Tips & Tricks

4 Things New Students Dread

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

It is the start of a new semester. If you are like me, you are just starting your career in university. Moreover, also if you are anything like me, you most probably dread quite a few things about uni life. Moreover, on top of that, we realised international students! A new start in a new university in a new country. What could go wrong?


Credits: Wawasan Open University Malaysia

It is not much of a dreadful feeling but more of your insides doing a full gymnastic routine as the clock counts down the minutes until your orientation. Orientation is just sitting in a big hall while someone on the podium talks. So, in theory, it is nothing to worry. However, the thought of having to see so many people as well as being in an unfamiliar situation can be pretty overwhelming. Even though it is nerve-wracking, keep in mind that the orientation session is for you to understand how you can make the most out of your time in the university by using the resources available to you.

Making friends

If only making friends was as easy as when we were kids

If only making friends was as easy as when we were kids. In high school, it is easier to make friends – you are in a set classroom in your year, and you know those people. University, it is different. You would be pretty dang lucky to go to the same university as your best friend and even luckier if you are doing the same course! However, of course, not everybody can have that kind of luck. Mere mortals like you and I are thrown into the crowd of freshies feeling somewhat vulnerable. You are not entirely sure of other people’s intentions or how they are going to react to your unique personality. Some just ooze confidence and charisma, and that is the bomb dot com. Someone may strike a conversation with you, and it goes right. Moreover, sometimes it is only after the conversation ends do you realise how you could’ve added that extra spice. Then you are just waiting for the chance to use that witty comeback you had saved up. Certainly, trying to make friends can be a challenging task but with persistence (along with an open mind) can help you generate a spark with your peers.

(Also, I find that if you go to orientation without your parents, it is much easier for you to make friends.)

Group assignments

I was looking through my subject outline, and I noticed for a few of my courses, there would be a group assignment. Oh no. My head was already spinning at the thought of having to talk strangers, but I was also anticipating I would have to do a lot of the work too. It is pretty unreasonable to think so negatively of my peers since I have not even met them yet. However, I have had some bad experiences working in groups in the past. To avoid doing all the work yourself, be sure to communicate clearly and thoroughly with each other. Work out what is expected of the assignment and from each of you. Delegate the work equally among everybody and help check each others’ work.

Looking for your classroom/lecture halls

Directions and I do not mix too well. Having to search for my classes, in particular on a large campus, is a nightmare. I also hate being late. When you walk into class after trekking 50 kilometres just to find it, people will stare at you like you have murdered someone. Lateness also shows that you are unprepared for work, and that does not give the greatest first impression. In order to avoid such situations, it is best to explore the campus beforehand to locate key locations – lecture halls, tutorial rooms, cafes, bookshop, and other important places.

University life is pretty much like in Monsters University

However, the university is bound to be a great experience. Here you will meet people with colourful personalities from all over the world, network with your peers, and perhaps make lifelong friends. So take a deep breath, chin up, and do your best.

There are many more things that can shake up newbies so share your experiences in the comments down below! How did you overcome your nerves during your first few weeks at uni?


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Simple Steps To Apply For Your Tax Return

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life, Tips & Tricks

30th June and 1st July are coming, it is a splendid time for you to lodge your tax return. But should you lodge your tax return and how do you lodge it? Well, here are some steps to help you lessen the hassle.

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Why do you need to submit your tax?

During the financial year, your casual/part-time/full-time income has been reduced a small amount by tax, depending on your income status. If you do not know whether you should lodge a tax return, check these selection criteria:

For example, you are an international student with a tax file number, working casually at a bar. Before starting the job, you are required to sign a few documents including a tax file paper. So every time you receive a payment transferred to your bank account, there is a section of tax deduction in your pay slips. So at the end of the financial year, you are eligible to proceed with a tax return.

If you earn less than 18,200 AUD dollars a year, and you paid tax during the financial year, you likely to get all of the tax back.

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However, if you are an international student with a tax file number, working part time in a coffee shop, no papers had been signed between both sides, and you receive cash in hand every week for your payment; you are not eligible to lodge a tax return. This is because the tax department does not have any tax record of your income.

So if you earn less than 18,2000 AUD dollars a year, and you have had no tax withheld from your income, you might not be able to lodge your tax return. However, you still need to notify the ATO with the Non-lodgment advice

How do you lodge your tax return?

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a/You need these documents:

Identity documents (passport or birth certificate or citizenship certificate)

Employment and income documents

b/You need myDeductions:

This is the ATO’s app to keep track of your income and expenditure, checking the tax return that you could claim.


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Lodge Online

  1. In order to lodge your tax return, you should have a tax file number with some identity and income documents
  2. Visit ATO.GOV.AU and create myGov account
  3. Sign into myGov and follow the instructions 

If you have any trouble lodging your tax return online, you can make an appointment by calling 13 28 61 for TAX HELP, running across the country from July to October. (However, you should check your income status). If you need help with translation and interpretation, please phone 13 14 50 for further assistance.

The online system, myTax, is available  24 hours and only takes 2 weeks to receive the refund.

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Lodge a paper tax return

  1.  Order a paper tax return through Publication Ordering Service or call 1300 720 092
  2.  Fill in your required information (personal identification and income documents)
  3.  Post to Australian Taxation Office ( GPO Box 9845 IN YOUR CAPITAL CITY)

This method takes 50 business days for the refund.

Lodge with a registered tax agent

You can also lodge your tax return through an agent. You are required to pay an administration fee for application preparation and the lodgement process.

Once you submit your tax, just wait and check your bank account later and then you can indulge yourself (like that dessert you were thinking of getting)

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Tone Down Distractions and Turn Up Your Music

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

It is that time of the year again. Exams are looming. Late nights. Junk food binge. There are times when you do not even feel inspired to study for your exams, and everything is just static in your head when you think about your tests. Listening to music, however, may help you buckle down and focus on exam prep. Studies have shown that listening to music before studying or doing a task can be beneficial, as it improves attention, memory, and also your ability to perform mental math.giphy (20)

Here are a few ways to tone down your distractions and turn up your concentration.

1. A playlist of songs you are familiar with and could never get tired of listening.

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Personally, I find that listening to music does help me concentrate. It is usually songs that always listen to, or I have memorised over a period. Therefore, the songs have become natural to me, and it becomes nothing more than just rhythm and beat. By focusing on the rhythm and beat, I can mesh together what I am studying/reading with the beat of the song. When I get into the groove of studying, the songs just become soft tunes in the background.

2. Repeat a song over and over.


Compared to the previous method, this ensures a steady rhythm and tune for you to memorise and study. I’ve been listening to “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence on repeat to prepare for my exams, and I find that the rock beat keeps me awake and focused. Personally, slow songs make me feel relaxed as supposed to upbeat songs. I felt much more lively and driven to get stuff down when I listen to “Bring Me To Life” or any other rock song because it is fast-paced and exciting.

3. Listen to acoustic or instrumental songs.


When you are trying to memorise things in a particular order or are processing a lot of written word, songs with vocals might not help. Your brain might be thrown off and confused by various words in the song. Music that is too upbeat or loud can be distracting so find something that helps you relax but also with enough beat or rhythm to ensure you do not zone out while studying. Choose classical music or more acoustic music with minimal words to distract you. Try turning into scores from some of your favourite movies while you study.

4. Join a music streaming service and try out one of their automatic playlists or create your own!


Spotify is great if you are out of new music or if you have not any acoustic or classical music to listen. Sign up with your Facebook or Google+ account and you’ll have access to a multitude of songs from various artists. There’s a range of playlists you could choose from to suit your whims but don’t spend too much time browsing that you end up wasting your time! Apple Music also has the same features as Spotify too if you are more comfortable with that service.

Try these Spotify playlists:

The bottom line is, the final decision about studying while listening to music is up to you. You decide how you study and concentrate best – with a little T. Swift in the background or a little Ed Sheeran or some All Time Low. Alternatively, better yet, no music at all. Music’s effects on study habits will vary from person to person and also depends on the genre, how loud it is, etc. However, to be most productive when you study, you need to find out how music will affect your studying ability then curate a playlist based on that to best suit your needs.

Good luck!


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“I Don’t Like It” – English Tips

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

When someone offer you something or share with you an idea about a particular thing, but you “don’t like it”. How could you express it to them verbally without hurting their feeling or showing a disrespectful manner? Using the wrong English expression or phrases might damage your relationship with other international friends, who you can only use English to communicate with them. You may even cause serious consequences when replying to strangers.


So, instead of saying “NO, I DON’T LIKE IT,” here are some other phrases in English that you may want to note.

“That’s not for me.”

“I’ll give this a pass.”

“Thanks for your offer, I am afraid that I am not a big fan of it.”

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“I’m not interested in that.”

“I might take it into consideration”

“Let me have a think about it.”


“I appreciate your thought, but…….”

“That’s a fascinating idea, however……”

“I might give it as a rain check.”

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“No, thank you.”

“I’m alright, thanks.”

“That’s very lovely, but thank you.”


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Yes and No with a Dishwasher

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

When I first came to Australia and lived with an Australian host family, there is one thing that I have only heard and seen the American movies. The dishwasher. Honestly, I don’t know to use it. What can or can I not put in? Here’s a list of things that can save your dishwasher and other kitchen utensils from improper use. 

Never put these in:

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1/ Chopping boards, cutlery or cooking tools made of wood/bamboo

The hot water and dry cycle of the dishwasher will cause the wood to swell and crack. Scrub your wooden utensils and chopping boards with a mixture of bleach and cold water to kill the bacteria. 

2/ Kitchen and steak knives
Dishwasher detergent is very abrasive on the sharp edge. During a cycle of washing, they might bang to each other to cause scratches and nicks on the blade. Just quickly hand wash it and put it on the rack to dry (it will take only 2 minutes or less)

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3/ Plastic containers or utensils
Heat from the hot water and the dry cycle can possibly warp your plastic bottles out of shape. Moreover, it’s quite expensive to pay for plastic containers in Australia.

4/ Any labelled bottles or jars
The dishwashing detergent can pull off any labels on your bottles or jars. This little rubbish might clog your drain during its disposal flow. You might ignore this small thing but the trash can build up. In the end, you might have to call and pay a technician to repair your dishwasher.

5/ Disposable Aluminum

This just might be the biggest never of the list. A dishwasher works like cookware, such as a microwave. What happens if you put disposable aluminium in there? Black marks. Yes, it leaves black marks.

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 Put these in at your-own-risk:

1/ Nonstick pots or pans
The surface of some nonstick pans or pots might be damaged as it bangs on others during the washing process. You may risk its nonstick quality in the long term. 

2/ Vintage Plates/ Bowls/ Mugs
Hot water, water pressure and detergents can eat away its hand-painted decorated details. A majority of these are quite expensive to repurchase.

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3/ Cheese Grater
You might find your cheese still stuck in the holes after finishing its washing cycle. So don’t waste time with the dishwasher, since you have to hand-wash it later on. Simply hand washing it with soap. Easy and Quick!
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Finally, I have decided to follow my mum and the traditional style…handwash!! If your skin is sensitive, please remember to wear gloves when washing and dry your hands immediately once you finish. You don’t want to spend heaps of money to buy expensive hand lotion or to visit your PG.

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How to deal with a bad score?

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

huge TOEFL envelope arrives in your mailbox. You rip open the seal, hands shaking and heart racing. There’s your score but you stop breathing:

I got a bad score?!

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From a college entrance exam to a high school test, we’ve all received frustratingly bad marks. It’s easy to let the mark prompt rash actions or lower self-esteem. So as the master of bad marks, I have discovered the best three solutions and the worst three solutions to deal with a bad mark.

Top 3 Solutions

RUSH HOUR, Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, 1998, (c)New Line Cinema/courtesy Everett Collection

RUSH HOUR, Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, 1998, (c)New Line Cinema/courtesy Everett Collection


Reach out to a friend and confide in them. Chances are you will feel better letting out your emotions than withholding it. Once, I received a terrible mark and almost went to accuse the teacher on a personal level. Thanks to the words of wisdom from my friends though, it snapped me out of my anger and motivated me to work harder to prove I am better that mark.

With friends as your best support network, your thoughts on that bad mark will drift away. Perhaps you need a new swimsuit for summer or your gals want to try out fine dining. Whether it be arcade or movies, engaging with your pals is a reassurance that you have a whole group supporting you and chances are definitely that friends can relate. You might even find friends sharing funny stories on their stupid test mistakes.

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Stop sulking in bed and grab a punching bag to let out that steam. If you aren’t a gymmie, play your favourite sport or do something fun like trampolining at Sky Zone Alexandria. Exercise can be as intense as rock climbing or simple like walking your dog. If you feel restless in bed from the thought of that bad mark, what exercise does is that the endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—improve sleep, which in turn relieves stress. Hence, if construction kept you up all night before the day of the exam, throw a good punch and get a good nights sleep after.

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A must to do after receiving that bad mark is to reflect and improve. Why did you receive this low mark? Was procrastination at its finest or was your study approach inefficient? If possible, find out the correct answer sheet, even better with explanations, and pinpoint where the mistakes were. This way on the next time round, your new study methods and exam habits can improve you chances of a high distinction.

Worst 3 Solutions

giphy (10)Long hours in front of the screen

As much as we would love to binge watch the Harry Potter series or Orange is the New Black, excessively watching movies, playing video games or surfing the Internet are temporary fixes with risk factors in the long run, such as Internet addiction disorder (IAD).

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Take drugs, pills or alcohol

Sure we could all do a chill night at the bar during Happy Hour with friends but it’s easy to lose sight of how many shots you’ve taken. As if a bad mark is not good enough, you might find yourself dealing with drugs or pills to ease the pain away. The more you look to drugs, pills or alcohol as your solution to deal with a bad score, the more attached you will get and end up causing more harm to you.

giphy (17)Lash your anger out on others

When something bad happens, it can become responsive to lash out on other people. While your roommate might have played the music too loudly during your study hours, the test was still taken by you after all. Do not let the anger bubbling inside translate into irrational actions such as writing a hate letter to the board or engaging in physical violence on others. Keep calm and carry on.

At the end of the day, a bad score is not the end of the world.

Mistakes are there for us to learn from on wrongdoings and work on our improvements. Don’t seclude yourself because of that one bad mark; there are plenty of chances in the future to improve. Move forward with a clear idea of what you need to do next.

Photo: Thuy Le

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5 Study Hacks after the Easter Break

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

Guess what? It’s week 5 of university. Mid-sem break is on the horizon for the most of us. But assignments are looming as well. Soon enough the burdensome work won’t be on our shoulders, but crash land on our head.

As humans, we cannot help but do exactly the opposite of what’s good for us. And that includes finishing work on time to reduce stress and anxiety. No matter how bad our study habits get, we never learn our lesson and end up pulling that all-nighter either way. And many of us do not realize the small things we do to ruin our study time or things we could do to improve it.

So here are various tips that tackle the the root of this issue.

1)Mental Preparation

This tip may seem to some, a bit of an over exaggeration, but keep in mind that this tip is for people who struggle with procrastination. This is how it works: As soon as you wake up, read through what you have allocated yourself to do. This can be during breakfast, train rides, before getting out of bed, or any time before starting the day. It can be a notification for an assessment, a to-do list, something marked on your calendar or questions to answer. Then throughout the day, keep giving yourself mental reminders about your tasks, set alarms on your phone, literally anything that will force you to remember it.

Say it out loud to yourself if you have to (well…not in public because that might be somewhat embarrassing). When you finally get home and actually sit down to complete your work, the reminders you gave yourself all day will help you stay focused, motivated and potentially more organised.

Now when you get home and settle down to get your work done, distractions would be the last thing you’d want to deal with. That takes us to topic number 2:

2)Dealing with distractions

Distractions are horrible. Let’s take your phone as an example. The electronic box of miracles that has Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and Youtube.Its almost inevitable that you check it. So when you work you need to keep them out of sight, right? Not quite.


Some people need to completely cut out distractions, but it works differently for others. An opposite effect is created where their curiosity bites at them, urging them to look back at their phones. This is how it works: Every 20-25 minutes of solid work, give yourself a break to scroll through your phone for a few minutes. After all, when we get short term rewards, even if its 5 minutes of time with our phone, we’ll work rather than have long term rewards.

Along with this, there is a more definite technique to follow which is discussed in our next point:

3)The Pomodoro technique

Pomodoro means tomato is Italian. Also, if you use a tomato timer, it has a magical effect.

Pomodoro means tomato is Italian. Also, if you use a tomato timer, it has a magical effect.

The Pomodoro technique is a time management technique which requires the breakdown of time into intervals of 25 minutes with 5 – 10 minute breaks in between. This technique is effective as it gives you a good amount of time to focus on your work and a short break to rejuvenate you! But if you get too distracted by your phone, Youtube videos, music videos or anything that involves the excessive movement of pixels on your screen, you and electronics probably don’t go too well together (especially on short breaks). Try getting up to stretch, walk around or grab a snack from the fridge.

4)Best place to study: Home or Library?

This has been a universal debate for a while now. Which place is the best to study? Home or Library? (That rhymed)

The answer is that it depends on you as a person. First, lets look at both the environments and make sure we know exactly what they both hold.

A home environment means you have pretty much everything readily available. To name a few, you have unlimited coffee, food, pajamas and a bed for napping. On the other hand, i the library, its a little less confortable. The environment is more disciplined as you are there for one reason and one reason only: to study.

Some people work best at home because they find it mentally and physically comforting to work in the comfort of their own home. As for the other majority of people, they find it hard to concentrate. This is because the comfort of their house is in fact, a distraction. For eg, when we sit on bed to work but it just turns into a progression of sitting up, to laying down and eventually falling asleep.

Some people love working in the library. To those people, good job! Other people prefer to work at home where there’s coffee readily available, food in the fridge, pajamas and a bed for quick naps. Honestly, you cannot work in an environment that provides excessive comfort. First off, with the food you have, you’re at a risk of overeating while studying if you tend to comfort eat. As for your bed, you’ll just be tempted to sit there and work, because “comfort” means a progression from sitting up to laying down to instantly falling asleep.

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5)Group work

So it’s a Saturday afternoon and you want to work with a friend. So you call a friend. Let’s name him Bob. Bob is great! You both get along real well. He’s funny, he’s goofy, he sets the positive vibe, you two get along like Lee and Carter.

RUSH HOUR, Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, 1998, (c)New Line Cinema/courtesy Everett Collection

That was a great movie though

The day finishes before you know it. You both say your goodbyes and leave. Later on when you look at your books, an impending feeling of doom stirs in your gut. You finished no work.

What does this story tell us? No. Not that you shouldn’t work with friends at all. It just means you need to work with someone who motivates you to work too. I mean Bob was great, but he was also distracting. If you know you won’t be studying with your partner-in-studying, then you might want to reconsider. This doesn’t mean you need to break it off with your friend! It just means you need to prioritize work over them sometimes.


These tips aren’t genies hidden in lamps, they don’t magically make your dreams come true! Life isn’t a Disney movie. If these tips don’t work, do what works for you! If it’s your thing, then it’s your thing. The only person who can make you work, is you! Don’t let anything stop you from working hard! Dominate and conquer like you must!

I know that it’s easier said than done. But trust me, there will always be times when you feel like a cat that can’t catch the red dot.



But stay strong and trust yourself with this, you can do it!

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Start New with Week Two!

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

“Couldn’t find a lecture hall and came in half an hour late with students all staring at me? Check. Stuttered when the tutor asked me to introduce myself? Check. Made zero friends? Check. OMG I checked off the entire list of what could possibly go wrong during my first week of uni. My life is over.”


Okay, slow down there partner. Before you bawl your eyes out and live life as a hermit crab, it’s not too late to turn things around and start over. There are plenty of ways to get you back on track again

University is not high school.

Lectures are larger and professors pay less attention to students as individuals, such as your attendance. This is not to say that arriving to a lecture late is okay since some courses take attendance of lectures more seriously than that of others. As a comforting note, while you might see all eyes on you when you enter that creaky door, students will forget about you in the blink of an eye and therefore will not label you as “the-one-who-was-late-thirty-minutes”. More likely than not, other students will arrive much later than you did.



Tutorials often seem intimidating because of the small class size or the sharp eye of the tutor or you might see yourself as he only dumbo who doesn’t know the answer. But you don’t have to feel that way. Tutorials are designed to challenge your critical thinking. Chances are, many other students in the tute are as intimidated as you. Doing tute-prep, participating in class, paying attention and taking notes are the best ways to sit through tutorials feeling confident.


Hello, it’s me

Making friends is completely up to you. Just be friendly and be yourself. Sounds simple right? Then again there’s that fear of rejection or paralysis of approaching people. Having the butterflies in your stomach is a natural reaction when meeting new students but it’s important to go outside your comfort zone. Honestly, the girl sitting next to you is just as nervous as you are. Break the ice with a friendly greeting and keep a conversation flowing. Who knows? Maybe you two study the same major, share three classes and enjoy the taste of kebabs. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for their Facebook.tumblr_nzqechQVBB1uhps0bo2_400

The Socialite

One last important thing I cannot stress enough – get social! Make the most out of the clubs you signed up (and paid for) during Orientation Week by attending weekly meetings, keep in the loop by following their Facebook page for special events. Maybe you might have missed out on their meet-and-greet but better now than never. And don’t worry if you didn’t get to Orientation. There are faculty camps that are wonderful bonding experiences, on-campus social parties to meet new people and Facebook pages for each club or society. It will be the best decision you could ever make.


So what are you waiting for? Your first week might have been bad, but learn from your mistakes. Start fresh. Start new. Guaranteed you’ll find university life one of the best times of your life.


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5 New Uni Resolutions for the Lazy

Written by Entertainment, Student Life, Tips & Tricks

Welcome to those fresh out of high school (prepare yourselves) and to those who are returning to uni (you poor suckers). Here are a few study hacks as a new semester descends upon us.

1/ Take the time to be present

Sit at the front. Aall the way at the front

Sit at the front. Aaall the way at the front.

Seat yourself where the professor directs their attention and thus questions. We’re all students and therefore nerds, nothing wrong with that. Near the back has poor lighting and food crumbs…which are like the crumbs of knowledge you’re picking up (#Englishmetaphors). And not being there in the first place means you’re not picking up anything at all. Plus, you’ll be surprised by what actually filters through during daydreams and thoughts about lunch.

2/ Don’t leave just yet


Ten minutes before the lecture ends there’s a rustling of papers, then a whistling of zippers, then a thunderstorm of seats snapping back into position as people leave. If your next class is almost a suburb away across uni campus that’s understandable. But if it’s within a 500 meter radius, surely you can spare a few minutes listening to the lecture slides that (most) professors have devoted time and energy to. Near exam or assignment time there are always a few pointers that will help and they’re usually tacked on at the end for the studious.

3/ Ask question after question

Young Boy at School Raising His Hand to Answer in Class --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Raise your hand like this Young Boy at School Raising His Hand to Answer in Class — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Only the mighty of us ask questions in class. Why? Because no one admires someone who seems to lengthen lecture time. But you know who does? The professor and every person who has the same question on their mind. You’re showing that you can think critically about the topic or present potentially new and interesting perspectives. It actually injects life into the lecture and allows the professor to showcase their knowledge. Uni is, after all, an opportunity. Make it a point to ask a question every time. Stand out and be remembered as that person instead of those people.

4/ Read the textbook before lectures

All the books you promised to read. But never did

All the books you promised to read. But never did

Yes, uni textbooks can cost almost two weeks rent. Yes, sometimes these are impulsively bought during the period of time when everyone’s super motivated to study. And yes, sometimes the recommended textbooks aren’t even used. But by going to the source of the professor’s material, you’ll know what the lecture will be about in advance. The absorption of the take-home message will be much faster, so you can get-home much more quickly too.

5/ Use lists

So many days. So many opportunities

So many days. So many opportunities

The phrase “get organised” sounds so overwhelming to procrastination lords everywhere. Like it’s so simple to download an app or buy a diary and write down tasks each day and just do it. So where do we start? Start by writing down lists. Write down absolutely everything you need to do and ignore deadlines. From there, prioritise those tasks. So many of us walk around with to-do lists in our heads that it creates unnecessary mental clutter (as uni students, we don’t need anymore). By writing them down, those goals become concrete and we’re more likely to remember them.

So go forth and conquer the first week of semester.

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Is Sydney too expensive?

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

Oh gosh,  1AUD = 79,35 Nepalese Rupee = 16,184 VND = 81.22 Yen

Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. So, how can you survive in Sydney over a 3 year-bachelor-degree or 1 year-postgraduate- degree or 3 year-high school-degree, when you are an international student relying on parents’ or just yourself for financial support?



If you are here in Sydney now- spending 450 AUD/week for a single room and facilities – consider seeking alternative options. There would be a cheaper one out there for you such as sharing houses or living in a home-stay accommodation.


For example: in the CBD Sydney, a single room is around 250 AUD or more. A shared room for two people can cost 170 AUD while for four people the rent can be 150 AUD. However, the price also depends on the location and the suburb chosen.


  • Go for a house inspection to see if all the necessary facilities are provided and speak to the tenants. You may decide if your personality fits your prospective housemates
  • “He kicked me out of the house around 1:00 am in the morning and denied to return my bond. I can’t do anything because we didn’t sign any contracts” one student said. Before signing the contract for a shared house, be sure to carefully read through the terms – especially for returning bonds and lease period sections

Saving money doesn’t mean you have to trade off your health and security. Please dial triple 000 for any emergency situation or contact us for further advice and assistance.

Food Shopping

Despite surrounding by famous beaches and harbors, having a seafood meal is pretty much a middle-class lifestyle. As being students, a limited budget doesn’t allow us to overspend for exclusive food. But, we can’t starve to death.

Knowing the base price of the food is a good idea for you to make a plan and to choose where and what to buy. In order to have a good knowledge the price, spend around 5-10 minutes of your time searching for online  prices or ask your friends before creating a shopping list.

Drumsticks might cost around 2.99 AUD/kg to 5 AUD/kg in butcher stores. In the supermarkets, it may be a bit pricier. 500-gram minced cost around 3 AUD to 5 AUD in Coles, 5 AUD plus in Woolworths or 4 AUD in Aldi.

“Chicken in Australia is pretty cheap so I usually buy around 6-7 chicken drumsticks for a whole week meal, one drumstick with a bowl of soup and rice a day.”



  • Store and freeze your food. However, don’t refreeze it again to avoid food poisoning
  • Take note of the label on the product, its ‘used by date’ or ‘best before’ date
  • Check out the supermarkets’ brochures for the week before heading to the shop. Supermarkets always give you a special discount such as buy 2 cans of milk for 5AUD (4AUD/each) or 10kg of brown rice for 10AUD (3.5AUD for 2 kg).  Buying in bulk and sharing the cost with your housemates/roommates is always the best option in this case.
  • Don’t forget to check out supermarket’s brochures for the week before heading to the shop (avoid junk food)
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“Living together with another 3 girls in a room, we always cook dinner and lunch together. Since we all have different backgrounds, it’s fun to try different cuisine dishes from the girls every time and It’s pretty cheap.”

So cooking from scratch like our grandparents used to do, you find much cheaper and healthier than buying processed and canned food.


“I am vegetarian, so potatoes, broccoli and carrots are enough for my body to function a whole semester”.

The ground floor of Haymarket is the place for you. Here you will find fresh produce such as potatoes and pumpkins as well as fruits. You can store these in the fridge for longer than leafy green salads.

Watch the clock and stick to your shopping list! 



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