Episode 1 – Being an international student in Australia
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Episode 1 – Being an international student in Australia

Hello! Welcome to the University of Queensland. This is the first episode of
UQ‘s student webinar series for 2019! I am Kranthasi, I’m from Malaysia and I’m
a student here at UQ. Today we’re going to talk about being an
International Student in Australia and I have some guests
here to help me talk about this. What we’re going to do in this series is
answer your questions about studying overseas and to help prepare you for what you could
expect of a life here in Brisbane, Australia. Each episode will feature different guests,
to discuss topics around being an international student. So, let’s get in to it! Talking about studying in Australia is a very
fun topic for me because I am an international student too! The stories shared in today’s episode are
all true and are personal experiences from myself and our guests to help give you a better
understanding of what it’s like studying internationally. Let’s begin by learning some quick facts
about Australia, Brisbane and UQ that could entice you! Australia is one of the most popular study
destinations in the world…. I mean, aside from the world leading universities,
it has beautiful landscapes, loads of wonderful wildlife and amazing weather for most of the
year! UQ is located in Brisbane, the capital of
the sunshine state, Queensland. We’re on the east coast of Australia, about
an hour-and-a-half plane ride north of Sydney and about a 2-hour flight north from Melbourne. Did you know, that Brisbane was actually voted
one of the most beautiful cities in the world? It was named 8th in the world by Rough Guides,
and I would definitely agree What do you think about that Anjali? Yes, Brisbane
is a study paradise. Brisbane is also the third most popular international
student destination in all of Australia! There are more than 85,000 international students
in Brisbane alone! The city has a very multicultural feel and
Brisbane is home to over 200 nationalities and 220 languages. In fact, 28% of Brisbane residents were born
overseas. You meet people from all over the world all
the time and it’s a very relaxed place. Would you agree Ismail? So, The University of Queensland, is a world
top 50 university and the reason why we are all here today! How about this, did you know, here at UQ there
were 52,331 students last year. Dion, can you guess the number of international
students studying at UQ? We actually have around 18,000 international
students studying here. So, to those of you thinking about becoming
an international student, you are not alone. There are many, many more students who have
come away from home, from all over the world just like you; there are students from 135
different countries here. I’m from Malaysia and I’ve found a fair
amount of other Malaysians here to make friends with and create that home away from home feeling. Sometimes it’s comforting just knowing that
there are people from your home country nearby. How did you go about making friends when you
first arrived Anjali? Coming to a new environment, so far away from
home, can feel a bit scary when you’re still in the planning phase of which university
you want to study at or where in the world you will study, but with a bit of knowledge
about the place, it can make the move ten times easier. I have some fun and general information for
you all about how it actually feels getting used to living in Australia and specifically
Brisbane. The following tips are just things that I
thought would be useful because as an international student, these were quite important to me. First up, the weather here. Aussie summers can get pretty intense, especially
if you’re not from a tropical or Asian country where it can be quite hot for most of the
year. For me, Brisbane isn’t really that bad compared
to other places. Like Melbourne for example, it’s super-hot
one day and cold the next! But I’m just not used to that. I like that in Brisbane the temperatures usually
stay at around the late 20s to mid-30s at most. One thing that you need to know is that the
summers here are in December, January and February. So the opposite of the northern hemisphere,
where summer is in the middle of the year. And as you might have figured by now, winters
are the opposite as well. Aussie winters are in the middle of the year,
and definitely here in Brisbane they don’t get very cool! Ismail, what you like most about the weather here
in Brisbane? Yeah, so now you know about the weather here,
let’s talk about some of the natural beauty here in Australia. Not only are you coming to the land of beaches
here in Queensland – we have the world famous Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Byron
Bay all just a short drive from UQ St Lucia campus. We also have some amazing national parks and
world heritage areas which are great locations for walking, hiking and enjoying some of the
Aussie bushland. Anjali, have any of you visited any of the
greater Brisbane areas? Closer to campus, in the
Brisbane city and around the inner city suburbs you also have heaps to do. We have a number of farmer’s markets and
food markets that you should definitely go check out when you’re here. There a lots of city parks and the Botanical
Gardens are one of the most relaxing places I’ve been to and I strongly urge you to
pay a visit whenever you’re stressed or need a break from your study. You could also pay a visit to Eat Street which
is a GIANT night market built in shipping containers full of food! It’s one of my favourite places to try lots
of different food options. Ismail, do you have any recommendations around Brisbane to visit? When you study abroad you will DEFINITELY,
definitely miss home food. It’s been a year since I came here to study
and I miss home food SO much. The food here is great and you have to explore
the little brunch spots and cafes, but you will end up missing home food. However, rest assured that if you ever just
feel like eating out you’re sure to find somewhere in Brisbane that serves up something
to remind you of home. You can just google up restaurants but I recommend
Sunnybank or Upper Mt Gravatt for Asian food. Both are suburbs close to the centre of Brisbane. You will also find plenty of international
super markets all around the city so you can always cook home foods in your accommodation! Did you miss food from home when you first
came here? Moving on, we are now going to talk about
Aussie lingo! “Mate”, “arvo”, “breakkie”, “servo”,
“barbie”,. These are all words that you’ll soon be
hearing if you choose to study in Australia. The most famous of all is of course, “mate”. Everyone’s your mate here, “mate” just
means friend or buddy. So, you could say “Hey mate” or “How
ya going mate”. Arvo means afternoon
breakkie means breakfast Barbie means barbecue. They’re all just shortened versions of words,
so it’ll be very easy to get the hang of. Dion, you have been here a while now, are
you speaking any Aussie yet? I remember coming here last year, and I was
living in a college on campus, and of course O-Week made it all a bit easier, but I don’t
really remember anyone telling me about the short forms like arvo, Barbie and all. In fact, I only learned about servo last month! What things did you notice when you first
arrived in Australia that were different to home? Yes, that’s right and it’s important to remember that when you choose to study in
Australia, and UQ in particular there is so much student support here. I guess the point we are making is that life’s
going to be different but it’s nothing to worry about, it’s just different and part
of the journey of being an international student and learning about a new place. When you first start at UQ as an International
Student, it will be so exciting. There are so many activities here that help
you settle in, and O-week will be a huge part of that. I have a very quick video to play you, it’ll
show you a glimpse of the beautiful St Lucia campus and some of the activities from O-Week
last month! O-week is orientation week for new students
and there are workshops, events, networking, and games for you to get involved with. I’ve been to 3 O-Weeks so far and I just
feel like they’re getting bigger and better! So many clubs and societies to check out,
and all the free goodies! It’s like a week-long festival! There is also something called the JumpStart
Program run by UQ, which is made for those coming to UQ for the first time. You can meet new people, explore UQ, get a
feel of what your next couple of years of study might feel like, and a bunch of activities
to do. It’s like an introduction to university
for international students! I volunteered for the Jumpstart program this
year and I got to see some of the new students and help them settle down in uni. But Anjali, you were apart of this program when you first started, right? The colleges on campus definitely have their
own Orientation experiences too, and I’m sure the other accommodation providers do
as well. I must say, living on campus is a different
experience to anything I’d known before. You instantly meet new people, you live in
such an inclusive environment, and there are free events and gatherings that you can go
to. I feel like living on campus can be really
fun and helpful especially if you’re coming away from home for the first time. Anjali, you lived in International house, how was that? So, another part of O-week, is a day called
Market Day. It’s when all the clubs and societies of
the university come together in The Great Court to get people to sign up. Clubs and societies are basically groups of
students who are all interested in one particular thing. For example, it might be their culture or
heritage or beliefs or other interests like food or sports – I think there is even a UQ
Chocolate Society. I would highly recommend joining a club or
society, so you can make friends with people with similar interests or you feel closer
to home just by joining your home country’s society. When you join a club or society you will most
probably get a membership card and depending on the club or society you will have discounts
at certain brands or restaurants, which is very enticing as a student! Do you guys know how many clubs and societies
there are at UQ? There are actually more than 200 right now! Let’s watch this quick video of some other
current UQ students talking about why they joined a club or society during their first
year! In fact, Min is from the Singapore Students
Society Johnny is from the Indian Students society
and Raunaq is from the Innovation and Entrepreneurship society and are all international students! So, I’m sure you’re already feeling a
little overwhelmed just deciding where to study. But when you’re here, getting to know an
unfamiliar campus, adjusting to lectures and tutorials and learning new things– all the
while becoming familiar with “Aussie” culture, is easier than you think. You’ll be make friends, find some home comforts
through clubs and societies and as time goes on, like for me now, you become familiar with
this new place, Australia, and everything finds its way. But if you do find yourself struggling, UQ
has international student support services to help. They’re free to access and a great resource
for all international students. So, Dion can you tell us a little bit more
about the support for international students here at UQ? That’s right, and getting out into the city
and embracing your new ‘home’ is really a part of the experience and learning curve. There are multiple pages on Facebook and Instagram
that you could follow or like, just to get updates on what’s happening around Brisbane
city, what events are going on about campus or where to find free food (very important!). You can also check out the Australian tourist
boards to see some of the great places to visit right on your doorstep when you study
in Brisbane, Australia. Getting around in Brisbane is very easy. I use the public transport and it is super,
super easy! Back home in Malaysia, I don’t take public
transport but here I like using the bus or train. But here I take it everywhere, and I like it! And it is so easy as long as you have a GoCard. Do you take the public transport to get around
here? Yeah, it’s super easy and means you can
get around the city and to wider areas of Brisbane. So, apart from the wonderful lifestyle which
comes with living in Australia, I’d now like to think and talk a little bit on the
benefit of being an international student. I mean why is it better than staying home
to study? So, I wondered if each of you could tell us
why you chose Brisbane and the University of Queensland for your study. For me, I chose to become an international
student, instead of staying in Malaysia because I had spent my whole school life back in Kuala
Lumpur! I thought it would be a good opportunity to
come out to Australia and explore what there is to offer and try new things! And I’m sure you will all back me up here,
there are many benefits to studying in Australia. I know, Australia offers one of the best education
systems in the world, The University of Queensland ranks in the world’s top 50. UQ teaching staff also have won more national
teaching awards than any other university in Australia, which as an international student
is very comforting to know. I’ve also become more independent and stronger
since leaving home and coming out here. I’ve grown to become a better and more knowledgeable
person and I’m happy with how I’ve changed! But what else can studying as an international
student at UQ offer? I completely agree with you guys and would like thank you so much for joining me and giving your take on what
it’s like being an international student here in Brisbane, Australia! We’ve come to the end of the first episode and now I’d just like to add that it is
really important to remember, it doesn’t matter how far away from home you are and
especially when you’re here at UQ, you are not alone! There are many other international students
here, probably going through the same feelings as you may! As we have mentioned there also great support
networks and we will talk about them in more detail in next month’s episode. Thank you for watching and bye bye!

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9 thoughts on “Episode 1 – Being an international student in Australia

  1. I want to obtain a scholarship for studying a petroleum engeenering. I have a master's degree of Geology at Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar. Can you help me?

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