Tips & Tricks

18 Secrets only 90s Kids from Japan and Malysia Know

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

if I am a Japanese kid from 90s:

I would never grow up without Doraemon:1

Or Ninia Boys:2

And  Pokemon:


After dinner, my favourite cartoon was Kimba, a little lion tries to break barrier between human and living wildlife:


Magical Girl was my dream for a birthday present or a Christmas gift:


I bought lots of different stickers, roller stamps and temporary tattoos, but I have never used them all:


I skipped my class and sneaked in a computer game shop for this Boong-ga boongga game:



If I am a Malaysian kid from 90s:

I always waited eagerly for getting a Roti-ice cream from an ice-cream man, under the heat weather:27

I had never shared Mamee Monster to anyone in the class because of its tasty:


I collected lots of tiny toys inside these chocolate boxes, just only RM 0.50:


My mom always bought Nyam Nyam Rice Crispy for me after my piano class; a moment when dipping your chocolate coated spoon in the pot of multi-colored rice was insane:


Eyes-glass chocolate candy transformed me into a superhero:


Do I still remember the Nano song?:


I could finish one stack in 10 minutes:


It took me ages to decide which flavours I want to get:19

I tried to avoid the stones landing on my face while throwing it up high. Batu Seremban


No one could compete with me in this battle as an eraser collection of international flags was my proud:

15Source:  Amulet Forums

I practiced typing through Mario Teaches Typing program in primary school:


Source:  Reddit

Dash Yonkuro:11

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Melbourne packing – just like a local

Written by Entertainment, Tips & Tricks

Layers, layers and layers. Melbourne is recognized by its changing seasons…all in one day.

From October to March, it is late Spring and Summer in Australia, so be prepared with various types of gear to protect yourself from high temperatures, humidity and precipitation. During Summer, the temperature may reach as high as 40 or 45 degree Celsius. Keeping cool and protecting your skin from the sunlight is your top priority. If anywhere gets sunburnt, it will definitely not be your skin. What you will need:

  • A high-quality sunscreen and lip balm with high SPF (this can be found in every chemist or supermarket)
  • A hat that you love will be your good friend during the trip
  • Glamorous sunglasses that will protect your eyes and match all your outfits
  • Clothes made from soft and breathable fabrics such as polycotton
  • Comfortable and light shoes or flip flops will prevent sore feet on your great walking explorations

A corner of Richmond (Vietnam Town?) in Melbourne (Photo by HChi Tran)

For Autumn, Winter and early Spring, recommendations for essentials will be different:

  • A good coat or jacket that can go with everything to keep you warm and beautiful in every photo. Popular recommendations are neutral colors such as black and white
  • A beautiful scarf to highlight your outfit and save you from cold winds
  • Jeans should be chosen according to comfort so that you do not have to worry about what to wear and still stay fashionable
  • A comfortable and stylish pair of shoes that will keep your feet warm are as important as choosing a partner to travel with
  • Your favorite umbrella to keep you dry from wet weather
  • Lip balm and hand cream to keep you pretty and confident in modern buildings and lovely cafés

You can try to travel on an interstate train to Melbourne and depart to Southern Cross Station (Photo by HChi Tran)


When you are fully and nicely dressed and ready for any unpredictable weather, it is time to get ready for public transport travel in Melbourne. Melbourne’s public transport system includes trains and trams, all of which can be easily understood by downloading PTV (Public Transportation Victoria). Purchase a public transport card called ‘Myki’ at any 7 Eleven or convenience store and top up at kiosks at any train station. And remember to tap on and off. Happy travels!

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Don’t dwell on bad internships

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

Australia’s competitive job market has made landing a job after graduation no piece of cake.  As students, we try so hard to have an edge in the job market that we would do anything to gain experience through internships, paid or unpaid. We hope it will result in reference letters and glowing resumes that set us apart from the others.

In recent years, however, there has been heated debate over internship practise, and it remains a controversial issue. Are they exploitative or beneficial?

In the Sydney Morning Herald, Natalie James said that unpaid internships “should not move beyond merely learning and observing”.

But, if that’s the case,  then would we learn anything by doing menial tasks like making coffee or running errands? While internships are still in the grey area, it is made even more confusing due to the lack of regulations. We often find ourselves in a situation where we do not know our rights and are often unsure of what we can reasonably expect or demand from prospective employers.

Then how do we decide if an internship is worth it or not?  Here are some signs to help you identify a ‘bad’ internship opportunity.

Your employer makes you work full-time hours

It is advisable that you are aware that you are an intern. Interns are not supposed to assist with business output and productivity, nor should the employer gain direct advantages from your duties. Collen Chen, co-founder of Interns Australia, said to Right Now that ‘intern’ work should not be integral to the business, and the business should not gain more benefits than the intern.

Your internship is more than three months long

The point is to remember that placement is always a short-term arrangement.

You have not learned a new skill

Remember that internships are meant to give you practical work experience that you can’t learn in classrooms.

You are labelled “the intern”

Interns are at the bottom rank of workplace hierarchy. However, it doesn’t mean that you should not be acknowledged. You have your duties and responsibilities as other employees, just in different ways. Remember, you  deserve to be treated as an equal.

Your internship has no clear goal

For you to develop your skills, your manager needs to discuss and establish clear goals at the beginning of your internship. These goals also need to be reviewed periodically and your performance needs to be reviewed at the end of your internship.

Your manager ignores your feedback

Interns deserve a productive learning environment. When your manager ignores your feedback, that means you are not valued as part of the team.

All you do is fetch coffee and make copies all day

Interns should have real responsibilities. You should not be assigned to only menial tasks that contribute nothing to your learning experience.

You don’t know who to report to

It is true that interns don’t replace regular employees, but you need to work under close supervision of existing staff. You need to know clearly who to report to. Interns need a manager or supervisor to work with closely, answer questions and give real world advice.

If you  see some of these signs in your current internship, please do evaluate the value of your experience. While having an internship is better than none, a bad internship is not worth your time.

If you feel like you’re being exploited as an intern, and you feel like you are facing a problem, you need to stand up for yourself. Talk to your manager, talk to your supervisor, make a conversation with the HR rep or the internship coordinator. If that doesn’t work out, or you feel uncomfortable talking to them, seek assistance from your university’s careers service.

The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, once said, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them”.

Be it project management, be it barista skills, be it fixing that Xerox photocopy machine, we learn by experiencing them. However, it is our call to put an end to internships that don’t benefit us.

For internships that us unhappy and dread going to work everyday, don’t dwell, but move on.

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A Mental Health Illness: How to overcome?

Written by Health, Tips & Tricks

Everyone has those days when they’re feeling a bit blue, anxious, or irritable. But when those feelings start changing the way you see things or disrupt your ability to carry out daily activities, seeking help might be what you need.

Mental health problems are not uncommon. In Australia, approximately one in four young people experiences a mental health illness each year. These might stem from anywhere – study and work issues, strained relationships, problems with socialising, financial issues and more.

Unfortunately, unhelpful stigmatisation still sticks. Some people might dismiss the idea of looking for help, and even tell persons with mental health problems to just “move on”, “suck it up”, or “get over it”. However, the earlier you obtain help, the better it is for your well-being. There should be no shame in reaching out and trying to get better.

Talking to the people who are close to you (friends or family) can support your journey towards solving these problems. However, as an international student, these people might not always be readily available. Nevertheless, HELP is always provided in Australia. Here are some ways in which you can get professional yet affordable well-being services.

Your Institution’s Counselling and Psychological Service

Most education institutions provide free and confidential individual counselling on campus. Not only do they offer consultation on personal problems, but also they give out tips on academic productivity. Booking an appointment is recommended as the centres are usually busy! Their websites may also have online resources and self-help information that you can refer to.

Support Services and Helplines

National helplines such as beyond blue, headspace and Mindspot provide their services in various ways – you may give them a call, send them an email or even chat online. Other than providing direct help and referrals, they are also packed with information kits that are tailored to meet the needs of people with different backgrounds and issues.


For a more extensive treatment, your institution’s counsellor or the help lines might refer you to a GP or psychologist. Your Overseas Health Student Cover (OSHC) can cover some or even all of your expenses. Talk to your OSHC provider to find out more about the details: your entitlements, possible waiting period, and more.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, you may call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14or Suicide Call Back on 1300 659 467. If in immediate danger or emergency, please call 000.

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Jedi-mind tricks for studying

Written by Editor’s Picks, Tips & Tricks

By: Jade Angelopoulos and Tina Reymann

Whether you’ve just returned from back-packing around the globe, or become all too adjusted to having copious amounts of free time, nanna naps and alcohol infused frivolity – getting back into study and routine after a long uni break is a struggle. Nonetheless, this time round rediscovering your studious side doesn’t have to drag out till the end of semester. After the initial new-year-week-one ‘this year will be different’ motivation wears off, we’ve compiled some useful tips and advice to get out of that holiday haze, develop good habits to keep you going strong and make studying a little easier.

Go to your lectures. Just do it

Just going to lectures and intently listening, not even taking notes is a painless enough way to ease yourself back into your subjects. Simply going to your lectures begins the process of study weeks before any exams or assessments, not only vital course information but also academic jargon is being repeated to you weekly so by the end of semester exams you’re bound to have retained more than you’d realized. Not to mention lecturers have a habit of stressing what they think is most important about topics in lectures, but not including such in online notes – this kind of knowledge can help focus your study so you can save time and energy by not rummaging aimlessly through textbooks.


Know your learning style

Everyone processes information differently and knowing the best way to reach your synapses can make all the difference when studying things. There are several models out there, some suggesting up to seven learning styles. But let’s start with the three basic learning styles:

Visual types tend to remember things by seeing images in their minds; like where something was written on a page. If you see yourself here, try to learn “the big picture” first and then work out the details. Writing down things and creating charts and maps is what’s most effective for you.

Auditory types remember what people said and how they said it, including themselves. If that sounds like you, try listening to lectures, reading out loud, discussing things in study groups or explaining the material to a fellow student. You can also try to have some soft music in the background.

Kinesthetic types need to do things to learn, like demonstrating something rather than explaining it. If that’s how you work, you could try chewing gum while studying or learning while you’re active, like on a treadmill. Try and do a lot of study breaks where you move around.


Study before bed

Instead of aimlessly scrolling through the Facebook feed on your phone, try studying for half an hour right before jumping into bed. While sleeping, the brain strengthens new memories, so you’ll remember a lot of what you review right before dozing off. Revising again for a few minutes when you wake up is a good way to lock it in for sure, and the brain has more room in the mornings to absorb new information.

Work around procrastination and take breaks

Do you find yourself cleaning up the whole house or checking your Facebook feed every minute when you really should learn? Have a look at Pomodoro; it’s a time-management strategy that manages your distractions instead of outright banning them (we all know that doesn’t work, right?) and works on the principle that many small breaks can help with mental agility. The principle is that you focus on your task for 25 minutes. Write everything that comes up that you want to do on a note and get back to focussing. It’s just 25 minutes. After that, you take a short 5-minute break to meditate, walk around, get a coffee and yes, check your Facebook. Then rinse and repeat: start the next 25 minutes of focus. After 4 Pomodoro cycles, you take a longer break for 20 or 30 minutes. There are online timers to help you with this, like You can adjust the times if other intervals work better for you; e.g. the MIT suggests 50 minutes of study with 10 minutes break. And even if you decide against Pomodoro, frequent breaks are still important to maintain your capacity.


Tell a tale

Turning the nitty gritty details you keep forgetting, into a crazy story helps make the information more meaningful to you . For instance, remember the order of mathematic operations PEMDAS like so: Peter (P) wanted to eat (E) his friend Martha (M) but he died (D) from arsenic (AS) poisoning.


Focus on one thing at a time

Multitasking doesn’t work. Our brains aren’t capable of focussing on more than one complex task at a time so you’re not actually doing several things at once but you just switch from one thing to the next. And every time you switch from one task to the next, you basically empty your working memory to load the other task, which takes time. You prevent yourself from going into the flow state and you are more likely to feel stressed by multitasking and so more likely to make mistakes.

So get rid of distractions before you start learning; turn off your phone, put a don’t disturb sign on your door and bar out the cat if you have to. When things get difficult, remember to breathe, break down your task into smaller steps and take it one at a time.


Space it out

A relatively new learning technique called “spaced repetition” involves breaking up information into smaller bits and revising these regularly over extended periods. Don’t go trying to memorize 20 pages in one sitting – learn a few dot points a day, and revise past notes before tackling the new stuff. chunks and reviewing them consistently over a long period of time. So don’t try to memorize the entire periodic table in one sitting—instead, learn a few rows every day and review each lesson before starting anything new.


Move around

Research shows that studying the same information in different spots also assists in remembering more efficiently, and getting less bored and fed up with your study. Every time you change location – the library, coffee shop, shady parks; not only do we give ourselves something new to look at – and stop that ‘my room is jail’ feeling – but we also force the brain to form new associations with the same material, making memories stronger.


Know your Brainspace

We’re not always in the state to tackle the most complicated stuff or to spend lots of time on something. Getting Things Done®, an amazing system for stress-free productivity, suggests that we write down everything that needs to be done and sort our tasks according to two parameters: how much time do we have and how much brainspace. There might be times when you have lots of time on your hand but feel pretty tired already, so you could tackle a “lot of time, low brainspace” task or a “little time, low brainspace” one. When you don’t have much time but feel fired up, you should go for a “little time, high brainspace” one. That way you’ll fit most of your tasks into your day seamlessly instead of just grinding through a todo list.

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The 6 Best Tips to Make New Friends

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

Attend volunteer work outside university or college

Look for a community outside of your university or college area. This makes you become more engage in the surrounding community. You will also get more contact with not only local friends of the same age but also from different age groups. For instance, participating in ISLA’s events is a fantastic way to be exposed to Australian cultures, enhancing your skills and knowledge for future careers.

Participate into clubs and societies 

Sign your name for membership in the clubs or societies that you love during O-week and start participating in their activities. Universities and Colleges have various numbers of clubs and societies and hold weekly or monthly events, such as parties, lunches, trips and tours over the course of a semester. Australian love sun and the beach, so joining Australian sports clubs is an excellent way to meet Australian students and learn more about the sporting culture of tennis, rugby, cricket or swimming. Playing sports is also a part of Australian culture, and you will get to hang out after every section to encourage bonding team spirit.

Because of the multicultural community, you can find some societies created for a specific culture such as Malaysian student association or Indonesian Association. This will allow you to feel more confident and comfortable in getting to know more local and international students, who can understand and speak you native language.

Get a part-time job or internship position

Landing a part-time job or internship position can help you to expand your connection outside the campus area. You will experience the working environment as it is in Australia. You might engage with many of local colleagues from different backgrounds, and they could originally have a same background as yourself. Even if you are working in a well-known firm or local coffees shop, you will be able to earn extra cash for spending and also find new friendships.

Speak to your housemates or roommates

Australian students sometimes have to move out and live independently in a new area or city to pursue their dream. They eventually live away from their family so you could find local students living in a shared house, a dorm, a student accommodation. When sharing the same roof, a random talk or a simple greeting such as “Hi” or “How are you going today?”, is essentially a great starting point for friendship.

Make friends with other international students

Exchanging cultures and cuisines from other internationals students with different backgrounds is an alternative to understanding the Australian culture. So do not only focuses on your native but also meet other students from different countries also. Befriending with other international students might be easier since you are in the same boat and have a willingness to explore and enhance your knowledge about the new country.

Be proactive, stay positive, smile, be confident and JUST DO IT.

Be confident about yourself

It can be just a little harder to connect with Australian students, but do not give up. You might be surprised to learn that local student might also feel the same way about befriending with international students. Everyone needs to learn new cultures, find and make new friends. So you are never alone. There is no difference between international and local students.

Source: from ISLA city of sydney / Police NSW/Cao Tim/ Danny/ and Khoa Tran

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Spend It Or Save It?

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

I have spent a lot of tuition fees at the beginning of every semester, a part of the cost of accommodation and transportation.

Yes, you would be shocked at the amount of spending for textbooks in Australia. According to National Association of University stores, Australian students spend an average of nearly $600 per year on textbooks in the last four years.It’s still a lot of money, especially for international students, due to their low-currency-value compared to Australian dollars. After few years battling high fees in university, I have recognized few basic tips that I can help you to save an extra penny in the pocket, no matter your course of study.

Buy second-hand textbook/ Buy used one

Buying a used textbook is the easiest and quickest way to save money rather than spending on brand new ones. Normally, used textbooks  range from 30% to 65% less than original price depending on its value. The vital element is to make sure you check that book edition matches your course’s requirement.

Find them:

  1. Your university/ college’s notice board
  2. Secondhand-bookshops located within the campus.
  3. Visit or to find a fair offer with various options, but record specific details about the book such as ISBN number, edition codes or authors’ names

By the end of the semester, it’s time for you to get back your money. So remember to look for your textbooks to resell it after.

Rent your textbook

Another option is to rent your textbooks. The price fluctuates from 20% to 50% less expensive than its value. This option is quite expensive compared to buying it new. You could easily find those used textbooks in your campus bookstore or second-hand bookstore.

Again, ensure you know the textbook’s name, edition, author’s name and ISBN number to borrow the right one.

Don’t forget to return your textbooks before the deadline or you will charge an extra fee per week for that.  You may need to take extra care of rental books, so you don’t lose money after using it.

Borrow textbook from library or friends

One of the options that I have used is simply spitting the textbooks cost with my close friends taking the same class or course.  Borrowing textbooks from library and friends save you a significant amount of money, cutting your costs in half. It could be a bit  inconvenient by sharing the textbooks, as you have to continually swap the books around. So  it may be better to arrange and use efficiently when keeping it.

Some of the lecturers or tutors are adamant that you have to carry textbooks with you during the class, so before choosing this option.You and your friends need to research secretly about your professors’ teaching style to arrange the textbooks around.

Sharing textbooks means you have the responsibility to take good care of them, so your friend can use it  as well. By keeping it clean in original condition, you can resell  the textbooks at a higher price to regain less cash back in your pocket.

Use your smartphone and tablet

After frist year, I always borrow my friends’ textbooks or  go to the library for a whole day or few hours during a lunch break to make a copy of that.

You can use your smartphone or tablet and take a photo of the pages that you are required to read. This option is a saver as no cost is involved at all.

Or You can go to a printing shop to make a copy of the textbooks, costing less than 20 dollars for a-300-page-textbook.

But Be careful!! Australian copyright is very strict so generally; you are responsible fro your actions. Remember to return the textbooks to your friend and ask them for their next available day so that you can take photos of the needed chapters.

Visit your library

The library is a free resource to borrow or lend your textbooks, but not always an attractive option.  For books in high-demand section in some universities and colleges, the loan maximum period to check out  is 2-3hours, or there is no option to checkout at all Your choices are limited as you can only borrow the books whenever it is available.

But you won’t be able to keep your textbooks for the whole semester.You must remember  to extend the loan period, or you have to pay extra money for the overdue books.

Keep Calm and Save Money on your textbooks!

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Job Search: A never-ending treasure hunt

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

Job Search: A Never – Ending Treasure Hunt

As per, “job hunting these days has completely changed, and getting the perfect job is every individual’s dream”. But, it’s an arduous task, and it becomes even more chaotic when you’re on a student visa. Even though it’s difficult, it’s not impossible.

Here’s a few steps to help avoid the confusion of being an ‘alien’ while searching for a job.

Problems encountered

The first problem is restriction on number of hours allowed to work. So, look for casual and part-time jobs. Don’t ever try for a job saying full-time.

Remember, your visa matters more than work experience.

Resume matters

The first thing one should do is to write a resume as per Australian format.

The resume should address the selection criteria given in job description.

Don’t add anything which is irrelevant for the job to be applied. It is advisable to have expert advice over the resume and almost all Universities have a career service or workshops that can help in reviewing resume.

Importance of Volunteer Work

Volunteer work experience is another important aspect of job search today. Companies do hire candidates who have volunteer work experience. Also, it is the best way to have  local experience in your area of expertise.

Volunteer work helps you gain the trust of local employers plus you get local referees for further job search. In some cases, even volunteer work is the first step of employment in the same company.

Job Portals

We live in a digital era full of gigabytes and terabytes. So, the job search and resume has also gone digital. At the beginning of your studies, start creating online profiles so that by the time you graduate you have a fully endorsed and recommended profile. Make sure they are 100% complete.

It is also advisable to follow organizations’ Facebook page. The most preferred way is to apply directly for  jobs advertised on the companys’ websites.

Setting up job alerts is another way to look for jobs in your field.

Above all, your university’s career portal is where you will find the most suitable jobs.

Roles to look for with little or no experience

If you are good at teaching try looking for  jobs as a casual tutor. There are many tutoring academies which recruit university students. In this way you yourself will learn many things.

As per visa conditions, we are permitted to drive on our country’s driving licence with a valid photo ID from RTA (except for few countries), so working as a delivery driver is another role you can look at . All you need is exceptional driving skills. However, a few organizations require an Australian driving Licence and in some cases, a particular Australian state of residence. If you are in NSW, you have to reside continuously in Australia for 6 months to obtain a driving licence.

Looking at retail, it is one of the largest sectors for job search. While most of the companies prefer an online application, there are a few outlets which have a display sign stating the role they require. On such display signs, it may also mention whether to apply online or in person.

Needless to say, in Australia everybody is equal and no work is considered to be small or big. So, grab what you get.

 A word of advice

There is no doubt that getting a job is the first thing on one’s agenda. However, jobs can change, but grades cannot. Even companies prefer candidates with better grades and volunteer work experience.

So, concentrate fully on studies in the first few weeks of your semester, or if possible, for the whole semester. It is also preferable to call via provided contact details before applying for a job. This way you can get an idea of its requirements.

Last but not least, while doing all this, don’t forget to enjoy life since it can only be lived once.

Photos: Youngtae Kim, Jasmine Yu and Tram Bui

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