Study Abroad: the Good, Bad or So-so? (Part 2)

Part 2: The Bright Side

Well, I did not expect my second part would take that long to come up with (interrupted by my assignments haha) but yeah, here I go again!

Hi guys, it’s Ha and this is the second chapter of my student life in Brisbane. This part will be all about the fun stuff I’m doing as an international student and what I really enjoy.

Brisbane International Student Ambassador/Volunteering

These are some of the best experiences I’ve had so far. As an ambassador, what we do is to get access to heaps of fun events and festivals around Brisbane, do volunteering and share our journey with the students around the world.

Brisbane International Student Ambassadors Appointment Ceremony

Gen[in] Hackathon – Solving Student Issues

Lord Mayor’s Friendship Ceremony

Myriad 2018

Luminous Lantern Parade

Bris Fes 2018

Brisbane is an energetic young city with many events and festivals happening all year around. My advice for freshmen? Never underestimate any opportunities.

Sunny Days

Who don’t love a sunny day? 

Chilling by the river

The beautiful Queensland is called the Sunshine State for a reason. The weather in Brisbane is definitely one of the nicest things. I used to live for 18 years in Hanoi, where the winter is very cold, and was familiar with it. However, since coming to Brisbane, I have become a tropical person who cannot stand the coldness or even the wind blowing for just a second.

Near my house

Way to uni

Travelling

Easy access to travelling around is one of my favourite things in Queensland. By plane, train, bus, bike or on foot, everything is possible here.

On a train

Famous with beautiful beaches and pristine islands, Queensland is the best place for students to go around only with a limited budget to capture their moments and enjoy themselves after busy weeks studying.

Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast

Sunrise in North Straddie Island

It can be just a one-day trip to Gold Coast, a two-day trip to North Stradbroke Island or even a one-week vacation to Cairns – the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef during the midterm break.

Multiculturalism

It would be a lie if I say everyone here is always welcoming and make you feel at home. It’s never been easy for international students to adapt to a new environment and start their adventure with all the barriers in the culture and language.

However, what I love about Brisbane is how it makes that process become easier by offering the cultural diversity and allowing you to meet many amazing people from different backgrounds who are all willing to support and connect with you.

We are all from different countries

Celebrating multiculturalism

Multiculturalism is so wonderful that can bring you lots of benefits as long as you believe in your own cultural values and respect others’ differences.

So, this is the very second part of my journey as a QUTie. Can’t wait to share my upcoming adventure with you guys soon (fingers crossed for my coming deadlines 😂).

See y’all in my next blog post!

QUT Surfers: One of the best clubs at QUT!

After recently returning from my third surfing weekend trip in Byron Bay organised by QUT surfers, I can confidently say that the QUT Surfers club is my favorite club at QUT! If you haven’t heard, QUT Surfers is a relatively new club at QUT that aims to bring together both new and advanced surfers, organize weekend or day surfing trips and lessons, or just to socialize, chill at the beach and meet other cool people. No prior surfing experience is required to join the club so it is a great way to get out there and learn from the best. If being in the water isn’t your thing, the club is still a fantastic way to meet really cool people.

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Road trip down south

Cedar Creek Falls in the Mount Tamborine area

We hired an eight seater van and just spent the day road tripping down south. We wanted to trek but time wasn’t enough to bring us to Springbrook National Park, so we decided to go here instead, where the track was very easy.

We spent an hour or two just laying around watching the calming view. People were swimming but it wasn’t too crowded. It was a bliss surrounded by nature and silence, running away from the busy Brisbane CBD. Check out the video to see how the day turned out and see the images on flickr to see my skills on the analog camera Canon AE capturing the day 😀

Student Round Up August 2018

Celebrate QUT Discipline Strengths

It was pleasing to see the strong performance of QUT in the recent Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS) 2018.
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QUT International High School day – Monday 22 October

We welcome all international high school students who are currently studying Year 11 or 12 here in Australia.
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Faculty Merit Scholarships now Available for Year 12 International Students in Australia

The prestigious Faculty Merit Scholarship is available for international Year 12 students studying at Australian high schools. If you’re a high-achieving international student you may be eligible for one of our merit scholarships.
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Meet Minh Ha, our Student Blogger from Vietnam

Minh is studying a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing. She has many experiences to share with you. Follow Minh on our student blog and see what she is up to next.
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Other Important Updates

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.

 

What happens when an international student goes back home!

Hi everyone, I am Frame and I’m from Thailand. Currently, I’m studying for a master’s degree in Business. Today I would like to talk about taking a break in my country before starting the next semester.

I do totally understand how international students feel when they live abroad. We have to adjust ourselves in term of culture, language or food which is really important. right? However, there are so many opportunities in abroad, for example, we can improve learning skills, English language, and also we can make friends who are from a different country. Anyways, Let’s talk about How were my holidays going!!  “Do you have any idea about THAILAND?”

I got holidays for 2 weeks in Thailand. It was really awesome that long time to see my family, friends and Thai food.!!  Firstly, I would like to talk about Thai foods because Australia has many Thai restaurants but I am pretty sure that the taste of foods are definitely different that you cannot guess how much spicy Thai people can eat.

This is Som Tum or Papaya Salad which is the famous Thai food.

I would like to show you some pictures of Thai foods but I cannot explain what each picture is because I had many pictures of Thai food when I was in Thailand I enjoyed eating too much. If you love eating, you will understand my feeling.

This is Pad Thai.

Do they make you feel hungry?

They are a Thai dessert.

I am sorry that I make you feel hungry… Finally, I would like to talk about my experience that how do I manage my emotion when I am far away from family. In my case, It is not often that I feel homesick or miss my family. Do you know why? because I think that feeling will make me sad and do not want to do anything, so I just find some activities to do, make friends and enjoy life in Australia. The important thing is that we know the reason why we come here which help us to focus on it. I would like to inspire international students that we come here for growing up and learning the different things which our country do not have. You have to cheer up on yourself anytime. Do not scare to do a mistake, especially, when you are speaking English language. Honestly, I am not an expert in English language too much. I still have some problem with that but it does not matter because I know that I still keep learning and telling myself that I can do it. Do not be shy, try to push yourself, be positive, be strong and do not give up!!!  It is time to start hitting the road of you.

“Welcome back to university again”

Hope you guys enjoy my story… 🙂

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!

Travels with wild chemicals – Distinguished visitor lecture by Prof. Mary Garson

QUT was honoured to host RACI Margaret Sheil Medallist Professor Mary Garson for a Distinguished Guest lecture titled “In search of a professional career: Travels with Wild chemicals”.

The RACI Margaret Sheil Medal was established in 2017 honouring the trail-blazing contributions of Professor Margaret Sheil AO, Australia’s first female chemistry professor, and the current Vice Chancellor of QUT. The spirit of this award is to recognise and honour female leaders in a chemistry-related field who have championed workplace equitability for women in STEM and/or outstanding mentorship for juniors.

I had the privilege of being able to attend this lecture and hear about Prof Mary Garson’s life and career journey, and her exciting discoveries and work in marine science.

As a young female chemist just finishing her Bachelor’s, listening to Prof Garson’s career journey was inspiring and exhilarating. Her tales of what led to the career she has today, seemingly poor decisions that lead to stellar scientific collaborations and contributions and a global network of friends and colleagues inspired me to continue in my field and to see the silver lining in everything.

She also divulged the secret to getting a species named after you as she has a flatworm species named in her honour, and the importance of bravery and resilience to achieve success.

She ended her lecture with a great piece of advice: write 250-300 words every day and you will thank yourself. 

I intend to follow her advise and remember her words to keep me inspired and galvanised to follow my dreams.

 

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.

Fall in love with EKKA in this August

Once in a year, the Royal Queensland Show (EKKA) is here in Brisbane again!!! This iconic show brings the city and the country together and showcases the best of Queensland in ten days. Before heading to EKKA yourself, you can now follow my steps and gain a unique insight about EKKA from me!

1.Fashion Parade & Art

Never been to a fashion show before? Now it’s your turn to enjoy the show at Ekka like a celebrity. Here you can see the works of Queensland’s top designers and have your photos taken with gorgeous models after the fashion show. As far as I know, this fashion show has been a must-see for EKKA since 1980. Additionally, the Creative Arts and Crafts competition shows you the most talented creations in Queensland and you can see creations ranging from embroidery, beading to leatherwork.

2. Animals & Agriculture

Australia’s cute creatures can be more than koala and kangaroos, and you will realize this in the animal nursery. A tour of the animal nursery in EKKA, you can literately embrace with any cute little animals! After washing your hands, you can directly enter the playground and enjoy your time with small animals such as cows, sheep, and little pigs!

In the ten days of the EKKA Carnival, competitions ranging from paintings, beauty contests for cakes to the largest vegetables will take place all the time. Among them, I am really impressed by the wood-chopping competition. It is definitely one of the best matches with the Ekka’s theme–“Bring the country to the city”. The wood-chopping area is always crowded with the audience who is keen to see the axes and flying sawdust.

3. Food & Drinks

The only thing I should say in this section is to walk around and eat as much as you can! EKKA is definitely a heaven for the foodies, where you can enjoy the delicious cuisines made by the freshest ingredients in Queensland. No matter you are a fan of the traditional Aussie food or you are super willing to try something new, EKKA gives you everything. I would just recommend a few here, the iconic EKKA strawberry sundae, Hot Dog, King-size churros, twisted potatoes, and chips loaded with meat and source!!!

4. DIYs & Photo Time

Do you want some lovely souvenirs from EKKA? You can actually do it yourself!!! Try to make yourself a crown decorated with blooming flowers or bring your friends and families some tulip made by a piece of paper!

  

Definitely go and visit the 7 LIVE Studios at EKKA to go behind the scenes of some of Australia’s most loved television programs. At the 7 LIVE Studios, you’ll be able to experience your dream job behind the 7 News desks. 
Weird and Wonderful Praying Mantis Stilt Walker is another fabulous chance for cool photos! They are an international performance group that has entertained crowds at EKKA for years. They are dressed up like insects on stilts and bring nature to life by dancing and wandering through the crowds.

5. Night Shows & Fireworks

Spending your night time at EKKA will be a perfect end to your EKKA experience. EKKA offers more than fireworks and it gives you a performance of Australian culture. I can name a few that you should never miss out: Wheel Standing monster car competition, Wild Colonial Wagon Chase and the Fireworks-Spectacular are the most eye-catching parts at the night. Fireworks are perfectly combined with performances and the superb equestrian skills make you cannot stop cheering. P.S., all of these are so much better to see with your own eyes since photos just cannot express how fantastic they are !!!

One more thing you should always do: Just remember to stop for a while and have a look at the EKKA rides at night, they are just amazing!!!

No matter what inspires you to come to EKKA, I can guarantee that EKKA will definitely fill you up with happiness and excitement and gives you the energy to reawaken your inner strength and your love for life! So remember to have your own EKKA experience this August and have tons of fun!!!