It has been two weeks since I started my internship at EY Singapore. This was not an easy start because I arrived to a new country by myself and I didn’t really know what to expect. The feeling I got when I first arrived Singapore was somewhat similar compared to when I first landed in Australia.
It is getting closer and closer to the graduation. Last Friday, QUT International Student Services organised a farewell party for graduating international students with performance, games and food.
It was hosted in the newly renovated OJ Wordsworth room which is located on the top of S block with a stunning view over the Brisbane river.
The turnout was really good. Nearly 70 students showed up and everybody seemed to enjoy the entertainment and food.
QUT Dance Society brought us a live dance show.
QUT Aca-demics showed us how beautiful pure vocal could be!
I met a lot of familiar faces there including classmates and friends to ISS staffs whom I worked with previously. We talked a lot about our plans after graduation. Some of my friends already have a job lined up after graduation while others are still looking.
In the past two years, not only did I learn from class, I also learnt a lot from my friends who showed me what perseverance, hardworking and never giving up means. One of my friends worked in Shanghai for almost seven years before coming here for further study to get a career change. In China, there are not a lot of mature age students because the society pressure you a lot to make a complete new start especially after turning 30. During her days in Brisbane, she joined a lot of activities on campus, volunteered and maintained a good GPA. She really inspired me.
Another friend of mine was actively seeking for jobs for almost one year with no success, but he was determined to not give up. At the end of the this semester, a small accounting firmed asked accounting students from QUT to send them video resumes. My friend took this opportunity and sent a a great video which stood out from all the applications. He got the job eventually which is well-deserved!
Now looking back, I actually did a lot while at QUT besides studying. I’m also pretty sure that some of my friends will turn out to be very successful because they demonstrated really good traits whilst studying. My friends, thank you so much for teaching me through your own examples and I will work hard just like you guys do!
Mid-autumn Festival is widely celebrated in many Asian counties to celebrate the season of harvest. In China, this festival is a time where families get together to enjoy the beautiful moon and eat sweet mooncakes.
This year, Mid-autumn Festival happens to be during the Chinese National Day period so that Chinese people get a long holiday of 8 days. Most of my friends back in China choose to go overseas for holiday or return to their home town to spend time with their family.
On the other side of the world, myself as an international student in Australia decided to celebrate this festival with the QUT community. I’m so glad that Mid-autumn Festival is one of the flagship events at QUT where students can come to enjoy the cultural performance as well as taste free mooncakes.
The celebration event included Chinese Tai Chi, traditional Chinese musical instrument performance, lantern-making, calligraphy workshop as well as lion dance. As the venue was located near the Goodwill Bridge, a lot of passengers passing by was attracted by the music and came to join the festival together with students.
Even though I cannot be at home to celebrate this festival together with family, I don’t feel lonely because Brisbane is so multicultural. I felt a sense of community seeing so many people coming together to attend this event, whether international students or domestic students.
Mid-autumn Festival marks the end of autumn and the celebration of harvest. This period at university is also almost the end of the semester. Dear friends, let’s study hard, get through this busy period and celebrate the harvest of our effort soon!
In my previous blog, I talked about studying in Aarhus University and some of the difference I observed between Australian students and Danish students. Today, I’m going to show you a bit around Copenhagen and Aarhus through my eyes.
Before heading to the second largest city Aarhus for my summer course, I landed in Copenhagen and spent a day just wondering around.
As you may know, Denmark as a country is really small, let alone Copenhagen. Therefore, I didn’t actually do much research on places to visit before I landed. In spite of that, I managed to check out quite a few tourist destinations just by walking around with my phone.
As expected, there were lots of tourists taking pictures in front of Little Mermaid. So it’s very hard to get a close shot of it considering the huge amount of people there.
Kastellet is right next to the Little Mermaid. It is one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe. You can not only see windmills, fountains, but also well-preserved church and powerhouse.
The next day, I took a bus to Aarhus which was roughly a 3-hour drive. The first impression I had of Aarhus was a bit plain compared with the historical and colourful Copenhagen.
Comparatively speaking, Aarhus is less historical but more modern. Still, you can see quite a few well-preserved traditional buildings. The thing that made me love the most is the little alleyways with typical Danish houses surrounded by plants and flowers.
We also got the chance to visit the famous rainbow panorama. It’s a circular walkway in all colours of the spectrum. Seeing the whole city through different colour was such an amazing experience.
Last but not least, although there aren’t many varieties of food in Denmark compared with in Australia, their national dish Open Sandwich (Smørrebrød) is a must-try!
I hope you enjoyed this short photo diary! If you get the chance to study one unit overseas, definitely grab it and have fun.
Canberra is Australia’s capital, inland from the country’s southeast coast. While we were travelling at Sydney, we bought the day trip to Canberra from the travel agency at Sydney CBD. The day trip costed us $35, however it didn’t include the tips for the tour guide, lunch and the entrance fee of the tourist spots. Anyway I think it is still considered a day trip with reasonable price so I would recommend it to the others. We departed early in the morning as the travelling time from Sydney CBD to Canberra is pretty long.
- Australian War Memorial. It is a combination of a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive. It serves the purpose of commemorating the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war and the mission of assisting Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society. re information can be obtained from: https://www.awm.gov.au
- Cockington Green Gardens. Walking into the gardens is like a venture into a wonderland with delightful and fascinating display of meticulously crafted miniature buildings set within beautifully landscaped gardens. More information can be obtained from: http://www.cockingtongreen.com.au
- Lake Burley Griffin. It is an artificial lake in the centre of Canberra. A good place to enjoy the serenity of Canberra and the beautiful view of Lake Burley Griffin.
- Royal Australian Mint. The Mint serves the functions of producing Australia’s coinage. Besides, it produces coins for other countries, along with medals, medallions, tokens and seals for private clients from both national and international. More information can be obtained from: https://www.ramint.gov.au/#
- Australian Parliament House. Although it is the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia, it is open for the public to visit as well. More information can be obtained from: http://www.aph.gov.au
Always have fun with girl friend no matter where we travelled! Furthermore, I got to know more about Australia history from the one day trip at Canberra!
I know a lot of you just started university or are thinking about studying overseas. How exciting it is to study in another country! For me, before leaving China, I checked so many website or online BBS to see what other people’s advice is to enjoy university life to the fullest.
Their advice indeed helped me transit to a foreign university. Now looking back, I don’t really have any regrets. In spite of that, there are still three things I wish I know in my first year of university.
1.GPA is important
I know some of you must heard your peers telling you that it is okay to have a low GPA. If you have lots of extra-curricular activities, then the employers won’t care about your GPA.
Well at first I believe that. However, from my own experience as an international student in Australia. I can say that for lots of big companies, they will require you to attach your academic transcript while applying for jobs and some will clearly state that a 5 out 7 GPA is required.
2. Have a healthy lifestyle
While living by yourself overseas, getting sick can be very daunting. You have to take care of yourself while maintaining heavy study load.
Therefore, prevent yourself from getting sick is very important. There are so many parks and running trails in Brisbane. You’ll both have fun and meet new friends when you start working out on your body.
For me, I didn’t do any sports in my first year. Therefore in my first year, I felt it is very easy to get tired or catch a cold. When I was feeling sick during Christmas time at the end of 2015, I told myself that I would start working out the next year and try to start a healthier lifestyle.
3. Stand up for your rights
There was a big news this year of staff at 7-11 being underpaid. This big violation of employment law didn’t came to the public’s attention until someone stepped out and told the law enforcement.
For me, I was also underpaid in my job when I first started working in hospitality in Australia. Many of my friends had that experience too. But none of us stepped up to talk to our boss. Neither did we stand up for ourself and take any legal actions.
This mindset of ‘nobody will care’ or ‘getting paid is better than have no job’ is not correct. It is not okay to be taken advantage of. So check out the fair work website if you decide to work while study.
I hope the above three tips can help you start your new life here in another country and happy studying!
I have a few course mates who are also interested in photography so sometimes we organise photography outing to take the photos of beautiful Brisbane.
Teneriffe is an inner suburb that located 2.5 kilometres north-east of Brisbane CBD. It is easily accessible by bus and ferry with the travelling time approximately 15 minutes from Brisbane CBD.
Teneriffe is also a suburb hidden with cool cafés and restaurants.
Teneriffe is a good place to chill if you want to have a respite from the assignments. I had so much fun exploring Teneriffe while doing my favourite photography. I believe you will have it too!
I was so lucky to grab the last spot to participate in the University life in Japan (Oceania) programme 2016 in December which hosted by Sonoda Women’s University.
This is one of the best trips in my life so far. I kind of having some Japanese culture contact since young through anime and entertainment. I have been longing to travel to Japan for a long time. I was extremely excited for the long awaited trip when I received the email from David regarding to my successful application!
On the first day of the programme, David (the person in charge) fetched us from Kansai airport to our hotel at Amagasaki. The coach journey from Kansai airport to Hanshin Amagasaki station was so enjoyable due to the excellent scenery and introduction given by David along the way. David brought us to tour around Amagasaki and introduced us some places near our hotel. I can feel the kind hospitality of Japanese from the very first day of the trip. I feel like the living expenses at Japan is similar to Brisbane. However, I was so spoilt with the various options of food and products. On the other side, the size of the accommodation is much smaller if compared to Brisbane. Regarding to the transportation, the train lines there are very confusing so do bring a map with you in case you get lost. The buses are always on time so do arrive early at the bus stop if you can’t take the risk to miss the bus.
Sonoda Women’s University doesn’t offer as many courses as QUT so the size of the campus is also much smaller compared to QUT. We don’t have the chance to explore the student accommodation because we were arranged to stay in the hotel nearby the campus during the program.
I always have the interest to learn Japanese language. I have the chance to learn some basic Japanese language during the cultural exchange programme at Sonoda Women’s University. Even though there is communication problem, however Fujiwara sensei tried her best to make the class become an interesting one for us. Now I am so proud of myself because I am able to introduce myself in Japanese language. The another class I enjoyed a lot is the Japanese crafts. We learnt to make some beautiful Japanese crafts and got to bring it home as well. We got the opportunity to be clad in two types of Kimono and also being introduced about Shinto and tea ceremony. It was an interesting experience indeed to learn about Japanese culture this way. I also got the chance to handmade ichigo daifuku (strawberry mochi) and savoured it after that. It tastes so yummy and I am craving for it now.
The two highlights of the short-term program are the visit to primary and junior high school and the homestay at Ojiro. I am so impressed by the friendliness and discipline been cultivated in Japanese since the young age. I had so much fun while spending time with the adorable and polite students. During the homestay at Ojiro, we were so lucky to see the snow. My first snow in life was so beautiful and I will forever remember it in heart. I have been assigned to homestay at a sensei family consists of grandmother, father, mother and two little girls. My host father is a vice-principal of a primary school and my host mother is a primary school teacher at Ojiro. My two little host sisters are studying at their high school and junior high school separately. My host father tried his best to communicate with me in English and introduced me Japanese culture in English as well even though he is not familiar with the language. I got to know more about ‘yukigassen’ (snowball fighting) from him as he is one of the judge for the game. I had wonderful time spending with the family and also the visit to the primary and junior high school at Ojiro. I will definitely plan my visit to Ojiro again whenever there is a chance.
Even though the program schedule is quite packed, we still have the time to do some travelling.
The following photos are the scenery where we managed to arrange the time to travel to.
I am grateful for being one of the members for this cultural exchange programme. This trip gave me so many wonderful cultural exchange experiences. I cherish the rapport relationship we forged among the members and also with the host family. Big thanks to Sonoda Women’s University and the host family for hosting us so well at Japan. And also thanks QUT Global for giving us such a good opportunity to have this type of experience during our university journey. It made this trip possible for me with the bursary provided by QUT.
I collaged some small clips during the trip into a video, here is the link for you if you are interested to know more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wptNWklDOKs&feature=youtu.be
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a sanctuary located in Currumbin, a coastal suburb in the Gold Coast region of Queensland, Australia. It has an area with 27 hectares of lush bushland to walk through. In this vast sanctuary we can meet various Australian native animals such as kangaroo, koala, wombat, dingo, emu, and many more. The sanctuary itself is open from 8.00am – 5.00pm daily.
I got the chance to visit the sanctuary during the Gold Coast Orientation Trip with QUT on 25 February 2017. It was my first time to see many Australian native animals. I spent my time there wandering around the sanctuary to see those animals.
I also watched some shows and attractions when I was there.
I had the chance to touch a kangaroo for the first time ever in my life in this sanctuary.
All in all, it was a great and unique experience for me to visit such place because I could meet many indigenous Australian animals. The shows and attractions were also interesting. I hope I could visit this sanctuary again in the future.
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.