Sugar fix, anyone?

Hello pretty people! Today, I am going share something very sweet with you all.

Guess what? I went to all things sweet pop-up museum called ‘Sugar Republic’ in Brisbane. And, it made me realize that the inner child within you is ageless… I actually came across the exhibition as a Facebook event and it looked something like this.

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Straddie Story

The prominent getaway destination for Brisbane people; North Stradbroke. One of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve seen is on this huge island. Although I only had the chance to explore the northern coast of this island, it already gave me the best view. Queensland really does offer you irreplaceable moments in life.

It’s amazingly sooo easy to go to this paradise from Brisbane. Just take the train to Cleveland (an hour more less train ride), and go to the pier to take the ferry. Everything is on google and this official website https://stradbrokeisland.com/ . They have student prices for the ferry too 😀 and within the island they have shuttle buses that take you here and there.

The video might explain well how the island is really good for a day or even two days getaway; however you like it. I’m actually planning on going camping there before I graduate uni. Whoever is keen feel free to comment down below :]

Watch the Stradbroke video

 

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.

 

My travels across the South-Eastern border

During my winter break this year, I was invited by my best friend and her family to travel across the South-Eastern border of Australia with them. Our journey started with a flight to Melbourne, and road trips to Shepparton, Furner, Mount Gambier and Adelaide, and flight back from Adelaide to Brisbane.

The trip was an immersive experience as we stayed on farms owned by family friends, and I played with lots of baby lambs, had freshly laid eggs for breakfast and also had a bonfire night in the freezing weather.

My best friend surprised me with a trip to the Blue Lake, Tantanoola caves and the possum caves in Mount Gambier.

The spectacular Tantanoola caves have a stunning arrangement of stalactites and stalagmites made exclusively of limestone and dolomite, and the structures are still active! This is one of the few wheelchair accessible caves in Australia.

The Blue Lake in South Australia is a crater lake formed over an inactive volcano in Mount Gambier. The depth, colour, and visibility of the lake changes with the season.

On the way to Adelaide from Furner, we also came across the famous giant lobster, and absolutely had to take a picture of it!

The notorious giant lobster!

All in all, this trip inspired me to aim to travel more across Australia and explore the less famous towns and cities and discover more of Australia’s stunning landscape and natural formations.

Lady Elliot Island; Southern Great Barrier Reef

LADY ELLIOT ISLAND, GREAT BARRIER REEF

Coral reefs that surround the island along with the clear water.

One time experience to Great Barrier Reef makes you come back for more. Just a month after going to Cairns, Lady Elliot Island was my next destination. It was an easy planning,  I  only needed the website ladyelliotisland.com, along with the saved up money (because yes, Lady Elliot Island wasn’t cheap at all….) and it got me through real easy.

So this is how you get to Lady Elliot Island; you pay individually even though you arrive in a group. The price includes; transportation to and from the island, food (breakfast and dinner), free snorkeling around the island, accommodation, and much more. Extra activities are also provided, one which I took of course; diving!!

Lady Elliot Island Cafe, where we had breakfast. The island is known to be the home to manta rays.

Lady Elliot, homes of Mantas.

The interior of island

This is how the island looked like.

It’s not Australia without the seagulls!

The sea wildlife just seconds from the beach.

This clear water! You just go 2 meters off the coast to meet a turtle, and several more meters to meet a blue spotted ray and reef sharks.

SUNRISES

Sunrises on the east side of the island. So cold in the morning in May

SUNSETS

Sunsets from the Lighthouse area. People gather here everyday to enjoy the view together.

Milky way on Lady Elliot. Taken with DSLR Canon EOS 40D, 17-85mm Canon Lense, f/4.0-5.6.

More on specific camera settings on flickr.com/photos/pcsyafira.

Lady Elliot Island: Most definitely best destination I’ve been to in Australia yet.

 

Pricilia Clarissa Syafira

2018

A secret seaside paradise

Hi, I’m Max, a Diploma in Health Science student at QUT International College.

I’d like to introduce you to my favourite place where I go to relax and release stress. Gold Coast can be hard to go without a car, so I have found another close seaside town to enjoy, Redcliffe.

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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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Solo Trip to Thailand

Holiday is coming soon! I’m sure some of my dear readers have getaway trips planned already.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While studying in Australia, it is very popular to travel to South-east Asia during the holiday period. Some of the budget airlines like Air Asia and Jetstar always have deals to popular travel destinations such as Thailand, Bali and Malaysia.

I know it sounds like cliché but travelling does bring invaluable experience and make you more organised, independent and confident.

QUT offers students a one-week mid-semester break each semester. Earlier this year, I decided to take this opportunity and travel to Thailand for 9 days.

Bangkok left me with an impression of being busy, hot and crowded. I had a pretty funny bus experience: As you may or may not know, the traffic in Bangkok is pretty bad especially during the rush hour. Both the driver and ticket officer of the bus I was on had a newspaper with them. When the bus was stuck in the traffic, the driver started reading newspaper and seemed pretty chilled in the middle of all the cars just like reading in his backyard. Although many tourists choose to take cabs or metros while traveling, getting on a bus really gave you a sense of how local people live. So highly recommended!

 

 

One thing I enjoyed most while touring around Bangkok was taking the ferry along Chao Phraya River. Chao Phraya is the major river in Thailand which flows though Bangkok and then into the Gulf of Thailand.

 

 

The price varies a lot between taking a river cruise and taking a normal ferry. The river cruise is much more expensive with a tour guide while the normal ferry is cheaper with lots of locals on it.

Along the river, you will get the chance to see many famous tourist destinations like The Temple of Dawn and Wat Pho. For me, I enjoy observing the local people more than checking out the Buddha statues. There are usually three people working on the ferry: driver, ticket officer and boat guy.

 

 

Every time when the ferry is about to stop at a station, the boat guy would jump off the ferry and pull the rope of the ferry to get the boat close to the pier so people would get on. I was so amazed by the efficient speed of him and how hard-working he was.  You need to be quick, have strength and endure the heat of the sun. Especially when I think the boat guy is much younger than me, I feel so lucky that I could get the chance to study overseas and hope he could or would get a chance of higher education too.

Another amazing part of the trip was that during the trip I made friends with people from all over the world. There were a lot of other backpackers and solo travelers, so making friends was very easy. However, you do need to be careful and make good judgement while travelling by yourself.

 

 

In my next blog, I will talk about some tips on solo travelling. I hope you can all nail the final assessment and enjoy the upcoming holiday. Until next time!

Attending the International Student Farewell Party With Friends

It is getting closer and closer to the graduation. Last Friday, QUT International Student Services organised a farewell party for graduating international students with performance, games and food.

 

 

 

 

 

It was hosted in the newly renovated OJ Wordsworth room which is located on the top of S block with a stunning view over the Brisbane river.

The turnout was really good. Nearly 70 students showed up and everybody seemed to enjoy the entertainment and food.

 

 

 

QUT Dance Society brought us a live dance show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUT Aca-demics  showed us how beautiful pure vocal could be!

 

I met a lot of familiar faces there including classmates and friends to ISS staffs whom I worked with previously. We talked a lot about our plans after graduation. Some of my friends already have a job lined up after graduation while others are still looking.

In the past two years, not only did I learn from class, I also learnt a lot from my friends who showed me what perseverance, hardworking and never giving up means. One of my friends worked in Shanghai for almost seven years before coming here for further study to get a career change. In China, there are not a lot of mature age students because the society pressure you a lot to make a complete new start especially after turning 30.  During her days in Brisbane, she joined a lot of activities on campus, volunteered and maintained a good GPA. She really inspired me.

Another friend of mine was actively seeking for jobs for almost one year with no success, but he was determined to not give up. At the end of the this semester, a small accounting firmed asked accounting students from QUT to send them video resumes. My friend took this opportunity and sent a a great video which stood out from all the applications. He got the job eventually which is well-deserved!

Me with my friends who are in the same course with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another group photos with old and new friends. We all studied accounting and are graduating this semester!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting the mentor awards was actually a surprise for me. I still remembered that in the first year I volunteered for International Student Services during the orientation and met so many like-minded people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now looking back, I actually did a lot while at QUT besides studying. I’m also pretty sure that some of my friends will turn out to be very successful because they demonstrated  really good traits whilst studying. My friends, thank you so much for teaching me through your own examples and I will work hard just like you guys do!