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!

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.

Girls trip at Sydney

Travelling with girl friends is like a venture into a wonderland. A girl friend and I decided to travel to Sydney together after we finished the exams.

Below are some places that we visited during our trip. Those places are recommended for you to visit there if you are planning your trip to Sydney.

  • State Library of NSW is the oldest library in Australia. It is a large reference and research library open to the public. From my perspective, the design of the state library of NSW is more vintage compared to the state library of QLD. However both libraries offer the very cosy and conducive environment to concentrate the study.

  • Art Gallery of New South Wales is one of the most beautiful art museums in the world. The Gallery presents fine international and Australian art. A definite place that shouldn’t be missed if you are arts lover. The general exhibition is free for entrance.

  • Sydney is a wonderful place to do café hopping. We went to Three Williams for brunch on a fine Sunday morning. The food was excellent and it made me drooling by just looking at the photo.

Photo: The delicate pastries from the other café.

  • Climbing up the bridge (walking up the staircase) may cost you penny. If you are budget traveller, the another good option is strolling along Sydney Harbour Bridge to enjoy the view of Sydney Opera House and also the hustle and bustle of the river with the ferries.

Photo: The breathtaking view from the sidewalks of Harbour Bridge.

  • Queen Victoria Building is a historic shopping centre that is delicately designed. The place to visit if you want to have a shopping spree.

  • St Mary’s Cathedral is located in the centre of Sydney. It stands as a Christian statement of grace and beauty. It represents the spiritual origins of the Catholic Church in Australia. Furthermore, it is one of Sydney’s most treasured historic buildings and one of the finest examples of English-style gothic churches in the world.

Photo: The interior design of St Mary’s Cathedral.

  • Blue Mountains is a rugged region west of Sydney in New South Wales. It is famous for the beautiful scenery by encompassing steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and villages dotted with guesthouses. Galleries and gardens. You can plan your day trip there by taking train. Otherwise, you can leave all the homework to the travel agency by purchasing the day trip from them.

 

  • The Grounds of Alexandria is nestled in a former industrial precinct from the 1920s. It is a landmark coffee roastery, café and sustainable garden known for its abundance of fresh produce and hands-on experiences. By holding the philosophy of creating experiences for communities through quality products, innovations and an ever-evolving vision, The Grounds has attracted a large volume of visitors to pay a visit there.

  • Sydney Fish Market is a large marketplace featuring shops for seafood, deli items, wine and baked goods and restaurants. This is definitely one of my top 5 places to go in Sydney. How enjoyable to savour the fresh seafood, sushi, wine etc with the beautiful harbour view! I couldn’t ask for more!

  • Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is located on the edge of Sydney Harbour. MCA exhibits a wide range of collections. The general exhibition is free for entrance.

Photo: While we were exploring the gallery.

  • The Rocks is nestled on the edge of Sydney Harbour and framed by Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera house. It is an unrivalled blend of the old and new. Personally I really enjoy hanging around at The Rocks.

  • Darling Harbour is Sydney’s great celebration space. It is always busy no matter day and night.

Photo: The night sky of Darling Harbour was brightened up by the fireworks.

  • Watsons Bay is a harbourside which located at the eastern suburb of Sydney. A good place to go for a coastal walk and enjoy the comforting sea view. It takes less than an hour ferry ride from Sydney Harbour to get there.

Photo: Enjoying the breeze during the ferry ride.

  • Bondi beach is definitely one of the most popular beaches in Australia as its golden crescent and clear, turquoise waters never fail to impress. Even though you are not a beach person, you can still easily occupy your time as Bondi beach is packed with restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, alfresco cafes etc.

  • Paddington Markets is a Saturday market at Sydney since 1973. If you are a fan of crafts, you absolutely shouldn’t miss visiting Paddington Markets as you have the opportunity to find some exclusive Australian designed and crafted products at there. Paddington Markets is easily accessible by the public transports.

We had so much fun while travelling around Sydney. Hope you have as much fun as we have while travelling with your friends at Sydney!

 

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!

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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)

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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.

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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!.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Have you discovered the QUT app?

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

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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

Riverside at the Gardens – Sunday market

Having lived in Brisbane for a little over a year, one of it’s many little quirks I’ve found are it’s abundance of fairs and markets. You can find plenty of them right in the city and in the suburbs around the city.

I recently discovered the Sunday market that happens at Riverside at the Gardens, every Sunday of the month and decided to hop down there to relax during my mid-semester break. It’s located at the Botanical Gardens entrance right down Alice Street. (Pro-tip: if you find yourself at uni on a Sunday want to get out of uni for a rash shopping trip or to grab a bite, just walk down Alice street to this market. You’ll love yourself for it. Promise.)

My first experience at this market happened to the special Easter edition of the market, as it was happening on Easter Sunday, so there were some fun competition, an egg hunt and a raffle draw also happening.

There were not many vendors, but there were a generous variety of things on sale: sweet/savoury cuisine from different parts of the world, clothes, handmade jewellery, wooden crafts, soaps/bath bombs and even make-up.

My sugar-rush inducing, cookies and cream doughnut.

The best part of the market is it’s location – you can grab a bite and head over to sit under the shade of the trees in the garden and enjoy your food.

The prices were all very reasonable for the food. The clothes were on the pricier end.

There was great fresh produce at better prices than you would find at the supermarkets, so I would highly recommend taking a bag along for grocery shopping.

Brisbane’s markets are something you should definitely try out if you’re living here. Maybe we’ll run into each other sometime. 🙂

Hangout at Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley is my favourite hangout place with friends.

Fortitude Valley is a suburb near to Brisbane City. It takes only 10-15 minutes by bus to get there from Brisbane City. Fortitude Valley is also well known of its Chinatown Mall as it is a hub of exotic Chinese supermarkets and restaurants. Fortitude Valley is such a hip and interesting place. I have so much fun and surprises while exploring there every time.

During the weekends, there is a creative market happening.

Free chess can be played for fun if you are interested.

My favourite brownies shop at My Bakery Lane at Fortitude Valley.

I hope I can have a taste of all the flavours they have.

Once in a while, there may also have free music performance.

Recently I discovered Winn Lane at Fortitude Valley. Hearsay there is a shop selling tasty burger which is recommended to give it a try!

Some of the cool stores at Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley.

You can also spot many graffiti here and there while walking around Fortitude Valley.

James Street at Fortitude Valley is Brisbane’s foremost retail and lifestyle precinct. It features a mix of over 130 specialty shops, including a huge range of designer clothing and homewares stores, award-winning restaurants and cafes, art galleries and design havens. You can receive more information from http://www.jamesst.com.au/

My favourite store at James Street. Simply like everything in the store.

My favourite book shop at James Street. The shop also sells tasty Matcha food. Don’t miss it if you are Matcha lovers!

Always can’t resist the desserts and pastries!

I believe you will have a lot of fun and surprises as me while exploring Fortitude Valley!

Urbanest – Student Accomodation

Located in South Brisbane, Urbanest is just about a fifteen minute walk to QUT’s Gardens Point campus. It is also a five minute walk from many restaurants on Grey Street and the Streets Beach. Needing to travel further? Urbanest is right next to the bus and train stations.

The apartment building itself is quite suitable for a University student as well. The two most common room styles are:

  1. a 5 or 6 person apartment, each resident with their own room and bathroom, and a shared common room and kitchen
  2. a 16 person apartment with 8 rooms, meaning two people per room and bathroom, and a shared common room and kitchen for the apartment.

There are also single suites and studio style apartments. Urbanest has a movie room, a fitness center, study rooms, and a laundry room. The management for the most part is pretty good. They know how to do their jobs, and do their best at accommodating residents needs. They also put on events for the residents.

Urbanest is a very sociable place with students from around the world. It is very easy to meet people and fun to learn about the different cultures this world has to offer.

No the apartment complex isn’t perfect, but it’s worth looking into if the majority of your classes are at Gardens Point – or even Kelvin Grove!

First Time Travelling Outside Asia

In my life up till early 2017 I have ever been in several countries. Those countries are Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia (my home country). It was exciting to travel to those countries. But guess what? All of them are Asian countries which more or less have similarity in terms of the cultures, foods, and so on. I did not have the chance to travel outside Asia before.

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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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