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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QUT Airport Reception

Did you know if you are a new international student at QUT you can use QUT Airport Reception service for free? It is one of many services that International Student Services (ISS) provides to international students at QUT. In this post I am going to share my experience of using QUT Airport Reception when I arrived in Brisbane for the first time.

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QUT Dance Showcase

I came across QUT Dance Facebook page last time and knowing that they were recruiting volunteer photographer for their upcoming showcase. I registered to volunteer as the photographer and would like to share my volunteering experience with you guys.

I went for their rehearsal and one of the showcases to take the photos.

The following photos are some of the performances during the day.

At the end of the showcase, the performers danced together and thanks the audiences for their coming.

I enjoyed watching the showcase while taking the photos. If you are interested in watching the showcase, simply like their pages to get updated. Or you can also join the society if you would like to be one of the performers! Besides, there are some free dance classes for students who are keen in learning dancing to join throughout the semester as well.

 

 

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!

Golden Koala Chinese Film Festival in Brisbane

The Golden Koala Chinese Film Festival is organised by a non-for-profit organisation aiming at promoting Chinese films and boosting cultural exchange. It is held annually in major Australian cities during the Chinese Spring Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year in Brisbane, Australian Chinese Youth Association hosted this event and there were 6 films open to public in Griffith Film School. I was very excited to hear about this event and went to see the movies 2 days in a row.

 

 

 

 

 

One the first day of the film festival, The Song of Cotton team came to meet and greet the audience. Before the screening of the movie, the director also held a workshop on film-making for all the film lovers.

The films showed during the festival covered a range of genres and explores different social problems. The Song of Cottons talks about the ageing of Mr. Sheng, the story between him and his young nanny. The Summer Is Gone shows the audience the struggle a family faced when China ended its state-owned company period and lots of companies became private owned and stable jobs no longer existed.

Film The Summer Is Gone

Black and White Film

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those Chinese Film fans, don’t miss out this event next year!

New Year in Singapore

The famous Merlion

 

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.

Sky trees in a rainy day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Durian Museum

Another Merlion near Raffles Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Marina bay Sands. Does it look like a ship?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

City centre where plants co-exist with high buildings.

Night view of the sky trees

Back to the MRT station from Gardens by the Bay

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional Chinese Food Hawker Stall

China Town in Singapore

Indian Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orang-utan eating food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

It started raining and a lot of people left the beach. That’s why there was nobody on the suspension bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Choosing accommodation Part II

As promised in my previous blog post on choosing accommodation, here I am with a follow-up post.

Regardless of how much time and thought we put into choosing our respective abodes, we always end up compromising on something. The trick is to identify your deal-breakers and your perks – feel free to compromise on your perks.

For example, if you would like to be near a supermarket or shopping centre for convenient shopping, but being near public transport is crucial to you, then it’s alright if you settle for a place that has a bus-stop right outside your house, and the bus takes you to a supermarket in 15 minutes.

Consider the size of the room you would like – space is not major factor for me, but I have friends who cannot stand to be in a small room.

Consider natural light – I have visited many student share houses and other accommodation where the rooms are sold at a cheaper price because there is very little sunlight in the room or no sunlight at all! This is a deal breaker for me as I need natural light to function. My previous room had no windows in it and I suffered a lot because of that.

Think about your surroundings if you can afford to – would you like living in an apartment-style accommodation or a house surrounded by a small garden?

Last, but definitely not least, consider the lease terms before you sign the lease. If possible, send it over to an attorney-at-law and get it checked, especially if the jargon is hard to navigate.

Student accommodation agencies vary in flexibility and this is evident in their different lease terms. Carefully read the house rules and any other specifications put in your lease. Some accommodation agencies can be very strict; some do not permit any alcoholic drinks on the premises at any time, have strict rules on visitors and sometimes even on internet usage.

I have had to let go of many places that I liked because their rule on internet usage was that it could only be used for study purposes and not entertainment – everyone loves an occasional movie, right?

I hope you find satisfactory accommodation through your house-hunting ventures! Don’t forget to get in touch with QUT accommodation service for help and advice on accommodation and housing!

Solo trip at Newcastle

I planned my first ever solo trip in life to Newcastle to mark the completion of my bachelor at QUT.

Due to my very limited travel funds, I came across Couchsurfing on internet and tried to send some requests to the potential hosts. I got the positive reply from one of the host finally which meant that the accommodation would be free during the trip! So Yeah! However it was a bit daunting for me to just go like that as I have never tried Couchsurfing before. Furthermore, I didn’t know the hosts at all and also I was going there by myself. It sounds like so adventurous for me indeed!

Newcastle is a harbour city with many beautiful beaches at New South Wales. It is located not very far away from Brisbane. The flight from Brisbane to Newcastle only takes around 75 minutes and the one-way flight ticket only costed me for $39 dollars!

My Couchsurfing host is a lovely couple, Cameron and Julie. Cameron is Australian while Julie is from Ireland. They met each other during their backpacking trip at South America and fell in love since then. Their love story is so beautiful.

Besides providing me free accommodation, they also cooked food for me and drove me here and there. I appreciate their kind hospitality very much.

My first home-cooked meal at Cameron and Julie’s house at Newcastle.

During the daytime, I wandered around Newcastle city and the beautiful beaches myself with the assistance of the map.

I went to Newcastle during the summer time in Australia and came across the list of things to do in summer in Newcastle at the mall. If you happen to plan your trip to Newcastle during summer time as well, hope this list gives you some useful travel information 🙂

If you are one of the coffee lovers, Newcastle will be a good place for you to explore because there are many good cafes scattering around the town.

The following photos are one of the best cafés I went at Newcastle, One Penny Black. I enjoyed drinking their coffee and also eating their signature muffin.

     

Other than the good food, the cafe also has the good ambience.

The nicely presented crepe I tried at ‘Coco Monde’. I miss the tasty crepes so much now.

Other than good cafes, there are many cool shops scattering around the town as well. The following photos are some of the cool shops I enjoyed exploring very much at Newcastle.

The popular doughnuts shop ‘Doughheads’ at Newcastle. It tastes so nice and I am craving for it now!

There are so many creative and hipster stuff in this shop which called ‘Blackbird Corner’ at Darby street.

I feel so comfy and refreshing while staying inside this shop. Probably this is the magic power of botanic.

I adore the design of the shop and also the cool products selling inside the shop.

I didn’t manage to visit this shop in the end. However I know I will like it just from the exterior of the shop.

If you are book lovers, you shouldn’t miss visiting the bookshops at Newcastle. I have so much fun while exploring the bookshops there. I believe you will be as well!

The following photos are some photos I took while wandering around the town.

       

       

I was also lucky to catch the free performance by the orchestra in the city.

If you enjoy seeing scenery, Queens Wharf Tower is the place that not to miss. The following two photos are the view taken from the tower.

       

If you have some time, you also can plan your visit to art gallery and museum at Newcastle. These two places are free for entrance.

       

Besides, I also went to many beautiful beaches at Newcastle.

       

        

        

There is a beautiful garden in front of the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spent some good time exploring Newcastle with my hosts as well. They brought me to Newcastle Memorial Walk. I was so amazed by the breathtaking view there.

       

Julie drove me to Mereweather beach and still treated me dessert. How enjoyable to savour the dessert just right beside the sea.

Julie also brought me to Fernleigh Track to cycle.

We went to the wildlife park too. The following photos are the cute animals I met that day.

       

After travelling around Newcastle, I headed to Sydney from Newcastle by train to meet a girl friend and travel Sydney together. The travelling time is only around 3 hours and the train fare is pretty affordable. I will share my Sydney trip with you guys in the future 🙂

My solo trip at Newcastle was a wonderful and memorable one. I was so glad to meet Cameron and Julie during the trip and thanks again for their kind hospitality.

Lastly, I would like to share a quote with you guys I came across at one of the shops at Newcastle.

What’s Your QUT Story? #QUTLife

About this time last year, I saw a campaign somewhere on the QUT website calling for voluntary QUT digital leaders. The main job that QUT digital leaders need to do is to share their own QUT life with the wider QUT online community through a hashtag: #QUTLife.

As I like writing blogs and taking pictures, I submitted my application in the form of a video and was very lucky to be part of the 5 digital leaders. Each of us are from different faculties and we formed great friendship in the past one year.

We attended some QUT flagship events together such as QUT Business Ball, Mental Health Week, Global Cafe and so on. I was also pushed to communicate with more QUT students as this is part of my job to listen to their thinking and share their story as well as mine.

Attending global cafe

Attending workshop together

Attending business ball as digital leaders

Recruiting campaign for the new year

Now on retrospect, I can see my footprint in different corners of QUT and as the new year will begin soon, I’d like to encourage my fellow international students to apply to be one of the new QUT Digital Leaders (click for application). It will be a wonderful opportunity to let the QUT community hear what you think as an international student and share your story with others!

 

Behind QUT Navigate Conference

QUT Navigate Conference is a student-run conference focuses on global employability. I’m very lucky to be one of the student helpers for this conference. Today I’ll share with you what I learnt from this conference planning experience.

  • Teamwork makes things easier

The whole student team is consisted of 4 students studying different majors. One is good at budgeting while the other is good at designing. Also we have a student who has great relationship with industry due to her active involvement in student clubs. As a result of that, we were assigned to tasks that we are good at and started planning the conference with right away.

The whole conference planning team with our MC Marvin Fox

  • Realising my weakness and work on it

At the later stage of the conference preparation, I was asked to manage the volunteer team on the day of the conference. However, as I didn’t really have any people management experience before, I was quite anxious and didn’t perform a great job on the day. During the debriefing meeting afterwards, I realised that when assigning jobs to volunteers, I didn’t make sure that each volunteer has enough job to do. Thus on the day of the conference, some volunteers were not sure what their job is or had finished their tasks but not sure what to do next. I’ll try my best to work on my people management skills in the future as I know that’s what I need to improve.

Facilitator Lisa Lee

The conference turned out to be a success based on students’ feedback. This could not be achieved without the hard work of everyone behind the scene. I’m sure it will be even better next year!