At QUTIC, my voice is being heard and my opinions are being used for the better of the group, which I have witnessed and experienced at several occasions described below.
Now it’s finally time for my master graduation ceremony. Can’t believe time goes so quickly, my study journey in Brisbane has almost come to an end.
Coming to Australia to study was a big decision. After planning my study journey for a long period of time, taking all the factors into consideration e.g. tuition fee, living expenses, independent life etc into account, I eliminated the hurdles and eventually boarded the flight to Brisbane three years ago. I was working for a while before going abroad to save up some money for my education and also to gain some life experience.
Initially I thought I am pretty brave to leave home and go overseas alone, but there are actually many people that are doing the same travelling from all over the world. Attending the QUT orientation program is definitely a good way to get to know people from all around the world who will be studying at QUT. I got to know friends from Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and many other countries. I met up with my Japanese friends in Tokyo when I went for a graduation trip to Japan recently. I feel happy that the friendship we developed QUT could continued even though we don’t see each other regularly. Don’t miss the opportunity to make friends with the locals, they are all nice and friendly!
The adaptation period could be the hard time to go through. Most of the shops close at 5pm and the streets become quiet. No mummy’s dinner is ready for me while I go back home from university. Dining out could be a burden in living expenses, so I still have to prepare my own lunch for university to save money. I didn’t know cooking at all previously but now I think I would be able to cook a few dishes for the families.
Studying in an all English environment has been a challenge for me. My native language is Mandarin and I grew up in a mixed language living environment. At the beginning, most of the time I felt lost during the lectures, discussion and conversation with course mates. As the time progressed, I think I was getting better in communicating in English even though there is still room for improvement. Living in an Australia is definitely a good way to improve your English skills.
All the written exams, assignments, practical tests and oral tests have never been easy to pass through. You really have to study hard to pass the different tests. I am glad that it’s over now!
I’m so lucky to have got a job offer before graduation. I’m going to leave Brisbane soon after my graduation ceremony and heading to Perth to work as an optometrist. Thanks to the support of my family that helped make my dreams come true. Not sure how the future is going to be but I believe ‘If you can dream it, you can do it’. Lastly, I wish all the graduating students all the best with your future endeavors.
Bye Brisbane! Till next time 🙂
p.s: Hopefully my sixty posts make you understand more about the international students’ life at QUT. I wish you enjoy your QUT life to the fullest!
I think money issue is one of the main worries for most of the international students in Australia. Being an international student in Brisbane, I have to keep a close eye at the digits of my bank account to make sure that I have enough money for my rent, food, transport, social activities, travelling and last but not least, the tuition fee.
There are many options to do your groceries in Brisbane for examples Aldi, Woolworths, Coles, IGA, K mart, Big W, Costco, Asian Groceries Stores etc. Normally the large grocery stores may carry most of the stuff you need but different brands. Compare the prices between the grocery stores and the different brands they carry (grocery home brands are often cheaper) if you want to save some money! Furthermore, the big grocery stores may have discount for different types of products every week, so join their mailing list and keep an eye on their specials.
Other than the regular promotion, some products which are approaching expiry date will have a further price reduction. I always buy discounted ice coffee which makes my day haha!
As a member of one of QUT’s student organisations you may have discounts for stores across Brisbane. For instance, QUT Malaysian Students Association provides special discounts for members who shops in one of the Asian grocery stores in the city.
I would suggest you buy fruits and vegetables from the markets, as it’s normally cheaper than the grocery stores. You can find out more about Brisbane markets from my previous post: https://blogs.qut.edu.au/student-life-in-brisbane/2016/11/01/markets-culture-in-brisbane/
I have shared some saving tips in my previous blog post: Public transport in Brisbane.
There are many options for accommodation for examples homestay, students apartments, shared acommodation etc. The weekly rent could range from AUD $100+ to $300+. Personally I think shared accommodation is the cheaper option, however, it all depends on what your requirements are.
Travelling could be very affordable if you plan well in advance. Brisbane has a great geographic location and is near most of Australia’s major travel destinations. Join the airlines’ email list so you don’t miss the cheapest ticket. Instead of flying, you can choose to do a road trip to any of the beautiful places surrounding Brisbane. You can read my previous post regarding my visit to the beautiful places surrounding Brisbane.
If you plan to visit some tourist spots which require entrance tickets e.g. Lone Pine Sanctuary or all the theme parks on the Gold Coast, I would suggest you buy the ticket in advance. Check out some travel agencies in the city or suburbs as they would be able to sell you the tickets with a better price than the venue. You can read my blog post with some travelling tips about Gold Coast Theme Parks.
5) Social activities
I enjoy dining out with friends, however dining out in Brisbane could be very expensive. Some restaurants serve very big portions, so it is a good idea to share with a friend if you have small appetite. The portion of food sold by food trucks is normally not that big. You could check out my previous blog to know more about the food trucks culture in Brisbane.
Hopefully these tips could save some money whilst studying as an international student in Brisbane!
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.
O-week was such a good chance to talk to new students and get to know more about them, (at the same time getting the $2 lunch deal! hehe).
It’s my forth semester in QUT. As the semester started, I can’t help but to reflect on the previous semesters and realised I have encountered many new experiences and have grown a lot. I used to be quite reserved and could possibly be quiet around people I am not familiar with. But coming to Brisbane for study, I have to step out of my comfort zone to be more outgoing.
During tutorials, I would have to get involved in discussion and interact with my course mates. I used to have low confidence in public speaking. But most of my units required oral presentations and this really force me to overcome my shyness. And during group works, I would be able to group up and work together with different people. I have learnt a lot about working together as a team and it’s always fun to listen to different point of view. It’s also nice to see how different individuals have their own working styles.
QUT is a university with students from various nationalities. There are many opportunities for me to meet friends from all across the world and learn a lot about their cultures. Studying in QUT has made me experience so much of my personal growth in just two years!
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!
QUT Navigate Conference is a student-run conference focuses on global employability. I’m very lucky to be one of the student helpers for this conference. Today I’ll share with you what I learnt from this conference planning experience.
- Teamwork makes things easier
The whole student team is consisted of 4 students studying different majors. One is good at budgeting while the other is good at designing. Also we have a student who has great relationship with industry due to her active involvement in student clubs. As a result of that, we were assigned to tasks that we are good at and started planning the conference with right away.
- Realising my weakness and work on it
At the later stage of the conference preparation, I was asked to manage the volunteer team on the day of the conference. However, as I didn’t really have any people management experience before, I was quite anxious and didn’t perform a great job on the day. During the debriefing meeting afterwards, I realised that when assigning jobs to volunteers, I didn’t make sure that each volunteer has enough job to do. Thus on the day of the conference, some volunteers were not sure what their job is or had finished their tasks but not sure what to do next. I’ll try my best to work on my people management skills in the future as I know that’s what I need to improve.
The conference turned out to be a success based on students’ feedback. This could not be achieved without the hard work of everyone behind the scene. I’m sure it will be even better next year!
I recently attended a workshop hosted by Eight Inc. to discuss about a new project aimed at improving students’ learning experience at QUT, with both QUT staff and my fellow students.
Eight Inc. is a design company based in Singapore. Most of the designers are from the States. I guess QUT chose to work with this design company because of the new perspective a foreign company can bring to us.
During the whole day-workshop, lots of interesting conversation was generated among the attendees.
When asked about what makes QUT different from other universities, students talked about their experience of the real world focus that QUT has. For example, QUT offers students many work placement opportunities. I also talked about how QUT encourages students to take part in different programs on campus and forms a partnership with students to deliver different kinds of programs.
I’m a bit nervous at the beginning of the workshop because most of the attendees are QUT staff on a senior level and there were only five students including me. But I’m amazed at how all the staff tried to talk to us and ask our opinion on a lot of the things.
I’m glad I attended this workshop and generated some meaningful conversation with other people on how to improve students’ experience!
Last week I submitted my last reports (hopefully)! It felt like a release but shortly after a strange feeling hit my heart… sadness!
I would have never thought this would happen, realizing the end of an amazing experience, the end of feeling part of a big family, QUT!
I am going to miss every bit of my two years at QUT Garden Point, from the location to the classrooms, for the lecturers to the students, from the excitement moments to the stressful tears, from the arguments to the amazing friendships.
I am even going to miss the long hours spent at the library (silent zone) overnights and weekends! The amount of knowledge I digest in two years and the experiences the university offered to me!
All the junk food ate over amazing conversations or procrastination as we call in the academic jargon!
Today I would love to fully enjoy my freedom so long waited, but the confusion in between excitement and sadness makes it hard!
Thank you QUT for all the supports and opportunities you enable me to use, If I had to do it again, I would.
QUT, I will be back and together we are going to ride a part of my life again!
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!