Visiting Queensland Museum

Queensland Museum tells the changing story of Queensland through natural history, cultural heritage, science and human achievement. It was established at South Brisbane over 20 years ago.

Image: Queensland Museum is located at South Brisbane with easy accessibility.

Image: The animal model looks so real.

Image: The skeleton of one of the dinosaur species in the past.

Image: You can get the volunteer to walk you through the exhibition halls if you are keen to know more history verbally.

Image: The exhibition of Queensland’s unique animals and their habitats.

Image: Some interesting facts of Queensland.

Image: The discovery centre of Queensland Museum.

Image: Some exhibition at the passageway outside of Queensland Museum.

Queensland Museum is free entry for the public. It is definitely a  good place to visit when you have families and friends visit you at Brisbane.

Studying at State Library of Queensland

Personally I like to study at library because I can concentrate more easily and hence absorb what I am learning efficiently. Other than QUT libraries, sometimes I like to go to the State Library of Queensland which is located at South Brisbane with convenient accessibility and conducive learning environment.

The State Library of Queensland is the main reference and research library provided to the people of the State of Queensland.

Image: The exterior design of the state library of Queensland.

Image: The aesthetic and modern interiors of the state library.

Image: One of the study areas.

Image: My favourite reading zone.

Image: My favourite reading zone with the view of Brisbane river.

Image: One of the reading zones with natural lighting.

Image: Library members can rent the room to practise the instruments.

I really enjoy the ambience of the state library. If you want to change the environment to study or doing your assignments, the state library of Queensland will definitely satisfy you.

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.

 

Exchange student interview: Veronica Lim

Image: QUT exchange student, Veronica Lim

1) What university are you studying at?

  • National Taiwan Normal University

2) Where are you from?

  • Malaysia

3) How long was your exchange at QUT?

  • A semester

4) What course were you studying at QUT?

  • Education related courses, such as early childhood literacies, classroom management, inclusive education and interpersonal skills

5) What do you learn from the exchange experience at QUT?

  • I learn how to seek help from the course’s tutor and learning independently from online resources from the lessons I took. Well and lots of interacting skills from meeting different people from different country

Image: Veronica and her friends at QUT.

6) What is the main difference do you find between QUT and your university?

  • The main difference is the learning atmosphere, it’s much more flexible and student-based at QUT whereas in Taiwan, lessons are always full-packed and teacher-oriented

7) Any tips for the prospective exchange students?

  • Accept the cultural shock, and enjoy the excitement of trying new stuff

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.

Exchange student interview: Juyeon Suh

Photo: Exchange student, Juyeon Suh from South Korea. Image taken at QUT Gardens Point Campus.

  • What university are you studying?

Ewha Womans University in South Korea.

  • How long was your exchange at QUT?

About 5 months.

  • What course were you studying at QUT?

My major is journalism. I took four classes at QUT. Three of them were about journalism and one of them was Australia Geography.

  • What do you learn from the exchange experience at QUT?

Australia is one of the most multi-cultural places in the world. A multi-cultural society is made up of people from various backgrounds and ethnicities. I could make friends of all different races and learn from them. It was really interesting to share each culture. By doing so, I became more open-minded. After studying in Australia, my perspective and thoughts are broadened.

Photo: Exchange student, Juyeon Suh. Image taken at Kangaroo Point Cliff.

  • What is the main difference do you find between QUT and your university?

Although Ewha Womans University provides students some discussion courses, the number of classes is too limited. Also, there are so many students in each class that students cannot have enough time to express their views. On the contrary, QUT has lots of discussion courses and the number of students in a class is small compared to mine. I was happy to express my opinion during the classes actively.

  • Any tips for the prospective exchange students?

I really recommend you to visit lots of places while studying abroad. Australia is really huge and has many different types of weather. It has many different environments inside. For me, Australia was a really great choice. I traveled lots of parts in Australia such as Alice Springs, Cairns, Melbourne, Sydney and so on. Each part has different feel and its own attraction. In addition, Australia has various kinds of animals, which are hard to find in other countries. I saw many kinds of kangaroos. There are also many koalas in Australia, it is easy for people to see them. Many of my Korean friends envy me that I could see them. QUT International Student Service also provides school trips for international students with resonable prices. I recommend you to check mails from QUT International Student Service.

Photo: Exchange student, Juyeon Suh. Image taken at Alice Springs.

Cultural Exchange Trip at Japan

I was so lucky to grab the last spot to participate in the University life in Japan (Oceania) programme 2016 in December which hosted by Sonoda Women’s University.

Image: Sonoda Women’s University.

This is one of the best trips in my life so far. I kind of having some Japanese culture contact since young through anime and entertainment. I have been longing to travel to Japan for a long time. I was extremely excited for the long awaited trip when I received the email from David regarding to my successful application!

On the first day of the programme, David (the person in charge) fetched us from Kansai airport to our hotel at Amagasaki. The coach journey from Kansai airport to Hanshin Amagasaki station was so enjoyable due to the excellent scenery and introduction given by David along the way. David brought us to tour around Amagasaki and introduced us some places near our hotel. I can feel the kind hospitality of Japanese from the very first day of the trip. I feel like the living expenses at Japan is similar to Brisbane. However, I was so spoilt with the various options of food and products. On the other side, the size of the accommodation is much smaller if compared to Brisbane. Regarding to the transportation, the train lines there are very confusing so do bring a map with you in case you get lost. The buses are always on time so do arrive early at the bus stop if you can’t take the risk to miss the bus.

Image: The bus and train station near to our hotel.

Sonoda Women’s University doesn’t offer as many courses as QUT so the size of the campus is also much smaller compared to QUT. We don’t have the chance to explore the student accommodation because we were arranged to stay in the hotel nearby the campus during the program.

Image: The student accommodation of Sonoda Women’s University.

I always have the interest to learn Japanese language. I have the chance to learn some basic Japanese language during the cultural exchange programme at Sonoda Women’s University. Even though there is communication problem, however Fujiwara sensei tried her best to make the class become an interesting one for us. Now I am so proud of myself because I am able to introduce myself in Japanese language. The another class I enjoyed a lot is the Japanese crafts. We learnt to make some beautiful Japanese crafts and got to bring it home as well. We got the opportunity to be clad in two types of Kimono and also being introduced about Shinto and tea ceremony. It was an interesting experience indeed to learn about Japanese culture this way. I also got the chance to handmade ichigo daifuku (strawberry mochi) and savoured it after that. It tastes so yummy and I am craving for it now.

Image: The group photo with the professor and staffs of International Students Department at Sonoda Women’s University on the first day of the programme.

Image: Having fun during Japanese craft class.

Image: Our very first Kimono experience.

Image: Having been introduced about Shinto by the priest and trying on the red and white kimono.

Image: Ichigo daifuku aka strawberry mochi making lesson conducted by the students.

The two highlights of the short-term program are the visit to primary and junior high school and the homestay at Ojiro. I am so impressed by the friendliness and discipline been cultivated in Japanese since the young age. I had so much fun while spending time with the adorable and polite students. During the homestay at Ojiro, we were so lucky to see the snow. My first snow in life was so beautiful and I will forever remember it in heart. I have been assigned to homestay at a sensei family consists of grandmother, father, mother and two little girls. My host father is a vice-principal of a primary school and my host mother is a primary school teacher at Ojiro. My two little host sisters are studying at their high school and junior high school separately. My host father tried his best to communicate with me in English and introduced me Japanese culture in English as well even though he is not familiar with the language. I got to know more about ‘yukigassen’ (snowball fighting) from him as he is one of the judge for the game. I had wonderful time spending with the family and also the visit to the primary and junior high school at Ojiro. I will definitely plan my visit to Ojiro again whenever there is a chance.

Image: The drama performance by junior high school students.

Image: My host family at Ojiro.

Image: The scenery outside of the house of my host family.

Even though the program schedule is quite packed, we still have the time to do some travelling.

The following photos are the scenery where we managed to arrange the time to travel to.

Photo: Osaka Shinsaibashi.

Image: View taken from Tsutenkaku Tower.

Image: Street view at Kyoto.

Image: Kobe Port Tower.

I am grateful for being one of the members for this cultural exchange programme. This trip gave me so many wonderful cultural exchange experiences. I cherish the rapport relationship we forged among the members and also with the host family. Big thanks to Sonoda Women’s University and the host family for hosting us so well at Japan. And also thanks QUT Global for giving us such a good opportunity to have this type of experience during our university journey. It made this trip possible for me with the bursary provided by QUT.

Image: The group photo taken at our farewell party.

I collaged some small clips during the trip into a video, here is the link for you if you are interested to know more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wptNWklDOKs&feature=youtu.be

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

Attending International Student Career Panel

QUT Careers and Employment has many resources available to help students seek employment. Recently, I attended an International Student Panel on our experience with QUT Careers and Employment. We shared our journey at QUT and talked about highly recommended services every student should know about. Now I’m going to recommend three services that you can’t miss to help you get employment in Australia.

It is a workshop specifically tailored to international students where the facilitators run you through resume and cover letter writing, and interview skills.

If you are an accounting, nursing or justice student, this is a special program for you to gain some internship experience. QUT Career staff will send you job opportunities available once you join this program and also help you prepare for your interviews. Keep in mind that these opportunities are only available to QUT students studying a certain major, so don’t miss out!

Ready to take your career journey to a next level? Joining QUT Career Mentor Scheme is a good way to meet people from the industry and gain some tips first hand. You will be matched with a professional from your desired industry and learn from them what it is really like to work in that industry.

The following are two videos explaining in more detail on what services are offered to international students:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJSar2xLWYY
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imx6UCn9y48

All the best to your job-seeking and good luck!