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.
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!
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.
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!
NAVIGATE is a free one-day conference that centres around global employability. It is hosted by QUT Student Support Services to help domestic and international students understand how they can build their career to compete on the international stage. It features an array of keynote speakers talking about their global experiences, a panel, breakout sessions and more!
Every attendee received a file with the rundown inside, a name tag and notebook before the conference started.
Panel session of the day formed by Lindsey Sun (Managing Director at Meow Media), Mike Moen (Global Director of Enrolments for CRCC Asia) and Alex Snow (Project Manager at the Foundation for Young Australians).
One of the breakout session: Building your social capital by Lisa Lee (Director – Mergers & Equisitions at EY)
Food is catered for the attendees too! How good is it!
QUT student, Bianca Banchetti (Creative Industries & Law Faculty) shared her global experience with the fellows.
Insightful speech by one of the keynote speaker, Professor Suzi Derbyshire (QUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)).
Refreshments were provided during networking session. You can also take photo at the photo stop with the props prepared by the team!
I am glad that I attended QUT Global Employability Conference 2016 because I totally enjoyed myself during the day and received a lot of useful information from the conference. On top of that, I got my Linkedin profile photo taken by a professional photographer! I would definitely attend it again next year if there is a chance!
WHEN THE CITY IS ON FIRE!!!
Every last Saturday of September, a magnificent fireworks run through the entire city, from the Story Bridge all the way to the artificial beach in South Bank.
Photo from 2015 riverside walk
There are a multitude of different spots to enjoy the show, from South Bank to New Farm, from riverside walk to QUT campus (personally never tried but that is worth checking it).
It is all well prepared by the city to make a whole new experience, indeed crowds can tune with local radio as a set is prerecorded to match the firework!!!
The best option is to rent an apartment with friends in the city, so then the party can keep on going all night!
Photo from 2016 Eagle street Pier.
“Do you miss your home country?” I am an international student from Taiwan and my answer of this questions is that I love Australia and don’t really miss my country, but I absolutely miss “Taiwanese food“.
Maybe you have heard about “bubble tea”, but do you know it is actually invented in Taiwan? There are various delicious and famous food in Taiwan because “eating” is the most important and enjoyable thing for us. Hence, we unsurprisingly create an amazing “foodie culture”. Moreover, CNN, an American basic cable and satellite television channel, has also written a news about “45 Taiwanese foods we can’t live without”.
Although Australia is a multicultural country and has numerous delicious food, it is still a little bit hard to discover traditional Taiwanese food here. However, the good news is that there is an annual event named “Brisbane Taiwan Festival” which was held around Moon Festival, a traditional festival for Taiwanese.
You can have a chance to experience lots of Taiwanese food and performances in this event. Also, fireworks and BBQ are other main attractive points of this festival. There is an interesting thing that I can share with everyone here. Taiwan is the only Moon Festival-celebrating country that has BBQ culture on this specific day in the world because there was a super famous TV advertisement launched 30 years ago and encouraged people to have a BBQ with family to share happiness.
Can’t imagine it has been almost 8 months since I am away from home. Missing my family and friends and craving for the food too much!
As the cultural diversity of Brisbane, there are always many cultural festivals happening throughout the year. This weekends Citra Malaysia cultural festival was happening in the centre of Brisbane city. Citra Malaysia is an one day festival which serves to expose and promote Malaysian Culture in Queensland.
During the day, there were a series of activities and performances line up. In the morning, participants formed into different groups to participate in Explorace within Brisbane city. The participants have different tasks to achieve at the game stations. The group that completes all the tasks with the shortest duration will be the winner.
Photo: Participants played the traditional game of Malaysia.
Photo: Participants introduced Malaysia to local.
Photo: The winner group of Explorace.
In the afternoon, the performances started at the stage outside of Queen Street Mall. The first performance was kick started by Lion Dance performance which represents the race of Chinese in Malaysia.
The following photos are Lion Dance performance.
The following photos are singing and dance performances.
Photo: Audiences were invited to go on stage to learn the dance.
The following photos are some of the Malaysia’s cultural activities for the audiences on the day.
Photo: Malaysia map with the tourist spots and authentic food indicated.
Photo: Goodies bag with small snacks inside. It recalls my childhood memories!
Homesick can be tough for international students. This cultural festival makes me feel like Brisbane is home away from home!
I am definitely not a sporty type of people before I came abroad to study at QUT. Hiking or bush walking are never my things for recreational activities back then.
Brisbane and Gold Coast are the wonderful places for hikers because there are many amazing hiking trails surrounding for people to explore. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to join a few hiking day trips organized by my friends to occupy the holidays. I am totally falling in love with hiking since then.
Springbrook Mountain is the first mountain I climbed with my friends. It is about 45 minutes from Gold Coast – in the hinterland. The hiking trail is not that tough so I would recommend for beginner hikers.
Photo: Starting point of the hiking trail.
Photo: The view from one of the lookout point at Springbrook Mountain.
Photo: Some place to tour around along the way.
Photo: Spectacular waterfall view along the hiking trail.
Photo: I can still feel the serenity there from looking at the photo.
Killarney Glen waterhole is famous and popular because the waterhole is in a heart-shaped. It is also located at Gold Coast Hinterland. The uphill is pretty steep on the way back from the water hole to the car park so be prepared it will be a slightly tough and tiring trail. However, it doesn’t take long time to walk so don’t get frightened off!
Photo: You can jump into the water hole if you are adventurous enough! However please be cautious for doing that because the safety concern is raised recently.
Photo: Other than waterhole, you can also jump into the creek beside the waterhole to swim.
Photo: Alternatively, you can choose to walk along the rocky path. Warning: It is a tough path! However it is good for foot massage!
Mount Warning is the most adventurous and tiring hiking trail I have experienced so far because it is not just walking up the hill. You really have to climb up the hill! I recommend to train the fitness a bit first before hiking this mountain. It is a mountain in the Tweed Range in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, was formed from a volcanic plug of the now-gone Tweed Volcano.
Photo: Sunset in winter is earlier so plan your day well before start the hike. Don’t forget to pack some energy food with you!
Photo: The breathtaking view from the peak.
Photo: Dangerous action by a dude.
Mount Mitchell is located in the Main Range which is about 100 kilometres west of Brisbane and immediately south of Cunninghams Gap. It is a twin-peaked volcanic mountain with an elevation above sea level of 1,168 metres.
The difficulty level is not high for hikers but the view is also breathtaking.
Nature is astonishing. Can’t wait for more hiking and bush walking trips to come in the future!