My saving tips for the daily life of an international student

I think money issue is one of the main worries for most of the international students in Australia. Being an international student in Brisbane, I have to keep a close eye at the digits of my bank account to make sure that I have enough money for my rent, food, transport, social activities, travelling and last but not least, the tuition fee.

1) Groceries

There are many options to do your groceries in Brisbane for examples Aldi, Woolworths, Coles, IGA, K mart, Big W, Costco, Asian Groceries Stores etc. Normally the large grocery stores may carry most of the stuff you need but different brands. Compare the prices between the grocery stores and the different brands they carry (grocery home brands are often cheaper)  if you want to save some money! Furthermore, the big grocery stores may have discount for different types of products every week, so join their mailing list and keep an eye on their specials.

Other than the regular promotion, some products which are approaching expiry date will have a further price reduction. I always buy discounted ice coffee which makes my day haha!

As a member of one of QUT’s student organisations you may have discounts for stores across Brisbane. For instance, QUT Malaysian Students Association provides special discounts for members who shops in one of the Asian grocery stores in the city.

I would suggest you buy fruits and vegetables from the markets, as it’s normally cheaper  than the grocery stores. You can find out more about Brisbane markets from my previous post: https://blogs.qut.edu.au/student-life-in-brisbane/2016/11/01/markets-culture-in-brisbane/

2) Transport

I have shared some saving tips in my previous blog post: Public transport in Brisbane.

3) Accommodation

There are many options for accommodation for examples homestay, students apartments, shared acommodation etc. The weekly rent could range from AUD $100+ to $300+. Personally I think shared accommodation is the cheaper option, however, it all depends on what your requirements are.

4) Travelling

Travelling could be very affordable if you plan well in advance. Brisbane has a great geographic location and is near most of Australia’s major travel destinations.  Join the airlines’ email list so you don’t miss the cheapest ticket. Instead of flying, you can choose to do a road trip to any of the beautiful places surrounding Brisbane. You can read my previous post regarding my visit to the beautiful places surrounding Brisbane.

If you plan to visit some tourist spots which require entrance tickets e.g. Lone Pine Sanctuary or all the theme parks on the Gold Coast, I would suggest you buy the ticket in advance. Check out some travel agencies in the city or suburbs as they would be able to sell you the tickets with a better price than the venue. You can read my blog post with some travelling tips about Gold Coast Theme Parks.

5) Social activities

I enjoy dining out with friends, however dining out in Brisbane could be  very expensive. Some restaurants serve very big portions, so it is a good idea to share with a friend if you have small appetite. The portion of food sold by food trucks is normally not that big. You could check out my previous blog to know more about the food trucks culture in Brisbane.

Hopefully these tips could save some money whilst studying as an international student in Brisbane!

Experience QUT Day

Experience QUT Day is an event organised for international Year 11 and 12 students studying  in Australia. Students can get an insight of what it is like to study at QUT and also network with other high school students.

Even though it was raining, about 70 students showed up to the event, some coming all the way from Gold Coast and Cairns.

I was helping with registration and was happy to see so many young faces looking forward to university life.

The event started with a presentation by Jimi Bursaw from Leadership, Development and Innovation Program on “Future of Uni, Work and You”.

Most of the students were very engaged with the presentation and which made students think about why university is important to them.

The most exciting part of the event was the Experience QUT Team Challenge. Students formed teams and then went to different stations hosted by faculties as part of the challenge. Each faculty representative was responsible for designing challenges and gave teams feedback on their performance. It was simply amazing to see students from different high schools form into groups and develop friendship.

This team challenge was hosted by QUT Science and Engineering faculty. Students learnt about simple programming and how to control a robot to take a certain route in order to finish the game.To be honest, it was not a simple task . Students needed to learn the basic programming quickly in order to finish the task. Team work  and being efficient was really important.

After almost 2-hour of the team challenge, winners and runner-ups were announced with different prizes. Students were also given the time to talk to student ambassadors about the courses and their study experience at QUT.

It made me think of myself in high school, although I wasn’t as active in seeking tips for starting uni as those young and passionate high school students. I did hope to have a chance to talk to seniors about their experience at QUT, so that I could know better what to expect. Experience QUT Day was indeed a golden chance for high school students to find out more about uni life. Good on you for attending!

Wandering around QUT Precincts

If you have some free time to just hang out at QUT Gardens Point, QUT Art Museum, the William Robinson Gallery and Old Government House are the places that you should visit!

QUT Precincts is Australia’s leading university cultural precinct and home to world-class venues. It consists of QUT Art Museum, the William Robinson Gallery, Old Government House and The Cube which located at Gardens Point campus. Another one is QUT Creative Industries Precinct located at Kelvin Grove campus.

I have shared some photos of The Cube and QUT Creative Industries Precinct at the blogposts of QUT Gardens Point campus and QUT Kelvin Grove campus separately before.

Today I would like to share some photos that I took while I visited QUT Art Museum, the William Robinson Gallery and Old Government House.

Photo: The entrance of QUT Art Museum.

Photo: Exhibitions at QUT Art Museum.

Photo: Exhibition at QUT Art Museum.

Photo: The exterior of Old Government House.

Photo: The interior of Old Government House.

Photo: The panorama of Brisbane at 1872 exhibited at Old Government House.

Photo: The exhibition at Old Government House.

Photo: One of the corner at William Robinson Gallery.

There are all free so you can always visit if you have some time at Gardens Point campus.

Malaysia’s 60th National Day Celebration at QUT

QUT Malaysian Students Association hosted Malaysia’s 60th National Day Celebration at Kelvin Grove campus. The celebration was happening from 11AM to 3PM on August 31st. The activities included Henna (body painting with a dye prepared from a plant), calligraphy, games, multicultural singing and dance performances. There was also Malaysia local cuisines food stall and free Teh Tarik (a hot milk tea beverage which can be commonly found in restaurants and outdoor stalls at Southeast Asia countries) distributing.

Photo: Eating Malaysia’s popular local cuisine, Char Kuey Teow in the campus.

Photo: Chinese traditional dance performance.

Photo: Dance performance by QUT Dance Society.

Photo: Indian dance performance.

Photo: Music performance with traditional Chinese instrument called ‘Er Hu’.

Photo: Games session, speaking Malay (the official language of Malaysia).

It was a great effort by QUT Malaysian Students Association to host this event in the campus for the celebration of Malaysia’s 60th National Day. Even though we are far away from home, we can still celebrate National’s Day even in the campus.

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!

Photography outing at Teneriffe

I have a few course mates who are also interested in photography so sometimes we organise photography outing to take the photos of beautiful Brisbane.

Teneriffe is an inner suburb that located 2.5 kilometres north-east of Brisbane CBD. It is easily accessible by bus and ferry with the travelling time approximately 15 minutes from Brisbane CBD.

Image: You can have a stroll along the river before or after exploring Teneriffe.

Image: There are many beautiful architecture buildings surrounding Teneriffe.

Image: My friend found his best angle to capture the historic building.

Teneriffe is also a suburb hidden with cool cafés and restaurants.

Image: One of the cool cafes at Teneriffe.

Image: Coffee photography session.

Image: An entertaining guy in front of the food truck.

Image: Each of us had a glass of craft brewed ales at the brewing house.

Image: My favourite Gelato shop at Teneriffe.

Image: Recommended to give it a try if you are a fan of Gelato.

Teneriffe is a good place to chill if you want to have a respite from the assignments. I had so much fun exploring Teneriffe while doing my favourite photography. I believe you will have it too!

The RoundUp

Study Sport and Exercise Science at QUT!

Interested in a career as an Accredited Exercise Scientist or Accredited Sports Scientist?
QUT’s sport and exercise science degree may be for you then!

Read more

July graduations – a time to celebrate!

July is the month when we celebrate our mid-year graduates!

So, what do our graduates think of QUT?

“QUT is the university for the real world! I can’t agree enough on that statement. Many of us including myself got employed even before graduating. Throughout my degree, most of my lecturers and tutors are people from the industry, teaching us based on their many years of experience.”
Dalilah Kamil, Bachelor of Urban Development (Quantity Surveying)

Read more

Hear from one of our exchange students

Current exchange student, Juyeon Suh from South Korea shares her experiences at QUT and adventures in Australia with QUT International’s Digital Ambassador, Linette Phang.

Read more

QUT Open Day – 30 July

If you’re already in Brisbane, then why not come along to our QUT Open Day on Sunday 30 July, 2017.

It is a great opportunity to experience our QUT Gardens Point campus and chat to current students and staff about courses, uni life, and careers!.

Read more

Accept your offer to study at QUT in Sem 2, 2017

If you are outside of Australia*, you have until Monday 10 July to accept your offer.

If you are in Australia, you have until Monday 17 July to accept your QUT offer.

We hope to see you on campus soon!

*applicants outside of Australia are those that will need to submit a new Australian student visa application offshore and aren’t in a country where there are known visa processing delays.

Read more

New Master of Education package option

For students commencing semester 2, 2017 QUT’s Faculty of Education is offering the opportunity for students to complete two Master of Education degrees in two years.

Read more

Discover QUT Starters

QUT Starters is a great way to connect with other innovative students who want to experience more than a degree!

The student-run society aims to support students interested in launching their own startup.

Read more

Have you discovered the QUT app?

Download our free student app for information on enrolment, class times, campus maps, and much more!

Read more

Check out these stories from QUT

QUT champions entrepreneurship to boost home-grown tech to the world
Comercialisation deal for home-grown cancer saliva test
QUT continues to rise in international rankings
QUT design superheroes put interactivity into GOMA’s Marvel exhibition

QUT scholarship launches students on path to success

For twins Sandeepa and Sachin Fernando and Senuri Sarathchandra QUT’s Science and Engineering (SEF) International Merit Scholarship has been life-changing.

The International Merit Scholarship is offered to high achieving students and covers up to 25% of tuition fees.

Sandeepa Fernando said the International Merit Scholarship was a huge boost to his studies.

“My scholarship adds so much to my university experience. I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the College of Excellence, which conducts personal development programs. These programs help me to improve a wide array of skills, which will be important for my career in the future,” Sandeepa said.

Sachin Fernando said the scholarship has also given him freedom to enjoy opportunities outside the classroom.

“The scholarship has allowed me to also engage in extra-curricular activities in university in addition to my course. This allows me to develop extra skills outside of my degree, strengthening my employment prospects upon graduation” Sachin said.

Students with a QUT International Merit Scholarship may be able to apply for our Merit Plus Scholarship as well, offering an additional 25% tuition fee.

To apply for this competitive scholarship, students must be a Sri Lankan citizen, have been offered the International Merit Scholarship for a Bachelor program with the Science and Engineering Faculty, and have a minimum of 3 A grades if you completed GCE ‘A’ Levels.

Senuri Sarathchandra is currently in her first year of QUT’s Bachelor of Engineering and said the scholarship has opened up new doors with industry that would otherwise be difficult for an international student.

“The scholarship has allowed me to participate in QUT’s College of Excellence, where I am networking with industry partners and receiving career advice,” Senuri said.

Senuri said it wasn’t hard to choose QUT to undertake her undergraduate studies.

“I went through the courses and majors and the options to study at QUT were great! The Bachelor of Engineering is a very practical course. You are not pressured to choose your major in the first year of the Bachelor degree, instead you have the option to try out the different engineering majors and see what works best for you,” Senuri said.

QUT’s supportive student environment was also a key factor for Senuri when deciding where to study, and she’s not alone. According to the 2016 International Student Barometer Queensland, 89% of our international students are satisfied with their experience at QUT.

Senuri is also involved in QUT’s Leadership, Development and Innovation Program – a comprehensive leadership and development program to support students in areas such as personal development, emotional intelligence, and cross-cultural communication.

The experience of studying in Brisbane will be something these students will never forget.

“I chose to study in Australia because it’s a gateway to a lot of opportunities. It’s close to Sri Lanka and there are a lot of international experiences available here. Brisbane is a multicultural city filled with people from all over the world and that truly makes it an international experience. It is definitely a wonderful city for one’s higher education, QUT has really exceeded my expectations already,” Sandeepa said.

“QUT is a great university, as an international student I feel there is a supportive environment for international students and many services available to successfully integrate into the University and Australian society,” Sachin said.

For more information:

https://www.qut.edu.au/international

https://www.qut.edu.au/study/fees-and-scholarships/scholarships-and-prizes/international-merit-scholarship

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!