Before coming to Brisbane to further my tertiary education, I contemplated whether studying in this city was the right thing for me. Growing up in Southeast Asia, I was used to the tropical climate, I loved the company of my kith and kin and enjoyed the wide array of sumptuous local cuisines. I thought that going abroad meant that I had to sacrifice these. However, after studying in Brisbane for more than a year, I know that my decision has been worth it, and I’ve taken the opportunity to treasure every single moment while living here.
Firstly – Brisbane has great weather
Brisbane is part of the Sunshine State where you get to enjoy warm and lovely weather conditions throughout the year, which is similar to that of Singapore. Even in winter, I found the cool temperatures bearable, much to my surprise. So, especially for those who experience the four seasons in their home countries, this must not pose a significant issue for you. Over the weekends, to take a break from assignments, I enjoy taking day trips to the Sunshine and Gold Coast to laze around at the beach, take a dip or enjoy a book or two.
Secondly – Brisbane is safe and the people are friendly
Brisbane is a safe, friendly and peaceful environment. Even at night where I occasionally experience sudden cravings while studying, I can take a stroll down to the Asian Market or cafes like Café Artease to grab a bite without worrying about my safety. From my experience, whenever I encounter any problems, especially during my first few weeks in Brisbane, I found that everyone I asked for help was more than willing to help. Not only that, but it is also easy to strike a conversation with locals and it is certainly heartening to see that they are enthusiastic to share with you useful information including places of interest or neighbourhood shopping malls that you can visit. Getting connected with people who share the same passion as you also not only broadens your social network but allows you to have fun with them as well!
Thirdly – Brisbane is very multicultural
Something that has really stood out since coming to QUT is that Brisbane is a very multicultural society. I can experience a variety of vibrant and diverse cultural activities and festivals. For example, I recently went to a Latin-American event called “Brisbane Fiesta Latina” which boasted various unique performances and activities. I particularly enjoyed the Grand Parade where the female dancers showcased their colourful dresses that were adorned with beads or intricate patterns. There are also various other multicultural festivals like Technicolor Chinese New Year Festival and Mosiac Multicultural Festival.
Lastly – Brisbane has great food options
Something that is interconnected with the point about multiculturalism is that you can also enjoy a delicious medley of cuisines from all around the world. Mexican, Chinese, Malaysian, Indian – you name it. I felt so at home because I still get to savour the food that I enjoy back home. Here are some recommended places that you can visit if you miss your local cuisines (note that the list is non-exhaustive). For cheap Chinese cuisines, I recommend going to a food court in any shopping mall like Westfield or Sunnybank where you are literally spoilt for choice. For reasonably-priced but really delicious Vietnamese cuisines like Pho, try Inala Plaza. Japanese and Korean food are the common ones here in Brisbane, but I do recommend going to Sunnybank as well. You may also want to do some research on places where you can eat your favourite food, or simply ask around for suggestions. These are just some of the few things as to why I enjoyed studying and staying in Brisbane, hope you’d enjoyed it!