Hai Chi Tran Author

41st year of Liberation Day in Vietnam (30/4/1975 – 30/4/2016)

Written by Editor’s Picks, News


Leo Bui

This year, 30/4 and 1/5 happens on this weekend so people in Vietnam has 4 days off until the next Wednesday. Over a week before April 30th, visitors to Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City will see eye-catchily brightened with Vietnamese flags, red with a yellow star, banners and neon lights. Likewise, festival zones are decorated to be spots for a parade or the stage for a national live show.

Vietnamese Liberation Day (Ngày Giải phóng or Ngày Giải phóng miền Nam) is also called Reunification Day (Ngày Thống nhất) which is a public holiday in Vietnam that marks the end of the Vietnam War (Kháng Chiến Chống Mỹ), commonly known as the “American War”.

sai-gon-sau-1975-giaoduc.net (9)

Troops enter the grounds of Independence Palace (Photo by Francoise de Mulder/Corbis)


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It was the morning of April 30, 1975, and North Vietnamese tanks were thundering towards their last military target: Saigon. Those tanks were an indication that the war in Vietnam was at long last over, imprints the fall of Saigon government, as the end the Vietnam War and the freedom of Vietnam’s southern part.

Today it is one of the major Vietnam festivals and events. Therefore, fireworks and cultural-sport activities mark their national reunification.



Source: Vietnam Visa Easy

  • Hoan Kiem Lake area organised cultural performances art (Culture and Art), sports; Television Cycling Cup in Ho Chi Minh City in 2016 and 41 years since the liberation of the South, reunification.
  • Organisation “On jogging for life: Green – Clean – Beautiful”; Truc Bach Lake has represented fashion programme “Towards excellence Capital 2016”
  • Socialization Programme for Culture and Art “street art festival Hanoi culinary past and present”
  • Organization of thematic photo exhibition at the Exhibition House 45 Trang Thi Hoa Lo and Monuments
  • Cinema organisations serving people from all walks of Human Capital

Source: TTXVN

Ho Chi Minh City


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  • It will set off fireworks in four venues to celebrate the 41st anniversary of the liberation of South Vietnam’s and national liberation (April 30) and the 130th International May Day (May 1).
  • According to VOV5, the shows are scheduled for 9-9:30pm on April 30 at the roof of Saigon river tunnel in district 2, Dam Sen cultural park in district 11, Cu Chi and Can Gio districts. As part of celebrations, a photo exhibition will open along Nguyen Hue, Dong Khoi streets and Labour Culture Palace in district 1 from April 25.
  • On the event, the civil Labor Federation will dispatch the Workers’ Month to honour exceptional specialists and present endowments to those living in need.

    Flickr : Huy Yo

  • Music performances, the 28th HCM City TV Cup bicycle race and other sports tournaments are also scheduled for April 30.
  • On April 29 morning, officials of the municipal administration and the municipal Vietnam Fatherland Front committee are due to pay tribute to fallen martyrs in cemeteries. The race will depart from Hanoi on 10/4 and ends at noon HCMC on 30/04/2016. The tournament this year has followed the familiar route from north to south with the slogan “Non sông liền một dải” (“Landmark was a stretch”).

VNExpress – Đức Đồng



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  • From 29/4 to 5/5 days is the week launch cruise season with main activities centred in “Bien Dong” park
  • Demonstration sports at sea; coastal festival with competitions basket boat, carrying fishnets, underwater tug of Danang fishermen.
  • Along with racing kayak on My Khe Beach; dance sports programme; bikini flash mob demonstration for visitors to join right on the beach downtown; colouring contest on paper with the theme “Together protect langurs shanked and respond in a civilised urban culture”.

Source: Tuoi Tre Online

During this 2-day vacation, big cities will be very quiet and calm because many people will have gone back to the countrysides to appreciate the day with their darling family. Before occupants’ door,  there are Vietnam’s national banners gladly waving noticeable all around. On TV, related remembrance projects or music indicates performing successful melodies about the Vietnam War are shown.

Despite the effect of Agent Orange that still haunts the people living in this sacred land, Vietnam has moved forward to make remarkable achievements while still proudly honouring their long and brave history.


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Study in Australia: Thomson Ch’ng

Written by Student Life, Your Story

Come to Australia in 2009. Bachelor of Commerce (major in Finance and Management) at Curtin University Sydney (2009 – 2011). Master of Project Management at Curtin University Sydney (2013-2015). Project Management is imperative and essential skills. One of his favorites quotes: “Be part of the Change you wish to see in the world. Believe in making a difference in the community.”


Thomson is one of the founding delegates and immediate Former President of Council of International Students Australia (CISA). He is a strong believer in “Creativity, Imagination, Savy and Achievement (CISA)”, taking “Why Not” as a motto with strong determination yet enjoy meeting new friends and establishing life long friendship.

It is predictable that with a strong slogan, Thomson became the Vice-President of ASEAN Youth Organisation period 2016 to 2018. Keep on reading further for the story of Thomson’s pathway to get this position through his inspiring words to everyone.

Life journey: Why Australia?

Have a Family’s friend, the area you have a connection, make you feel easier from your home country. Tend to salute and inspire friends who came to Australia without family.


An impressive fact about Thomson is that he can speak FLUENTLY 5 LANGUAGES: English · Mandarin Chinese · Malay · Hokkien · Cantonese · Hainanese. Also, English is the third language.

He confided, on the first days he arrived in Australia, he could not totally get what the tutors said because of their strong Aussie accent. Right after that, as soon as possible, he began improving his English skills by practicing and listening to a lot. He started to involve literally and communicate with local people surrounding and Thomson took years to get who he is now.

Experienced in learning a language and acknowledge its tough, Thomson is very passionate about giving back to the community via knowledge and skills learned via study abroad journey.

* To anyone who is striving to master their language:

“Do feel free to “Drop In, Pop In and Say Hi”!”


There’s no shortcut to any success. Studying a language is an on-going thing.
What important is creating a habit. Nobody said creating a habit is easy. Metaphor as to learn how to ride a bike: the first few step takes much energy, by the time the bike starts moving, there is where the momentum has begun and it no longer requires the similar amount of energy compared to the first few steps.

Let’s start to do it every day: subscribe newspaper and started reading early morning while having breakfast and know what’s happens in Aus, mainstream, SMH, Telegraphs,… hard to network with people when come to an event have a topic to discuss about, read and practice from times to times.
Thomson’s aspiration is to become a politician or diplomat at the same time which gives him a tool to help more people and create changes.11008070_10205291427819481_3214111792837263802_n

* To everyone start building your success:

Plan everything at the beginning
You need to be inspired and empowered. Look up in the future, let’s do it in a team, a group, to support.
A lot of international students are a lack of supports from universities and community in general Join International students societies and feel free to share your problems to receive advice and helps in advance.



No part-time job!

Thomson found himself too hard to get many things done at the same time. So he chose to focus on the key things: studying and master the skills he thinks that are the most necessary ones. Here are some words from a project management student to anyone looking for the key to being good in time-management:

If you think you can combine to do many things at the same time very well, feel confident to do it.
If not, let’s spend more time in your target and less time in other things. Make it perfect, exquisite. Acknowledging yourself, strongly focusing on one thing and practice as much as you can, you will get what you want in the meantime.


To many people, communication skill is the most important, and with Thomson, this philosophy is more crystal than ever. To him, one of the best thing to being an international student in Australia is: have friends from different countries in the world!

Here is a True story: Thomson has been travelling with his family to many places around Asian’s countries, from Vietnam to Thailand and so on, and he enjoyed it because he always has friends whom he has met in Australia hosted him and his family around when they were in their country. Imagine you travel with a local or guided by a local will be much easier and safer, is it?


* Last but not least, to every single one who is still studying:

  • Let’s make mistakes and do not be afraid of MAKING MISTAKES! Making mistakes as much as you can before you leave school because you will learn a lesson from your mistakes, FOR FREE! This is the best time to make mistakes, after that, ever mistakes are risky and counts your success.
  • Do not be afraid of REJECTION. This is what you will learn: the more you are rejected, the more you understand things better and the pros and cons; since then you will be very high-confident (but not over-confident) because you understand yourself and what you can do Tips from Thomson:
  • If you are high-confident, you might not be successful soon, but if you are NOT confident, you will definitely never going to be successful anytime.
    Be humble, be open-minded.


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My International Students BBQ Story

Written by Student Life

Vois Magazine would love to say thanks for all who coming down to the free BBQ at Centennial Park on 20th March from MASSA from USYD (Malaysian and Singaporean Students’ Association), VDS from UTS (Vietnamese Dynamic Students) as well as PPIA (or Indonesian Student Association [ISA]) and VCE (Vietnamese Cultural Ensemble) from UNSW .

The International Students Welcome BBQ aims to connect fresher and former international students studying and living in Australia. Before starting a whole new semester, it was a chance for old friends to meet up and new friendships to be built between people from different and vibrant backgrounds.


As people arrived at the event, VOIS Magazine coordinators gave each of them a name tag and a lucky ticket of their choice for the lucky draw for 2 free movie tickets. It was a good way fro the new comers to introduce themselves to VOIS and each other.

“It was great to meet the new Malaysian juniors. I think it is great that these students are able to meet us since MASSA is like a home away from home to some of these students. I had loads of fun.” – Lavanya Chandran (Vice-President of MASSA)

IMG_2894 IMG_2892

We met new friends, and created strong bonds through the games we played. There were many outdoor activities in which we could interact and make friends in a minute. Believe or not, when you were moving around in a circle and randomly making groups of 4 or 5 people according to our main guide, you will know their basic information such as name and nationality,

“Good interaction through several activities.” – Quynh Anh Le (VCE)

“I had a very enjoyable day and communicated to many new friends. It was a great chance for me to open my network, learn more about different cultures and…have some beautiful photos!” – Kyle Nguyen (President of VDS UTS)

Friends renuion

Friends renuion

Despite the strange weather of Sydney on that day, nothing could stop us from BBQ!!! “SAVE THE CHICKENS!!!!” The rains just came and went, sticking everyone together under an umbrella! Conversations started and people were not aware of the rain too much.

We hope you all enjoy the food and the time we spent together. More games and prizes will be revealed in the following events, so do not think that was all the games we got!

IMG_2900 IMG_2909Oh and do you still remember who were the two winners of lucky tickets?

Looking forward to see you all at the next event (look up VOIS Magazine’s Persona Project) or you are welcome to join us at our next BBQ. We’ll be excited to see you!!

11215717_925273600893006_4737105399172445686_n 12096511_906237046129995_1017077886054897575_nFollow our Facebook page and feel free to tag yourself and your friends!

VOIS photography by © Raul Ortiz de Lejarazu Machin, AgungMustafa and Thi Tran.

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Brussel Bombing – World Calls For Unity Against Terrorism

Written by News

Australia is one of many countries that have expressed sorrow and solidarity with Belgium after the deadly attack in Brussels on 22 March 2016.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel used such sad words to express that “tragedy” or “black day” and this is one of the “deadliest attacks we have ever seen in Belgium”.

The blast at the airport and a subway station in Brussels took place little more than an hour apart, killing at least 30 people and leaving over 200 wounded.

People pay tribute to the victims of the Brussels attacks (Getty Images)

People pay tribute to the victims of the Brussels attacks (Getty Images)

According to The New York Times, the first one tore through the check-in area at Brussels Airport just before 8 a.m. on Tuesday. Another followed, seconds later, near a Starbucks.



The second blast was examined to be stronger than the first by Ms. Corbo, a witness.

“I felt myself pushed forward as if by a force of air,” she said in a phone interview with The New York Times. “People dove to the ground. Parts of the ceiling fell in. There were some injured people lying on the ground. I saw a foot that had been blown off.”

Another witness, Mr. O’Connor, the European Commission official, described hearing “two deeply rumbling crashes” as he approached the terminal from the parking lot.


Brussels airport attack and Brussels Metro bombs

Brussels airport attack and Brussels Metro bombs (Photo: Jef Versele via Yahoo News)

In the chaos, there were acts of humanity. Even amid people’s shock, they still sought to alert or protect others.

“A lady was crying and yelling at me in French,” said Murat Ueranuez, who was in the restaurant of the Sheraton Hotel across from the airport terminal. He was preparing for a conference of fraud examiners when the blasts occurred. “She was panicked. I said, ‘I am sorry, I don’t speak French.’ She switched to English and, speaking with a heavy accent, said: ‘Don’t go out, don’t go out there. There are explosions.’ She was still crying and yelling and was obviously in shock.”

People gathered at Bourse Square, Brussels praying for the victims. (Photo: AAP)

People gathered at Bourse Square, Brussels praying for the victims. (Photo: AAP)



Is Belgium a target? 

Belgium, the heart of Europe, seemed hardly the epicenter of violent extremism. However, the seeming difficulty of integrating the Muslim community and overloaded security personnel are two of the various vulnerabilities that make this small country a hot spot.


According to Jason Burke, a commentator on the Guardian, Belgium is one country who has seen the spread of terror ideology through social networks. He believes that although the exposure does not directly incite violence, it creates a dark presence, insensitive and conservative.

Loophole in airport security work 

Should Brussels have seen the terror attack coming? Bombings in Brussels have revealed the weakest point in all airports of Belgium and many other countries – the port area before security check. It is an open area that is the busiest as people line up and wait for tickets or even coffee. Anyone can enter this area without a boarding pass.

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP


According to commentator Kris Van Cleave of CBS News, the attacks proves that Zaventem airport security is not secure enough. A large hole has been created that could be, and has been, taken advantage of and attacked.

PHOTO: CCTV images of three men believed to be suspects in the Brussels attacks. (Twitter: Belgium Police)

PHOTO: CCTV images of three men believed to be suspects in the Brussels attacks. (Twitter: Belgium Police)

However, after this recent attack, Brussels has been placed on high alert for terrorist threats and passengers are being monitored much more closely.

World’s leaders called for unity against terrorism

“The whole of Europe has been hit,” said French President Francois Hollande, whose country is still reeling from November’s terror attacks in Paris.

British Prime Minister David Cameron warned of the “very real” terrorist threat faced by countries across Europe, declaring: “We will never left these terrorists win.” Mr Cameron’s spokeswoman said specialist police officers were being sent to Brussels to help with the investigation, as the Foreign Office warned against travel to Belgium’s capital.

US President Barack Obama said the US-led coalition will continue hitting Islamic State militants. “This is yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism,” he said.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said: “All Australians condemn these cowardly terrorist attacks in Brussels”.

What happens now, Australia?

According to ABC News, Mr Turnbull said there was no news of Australians being killed or injured yet, but anyone who has concerns for family or friends in Belgium should contact them directly, or the Department of Foreign Affairs.

He also said the threat level in Australia would not change. The police and ASIO have stated security at airports was appropriate.

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5 Common Contagious Diseases Students Face Everyday

Written by Entertainment, Student Life

The synchronization of human emotions is the cause of “disease” is spreading rapidly in the community. Do not be too scared! The “contagious disease” here actually is just the behavior and emotional expression that we imitate each other unconsciously. Believe it or not? Check out the following article for your answer.

  1. Yawn

To operate effectively, especially when tired, we usually breathe deeply to pump air to the brain and “cool” it.

However, try to notice the view. Sometimes when you see someone is yawning, you yawn naturally too. Why is there such a phenomenon?

According to some studies, people imitating the yawns of others are empathetic or have the ability to emotionally connect with other people.

To demonstrate this relationship, a psychologist at the University of Leeds (UK) implemented an experiment with psychology students and students from other majors. They were then individually seated in an observation lounge and observed a yawning participant several times for several minutes.

The results? The psychology students yawned three times more in response than the other students. As psychology is a practice that requires a great amount of human observation, it suggests that people who are more inclined to be empathetic will respond the same way.

Experts said that this mirroring action dates back to evolution. Ancient humans lived in a closely-bound herd, so empathy in the community is very high. Moreover, because yawning is a way to “reboot” the brain, it is necessary to increase the vigilance of the collective group.

However, contagious yawning may not cause a physically harmful problem, as been said by Michael Decker, Associate Professor of Nursing: “The yawning becomes more of a social phenomenon than a physiological phenomenon.”

  1. Itchiness

Similar to yawning, itching is also contagious. Feeling “itchy” is not only simply based on whether looking at someone is scratching, but also by the perceived level of your emotions.

A study was conducted at the University in the city of Hull (UK) with 51 adults. After personality tests, they are asked to watch a video of people scratching, and then made a report if they feel like scratching or not and to what extent they experienced it.

The result is about 64% of participants had at least scratched once when viewing images of others scratching. According to the results of magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, to see someone scratching will activate the same brain areas when we scratch ourselves.

And the results of the personality tests showed that the type who are emotive or can easily get through negative feelings tend to feel itchy and scratch more than the other test participants.

  1. Laughter

Laughter is one of the most fundamental reactions of the human body. We laugh when we feel happy and comfortable. Moreover, laughing also very beneficial to health, while helping the body secrete substances such as neural peptides, dopamine or serotonin (the hormone that works to reduce stress, relax the body, reduce blood pressure and so on).

But the most amazing point of this action is the spread. It is because people often tend to follow what the crowd are doing, a phenomenon known as “herd mentality.”

Digging a little deeper, when they see other people laugh, our cortex is activated, which secrete chemicals like serotonin and dopamine making the body become more relaxed.

And when we get more comfortable, there is no better reward than laughter.

  1. Shudder

Even to feel the cold can also spread and affect one another. According to researchers at the University of Sussex, just observing someone shivering and shuddering is enough to feel cold. This phenomenon is called ‘temperature spread’.

They have done an experiment with 36 participants. These people are watched footage reels of actors with their hand in warm water or cold water. Meanwhile, the researchers will measure the temperature of the hands of the participants.

Results showed that although the body temperature does not change, the temperature of the participants hands became significantly colder when watching the videos with the cold-water actors.

This suggests that physiological changes occur unconsciously as a way for us to empathize with others and to better understand their feelings.

Psychiatrist Dr Neil Harrison: “Humans are creatures with profound social and human success comes from the ability to work together. In particular, the similarities reactions physiology can facilitate emotional connection, the ability to work to help become more efficient.”

  1. Stress

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute – Technical University of Dresden (Germany) led to the conclusion that, by just watching thrilling situations, in real life or on screen, is enough to do a slight stress.

They performed experiments on nearly 400 people, the group divided in pairs. One person of the pair will do a set math or undergo a mock job interview while the rest observed.

Results showed that 95% of the subjects experienced stress hormones. However, a 30% increase was found in the observing group as well. Stress levels also varied with the partners of the participants. 40% of the observers felt very nervous when watching their significant other tolerate stress, compared to the 10% increase if strangers were observing.

These results are actually not too surprising. For example, when there is someone restless, pacing back and forth, we will become stressed and anxious ourselves.


Source: WashingtonPost, HuffingtonPost, FoxNews


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Missing Piece likely to be from MH370 found in Mozambique

Written by News

Earlier, the US television channel NBC reported some debris found on the East African coast between Mozambique and Madagascar. There is speculation that it may be from the infamous Boeing 777 used by Malaysia Airlines on the 8th of March, two years ago. The aircraft had mysteriously disappeared while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 passengers and crew in total. .

Information on the second piece of debris found at Reunion Island came just days after a US surveyor detected some material 2.1 km away from Reunion Island in Mozambique waters. The 3 m long object was sent to Australia by the Malaysian Minister, Liow Tiong Lai, for analysis.

Malaysia Minister Of Transport – Liow Tiong Lai, on 2/3/2016 said there were pieces from a wreckage that was highly probable to be from a Boeing 777. The Boeing 777 was the aircraft that Malaysia Airlines had used during missing flight MH370.

Aircraft debris was found in Mozambique there is a high probability of a Boeing 777 of the flight MH370 (Photo: NBC News)

Photo: NBC News

On Twitter, Liow Tiong Lai says: “Based on initial reports, there is a high possibility the debris found in Mozambique belongs to Boeing Model 777”. However, he also stressed that some of the wreckage pieces found were still “untested and [confirmed].”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Australia Darren Chester said the location where the materials were found had the same details and bearing number as the MH370 aircraft.

In a statement, the Minister Darren Chester said: “The location of the debris consistent with the hypothesis that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau launched and reaffirmed that Australia turn to search MH370 in the southern Indian coast Indian Ocean “.

(Photo: AFP - Australian Transport Safety Bureau/Blaine Gibson)

Photo: AFP – Australian Transport Safety Bureau/Blaine Gibson

The information above is given only a few days before the two year anniversary date of the missing MH370 aircraft. The investigators thought that the aircraft was on its way south before crashing into the Indian Ocean. However, so far the search teams have not yet been able to localize where the plane crashed and the cause of the accident has yet to be launched.

According to the original, in Momzambique fragments could be part of the stabilizer of the aircraft. If confirmed, this would be the second fragment is found from the plane bearing number MH370 Malaysia Airlines.

Source: AFP

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Study in Australia: Serena Dong

Written by Your Story

Serena Dong is currently a writer in VOIS Magazine as an editorial intern. This amazing girl is taking a Bachelor of Communications and Journalism at University of New South Wales in Sydney. She described her identity as “mixed”, different from what most people would call themselves. She concluded: “I can not identify myself with one specific place because I don’t have just one home”.

Serena was born in China but studied primary school in New Zealand for 4 years before moving back to China to study at an American Private school, absorbing a mixture of American and British culture. Now, she is here in Australia for her bachelor degree since February 2015. As a result of her background, she can speak Chinese and English fluently.

Although Serena enjoyed her years in New Zealand and China, she craved for a new environment to establish a vibrant university life. Upon a trip to Australia in September 2014, Serena fell in love with the people and most importantly, the University of New South Wales. After living in different countries for so many years, Serena freely shares her perspectives on the differences between China and New Zealand:

  • New Zealand is so clean that you can walk on bare feet and the people living here are well-mannered
  • China is not clean and you will have to wear shoes, the people are pretty rude (e.g: aggressive drivers go forwards at the same time).

Overall, Serena she loves the life she has now in Australia with her new friends and of course, her boyfriend.

How has studying overseas changed yourself?

In Australia, Serena started to live all by herself for the first time without her family. It is hard, but it has taught her how to get used to things, learn skills to explore many places and to be independent. Many first times such as cooking, washing the dishes, dealing with bad manners and problems, contacting for help when something in the house needs to be fixed.

And, unexpectedly, studying in Australia is a lot harder than Serena thought. It is due to her high academic success in primary school in New Zealand that she believed in would be similar the university. However, failing her first uni assignment at UNSW woke her up to become more motivated and focused. Serena’s thinking changed eventually. She knows that she has to try harder due to the advantages of receiving financial support. In short, Serena took every opportunity that she came across.

Talking inspiringly about Journalism

  • If you are starting to hate this major, remember that practice will make it better
  • Write with passion because writing is a way to express yourself
  • Being a part of the news industry helps you keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the world

If you are a UNSW student, why don’t you try to join Blitz magazine like Serena? It will help you to get to know more people even celebrities. Serena said that she had an awesome experience with Blitz where she was fortunate enough to interview and write articles of Jane Saville (Australian Olympian in race walking), Greg Behrendt (American comedian, actor, and writer). “You’ll love it,” said Serena. “It was pretty cool!”

Overcoming homesickness and choosing your way:

  • Make good friends with different backgrounds to go through hard times, to hang out and share cultures
  • Call parents whenever you feel like you need to.
  • Keep in touch with high school mates. They will give advice and be there for you.
  • A partner can comfort and mentally support you as well
  • Experience life – go for beaches (e.g: Bondi, Coogee), tasty cuisine, cool coffee shops, amusement parks, zoos, picnics and barbecues in the park.

What is your next step in the next few years?

“I do not want to be so sure about the future.”

Serena has plans to live in the moment right now, but also has plans to stay and work in Australia for a few years after graduating. She’s excited for the days when she add more countries to her list of travels which already include Hawaii, Las Vegas, Yellowstone National Park and various cities around China. America or London are other potential work destinations since the publication industry is well-developed there. Time management skills, film industry, and public relations knowledge are also other areas Serena intends to improve on in the future.

What is your new year’s resolution?

“Drink more water, be healthy. Get a job and save money. Work hard in university.”

What would you say to inspire international students?

“Do not be shy. Interact with locals. Branch out. Make new friends. Learn different cultures and languages.”

“Brace yourself before starting anything.”

– Serena Dong



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Study in Australia: Seema Vittal Serigara

Written by Your Story

Seema is an active girl who comes from United Arab Emirates (UAE). She arrived in Sydney to “learn hard and play as hard.” She came to Australia in 2009 and was doing a Bachelor of Digital Media, which has an excellent student service. Seema called herself a person of ‘celebration’.

She explained: “I like all kinds of celebrations such as birthdays, graduations and so on. Because I guess I just need any excuse to start a riot and party. But I strongly believe that’s how it should be.”

A balance between the good and bad, or else how boring would life be? What an interesting girl!


Australia is economical for education, or not?

According to Seema, Australia seemed to be good for her financial situation. It also has a developed educational system and its credit recognition is highly regarded.

Talking about her degree, Seema said that she had no regrets. The Digital Media course was very practical and interesting.


“I use what I learnt everyday at work now so I guess it was a good investment,” Seema expressed.

Seema did not hesitate to share her skills that she learnt from her course such as video editing, 3d animation and modelling, sound editing, photography, graphic design, branding, typography and history about filmography.

“If I am still in university, I would join this short film festival –“Film it and show it”


Working in Australia is a different story

5 years living and studying in Australia has taught Seema to think independently, be humble and be a self-made person. By meeting a lot of friends from different backgrounds, Seema also learnt to respect people from different races, cultures and religions more.

However, as many international students have suffered, Seema could not avoid a huge culture shock, experiencing different time zones and homesickness. No matter what happened, UNSW had a positive impact on its student by launching an awesome student service and psychology service. Besides, Seema also had a strong support network and system of good people who were always ready to help her.


“I learnt to work hard and party just as hard (and) meet amazing people from all walks of life”, Seema said.

After graduation, Seema has focused on getting her finances more stable and building up a brand name for herself in the working field.

However, she did not choose to work in Australia due to a seemingly horrible  job market. So she returned home to Dubai.

“I am working well now and am at a good place financially. I feel secured.” said Seema.

And so, she has become more professional and hard-working, sticking to plans. Seema will also love to improve her marketing background. But, of course, “There is no easy way to achieve your goals”, she said.


Seema is also very keen on doing volunteering. Some activities she did were:

1. Donating hair to Locks of Love (i.e. to people who had custom wigs made due to loss of hair from chemotherapy for cancer)
2. Keep it clean co-recycling and cleaning up the local beaches
3. Giving baths to local cats and dogs at a shelter near her house
4. Recently joined the “Volunteer in UAE” community and their many programs. She recently attended the marathon for handicapped people and also a sign language program

Volunteering has taught Seema a lot, as she said: “All in all I learnt that there is so much more I can do. I know I am busy but one must try to always give back. I learnt to appreciate people more. Be more patient and humble.”

If you could give an advice for international students what would it be?

“I think I have mentioned this before but always work hard but also party just as hard. Your life should be a celebration of you and never assume anything about any body. You have to give respect to get some.”


What would you say to inspire international students to get better in the future?

Hard work, hard work and hard work. Also bubble baths help.

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Study in Australia: Anupriya Sharma

Written by Your Story

Coming from India, a hard-working woman and her husband chose Sydney to start their new journey. Here, Anupriya does her Master of Commerce in Finance at Macquarie University, while her husband has a part-time job. Despite the homesickness, Anupriya decided to keep herself busy with her university work (“I can’t live without studying PhD”), friends and travelling.


Childhood inspiration is always essential

Anupriya graduated from university back in India, completing an MBA in Accounting and Finance. Her father, who is a bank auditor, has always been her role model. As Anupriya loves learning, she started to save money, supported by her husband and parents, she came to Australia for a higher education about Finance.

Although it is hard, Anupriya’s determined quote is “Never give up!”, so she does not mind failing and starting again.


What are the differences between studying in Australia and India?

It is more practical to study in Australia. This is very important and Anupriya was very satisfied  this quality. Students who did or are currently doing a PhD may know that self-studying is the most essential skill that they have to learn. According to Anupriya, her method is to divide the subjects into small sections so she can easily catch up on parts that she missed.

Homesickness, one of the most common yet undefeatable problems that international students face. However, joining international student groups will properly help you to overcome hard-time. As Anupriya confided that even though Australia is a multi-cultural country, you can still feel left out due to the distances of language and customs in a group of local people. In an international students’ group, everyone somehow has one similar thing – living far away from home. Despite different backgrounds, people speak the same language, English. This is a strong bond connecting people together to create friends.


Part-time job and volunteer jobs are important for international students

Anupriya used to have a part-time job as a store team member at Coles. This is a great job opportunity which brought her extra amount to save. However, as she had to focus on studying more, she stopped working there.

On the other hand, Anupriya has a volunteer position at VOIS Magazine, writing advice for international students about studying and daily living. Even though it is volunteering, she loves this job as it not only helps reduce stress and homesickness, but writing has been her passion even when she was young. Since writing is done in her spare time, Anupriya is very keen on doing it, and can write a piece in 30 minutes when feeling inspired, such as The Hunger Games, the Light Festival or Job Searching.


Beaches and wines, please!

Beautiful coasts like Avalon, Newport and Bondi…who can deny the warm sunshine, cool wind and good wines? Anupriya does not also love these things, but is also interested in getting a tattoo done. However, this will happen “once I save enough to get a tattoo from Bondi Ink”, Anupriya said.

Talking about this, she said that many people did not know that tattoos were one of the traditional customs in a few places in India (“not mine, remote villages though…I know this because of my Bachelors in Anthropology”, she said). The custom is commonly known as “Godna”.


Last Xmas 2015, what did you do?

As Anupriya believes in Hinduism, she shares further her philosophy about Christmas and her religion: “Christmas is not our festival, but still, India being a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic (as per Preamble to the Constitution of India) we respect each religion and their culture, customs and festivals. We do have public holidays in India on Christmas…Supermarkets and shopping malls are decorated in same way as anywhere”.

Concerning Christmas, Anupriya said that she went for shopping on the next few days to buy gifts for her near and dear ones in Sydney, thus respecting and adapting to the Australian culture.

As Anupriya is also an international student, this wonderful Indian woman advises everyone of us to enjoy their time with friends, colleagues as it will never come back.


“Money comes and goes but memories are cherished forever.”

– Anupriya Sharma

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Study in Australia: Hellen Indrawan Jie

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life, Your Story

Hellen is active and sociable Indonesian girl who has graduated from UTS with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, majoring in Journalism. She experienced her high school life in Singapore but decided to move to Australia for a university. In 2012, after Hellen finished high school, she moved to Australia for new experiences.

Being asked about her passion for Journalism, Hellen said she was inspired by her role model: Anderson Cooper. Talking about it, she told me that one time, she read a book written by him, where he documented his experience in war zones: “I got inspired, so I thought I would give it a go,” Hellen said.


Journalism, according to Hellen, “was assignments-focused” so she did not really have to study regularly. Anyone who is interested in studying Journalism, especially in UTS, can take a look at Hellen’s shared information:

  • “UTS Journalism was interesting because they wanted me to have practical experiences.”
  • We were not taught to write properly but we were motivated to go out there and talk to people, find issues and write them”.
  • “I have heard from friends doing journalism in other universities, and they didn’t have much of this journalism experience outside.”
  • “UTS really motivated us to get our stories published, like building a portfolio. So your assignments became your portfolio!”

Hellen was interested in gaining practical experiences in the industry, so she focused more on internships and volunteering work. Most of her volunteer experiences were in the arts and event industries and she started doing them during her time at university.


Once, Hellen volunteered for a Korean Film Festival as an usher. The program ran only for a month, but she was able to gain insight into event management. Her purpose was: “I would like to work as a journalist and communication skills are important.” And what she learned was precious: people skills and how to communicate efficiently.

Currently, Hellen is volunteering for an Indonesian tabloid, managing their social media, and is also a radio broadcaster for an Indonesian community radio.

What was your best experience at university?

“Joining the Indonesian students society!”, Hellen said. From there, she got to meet people from her country and undoubtedly, everyone would be very passionate to share the culture to UTS community.

So, if she had a chance to go back to university time, you might see a more active Hellen joining different clubs to meet different people and, of course, a more hard-working student.

What are the differences between study in Australia and Singapore?

“I became a lot more critical!” Hellen expressed. Since Singapore is similar to other Asian countries, all Hellen did was memorization. Whereas in Australia, in a Western-style classroom, she became a lot more critical and bravely shared her opinion: “When I have my own opinion, I would say it out loud,” Hellen said.


Sometimes, everyone cannot avoid their hard times. At one point, Hellen felt like giving up on the major and swapping to something else. But, she kept reminding herself that at journalism was something she “has always wanted to do”. She held her head up and achieved her goal.

What are your new goals?

After graduated from UTS, Hellen has been looking for a full-time job and she hopes to be in the industry soon.

“I am very diligent looking for jobs and applying to all sorts of available ones.”

Interested in learning about consumer behavior, Hellen is thinking about taking a Master degree in Marketing. Hellen also revealed that she is taking social media courses related to media at the moment.


What would you say to inspire international students to get better in the future?

“Just take chances whenever you could.” – said Hellen

If you could give an advice for international students, what would it be?

“Learn and gain as much experience as possible while you are here in Australia. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an internship and volunteer works or even jobs in retail.”

“Don’t give up.”

– Hellen Indrawan Jie

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