students Tag Archive

Unity in the community: My experience in Art Week at The University of Notre Dame

Written by Entertainment, Student Life

Mental health is a growing issue in today’s society. One in four of the population suffers from mental health related issues. With all the taboos surrounding it, it has become a challenge to discuss mental health openly and well-being. However, it is an ongoing battle and between students of all ages and backgrounds, spiritual healing is an important aspect of de-stressing and mental peace. To shed light on mental wellness week, Art week was held the University of Notre Dame Australia, on the Broadway campus. It was a week long event dedicated to focusing on the mental well-being of students. My experience in the event was enlightening and opened my eyes to the possibility of art as a coping mechanism for the mind.


Art Week was organised by Students Association of the University of Notre Dame Australia (SAUNDA). In previous years, it used to be a global themed event, in which they had performances such as singing, dancing, etc. However, this year, they turned it up a notch, organising a week-long event, where students displayed their artistic talents while others took part in the interactive art lessons set up my members of SAUNA. It was a set theme, which was art. The goal was to heal mental spirituality through a medium which isn’t commonly used. “It was a collective idea within the team,” said Rian Galliot, the education director of SAUNDA. “The reason we used art was that Notre Dame was full of artistic students who needed an outlet to express their talents.”


Suds and soaps made by Jenny Chen

glowly suds

They glow when you put them through the sunlight!

gren wal 2

Art displays made by students across the green wall looked like a unified masterpiece

“The initial start was hard.” said Christian Santos, president of SAUNDA. “but when it gets going, when people join in, its great. People love being involved in it.”

The student body perhaps wished for something different, and the event delivered successfully. In my opinion, using art as a theme was perfect as it was vague in itself. “Art” was a way of expressing emotions in different ways. Through music, through voices, through drawing/paintings and knitting. There were many amazing singing performances which created a calm, blissful and beautiful environment with musical instruments backing their raw vocals. Other students performed magic and illusion tricks, walking around the courtyard and interacting with students and blowing their minds away (mine included). As for the art displays, many statements were made through the artworks and the viewers related to them. It made me realise that us students go through similar instances and art we find such similarities, connect to each other and be more unified. This was an ice breaker to get more acquainted with students, creating a stronger community. While being in the event, I felt the community spirit, and many participants agreed with me.

“This event is different, unique and brings the community together.” said Christelle Santos, the club director of SAUNDA. 


sing       gurlss

Additionally, to promote students to get immersed in art, there were art tables set up, where everyone could paint, draw or knit. I was fortunate enough to witness a masterpiece come to life.

prog shots

On Thursday of the week, there was a petting zoo in the courtyard. SAUNDA collaborated with The Law Society of Notre Dame to bring us beautiful animals! Everyone present loved it. Staff members and students alike dropped by for some precious moments with the beloved little creatures today.
baby lamb



baby bunny

And of course, a great event is never complete without great food. Sausage sizzle and crispy Nutella toasties were served for a dollar each.

king grill

And since this is an art event, there were some amazing artists who I was fortunate enough to meet. Talking to them and discussing the statements, styles and subjects of their works was insightful and inspiring. To look at their works, follow them on social media:

Jenny Chen

Instagram: One_Eye_Deer

Facebook: Suds ‘N’ Sparrow

“I get to focus on nothing but the brush strokes, its like art therapy.”


Julie Tabouli

Instagram: Jodie tabouli

“When exams pile up, I procrastinate, and art is the result.”


Marie Carydis

Instagram: aquarellaart

Facebook: AquarellaArt

“I am an Australian artist residing in Sydney. I predominantly draw and paint fantasy or nature-based art using watercolour.


Rian Galliot

Deviant art:

“Art is meant to be an expression of beauty, and I like to express what that means. For me, as a Catholic, the topic of God is the source of beauty.”


I would like to thank everyone who came to the event, participated in it, enjoyed it and mostly, the Student Association and everyone else who was involved in organising it. The event was very well planned and executed. Many students and I included would love to see this event happen again. I encourage everyone to join in on the fun next time, submit their art, perform and get involved! It’s all worth it, I promise you. 🙂

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Notre Dame gets creative for Art Week

Written by Entertainment, Student Life

Having low moments and experiencing negative feelings is not uncommon. But it’s the expression of those thoughts that will always help. This is what the University of Notre Dame aims to do this week.


From Monday (2/5/16) to Friday (6/5/16), the university is holding Art Week to raise awareness of student mental well-being through creativity. Notre Dame students will showcase their talents in acts that they have worked to bring to you. They range from performance arts to stand-up comedy. During this colourful week you will also get a chance to:

  • Chat to counselors to learn more about mental health and other issues
  • Eat at the BBQ which will be running every day (all proceeds go to charities who are also involved in promoting mental health)
  • Watch student-produced films at Notre Dame’s cinema screening
  • Wander Artist’s Alley and examine student artworks, talk to the artists themselves and create your own masterpiece
  • Participate in short workshops that will introduce you to the basic concepts of art and other fields of creativity
  • Get up close and personal with Notre Dame’s animal farm on Thursday (5/5/16)
  • See what more the university has to offer by saying hello to other clubs and societies at various tents

giphy (1)

Each day will begin at 11:30 am and end at 2:00 pm (daily Mass will occur from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm). This is a great event if you are interested in different forms of creativity, want to perform and support others performing or just want to have an enjoyable time (or everything above!)

Every year most universities dedicate a week to bring together their students. What unites us is our passion, inspirations and hard work. So come down if you’re free and join the University of Notre Dame students in raising awareness of mental health concerns. See you there and have a great week!


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10 apps to help secure your HD (high distinction)

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life, Tech

Let’s get these apps while we’re feeling amazingly motivated (offer ends third week of semester when everyone can’t be bothered attending lectures anymore).

1/ –


Who doesn’t love a minimalist to-do list with a touch-based interface? can be organised into Work, Personal and Grocery List tasks, which can further be divided into Today, Tomorrow, Upcoming and Someday tasks, which can then be sub-divided into smaller tasks. And if you’re feeling really fancy, you can even use your voice to check tasks off the list.

2/ Scribd


Every student has experienced the need to find all their books on their mile-long reading list. But Scribd has a growing archive of 500 000 books from over 900 different publishers allowing you to keep a library on your tablet, smartphone and web browser.

3/ EasyBib –


For all your referencing needs (at 11:55 pm). Just enter in the title and the citation is automatically generated in any format you require. You can even scan the book’s barcode, as well as save and share references to help other students out

4/ Studious – 


Organise your classes and schedules using this timetable app. You can even sync up your timetable with your friends’ (or see who you can avoid)

5/ CamScanner –


Your phone instantly turns into a portable scanner, allowing the digitization of documents for easy storage and access. It also has multiple export options as well as other features such as automatic cropping and lighting functions

6/ Itunes U – 


Browse through hundreds of courses relevant to your field or other interests all from leading universities around the world

7/ Alarmy: Sleep if you can ($2) – 


Now we don’t need to set alarms for 7:00 AM, 7:10 AM, 7:15 AM… With Alarmy you need to either shake the device a certain number of times or take a photo of a specific object to shut it off.

8/ Mint – 


Keep track of all your costs and spend within your budget. Best of all, it can organise your expenses for you

9/ GoConqr – 


Take notes, make mindmaps, flashcards or quizzes to help you study

10/ Evernote – 


What list of necessary apps is complete without Evernote? This is an all-in-one workspace where you can write articles, organise documents and photos as well as upload and share them.

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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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6 Best Tips to Travel without Jet Lag

Written by Editor’s Picks, Entertainment, Health, Tips & Tricks

In a previous article, we explained what Jet Lag was. Many students are travelling overseas, maybe to visit family or to relax after exams.


Here are some expert tricks to mitigate those effects.

For brief trips, you can try the following simple but effective tips taken from a Sascha Segan, author of Fly Safe, Fly Smart for your flight:

  • 12063422_902079886545711_8657737619362390228_nReset your body clock before flying. Change your sleep time by one or two hours in the new time zone944372_600352806642363_615098801_nProvide as much water as you can for your body before, during and after your flight even if you don’t feel thirsty. Recommended by experts, you should drink at least two 8-ounce of water before the flight and 1 litre for every hour you are on the plane including the beverages you drink with meals.12066022_1211666275516013_1593355121750307359_nReset your watch to the time zone you are travelling to and start thinking about adopting that time zone11407281_10153448277731522_189516390933019296_nSay ‘no’ to alcohol or depressants such as Dramamine or other motion-sickness drugs, before and during your flight11295631_10153448277906522_4689349483245874295_nEat more lightly than usual, before and while you are on the plane148602_795148303834481_726577069_nDaytime naps of 30 minutes or less are OK to take after you arrive so that they do not affect your nighttime sleep

Additionally, sleep specialists have two main methods for accelerating the adjustment to jet lag and reducing its effects – drugs and light therapy. Light therapy is “timing exposure to daylight”. It is declared “the best way to resynchronize our body clocks” by Dr. Sack of Oregon’s Health and Science University.

“Do not sit down on the hotel bed; once your behind touches the hotel bed, it’s over.  Get out of the room.  Go for a walk. Get in the sunlight.” –  flight attendant Heather Poole, author of Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet in a Yahoo Travel’s article

Interestingly, travelling west is easier on the body than travelling east. In this case, Robert Rosenberg’s suggestions are: three nights before travelling west, go to sleep and wake up an hour later than usual; likewise, when travelling east, sleep and rise an hour earlier.


In today’s technological age, we have apps that seek to solve all problems in our lives. Jet lag is no exception. Smartphone developers have created some apps to help travelers avoid jet lag such as Jetlag Genie or Jetlag App. All you have to do is simply enter your flight details and the app will design a suggestive timetable of when to sleep or eat to prepare for the time zone changes.

Recently, on 10th March 2014, researchers at the University of Michigan released a free app on smartphones named Entrain that helps to mathematically reschedule our body to adapt to new external environment.

“This is almost like a body hack, to get yourself entrained faster.” – Olivia Walch, a U-M graduate student who worked on the project.


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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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