Hi Katie! To begin with, what makes QUT unique?
It’s real world approach. Not only is it our university tagline (trust me, you see it everywhere!), but the university focuses on preparing students for industry and enabling them to launch quickly into their careers. In fact, most students have a compulsory, work integrated learning experience embedded into their degree. Not only that, many of our lecturers also work in industry so are able to feed that current knowledge back into the classroom. Our students have regular interaction with industry, whether it be via class projects that require a pitch to a local company or they are studying a degree curriculum that has been co-developed with industry to ensure content relevance to today’s ‘real world’ working environment.
And our location! In particular, our Gardens Point campus which is located on the edge of the CBD, alongside the beautiful Brisbane City Botanical Gardens.
Why is Australia in general and Brisbane in particular such a good choice for international students?
It’s as far away from home as possible?!?! Just kidding! When I chat with our international students, their three most popular responses are that they love the people, the weather and Australia’s “laid back” attitude towards everything.
For Brisbane though, it has to be the tropical weather and its associated lifestyle. The great weather means that students can enjoy the outdoors all year round (winter daytime temperatures average around 18-24 degrees), and this automatically creates a sense of relaxation and happiness. It is this abundance of sunshine and warm weather that allows for pop up markets and food festivals to run on a weekly basis, along with a strong music and cultural scene that is easy to tap into once students arrive in Brisbane (definitely try the West End, Southbank or Fortitude Valley).
How many international students do you have and what do they usually study?
QUT has around 50 000 students in total, with approximately 8000 international students, from over 100 countries. The three most popular study areas would be found in the Science and Engineering Faculty, the Business School and the Faculty of Health. Creative Industries.
Do you have any favorite programs of your own that you would like to highlight?
Oh wow, there are too many! Some programs that I personally find exciting is our degree in Entertainment Industries (a combination of Business, Creative Industries and Law subjects), our degree in Games and Interactive Environments, along with some of the experiences like QUTopia (real world marketing simulation event) that Business students have exposure to during their Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations degrees. If students are only coming to QUT for one or two semesters of study abroad, then I would definitely highlight the fact that they can take units across different study areas.
What is the latest news from your campus?
At the moment, I’m most excited about QUT’s new eSports program! We have an eSports centre that includes a dedicated playing space, structured programs for athlete progression and research into gaming. At the moment, QUT is the only Australian university that offers an integrated eSports program, alongside your regular study. If you are interested in developing your gaming skills to begin competing, QUT offers professional training for League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, DotA 2 and Rocket League.
Besides the obvious like the beach and the weather, what are the 3 best things about Queensland?
1. Queensland is so vast, with such diverse landscapes, all within the one State. Visitors have so much to explore – rainforests, beaches, the Australian bush, desserts, coral reefs!
2. The “laid back” lifestyle! Although the population of Brisbane is 2.2 million, the city maintains a feeling of relaxation. You have the benefits of all the city amenities but without the pressure and stress of living in a large metropolis.
3. The emphasis that both locals and tourists put on the exploring the outdoors, soaking up the green spaces and participating in an active lifestyle. Australians, and in particular Queenslanders, love their sport! Queensland recently hosted the Commonwealth Games (a mini version of the Olympic Games) and interestingly, Brisbane alone has over 62 sporting stadiums!
Which nearby attractions should not be missed when studying at QUT?
Too many to write down but some of the popular things that our students do during the semester include:
- City Beach at Southbank
- Free ferry “City hopper” to various central locations on the Brisbane river.
- Mt Coo-tha for spectacular views over Brisbane
- Eat Street Markets
- Free comedy on a Friday night at the Powerhouse
Within 1 hour of Brisbane
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (oldest and largest koala sanctuary)
- Moreton Island and diving on the ship wrecks
- Stradbroke Island
- Several surfing destinations, including Surfers Paradise and Byron Bay (2.5 hours south of Brisbane).
Is there anything else you want to say to Swedish students considering QUT?
If you’re a study abroad student, make sure you sign up to the QUT Study Abroad and Exchange Welcome Party. It provides the perfect chance to make friends before the semester starts .. plus plenty of opportunities to take a selfie with the city skyline in the background!
For a typical Australian experience, make sure you sign up to be part of QUT Surfers club (regular car-pooling to the Sunshine or Gold Coasts, along with three ‘learn to surf’ trips down to Byron Bay!
And finally if you’re missing home, make sure you go along to the Scandinavian Festival held in Brisbane in September each year, along with Midsummer celebrations (although it is technically winter, don’t worry, you will feel like it is summer!).