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.
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.
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 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.
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!
The semester is about to end and a lot of clubs will host their end-of-semester party/ball around this time. Today I’m going to share with you my first time ball experience here at QUT.
The ticket price of balls hosted by university clubs ranges from $70 to $200. It is usually a bit expensive for us as university students to attend a ball. But on a second thought, the reason why it’s a bit expensive makes sense if you think about the money the clubs spend on venue hire, inviting DJ, sorting out food, drinks and photographer.
The dressing code of balls varies differently. The usual dressing codes are: Black tie, cocktail and festive. This year, the dressing code of the business ball was black tie. To be safe, I picked a black long dress.
- How did I feel?
To be honest, I was a bit nervous when arriving the venue because this was my very first time dressing so formally and attending a ball in Australia. Luckily my friend Kim came with me and she introduced me to her friends.
We first had a three-course meal, after that more and more people went to the dance floor, flowing with the music. I really like the DJ on the day and the music he picked. The vibe and environment of the ball was super great!
Some people chose to stay outside the venue where it was more quiet and had a good chat with their friends. Other, went to the photo booth and got their pictures taken.
Overall, it was an amazing experience for me and I highly recommend you to attend at least one ball if you haven’t done so. You will meet with new friends and definitely feel good dressing up and taking some great photos.
What can you do if you have a spare week or so during the semester and want to do something different?
Go to Tasmania!
This is what me and a friend did during the Easter break in April. Somehow I managed to get 10 days off from uni and decided to go for a roadtrip around Tasmania, which was one of the best decisions I made in my life.
Going for a trip like this will not be super cheap – you need to be prepared for that. But there are some ways to make it affordable, and here are some ideas tried out by the two of us.
There are ways to rent one for as cheap as you can. I would recommend using compare sites such as Motorhome Republic, which we have used, or Vroom Vroom Vroom, to find the cheapest deals. However, don’t rent through these websites, as they will charge you a 2% surcharge – after you found a camper, just contact the dealer directly.
The price will depend on how good the car is, how many people you need it for and how early you rent it. We were actually pretty lucky as we managed to rent one the day before our flight (don’t ask me why we waited so long), and paid $600 for the two of us for 9 days, which I think is still good – it would be almost the same to stay in a hostel, and with a camper we could sleep virtually anywhere we liked.
Another thing to consider is where are you going to stop to sleep – preferably for free.
There is a mobile app called WikiCamps which shows you free (as well as paid) camping sites all around Australia, Tasmania included. We found it really, really, REALLY useful – you can check customer reviews, whether the site has showers, water, BBQ and other amenities, and the app is compatible with Google Maps, so getting to a chosen spot is shamefully easy.
You can also have a look at a map here, on the Travelling Two blog, however it doesn’t cover all of the spots listed on the WikiCamps app.
The problem with free camping sites is that many of them don’t provide showers, kitchen areas or even drinking water, however, surprisingly, some of them might – plan beforehand and check all the options available and you might be in for a bargain. Tasmania is very traveller friendly, which is definitely a nice add-on.
3. Things to do and see
If you are a bit of a traveller, then you’ll be heading to Tasmania to see as many places as you can. There are many possible routes you could take during your road trip, starting from a city of your choice: Devonport, Launceston or Hobart. We began and finished in Hobart, which I think was a good choice, as there are many things to see in this beautiful city.
You can see the map of our road trip below to get you started:
I would highly recommend going to national parks – they are simply beautiful. My favourite was the Freycinet on the east coast and the Rocky Cape, up north.
To be able to enter Tasmanian national parks, you will have to pay a fee for you and your camper – you can either buy a 24 hour pass ($24) or a 2 month one ($60). I would recommend getting the second one, as in the end it will work out cheaper. You can get it online or in person at any of the parks.
Also, a thing not to miss is the Cradle Mountain summit at the Lake St Clair National Park – just have a look at these pictures:
4. And how to make this all cheaper?
I would recommend PLANNING, and doing it early. We were a bit spontaneous and due to that sometimes were going back and forth, paying more for fuel. Having said that, we still managed to keep our trip relatively cheap, thanks to free camping and menu of bread and pasta, closing it in around $1000 for a 10 day road trip, which I think was a good price for the unforgettable experience and memories.
And so I’m sure you can do your road trip for much cheaper if you plan well and early. Good luck and enjoy your own Tasmanian adventure! Let me know how you guys went!
I believe the title of this blog would be more than enough to catch your undivided attention! QUTians are always on the lookout for one exciting adventure or another. Our uni always encourages and supports us to go ahead, carry on and try. Brisbane CBD ghost tour was one such escapade organized by QUT for students like me who well, were crazy enough to want to undertake a hair-raising experience.
How was it you ask? Mixture of fun, nerve-wracking, spookiness and laughter. Read more
How is your mid-semester break everyone? I hope it has been great! The weather has been beautiful and this is my favourite season of the year in Brisbane. Read more
Being sponsored by QUT Business School, I have been lucky enough to attend 2013 Asia Pacific Cities Summit held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan early this month as a young professional. The summit attracted more than a hundred mayors and representatives to come together to discuss city solutions. Read more
I just got myself a FREE Big Mac and it gave me the idea of writing a few tips in getting free food.
The one thing that shocked me the most when I first explored Brisbane is the price of the food. A decent meal costs more than $10. My limited student budget does not provide me with the capacity to eat out every single time. Therefore, once in a while, I will ‘hunt’ for free food. (Everyone loves free stuffs right?) Frankly speaking, I am quite proud of my ‘hunting skills’ as I have scored some decent meals. 😉 Here are my top 3 tricks!