Getting fit on a budget at QUT

Working out is a great way to release stress and help you maintain a good body shape and health. Besides the low-cost exercise like running and jogging, there are many options you can choose from to stay fit with a low cost at uni.

  • Join a sports club

In QUT, there are lots of social sports clubs you can choose from. It is a great way to keep fit while meeting new friends. If you just want to de-stress and not work out too much, QUT MY(Meditation and Yoga) Club might be a good option.

I joined QUT MY Time this semester and went for the yoga workshop 2 times a week. I can say it helps a lot when it comes to finding inner peace and be less stressed. The membership fee for one year is only 10 dollar. What a bargain!

 

 

 

 

🙂 🙂

  • Use the swimming pool on campus

It was only until this semester that I started using the swimming pool in QUT Health Stream at Gardens Point campus. This is an olympic standard pool.

The cost for one entrance ranges from $5 to $8 dollar depending on how many passes you buy as a bundle. Besides that, they also run adult swimming classes on weekend which is very helpful especially for me as I can’t swim very well and in Australia pretty everyone can swim.

Picture from Healthstream Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Join the free Medibank Feel Good Program

Starting from March, Medibank Feel Good Program started and it will last for ten weeks. They have a range of free workshops ranging from zumba to ballet fit. You don’t need to prepare anything for the workshop, just simply show up and you will also get free yoghurt at the end.

It is only 15 minutes by walk from QUT to get to the venue of the workshop which is located in Southbank.

 

Let’s get fit together in the new semester!

ISAQ Welcoming Party

ISAQ (Indonesian Student Association of QUT) is an association for Indonesian students who study at QUT. ISAQ is also open to all other QUT students who have interests with Indonesia. This association holds events regularly.

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Cooking is Fun!

It has been one year and seven months since I came to Australia. I still remember when I first came here, I found the living expense was very expensive. So I almost cooked every meal for myself even though it didn’t taste that good.

Gradually, I got busier and busier with university and managed to find a job to support myself. As a result, I got lazy with cooking because:

  1. Prepare food took a lot of time.
  2. Even though I spent time on cooking, it didn’t necessarily taste good.

So after about 2 months, I kind of gave up cooking and bought meal outside most of the time. However recently, I started cooking and gradually had an interest in baking.

I guess it is due to the fact that I was inspired by a friend who loves cooking and always say to me: Food is life, good for soul! I lived with her for a month when I came back from my exchange and didn’t have a place to live. She cooked different meal everyday and they all tasted extremely good. Watching her cooking made me feel that cooking itself is fun and it doesn’t take that long to prepare for a delicious meal.

Spent 15 dollar making 4 portions of pasta.

That day I missed the pork meat bun so much that I tried to make it myself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After moving out, I started subscribing different Youtube channels on cooking and try to cook food according to it. So far I tried to cook traditional Sichuan style boiling fish, banana bread, pizza, pasta and sponge cake. Not only did I save money from cooking, I also felt a sense of accomplishment!

Lemon sponge cake

Home-made pizza

Banana bread!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking is life, good for soul!

Growing while studying

O-week was such a good chance to talk to new students and get to know more about them, (at the same time getting the $2 lunch deal! hehe).

It’s my forth semester in QUT. As the semester started, I can’t help but to reflect on the previous semesters and realised I have encountered many new experiences and have grown a lot. I used to be quite reserved and could possibly be quiet around people I am not familiar with. But coming to Brisbane for study, I have to step out of my comfort zone to be more outgoing.

During tutorials, I would have to get involved in discussion and interact with my course mates. I used to have low confidence in public speaking. But most of my units required oral presentations and this really force me to overcome my shyness.  And during group works, I would be able to group up and work together with different people. I have learnt a lot about working together as a team and it’s always fun to listen to different point of view. It’s also nice to see how different individuals have their own working styles.

QUT is a university with students from various nationalities. There are many opportunities for me to meet friends from all across the world and learn a lot about their cultures. Studying in QUT has made me experience so much of my personal growth in just two years!

Orientation Lunch

Monday, 20 February 2017 marked the commencement of O-Week at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) for academic calendar 2017. There was a lot of interesting events during the O-Week. One of the interesting events that caught my eyes was the $2 lunches. It was simply because you cannot get $2 worth of lunches anywhere near QUT. Because of that, this event was included in my must-attend events during the O-Week and in which I always had my lunch during the O-Week (of course because of the price). Read more

Getting yourself organized at uni

I somehow miraculously managed to pull through my entire first year by solely keeping events of the day and week in my head, and setting the occasional reminder or alarm.

Now that I’ve started my second year, it would be joking if I told you I could survive using the same tactic.

Enter the ultimate tool *drumroll*: Google Calendar. Seriously, this is a gem of an app. Don’t wait until your second year to use this – star using it as early as you can to get yourself organised smoothly.

Basically, Google Calendars is a daily/weekly/monthly planner. All you need is a google account and a smartphone. You can set up events and reminders for your entire year as you please. Seeing it on an interactive interface will easily let you know when you’re free and will prevent you from being double-booked.

The best part is you can export your class timetable to Google Calendars, and BAM! You have your whole day on your phone, literally. It will show you your class name, time and location from the information on your QUT virtual Calendar. How awesome is that?!

You can export your class schedule as an iCal file and import it online (on a laptop or desktop, not a mobile phone) and then you’re all set to go. It will alert you on your mobile app before you’re due at an event.

You can think of it as a central scheduler for your day – your work shifts, meetings, classes and other commitments all in one spot that you can see on the go. You can set up customised alerts to remind you of your events.

This is handy tip which I would have benefitted from knowing sooner. So there you go!

Uni 101

Hey! How has Week 1 been for you?

I get it, there’s so much to consider when transitioning from high school to university and the internet is stacked with various survival tips. Since you are here, I will try not to reiterate all the common advice but hopefully give you readers a more relatable and honest truth. No doubt it is an exciting time of self- development and acquisition of skills as well as knowledge. I’ll start off by saying that university life is more than just academic achievement, rather it is about the journey of a whole person.

Be organised

Don’t panic if you are not the most organised person in the world, neither am I, but I would recommend to have at least a copy of the Academic Calendar and a personal planner. Look through each subject and note down the assessment dates. The best thing to do is to combine all those dates into one place. By doing this you will know when your busiest week will be and when you can have more of a chill out period. It is true what they say, do not leave assessments to the last minute! This is the minimum that you can do to make sure you meet deadlines. Previously, I wrote an article about how I use my planner and to-do list which you can read here to give you some ideas and prompt you to find your style. Take my advice with a grain of salt and you don’t have to follow everything I do as well. Find what works for you and stick to it!

Endurance

So like every other student, I love to Youtube and Google time management skills or buy a fancy planner thinking that would motivate me to be a better human being somehow. The truth is, it is not hard to slot in studying sessions, breaks, more studying sessions and even more break times. EVERYONE can do that! I found that the real skill to develop is willpower to stay on tasks. Don’t sigh before you have not tried. I was horrible with time management but I am so much better now in concentrating and maintaining productivity. My point is, instead of focusing on how to manage your time per se, I think it is more worthwhile to train yourself to deal with the root of the problem first which is – a matter of endurance.

Tutorials

The best scenario is to attend every class but that is not always the case. From my experience, lectures are awesome because you get to be with your cohort and of course you will learn new materials. Tutorials are more intimate and deeper discussions can take place. Additionally, some information may not be available online or in the recordings. Hence, I recommend going to tutorials. Everyone has their own studying styles but if you are planning to skip a class, I have to stress that it is important to check if your classes are compulsory because your attendance may contribute to your final grades. Also, if you know that you are the type of person that has a tendency to be distracted then going to tutorials and lectures will keep you on track.

Be Involved!

If I could turned back time I would definitely be more involved in clubs and societies and give more time to volunteering. Let’s not forsake our academic goal but let’s not abandon the benefits of extracurricular activities. Nowadays, employers don’t look at only qualifications but the personhood as well. The chances of being employed are higher when you have qualities such as people and communication skills. Grades only show that you can hold information in your head but it doesn’t say anything about your work ethic or assertiveness which are attractive characteristics to employers. The best place to learn who you want to be and who you do not want to turn into is when you interact and work with other people.

Humbleness and Confidence

I saved this for last because I want it to be memorable. If nothing else on this post seems helpful to you I hope this one will. Doubt and fear is the #1 killer to all potential and talent. Being humble is not placing yourself below anyone and thinking that you are replaceable, worthless or not good enough. Neither is being confident about placing yourself above everyone and blowing your own trumpet about your success. Rather, humbleness is about knowing that you have potential to advance your skills, therefore, you are ready to learn and ask for guidance. Confidence is knowing that you are unique in your own beautiful way and you can overcome whatever is in front of you. This will not only help you be a better team player or workmate but also a quality that would bring you far into every aspect of your life.

Good luck for Semester 1!

The RoundUp

Brazilian student publishes his first book!

Brazilian student Pedro Franklin recently published his first book on travel and entrepreneurship, stating the feat was only possible through studying language skills at QUT.

Read more…

Tips for meeting new people

Our friends at Insider Guides share some great advice about making friends in a new country.

Read more…

Brisbane Comedy Festival

From late February to late March each year, the Powerhouse in the Brisbane suburb of New Farm will be your go-to venue for a dose of comedy!

Read more…

Get support from the QUT Student Guild

Whether it’s support with deferring an exam, getting a grade reviewed or any other academic relates issue

Read more…

Drawing for Contemporary Fashion Design

Experience fashion drawing in QUT’s Creative Precinct with an LA-based fashion illustrator and founder of the Fashion Finishing School in Los Angeles.

Read more...

QUT International College videos

Hear from students’ in their own language about why they chose to study at QUT’s International College and their experiences in Brisbane!

Read more…

Budget tips as a university student

We understand there are a lot of expenses involved in moving to a new country, finding a place to live, as well as other study costs. QUT is here to help you though!

Read more…

Become a QUT Digital Leader!

Our friend Aubrey Zhou is also a QUT Digital Leader which means she can share her experiences with the QUT online community. Find out more about this great opportunity for when you start at QUT!

Read more…

Have a great weekend!

The QUT Team

Check out these stories from QUT

Time – Friend or Foe?

Hello Readers!

For the most of us, this is the first week back to class but for some, it is your very first time in university. In fact, it might be your first year in Australia! First of all, welcome to Brisbane and I hope you find home at QUT. Also, congratulation for getting this far!

University is a great place to discover your passion and potential as well as your weak spot. Being at university is a testing ground and a safe place to explore what you can accomplish. With this newfound sense of freedom comes responsibility and it can get overwhelming. Hence, I want to dive into some of the challenges that I and many other students face all the time so you don’t feel out of place if you find yourself in the same rut.

The Gaps

One thing I realised straight away was that my uni schedule was the polar opposite to typical high school hours. In high school (well at least in Brisbane), we start at 9am and go home by 3pm. However, a typical week schedule at university is like the one below. At times we get long breaks in-between or none at all and sometimes we may get awkward one hour classes (and we contemplate whether to go to it!). If you are working part time or if you are a mum/dad who decided to continue your studies- the gaps can be a little tricky too. The gaps can be dangerous because that is a space where we can easily waste time especially if we are a full time student with no other commitments and it is definitely not ideal when the semester starts to pick up its pace.

An example of a class schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(TIP: I do not recommend cramming but sometimes timetabling does it for you and you have no choice)

For some reason, time flies very quickly when we start university which means we need to learn to maximise our time and maintain productivity. Some important skills I knew I needed to foster in order to stay ahead was task allocation, time management and endurance. I still struggle and mess up even till today but I can tell that I am building up these skills and it is serving me well not only as a student but also as an employee. I feel the need to emphasise the word “building” because we have to be consistent and practise these skills until it becomes a habit. Don’t freak out if you wake up late one day or miss the bus to uni or slack off on a Saturday morning. Time management is neither a superpower nor magic, it is not usually an innate ability but we can definitely train ourselves.

My essentials for time management:

A general planner: This is the most important item for me. In this planner, I write down meetings, appointments, hang outs, family affairs, classes, events, workshops and the like. The main role for this planner is for me to see where I need to be for the week so I don’t double book a meeting or miss a class or forget to attend a seminar etc. This planner is small, light, compact and easy to carry around.

General planner a.k.a the WHERE book.

As you can see, I write down the time first followed by the event and the venue. I also include a tick box just so I can mark it when I am done. This will give a sense of accomplishment and would encourage me to keep going about my day.

To- Do List a.k.a the WHAT book.

To- Do List: The best time to sort out a to-do list is at night before bed or the first thing in the morning. In this notebook, I write down everything I need to do. What I used to do after that was to simply choose one and do it but that doesn’t equal productivity. The second step after writing the tasks down should be sorting it out between high and low priority. After allocating the tasks, I would further review the high priority section and make an asterisk on maximum three things I need to get done on that day. This step will narrow things down to the smallest job as possible and before you know it, you have accomplish your daily goals! If you are up for it, then put three more asterisk and complete the task.

 

 

 

Sometimes I would add an action section, a shopping list or a reminder for things that are not urgent. I apply this method to my work and placement to-do list as well. I have a total of three to-do list because compartmentalising works for me. I don’t like mixing work with uni and my personal life just because it can get very overwhelming. Why don’t I just use an app? Well, I like writing things down so if you find a good app then go for it – I am just more old school.

Assignment planner: This is specifically for assignments and I would usually do this from Week 1. First, I will write down all the assignments in the first two pages so that I can have easy access to view what assignments I have without needing to search each subject individually. This can be very tedious in the beginning but it is worth it! Then, I will arrange the due date of assignments chronologically on the next page. So that gives me a timeline that is easy to follow.

Example of a semester overview.

Because my general planner is always with me, I make sure to write or make a note for each due date on the monthly and weekly pages. I have a yearly overview as well but instead of writing it down because of lack of space, I will either highlight or decorate with a small sticker just so I know an assignment is due.

An example of a visual reminder for my assignments.

 

As you can see, I have two assignments due on the 24th of April and having a visual reminder will assist my progress over the weeks. I can adjust how much work I need to get done on other assignments, if I can spare some free time or whether I need to gather all my focus and cut down on leisure depending on the workload.

Hopefully when you adopt some of these tools, it will help you learn how to fill the gaps between classes wisely or how to organise huge projects into small daily tasks and realistic goals. These methods have really helped me to get all my work done and I really mean it! Yes! You don’t have to worry about sacrificing sleep, in fact, you can even afford a nap. I have not pull an all-nighter since high school and I don’t intend to do any in the future.

We have discussed task allocation (to-do lists, high and low priorities etc) and we have talked about time management (having planner, creating weekly and monthly timelines etc). Writing tasks down and making our planner look pretty is super easy – anyone can do it. The deal breaker is our attitude and character towards completing what we say we will and what is given to us. A way to keep ourselves accountable it to treat university like being at work and what do we need to do to keep a job? We turn up, we show up on time, we meet deadlines, we find our way to be organised, we keep our word, we push ourselves a little bit over the usual and we contribute. It does take awhile to master it all, but if we start now I can guarantee it will pay off in the long run.

Here’s to Semester 1, 2017! For those who have just started, enjoy the ride! For those who are graduating soon, thank you for making uni great – we hope you share your knowledge with the rest of the world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research Internships for Science Undergraduates

It’s almost a rite of passage for the current day for undergraduate students to do a summer internship for at least their last two years of study.

As international students we may have the slight disadvantage of not having any connections in the industry for us to land an internship – we often require more effort and time compared to that required by a domestic student.

However, QUT has in place a Vacation Research Scheme (VRES) for which all QUT students can apply! You will usually get an email in your second semester giving you more details about the VRES projects available and the supervisors in charge of each project.

The projects are categorised by school so it is easier to find a project that suits your interests and academic field. I come under the School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, so I skipped over all the other projects to look at the projects listed under this school because they would be more relevant to me.

You are required to choose and nominate three projects that interest you, in order of preference. You must email the supervisors of each of the three projects and meet up with them beforehand. This allows you to show interest in the respective project and to also get to know about the nitty-gritty of the projects. After your chats with them, your order of preference may change. So this needs to be done before you submit the application.

As per usual you need to state why you want to take part in VRES. As places are limited, the entry to this is very competitive. The supervisors have high expectations of the students who do get into VRES, and you get paid for each week of research you do.

In general, it is rather uncommon for a first year to get in, although you’re more than welcome to apply. Most supervisors prefer students from the second year and upwards due to the simple fact that by the end of the second year, you would have more knowledge and experience in the field, so the project would be more beneficial to you. However, a few first year students do get into VRES each year, so don’t let that discourage you from applying.

Read the details early on so that you can organise a time to meet up with the supervisor easily, because they tend to be very busy and often don’t have time to see you on short notice.

Keep in mind, this is just one of many opportunities that will come your way. Check in other places such as Engineers without Borders and CSIRO for other internships that maybe available to you. VRES is really good place to start looking, because it is from QUT itself.