Short trip to Perth

Perth is the capital of Western Australia, situated where the Swan River meets the southwest coast. I went to Perth for a short trip to explore a bit around the city region and nearby suburbs. The flight from Brisbane to Perth took me around 5.5 hours and another interesting fact is  that Brisbane is 2 hours ahead of Perth even though both cities are in the same country.

From my impression, Perth has a similar urban design as Brisbane so it gave me a familiar feeling. I feel Perth is more spacious compared to Brisbane as I had to walk quite to get from one place to the other.

Photo: Elizabeth Quay at Perth.

Kings Park is a big park located at the western edge of Perth CBD. The park is renowned for its spectacular views due to its prime location on Mt Eliza overlooking Perth City and the Swan River.

Photo: One part of the Perth CBD landscape from Kings Park.

Photo: The view from Kings Park.

Photo: A good spot at Kings Park to enjoy the breeze with an excellent view.

Photo: Beautiful view from Kings Park with lovely weather.

Photo: One of the parts of Kings Park.

There are quite a few historic buildings turned into shopping areas in Perth CBD, so people can do their shopping under the historic ambience.

Photo: One of the shopping areas at Perth CBD.

Fremantle is the place that I would strongly recommend you to pay a visit whilst visiting Perth. I really enjoyed spending my afternoon there and I believe you would love the ambience too! Fremantle is part of the Perth metropolitan area and it is a port city.

Photo: Fremantle.

Photo: There are some entertainment facilities provided at Fremantle.

Photo: Seaview at Fremantle.

Photo: There are some street performance at the outside of Fremantle markets.

Photo: Chill away our afternoon with hot tea at Fremantle markets.

Photo: Delicious food from Fremantle markets.

Western Australia is well known for its beautiful beaches so I didn’t want to miss the chance to have a coastal walk!

I enjoyed exploring Perth. I believe you will enjoy exploring the beautiful city too! 🙂

 

Unveil the Mysterious QUT Confucius Institute

The Confucius Institute is a non-for-profit organisation which aims to promote Chinese language and culture. QUT Confucius Institute was established in 2008, the first in Queensland. It has worked with both QUT and local schools to deliver educational workshops and Chinese language classes.

 

While studying in China, I had heard about the Confucius Institute program where you can go overseas to teach Chinese. I was very interested in this opportunity, however, you need a teaching degree to be able to apply, so I wasn’t eligible.

After studying in Australia, I realised QUT has a Confucius Institute and I emailed them to show my interest in volunteering because I’m still very keen to teach Chinese even though I’m studying business. ( If you are also interested in volunteering, you can just email confucius.institute@qut.edu.au. )

One event that I participated in this year is Queensland Chinese Speech competition where both primary, middle and high school students from various parts of Queensland attended. They were grouped by age and background (being Chinese-speaking and non-Chinese speaking). I was very surprised to see the big turnout of both students and parents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While volunteering as a floater in the competition room, I also got the chance to sit and listen to students’ speech. Some students stumble, others very fluent. Regardless of it, I can see how much effort they put in learning another language and how much support the peers show to each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, QUT Confucius Institute hosted a thank-you event to thank the efforts all the volunteers put in during this year. Some previous volunteers also showed up and they now teach Chinese in local schools. So if you are a teaching/education student and are interested in gaining some experience, start with being a volunteer at Confucius Institute because they have a lot of teaching opportunities and collaboration with Queensland schools.

All the lovely volunteers and teaching staffs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. If you are interested in learning Chinese, QUT Confucius Institute run basic Chinese classes every week. 🙂

Solo Trip to Thailand

Holiday is coming soon! I’m sure some of my dear readers have getaway trips planned already.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While studying in Australia, it is very popular to travel to South-east Asia during the holiday period. Some of the budget airlines like Air Asia and Jetstar always have deals to popular travel destinations such as Thailand, Bali and Malaysia.

I know it sounds like cliché but travelling does bring invaluable experience and make you more organised, independent and confident.

QUT offers students a one-week mid-semester break each semester. Earlier this year, I decided to take this opportunity and travel to Thailand for 9 days.

Bangkok left me with an impression of being busy, hot and crowded. I had a pretty funny bus experience: As you may or may not know, the traffic in Bangkok is pretty bad especially during the rush hour. Both the driver and ticket officer of the bus I was on had a newspaper with them. When the bus was stuck in the traffic, the driver started reading newspaper and seemed pretty chilled in the middle of all the cars just like reading in his backyard. Although many tourists choose to take cabs or metros while traveling, getting on a bus really gave you a sense of how local people live. So highly recommended!

 

 

One thing I enjoyed most while touring around Bangkok was taking the ferry along Chao Phraya River. Chao Phraya is the major river in Thailand which flows though Bangkok and then into the Gulf of Thailand.

 

 

The price varies a lot between taking a river cruise and taking a normal ferry. The river cruise is much more expensive with a tour guide while the normal ferry is cheaper with lots of locals on it.

Along the river, you will get the chance to see many famous tourist destinations like The Temple of Dawn and Wat Pho. For me, I enjoy observing the local people more than checking out the Buddha statues. There are usually three people working on the ferry: driver, ticket officer and boat guy.

 

 

Every time when the ferry is about to stop at a station, the boat guy would jump off the ferry and pull the rope of the ferry to get the boat close to the pier so people would get on. I was so amazed by the efficient speed of him and how hard-working he was.  You need to be quick, have strength and endure the heat of the sun. Especially when I think the boat guy is much younger than me, I feel so lucky that I could get the chance to study overseas and hope he could or would get a chance of higher education too.

Another amazing part of the trip was that during the trip I made friends with people from all over the world. There were a lot of other backpackers and solo travelers, so making friends was very easy. However, you do need to be careful and make good judgement while travelling by yourself.

 

 

In my next blog, I will talk about some tips on solo travelling. I hope you can all nail the final assessment and enjoy the upcoming holiday. Until next time!

3 best things I have gained at QUT

After having studied at QUT for two years, finally I will be graduating this month. This is the best moment, and to look back at my university life and sharing some experiences with  students.

I am going to describe three main positive acquisitions that I have gained during my studies, including time management skills, networking, professional and practical learning.

1. Time management skills

As an international student, there are so many things I have to do on my own and probably have never done before in my home country. For example, having a part-time job, studying, volunteering, doing an internship, attending workshops and events, doing housework and so on. The most important thing is to finish what you have to do first and then prioritise tasks as well as balance them with your limited time. This is a really useful skill that is also discussed in several workshops or orientation events. It’s not an easily seen skill, but I am sure this skill will significantly influence my future life. After these two years, I understand how and what I should do to multitask that will help improve my future job efficiency as well.

2. Social network

During these two years, I’ve met and made numerous friends from all around the world.  There are always some great people who I can learn from for example what they think and do, but also their friendship and support will be there for our future career.

3. Professional and practical learning

QUT is definitely a university for the real world. Although it also means the learning could be stressful for many students. I rhave learnt a lot in classes, assignments, and also working on practical projects for Australian companies. These experiences have given me the ability to deal with problems and finding the solutions.

To sum up, studying in Australia has been a great process for me to understand what my passion or interest exactly is and build enough confidence and learn relevant skills to achieve these goals. Luckily, I have already got a full time job offer before graduating and it is strongly related to my profession and interests. I really appreciate everything and everyone that I have met at QUT and in Australia.

If you are new to Australia, I can give you some advice even though I will graduate soon. You are welcome to contact me via my Instagram and Linkedin.

Finally, please feel free to leave your comment below and don’t forget to enjoy your study and keep following this QUT blog!

Graduation is here!

I still remember what we were told during our Business Orientation session. “ It is hard to adapt to a new country, university and lifestyle all at once, but what you might not realise yet is that is even harder when you finish your studies”. Now I can relate to that feeling of leaving behind my student life. Whilst moving on is exciting it’s also scary at the same time. The future seems both challenging and uncertain.

Now I look back at my 4 semesters of studies and I realise how happy my life as a student was. I got very used to a routine and so attached to my Australian family (co-workers, housemates and friends) as well as the beautiful Brisbane city, which is so easy to fall in love with. NO, I am not saying that it was all pink, flower and magic during my studies. I definitely had some rough times, long nights, shaky presentations, bad notes, disagreements with professors and classmates, and issues with my sponsor payments (lack of payments). I had a couple of home-sick moments, one psycho flatmate, I got lost in the city after taking a wrong bus and having no battery left on my mobile, to name a few of the negatives. However, if I start to write the positives, I am sure I would need 10 blog posts, because my experience as an international student at QUT was way beyond my expectations.

Now when my studies are over, this is how I would summarise my uni life:

What I WON´T MISS about Uni-life:

  • APA / Harvard referencing, citing, referencing and quoting
  • Turnitin and the similarity percentage when uploading assignments in Blackboard
  • Weekend sessions at the library
  • Leaving the 24 hours laboratory after 10 pm
  • Breaking down, decoding, interpreting and analysing CRA´s (Criterion Referenced Assessment)

What will I miss about Uni:

  • Student discounts (Translink, Diving Tours, Museum or Park Tickets)
  • Orientation activities, specialy $2 AUD lunches at O-week
  • The excitement when seeing your grades in Blackboard
  • QUT stalker space 2.0 (It is not funny or useful if once you are no longer a student)
  • The Botanic Bar

Till next time.

Now it’s finally time for my master graduation ceremony. Can’t believe time goes so quickly, my study journey in Brisbane has almost come to an end.

Coming to Australia to study was a big decision. After planning my study journey for a long period of time, taking all the factors into consideration e.g. tuition fee, living expenses, independent life etc into account, I eliminated the hurdles and eventually boarded the flight to Brisbane three years ago. I was working for a while before going abroad to save up some money for my education and also to gain some life experience.

Photo: Brisbane City Hall at Brisbane City. Keen to know more about the city that I was going to stay for the next three years when I first came.

Initially I thought I am pretty brave to leave home and go overseas alone, but there are actually many people that are doing the same travelling from all over the world. Attending the QUT orientation program  is definitely a good way to get to know people from all around the world who will be studying at QUT. I got to know friends from Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and many other countries. I met up with my Japanese friends in Tokyo when I went for a graduation trip to Japan recently. I feel happy that the friendship we developed QUT could continued even though we don’t see each other regularly. Don’t miss the opportunity to make friends with the locals, they are all nice and friendly!

The adaptation period could be the hard time to go through. Most of the shops close at 5pm and the streets become quiet. No mummy’s dinner is ready for me while I go back home from university. Dining out could be a burden in living expenses, so I still have to prepare my own lunch for university to save money. I didn’t know cooking at all previously but now I think I would be able to cook a few dishes for the families.

Photo: My housemates and I prepared gathering lunch together.

Studying in an all English environment has been a challenge for me. My native language is Mandarin and I grew up in a mixed language living environment. At the beginning, most of the time I felt lost during the lectures, discussion and conversation with course mates. As the time progressed, I think I was getting better in communicating in English even though there is still room for improvement. Living in an Australia is definitely a good way to improve your English skills.

All the written exams, assignments, practical tests and oral tests have never been easy to pass through. You really have to study hard to pass the different tests. I am glad that it’s  over now!

I’m so lucky to have got a job offer before graduation. I’m  going to leave Brisbane soon after my graduation ceremony and heading to Perth to work as an optometrist. Thanks to the support of my family that helped make my dreams come true. Not sure how the future is going to be but I believe ‘If you can dream it, you can do it’. Lastly, I wish all the graduating students all the best with your future endeavors.

Photo: Myself with the view of Perth CBD at King’s Park. Perth, looking forward to meeting you again soon!

Bye Brisbane! Till next time 🙂

p.s: Hopefully my sixty posts make you understand more about the international students’ life at QUT. I wish you enjoy your QUT life to the fullest!

 

Officially Graduating!

When I first arrived Australia in July 2015, I literally had no idea what to expect. Studying in Australia was a prompt decision but my impression of Australia back then was limited to kangaroos, koalas and surfing.

The first day in Australia have left me with a vivid memory. I was new to this country and couldn’t even communicate properly in English while trying to open a new account at a local Commonwealth bank.

Things started to get better after joining student clubs, volunteering as a student mentor and talking to people in the class. Now looking back at the past 2.5 years at QUT, I don’t think I have any regrets! I made good use of all the resources at QUT and met incredibly nice people that I look up to.

I went on 3 short-term exchanges, attended 1 conference as a QUT delegate and went for 2 international travels just by myself.

Exchange to Japan @ Sonoda Women’s University

The beautiful winter spent @ Fulda, Germany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the beginning of this month, the grades of the final two subjects was released and that’s when I finally felt graduation is so real and so soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Although there aren’t always happiness and success while studying overseas, especially when you have no family here, the 2-year study life in Australia definitely made me feel more confident and mature as a person. I feel that I’m more comfortable to work with people from different countries and have a genuine interest in the world.

However, due to internship commitment, I won’t be able to attend my graduation ceremony. In spite of that, I don’t feel so bad because I enjoyed every second whilst living in Australia. The process itself means celebration for me!

“Graduation is a time of completion, of finishing, of an ending, however, it is also a time of celebration of achievement and a beginning for the new graduate.” 

                                                                   Catherine Pulsifer 

All the best to my fellow students who are also graduating this semester! I wish you a bright future ahead!

Starting Life at QUT

Ever since I was in high school, I have had an interest in technology and its potential to greatly impact lives all over the world. When it came time to decide what I wanted to study at university, I was excited that there was a chance for me to be a part of future technologies that create impact.

I had a little programming hobby during my high school days and got to learn Information Technology in my senior years. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after graduating university – there are a lot of options nowadays such as getting a job, pursuing entrepreneurship, or studying more and doing research. One thing I knew though was that gaining skills in technology would be useful no matter which path I choose.

At the start of Year 12 I started looking for courses on different university websites whilst also deciding where I wanted to study. I really enjoyed living in Brisbane, but I was open to studying in other major cities around Australia. In my research I found that Brisbane has a growing entrepreneurial and technological scene with new opportunities constantly arising. I decided to stay in Brisbane, which helped me narrow my search to a few reputable Queensland universities. 

When the time came to attend the QUT Open Day, I fell in love with the QUT campus – it’s a very modern place that gave a feel of having a social and vibrant culture. I have a strong interest in leadership and self-development, so I was excited to find out about QUT’s Leadership, Development and Innovation program. I felt that QUT offered more than just a degree – QUT provided the opportunities to connect with industry and to develop myself in many different ways.

I am now in my first year of studying Bachelor of Information Technology at the Gardens Point campus. The campus is great, and I also get this beautiful view of Brisbane City on my way to university.

In my first year at QUT my experience has been filled with a lot of highs, lows and growth.  Before starting my first week, I went to O Week, during which I became familiar with the campus and lifestyle of QUT, attended workshops on how to cope with university life, and I met a lot of new people and made some good friends. Having attended O-week, I was really confident going into my first week of university.

Lectures and tutorials kicked off immediately. I found that our lecturers and tutors always promote discussions about the things we know and are learning, suggest new ways of thinking, and help us to solve problems and reach answers on our own. I’ve come to highly value the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that I developed from this. One of my favourite things have been the amount of teamwork I got to experience this year. In all my units, I have had at least one project that involved working with a group. I am normally dependent on my own skills to complete tasks for my studies, but the necessity of group work opened me to being curious about how a team dynamic would work with projects that I would otherwise have pursued by myself. It was fun and challenging. I got to learn about my strengths and weaknesses in group situations. Teamwork is an ongoing thing for me to learn and improve on (and a big part of working in the industry), which makes me glad that QUT introduced me to it from the very beginning.

One of my ways to spend my time is to volunteer at QUT. QUT Connect is a large community of students at QUT who take part in volunteering opportunities all year-round. I joined Connect in my second semester, and as part of it I’ve given presentations to new university students, helped run O-week activities, and promoted cancer research. It’s really rewarding to give back to the community while also gaining experience.

Through QUT Connect and the Leadership, Development, and Innovation program I’ve met a lot of like-minded people, and getting to know them has been very rewarding. Although this was the avenue where I found my group of friends, the wide range of clubs and events at QUT will provide many opportunities for you to make friends and connections with a lot of different people.

I used to rely a lot on myself to do everything, and now I’m learning how valuable external support can be, for any area of my life (coursework, career, QUT, life). This is because of the amount of support I get at QUT. It is easy to approach the lecturers and tutors. They fully understand that you are still learning, and so they care that you’re confident in understanding their teaching. It is really easy to get in touch with them; if not in class, we can email queries and get a response fairly quickly. There are many forms of help available at QUT that I’ve used throughout the year – peer mentors, International Student Services and medical services. I feel QUT tries a great deal to look out for our wellbeing.

Everybody gets to create their own journey at university. I’m excited to finish my first year at QUT soon, but I also look forward to making the most of my time next year and see where QUT’s opportunities take me.

 

The Round Up December

Apply now for Semester 1, 2018

Interested in studying at QUT? Take the first step of studying abroad by exploring our wide range of courses.

Read more

QUT students selected for the 2017 Huawei Seeds for the Future Award

On Monday 20 November we congratulated and farewelled 6 QUT STEM students who were selected to participate in the Huawei’s 2017 Seeds for the Future annual program. The program includes a 3-week hands-on learning experience across Beijing and Shenzhen in China.

QUT to host accelerator program for med tech entrepreneurs

The Bridge Tech Program is a QUT based accelerator program aimed for people interested in medical technology and medical devices. Starting in 2018, the program will provide training for 100 successful applicants, via online resources and a three-day residential course at QUT in Brisbane.

Read more

Discover Creative Industries in 360

Join QUT Creative Industries graduate Jessie Hughes on a 360 adventure across Brisbane, Australia. Immerse yourself in the best of what QUT Creative Industries and Brisbane has to offer! See the amazing study spaces and beautiful Brisbane places that makes us one of the hottest study destinations in Australia.

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What happens after graduation?

Hear about Aubrey’s plans after she graduates.

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QUTIC welcomes the first Diploma in Health Science cohort

QUT recently welcomed 59 new students into the new Diploma in Health Science (HL10) program. The new eight-month diploma program provides students with a taste of what it is like to study Health at QUT whilst developing their English language skills to the required level for entry into selected health degrees.

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QUT wins the 2017 Global Business Challenge

A combined team from University of Arizona/QUT winners Smart Blox won first prize in the 2017 Global Business Challenge for their Do-it-Yourself solar system. The prize includes $100,000 plus an industry prize from ACTewAGL and Queensland Government each worth $75,000.

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Pathways into OP45 Bachelor of Vision Science program

QUT offers the only optometry training in Queensland.  The QUT optometry program includes a three-year OP45 Bachelor of Vision Science followed by a two-year OP85 Master of Optometry. Students who meet the academic and English entry requirements will be admitted.  English and Foundation pathway programs into OP45 are available to eligible students.  

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More stories from QUT and Brisbane

Checking out GOMA’s latest exhibition

 

 “I’m just another dot in the world”

— Yayoi Kusama

 

 

From now until 11 February 2018, Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) showcase the artwork of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Among them, the mirror room and the obliteration room are two of her most famous masterpieces.

Yayoi was born in Japan into an affluent family and she developed an interest for art at a young age. However, she didn’t get along well with her parents and refused for her life goal to be marrying a rich man. Being diagnosed as mentally unstable, her doctor suggested her to go to New York where she worked long hours and made her name well-known in the art world. Due to illness, she eventually returned Tokyo, Japan and chose to live in a mental institution and kept working in a studio nearby until this day.

It wasn’t until I got home from seeing the exhibition with friends that I started doing a little bit research about this artist. Before then, I only knew that Yayoi was a contemporary artist incorporating polka dots into her work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Mirror Room

If you ask me to use one word to summarize my experience with the mirror room, I would say “infinity”. While polka dots were an important element in most of her artwork, she took it to the next level in the mirror room where you were immersed into darkness and infinite life and feel a sense of happiness as well as smallness in the endless space.

Walked into the mirror room and feel myself a part of it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following is another mirror room where you see it as an observer through a hole. The lights change and all you see is infinity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Obliteration Room

This is an interactive project of Yayoi where the whole room was completely white at the beginning. Visitors were handed a sheet of stickers and they can go in and put it anywhere they want.

‘Yayoi Kusama: Look Now, See Forever’ Picture from the Internet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the time I visited the exhibition, the room has already transformed from the minimalist style into an explosion of color, with thousands of stickers over pretty much every available surface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The process is fun for me as a participant who has little art background. But now looking back, I can related to what Yayoi said:”I’m just another dot”. The stickers that I put on might eventually be covered by others. I’m colorful yet so small in this big world.

 

Even though I’m not a huge art fan, learning Yayoi’s story of how her conquered mental illness, made a mark in a foreign country by hard work and stayed creative at an old age made me feel really touched.

Not only did I see a sense of struggle, explosion and perseverance, I also admire Yayoi as a person who never give up and is brave enough to pursue her own dreams in spite of all the  hardship!