Student blog: 4 highlights of my time studying in Brisbane

Azka - student blog

By Mutiara Azka

Azka was a Brisbane International Student Ambassador in 2017 and studied public relations at the University of Queensland. She is passionate about animals and social change.

Halo apa kabar? (Hi, how are you?) Mutiara Azka here (you can just call me Azka!), and I am from Bogor City, Indonesia!

I was one of the Brisbane International Student Ambassadors in 2017. I studied and graduated from The University of Queensland, Australia, majoring in Public Relations.

Studying in Australia, particularly in Brisbane, was a huge privilege for me and for my family. Not only because of the University I went was in the top 50 of World’s Universities, but because it also took plenty of hard work and sacrifices on behalf of my parents to send me here. Therefore, what had been in my mind since the first day I arrived was how to maximise the student life experience I had to the fullest especially because I only had 1.5 years to explore. It was not that much time at all!

I want to share the fun I had during my time studying in Brisbane. Read on for my top 4 experience highlights...

1. Volunteering with RSPCA Queensland

Azka - student blog

Interacting with animals has been always an essential activity for me. Not only because the furry fellas were very cute, but it also has successfully acted as a stress-reliever for me. During my stay in Brisbane, I was very lucky to be able to join RSPCA Queensland (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Queensland) team as their videographer.

Azka - student blog

The role required a minimum of 3 months’ commitment, working at least one shift per week. It was such a dream job when you are able to do things you are passionate about, while helping the other creatures that are in need at the same time.

During my time volunteering with them, I did plenty of amazing activities. This includes making video profiles for the animals. Watch one of the videos I made for them below.

Sidenote: If you are passionate about volunteering and love animals as much as I do, you can always check the RSPCA website for volunteer opportunities.

2. Becoming an Ambassador

Believe me, Brisbane is so full of opportunities!

During my time studying in Brisbane, I got the chance to hold an Ambassador role for three different organizations at the same time.

BISA application
Some of the Brisbane International Student Ambassador 2017 team, with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Firstly, I was a Brisbane International Student Ambassador, where I got the chance to work with other 39 amazing students who have inspired me every day. Not only with fellow ambassadors, I also got the chance to work within some professional environments, as well as meeting the various stakeholders of Brisbane City. 

Azka - student blog
One of the events that I attended was the Lord Mayor Business Awards 2017

Secondly, I was one of the International Student Ambassadors for the University of Queensland, Australia. My role involved meeting UQ stakeholders, taking guests on campus tours, as well as giving presentation about the UQ knowledge I have to people.

Lastly, I had the similar privilege of holding the role Ambassador of One Girl. One Girl is a Non-Government Organisation which focuses on girls’ and women’s right to education. Currently operating in Uganda and Sierra Leone, One Girl has committed itself to help girls and women in need from 2011.

Azka - student blog

I am very enthusiastic about social change, and I have always been wanting to be a part of the change; One Girl has provided me the opportunity to do that, and I was so blessed to be able to join the movement. My activity in One Girl has involved mostly fundraising, one of the campaigns conducted was the Do It in A Dress challenge. I got to wear the One Girl school dress and do challenges/activities to raise awareness, as well as to fund raise, for the issue.

During my stay in Australia, I did this campaign through doing my version of challenge: busking and rock climbing in a dress.

I love to share my stories, and I love it even more if my stories can help other people. This is what made me enjoy these various Ambassador roles so much!

3. Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2017

Azka - student blog

Asia Pacific Screen Awards is an award which honours the cinematic excellence across the Asia Pacific region, and I had the honour of interpreting Bahasa to guests during the event. This opportunity came about thanks to my role as a Brisbane International Student Ambassador, and highlights why it is so important to expand your networks while studying overseas!

Azka - student blog

It was an awesome experience because I had the chance to meet and interact with filmmakers, actresses, actors and people in the film industry from around the world. I also got to walk the red carpet!

4. Dancing and singing with strangers!

You may not know this, but know, Brisbane is a city full of talented buskers and performers, and I am lucky to know a few of them. I met many strangers, who were very friendly and kind, and it has made my heart full of love! Some days in the week, you can also find free dancing class around Brisbane; ones that I liked to join were Latin dancing.

Azka - student blog
...that one day when I bumped into casts of Stimela the Musical

These experiences I had in Brisbane were very valuable, and I will cherish this forever. As a result, I highly recommend you explore and take any opportunities that you can find, and see what Brisbane will bring you next. For me, it’s happiness!

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