avatar

About Aubrey

In 2015 I came to Australia and became an international student here. Ever since then I started my journey of getting more engaged in university, seeking internship and making more friends. I always strive to live in the moment because time is really short for us international students!

Melbourne City Tour: See It In One Day

Dear readers,

One of my friends who was studying in Melbourne recently visited me and it reminded me that I haven’t wrote anything about my Melbourne trip yet. So today I will take you with me on a one-day fully packed Melbourne city tour.

When talking about Melbourne, what do you think of?

 

Taking a photo among the cool graffiti 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chilling in a cafe with beautiful cakes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Checking out the famous Flinders Street Station?

 

There are indeed so many things to see and do in the city. Let’s go!

8:00 am

I choose to start the day with a nice walk along the Yarra River. The trees, flowers and people make this city so vibrant along with the flowing water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9:30 am

Get some breakfast in a relaxing cafe. Melbourne is famous for its coffee, so you can just walk into one with a lot of locals sitting inside and it won’t disappoint you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10:30 am

Check out some local markets and crafts. The most famous one there is Queen Victoria Market where you can find all sorts of food and local crafts. They even have their own website and you know what? The trading hour is 5 days a week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12:00 pm

Let’s get some street food at market! This time, let’s try german sausage and sauerkraut!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1:00 pm

If you want to dig deep into the culture and history behind this city and know how it turned from a gold-rush town into the modern metropolitan, check out the Melbourne Museum, Royal Exhibition Building, state library and the historical arcade.

4:00 pm

The China Town in  Melbourne is a lot larger compared with the one in Brisbane and some of the restaurant sell really authentic Chinese dishes. If you like Chinese food, this will be a must-see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6:00 pm

The place I live is on the edge of the city. Therefore I chose to walk home simply because I want to feel part of the community, checking out what is happening on the street and slow myself down to enjoy the beauty of the city.

Tram is a very continent way to travel in the city for free

Street artist performing drum with such enthusiasm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South bank in Melbourne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed my short stay at Melbourne a lot because this city gave me a new perspective and feeling. It’s different from Brisbane but also similar in some way I can’t really explain.

So now my one-day city tour officially came to an end, next time let’s hit the countryside and explore more of the rough and tough side!

Day Trip to Mt Cootha

Finally, my exam week came to an end and now it is time to have a bit of fun!

I had a friend coming from Melbourne to visit me straight after exam and we just did a day trip to Mt Cootha which turned out to be quite successful.

Here are three reasons why Mt Cootha is a perfect place for a day trip:

1.Botanic Gardens is located right at the foot of the mountain

A highly recommended way to enjoy Mt Cootha is to take a bus to the Botanic Gardens and then hike up to the summit after a nice tour at the beautiful gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It took me around one hour to enjoy the whole Botanic Gardens. Some of the highlights include: Tropical dome, Japanese garden, Bonsai exhibition and a lake with blooming lotus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. It’s a nice work-out all the way up to the mountain

The trail we took all the way up to the summit is called crocodile trail which is perfect for a casual hike. Along the way, you will see a beautiful lake and pretty much stay cool as the trees on both sides are tall and leafy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.The view at the top of the mountain is amazing

My friend agreed with me that the view overlooking the whole Brisbane city area is amazing and breath-taking. The fun thing about hiking is that you will always get to see a great view after making some effort.

There are two cafes on the summit but you can also choose to have a picnic there if you want to have a day trip on a budget. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My day ended with a nice picnic along with the gentle breeze at the mountain top. If you go there next time, please have fun and take lots of pictures!

 

International Student Interview: Vu Truong

Vu on Adelaide Street in Brisbane city

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your name?

  • Vu Truong

Where are you from?

  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

How many years have you worked before you came to Australia for study?

  • I graduated from 1998 and have worked for more than 15 years.

Why did you decide to come to Australia?

  • Because studying overseas is my dream. I choose Australia as I have family here.

What’s your favourite  place in Brisbane?

  • Brisbane CBD. I love the busy life, convenience, shopping places and work opportunities offered in CBD area.

Why did you choose to study business at QUT?

  • After comparing several universities, I find the accountancy faculty is better at QUT. Some people told me that the course here is more practical too.

Any tips for finding an internship?

  1. Focus on study first and get a good score; it will impress the employer
  2. Create an impressive resume which can reflect about yourself

Any tips for making friends?

  • Being friendly, attending classes and helping others as much as possible.

Two Years in Australia

It has been almost two years since I came to Australia. I can’t believe how quick time flies!

It was a fast decision for me to come to Australia but it turned out to be a decision that I will never regret. On retrospect, the past two years have been colourful, fruitful even though sometimes challenging.

Brisbane City View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I still remember how nervous I was when I first arrived. My cousin took me to Indooroopilly shopping centre to get my bank card and mobile sorted, but I was too shy to speak English and I found it difficult to understand English.

Going overseas to study has always been my dream since high school, therefore I decided to get most out of my studies in Australia in the very beginning. So I joined a couple of clubs and went to as many events as I could where I met friends and practiced my English skills.

I kept myself very busy in my first year and was always outside. However I admit that I didn’t put enough time on study so I was really struggling at the end of my first year. Starting from this semester, I put more time and energy on study because this is the main purpose why I come all the way to Australia.

The place where I call home now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life here without family is not always smooth. I still remember how hard I tried to get a casual job, how depressed I was once while struggling to study and how much I missed talking to my old friends face to face.

Celebrating New Year in Fortitude Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a while, I finally found a balance between study, social and work although I still struggled sometimes. Meanwhile, living alone overseas taught me how precious family and friends are.

I start to cherish the free time I got and try to make the most of it, cherish the friends I met because it’s harder and harder to have a close friend when you grow older and study hard because it will bring more opportunities.

Now 6 months left until my graduation and I still have no idea where the future will lead me to especially when some of your friends already got jobs and you are still in the process of figuring out what to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just had a coffee catch up with one of my friends and we had the following conversation:

Me: Do you have anything that you regret or wish you could have done since you came to Australia?

L: Hmm, not really. In my first year I spent most of my time studying and wasn’t very active on campus. That’s probably the only thing. What about you?

Me: In my first year, I spent a lot of time attending events and being active on campus. I wish I could’ve studied more.

Our responses are like two sides of a coin and no matter which side we choose, we will miss the other side. But isn’t life like that? You can only choose once and no matter what you choose, it is your own life and experience. I never regretted what I chose and I’ll try to cherish all the experience and people upon encountering as every encounter is a once in a life time opportunity.

International Student Interview: Yu-kai Chuang

Yukai with Brisbane Lord Mayor at International Student Friendship Ceremony

What’s your name?

  • Yu-kai Chuang

Where are you from?

  • Tainan, Taiwan

How long have you been in Australia?

  • Nearly two years

Why do you choose to study at QUT?

  • Because the weather in Brisbane is good, not as cold as Melbourne. And there are lot of things to do here compared with Perth and Darwin.

What do you do in your leisure time?

  • I usually go to shops for grocery and try new recipes. (me:you must be good at cooking)

What’s your favourite place on campus?

  • Level 4 in P block because there are sofas to take a nap.

What do you want to say to the incoming QUT students?

  • Enjoy your time before starting university because there will be lots of assignment coming soon, but it’s rewarding!

International Student Interview: Atsuki Sakata

Atsuki studying in QUT Gardens Point library for his assignment

What’s your name?

  • Atsuki Sakata

Where are you from?

  • Nara, Japan.

What do you study?

  • Master of Professional Accounting

Why do you choose to study at QUT?

  • Because the weather in Brisbane is good. The reputation of QUT Business School is good too. The campus is located in the city which is very convenient.

Why do you choose to come back to university after working for 8 years?

  • I want to take a break from work. I realised that I need more knowledge to be a professional. And I like Australia! Before coming here, I’ve been to Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in Australia, they are really good cities with kind people.

What’s your favorite place in Brisbane?

  • South Bank. I like just watching the water flowing in the river and the scenery makes me feel relaxed.

What do you want to say to those who are planning to come to study at QUT?

  • Don’t just study, explore more of the city.

Attending International Student Career Panel

QUT Careers and Employment has many resources available to help students seek employment. Recently, I attended an International Student Panel on our experience with QUT Careers and Employment. We shared our journey at QUT and talked about highly recommended services every student should know about. Now I’m going to recommend three services that you can’t miss to help you get employment in Australia.

It is a workshop specifically tailored to international students where the facilitators run you through resume and cover letter writing, and interview skills.

If you are an accounting, nursing or justice student, this is a special program for you to gain some internship experience. QUT Career staff will send you job opportunities available once you join this program and also help you prepare for your interviews. Keep in mind that these opportunities are only available to QUT students studying a certain major, so don’t miss out!

Ready to take your career journey to a next level? Joining QUT Career Mentor Scheme is a good way to meet people from the industry and gain some tips first hand. You will be matched with a professional from your desired industry and learn from them what it is really like to work in that industry.

The following are two videos explaining in more detail on what services are offered to international students:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJSar2xLWYY
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imx6UCn9y48

All the best to your job-seeking and good luck!

Redcliffe Festival of Sails

Good Friday has passed but my memory of the Redcliffe Festival of sails is still very fresh. It was a one-day event happening on Good Friday with Australia’s second biggest yacht race and other amusement events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went there with my friends by taking the Redcliffe Peninsula line. On the day, the Jetty’s market was also going on. We first had some brunch at the market and then proceeded to the Sutton beach where you can see people started sailing away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides that, there were a lot of food trucks along the beach. Tennis and volleyball court was also set up for people to use. What’s more? There were ponies to ride as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although summer has already came to an end, it was still pretty cosy and warm at the beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got this shot at the Moreton Bay truck for free after a fulfilling meal.

If you are thinking about a one day trip outside down town Brisbane on weekend, Redcliffe is surely a place worth visiting. You can spend the morning exploring the Jetty’s market and then read books along the nice beach. PS:There is also a huge outdoor swimming pool similar to the one in Southbank if you feel like a swim.

 

What is HiQ?

Recently there has been a big change in the library especially in Gardens Point campus. There are more computers and studying places on the third floor and when you walk into the library, you will see some students wearing orange shirt with an IPAD trying to help answer students’ queries.

It wasn’t until the beginning of May that HiQ was officially announced to QUT students. From my understanding, HiQ is an offline and online services place offered to students and it combines the functionality of student centre, IT help services and library services.

 

 

More digital screens were introduced to encourage student interaction.

 

 

 

 

 

A more centralised place also saves students time to go back and forth from different services places.

 

 

 

I do have thoughts about this new service delivery mode. The following are some pros and cons I could think of:

Pros:

  • Combing all services at one place will be more efficient and time-saving for students
  • Better facilities, sofas and chairs
  • Students helping students

Cons:

  • Students don’t have a waiting area when waiting for their queries to be answered
  • Students need to be put into a queue by staff member even if it is only a small question

I’m always glad to see changes happen at QUT. Time will let us know how HiQ is going to be in the future. But I’m sure it will be helping students as always!

Noosa Hike with QUT International Student Services

I’ve heard about the QUT International Student Services trips many times through friends, but haven’t had the chance to attend it ever since I started QUT. As my graduation is approaching soon, I would love to explore more about Queensland before I graduate. So this time I signed up for a trip to Eumundi Market and Noosa for around $50 (personally I think it is a bit expensive).

The whole trip was very relaxed and you could have a lot of freedom. We were taken to Eumundi Market in the morning first and had two hours exploration by ourselves.

 

Trust me, the market was huge, you might need more than two hours to check out every stall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another highlight of the market was its street artists. They used imagination and hard work to brighten your day.

After the market fun, we headed straight to the Noosa beach and national park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of people were enjoying the nice weather on the beach. Our coordinator from ISS took those who were interested in a hike straight to the Noosa National Park. For some of the students who just started their life in Australia, it was their first time seeing a beach in Queensland, so some of them were really excited.

 

 

 

 

We had about four hour to explore in the park before heading back. So I decided to take a long hike. The view was so pretty and astonishing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember to bring some snacks and sunscreen because there is no shop inside the mountain and you might need some energy to recharge yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took a fruit break for about 20 minutes while taking some pictures and enjoying the peaceful wave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took this picture at a place called the Hell’s Gate. Did you see my hair being blew up by the wind? It was a crazy experience because the wind there was so strong and you can hear the wind punching the edge of the cliff and making loud noises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t the view amazing? I’m glad I decided to go on this trip and checked one place off my bucket list. Also I made several new friends along the way as well.

Overall such a fun experience!