Traveling to the Gold Coast

While Brisbane itself has a lot to offer, it is also only one or two hours away from the ocean and major beaches. If you have a free day, hop on the train in the morning and head down to the Gold Coast. The trip is about an hour train ride plus a twenty-or-so minute bus ride. Use the Translink website or app to figure out your route and fare; it will be cheaper if you have a GoCard. Once you’re there, you’ll have a full day of laying out in the sand, swimming in the ocean, and relaxing. Depending on what beach you go to as well, you’ll have plenty of shops and restaurants to explore. Surfer’s Paradise is a great beach if you’re looking for this. No matter what beach you choose, you’ll see that the ocean views are beautiful. Grab some friends and make a day out of it – you won’t regret it.

My volunteering experience with RSPCA

I attended QUT Skilled Volunteering Expo and signed up for a few organizations that I am interested in. After signing up, I received the emails when they need volunteers for the events.

I had a lot of free time after finishing the final exams so I registered my name to volunteer as the photographer for Santa Paws Christmas market by RSPCA QLD.

The RSPCA is an independent, non-government community-based charity providing animal care and protection services. The RSPCA’s mission is to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection. If you would like to know more about RSPCA, here is the link for you: https://www.rspca.org.au/

Basically you can find all types of things related to pets in the RSPCA superstore.

If you want to have a pet and believe that you will be able to take good care of them, adoption is a pretty good idea.

There are seven reasons why you should choose adoption. So think about adoption!

Some fun facts about the dogs’ age when comparing to human years.

The following photos are the cute dogs in the RSPCA adoption centre at that time.

Other than dogs, there are also cats in the RSPCA adoption centre.

People can have their pet’s photo taken with the one and only RSPCA’s Santa Paws on that day and also do some Christmas shopping for their pets.

The dogs were clad in with the Christmas accessories by their owners and waiting for the photos to be taken.

This little cutie pie wore the fancy clothes. How adorable is it!

The following photos are some other cute dogs I met during the event.

This little one was sniffing my camera haha!

Happy dog and the happy owner.

Two cutie pies.

Not only the pets, kids also have a lot of fun during the day.

The team is there to help you if you need any.

My volunteering experience with RSPCA was great. If you have time and feel like doing something meaningful, think about volunteering.

Sidebar: I met with other RSPCA volunteers during my morning run along Brisbane River at South Bank. The volunteers were strolling with the dogs for adoption in RSPCA.

Everyone is welcome to get close with the dogs and have fun with them if you are keen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to do Mount Beerburrum Lookout

When thinking about things to do around Brisbane, the first thing that comes to my mind is the beach. Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, North Stradbroke Island, you name it ! However, one thing that I discovered last weekend is that there are heaps of places you can hike only an hour away from Brisbane ! More specifically, there is this place called Mount Beerburrum Lookout where you can hike for around 700m and get this wonderful view :

Not bad right ?

A 700m walk seems pretty easy, but don’t let it fool you : it is very very steep ! In fact, it is a class 4 hike, which are the most difficult ones. What is great about the hike though is that it is not too long, so you really don’t need to be an athlete to complete the walk. There is not a lot of shade on the way to the top and it does get pretty warm at this time of the year, so if you have he chance, try to go in the morning. It takes around 1h to 1h 30 minutes to do the entire loop, so you have plenty of time to go hit the local beaches of the Sunshine Coast after, or even complete one of the other hikes around if you are brave ! One last tip : if you do not feel like getting led by Google maps to an abandoned farm nearby, make sure to research how to get there before leaving Brisbane.

All in all, this hike is definitely worth it and I recommend it 100% !

 

 

Getting fit on a budget at QUT

Working out is a great way to release stress and help you maintain a good body shape and health. Besides the low-cost exercise like running and jogging, there are many options you can choose from to stay fit with a low cost at uni.

  • Join a sports club

In QUT, there are lots of social sports clubs you can choose from. It is a great way to keep fit while meeting new friends. If you just want to de-stress and not work out too much, QUT MY(Meditation and Yoga) Club might be a good option.

I joined QUT MY Time this semester and went for the yoga workshop 2 times a week. I can say it helps a lot when it comes to finding inner peace and be less stressed. The membership fee for one year is only 10 dollar. What a bargain!

 

 

 

 

🙂 🙂

  • Use the swimming pool on campus

It was only until this semester that I started using the swimming pool in QUT Health Stream at Gardens Point campus. This is an olympic standard pool.

The cost for one entrance ranges from $5 to $8 dollar depending on how many passes you buy as a bundle. Besides that, they also run adult swimming classes on weekend which is very helpful especially for me as I can’t swim very well and in Australia pretty everyone can swim.

Picture from Healthstream Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Join the free Medibank Feel Good Program

Starting from March, Medibank Feel Good Program started and it will last for ten weeks. They have a range of free workshops ranging from zumba to ballet fit. You don’t need to prepare anything for the workshop, just simply show up and you will also get free yoghurt at the end.

It is only 15 minutes by walk from QUT to get to the venue of the workshop which is located in Southbank.

 

Let’s get fit together in the new semester!

ISAQ Welcoming Party

ISAQ (Indonesian Student Association of QUT) is an association for Indonesian students who study at QUT. ISAQ is also open to all other QUT students who have interests with Indonesia. This association holds events regularly.

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Cooking is Fun!

It has been one year and seven months since I came to Australia. I still remember when I first came here, I found the living expense was very expensive. So I almost cooked every meal for myself even though it didn’t taste that good.

Gradually, I got busier and busier with university and managed to find a job to support myself. As a result, I got lazy with cooking because:

  1. Prepare food took a lot of time.
  2. Even though I spent time on cooking, it didn’t necessarily taste good.

So after about 2 months, I kind of gave up cooking and bought meal outside most of the time. However recently, I started cooking and gradually had an interest in baking.

I guess it is due to the fact that I was inspired by a friend who loves cooking and always say to me: Food is life, good for soul! I lived with her for a month when I came back from my exchange and didn’t have a place to live. She cooked different meal everyday and they all tasted extremely good. Watching her cooking made me feel that cooking itself is fun and it doesn’t take that long to prepare for a delicious meal.

Spent 15 dollar making 4 portions of pasta.

That day I missed the pork meat bun so much that I tried to make it myself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After moving out, I started subscribing different Youtube channels on cooking and try to cook food according to it. So far I tried to cook traditional Sichuan style boiling fish, banana bread, pizza, pasta and sponge cake. Not only did I save money from cooking, I also felt a sense of accomplishment!

Lemon sponge cake

Home-made pizza

Banana bread!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking is life, good for soul!

QUT Airport Reception

Did you know if you are a new international student at QUT you can use QUT Airport Reception service for free? It is one of many services that International Student Services (ISS) provides to international students at QUT. In this post I am going to share my experience of using QUT Airport Reception when I arrived in Brisbane for the first time.

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Fun Day Trip: Gardner’s Falls

Want an exciting, new place for a swim other than the beach? Look no further than Gardner’s Falls.

As an exchange student from the United States, I have been eager to get out and explore as much as possible in and around Brisbane. Located in Maleny, just about 90 kilometers’ drive from the city, Gardner’s Falls is exactly my ideal day trip. As much as I love the beach, it’s nice to swim in fresh water for a change. Gardner’s Falls is in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, so there are beautiful views of the mountains and surrounding land on the drive to and from the swimming hole. Once you are there, it’s a perfect location to set up camp for the day with a group of friends and have a picnic while soaking in the sun. Once you’ve had enough relaxing though… You have to try out the rope swing.

I personally am a huge adrenaline junkie, so when my friend told me there was a big rope swing we could go to, I was 100% in. It completely met my expectations too! These pictures don’t do the swing the justice it deserves. You can control how much air you get depending on how high up you perch yourself to start your swing. I may love a good thrill, but I sure am not as daring as the people doing flips off the swing. I’d rather be a spectator when it comes to those crazy feats! Be very careful if you choose to attempt any tricks when you visit Gardner’s Falls.

For those who are slightly intimidated by the height of the first rope swing, don’t fret–there’s a smaller rope swing for you to try out. Of course, the picture just so happens to be showing someone doing a flip… But no need to do anything fancy! It’s exhilarating enough to just swing through the air into the water.

If you REALLY aren’t feeling the rope swings, you can simply watch from the rocks and hang out! There were also people jumping off the rocks into the water. The water is very deep and is a safe depth to jump into. Just be sure the area you’re about to jump into is clear of any other swimmers!

QUT Dance Showcase

I came across QUT Dance Facebook page last time and knowing that they were recruiting volunteer photographer for their upcoming showcase. I registered to volunteer as the photographer and would like to share my volunteering experience with you guys.

I went for their rehearsal and one of the showcases to take the photos.

The following photos are some of the performances during the day.

At the end of the showcase, the performers danced together and thanks the audiences for their coming.

I enjoyed watching the showcase while taking the photos. If you are interested in watching the showcase, simply like their pages to get updated. Or you can also join the society if you would like to be one of the performers! Besides, there are some free dance classes for students who are keen in learning dancing to join throughout the semester as well.

 

 

Growing while studying

O-week was such a good chance to talk to new students and get to know more about them, (at the same time getting the $2 lunch deal! hehe).

It’s my forth semester in QUT. As the semester started, I can’t help but to reflect on the previous semesters and realised I have encountered many new experiences and have grown a lot. I used to be quite reserved and could possibly be quiet around people I am not familiar with. But coming to Brisbane for study, I have to step out of my comfort zone to be more outgoing.

During tutorials, I would have to get involved in discussion and interact with my course mates. I used to have low confidence in public speaking. But most of my units required oral presentations and this really force me to overcome my shyness.  And during group works, I would be able to group up and work together with different people. I have learnt a lot about working together as a team and it’s always fun to listen to different point of view. It’s also nice to see how different individuals have their own working styles.

QUT is a university with students from various nationalities. There are many opportunities for me to meet friends from all across the world and learn a lot about their cultures. Studying in QUT has made me experience so much of my personal growth in just two years!