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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!

Seeking Employment on Campus?

When I talk to my friends that I’m writing blogs as an international student for QUT and share with them my very own life in Brisbane, they always ask me: How did you become a blogger and can I become one as well?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know some of you, my readers, must be wondering as well and might want to be a future student blogger for QUT. Therefore today I want to share with you how I became a student blogger and some potential ways of finding employment on campus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About one year ago, I received an email with a recruitment advertisement in it calling for international students being bloggers talking about their life in Brisbane. It is a paid casual job and all you need to do for application is to upload your video/photos. Then I thought why not apply? So I applied and luckily got an interview opportunity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My blogging life all started from taking the initiative and applying for it! So if you come across some opportunities like this, don’t hesitate and apply!

Other tips I can give you about seeking on-campus jobs are:

It’s the first place QUT put down their recruitment ads if they are hiring students. QUT Business School recruits student learning advisers there. QUT admission also recruits student officers there.

When applying for jobs that needs more experience, check out the official QUT website.

  • Start from volunteering

If you don’t have any working experience, it might be a good idea to start from volunteering and build up your skills. Some volunteering opportunity on campus will lead to paid jobs!

 

Hiking at Mount Tibrogargan

Picture from Google

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mount Tibrogargan is one of the many mountains in the Glass House Mountains National Park. It is famous not only due to its steep cliffs, but also the resemblance to a gorilla. That’s also the reason why some people call it Mount Gorilla.

I went there with friends on a weekend by car. It’s about one hour drive from Brisbane city area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got off at the car park and took the summit trail. One lesson we learnt from that day is: don’t bring too much things with you while you hike. Before we head off, we went to the supermarket to buy some food and carried the woolies bag all the way to the mountain top. It turned out to be very inconvenient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a 30-minute hike, we arrived the cliff. It was actually recommended for experienced climbers only due to the steepness. You can see from the picture that the way to the top of the mountain is almost vertical to the horizon.

I was a bit terrified at the beginning because I haven’t done any proper training before. But my friends helped  me and I managed to climb up successfully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you don’t have any rock climbing experience and none of your friends do either, It is not recommended for you to climb up because it can be quite challenging and difficult.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After climbing up the cliff, there is actually still a long way to go. But I didn’t continue because I’m a little terrified and didn’t have confidence that I would climb up safely. I thought it would be safer to stay at where I am and enjoy the current view.

When I get more experienced, I will try the track to the mountain top one day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really enjoyed this all-green view and will sure come back to conquer more mountains in the Glass House Mountains area.

2017 Dragon Boat Regatta

Several weeks ago, I received an email sent out by QUT Business Faculty where they are looking for paddlers to join 2017 Dragon Boat Regatta representing the Business school. I always wanted to do some kayaking or canoeing on Brisbane River, therefore I joined straight away.

Photo from Yousef F. Kurashi Art & Photography

It turns out to be one of the most exciting events that I have ever participated since the beginning of my university life.

Dragon Boat Regatta actually has its roots in ancient China. Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet known for his patriotism and contributions to classical poetry committed suicide due to extreme despair to the situation of politics back then. In order to keep fish and evil spirits away from his body, villagers beat drums and splashed water with their paddles on dragon boat.

Photo from Yousef F. Kurashi Art & Photography

After three training sessions with Te Waka Dragons, the big day finally came. The final race was hosted on Brisbane River in South Bank.

On the day, there are more than 15 teams. The race was very competitive as all of the team devoted 100% to the race. For us, although we did not get to the finals, we can say at least we tried and had the best fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are thinking about joining a QUT Flagship event and meet new people while getting more fit, definitely join next year’s Dragon Boat Regatta!

What I Wish To Know In My First Year At Uni

I know a lot of you just started university or are thinking about studying overseas. How exciting it is to study in another country! For me, before leaving China, I checked so many website or online BBS to see what other people’s advice is to enjoy university life to the fullest.

Their advice indeed helped me transit to a foreign university. Now looking back, I don’t really have any regrets. In spite of that, there are still three things I wish I know in my first year of university.

Beautiful QUT campus after rain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.GPA is important 

I know some of you must heard your peers telling you that it is okay to have a low GPA. If you have lots of extra-curricular activities, then the employers won’t care about your GPA.

Well at first I believe that. However, from my own experience as an international student in Australia. I can say that for lots of big companies, they will require you to attach your academic transcript while applying for jobs and some will clearly state that a 5 out 7 GPA is required.

You are supposed to spend 12 hours on one unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Have a healthy lifestyle

While living by yourself overseas, getting sick can be very daunting. You have to take care of yourself while maintaining heavy study load.

Therefore, prevent yourself from getting sick is very important. There are so many parks and running trails in Brisbane. You’ll both have fun and meet new friends when you start working out on your body.

For me, I didn’t do any sports in my first year. Therefore in my first year, I felt it is very easy to get tired or catch a cold. When I was feeling sick during Christmas time at the end of 2015, I told myself that I would start working out the next year and try to start a healthier lifestyle.

New year resolution is to have a healthier lifestyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Stand up for your rights

There was a big news this year of staff at 7-11 being underpaid. This big violation of employment law didn’t came to the public’s attention until someone stepped out and told the law enforcement.

For me, I was also underpaid in my job when I first started working in hospitality in Australia. Many of my friends had that experience too. But none of us stepped up to talk to our boss. Neither did we stand up for ourself and take any legal actions.

This mindset of ‘nobody will care’ or ‘getting paid is better than have no job’ is not correct. It is not okay to be taken advantage of. So check out the fair work website if you decide to work while study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope the above three tips can help you start your new life here in another country and happy studying!

Summer University Experience in Denmark

Hello friends, today I’m going to share with you my experience in attending Aarhus Summer University. This blog will be focused on my thoughts about studying life in Denmark and I will write another blog on travelling in Denmark as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So let’s begin!

University Park inside Aarhus University

What do you think when it comes to studying an English course in Europe? Well the answer might vary a lot on a case to case situation. Some will think it’s going to be easy while others might think the course content in Europe is more difficult compared with in Australia.

My room view

For me, I find the studying load in Denmark is slightly heavier than Australia. The unit I chose to study is called Forensic Accounting Fraud Analytics. Even though I had taken a master level course about forensic accounting at QUT, I did find the one taught in Denmark has higher standard academically because it requires you to use multiple analysis tools to a great extent.

Buildings inside Aarhus University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other difference I noticed while talking to Danish students are:

  • Their master-level major is very specific

In my class, we have Danish students studying management accounting, business intelligence and logistics. Although they are all from business faculty, they can choose very specific major to study.

  • They don’t participate a lot in class

I know participating in class really comes down to the personality of the students. However, I noticed that in my class, only several Danish students ask the lecturer questions in class. Therefore I talked about this to someone sitting behind me and he told me that the Danes are quite reserved and they usually keep it to themselves. Therefore even if they know the answer to a question, they probably won’t raise hands and speak out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • A pass or fail system and heavy weight on final exams

Unlike in Australia, the final mark of most of the units are divided equally into assignments, presentations and final exams. In Denmark, usually the exam weights the highest percentage. And the final mark they receive is either pass or fail. What’s more? They won’t even know what their score is besides the pass or fail.

  • Students’ part time jobs are more for further careers

As you all know, students in Europe pay no tuition fees or a very low registration fee for university and also get allowance from government for studying. Therefore, they don’t really need to get a hospitality job for living expenses. As a result of that, most students choose to work in a professional environment so that they can land a decent job after graduation.

Walking to uni every morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

The three-week course came to an end without me evening realising it is already finished. But the memory in this beautiful university town will stay in my mind forever. I will always remember the hospitality of Danish students and the flowers accompanying the beautiful Danish summer.

 

After-exam Getaway to Gold Coast

Although I have been in Australia for two years, I have only been to Gold Coast about three times. Among them, I went to the theme park twice and surfers paradise once.

This time, I went to the beach area with my friend from Melbourne as she really wanted to have some fresh seafood there and check out the beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been about six months since I saw her last time and we talked a lot about our university life, future plans and career options while sitting on the sand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beach at surfers paradise goes all the way to where we can’t even trace. The coastal line is the longest that I have ever seen. Due to the cold weather, not many people were swimming in the water.

We then took a bus to Burleigh Heads Beach which is on the same coastal line to surfers paradise. To our surprise, there were much more surfers here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a pleasure to just take a seat on the grass and watch them challenge themselves and conquer the wave.

We also meet with a group of tourists from Sichuan, China, my friends’ home city. They all seemed to enjoy the view a lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used to think those high buildings are CBD area in Gold Coast. But it turns out that they are all hotels or apartment. In spite of that, they blended into the surrounding very well and the view we saw from Burleigh Heads seemed almost like a miracle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have a friend coming to visit you in Queensland, definitely check out Gold Coast!

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.