Become a Brisbane International Student Ambassador!

Brisbane International Student Ambassadors are selected by government-related organisation to represent for around 75,000 international students in this city. Their main work is sharing real-life Brisbane stories to their home country networks by social media and encouraging them to study in Brisbane.

There are 40 International Student Ambassadors from more than 30 countries this year and I am the only Taiwanese and definitely appreciate that I can be a member of this team. This blog will share the information about applying to this program and the experience of attending appointment ceremony.

First, the application for this program is usually available at the beginning of year and official organisation will inform selected students to be interviewed in March. After finishing interview, the result will be released soon and a new team now already appears. The only requirement for this program is that international students must at least have one more valid studying year after becoming an ambassador. Hence, if you are also an international student and interested in this program, just pay attention to “Study Brisbane” or “Choose Brisbane” at the end of every year.

Lord Mayor is so nice!

Appointment ceremony is the first event that all Brisbane International Student Ambassadors participate in. To be honest, I have never expected that I can meet Lord Mayor of Brisbane when I study in Australia. It’s a really special memory for me and I have also made a vlog for recording this amazing moment.

One-minute video: https://www.facebook.com/just.a.traveler.hao/videos/1849989898572470/
Full video: https://youtu.be/mGqwtZV3Aak

2017 BISAs

This is the team of 2017 Brisbane International Student Ambassador. If you would like to know our lives in Brisbane, please follow “StudyBrisbane” hashtag on different social media platforms or easily click the link below to check the profiles of all ambassadors!

Follow us: https://goo.gl/jNtg2t
Follow me: http://www.choosebrisbane.com.au/study/why-choose-brisbane/testimonials/2017-student-ambassadors/hsia-hao-chang?sc_lang=en-au

Finally, thanks for your reading and we will keep show you how we love this amazing city, Brisbane!

Family trip in Brisbane and Gold Coast!

Brisbane and Gold Coast are two famous cities for tourists from all around the world to travel. These two cities are also the ideal traveling destinations for my family. Because I had a summer vacation and they also had holiday during lunar new year period which is the biggest festival for Taiwanese, they decided to come to Australia and travel with me. Moreover, I actually haven’t been back to Taiwan for more than one year, so it’s also the special reunion for us.

Today, I would like to share you some most-visited destinations in Gold Coast and Brisbane by a special way. I edited two vlogs about our traveling and share many important or useful information for travellers. If you are going to study at QUT or studying at QUT, it may be your travel guide for exploring these two cites when you are enjoying your holidays.

The main language of the videos is Mandarin, but I have already added English subtitles on them. No matter where are you from, hope you enjoy the vlogs!



Gold Coast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnDBlcEAs2M



Brisbane

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkYGbM7ijQc

 

If you have any interesting experience or travel tips about these two cities, please feel free to leave your comments below for assisting more students to deeply understand these amazing cities. Also, don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog and hope everyone has a great semester! 🙂

Brisbane vs Sydney: The Differences of Christmas & New Year!

There are many different ways to celebrate Christmas and New Year in Australia. Last time I wrote the “5 events on Christmas and New Year in Brisbane” which illustrated some interesting activities that students can enjoy freely. This time I would like to share some experience of celebrating my second Christmas and New Year in Brisbane and Sydney and some interesting differences between these two cities that I found.

Brisbane vs Sydney

I love Brisbane!

Well… Brisbane is more chilled out. Although you may feel Brisbane is more crowded in this holiday, it is still much better than Sydney’s situation. There are numerous tourists from all around the world visiting Sydney during Christmas and especially for the New Year fireworks. It may make Sydney much more crowded than other cities of Australia. For example, if you want a perfect view of fireworks, you should prepare for it as early as possible! On the other hand, it’s no problem for you to arrive South Bank two hours before the New Year Fireworks.

About Christmas and New Year Events

According to Brisbane government, there are around 400 events held in December for celebrating Christmas and New Year. However, most of the events are local. On the other hand, Sydney indeed has more international events during this period. Although there are some differences of events between these two cities, there is one same thing. People all feel relaxed, happy, and blessed in this Christmas month and New Year!

Actually many Asian countries also embrace and celebrate Christmas and New Year, but it is still a little bit different from western world. After I came to Australia, I gradually love the atmosphere of these festivals and strongly recommend all international students to join the local events to experience Australian culture more.

Finally, please feel free to leave your comment below and don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog! Also, I am here to wish everyone a better year! 🙂

Unforgettable Trip in Bruny Island

dsc07562Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs

When you travel in Tasmania in winter, you will absolutely want something ”warm”. Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia and its winter is freezing. At this moment, Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs would be the perfect attraction for tourists. People can enjoy the thermal spring pools, BBQ in natural forests. Also, Newdegate Cave preserves billions years old stalactite formation and people can see the spectacular view of Earth’s history.

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Bruny Island

Next, I am going to share the main topic of this blog, Bruny Island. It is similar to North Stradbroke Island that is closed to Brisbane, Bruny Island is near Tasmania’s main island and it is the place for tourists to have wilderness experience, eco-cruise exploring the stunning coastline of the island, and enjoy delicious seafood, handmade fudge, chocolate, truffles, berries, cheese, and premium quality wine. Moreover, Bruny Island is home to fur seals, fairy penguins, white wallaby and many people also come here for bird watching.

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dsc07767dsc07765The Neck

It is the isthmus of land connecting north and south Bruny Island and also the most popular attraction of Bruny Island. People just need climbing up the stairs within 5 minutes and can see the breathtaking view which includes ocean, beaches, islands, and the sky.

dsc07778Give me aurora, please!

Seeing the aurora is one of our main goal of visiting this island. For achieving it, we checked the aurora forecast every day during our trip. Unfortunately, we still didn’t see the aurora in this Tasmania trip. However, Bruny Island is one of the best stargazing spots in Tasmania. The night sky is so beautiful that we almost see the galaxy. It is also the best ending of this Tasmania trip for me! Good bye Tassie!

dsc07855 dsc07865Hope you enjoy reading this blog and if you have any opinion that you want to share, please feel free to leave your comment below. Also, don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog! 🙂

 

Tasmania Trip #2

Last blog introduced some travel experience in Hobart and its surroundings in Tasmania. This time I will focus on sharing attractions in Launceston, the second largest city of Tasmania, and other smaller towns.

dsc06923Ross Bridge is similar to the “Richmond Bridge” that was introduced in last blog. It is the third oldest bridge still in use in Australia and was constructed by convict labourers. The bridge locates in the very picturesque and quiet town where also the scenes of famous Japanese anime movie “Kiki’s Delivery Service” was set by Miyazaki Hayao in 1980s. Walking on the street and sitting near the river is the best way to embrace this attraction!

dsc07070Want something exciting?

Penny Royal Adventures is the place that family and friends can try the cliff adventures, rock climbing, and even Tamar River cruises. It is so close to Launceston that people can just visit this attraction by walking from central city. If you are the person who like outside sports, this is the destination where you would love going.

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The night view of Penny Royal Adventures

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Reserve again? Yes, and you will love it!

Cataract Gorge Reserve, known locally as the Gorge, is also near Launceston city and a unique natural formation. There are three hiking tracks that tourists can walk on to the Cataract Gorge Reserve. People can see the magnificent river view along the cliff face by walking on two pathways originally built in the 1890s. Trust me, this reserve is absolutely attractive for nature lovers!

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People can see lots of funny jokes at every blind alley of Tasmazia & The Village of Lower Crackpot

Just bring your humour here!

Tasmazia & The Village of Lower Crackpot locates on Cradle Mountain and includes three main entertainment sections, The Mazes, The Village of Lower Crackpot, and Embassy Gardens. It has 8 mazes and also the largest maze complex in the world. People can try to escape these mazes as quickly as possible and see many funny jokes at every blind alley. Moreover, the Embassy Gardens contain sixty classic buildings from over forty countries for overseas tourists to discover. It is really touched that I unexpectedly found the traditional building of Taiwan, my home country, as well!

dsc07408Finally, there are still many lookouts or waterfalls that can’t be introduces in details in Tasmania. When we drive on the roads, we usually surprisingly found some beautiful and stunning places that are not easily searched on the internet. Tasmania is an island for tourists to explore gradually and create their own travel experience.

dsc07513 dsc07463Do you have any opinion that you want to share? Please feel free to leave your comment below and don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog! 🙂

Tasmania Trip #1

dsc06429Australia is a country where students can travel easily because of cheap airplane tickets, numerous official and industrial tourism information, and plenty of things to do in different cities or attractions. Today I will share my first travel experience in Tasmania which is also second city that I have ever been in Australia besides Brisbane.

dsc06459Where is Tasmania? Is it attractive?

Tasmania is the southernmost island state of Australia and there are almost 45% of Tasmania are reserves, national parks, and world heritage sites. Therefore, this is the perfect island for tourists who like natural environment and beautiful views.

Me and my friends decided to rent a car to travel around the whole island and it is also the most convenient transportation option in Tasmania. After you arrive at Hobart Airport, you can immediately see many car rental stores in front of the airport.

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Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, is our first destination and there are numerous amazing attractions in this city. For example, Salamanca Market locates in Hobart is Tasmania’s most visited attraction where you can enjoy the delicious food, art works, or music performances.

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Not just nature!

The Port Arthur Historic Site is also the famous attraction near Hobart and it was established in 1830 for punishing over a thousand of notorious convicts and became a timber station at that time. Now it is the perfect base for tourists to explore the history of Tasmania and the you can even take ferry to see this “unescapable” bay and island.

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The Port Arthur Historic Site

Richmond Bridge

Wow… it is the oldest bridge still in use in Australia and also the oldest stone span bridge in this country. It was also recognized the outstanding historic attraction added to the Australian National Heritage List few years ago. Richmond town is so quiet that I even felt that time was much slower than other places. Many local family come here to have picnics, feed the ducks, or shop in several special gift or food stores.

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Bay of Fires

I will personally recommend this attraction first to my friends! Bay of Fires is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Australia and also Tasmania’s most popular conservation reserves. Binalong Bay is the area’s main beach where you can walk on sugar-white sand and swim, snorkel, surf in the impossibly clear ocean. Moreover, you can go to the rock section to see the spectacular and unforgettable natural scenery.

dsc06800Do you have any experience that you want to share? Please feel free to leave comment below and don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog! I will also share other interesting travel experience in Tasmania in next blog. See you soon! 🙂

 

Australia’s largest Oktoberfest!

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Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival and it has been originally started in Munich, Bavaria, Germany since 1810. After many decades, this festival becomes more and more popular and now there are several cities all around the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations. For example, Oktoberfest Brisbane is Australia’s largest Oktoberfest and I would like to share some interesting experience about this event today.

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What is the special points of Oktoberfest?

There are more than 40,000 people participate in this event every year. People can have cultural experience of Oktoberfest Tent, singing, clapping, dance with popular Bavarian Oktoberfest Band, relax in the Munich Biergarten, and chat with friends here. Also, there are many entertainment facilities outside that family and kids can enjoy together. The most famous point of the event is that it is the great place where you can have delicious food, tasty beer, wine, and other drinks. When you drink your alcohol, you can also see the performances of traditional dancers, bell-ringers, leg-slappers and yodellers.

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Is it Australia?

The most interesting thing for me was that most of the culture-seeking enthusiasts were all dressed in traditional German clothes and so engaged in this event. When I just came in the event area, I was even wondering if I was still in Australia or not. However, this is why I love this festival, the fantastic atmosphere, well-design performances, excellent food and drinks are all unforgettable for me. Moreover, just like Ekka, the event is held at Brisbane Showgrounds that is closed to city and QUT and it is so convenient for students to experience it.

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Do you have any interesting experience that you want to share about Oktoberfest with others? Please feel free to leave any comment below and don’t forget to follow this QUT blog continuously! 🙂

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How to enjoy Christmas and New Year in Brisbane!

Did you know?

According to a Queensland government report, there are more than 400 events held in Brisbane in December for celebrating Christmas and New Year. Now I am going to share some interesting experiences for every student to enjoy this beautiful holiday in this amazing city.

 Brisbane Twilight Market

Brisbane Twilight Market


1. South Bank Christmas Markets

This is a 13 day/night market where you can buy numerous creative gifts, well-designed clothes, and accessories. Moreover, you can also enjoy delicious food at restaurants that locate on two sides of this market area.

South Bank Christmas Markets

South Bank Christmas Markets


2. Gold Lotto City Hall Light Spectacular

Wow, is it City Hall? Brisbane’s City Hall lights up with a magical light projection show in December every year. You can watch this performance next to the super big Christmas tree at King George Square.

Gold Lotto City Hall Light Spectacular

Gold Lotto City Hall Light Spectacular


3. South Bank Christmas Carols

This event is presented by Hillsong Church Brisbane and you can celebrate the wonder of Christmas and enjoy the traditional Christmas carols with locals. It is a fantastic chance for non-native students to understand several stories of Christmas.

South Bank Christmas Carols

South Bank Christmas Carols


4. Christmas Fireworks Spectacular

After taking part in South Bank Christmas Carols, you can lay down on South Bank Beach (Lagoon South Bank), watch Christmas-related movie and fireworks at the same night. I am sure it would be your unforgettable memory in Brisbane.

Christmas Fireworks Spectacular

Christmas Fireworks Spectacular


5. New Year’s Eve at South Bank

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! When you come up with New Year fireworks in Australia, Sydney may first pop up in your mind. However, Brisbane’s New Year fireworks is also gorgeous and fascinating!

2016 New Year fireworks

2016 New Year fireworks

Finally, if you want to get more travel information or details about this article, this link would be your good choice “5 FREE EVENTS FOR ENJOYING CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR IN BRISBANE!” and just enjoy your own summer Christmas and New Year in Brisbane!

Also, please feel free to leave your comments below or follow this QUT blog continuously! 🙂

 

Japan or Australia? Brisbane Botanic Gardens Trip!

img_0325I am sure that almost every QUT student knows there is a City Botanic Gardens next to the Gardens Point campus. You can enjoy the river view and the amazing atmosphere or have a wonderful picnic time at that park. However, did you know there is another botanic gardens near Brisbane city where you can also experience natural environment and release your all pressure!

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The name of attraction is “Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha” located on Mt Coot-tha Road in Toowong which is so closed to the city that you can even take the bus there. It is recognized as the premier subtropical botanic gardens of Queensland and includes several distinct gardens that display different thematic and geographical arrangements.

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It is bigger than your expectation!

56 hectare Brisbane Botanic Gardens was established in 1970 and now are opened every day. Me and my friends spent more than half a day and still couldn’t see all of the gardens. It is a great attraction for people to stay quietly and relax for whole afternoon. Also, just like other national parks such as Springbrook National Park, D’Aguilar National Park, and Kondalilla National Park, the best thing is that the gardens are all free.

Wait! Am I in Japan?

When I first time came to “Japanese Garden” of this park, I just couldn’t believe I am still in Australia. This garden was designed by Japanese leading landscape architect and the theme of Japanese Garden is “tsuki-yama-chisen” which means “mountain-pond-stream” and stone, water, paths and vegetation are four key elements to build this style of architecture.

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img_0268The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium  

This is Queensland’s first planetarium and also located in Brisbane’s Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. It is home of the Cosmic Skydome, a 12.5-metre-diameter projection dome. Students or the public both can come here to understand lots of secret of universe and see numerous beautiful pictures or projections of outer space. If you are a big fan of universal or astronomical things, you will absolutely not want to miss this place!

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img_0384JC Slaughter Falls

Finally, we decided to go hiking to the nearby area to see “JC Slaughter Falls”. It is not a really high water falls in Queensland, but you can still see a gorgeous view of this very natural water falls. Some Australian family also like to come here for picnic or BBQ. It is so convenient for not only individuals but also groups to travel or enjoy holidays!

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Photo from Tourism and Events Queensland

If you also have any experience about Brisbane Botanic Gardens or other things that you want to share, please feel free to leave your comment below and don’t forget to follow this QUT blog continuously! 🙂

Enjoy Holiday in Noosa!

20151221_123813Sometimes we would just have some conversations about our lives in Brisbane with friends or family. When you come up with Brisbane tourism, “Gold Coast” and “Sunshine Coast” may be the first two traveling destinations that pop up on your mind.

Noosa is exactly the northernmost area of Sunshine Coast that includes various shopping malls, special restaurants, creative markets, and even one Australia national park, Noosa National Park. Moreover, you can also rent numerous beach equipment such as kayaks, surfboards, umbrellas and so on here to enjoy the relaxing time without bringing too much stuff yourself. Compare to other beaches of Brisbane, a higher percentage of tourists traveling here is Australian but not international people. Therefore, if you are an international student like me, you can also try to experience the Australian holiday styles in this spectacular tourism attraction!

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This day, I went to “Noosa Main Beach” with my friends. Follow this name, you can easily understand it is the main beach in Noosa which is the most popular spot in this area.

Although the length of Main Beach may not be as long as other beaches in Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, it still looks wide and magnificent. Also, there are so many water activities and multi-functional shopping areas to enhance Noosa’s tourism value. Not only the amazing view and atmosphere but also quality safety means all tourists can enjoy the trip and holiday here

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If you like water activities, you can also go fishing, snorkelling, diving, surfing, kayaking, canoeing and so on near this area. Sometimes you would see some Australians just bring their own boats and spend whole day to enjoy the wonderful views and atmosphere of Noosa. Also, you can discover your own personal attractions freely. Some tourists would choose to go diving near Ex-HMAS Brisbane as well. The markets for shopping lovers just locates next to Main Beach and the designs of buildings and streets are quite beautiful and consistent that you will never want to move your eyes from these picturesque surroundings. In summary, it is the place that can satisfy every generation of people who have different hobbies and I will strongly recommend it to my QUT friends as well!

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Finally, if you would like to read more details or acquire more information about Noosa, my blog article may be a good choice for you: Click Here

Also, please feel free to leave your comments below and follow this QUT blog continuously! Enjoy it! 🙂

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