CityHopper: Free Ferry Service in Brisbane

Did you know that there is a free ferry service in Brisbane? Yes, you can use a free ferry service, which name is CityHopper, if you want to travel along the Brisbane River for free. This is the only free inner-city ferry service in Brisbane. This ferry can be easily spotted by its red and white colour.


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First Time Travelling Outside Asia

In my life up till early 2017 I have ever been in several countries. Those countries are Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia (my home country). It was exciting to travel to those countries. But guess what? All of them are Asian countries which more or less have similarity in terms of the cultures, foods, and so on. I did not have the chance to travel outside Asia before.

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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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Winter Exchange in Japan

Last year, I was very lucky to get the chance to travel and study in Japan. It has always been my dream to come to Japan since high school as I watched a lot of Japanese TV shows and wanted to experience the Japanese culture by myself. Now after almost one month of stay in Japan, I can say my Japanese improved a lot and I learnt more Japanese culture.

I came to Japan early before the start the program and went to Kyushu area for travelling. Even in winter, the mountains in Kyushu was so pretty. I still remember how nice the people I met there were. When I was trying to go to the mountain in Kirishima and was told there was no bus access, a taxi driver offered to drive me and my friend there. Not only did he charge us a little, he showed us multiple hidden spots on the mountain and tried to explain the history behind it.

As my cultural class in Amagasaki was about to start, I said goodbye to my boyfriend who was travelling with me and went to Amagasaki one day prior to the start day of the program.

This winter program consists of Japanese language study, school visits and home stay experience. I want to share with you my experience from each parts and what I learnt out of them.

Students From Brisbane and Fiji

Namba, Osaka – one of the most crowded shopping center in Japan

Japanese Language study

We are very lucky to have Fujiwara Sensei as our Japanese language teacher who is humorous and knowledgeable. Her style of teaching is very interactive and encouraging. In each of the class, we spent almost fifty percent of the time in speaking. As a result, at the end of the first week, we already known how to greet and order food in Japanese. Although the program has already ended now, I will continue learning Japanese. I hope next time when I come back to Japan, I will be able to communicate better with my Japanese friends.

Attending local students’ English class

School visits

This is another part of the program which I enjoyed a lot. We went to visited Amagasaki Junior High School for their English Festival. I was so touched by how much effort and time the students put in this festival. Both year 7 and year 8 students played skit, while year 9 students shared with us their experience in New Zealand as all of them just came back from a study trip there.

One thing I noticed from this English festival is that unlike individualism, Japanese education focuses a lot on teamwork and respect. There might be twenty students in one group and only ten characters available in a certain skit, but everyone gets the chance to go on stage and perform because one role can be played by three or four students.

Another unforgettable school visit happened in Ojiro Junior High School where we ate lunch with the students and had classes together with them. Unlike Amagasaki, Ojiro is a very small town located in the mountain with less population and colder weather.

We, as exchange students from overseas, got the chance to participate in their English and music class. The English teacher in the school told us that a lot of students there don’t have many opportunities to speak English, so they really appreciate our visiting. When the class started, each of us did a short presentation in front of the class introducing our own countries. All the students seem to be interested and took down some notes.

In the music class, the students performed a local song to us and we danced and sang What Makes You Beautiful together. It was such a wonderful time to bond together with nice music.

Visiting Amagasaki Junior High School and attending their English Festival

Home Stay in Ojiro

My first impression of Ojiro is the beautifulness and peace of this little town. I still remembered some of my friends from Australia and Fiji were so amazed by the snow on the top of the mountain because it was the first time for them to see snow.

When we arrived at the Ojiro, our host family have already been in the city hall waiting for us. All of us felt a bit nervous to be honest as most of us haven’t been living with others before. At the same time, we also wanted to know where are we going to live and know our host family better.

My host mom came to the first meeting that day as my host dad was at work. She made me completely feel at home and prepared everything for me. When host dad came home, we had a really long discussion about Japanese culture, Chinese culture and Australian culture. Both of them were really humble and asked me lots of questions. Thanks to the similarity in Kanji and Chinese character, when we didn’t understand each other by verbal communication, handwriting came into use.

At the end of the homestay, it was so hard to say goodbye to all the nice people that I have met in Ojiro. I will always remember how pretty the mountains there are, how nice the locals are and how much fun I had there!

Snow in the mountain in Ojiro


Homemade meal by my host mum

One month of stay in Japan is definitely an eye-opening experience for me and I really find going overseas can open your horizon a lot. So my dear reader, if you come across such kind of opportunities in the future, make sure to grab it and make the most out of it!


Tasmania Trip #1

dsc06429Australia is a country where students can travel easily because of cheap airplane tickets, numerous official and industrial tourism information, and plenty of things to do in different cities or attractions. Today I will share my first travel experience in Tasmania which is also second city that I have ever been in Australia besides Brisbane.

dsc06459Where is Tasmania? Is it attractive?

Tasmania is the southernmost island state of Australia and there are almost 45% of Tasmania are reserves, national parks, and world heritage sites. Therefore, this is the perfect island for tourists who like natural environment and beautiful views.

Me and my friends decided to rent a car to travel around the whole island and it is also the most convenient transportation option in Tasmania. After you arrive at Hobart Airport, you can immediately see many car rental stores in front of the airport.

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Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, is our first destination and there are numerous amazing attractions in this city. For example, Salamanca Market locates in Hobart is Tasmania’s most visited attraction where you can enjoy the delicious food, art works, or music performances.

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Not just nature!

The Port Arthur Historic Site is also the famous attraction near Hobart and it was established in 1830 for punishing over a thousand of notorious convicts and became a timber station at that time. Now it is the perfect base for tourists to explore the history of Tasmania and the you can even take ferry to see this “unescapable” bay and island.


The Port Arthur Historic Site

Richmond Bridge

Wow… it is the oldest bridge still in use in Australia and also the oldest stone span bridge in this country. It was also recognized the outstanding historic attraction added to the Australian National Heritage List few years ago. Richmond town is so quiet that I even felt that time was much slower than other places. Many local family come here to have picnics, feed the ducks, or shop in several special gift or food stores.

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Bay of Fires

I will personally recommend this attraction first to my friends! Bay of Fires is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Australia and also Tasmania’s most popular conservation reserves. Binalong Bay is the area’s main beach where you can walk on sugar-white sand and swim, snorkel, surf in the impossibly clear ocean. Moreover, you can go to the rock section to see the spectacular and unforgettable natural scenery.

dsc06800Do you have any experience that you want to share? Please feel free to leave comment below and don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog! I will also share other interesting travel experience in Tasmania in next blog. See you soon! 🙂


How to enjoy Christmas and New Year in Brisbane!

Did you know?

According to a Queensland government report, there are more than 400 events held in Brisbane in December for celebrating Christmas and New Year. Now I am going to share some interesting experiences for every student to enjoy this beautiful holiday in this amazing city.

 Brisbane Twilight Market

Brisbane Twilight Market

1. South Bank Christmas Markets

This is a 13 day/night market where you can buy numerous creative gifts, well-designed clothes, and accessories. Moreover, you can also enjoy delicious food at restaurants that locate on two sides of this market area.

South Bank Christmas Markets

South Bank Christmas Markets

2. Gold Lotto City Hall Light Spectacular

Wow, is it City Hall? Brisbane’s City Hall lights up with a magical light projection show in December every year. You can watch this performance next to the super big Christmas tree at King George Square.

Gold Lotto City Hall Light Spectacular

Gold Lotto City Hall Light Spectacular

3. South Bank Christmas Carols

This event is presented by Hillsong Church Brisbane and you can celebrate the wonder of Christmas and enjoy the traditional Christmas carols with locals. It is a fantastic chance for non-native students to understand several stories of Christmas.

South Bank Christmas Carols

South Bank Christmas Carols

4. Christmas Fireworks Spectacular

After taking part in South Bank Christmas Carols, you can lay down on South Bank Beach (Lagoon South Bank), watch Christmas-related movie and fireworks at the same night. I am sure it would be your unforgettable memory in Brisbane.

Christmas Fireworks Spectacular

Christmas Fireworks Spectacular

5. New Year’s Eve at South Bank

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! When you come up with New Year fireworks in Australia, Sydney may first pop up in your mind. However, Brisbane’s New Year fireworks is also gorgeous and fascinating!

2016 New Year fireworks

2016 New Year fireworks

Finally, if you want to get more travel information or details about this article, this link would be your good choice “5 FREE EVENTS FOR ENJOYING CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR IN BRISBANE!” and just enjoy your own summer Christmas and New Year in Brisbane!

Also, please feel free to leave your comments below or follow this QUT blog continuously! 🙂


First Time Attending Business Ball

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.

  • Tickets

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.

  •   Dress

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.

  • Photos
All girls team!

All girls team!


Chilling outside the venue. Some Selfie fun.


Some fun pictures!

Japan or Australia? Brisbane Botanic Gardens Trip!

img_0325I am sure that almost every QUT student knows there is a City Botanic Gardens next to the Gardens Point campus. You can enjoy the river view and the amazing atmosphere or have a wonderful picnic time at that park. However, did you know there is another botanic gardens near Brisbane city where you can also experience natural environment and release your all pressure!

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The name of attraction is “Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha” located on Mt Coot-tha Road in Toowong which is so closed to the city that you can even take the bus there. It is recognized as the premier subtropical botanic gardens of Queensland and includes several distinct gardens that display different thematic and geographical arrangements.

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It is bigger than your expectation!

56 hectare Brisbane Botanic Gardens was established in 1970 and now are opened every day. Me and my friends spent more than half a day and still couldn’t see all of the gardens. It is a great attraction for people to stay quietly and relax for whole afternoon. Also, just like other national parks such as Springbrook National Park, D’Aguilar National Park, and Kondalilla National Park, the best thing is that the gardens are all free.

Wait! Am I in Japan?

When I first time came to “Japanese Garden” of this park, I just couldn’t believe I am still in Australia. This garden was designed by Japanese leading landscape architect and the theme of Japanese Garden is “tsuki-yama-chisen” which means “mountain-pond-stream” and stone, water, paths and vegetation are four key elements to build this style of architecture.

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img_0268The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium  

This is Queensland’s first planetarium and also located in Brisbane’s Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. It is home of the Cosmic Skydome, a 12.5-metre-diameter projection dome. Students or the public both can come here to understand lots of secret of universe and see numerous beautiful pictures or projections of outer space. If you are a big fan of universal or astronomical things, you will absolutely not want to miss this place!

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img_0384JC Slaughter Falls

Finally, we decided to go hiking to the nearby area to see “JC Slaughter Falls”. It is not a really high water falls in Queensland, but you can still see a gorgeous view of this very natural water falls. Some Australian family also like to come here for picnic or BBQ. It is so convenient for not only individuals but also groups to travel or enjoy holidays!


Photo from Tourism and Events Queensland

If you also have any experience about Brisbane Botanic Gardens or other things that you want to share, please feel free to leave your comment below and don’t forget to follow this QUT blog continuously! 🙂

Student exchange experiences


Hi guys! This is Vicky (Wen-yi Lin). She is from Taiwan and studies Bachelor of Business, major in International Business in Tamkang University (TKU) in Taipei. She got to Brisbane last year July. She participated in the exchange program from her university and spent a year here in QUT. She will be returning to Taiwan mid of this year. Here are some of the questions I have asked to find out about her exchange experience in Brisbane!

Q: One word to sum up your exchange in QUT?

A: Life-changing

Q: What are the best experience or highlight for your one year exchange to Australia?

A: Traveling alone to Adelaide and Perth

Q:  3 things you will miss most in Brisbane?

A; My friends, friendly people, and the food

Q: What will you miss the most in QUT?

A: The resourceful library

Q: How do you spend your free time over here?

A: Wandering around Brisbane with friends

Q: What do you gain from this exchange?

A: I learnt a lot about myself and how to be independent in this year. And also my ability to speak/read/write English has improved.

Find out whether could you apply to exchange or study part of your degree over here at QUT: