Hi everyone! My name’s Caelan and I’m one of the new international student bloggers here at QUT. This is my first blog post and I’m super excited to share what I’ve been up to lately, apart from handing in my final assignments and studying for exams!
In my previous blog, I talked about studying in Aarhus University and some of the difference I observed between Australian students and Danish students. Today, I’m going to show you a bit around Copenhagen and Aarhus through my eyes.
Before heading to the second largest city Aarhus for my summer course, I landed in Copenhagen and spent a day just wondering around.
As you may know, Denmark as a country is really small, let alone Copenhagen. Therefore, I didn’t actually do much research on places to visit before I landed. In spite of that, I managed to check out quite a few tourist destinations just by walking around with my phone.
As expected, there were lots of tourists taking pictures in front of Little Mermaid. So it’s very hard to get a close shot of it considering the huge amount of people there.
Kastellet is right next to the Little Mermaid. It is one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe. You can not only see windmills, fountains, but also well-preserved church and powerhouse.
The next day, I took a bus to Aarhus which was roughly a 3-hour drive. The first impression I had of Aarhus was a bit plain compared with the historical and colourful Copenhagen.
Comparatively speaking, Aarhus is less historical but more modern. Still, you can see quite a few well-preserved traditional buildings. The thing that made me love the most is the little alleyways with typical Danish houses surrounded by plants and flowers.
We also got the chance to visit the famous rainbow panorama. It’s a circular walkway in all colours of the spectrum. Seeing the whole city through different colour was such an amazing experience.
Last but not least, although there aren’t many varieties of food in Denmark compared with in Australia, their national dish Open Sandwich (Smørrebrød) is a must-try!
I hope you enjoyed this short photo diary! If you get the chance to study one unit overseas, definitely grab it and have fun.
Canberra is Australia’s capital, inland from the country’s southeast coast. While we were travelling at Sydney, we bought the day trip to Canberra from the travel agency at Sydney CBD. The day trip costed us $35, however it didn’t include the tips for the tour guide, lunch and the entrance fee of the tourist spots. Anyway I think it is still considered a day trip with reasonable price so I would recommend it to the others. We departed early in the morning as the travelling time from Sydney CBD to Canberra is pretty long.
- Australian War Memorial. It is a combination of a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive. It serves the purpose of commemorating the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war and the mission of assisting Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society. re information can be obtained from: https://www.awm.gov.au
- Cockington Green Gardens. Walking into the gardens is like a venture into a wonderland with delightful and fascinating display of meticulously crafted miniature buildings set within beautifully landscaped gardens. More information can be obtained from: http://www.cockingtongreen.com.au
- Lake Burley Griffin. It is an artificial lake in the centre of Canberra. A good place to enjoy the serenity of Canberra and the beautiful view of Lake Burley Griffin.
- Royal Australian Mint. The Mint serves the functions of producing Australia’s coinage. Besides, it produces coins for other countries, along with medals, medallions, tokens and seals for private clients from both national and international. More information can be obtained from: https://www.ramint.gov.au/#
- Australian Parliament House. Although it is the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia, it is open for the public to visit as well. More information can be obtained from: http://www.aph.gov.au
Always have fun with girl friend no matter where we travelled! Furthermore, I got to know more about Australia history from the one day trip at Canberra!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
Are you thinking about going for an exchange? If one-semester is too long or too expensive for you, maybe you can join a short-term exchange program for 2-4 weeks.
At the end of last year, I completed a short term exchange program in Japan for three weeks. It was an unforgettable experience for me where I met lots of friends and sharpened my Japanese language skills. As this program is so good and I hope more students can know about it, today I volunteered for 2017 QUT Exchange Fair.
This event was held in Kelvin Grove campus because the Young University Summit was happening in Gardens Point campus at the same time. The stalls were arranged according to different countries. There were more than 20 stalls at the event with exchange student representatives at each stall.
I was volunteering for the short-term exchange program stall. A lot of students showed up to ask about what short-term exchanges are and how could they participate. I noticed that many students are interested in Japan and UK.
I came across my friend Jodie when volunteering who attended the exchange program in Sonoda Women’s College with me together last year and she offered to help out at the stall. Thanks, Jodie!
We had a good time sharing with students our experience in Japan and encouraged them to apply either for academic study or professional development purpose.
If you are interested in going abroad to study for a short period, definitely go and check out this QUT website: https://qutvirtual2.qut.edu.au/ismms-core/outboundStp/listUpcoming
You can find the detailed information of each program, the application due date and program start date.
Good luck and have fun!
When you live in Australia, who wouldn’t want to either cuddle a Koala or pet a Kangaroo?
Being an exchange student from India, I have been eager to come out and explore as many places as possible in Australia. It’s my dream to hold and cuddle a Koala bear. This week, I had the opportunity to visit the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary with few of my fellow exchangies.
Located only 12 km from Brisbane City, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s first and largest Koala sanctuary with over 130 Koalas. It’s very convenient to take public transport to Lone Pine. Route 430 takes you straight there within one hour. Bus number 430 from Queen Street Station and bus number 445 from Wickham Tce stop 158 are few other easiest options.
If you’re an active social media user, the whole park offers free WIFI so you can still post pictures on social media, even if your mobile data is running a bit low. What more could the travelling blogger ask for? There are USB recharging points, tables and several of these blogger lounges scattered around the park where you can just sit and relax for a few minutes.
The Koala cuddling experience was amazing. It’s nice to meet these adorable, cute and fascinating creatures along with other equally remarkable animals. This is an animal encounter you won’t forget.
At Koala Pine Sanctuary, you will see platypus, dingoes, snakes, turtles, wombats, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, sheep dogs, bats, lorikeets, kookaburra, crested hawk, southern cassowary, raptors, possum, emu, wallaby and many other creatures.
There is a general store where you can buy Kangaroo food, snacks, coffee, cold drinks. There are gluten free and vegetarian options available too. The Riverside Cafe is located just outside the sanctuary.
Guess where I am?
Can you recognise this Merlion?
Yes I came to Singapore. Merlion is the icon of Singapore.The fish body represents Singapore’s origin as a fishing town.
After my exchange in Japan and prior to my departure to Germany, I came to visit my friend Ada who’s doing an internship in Singapore at the moment and managed to catch up with two friends I met in QUT, one of them being my fellow international student blogger – Linette.
I have long been wanting to visit Singapore, a place people call Garden City and head of Asia’s financial hub.
As my friend was working most of the time, I visited a lot of places by myself. This was technically the first time that I travelled by myself. To be honest, I enjoyed it a lot. You can control your own pace and stop at places however long you want.
I spend my first day at Gardens by the Bay.
When getting out of the MRT(Singapore’s railway) station, I didn’t see Gardens by the Bay straight away. The reason I thought is that I got off one stop ahead of the stop where I was supposed to get off. So I took a stroll along the riverside and saw another Merlion and the Durian Museum.
As I kept walking, I happened to see Marina Bay Sands where the famous infinity pool was located. This is the world’s largest rooftop pool. Imagining I have a hotel room there one day, I giggled and said to myself: You need to work harder and take a photo there one day.
Now I understand why people call Singapore garden city. It is a very very small country but is also the financial centre of south east Asia. Even in the city area where there are lots of skyscrapers, plants, trees and flowers fit really well with the high buildings.
After a lunch catching up with friends on the second day, I went to China Town and Little India to see the culture and shops. There is a very unique Indian Temple in Little India and the food was so authentic and cheap.
The third day was well spent in Singapore Zoo. It is literally the most amazing zoo that I have ever went. Not only did they have a wide range of animals, you get the chance to see them in an open environment. That is to say, sometimes monkeys walk pass on the trees beside you and there was no fence to separate you from the animals. I also saw Orangutan first time in my life. I guess you can only see them in Singapore or Malaysia.
My last day in Singapore was well spent in Sentosa Island, the southern most point in southeast Asia and at friend’s place eating traditional Chinese Sichuan style hotpot. That day was the last day of 2016.
Sentosa Island is actually a famous tourist resort where you can spend the whole week and not feel bored. They have a range of amusement facilities which include casino, cultural cuisine, 3D museums, universal studio, beaches, high-end hotels and many many more.
Due to the short time-frame, I only went to one beach that day. Luckily I went there early enough because it started raining soon after 2 pm in the afternoon.
If you ask me what I miss the most from Singapore, my honest answer is food! The exchange rate of Singaporean dollar versus Australian dollar is almost 1:1. But the food there usually only costs 3-6 dollar from food court (also known as hawker centre).
There are quite a few exchange programs running between QUT and universities in Singapore. If some of the opportunities come up, please make sure to grab it because Singapore is truly a city worth exploring and a place you will fall in love.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!