#studyinaustralia Tag Archive

Is Australia a land of opportunity for international students?

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

An international education in Australia continuously attracts thousands and thousands of students every year from overseas, especially from Asian countries. Australia is one of the top 10 countries with a high standard of living and worth to live. Because of that, it is a land of hope and a land of opportunities for overseas students to explore themselves. There are several of international students, who have been successfully obtaining PR or citizenship and have already called Australia as their second home. However, the dark corners of international education are still being ignored.


Some students are still living in cramped and crowded illegally shared houses, where there are more than 15 tenants in a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre. Transforming bathrooms or study rooms into a 150-180 dollar single room per week or sharing 150 each for four in a tiny and stuffed room is still happening, to lessen their costs when studying in large cities. So simply a bed, a toilet, a kitchen and a washing machine could be enough to live for the rest of the 3-to-4-year-degree course.


Working underpaid sadly seems like a common fact for some international students, who lack confidence and lacking proficient speaking skills in English. They work completely hard in restaurants or fruit shops or farms just to save a penny to pay for expensive living lifestyle and also their institution fees. SO, HAVE YOU EVER ASKED YOURSELF, HOW MUCH THEY GET PAID, WHEN DROPPING BY ANY DINE-IN RESTAURANTS?

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Cultural differences make it hard for international students could to adopt and get close to local friends. A simple, funny childhood cartoon or the name of the local footy club could be a brand new thing for an international student since these are not a part of their understanding. Local students living and studying within their neighbourhood tend to focus more on their career rather than making more friends. That is why sometimes international students just stay within their community to feel a small sense of belonging.

it gon be hard werk

A land of opportunity could be somehow a question without any articulate answers. When receiving an office number calling on your phone, the first question of “are you An Australian or NewZealand citizen? Or “do you have PR?” immediately disappoints all of the students, who have an HD qualification degree or loads of related industrial experience. What could these vulnerable students do to survive if these problems are unresolved, so they might end up with an unrelated career job and an underpaid position to survive?


Well, by acknowledging these challenges and hardships, if you give up, you might be unable to find a diamond mine like others international students. In order to make the right decision in your life when studying in overseas, you must conduct research and have a clear goal and mind about the ups and downs when living independently in Australia. Trusting yourself, working hard and being confident are the keys to overcoming the hardships.


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10 Reasons to Return to Uni

Written by Student Life

Semester 2 is just around the corner and if you are expecting to return to the same old uni – think again. A few universities had makeovers while you were gone. Here’s what’s new:

  • I know, starting off the list with ways to get out of uni instead of in seems a little unconventional. However, you know what’s extraordinary? These EnergyPods at USYD’s Fisher Library. The University has introduced a new sleep zone back in February and the world’s first chairs designed just for napping. It has a privacy shield (goodbye, Spotted: USYD), peaceful soundtracks and gentle lights to accompany your much-needed rest. If you have not seen them yet, check them out for a few minutes…or twenty.

Spend all my time here? Don’t mind if I do

  • When it comes to studying, USYD students might head off to the library at Bosch, Camden or Badham. Not anymore. USYD has renamed their libraries to the Bosch Burrows, Camden Burrows and The Quarter. Pretty fancy. Not to mention appropriate as we “burrow” our faces into books when it is exam time.
Maybe we need to update the map too

Maybe we need to update the map too

  • NSW Premier Mike Baird has just opened the Hilmer Building at UNSW on the 20th of July. It is the new home of Materials Science and Engineering Innovation, containing leading labs and collaborative spaces. This will allow research students and teams to reach creative solutions for businesses and governments.
Thank you John Gollings (photo credit), it's beautiful

Thank you John Gollings (photo credit), it is mesmerising

  • On the 3rd of September, UNSW will hold Open Day again, so come along and see what this university has to offer! Alternatively, just to visit our grounds and your friends (or maybe just for something that might be better – freebies).
Where to next?

Where to next?

  • World-class nursing and midwifery labs have been proudly opened at UTS by the Secretary of the NSW Ministry of Health, Elizabeth Koff. The recreation of hospital wards will provide realistic clinical experiences for these students. In doing so, a smoother transition from study to work will be gained. So…it is like we are acting as if we are on a movie set? Rad.
The patient looks to be in terrible condition

The patient appears to be a bit unwell

  • UTS is also holding their Open Day on the 27th of August from 9 am to 4 pm. Navigate your way around the city for more than 200 info sessions. If you are there, gaze up at the buildings’ weird and wonderful architecture. However, they are probably more commonly known by us as the ‘Paper Bag’ or the ‘Jenga Tower’ or, my personal favourite, the ‘Cheese Grater’.
Now just imagine a really large block of cheese (photo credit: sydneycubed.wordpress.com)

Now just imagine a huge block of cheese (photo credit: sydneycubed.wordpress.com)

  • Over at Macquarie Uni, two new buildings are being built – the next stage of expansion in the university’s Campus Master Plan. They will connect community and businesses as they are conveniently placed next to the new Library, but are also a short distance from MQ’s train station and the shopping centre. It will definitely be easier for some snacking post/pre/during lectures and study sessions.
The plan for University 8 and 10 Ave (credit: Kannfinch and Sissons)

The plan for University 8 and 10 Ave (credit: Kannfinch and Sissons)

  • MQ’s two commercial buildings are not the only things that are new. Operations for a new Cyber Security Hub will soon be under way between Optus Business and Macquarie Uni. The multi-disciplinary partnership draws upon Science and IT, Business and Economics, as well as Security Studies and Criminology. The Hub’s creation is a response to organisations seeking to better their management of cybercrime. Most of us are on the Internet anyway what with Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter…and Instagram and Google and Pokemon Go and…
John Paitaridis, Managing Director, Optus Business and Professor David Wilkinson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Engagement and Advancement) (credit: Paul Wright)

John Paitaridis, Managing Director, Optus Business and Professor David Wilkinson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Engagement and Advancement) (credit: Paul Wright)

  • From Semester 2, you can listen up for the relaunch of ACU’s very own Radio Station – ACU Wired – over “hear“. The team of 6 have trained and developed the program that will broadcast at stations such as Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Ballarat, North Sydney and Strathfield. If you are an ACU student, and you have always wanted a chance to DJ, work in radio production or be a news presenter, now you can!
There are too many button-knob-things

There are too many button-knob-things

  • ACU also shares their Open Day with UNSW. If you are at the North Sydney campus you can have freebies from two universe- I mean, you can find out what’s happening on campus, meet known and unknown students and rub shoulders with staff. If you are on the Strathfield side, Open Day is just a week later on the 10th of September!


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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.


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.


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.


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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How do you make money from your study notes?

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

Some students do not know that attending all the lectures, all the tutorials and writing heaps of notes with tips and tricks for assignments or exams during the semester could help them to buy a flight ticket and pay for other expenses for their overseas or domestic trips during winter or summer break. Thousands of university and college students around Australia have been cashing out by selling and exchanging their lecture notes, exam notes, exam materials or tutorial notes from 35 dollars to more than 1200 dollars, depending on their quality through a few platforms.


In order to upload and sell your records, you need to register your personal details on the platform. Your notes could be in English or other languages, depending on the buyers’ interest, some students could receive between 160 to 220 dollars for a 1000 word note written in Chinese. So, being international students or students speaking more than two languages could help you to increase your notes financial value.HOMER

Note purchasers can also give a rating and rank your note’s quality, which you could use as a reference for the future. The higher the ranking, the more trusted and valuable your notes, as more students are willing to purchase or download your notes.

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Trading records does not mean selling your property or cheating; it is just another useful method of helping each other to study, as some students are unable to attend lectures because of unexpected circumstances. It is a good way that you can help others to have a glance at the subjects that other or prospective students are interested in or intend to enroll in for the next semester.This exchanging and selling are very popular among other universities around Australia, so you can easily find the notes that you want.

Here are some of the platforms where you can freely sell your notes and inject some pocket money directly into your bank account:

1/Sell Study Notes – Stuvia

2/Buy and sell great uni notes​ –StudentVIP Notes


3/Nexus Notes


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Study hard and receive HD’s and also unlimited dollar figures in your bank account.

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Study In Australia: Dann Nguyen

Written by Your Story

Meet The An Huy Nguyen, otherwise known as Dann Nguyen. He is a Vietnamese international student, the main singer of “The Calligraphers” band and an adviser of VIET Youth Australia. Here’s what he had to say about his experiences:

Why did you choose Australia? 

Choosing a place oversea to follow your dream is hard, but I am always eager to learn about Western cultures, new knowledge and techniques in a course related to music industry. Apart from looking for a high-quality school/institution, you will have to see if the place you are going to is safe and saving enough or not. After taking ages to conduct my personal research, I decided to go to Australia instead of the America because:

1/ Australia is a safe country.
2/ I can work part-time legally.

So I landed in Australia and well, this is an “open-minded society”. I mean it because it is where people do not care about your appearances, abilities and the way you behaves, as well as there is no gossip and creating a network for business is easier.

“You are not a tree to stay in a place” 


Tell us a bit about your academic experiences:

I finished high school back in Vietnam and right after that moved to Australia with my passion for acoustic music in February 2015. Since I was under 18 years old at the time, I started with a Foundation program in UTS: Insearch, and graduated with quite a high grade. Honestly, I found Foundation very easy. Future students not to be apprehensive about it. Some tips to survive:

  • You just need to work very carefully and notice the details about English —> It is ALL about English!
  • Try to be financially stable! —> Learn to cook, home-cooked food is good and cheaper!
  • Take more risks and be open!
  • Do not skip many classes

After the Foundation program, I then took one semester of ‘Bachelor of Sound and Music Design’ in the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), skipping all the core subjects and theory classes because I was so excited to learn about what I could do. However, I felt as though I needed a more hands-on experience and so transferred to SAE Institute, majoring in Audio Engineering to save time and money on the way to reaching my dream.

“Do not care about haters. Because you have your values”


How would you describe yourself?

I am a bold, daring, optimistic and confident person! I am not afraid of taking risks and doing what I am keen on. I defined it as my pros and cons, as it helped me to ignore public opinion and focus on myself and what I love. However, it also makes myself become quite a bit hurry and hasty when handling problems that I always think it has nothing to worry about.

I have an endless love with acoustic music and guitar. And my dream is to be able to create an acoustic guitar brand. Therefore, I chose to study the “Bachelor of Sound and Music Design” at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). This subject and major are pretty hard to find in Vietnam, so with a passion for acoustic music and guitar, I came to Australia, enroled in the top university in this major to pursue my ultimate goal of my life.

Remember: “You are you! Do not be fake!”


You mentioned that you were in a band, how did your passion for music start?

Since I was in high school, I joined many music clubs, set up Phu Nhuan Acoustic Club. I also recently won first place in “VIET Youth Has Talents 2015” with my band “The Calligraphers”. After I came to Sydney, I also joined all Vietnamese student music events such as “VDS Gala” and “VietYouth got talents” (I call it ‘enthusiasm’), and am currently an adviser for the organisation of “Viet Youth Australia”. I also still keep in touch with my team in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) despite the distance and different time zones. I mainly write their training contents with the knowledge I gained from reading books or by asking famous international Vietnamese students, and create useful projects for the students about things such as the ‘Mindset’ and being an ‘Entrepreneur’.


What is some advice you can give to other international students?

“Do not wait for an opportunity. Find it or create it yourself.” I like this quote because it can be applied to anyone, in any situation and think it is especially inspirational to artists. Although I love Vietnam, I still wanted to leave and find an opportunity to bring new air to my homeland’s music industry. I love my country’s music and desire to do something new, to proofread the acoustic music. The music industry in Australia is all filled up; even Westerners cannot get a job. In Vietnam, the music taste of young people is westernised.

At the moment, I am having a three-month holiday before the new semester starts at SAE. I took a chance during this long holiday to come back Vietnam and prepare for my treasured event as a director of “Ngan Ngo – The Concert”. This concert, in the form of musical theatre, is to orient new thinking about arts to young people and enhance their knowledge of humanities. All music clubs from every high school in Ho Chi Minh City will be able to contribute to this enormous project and perform at Hoa Binh Theatre which can fit up to 2000 people.

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“There are 7 billion people so why don’t you be confident?

It is not about who you are; it is about you.

Because you are different!”

– Dann Nguyen

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Study in Australia: Hellen Indrawan Jie

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

What was your best experience at university?

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

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

What are the differences between study in Australia and Singapore?

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


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

What are your new goals?

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

“Don’t give up.”

– Hellen Indrawan Jie

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For the Singles, the Anti-Valentine’s Festival

Written by News, Student Life

  • It started out as a joke on a college campus. Singles’ Day or Bachelor’s Day was initially celebrated on November 11 (11/11) at various universities in Nanjing during the 1990s because the date consists of four ‘one’-s.
  • It is also called Bachelors’ Day.  When the holiday was first created, it was only celebrated by young men without romantic partners
  • single-day
  • All 180 million singletons in China celebrate the holiday each year. However, the media and retailers still mainly focus on the solo men.
  • 969865_692178210798850_293593841_nLet’s party! Aside from shopping and gift-giving, the quirky, symbolic holiday has plenty of fun traditions. Young people, websites and companies often hold “blind date” parties, where singles come together in hopes of coupling up. In 2011, the city of Shanghai organized one of the biggest blind dates ever, attracting 10,000 singles.
  • Not every single is happy on this day! People may tease themselves for being still ‘sadly’ single, and some universities would even put forward special activities to gather singles together for a celebration.
  • Do you know why 2011 was marked as the ‘Singles Day of the Century’? Because this date has six ‘one’s rather than four!…More like an excuse to take celebrations to a higher level…
  • Why did Singles Day quickly become a hit? It tapped into China’s changing demographics, marketing to its emerging middle class and its increasingly affluent young consumer population. The online shopping extravaganza on November 11, started seven years ago by e-commerce giant Alibaba, and has become Chinese consumers’ biggest annual shopping spree.


  • The world’s biggest E-commerce holiday! 11/11 has become the world’s biggest E-commerce holiday with sales on Alibaba’s sites Tmall and Taobao at US$5.8 million and US$9.3 million in 2014 (Wikipedia). In fact, Alibaba’s Singles Day sale is larger than the combined e-commerce spending on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday from desktop computers in the U.S.
  • 11/11 is going global. Alibaba founder Jack Ma Yun plans to include six million products from over 40,000 merchants, and more than 30,000 brands from 25 countries. International brands selling on Alibaba’s online mall Small include P&G, Unilever, Burberry, Estee Lauder, Zara, Huggies, Macy’s  M, Costco, Apple and Nike.
  • Probably the BUSIEST DAY EVER for the post office.  Already China’s post office estimates that Singles Day will lead to nearly 800 million packages being shipped in 2015.
  • It only took an hour for Alibaba to reach $2 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) in 2014 — approximately one-eighth of the time it took in 2013. How long will it take this year? We’ll see.

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International Student Story: Thanh Tung Le

Written by Your Story

Thanh Tung Le is freestyle photographer and a Vietnamese international student in Sydney, Australia. You can recognize him by his nice and impressive style of dressing. Not only does he have photography skills, but Tung also has a Bachelor of Engineering with Second Class Honours from University of Technology (UTS), Sydney since 2014.

Tung went to Australia in 2009 with an open mind and optimism about the high educational system. The reason why he chose Australia as his studying destination is quite simply because he has relatives already living in Sydney, it is a short-distance from Viet Nam and has global qualified educational systems.

Thanh Tung Le 2

You can recognize Tung by his impressive style of dressing. (Photo by Justin Le)

When Tung first came here, he was taking an Advanced Diploma of Electrical Engineering in TAFE for 2 years. He did it because of his passions in physics, math and technology back in high school years. After finishing the diploma, he still felt unsatisfied and wanted to learn more, which pushed him to apply to a Bachelor of Engineering at UTS.


Why Engineering and why the University of Technology?

Answering this question, he becomes a serious and passionate person, explaining the important role of engineering to human life. “Engineering is very interesting and essential in developing civilisation. Everything needs to be created, developed, fixed and innovated all the time to be better. For example, hearing aids was invented a long time ago, but it is always developed to be more convenient and cheaper for everyone to be able to buy it,” Tung said with enthusiasm.

Thanh Tung Le 3

When Tung knew a story about a mind-controlled smart wheelchair invented by a Vietnamese student in UTS, he was more encouraged to accept the challenge of the major. This decision may also be a good chance for Tung to move closer to his dream which is inventing things to help more people.

Tung predicted that engineering was not an easy way, but it was more challenging when he was already in it. To him, teamwork skills and new study methods are what he has improved the most. The amount of work such as assignments and projects escalated before he noticed.


To those doing engineering, Tung’s advice would be:

“Choose your team members wisely for a group assignments.”

Tung explained more about the challenges in teamwork. For every project, everyone has to pick up a new team, and therefore has to get used to all members quite quickly. Moreover, each project requires a different solution, so the methods, environments and roles are constantly changing.

To complete the assignments, Tung believed that communication is the key element of success. Communication, he defined, is to know the contact of every member so that any problems can be immediately fixed as a group. This is very important because “it will save more time and efforts to correct the mistake at the beginning than last minutes” – Tung said.

As an international student, like many others, Tung had a part-time job. There was one semester that he had to take 4.5 subjects (with one compulsory half-credit “half subject” unit) while working as an Internet café operator. This temporary job not only brought him an adequate amount of money, but it was also a chance for him to meet different types of customers and improve his skills in solving situational problems. To relax and stimulate himself during other stressful times, Tung listened to speeches and videos of inspiring people.

Everything can be done. It is just about yourself if you want to make time for it. Well, an engineer can still be a photographer, isn’t it, Tung?

“Being a photographer means you have to be ready for criticisms besides compliments. It is nothing but helping you to be more patient and determined.” – Thanh Tung Le

Thanh Tung Le 1

With Tung, photography is more than just a hobby. It is a passion that made him into the person he is today. When he wasn’t studying, he loved to shoot photos for his friends.

In his experience, the main difference between working as a professional event photographer and a casual photographer is flexibility. Tung explained that as an event photographer, he was more relaxed due to the team’s encouragement and stimulation. When directing a photo shoot, however, he was very strict.

Striving to learn more, Tung is now volunteering for Ozduhoc, a project founded in 2014 by Infinity Connect Pty Ltd. It is a multi-media channel aimed at helping the Vietnamese students community in Australia to get the most out of their education, networks and resources. Tung has been involved in some successful events as a poster designer and photographer since September 2015. So far he finds the volunteer work to be very enjoyable.


Tung was studying and working harder than ever, and everything paid off on his graduation ceremony day.

For Tung, it is one of the gravest and most memorable days of his life. He excitedly said: “At the same time you know all your efforts worth it, you feel worried before the ceremony but when you are on the stage, smiling big is the natural thing you will do.”

Tung is now working full time as an Assistant Directorfor a small company about lighting wholesaler and project specialisation. Although his dream is a technical position at CISCO, he is still happy with this job as it applies techniques and skills learnt in his Bachelors. Tung believes that it will give him the necessary professionalism and practical knowledge required for business management. He is also considering a Master degree, majoring in Project Management as a first step to his goal of opening a business about technology.


Thanh Tung Le 4


“Do not work hard, work smart!” – Thanh Tung Le


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International Student Story: Irine Tania

Written by Your Story

“Try to get involve in organization. Don’t be shy, take action to be brave.” – Irine Tania.

Not many people would guess that this shy girl is the president of an Indonesian student association of more than 1000 members in Sydney. Irine Tania is a third-year international student of UTS, doing Bachelor of Finance and Accounting. Arriving in Australia on September 2013, she has just one more semester to go until she receives her final recognition.


While still in Indonesia, a lot of her friends and other youngsters chose Melbourne to study, but Irine decided to study in Australia. This choice is simply because she has an elder brother living and studying in Sydney already, and she saw studying abroad as an opportunity to improve her English skills. However, this long trip has exceeded Irine’s expectations. In a country where there is the mixture of religions and freedom of speech, Irine feels more respected. She loves Sydney, and the multi-cultural environment has also allowed her to grow to be a more open-minded and sociable person.

This change is a huge movement in Irine’s life. Before getting used to the international student life, she was very quiet and was scared to make friends or communicate. Language has always been a common disadvantage for international students. To beat this difficulty, Irine joined The Activity Club in UTS: Insearch in which she met many people and practiced her English skills by communicating with all members.

A calm and soft girl can be a good President – why not?

Since early May, Irine becomes the president of Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia Australia (PPIA) – Indonesian Students Association of UTS. PPIA UTS is a non-profit organisation customized mainly for all Indonesian students studying at UTS but is open to all students. Her success as a president includes the steady increase in people joining PPIA UTS. According to Irine, she runs one event per month and at every event there are more than 50 people attending. Just recently, their ‘Help Indonesia Breathe’ campaign, created to help people in Sumatra and Kalimantan from the burning forests disaster, has had a successful end.


Being a president of an association has taught Irine many lessons in having a good presentation or talk to the sponsors. (Photo by Irine Tania)

“Don’t be afraid if you don’t have experience, when you have commitment, you can do it. Everytime you do, try your best!” – Irine Tania

Being a president of an association has taught Irine many lessons in how to manage time and balance work, create an event, have a good presentation, talk to the sponsors as well as defining the committee and organising the team. She has proved to everyone that being soft and calm is another way to lead an organisation.


A campaign named Help Indonesia Breathe has just ended successfully. (Photo by Irine Tania)

One of her regrets so far is that she did not try to do this earlier. So, if there is one thing she could do to make a difference, is to be to be more sociable and join PPIA at the first days she had been to Australia.

Love what you are doing, Finance and Accounting will be easier!

Not only is her time management effective, but the passion towards her major is a reason Irine keeps up with lessons and exams. A good foundation in her hometown and her love of Math helped her get high grades in Finance and Accounting in Diploma of Business at UTS: Insearch. Her marks helped her believe more in herself that she can do Finance and Accounting. She said: “You have to like the subject and be patient with Finance and Accounting. Also, you should try to review every lecture even there is no exam or if it’s easy, and practice as much as you can. You will get a better result.”  Not everyone doing Finance and Accounting likes Math, but definitely everyone can do it if you try hard.

What is the secret tip of a young president?

Irine is a typical busy international student with studying, a part-time job, social works and hanging out with friends. The amount of work you can imagine is super high and very hard to manage to do them well. However, this hardworking international student is really living with it and trying to balance them all.


Irine is a typical busy international student with studying, part-time job, social works, hanging out with friends. (Photo by Irine Tania)

Her routine is to wake up at 6 or 7 o’clock and study until to 9 o’clock in the morning, spend the rest of the day on other tasks and then back to homework at night. Irine also knows that it is important to keep good health is also important, and has started to do yoga. Although it will be hard in the beginning, thinking about long-term effects gives her more motivation.

Will you stay or go back to your country after graduated from Australia?


“A broad social network and communication are important to help develop a business” – Irine thinks. (Photo by Irine Tania)

Irine does not hesitate in saying that she will go back to Indonesia. She has a strong love for her nation and hopes that she can develop it one day. Her current ambition is to create a business and has already begun coordinating with a friend in her hometown. They hope to bring the online store, selling dresses with traditional Indonesian batik patterns, live by March 2016. She cannot wait to build up a brand of Indonesian culture and hopes to see people from other nations wearing her nation’s traditional pattern.

She also shared her tips:

“If you want to make your business last longer, try to make it step by step. Meeting a lot of people may help you promote and innovate the ideas.”

So, if you are also interested in this project, stay tuned for her product next year!

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

“Make a lot of friends, as much as you can, not only from your country but with different countries and backgrounds.”

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

“Try to get involve in the different student organizations. Don’t be shy, take an action to be brave.”


“Don’t be shy, take an action to be brave.” – said Irine (Photo by Irine Tania)

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Study in Australia of a Vietnamese International Student – Khoa Tran

Written by Your Story

Khoa Tran is a sociable and funny guy from Viet Nam and is currently studying a Master’s of Information of Technology at Queensland University of Technology. He first came to Australia in July 2012. At that time, when having to select between Australia or America as a study destination, Australia “was a no-brainer” due to its ideal forex rates of the currency.

7How challenging is Australia?

Language is always a disadvantage for many international students, especially for those who have not prepared a fair amount of English training before hand. Khoa expressed: “It was quite painful as communication is the main way to make new friends. For about 6 months I didn’t really have any friend. In every conversation I always felt left out because I couldn’t catch up with the topics”. To improve his language skills in a year, Khoa tried hard to communicate with both native and international students everyday and started picking up a little bit of the Aussie accent, learning new phrases and understanding certain ways of expressing ideas in Australia. Now, he is confident in a conversation and that is what he was striving for.

Another challenge for international students are financial concerns. Most find it a challenge because some students want to be dependent. Since their parents are covering their tuition fee, they decide to earn their daily living. Khoa Tran is one of them. One memorable incident was when he realised he had no money left in his pocket after visiting the nearby community health clinic. “The week after that was hard”, he shared. He was constantly looking for jobs, but unlike many people, he dared to skip many jobs to find his permanent one now. “The key, I guess, is to be bold enough to quit a job when it no longer feels right”. Not being dare-to-do but Khoa is also humble and witty to add: “Oh, please don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean I’m bold. I guess I’m just crazy enough to do it”.


 IDEA Network – ideal meetup


Khoa’s craziness led him to be the President of IDEA Network, an inter-university society of young, creative and audacious students with great entrepreneurial ideas. Along with making many new friends within the community, he also learnt how to think outside the box, to always look for problems and devise solutions and developed the courage to be different – aiming for a career not a job.

Inspired by the previous president of IDEA Network, Khoa served as the Vice President from October 2012 to October 2013 before running for presidency and serving as the President from October 2013 to July 2014. Ambitious in growing IDEA Network, Khoa spent a lot of time coordinating different portfolios of the club, as well as having a lot of people reporting to him. From what Khoa is doing as a president, he concludes that a key responsibility of a leader of such an organisation is to make people feel that their work is appreciated, and that their contribution matters tremendously to the community.

Currently, Khoa is working hard on his Master’s degree in Technology, which is his true passion.

“I would dump my bachelor degree straight after semester 1 and went straight to a duel degree in IT+Business or IT+Finance or IT+Law”.

“I would dump my bachelor degree straight after semester 1 and instead pursue a dual degree in IT and Business or IT and Finance”.

I would dump my bachelor of psychology straight after semester 1 and instead pursue a dual degree in IT and Business, or IT and Finance

He found that technology is very innovative, daring and entrepreneurial. Talking about what he is doing, he seems to be very inspiring: “There is no right or wrong answer. You have to find the answer for yourself and be brave enough to follow up with it”. Moreover, IT is fascinating to Khoa because it may allow him to create new things that can create a huge impact on society.

He answered the question, “If you could go back in years attending uni, is there anything you wish to make it different?” without hesitation: “I would dump my bachelor of psychology straight after semester 1 and instead pursue a dual degree in IT and Business, or IT and Finance”.


Don’t ever think Psychology including Behavioural Economics!

He confused Behavioural Economics and Psychology, only realising his mistake 2/3 of the way into the degree. He admitted to this big wrong decision that he made. From this, his advice in choosing a major is: “Do your research very carefully before committing to anything!”. Khoa corrected his mistake by pursuing a Master degree in IT and he is really happy with that. He proves that it is never too late to start doing something.

“It is never too late to start doing something again” – Khoa Tran said.

At the moment, Khoa is working casually for Cohort Solutions, a startup company. Reflecting on his professional experience, there is a thing or two that Khoa has learnt about a university environment and a workplace:

  1. You’re always being judged. Everything you do leaves an impression about you and your professionalism on other people.
  2. Good isn’t good enough. In university, you give reasons for mistakes. In a corporation, everything needs to be done with 100% effort. You have to give every task your best, regardless of any external or internal hindrance you may encounter.
  3. “Specialization is key”. In a nutshell, in a company everyone has a niche role. Everyone has some special contribution to a company. This requires us to know what our strengths are and focus on them. The sooner we figure this out, the better kick start we will have in a workplace.



“Everything you do leaves an impression about you and your professionalism on other people”. – Khoa Tran suggested.

If you could give an advice for international students what would it be?
“Be bold, be audacious, be adventurous, and above all, be yourself.”

In the future, this active guy has a spreadsheet listing his goals and things to do. All of them is contributing to his key goal:  solve big problems and build a great career. Khoa is young and energetic. His motto is “I make sure I work hard and learn one or two new things every day”.

Studying in another country is often defined as a chance to learn new things in life. It is also right to Khoa when he said that it gave him a great opportunity to learn how to study, work and live independently; how to work with people from many cultures and understand different perspectives.

What would you say to inspire international students to get better in the future?
“Welcome to the land down under, mate!” – said Khoa Tran.


“Welcome to the land down under, mate!” – Khoa Tran.

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