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!

A reflection of my past 8 months at QUTIC

Hi there! Vincent here, I am from Indonesia and I’m currently studying Diploma of Engineering in QUTIC (QUT International College). Today I am going to talk about what I’ve experienced at QUTIC for the last 8 months.

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Students in Governance – What it takes is what you have

I am Kasun Kalhara, studying Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at Queensland University of Technology, majoring in Aerospace Engineering. Since high school, I was interested in advocating peer students and support them.

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How to Live Alone: Tips on Cooking at Home

Xin Chào everyone! I’m Tram from Vietnam, currently studying a Diploma in Creative Industries at QUT International College. When I came to Australia, I was shocked to see how everything here was so expensive, even a cup of juice could be $7. Then I thought I would try cooking at home, since I rented a room in a shared house with a common kitchen, to save money and eat healthier. So today I want to share some useful tips with you from my six month experience of home cooking (and occasionally eating out)!

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Newbie in Brisbane

Brisbane welcomed me with heavy rain in June 2017. Growing up in a hot and humid region, Brisbane winter season made me worried. I don’t know what other people’s experiences are, but when I first arrived at Brisbane airport, my lips cracked and bled because the weather was cold and the wind hit me with no mercy. Thanks to QUT airport pick-up service I arrived safely at Iglu Kelvin Grove – Student Accommodation. I chose Iglu as my first accommodation because it was on the QUT Home website.

Iglu Kelvin Grove – Brisbane Student Accommodation

I couldn’t bear the cold and at the same time being lonely, but I had no idea who I should ask for help. I was caught up in a mix feelings that lead me to a very bad mood, until I got a message from an acquaintance.

Portrait picture of my heroine (May)

May knew that I had arrived and she was sure that I would need some help due to her past experience when she first studied abroad. May and her boyfriend took me to Westfield Chermside to buy a heater and other necessities. Without that heater I think I couldn’t make it through the night because of the cold weather. Once again, thank you May for being my heroine.

I spent nearly an entire day in both QUT campuses to memorise the map (Haha, How nerdy am I?), so I would not be running around asking for directions on orientation day.

The Cube in P Block caught my attention.

Miranda – on the left. We did not know that we come from the same country until Iglu’s staff introduced us. Surprisingly, Miranda also took the same course with me in QUTIC

Miranda and I had a great afternoon at South Bank. We were watching the sunset while drinking milk tea. I’ve heard, some people think Brisbane is boring even before getting here. Some of my friends tried to convince me to study at other majors cities, but the beauty of Brisbane touched me. Indeed, Brisbane is not very big compared to other cities, however it has everything I need.

I did not know this building is a casino until one of my friends took me for dinner in the casino’s restaurant .

View from Victoria Bridge

On the next day, I got in contact with a friend. He is a friend from high school best friend’s friend in middle school (I know, the connection sounds so complicated) , and he has lived here for a very long time.

Lyo – on the right

First, Lyo introduced me the shuttle bus from Kelvin Grove Campus to Garden Point Campus. From there we walked along Brisbane River from the Goodwill Bridge to the Story Bridge. Brisbane’s scenery along the river was calm and peaceful. It made me feel very welcomed.

Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

At the end of the day, I knew a lot more about Brisbane and I feel so blessed to receive all the help from May, Miranda, and Lyo.

Why I become a QUTIC mentor?

Signing up for a mentor recruitment program was the first step that led me to other interesting events during my studying period in QUTIC. A quick flashback to my O-week, I remember I was nervous and excited at the same time. Everything was unfamiliar to me, and it took me quite a long time adjusting to college. This is the reason I wanted to help other international students who might face similar challenges, and to enhance their acculturation process. Below is a quick snapshot of what we (mentors) went through.

How excited we were on the orientation day for TP3, 2017?

When I knew I was selected to be a part of the Mentor Group for TP3, 2017, I didn’t expect to gain anything from this program. However, the teachers and friends who I worked together with throughout the whole period have moved my heart.  Nonetheless, becoming a mentor is not the only way to make college more memorable, there are plenty of opportunities and activities that are run by QUTIC. I strongly encourage QUTIC students to become more actively involved in social activities because you will never know what you have missed out on until you try. Watch a sneak peek of my mentor training journey.

Mentors in the jungle – (at Binna Burra Lodge)

Before this training, all members from the crew were strangers to each others. There were no greetings or a hand-waving, although we sit next to each others in classes and I didn’t understand why. No one took the opportunity to change the awkward atmosphere in the rooms, outside the classes, in the hallway, and in the eating area, or maybe it was just only me who felt that way. QUTIC is not that big, so we can get to know everyone in the same course within 1-2 weeks, but most people kept to their own.

After my mentor training, my schedule got busy due to extra work from being a mentor, but this change was a good one. I cared more about friends around me, started more conversations with acquaintances, interacted more with teachers, and invited students to join QUTIC’s activities. Despite of tons of homework waiting for me at the end of the day, I became more confident and excited to get involved in class activities more often. Eventually, I took on more roles and participated in other events because I know no matter the results, I will always have my group to back me up.

We threw a surprised birthday parties for Tony after the training.

Tony and the Girls

Tony and the Boys.

I’m glad that I made it through the program with all the members taking part in this teaching period. Everyone has directly and indirectly taught me something. I would like to give a big shout-out to Mrs. Lauren Bulter and Mrs. Suzan Gredig for their hard work with the Mentor Program. Making friends is absolutely going to make your studying journey more exciting, and there is nothing to lose. Besides, it is all about experiences and memories, and every single member of this Mentor Group TP3, 2017 are part of making my studies at QUTIC more memorable.

3 best things I have gained at QUT

After having studied at QUT for two years, finally I will be graduating this month. This is the best moment, and to look back at my university life and sharing some experiences with  students.

I am going to describe three main positive acquisitions that I have gained during my studies, including time management skills, networking, professional and practical learning.

1. Time management skills

As an international student, there are so many things I have to do on my own and probably have never done before in my home country. For example, having a part-time job, studying, volunteering, doing an internship, attending workshops and events, doing housework and so on. The most important thing is to finish what you have to do first and then prioritise tasks as well as balance them with your limited time. This is a really useful skill that is also discussed in several workshops or orientation events. It’s not an easily seen skill, but I am sure this skill will significantly influence my future life. After these two years, I understand how and what I should do to multitask that will help improve my future job efficiency as well.

2. Social network

During these two years, I’ve met and made numerous friends from all around the world.  There are always some great people who I can learn from for example what they think and do, but also their friendship and support will be there for our future career.

3. Professional and practical learning

QUT is definitely a university for the real world. Although it also means the learning could be stressful for many students. I rhave learnt a lot in classes, assignments, and also working on practical projects for Australian companies. These experiences have given me the ability to deal with problems and finding the solutions.

To sum up, studying in Australia has been a great process for me to understand what my passion or interest exactly is and build enough confidence and learn relevant skills to achieve these goals. Luckily, I have already got a full time job offer before graduating and it is strongly related to my profession and interests. I really appreciate everything and everyone that I have met at QUT and in Australia.

If you are new to Australia, I can give you some advice even though I will graduate soon. You are welcome to contact me via my Instagram and Linkedin.

Finally, please feel free to leave your comment below and don’t forget to enjoy your study and keep following this QUT blog!