A Trip to The World of Avocados

Hi guys, it’s Ha and today I will share with you guys one of my favourite volunteering experiences in Brisbane – a trip to Blackbutt Avocado Festival with QUT Big Lift a few months ago.

On a beautiful Friday afternoon in September, we hopped on a bus to go to Blackbutt, leaving our busy university lives behind. This was the first time I’ve ever been on a trip with a group of brand new friends since I came to Australia, so it was very special and exciting for me. Here are some highlights of the trip:

Read more

Are you ready? O-Week at QUT

After a 36 hour flight from Europe to Australia, would you rather go to uni or stay at your home sleeping all day? I went to uni because it was the O-Week (Orientation week). Yes, QUT’s O – Week, the week where you meet your friends again and make new friends.

Read more

Be at the frontier of International Education

Queensland International Student Advisory Panel (QISAP) is an initiative under the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016-2026.  QISAP is comprised of international student panelists representing different nationalities, gender, levels of study, and regions of Queensland to harness the diversity of the international student voice.

QISAP Panelists will be mainly involved in local international student engagement and organisation of the Queensland International Student Leaders Forum. In addition, they are involved in different advisory schemes related to International Education in Queensland.

Read more

Are you Student Excellentia?

Education is the global passport to become a global citizen. As global citizens, an indispensable part of our life-journey is the helping others. If you are a student achiever who puts a premium on others’ success, then Study Queensland Excellence Awards is all yours.

The Study Queensland Excellence Awards recognise the contributions that outstanding students, industry and alumni make to the international education and training (IET) sector, and the broader community in Queensland.

Read more

International Student Success Forum (ISSF): Road to success

International Student Success Forum (ISSF) is a nationwide project of eight chapters conducted by the Council of International Students Australia (CISA).

Read more

Queensland international students steer the ‘Leader’ship

For the second time, the Queensland International Student Leaders’ Forum was held on 15th and 16th October in Brisbane. More than 120 Queensland international student leaders from different leadership backgrounds brought multicultural diversity to the forum. Student leaders carrying different titles at institutional levels all over Queensland added value to the insightful discussions at the forum. Queensland International Student Leaders’ Forum is an annual event organised by the Study Queensland with the involvement of the Queensland International Student Advisory panel (QISAP) and Council of International Students in Australia (CISA).

Study Queensland is the State Government organisation dedicated to welcoming, valuing, supporting and growing international students. The study clusters across Queensland including Study Brisbane, Study Gold Coast, Study Cairns, Study Townsville and Study Sunshine Coast also contributed towards the successful delivery of a productive leadership forum.

Read more

A heated week of Canberra’s Winter

As we all know Canberra gets bitterly cold during the winter months. Last August, I experienced brisk cold and unusual heat with a bit of surprise. Canberra is less humid than other Australian coastal cities. Many people who live in Canberra are not originally from Canberra, having usually moved there to take up employment with the Australian Government. I define Canberra as the ‘Diplomatic City of Australia’ as it opens doors for the national level diplomatic relations. Read more

Now boarding to every corner of the world…

As global citizens, an indispensable part of our life-journey is the universal experience which comes along with the excitement of exploring and being exposed to the world. Study Abroad/Exchange Programs offer a suite of benefits and outcomes for students interested in exploring the world beyond their tabloids and boundaries to embark on an international adventure. Being an exchange student has been one of the prestigious rewarding opportunities that you will have the good fortune of experiencing.

As a university for the real world, QUT puts a premium on learning overseas. Thus, QUT International Student Mobility offers a wide range of programmes including Semester Exchange Programmes, Short Term Programmes, Study Tours, Work Integrated Learning Programmes, Research Internships, etc.

Being an engineering student, I will be able to expand and branch out my academic knowledge in various academic disciplines. These programmes offer a significant opportunity to gain practical experiences and expose yourself to real-world applications. These programmes nourish your previous academic knowledge and support your degree at QUT.

Going on an exchange to a different country cultivates a sense of wonder and curiosity to explore the new environment. It would be an enlivening opportunity to meet and build social networks with the people from around the world. Accompanying a new geographical location, you will be gifted with unforgettable experiences, life-long friends and a wealth of learning about the world around yourself.

As a QUT Exchange, you will be able to

  • improve personal flexibility, encompassing an ability to reach compromise, focus and succeed through challenging times.
  • expand awareness and adoption of alternative, multi-faceted approaches to learning, analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • enhance your interest in global issues as well as a broader general knowledge with cross-cultural understanding.

Thanks to QUT International Student Mobility, I was privileged to go global on several exchange programmes including South Korea, Germany, Japan, etc. I highly encourage you to apply for these amazing exchange programmes on QUT Global portal and get yourself on a flight to somewhere you dreamt of.

 

Study Abroad: the Good, Bad or So-so?

Part 1: The Dark Side

Studying abroad has been somewhat my dream since I was a little girl. When I was in Vietnam, I had always been so excited about going to another country, living far from home and meeting new people around the world. Most of my friends often see me as an independent person who survive on their own (i.e. I can cook pretty well and will share with you guys some Vietnamese recipes in later posts lol). I myself had been pretty confident that I would not struggle with a new life even if it was without my family.

However, only after living in another country that I started to realize that no matter how independent I am, there will always be problems for a person who lives by herself.

Home is not home anymore

It depends on each student’s choice of housing and their housemates that influence their feelings towards their new home.

As for myself, living in a shared house means everyone has their own lives and has to deal with their issues themselves. It was quite upsetting for me for the first few months, since this was my first time living abroad and that I suddenly realized no one would care or notice if I was at home or not. My friend and I often joke at how we can stay the night at each other’s place without ever having to ask for anyone’s permission and it would make no difference.

There were also times when I missed my mom’s cooking so much that the only thing I could do to cope with the feeling was trying to recreate those dishes myself by using similar ingredients and recipes I had.

Cooking becomes an absolute part of your independent life.

They were still different from the food I had when I was at home with parents, whom I often took for granted and forgot it was them who made a house sweet home.

“Adulting”

There is a bunch of stuff I need to think about when living away from family. Indeed, there is no mom or dad who can help me out with issues regarding renting rooms, paying bills or finding a part-time job anymore.

How do a young adult deal with adulting issues for the first time?

These might seem like small problems, yet being able to arrange and solve all of them perfectly by myself still takes a toll on me.

Language barriers

This struggle may vary between different people but it is prevalent among international students whose English is not their first language or who are struggling to adapt to new and different ways of communicating and diverse cultures when studying abroad.

“Pardon, what did you say?”

For my part, I often find it hard to fully understand everything others say, especially when it is in a group conversation where there are lots of slangs and people often speak in a faster pace. It was frustrating at first, especially when I was pretty confident in my communication skills in my native language.

However, I believe it is something that we can improve and I would love to share some tips that I am using to improve my interpersonal skills in later posts.

Studying abroad can be difficult but that does not mean it is a bad idea. My decision of studying overseas is still one of the best choices I have ever made so far. These struggles are only the beginning of your life but through the experiences, I have seen many things I would never imagine seeing before, know things I could have never learnt if I did not take a risk of being on my own, which I would love to share in my next blog post.

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

So, stay tuned for my next post about what I gain through studying abroad and I hope you all have a great Week 1 at uni!