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.

 

 

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!

Smoke-Free QUT!

Queensland University of Technology has taken a bold move and declared the campus smoke free! This has come into effect from 1st of July, 2016! It is a welcome move considering the health of the campus. This particularly has a huge impact on me, especially because I slightly allergic to cigarette smoke and cannot breathe when someone smokes near me.  Previously, the allocated smokers area in the Gardens Point campus was near the library and it used to be so difficult for me to cross that area. Currently, that space is temporarily converted into a beautiful lounge sort of setting where students can relax or catch up with each other. We even have bean bags over there!! QUT is currently inviting ideas from the students on what they would like to turn that particular space into!

 

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As a gentle reminder the KG Campus entrance has stickers on the wall and the floor to remind people that the campus is smoke-free.

I look forward to the smoke free QUT experience!IMG_20160704_114846

Connecting the dots

My main campus is Kelvin Grove and I do visit Gardens Point for workshops or meetings. Luckily, QUT offers a shuttle bus service between the two campuses in Brisbane. So the other day, I was at the Gardens Point shuttle bus stop and saw the ‘Angry Birds’ movie poster. Seeing the tagline ‘why so angry?’, I smiled. It was such a cute poster. But then I went, wait a minute, I know this from somewhere. Ah! The image of my favourite villain, Joker, came into my mind and the ever crazy dialogue, ‘why so serious?’.

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And the first thought that crossed my mind was, ‘Well, good for you, if it had been three consecutive words, it would have been plagiarism’. And for a second I was surprised at myself. Damn, I am getting good at this. I had dropped out of my PhD in India because I thought I had to learn research skills and academic writing before I jumped into research.  We did not have TurnItIn (plagiarism software) when I was doing my studies in India around mid 2000 and the concept of plagiarism was fairly new to me. I remember being nervous about the plagiarism and academic writing when I joined QUT. There was constant support from the Faculty and Student Services regarding those skill development.  And after about 1.5 years at QUT, I guess I can safely say I have a fair grip on academic writing and research skills now.  Day-by-day nothing much changes, but when I look back so much has changed. And I am glad I chose to come here. I know I am one step closer to my goal of doing a PhD.

 

Joker Image Source

Being an ally!

I am from India, a country where marriage equality is still a dream for many.  Though I was always an ally for the Sexuality & Gender Diverse, Intersex and/or Questioning (SGDIQ) community, I was never sure if I could speak for someone else’s experiences. I never had to experience what they go through in their daily life and was it alright to speak about things I do not have personal experience of?

Well, coming to QUT definitely changed that. Apart from the university’s focus on equality, there are two amazing support groups for the SGDIQ students, The Queer Collective and The Pride of QUT. I was unsure if I would be welcome in the groups. Boy, how wrong I was! Both the groups have been amazingly fun and supportive. There are safe spaces in the campus where people can come in and chill. I haven’t been able to be involved in their activities as much as I would love to. There are rallies, plays, stalls at fairs, and my favourite, movie nights. The pic below is from one such movie night organised by The Pride of QUT.

the pride_movie

I absolutely admire the team leaders of both these groups. They have been so understanding, patient, and supportive with me despite my ignorance when it comes to a lot of things. And today I can confidently tell you, it is not necessary to experience injustice to actually stand up for it.

 

The RoundUp

Hi, everyone!

We hope you’ve had a great week at uni! If you are in between assignments, we’ve got the latest news from QUT and Brisbane for you to read.

Aussie adventures

Our friend, Hao, current QUT International student and International Digital Ambassador shares some of his experiences of Australia so far. Look out, Kangaroos ahead!

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Budgets are your friend

We understand student life can be overwhelming at times, especially when it comes to finances. To help, the team at Studies in Australia have shared a great article to give you some budgeting tips.

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Foodies, this one is for you!

Want to sample some of Sunnybank’s best cuisine? On Saturday 18 June take a self-guided tour around the Brisbane suburb renowned for its awesome Asian food. There will even be live music and entertainment.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to this event, you can experience Sunnybank at any time of the year. Feel free to take us with you!

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Join one of our clubs or societies

We have many fantastic clubs and societies where you can connect with other international students from different countries, courses and of various age groups.

Our Digital Ambassador, Linette, joined the Malaysian Student Association, as well as the Yoga and Meditation club. Which ones will you choose?

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Job applications: some tips and tricks

Are you looking for work at the moment? Not sure where to start with your CV? We have found some useful information on the GradConnection website to keep you ahead of the pack.

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Have a whale of a time!

Want to try something different? Why not experience whale watching! Get up close and personal with humpback whales in their natural habitat from now through to November while aboard the ‘Eye-Spy’ ferry.

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We are on Instagram!

That’s right, you can now follow @qutinternational on Instagram for real stories from our QUT international students. So, what are you waiting for?

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Things Aussies say

If you are new to Brisbane then you might be wondering why Aussies (look, I’m doing it already!) shorten everything. Here is a quick video tutorial to help you out. See you at Maccas this arvo!

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Until next time, have an awesome weekend!

The QUT Team

Check out these scholarship opportunities:

Queensland Experience: CONTEST

Best Semester Abroad 2016 competition was launched on 29 April 2016 at QUT Gardens Point.

If you are from Mexico, Chile, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines Thailand, Italy or Spain and over 18 years old you might be interested in this information.
20 people from 10 countries (2 of each country) will be selected to study in Australia for 5 months either in Brisbane, Cairns or the Gold Coast, YOU CHOOSE! Including flights, accommodation, tuition and holidays experiences.
On the top of that 5 of the 20 winners will win $30,000 AUD towards a university degree in Queensland.
This competition is conducted by the State of Queensland and the Study Queensland brand which is managed by the International Education and Training Unit (IETU). This project aims to give 20 international students a chance to live, enjoy and study in Queensland for one semester to boost the state’s profile of a world-class education.
The prize is sponsored by the Queensland Government and other 26 sponsors including QUT, OF COURSE!
How to participate?
CREATE YOUR PROFILE – Selecting which Institution you would want to study at
MAKE A VIDEO- explaining why Queensland is your next step.

How to win?
GAIN 1000 VOTES
Prepared to be INTERVIEWED by the judging panel
The competition close at 11:59 pm on Sunday 26 June 2016 (Australian Eastern Time) HURRY UP!!!
For more information about eligibility and how to participate visit: http://www.bestsemesterabroad.com.au/

BestSemesterPromo

Ambassadors

How to (cheaply) do: Tasmania.

What can you do if you have a spare week or so during the semester and want to do something different?

Bored of Brisbane's heat?

Bored of Brisbane’s heat?

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.

Wineglass Bay - one of the most stunning views I've ever seen

Wineglass Bay – one of the most stunning views in Tasmania

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.

 

1. Campervan

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.

With our camper at the Eaglehawk Neck

With our camper at the Dog Line, Eaglehawk Neck

Our camper at The Neck, Bruny Island

Our camper posing at the Neck, Bruny Island

 

2. Camping

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.

Sunrise at one of the free camping spots in Freycinet National Park

Sunrise at one of the free camping spots in Freycinet National Park

The cliff was of an average size...

With cliffs of average size…

 

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.

Coffee break at the Hobart docks

Coffee break at Hobart’s docks

You can see the map of our road trip below to get you started:

Our complete road trip

Our route highlighted in black

 

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.

Rocky Cape National Park panorama

Rocky Cape National Park panorama

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:

Our destination, Cradle Mountain, behind us on the left

Our destination, Cradle Mountain, behind us on the left

And below our feet!

And below our feet

Walking back was still enjoyable enough...

Walking back was also enjoyable enough

Without forgetting to see the Devils @ Cradle for a nice finish!

With watching the Devils @ Cradle for a nice finish!

For ideas on where to go and what to see, you can check out websites such as the Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor or Tasmania Top Ten.

 

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!

Marta x