international student Tag Archive

Studying in Australia: Adelene Ooi

Written by Your Story

Religion is always an interesting subject. Meet Adelene Ooi, who can speak 4 languages – English, Mandarin, Malay, and Hokkien (dialect), and find out what made her keen to learn the Bible and become a Christian.

Hello, I am Adelene Ooi. I am from Penang Malaysia which has good food and great tourist attractions. I came to Adelaide, Australia in July 2015. At that time, I had just finished by high school and started a course of Accounting at TAFE SA. I chose Adelaide instead of Sydney or other busy cities because I like country atmosphere and I feel safe living here. It is so peaceful, quiet and I get to be surrounded by nature.

I would say that I did not find it so difficult to live in Australia without family because coming to Australia for my future studies is my dream. Language is not a challenge for me; however I will still need to keep improving daily by communicating with friends, reading, and more.

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How did studying overseas change you?

I feel much more confident about my communication skills. I am more independent and cooking better. Overall, I am still trying to improve myself everyday.

During high school back in Malaysia, I played many sports competitively such as volleyball, running marathons and jogging. After relocating to South Australia, it eventually suited me a lot and felt just like my second home. Whenever I felt tired of studying, I go hiking, cycling, enjoy sunsets by the beach and more to energize myself.

Australia is a beautiful country and the local council also does a great job at maintaining the national parks for visitors to stay safe.

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If you are in Adelaide, I would recommend the top of Mouth Lofty in Adelaide Hills. You will get to see the stunning Adelaide landscape at the top look out and the sunset/sunrise. While you are there it is also great to go hiking and explore nature around you. If you are really lucky, you can meet joeys, see koalas hugging trees and different types of birds.

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How did you manage your time and improve your personal skills?

I do not have any part-time job, so I am not struggling with time management. On weekdays, I go to class and do all the homework, and I have the weekend free to relax and do what I love to.

Local people living in Adelaide are really kind and friendly. I try to involve myself in English conversations everyday to improve my English skills.

 

What did you find interesting and inspiring about your major – Accounting?

“I do enjoy it! If not, I really am having hard time doing it….”

Never regret starting from TAFE because the classes are small and more of the course work is focused on practical skills. Since the class is small, teacher and students have time and chances to know each other. There will be a lot of homework, but the lectures give us support. So just make sure that you are hard-working, and you will eventually get on the right track. For me, I love the subjects I am doing.

“I will finish my course in TAFE for 2 years and then credit transfer to university.”

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What do you do to reduce stress or enjoy studying?

In my free time, I go to church on Sundays to catch up with friends and chat about life. I also like to go hiking for short distances such as coastal walks along the beach by myself.

I volunteer to coach basketball and other sports to special education high school kids. It requires me to have a lot of patience and compassion. In return I do learn many things like team work, problem solving, initiative and enterprise, planning and organizing, learning, using technology and self-management.

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How did you become a Christian? 

Everyone has awesome history to begin with, that’s why you have your awesome today! My introduction to church was a little bit random. I met a girl at the beach some time in April and after a great chat she invited me to go to church for Bible studies. She thought I wouldn’t turn up, but I eventually did.

After that, I went to the church more frequently and begin to read the Bible. To know what the gospel is about, you also need to dedicate yourself to reading, investigating and asking questions. For me, just listening to the preachers wasn’t confronting enough.

From just a random encounter at the start, in the end it was far from random. I just decided to make the first step and see where the surprising (but trustworthy) invitation led me. Now I believe that becoming a Christian was not my duty, but my destiny. We are not born perfect, we all need each other to play our part to reach out to people who need help.

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

    Stand up for yourself, don’t be afraid for everything. Don’t be scared of anything. And work hard!

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

    Join some clubs. You can go to the church to meet new people. Show yourself, and be cool for volunteering to see the world.

 

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Study in Australia: Nurafiqah Adabiah binti Yusof

Written by Your Story

“What’s life without a bit of a challenge!”

Agree?! Let’s meet Nurafiqah Adabiah binti Yusof, a Malaysian teenage girl who soon to be 18, and see how is a life of a teenager studying in Australia.

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Cre: VOIS Magazine

I am currently living in Sydney and just finished a diploma in accounting at TAFE. I was residing in Saudi Arabia with my family and did high school there. Choosing Australia to study mainly because I have always wanted to go to this country, where the accent is unique, nature is beautifully filled with beaches and parks. It is also close to Malaysia and a little bit cheaper than universities in America. Plus, I have a friend who is studying in Sydney so my parents thought “Why not? At least I will have a friend.” I came to Australia last year in August. In the beginning, I had a little issue of making friends, but as class started, I managed to make a couple of friends. I also had a few difficulties with public transport because I have never had to use it before.

Apart from a few difficulties with public transport because I have never had to use it before, moving to Australia has not changed much about me. This is because I have been overseas basically my whole life. I do feel incredibly humbled to be able to study abroad and meet people from various cultures and backgrounds. It enriches my understanding of the world and helps me learn ways to coexist. One of the best things about Australia is that I think Aussie accent is distinctive and lovely, but I still have an American-ish accent.

IMG_1148Although I have a close friend in Sydney, sadly we do not usually meet. This is because I am underaged, and I have to stay in a homestay. There are rumours of how terrible homestay life is, according to many international teenagers. However, the woman I am staying with is such a pleasure to be around. She comes from Greek, is a widow and her children are both married and have their kids now. She cooks great food and always makes me feel welcome at home, especially when she has some friends coming over. My host is pretty chill if you just follow the rules and do not be rude.

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“Be open to various opportunities and don’t be afraid to take small (or big) steps out of your comfort zones to improve yourself. It is all about learning and enjoying the process.”

A challenge I faced when I first started TAFE was trying to understand what is being taught in class. I had never done Accounting before, and I was afraid that it would be a boring subject. Though it may be challenging at times, Accounting is a versatile field, and every industry will need an accountant. It was not bad after all.

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I was lucky to have a reference point for when things in the class did not make any sense to me, and it was a friend of my mum’s who teaches Accounting in the University. I asked her for help with some homework assignments. Also, I had a study group with a few people from my class. It was great to collaborate on questions and learn things from each other.

To reduce stress, I watch some TV shows or a movie. Also, I might go out with friends over the weekend and enjoy what Sydney has to offer, and sometimes I record those adventures too. I also love photography, and for my photography, you can find it on my blog at nrfqhysf.wordpress.com.

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My objective is to make something of myself to support my passions and goals. Short term goals would be to survive the first year of university and to enjoy it at the same time. I plan to go to higher education after TAFE. It may be an Accounting degree at University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). I choose Accounting basically due to its versatile, and every industry needs one although it will be hard for me. However, hey, what’s life without a bit of a challenge!

I have not figured out the specifics of my long term goals yet, but right now it is probably just to get a job and settle down here.

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The first step is to make myself open to different opportunities and taking baby steps out of my comfort zones. If I had not stepped out of my comfort zone, I would not have gotten the internship position at VOIS Magazine! So I am glad that worked out. I sent my resume to VOIS after I saw an ad in the MASSA group that Thi posted and a few days after, I went for an interview. Then a few more days after, I was accepted as an intern. At the moment, I am an intern but probably soon become a writer.

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

“You will always be able to find home away from home if you let yourself.”

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

“Everyone has got their way of studying so it is important for you to figure yours out so that you can always try your best at school. Understand what works for you and roll with it.”

 

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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?

Orientation

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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International Student suicides due to Permanent Residence Visa

Written by News, Student Life

According to SBS Australia, an Indian international student – Deepark Singh, committed suicide in his apartment last week Sunday. From close sources, Singe felt pressured by an inability to gain Permanent Resident Visa in Australia because of the updated Skilled Occupations List.

Pinterest: Émilie Asselin

Pinterest: Émilie Asselin

Deepark Singh had a dream to settle down in Australia. An education agent in India advised that studying would be a pathway to pursue his dream. Once Singe finished his diploma degree in Community Welfare he hoped to gain Permanent Residence in Australia after his education. Unfortunately, the new Skilled Occupations List changed annually and his major was removed from the list, rendering him ineligible to meet the PR requirement application.

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Later on, Deepark got married to an Australia woman and received a de-facto visa status. He could then apply for PR and Citizenship in Australia. However, the Immigration Department denied his application and this led to an intense sense of frustration and depression. Deepark’s experience is just one of the stories of people who are struggling to seek a better life in Australia.

What is Permanent Residency in Australia?

An Australian Permanent Resident Visa allows an individual to work, live and study without any restrictions in Australia for 5 years. The person gains an automatic right of entry to the country at any time. However, after the time period ends, the PR visa holder must leave or apply to re-enter Australia. But, one can apply for Australian Citizenship certificate in advance one year after holding a PR visa.

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Australia is considered one of the top countries to live in due to the many benefits that a PR holder can gain. The individual not only has a right to vote in the Australian election, but also gain benefits such healthcare, education, employment and other social securities in Australia.

 

How to apply for Permanent Resident Visa in Australia?

There are several of ways to apply for PR in Australia. Some options include options such as SkillSelect, Regional Employment, Bringing family with you, Sponsored or nominated work visa options, etc. However, you should always conduct in-depth research or seek professional advice and follow the steps accurately. For more information, please visit the Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

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If you’re experiencing any struggles, or know someone who is, be sure to contact your university counselor (sessions are free and confidential). Or, you can call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 or contact international suicide hotlines here.

Living in wealthy countries and having a good life is everyone’s dream.

But keep moving forward and never give up when chasing after your vision, your goals. Remember that everyone chose different paths, so don’t stress out or compare with each other. 

Great things take time to come, be tough and be patient! Every life is worth it.

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Youth Leadership Conference 2016

Written by News, Student Life

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We would like to express our gratitude to ISLA for creating such an amazing conference and having VOIS Magazine onboard.

It was great to meet many other leaders around Sydney and we have seen many other stories of leaders how they changed the world with small but brave steps.

Here is the highlight of the day and enjoy!!

Videographer: Datu Steffel

Music:
“Exit the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons:
By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
#vois #youth #youthcanlead

Posted by VOIS Magazine on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

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Makan Makan 2016

Written by Editor’s Picks, News, Student Life

All of us, as humans, have certain things about ourselves that differentiate us from others. However, there’s one thing among the countless number that we universally love: food! It’s one of the best ways to celebrate and begin sharing cultures.

I was fortunate enough to experience this at the Makan Makan event held in UTS and organised by MASSA (Malaysian and Singaporean Student Association) of UTS. The name of the event, (Makan Makan) translates to “eat”. Which was basically what the event was. It was a huge crowd of students being spoiled rotten with amazing Malaysian and Singaporean food. It was great to be able to spend time with such a fun and loving community.

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This event was organised and executed by MASSA but members from other universities were present to provide the organisers with moral support. At roughly around 6:30 pm people had started to line up for registration. The crowd had gotten massive; the line only kept extending and it was the longest when people lined up for food.

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People began to settle down when it was time for performances which made the night even better. They included entertaining musical performances, musical bands, piano solos and even the demonstration of Silat, which is a Malaysian martial arts style, as well as mini trivia games in between.

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smile while gettin food

The Makan Makan event has been running successfully for an incredible 21 years, and the number of students attending increase each time. The main aim was to get students together, celebrate unity, culture and promote diversity.

“The best way to share a culture is through food.” Said Wong Dao Min, the artistic director of MASSA. “Malaysian food has got that spice and texture and I love to share that experience with people and promote diversity. That’s what the event is all about.” Furthermore, he said that the best way to appreciate a culture is when you’re with friends and a community in general to share it with. Being relatively new to his position, he is determined to continue the good work, strengthen bonds and shine the right kind of light on the Malaysian and Singaporean culture.

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The event did exactly that. I had never tried the Malaysian and Singaporean food, so I had no clue what was being put on my plate. However, every single thing tasted delightful and I started to wonder why I hadn’t tried this cuisine earlier. Overall the event was insightful and enjoyable and everyone had a great time.

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I would like to thank everyone at the event which made me feel welcome in their community and for introducing me to the Malaysian and Singaporean culture (and food). The Cultural Director also has a little message for all you readers: “If you are interested in the Malaysian and Singaporean Culture, then come over and join us! We’re always ready for you!”

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