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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Check it out – QUT Art Museum

Is there a place on campus where you always pass by but never stop to take a look?

For me, yes! There are two places on QUT Gardens Point campus: QUT Art Museum and Old Government House.

This week when I was on my way to the library, I saw several very eye-catching posters about glass architecture outside the art museum. As someone very interested in innovation and design, I finally walked in and took a look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art Museum is not very big and there are two main exhibition rooms on both left and right side. The design on shown that day is all about glass architecture. Some of them have actually been produced and sold in Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every two to three months, there will be different exhibitions. So if you are an art person or simply just want to explore more about the Gardens Point campus, QUT Art Museum is definitely a place worth visiting!

Getting yourself organized at uni

I somehow miraculously managed to pull through my entire first year by solely keeping events of the day and week in my head, and setting the occasional reminder or alarm.

Now that I’ve started my second year, it would be joking if I told you I could survive using the same tactic.

Enter the ultimate tool *drumroll*: Google Calendar. Seriously, this is a gem of an app. Don’t wait until your second year to use this – star using it as early as you can to get yourself organised smoothly.

Basically, Google Calendars is a daily/weekly/monthly planner. All you need is a google account and a smartphone. You can set up events and reminders for your entire year as you please. Seeing it on an interactive interface will easily let you know when you’re free and will prevent you from being double-booked.

The best part is you can export your class timetable to Google Calendars, and BAM! You have your whole day on your phone, literally. It will show you your class name, time and location from the information on your QUT virtual Calendar. How awesome is that?!

You can export your class schedule as an iCal file and import it online (on a laptop or desktop, not a mobile phone) and then you’re all set to go. It will alert you on your mobile app before you’re due at an event.

You can think of it as a central scheduler for your day – your work shifts, meetings, classes and other commitments all in one spot that you can see on the go. You can set up customised alerts to remind you of your events.

This is handy tip which I would have benefitted from knowing sooner. So there you go!

Uni 101

Hey! How has Week 1 been for you?

I get it, there’s so much to consider when transitioning from high school to university and the internet is stacked with various survival tips. Since you are here, I will try not to reiterate all the common advice but hopefully give you readers a more relatable and honest truth. No doubt it is an exciting time of self- development and acquisition of skills as well as knowledge. I’ll start off by saying that university life is more than just academic achievement, rather it is about the journey of a whole person.

Be organised

Don’t panic if you are not the most organised person in the world, neither am I, but I would recommend to have at least a copy of the Academic Calendar and a personal planner. Look through each subject and note down the assessment dates. The best thing to do is to combine all those dates into one place. By doing this you will know when your busiest week will be and when you can have more of a chill out period. It is true what they say, do not leave assessments to the last minute! This is the minimum that you can do to make sure you meet deadlines. Previously, I wrote an article about how I use my planner and to-do list which you can read here to give you some ideas and prompt you to find your style. Take my advice with a grain of salt and you don’t have to follow everything I do as well. Find what works for you and stick to it!

Endurance

So like every other student, I love to Youtube and Google time management skills or buy a fancy planner thinking that would motivate me to be a better human being somehow. The truth is, it is not hard to slot in studying sessions, breaks, more studying sessions and even more break times. EVERYONE can do that! I found that the real skill to develop is willpower to stay on tasks. Don’t sigh before you have not tried. I was horrible with time management but I am so much better now in concentrating and maintaining productivity. My point is, instead of focusing on how to manage your time per se, I think it is more worthwhile to train yourself to deal with the root of the problem first which is – a matter of endurance.

Tutorials

The best scenario is to attend every class but that is not always the case. From my experience, lectures are awesome because you get to be with your cohort and of course you will learn new materials. Tutorials are more intimate and deeper discussions can take place. Additionally, some information may not be available online or in the recordings. Hence, I recommend going to tutorials. Everyone has their own studying styles but if you are planning to skip a class, I have to stress that it is important to check if your classes are compulsory because your attendance may contribute to your final grades. Also, if you know that you are the type of person that has a tendency to be distracted then going to tutorials and lectures will keep you on track.

Be Involved!

If I could turned back time I would definitely be more involved in clubs and societies and give more time to volunteering. Let’s not forsake our academic goal but let’s not abandon the benefits of extracurricular activities. Nowadays, employers don’t look at only qualifications but the personhood as well. The chances of being employed are higher when you have qualities such as people and communication skills. Grades only show that you can hold information in your head but it doesn’t say anything about your work ethic or assertiveness which are attractive characteristics to employers. The best place to learn who you want to be and who you do not want to turn into is when you interact and work with other people.

Humbleness and Confidence

I saved this for last because I want it to be memorable. If nothing else on this post seems helpful to you I hope this one will. Doubt and fear is the #1 killer to all potential and talent. Being humble is not placing yourself below anyone and thinking that you are replaceable, worthless or not good enough. Neither is being confident about placing yourself above everyone and blowing your own trumpet about your success. Rather, humbleness is about knowing that you have potential to advance your skills, therefore, you are ready to learn and ask for guidance. Confidence is knowing that you are unique in your own beautiful way and you can overcome whatever is in front of you. This will not only help you be a better team player or workmate but also a quality that would bring you far into every aspect of your life.

Good luck for Semester 1!

The RoundUp

Brazilian student publishes his first book!

Brazilian student Pedro Franklin recently published his first book on travel and entrepreneurship, stating the feat was only possible through studying language skills at QUT.

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Tips for meeting new people

Our friends at Insider Guides share some great advice about making friends in a new country.

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Brisbane Comedy Festival

From late February to late March each year, the Powerhouse in the Brisbane suburb of New Farm will be your go-to venue for a dose of comedy!

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Get support from the QUT Student Guild

Whether it’s support with deferring an exam, getting a grade reviewed or any other academic relates issue

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Drawing for Contemporary Fashion Design

Experience fashion drawing in QUT’s Creative Precinct with an LA-based fashion illustrator and founder of the Fashion Finishing School in Los Angeles.

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QUT International College videos

Hear from students’ in their own language about why they chose to study at QUT’s International College and their experiences in Brisbane!

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Budget tips as a university student

We understand there are a lot of expenses involved in moving to a new country, finding a place to live, as well as other study costs. QUT is here to help you though!

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Become a QUT Digital Leader!

Our friend Aubrey Zhou is also a QUT Digital Leader which means she can share her experiences with the QUT online community. Find out more about this great opportunity for when you start at QUT!

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Have a great weekend!

The QUT Team

Check out these stories from QUT

Research Internships for Science Undergraduates

It’s almost a rite of passage for the current day for undergraduate students to do a summer internship for at least their last two years of study.

As international students we may have the slight disadvantage of not having any connections in the industry for us to land an internship – we often require more effort and time compared to that required by a domestic student.

However, QUT has in place a Vacation Research Scheme (VRES) for which all QUT students can apply! You will usually get an email in your second semester giving you more details about the VRES projects available and the supervisors in charge of each project.

The projects are categorised by school so it is easier to find a project that suits your interests and academic field. I come under the School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, so I skipped over all the other projects to look at the projects listed under this school because they would be more relevant to me.

You are required to choose and nominate three projects that interest you, in order of preference. You must email the supervisors of each of the three projects and meet up with them beforehand. This allows you to show interest in the respective project and to also get to know about the nitty-gritty of the projects. After your chats with them, your order of preference may change. So this needs to be done before you submit the application.

As per usual you need to state why you want to take part in VRES. As places are limited, the entry to this is very competitive. The supervisors have high expectations of the students who do get into VRES, and you get paid for each week of research you do.

In general, it is rather uncommon for a first year to get in, although you’re more than welcome to apply. Most supervisors prefer students from the second year and upwards due to the simple fact that by the end of the second year, you would have more knowledge and experience in the field, so the project would be more beneficial to you. However, a few first year students do get into VRES each year, so don’t let that discourage you from applying.

Read the details early on so that you can organise a time to meet up with the supervisor easily, because they tend to be very busy and often don’t have time to see you on short notice.

Keep in mind, this is just one of many opportunities that will come your way. Check in other places such as Engineers without Borders and CSIRO for other internships that maybe available to you. VRES is really good place to start looking, because it is from QUT itself.

Winter Exchange in Germany

Last semester, I applied for several short term exchange programs overseas. It turns out that going abroad is less difficult than I thought because a lot of the programs are easy to get into and QUT provides great support along the way.

I applied for 5 programs last year and was admitted to 3 of them. Due to the timeframe of the programs, I picked two of them to attend this winter. After exchanging in Japan, I was off to Germany for another three weeks. I can say it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my university life.

To me, Europe is a completely unfamiliar continent and German is another completely different and hard language. But I’m glad I stepped outside my comfort zone and spent 3 weeks learning German language.

This winter program consists of four parts: German language class, business seminar (you can choose between business seminar and culture seminar), photography workshop ( other workshops on offer are cooking and dancing) and excursions.

A snapshot of International Winter University in Fulda, Germany (first week)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall the program is really hectic and we have things to do almost everyday.

My first impression of Germany is: it is so cold! I was very unprepared when I landed in Frankfurt and was shaking all the way to the hotel.

Eurotower

Point Alpha – It was so cold there

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know what? The university education in Germany is for free. Besides, there are government food subsidy to students as well. So if you eat at school canteen, it usually only costs three or four Euro.

Food in canteen only costs 3 Euro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides studying, the highlight of this trip is of course different fieldtrips! We went to Berlin for the whole weekend, exploring the art and history of east and west German. Then we toured these two little towns called Nuremberg and Wurzberg with castles and ancient cathedrals. At our last day, we headed to a ski resort called Rhon for sliding.

Nuremberg adventure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berlin loves you – near Topographie Des Terrors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor’s House in Fulda where our university is located

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got so excited when slidingGoGoglo

Most of the program participants are from Australia and America. For some of them who are from Brisbane and California, they have never seen snow before. Thus sliding made them really really excited.

I want to say thank you to all the people I met in this journey who made it an amazing experience for all. I’m sure some of us will meet each other somewhere in the world sooner or later. Danke!

Winter Exchange in Japan

Last year, I was very lucky to get the chance to travel and study in Japan. It has always been my dream to come to Japan since high school as I watched a lot of Japanese TV shows and wanted to experience the Japanese culture by myself. Now after almost one month of stay in Japan, I can say my Japanese improved a lot and I learnt more Japanese culture.

I came to Japan early before the start the program and went to Kyushu area for travelling. Even in winter, the mountains in Kyushu was so pretty. I still remember how nice the people I met there were. When I was trying to go to the mountain in Kirishima and was told there was no bus access, a taxi driver offered to drive me and my friend there. Not only did he charge us a little, he showed us multiple hidden spots on the mountain and tried to explain the history behind it.

As my cultural class in Amagasaki was about to start, I said goodbye to my boyfriend who was travelling with me and went to Amagasaki one day prior to the start day of the program.

This winter program consists of Japanese language study, school visits and home stay experience. I want to share with you my experience from each parts and what I learnt out of them.

Students From Brisbane and Fiji

Namba, Osaka – one of the most crowded shopping center in Japan

Japanese Language study

We are very lucky to have Fujiwara Sensei as our Japanese language teacher who is humorous and knowledgeable. Her style of teaching is very interactive and encouraging. In each of the class, we spent almost fifty percent of the time in speaking. As a result, at the end of the first week, we already known how to greet and order food in Japanese. Although the program has already ended now, I will continue learning Japanese. I hope next time when I come back to Japan, I will be able to communicate better with my Japanese friends.

Attending local students’ English class

School visits

This is another part of the program which I enjoyed a lot. We went to visited Amagasaki Junior High School for their English Festival. I was so touched by how much effort and time the students put in this festival. Both year 7 and year 8 students played skit, while year 9 students shared with us their experience in New Zealand as all of them just came back from a study trip there.

One thing I noticed from this English festival is that unlike individualism, Japanese education focuses a lot on teamwork and respect. There might be twenty students in one group and only ten characters available in a certain skit, but everyone gets the chance to go on stage and perform because one role can be played by three or four students.

Another unforgettable school visit happened in Ojiro Junior High School where we ate lunch with the students and had classes together with them. Unlike Amagasaki, Ojiro is a very small town located in the mountain with less population and colder weather.

We, as exchange students from overseas, got the chance to participate in their English and music class. The English teacher in the school told us that a lot of students there don’t have many opportunities to speak English, so they really appreciate our visiting. When the class started, each of us did a short presentation in front of the class introducing our own countries. All the students seem to be interested and took down some notes.

In the music class, the students performed a local song to us and we danced and sang What Makes You Beautiful together. It was such a wonderful time to bond together with nice music.

Visiting Amagasaki Junior High School and attending their English Festival

Home Stay in Ojiro

My first impression of Ojiro is the beautifulness and peace of this little town. I still remembered some of my friends from Australia and Fiji were so amazed by the snow on the top of the mountain because it was the first time for them to see snow.

When we arrived at the Ojiro, our host family have already been in the city hall waiting for us. All of us felt a bit nervous to be honest as most of us haven’t been living with others before. At the same time, we also wanted to know where are we going to live and know our host family better.

My host mom came to the first meeting that day as my host dad was at work. She made me completely feel at home and prepared everything for me. When host dad came home, we had a really long discussion about Japanese culture, Chinese culture and Australian culture. Both of them were really humble and asked me lots of questions. Thanks to the similarity in Kanji and Chinese character, when we didn’t understand each other by verbal communication, handwriting came into use.

At the end of the homestay, it was so hard to say goodbye to all the nice people that I have met in Ojiro. I will always remember how pretty the mountains there are, how nice the locals are and how much fun I had there!

Snow in the mountain in Ojiro

 

Homemade meal by my host mum

One month of stay in Japan is definitely an eye-opening experience for me and I really find going overseas can open your horizon a lot. So my dear reader, if you come across such kind of opportunities in the future, make sure to grab it and make the most out of it!

 

Who is a Deans’ Scholar? How do you become one?

At QUT, Deans’ Scholars is a program that you can get into with outstanding academic achievements and consistent engagement with the university community.

To be considered for entry into this program you must be a first-year student, studying a degree that comes under the Science and Engineering faculty, and be holding one of the following scholarships already:

You must also have a GPA of 6.0 or higher in your first semester, be a member of the College of Excellence and have completed at least 2 LDI units (one core workshop and one non-core workshop). If you meet the above requirements, you will be invited to apply for the program and you will be selected on a competitive entry basis.

To maintain your membership in the program, you will have to continue to have a GPA of 6.0 or highers each semester and be actively involved in the university community.

If you are considering applying to the Deans’ Scholar program, you do need to build a good relationship with at least one of your lecturers or tutors, as you will need a letter of recommendation from one academic staff to complete your application.

There are some advantages to being a Deans Scholar: You get exclusive networking opportunities with university students and staff and industry employers. You have the added benefit of meeting like-minded peers, and you maybe assigned a mentor – a senior Deans’ Scholar from the same degree and major or with similar interests to you.

So work hard in that first semester and try and get into the program. It’s definitely worth it, as it’s a smaller community of like-minded people within our big university and you get an opportunity to meet lots of new people.

Things I learnt from QUT Business Advantage

It has been a year and a half since I started at QUT. Though I heard about Business Advantage during the orientation in my very first day, I didn’t take part in it until my second semester. For those who haven’t heard about this program, Business Advantage is an extra-curricular program aiming to help business students develop comprehensive skills through interaction, group discussion, presentation and even debating.

Usually each workshop lasts for half a day or a whole day and is hosted in the first several weeks of the semester (it books out very fast!) by facilitators from the industry.

After attending four workshops (Public Speaking, Employment Preparation, Professional Facilitation and Business Design Thinking), I’d like to share with you what I learnt so far from this program.

  • We all like those who encourage others to talk

As each Business Advantage workshop involves group discussion, I’ve noticed there are always extroverted people mixed with introverted people in the group. On one hand, there are people who always keep talking and don’t give those more reserved ones the chance to talk. On the other hand, you’ll also quickly fell in love with those who lead the flow of the discussion and ask everyone ‘what do you think?’.

  • Make friends with people you meet in Business Advantage

In Business Advantage, unlike lectures where you don’t really have huge amounts of time to talk with other students, you get the chance to spend the whole day with students from the Business School. I made quite a few friends simply by asking them about their experience of this program and talking about our major during lunch break.

Trust me, you’ll definitely bump into those friends again on various occasions such as careers fair, networking events and club activities.Your confidence will build up when meeting friends in networking events because you know you’re not alone; you are with someone who shares the same goals like you!

  • Try to apply what you learnt in the workshop to real life

The Business Design Thinking workshop facilitated by Kevin Finn, Founder of TheSumof, was extremely useful and practical where I learnt how to use business canvas model to present business ideas. When this semester I saw a sponsorship opportunity to Hong Kong and mainland China where a business plan was part of the application, this business canvas model I learnt came into handy and helped me a lot in sorting my ideas out.

There are still quite a few workshops I want to attend next semester, I’m sure I’ll learn more and hope to see you there as well!