As my cultural class in Amagasaki was about to start, I said goodbye to my boyfriend who was travelling with me and went to Amagasaki one day prior to the start day of the program.

This winter program consists of Japanese language study, school visits and home stay experience. I want to share with you my experience from each parts and what I learnt out of them.

Students From Brisbane and Fiji

Namba, Osaka – one of the most crowded shopping center in Japan

Japanese Language study

We are very lucky to have Fujiwara Sensei as our Japanese language teacher who is humorous and knowledgeable. Her style of teaching is very interactive and encouraging. In each of the class, we spent almost fifty percent of the time in speaking. As a result, at the end of the first week, we already known how to greet and order food in Japanese. Although the program has already ended now, I will continue learning Japanese. I hope next time when I come back to Japan, I will be able to communicate better with my Japanese friends.

Attending local students’ English class

School visits

This is another part of the program which I enjoyed a lot. We went to visited Amagasaki Junior High School for their English Festival. I was so touched by how much effort and time the students put in this festival. Both year 7 and year 8 students played skit, while year 9 students shared with us their experience in New Zealand as all of them just came back from a study trip there.

One thing I noticed from this English festival is that unlike individualism, Japanese education focuses a lot on teamwork and respect. There might be twenty students in one group and only ten characters available in a certain skit, but everyone gets the chance to go on stage and perform because one role can be played by three or four students.

Another unforgettable school visit happened in Ojiro Junior High School where we ate lunch with the students and had classes together with them. Unlike Amagasaki, Ojiro is a very small town located in the mountain with less population and colder weather.

We, as exchange students from overseas, got the chance to participate in their English and music class. The English teacher in the school told us that a lot of students there don’t have many opportunities to speak English, so they really appreciate our visiting. When the class started, each of us did a short presentation in front of the class introducing our own countries. All the students seem to be interested and took down some notes.

In the music class, the students performed a local song to us and we danced and sang What Makes You Beautiful together. It was such a wonderful time to bond together with nice music.

Visiting Amagasaki Junior High School and attending their English Festival

Home Stay in Ojiro

My first impression of Ojiro is the beautifulness and peace of this little town. I still remembered some of my friends from Australia and Fiji were so amazed by the snow on the top of the mountain because it was the first time for them to see snow.

When we arrived at the Ojiro, our host family have already been in the city hall waiting for us. All of us felt a bit nervous to be honest as most of us haven’t been living with others before. At the same time, we also wanted to know where are we going to live and know our host family better.

My host mom came to the first meeting that day as my host dad was at work. She made me completely feel at home and prepared everything for me. When host dad came home, we had a really long discussion about Japanese culture, Chinese culture and Australian culture. Both of them were really humble and asked me lots of questions. Thanks to the similarity in Kanji and Chinese character, when we didn’t understand each other by verbal communication, handwriting came into use.

At the end of the homestay, it was so hard to say goodbye to all the nice people that I have met in Ojiro. I will always remember how pretty the mountains there are, how nice the locals are and how much fun I had there!

Snow in the mountain in Ojiro

 

Homemade meal by my host mum

One month of stay in Japan is definitely an eye-opening experience for me and I really find going overseas can open your horizon a lot. So my dear reader, if you come across such kind of opportunities in the future, make sure to grab it and make the most out of it!

 

Who is a Deans’ Scholar? How do you become one?

At QUT, Deans’ Scholars is a program that you can get into with outstanding academic achievements and consistent engagement with the university community.

To be considered for entry into this program you must be a first-year student, studying a degree that comes under the Science and Engineering faculty, and be holding one of the following scholarships already:

You must also have a GPA of 6.0 or higher in your first semester, be a member of the College of Excellence and have completed at least 2 LDI units (one core workshop and one non-core workshop). If you meet the above requirements, you will be invited to apply for the program and you will be selected on a competitive entry basis.

To maintain your membership in the program, you will have to continue to have a GPA of 6.0 or highers each semester and be actively involved in the university community.

If you are considering applying to the Deans’ Scholar program, you do need to build a good relationship with at least one of your lecturers or tutors, as you will need a letter of recommendation from one academic staff to complete your application.

There are some advantages to being a Deans Scholar: You get exclusive networking opportunities with university students and staff and industry employers. You have the added benefit of meeting like-minded peers, and you maybe assigned a mentor – a senior Deans’ Scholar from the same degree and major or with similar interests to you.

So work hard in that first semester and try and get into the program. It’s definitely worth it, as it’s a smaller community of like-minded people within our big university and you get an opportunity to meet lots of new people.

The RoundUp

Orientation at QUT!

February means Orientation Week at QUT! This is a time when new students can attend events and workshops and meet QUT staff and volunteers to welcome and support them.

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QUT Creative Explorers

Follow our QUT Creative Explorers, international students from QUT’s Creative Industries Faculty to learn about life as a QUT student!

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Find a QUT representative in your country

QUT has a global network of official education agents and representatives who can help you find a course and apply to study with us.

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Experience Moreton Island!

When you are in Brisbane it’s a great excuse to visit beautiful Moreton Island! Take a ferry from Brisbane and be surrounded by white sand, stunning blue ocean, and better yet, dolphins! You can even experience feeding the dolphins at sunset. Pretty cool, huh.

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Chaplaincy services on campus

Chaplaincy services are available on campus to help people of all faiths with personal needs, pastoral care and the services of the church.

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BrisAsia Festival in Brisbane

Celebrate contemporary and traditional Asian arts and cultural events here in Brisbane! This is the fifth year of the event which is held over three weeks from the end of January to the middle of February. Come and experience it for yourself!

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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’.

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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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