Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Inspired student visions for Sydney architecture

University of Sydney students unveiled their big architectural visions for a series of landmark cultural buildings and public spaces in Sydney and regional NSW in a final graduate exhibition that opened on Nov. 24.

It is recognised as one of the most influential student architecture shows of the year, drawing thousands of visitors on opening night. The annual showcase reveals the bold and intelligent ideas of a new generation of architects.

Inspired student visions for Sydney architecture
Master of Architecture student Dong Ho Lee’s vision for a Town Hall public library that acts as an extension of the future pedestrianised George Street, to improve the experiential quality of Town Hall by introducing an internal public space. (Image: University of Sydney)

Elizabeth Carpenter, an alumna of the University of Sydney and Managing Principal of fjmt, said.

“We are inspired by the ideas emerging from the new generation. These ideas are our future. For the ongoing viability of the profession, recent graduates are vital in maintaining our relevance in a rapidly changing world.”

The work on display comes from eight graduation studios, where Sydney Architecture students spent four months creating their design and model in their final year of study. Each studio gives students a fictitious brief to develop designs for landmark Sydney cultural institutions and public spaces, as well as regional community projects that reflect on an Australian identity.

“The synthesis of research and design excellence cultivated by our staff and students fundamentally re-envisages what architecture is, tackling the complex challenges of contemporary life with intelligence and vision,” said Dr Sandra Löschke, Director of the Masters architecture program at the University of Sydney.

A show highlight is 150 exquisite architectural models that capture the design skill that students have mastered during their studies, supported by the unrivalled modelling and fabrication workshops in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning.

“The exhibition’s ‘model highways’ quite literally transport these visionary ideas into mainstream culture and allow us to make a fundamental difference,” added Dr Löschke.

Master of Architecture students present unique designs for a Sydney square at Town Hall, an Observatory and Planetarium at South Head, a museum for the Australian Institute of Architects incorporating the historic Tusculum building, and a cultural institution on the site of The Goods Line behind the ABC, now the new Ultimo Pedestrian Network. Travelling west to Wiradjuri country, another group envisages a series of cultural and community buildings lining the main street of Dubbo.

Inspired by the work of Jørn Utzon, Bachelor of Design in Architecture students provide innovative designs and models for a monumental performance space to fill the void behind the Sydney Mint on the edge of the Domain.

“Each piece of work speaks eloquently of the commitment, vision and just plain hard work of our students, tutors and staff,” said Michael Muir, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Design in Architecture undergraduate program.

University of Sydney Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning Degrees
Master of Architectural Science (several streams to choose from)
Master of Architecture
Master of Heritage Conservation
Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts
Master of Urban Design (Architectural & Urban Design)
Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Master of Urbanism (several majors to choose from)

Master of Architecture at the University of Sydney

The University of Sydney is currently ranked #1 in Australia for architecture according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016.

Degree: Master of Architecture
Location: Darlington Campus, Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Semester intake: March and July each year
Application deadline: January 30 and June 29; however, it is recommended that candidates apply at least three months prior to the program start date.

UQ employability program lauded in national awards

A University of Queensland student employability service has won a prestigious 2016 Australian Financial Review Higher Education Award.

The Faculty of Business, Economics and Law Student Employability Team (BEL SET) recently won the employability category ahead of finalists from the University of Sydney, Marcus Oldham College and Bond University.

UQ employability program lauded in national awards
Pictured from left to right: UQ Chancellor Peter Varghese AO, BEL SET Director Rhea Jain and UQ Provost Professor Aidan Byrne (Photo: UQ)

In their report, the judges said employability was an increasingly important issue for universities.

“The University of Queensland is to be commended for its systemic, embedded approach to boosting employability, and the demonstrable results it has produced,” they said.

UQ Provost Professor Aidan Byrne said UQ Law students in particular ranked the highest nationally in securing graduate full-time employment.

“I congratulate the BEL SET team for this outstanding result, which should give great confidence to future students considering studying business, economics or law at UQ,” Professor Byrne said.

“The BEL SET program challenges students to develop employability skills from enrolment, throughout their studies and as graduates.

“This strategy was recognised as a flagship program in the UQ student strategy 2016–2020 and was also applauded by the Group of Eight which featured it in their journal this year.”

Director Rhea Jain said the award was a reflection of the hard work and dedication of her team, who all drew from extensive experience in recruitment consulting and talent acquisition within the industries the students aspired to enter.

“Our programs are run in partnership with employers so our students learn directly from industry experts and gain real-life experiences through industry placements and professional development opportunities,” she said.

“Last financial year we placed 1800 students with almost 600 employers and supported thousands of students by providing 150 employability workshops or events in partnership with more than 100 employers.

“The program is only 18 months old and this award is further confirmation we are on the right track and will provide momentum for us to continue to develop and refine the program.”

In 2015, the BEL SET team doubled student engagement in its programs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf Part 2

If you’re considering studying dentistry in Australia, you’ve come to the right place.

Every year, OzTREKK helps hundreds of prospective students apply to dental schools in Australia, and because of the reciprocal agreement between Canada and Australia regarding dentistry accreditation, getting a dentistry degree in Australia is a very attractive option for many people—including OzTREKK student Lorynn Westad, who’s currently in her first year at Sydney Dental School.

(Continuation from “From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf")

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf
Sydney dentistry student Lorynn Westad

My educational background is fairly unremarkable. I came from a small public school in a farming community, my elementary school class only having five people in my grade. My high school had approximately 90 people in my grade and was located in an industry town with trade occupations dominating the future career interests of most of my classmates. Upon graduation I was one of three people who ventured out of the community to pursue university study and commenced my journey towards becoming a dental professional.

Choosing to study dentistry

I had a positive experience as a kid. I had absolutely terrible teeth, so bad I never smiled in pictures because I was extremely self-conscious. To make things even more difficult, because of my occlusion, I also had a very obvious speech impediment that truly affected my ability to create and take advantage of social opportunities, and impacted my confidence a great deal. Eventually, I was able to get braces. In as little as a few months my teeth straightened significantly. It totally revolutionised my concept of self, and my self-esteem.

“The best things in life are worth working for.”


In addition, my speech improved to a point where my impediment was barely noticeable. Being able to appreciate what a huge difference the state of my smile made for me, I became quite fascinated by everything to do with teeth, and wanted to do the same for others one day. Plus with dentistry being a perfect integration of arts and science, it was a natural fit for me and I became determined to become part of the profession.

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf
Future dentist!

Choosing to move to Australia

Studying abroad, particularly for the entirety of your degree, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With a desire for adventure and taking the path less travelled, I decided that studying in Australia was something that I had to do.

The Sydney was my first choice as I was attracted to the fact that the university offered the graduate-level Doctor of Dental Medicine, as well as the beautiful city itself is on the coast. I know that my choice to come to the University of Sydney was the right one.

Choosing to embrace a challenge

I am enjoying the DMD program immensely, although I have never studied so much in my entire life. The program is extremely challenging, more so than I had initially thought, but despite it being overwhelming sometimes it is an excellent program. I was shocked that in the very first few weeks we start attending Simulation Clinic where we practice and develop our manual dexterity by drilling, filling, and polishing the teeth of our mannequin. Most programs don’t introduce this practical component so early, and I think having the early introduction, maximizing my opportunity to develop my practical skills will shape me into a very competent (and confident!) dentist upon graduation.

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf
There’s always fun to be had!

Choosing where to live

I ended up going with university accommodation at International House. It’s amazing because it’s right on campus, but the only fallback was that since the Sydney dental program is so busy, I haven’t been able to be as active in the International House community as I would like.

Living on campus is perfect for me. The only drawback is that it is expensive. I pay about $430 a week for a self-catered studio (fully furnished, unlimited internet, all utilities included). The nice thing was everything was set up for me when I got there so I didn’t have to stress at all.

“Studying abroad, particularly for the entirety of your degree, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”


If I had any advice, I would say living on campus for the first semester is the best way to get used to Sydney. If you can get a half-year lease—many of my friends moved to less expensive or more attractive locations during their mid-semester break, but it’s really tough to know the area at first—don’t be intimidated. You’ll be oriented in no time!

Choosing to share tips with others

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf
Study dentistry at Sydney Uni!

Watch flights for months before you go, as sometimes there are some really great deals. One of my classmates had a ticket for $600$ CAD one way—he just had a 22-hour layover in Hawaii. He spent most of his layover on the beach!

Plan early! It’s an expensive investment in yourself so make sure that it’s right for you. If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying. Identify where you could improve, whether that be with your DAT, GPA, or interview, and take the initiative to improve your areas of weakness! Don’t be discouraged!

I’m glad about the lack of Canadian winter! But honestly, the friendships that I’m building—that’s my favourite part. It’s an amazing adventure and a phenomenal opportunity, but prepare to work hard! Use your resources, make friends, and inspire each other. Embrace the challenge positively and believe in yourself.

The best things in life are worth working for.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Melbourne optometry students conduct eye tests for Glasses for Kids

A new program offering free eye tests and glasses at Victorian schools is set to transform the learning environment of children in prep to year three—up to a third of whom may have unidentified vision problems.

Melbourne optometry students conduct eye tests for Glasses for Kids
Melbourne Optometry students will conduct eye tests as part of the Glasses for Kids program (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)

Final-year Melbourne Optometry students will conduct eye tests at more than 100 schools as part of the Glasses for Kids program launched recently by the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino.

The three-year program is being delivered by the university in partnership with  the not-for-profit group State Schools Relief (SSR), and the Department of Education and Training Victoria.

The new Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences, Professor Shitij Kapur, said common problems in this age group included long-sightedness, turned eyes and colour vision problems.

“The importance of both good education and good health to a child’s future cannot be underestimated,” Professor Kapur said.

“Unidentified vision problems often lie at the root of poor educational outcomes for children and our students will be intervening to prevent this.  We are delighted to be working with State Schools’ Relief and the Department of Education and Training to deliver this program. ”

At one school in a trial conducted earlier this year, 330 children were tested and 125 were found to need glasses.

Associate Professor Daryl Guest, the clinical director at University of Melbourne EyeCare, said final-year optometry students were excited to be part of a major public health initiative that would help children and their teachers.

“For many of these kids, simply prescribing glasses has completely transformed their experience of school, improving their concentration and behaviour.

“We need early screening because kids of this age won’t tell you, ‘I can’t see the blackboard.’ They’ll just disengage from learning and fall behind.”

University of Melbourne Optometry School

Optometry is the occupation of measuring eyesight, prescribing corrective lenses, and detecting and managing eye disease. It is a professional allied health discipline based on the optical, visual, and biomedical sciences. An optometrist’s role is to solve their patients’ visual problems.

The Melbourne Optometry degree is a 4-year full-time program that offers intensive training in the clinical discipline of optometry. The course covers the basic and applied optical, visual, and biomedical sciences that underpin optometry, and delivers a comprehensive clinical training that commences in the first year of the study. During the course, students will have the opportunity to undertake a research project, in an area relevant to the discipline, and will be given the opportunity to undertake clinical training at metropolitan, rural and overseas sites as part of their final year of study.

More flexibility in revamped JCU law degree

James Cook University has refreshed its JCU Bachelor of Laws degree, to provide JCU law graduates with a competitive edge in the ever-changing legal environment.

Flexibility, work-integrated learning and skill development are key features of the course.
Head of Law Mandy Shircore said the new JCU Law degree was designed for the lawyer of the future: contemporary, relevant and innovative.

More flexibility in revamped JCU law degree
Learn more about studying law at JCU

Ms Shircore said the award-winning first-year study program has been redesigned to include a new subject: Contemporary Practice: The New Lawyer.

“This subject focuses on the skills required for the contemporary lawyer, including interpersonal and communication proficiencies, emotional intelligence and the non-adversarial methods of dispute resolution,” she said.

“Aware of the emerging importance of technology and the impacts of artificial intelligence on traditional legal roles, our refreshed course looks at technology in law and will allow students to undertake a minor in Information Technology.”

JCU Law students also get the chance to choose one law elective from either Human Rights Law or Public International Law in their first year of study.

All final-year law students have the opportunity to undertake placements with a large range of legal firms and community legal services in JCU’s “super-clinic” clinical legal education program. They can also undertake an advocacy subject where they will obtain intensive one-on-one and small group advocacy training from local judges and barristers, or they can work with business students developing real life projects for JCU’s industry partners.

JCU Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Program

The Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Graduate) degree, which is a three-year program. This law program is designed for students who already hold a bachelor degree in another field and wish to gain a qualification in law.

The Bachelor of Laws (Graduate) is an accredited degree that focuses strongly on learning outcomes that have professional relevance and practical application. This course is designed to challenge students, exposing them to contemporary issues, the latest research and new ideas across diverse areas of the practice and application of law. The program encourages students to develop independent thought and critical analysis of legal issues, as well as an interest in law reform and an understanding of community legal problems.

Program: Bachelor of Laws (graduate entry)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intakes: February or July
Duration: 3 years
Application deadline: There is no official application deadline. It is recommended that students apply at least three months prior to the program start date.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bond University is getting ready to welcome you!

Heading to Bond Law School this January?

Bond University is getting ready to welcome you!
Heading to Bond Law School? Don’t miss Bond Orientation Jan. 11 – 13, 2017
Australia is the perfect country to combine travel and study for students of all ages. World-class cities, warm climate, multi-cultural society, friendly faces—all great reasons so many Canadians choose to study in Australia!

But perhaps most important, the education system in Australia is truly world standard. Australian universities are recognised internationally and their university qualifications are accepted by employers and other institutions all over the world. So it’s no surprise that education is one of Australia’s biggest export industries with international students making up more than 20% of Australian university enrolments.

Getting Started at Bond University

Enrolment at Bond University is a 3-step process, and they’ve developed some how-to guides to help you complete this process for the first time. Begin by planning your subjects, then enrol via eStudent and finally register in classes!

As a new student, you can enrol once you have accepted your offer and organised payment of your tuition fees. Your password can now be activated for on-campus computer access. This access gives you the right to use your Bond University email as well as on-campus computer facilities including
  • the wireless network;
  • iLearn; and
  • Library resources!
Create your student computer account to get started on campus.

Bond Orientation

Orientation is the perfect time to make new friends, find your way around campus and complete your enrolment at Bond University.

Orientation features an exciting program of social activities where you can relax and meet people, and there are lots of information booths to help you get ready for university life.

For the semester 1, 207 intake, Bond Orientation is scheduled for Wednesday, January 11 and concluding on Friday, January 13, 2017. The orientation program kicks off with an Orientation Expo on the Wednesday and includes a series of general student information sessions, faculty-specific introductions, and social activities to ensure all students are welcomed and settled in to the university in preparation for the start of semester on Monday, January 16, 2017.

Last-minute help

Don’t forget: you can access a wealth of pre-departure tips on the OzTREKK Boarding Pass. We created this site to provide detailed pre-departure information to help you obtain your student visa, research your accommodation options, book airport arrival reception, and much more!

We hope you find the info useful, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you don’t find an answer to a question you may have—we’re here to help!

Monash Residential Services: accommodation for international students

Settling into the university way of life can be daunting, especially when you are moving around the globe! For everyone heading to Monash University, living on-campus with Monash Residential Services (MRS) means being supported, being safe and being part of an inclusive, vibrant and diverse community, full of social, leadership and development opportunities.

Monash Residential Services: accommodation
Monash Residential Services (Photo: Monash)

The Residential Support Team is available 24/7 to provide support, engagement and development for all residents and engage them in academic, social and recreational activities.

Every residence has a long list of activities to help students make new friends, stay connected in their new home, form study groups and achieve their academic outcomes. With a cohort of residents from more than 50 different countries, residents have the opportunity to form friendships from around the world.

Everyone at MRS lives in a community supported by a Resident Advisor (RA), senior students who are pivotal to the MRS experience. These smaller communities within each residence allow students to connect with those who live close by, often supporting the main objective of all students – academic growth. If you are a first-year Monash Medical School student, it is pretty handy to have a fourth-year medicine student living next door. It is an integral part of the MRS support system for more experienced students to offer newer students a helping hand.

Monash Residential Services: accommodation
Monash Residential Services (Photo: Monash)

Large spaces for recreation and group study, as well as communal kitchens and laundry facilities are available, together with plenty of green spaces outside to unwind and have fun.

To ensure safety, all entrances to buildings are secured and only residents and staff have access. Security personnel patrol the accommodation precinct and are available 24/7 for assistance. That includes getting someone to escort students to their residence when returning late from campus if needed.

Applications for Monash University accommodation are open for students starting in early 2017. It’s important to apply for accommodation early, as applications are processed on a first-in, first-served basis. There is no application fee and prospective residents are not required to accept an offer of accommodation until after they have received their Monash University offer.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

New Medical Dean at UQ Faculty of Medicine

The UQ Faculty of Medicine has appointed Professor Stuart Carney, from King’s College London in the United Kingdom, to the position of Medical Dean.

Acting Executive Dean Professor Robyn Ward announced the appointment following a comprehensive international search which generated interest from a strong field.

UQ appoints Medical Dean
Professor Stuart Carney (Photo: UQ)
“Professor Carney joins UQ from King’s where he is currently the Dean of Medical Education, overseeing the largest MBBS program in the UK,” Professor Ward said.

“At King’s he has led a major turnaround to transform the student experience and medical program, and before that he was Vice Dean of Education of the newly created University of Exeter Medical School.

“A psychiatrist by training, Professor Carney holds a strong track record in medical education as well as extensive experience as a clinical teacher, examiner and curriculum developer.”

Professor Carney completed his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at Edinburgh University and went on to obtain his Master of Public Health in Quantitative Methods at Harvard University.

As Medical Dean at UQ, Professor Carney will be responsible for academic management and will have oversight of all aspects of the program through the Office of Medical Education.

He will also serve as Deputy Executive Dean and work as part of the faculty executive team dedicated to ensuring a world-class comprehensive and integrated medical program.

Professor Carney said he wants to help students to become the best possible doctors they can—safe and effective from day one.

“I want them to be lateral thinkers who are capable of pushing the boundaries to improve patient and population health, and become the medical leaders of today and tomorrow.”

Professor Carney will start in the position in the New Year.

About the UQ Medical School Program

The UQ School of Medicine conducts a four-year, graduate-entry medical program, the Doctor of Medicine (MD). The school is a leading provider of medical education and research in Australia, and with the country’s largest medical degree program, they are the major single contributor to Queensland’s junior medical workforce.

During Phase 1 of their medical degree, students are taught foundation knowledge and skills in preparation for medical practice. During this time, students work in small groups around a planned series of cases to highlight principles and issues in health and disease. Many tutorials take place at UQ’s St Lucia and Herston Campuses.

Phase 2 of the program is taught across 11 academic disciplines with opportunities for students to undertake placements within in Australia and overseas.

University of Sydney tops the state for graduate employability

The University of Sydney has been ranked number one in New South Wales and 49 in the world in the most recent Times Higher Education Global Employability University Rankings.

The 2016 employability rankings, released Nov. 17, 2016, are based on surveys of recruiters and managing directors at international companies across 21 countries. The results reveal which universities the respondents think are best at preparing students for the workplace.

University of Sydney tops the state for graduate employability
Learn more about the degrees available at the University of Sydney

Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence said the results reflected the university’s teaching excellence and quality of its global graduates.

“The results once again place us as one of the best higher learning institutions in the world and reflect the quality of our graduates, who are making a difference in communities locally, nationally and internationally.”

Dr Spence pointed to alumni such as Dr Anna Lau, who was at front line in the fight against Ebola when the highly infectious virus made its way to the United States in 2014; as well as Jack Manning Bancroft, who founded the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) while still studying in 2005; and Gideon Silverman, who after graduating in 2009, founded two startups and is now a product manager at Google, based in San Francisco.

“With world-leading teachers, comprehensive support offerings such as mentoring programs and study workshops, and more than 300 global partnerships for exchange and workplace opportunities, our students graduate as global citizens, ready to succeed and innovate in the workplace,” Dr Spence said.

The Times Higher Education Global Employability University Rankings are published by the UK’s leading global provider of rankings and statistics on the world’s higher education sector.
The University of Sydney currently ranks 60 in the highly regarded Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

JCU’s unique teacher education program

Are you passionate about the education of children? Have you ever considered teaching in rural and remote areas (Canada has lots!)?

James Cook University is Australian’s tropical university. Students who choose to study at JCU are exceptional and eager to become part of a university community that is committed to aiding those who live in remote communities. While JCU is famous for its focus on tropical medicine and environmental sciences, all its courses have an underlying purpose: Marshalling broad intellectual strengths, the university seeks knowledge-based ways to help the world’s tropical regions prosper.

JCU's unique teacher education program
Study teacher education at JCU!

First offered in 2016, the JCU Master of Teaching and Learning (Primary) prepares teachers to critically respond to the challenges of northern Queensland and the Tropics, through a theoretically informed practice-based approach with provision for learning experiences in urban, rural and remote school-community environments.
  • High-quality candidates: JCU uses selection criteria that ensure students have the academic background and dispositions necessary to be high-quality primary teachers.
  • Regional focus: The degree, similar to JCU’s strategic intent, focuses on providing consequential experiences to prepare student as an educator for rural and remote areas, in addition to urban contexts, so they can respond confidently to the diversity of classrooms.
  • Research informed: The program is grounded in foundations of high-quality initial teacher education and ensures student development in acquiring the knowledge and skills that inform practice in JCU partners’ schools. Special attention is given to preparing students to make evidence-based decisions associated with students’ learning.
  • Work Integrated Learning (WIL): Students will be linked to a school for each phase and be provided the opportunity to engage with the school over the phase and your practicum, under mentored conditions, to maximise professional learning.
  • Subject specialisation: Your first degree provides you with the background to have subject specialisation in the primary grades. Of particular interest are teachers with specialisations in mathematics (numeracy), science, information and communication technology (ICT) and English (literacy).
  • Capstone: The teacher education program concludes with a 20-day capstone experience in the final phase of study, as a school-based internship or community-based service learning opportunity that requires students to conduct a research-based professional inquiry within this setting.

Master of Teaching and Learning (Primary)

Program: Master of Teaching and Learning (Primary)
Location: Cairns or Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 1.5 years
Application deadline: JCU has a general application deadline of December 1; however, candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Prime Minister opens Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Australia’s capacity to deliver innovative solutions to critical global health problems has been enhanced with the development of Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) which was officially opened on Nov. 14 by Prime Minister the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP.

Prime Minister opens Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Monash University Dr Jerome Le Nours, President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Dr Richard Berry, Ms Julia Banks MP, Director of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Professor John Carroll, Prime Minister the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP (Photo: Monash University)

Monash University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, welcomed Prime Minister Turnbull to the launch of the Monash BDI, which brings together a collaborative research effort of great scale that will see more than 120 world-renowned research teams, 700 on site researchers, clinical partners and industry working together. The Monash BDI will be located at Monash’s Clayton campus where it will form a key part of the innovation precinct delivering crucial economic and social benefits to Victoria and the nation.

“Monash University has been Australia’s biomedical innovation leader for decades, from pioneering in-vitro fertilisation in the 1970s and developing the world’s first successful anti-flu drug in the 1980s to emerging advances in leukaemia treatment and novel therapeutics for Alzheimer’s  disease,” Professor Gardner said.

“With research programs spanning cancer, neuroscience, infection and immunity, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases as well as advances in stem cell research, the Monash BDI has the potential to transform millions of lives while also helping to drive economic growth,” Professor Gardner  said.

Director of the Monash BDI, Professor John Carroll, said that almost every medical treatment is based on great discoveries that were made many years previously.

“The remit of the Monash BDI is to undertake great discovery research and decrease the time it takes to get these findings to the clinic,” Professor Carroll said.

“We do this by bringing our researchers together with industry partners and clinicians as early as possible.”

The Monash BDI addresses the needs of the six main global health problems: cancer; cardiovascular disease; development and stem cells; infection and immunity; metabolic disease and obesity; and neuroscience.

“More than 120 interdisciplinary research teams work synergistically across disease areas to bring expertise from immunology together with experts in cancer or diabetes. This allows us to discover new approaches to identifying the next generation of therapeutic medicines,” Professor Carroll  said.

Professor Christina Mitchell, Dean of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash, pointed to the benefit of establishing the Monash BDI in Victoria.

“The Monash BDI provides us with a new way to align our research, from fundamental discovery right through translation to the clinic, in one of the fastest growing population corridors in the country,” Professor Mitchell said.

Professor Carroll said the Monash BDI currently has research income of more than $50 million, with $14 million coming from industry partners. With over 700 researchers, more than 200 international research collaborators and around 270 PhD students, the Monash BDI is one of the largest and most comprehensive  medical research institutes in the Southern Hemisphere.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A prickly patient for UQ Veterinary School

Sticking his best beak forward was not a wise idea for George the echidna, who recently ended up with a fractured beak near the town of St George, Queensland.

But thanks to a kind rescuer and the staff at the UQ Vets Small Animal Hospital at the UQ Veterinary School, George has made a full recovery and is ready to defend his territory.

A prickly patient for UQ Veterinary School
George the echidna (Photo credit: UQ)

Veterinary nurse Rebecca de Gier said a good Samaritan had found George rolled up in a ball by the roadside and looking poorly.

“Luckily for George, the gentleman had the presence of mind, commitment, passion and kindness to animals to drive five hours to bring him to us for a check up,” Ms de Gier said.

“George was X-rayed and provided with pain relief, and had a fracture in his beak stabilised.”

George received world-class attention from the hospital’s avian and exotics team, including Associate Professor Dr Bob Doneley, veterinary intern Dr Zoe Anastassiadis and Ms de Gier.

“Vehicle accidents are the number one cause of damage to echidna beaks that we see,” Dr Doneley said.

“It’s a problem because echidnas need their beaks to eat.

“They have a fifteen-centemetre-long tongue which is housed in the beak, which is about seven centimetres long. They roll out the sticky tongue to catch their food.”

As with most wildlife patients, staff minimised human contact and kept George in a separate wildlife enclosure, where he was fed his favourite termites to help him in his recovery.

“He is doing well now, which was great news for his rescuer who rang every day to check on his progress,” Ms de Gier said.

“All in all, he’s travelled about 40 hours to look after him.

“This gentleman collected George from UQ at the start of Be Kind to Animals Week, and returned him to the area he was found, which is the best possible outcome.

“George can now look after his lady echidnas and keep the other males at bay.”

UQ Veterinary School receives no government funding for wildlife care, relying on community support through the Wildlife Emergency Care Fund.

“We are always grateful for donations to care for our native animals,” Dr Doneley said.

UQ Bachelor of Veterinary Science Honours

Are you passionate about animals of all shapes and sizes? Consider studying veterinary science!

The vet program at the University of Queensland is one of the most sought after in Australia, attracting the very best students and producing veterinarians that are in high demand, both domestically and internationally. The university’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science provides the broadest base in the biological sciences of any undergraduate course and provides a very wide range of career options as well as its professional qualifications, enabling graduates to practice veterinary medicine and surgery.

Program: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)
Location: Gatton, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: UQ Veterinary School has a general application deadline of November 30; however, late applications may be accepted. It is strongly recommended that students apply a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.

Q&A webinar with current UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy student Nov 22

Maybe you have already filled out the application and received an offer, or maybe you are just toying with the idea of studying pharmacy in Australia.

Q&A session with current UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy student
You can study pharmacy in Australia and practice in Canada!

Great news! Former OzTREKK and current UQ student Rabina will be online to chat about life as a UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy student. This is a great opportunity to learn everything you wanted to know about the program, the university, and life in Brisbane! Totally casual—feel free to ask anything you’d like!

UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy Q & A

Date: Tuesday, November 22
Time: 7 p.m. (Ontario time)

UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)

The UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) program is a well-established, professionally accredited learning framework that is well received by both students and the profession. The program has evolved into one of the country’s most comprehensive and well-respected pharmacy degrees, both domestically and internationally.

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years

Credit Transfers!

In order to be eligible for credit transfer consideration, candidates must first submit a complete application. If you receive an offer to the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) program, you may then begin the application for credit process.

Gather course lists and course descriptions that best match the above courses. A short, one-paragraph description of the course won’t be enough. The university needs to determine if your studies match the UQ equivalent. The information should contain an overview of numbers of lectures, practicals, tutorials, etc. in the course, list of learning objectives if available, lecture titles and descriptions, practical titles, timetable to indicate the number of contact hours of the various types in the course, summary of assessment, etc. If you have questions about application for credit, please let us know—we’re here to help!

Friday, November 18, 2016

JCU medical student: Australian snacks you need to try

Former OzTREKK student Helena Xiang is back, and she’s got some snacking tips for everyone headed to JCU Medical School in Townsville, Queensland… and for everyone else, too!

Confession: I am a habitual snacker. There are always food packages sprawled across my desk for my convenience when I study. That’s why I’m always on the hunt for new snacks I’ve never tried before. I’ll be talking about different foods to try while you’re here.

When you travel, eating the food from that country is a way to experience their culture. Although Australia is very similar in culture (and food) as Canada and the US, you can still find some foods that are iconic or only available in Australia.

JCU med student: Australian snacks you need to try
Have you tried a Tim Tam slam?

Tim Tams

One of the most iconic Australian snacks, Tim Tams consist of cream between two biscuits and covered in chocolate. There are so many different types of flavours, including the original, three bean, mango, etc. This is probably one of the first snacks to try.


It’s an acquired taste. Only a thin layer of it on bread is needed. Any more than that and the taste becomes too strong. I heard that it tastes best in a grilled cheese sandwich. (OzTREKK note: Vegemite is a yeast-based product. It is extremely salty and bitter and most people won’t like it right away… or ever!)

JCU med student: Australian snacks you need to try
Do you dare to try Vegemite?

Red Rock Deli chips

These are really good chips, but really expensive (for a poor student on a budget). They have a selection of cool flavours that aren’t available where I’m from, like Wagyu Beef and Wasabi Cream, and Creamy Saffron and Sage. (OzTREKK note: Director Jaime Notman’s favourite flavour is Green Chilli & Coriander!)

JCU med student: Australian snacks you need to try
Red Rock Deli chips - Green Chilli & Coriander!

There are many other snacks that are worth trying, including the selection of Arnott’s biscuits, and some chocolate and candies.

On a side note: Townsville is a small city, and there aren’t that many restaurants and stores close to campus. I talked to some people I know on campus, and realized that not many people know of nice Asian stores and restaurants. If you’re like me, and enjoy eating Asian foods or want to find certain oriental ingredients, the following are a couple places worth visiting.

For oriental foods and groceries, such as frozen dumplings, steam buns, spices, and instant noodles, it’s worth visiting Oriental Food Supplies. It’s close by (near Stockland), and the prices are reasonable.

Sun’s Chinese Dumplings

Great dumplings and fairly cheap as well! It’s a family business, and they have free delivery to select places on certain days. Worth a try! You can visit their Facebook page:

Hope you enjoyed it, and happy eating!

Melbourne’s booming Airbnb market

Researchers from the University of Melbourne have conducted the first in-depth analysis of the Airbnb property market in Melbourne, showing the number of monthly bookings has rocketed by 600 percent in the last two years.

Melbourne's booming Airbnb market
Melbourne Airbnb property market has boomed in the last 2 years

At the same time, the total number of Airbnb houses, apartments, bed-and-breakfast units and private rooms has grown steadily from fewer than 5,000 in October 2014, to approximately 17,500 listings in metropolitan Melbourne today.

The research, conducted by Dr Gideon Aschwanden and Dr Andy Krause from the Melbourne School of Design in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, also found that the market grew most quickly over the summer months from December 2015 to February 2016.

“Over the summer period, around $12 to $14 million a month, or $500,000 a night, was spent on Airbnb in Melbourne,” they said. “This compares to $A2 million a month, or $65,000 every night in October 2014.”

While market growth predictably slowed over winter (occupancy rates are lower), monthly revenues in 2016 are still more than double what they were in the same month last year and they look set to rise again over spring.

“It will be interesting to see if a similar seasonal market increase occurs again this coming summer of if we witness ‘peak’ Airbnb.”

The research report includes detailed information on each property—such as location, number of rooms, and advertisement dates. It also includes information about the daily booking status and price of each property for each day since October 2014.

Dr Aschwanden and Dr Krause also identified the hotspots for Airbnb accommodation in Melbourne.

The greatest concentration of Airbnb properties is in the CBD near Southern Cross Station. Other clusters are on the northern end of Chapel Street in South Yarra, St Kilda, the Carlton/Fitzroy/Collingwood area and the southern end of Bay Street in Port Melbourne.

Overall, nearly all Airbnb units in Melbourne as located within 5 to 7 km of the CBD. Entire homes and apartments have the highest occupancy rates compared with private rooms.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Join us for the upcoming Griffith Law School seminars!

Find out how you can study law at Griffith University and return home to practice! Don’t miss the upcoming Griffith Law School seminars Nov. 29 – Dec. 2, 2016.


Griffith Law School seminars
RSVP for the Griffith Law School seminars

At the information sessions, Griffith Law School Dean and Head of School Prof Penelope Mathew and Deputy Head of School Associate Professor Therese Wilson will speak about the faculty and about studying law at Griffith:
  • Griffith University
  • Griffith Law School
  • Graduate Bachelor of Laws program
  • Program structure
  • Admissions requirements
  • Application process
  • Accreditation
  • Life on campus
  • And much more!

Griffith University Law School Information Sessions

Join Griffith Law School for these upcoming seminars. Enjoy refreshments, meet like-minded people, and speak with a current Griffith LLB student who will be attending the Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver info sessions.

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016
Time: 6 p.m.
Venue: Westin Ottawa, Spruce Room

Date: Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016
Time:  6 p.m.
Venue: BL 205 Claude T. Bissell Building, University of Toronto

Date: Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016
Time:  5:30 p.m.
Venue: 2-25 Humanities Centre, University of Alberta

Date: Friday, Dec. 2, 2016
Time:  5:30 p.m.
Venue: 10051 Saywell Hall, Simon Fraser University

To register for any of the seminars, visit

About the Griffith Bachelor of Laws (graduate entry)

The Bachelor of Laws (graduate entry) at Griffith Law School offers a professional legal curriculum that focuses on core areas of legal practice and the legal skills that lawyers must have. You will have the opportunity to choose law electives based on your interests, including clinical courses that emphasise practical legal skills, insights and experience.

You can also double your career options, without doubling your study time, by completing a double degree. You’ll study two Griffith degrees simultaneously, giving you the career advantage of a special combination of skills.
  • Laws/Arts
  • Laws/Business
  • Laws/Commerce
  • Laws/Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Laws/Government and International Relations
  • Laws/International Business
  • Laws/Psychological Science
  • Laws/Science (Environment)
Program: Bachelor of Laws (graduate entry)
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 3 years
Application deadline: Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply at least three months prior to the program’s start date to allow time for the pre-departure process.

UQ graduate shows the tables are turning for women in digital and IT

Women in the information technology industry have become a hot commodity, sometimes even used as trophies to enhance a company’s ability to attract and retain the very best (female) talent.

IT and digital companies are recruiting women for a variety of reasons: to boost their employer brand, because they are a listed company and are under pressure to report on their workforce diversity statistics, or because these employers genuinely want to enhance gender diversity for the right reasons. The right reasons being that they acknowledge the benefits of diversity on problem solving, innovation and, more broadly, thought leadership.

UQ graduate shows the tables are turning for women in digital and IT
Women in Digital and Digital Talent Co. CEO Holly Tattersall (Photo: UQ)

The most successful women in digital and IT choose to work with companies where gender diversity and inclusion is demonstrated at every level of the organisation, and with companies who offer roles that can keep up with the ambitions and abilities of women in their industry.

Women are now so highly sought after in these professions that they have the luxury to pick and choose which employer they work with, according to the perks and benefits on offer, and also based on their deeper compatibility with a company’s professional ethos.

While a company may promote their gender-diverse policies, flexible working arrangements and inclusive culture, when the rubber hits the road many women are lured to workplaces that don’t practice what they preach. They might, for example, subtly (or not-so-subtly) discourage females from leaving work early to get the kids, despite the fact they will burn the midnight oil from home later.

This incompatibility of values means an increasing number of these outstanding women are becoming entrepreneurs, jumping off the corporate ladder and instead starting their own companies or small businesses.

For the women who don’t go down the path of starting their own business, this disconnection of companies who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk creates a genuine challenge as they are then left having to decipher sometimes misleading employer branding messages.

How do they figure out the real story? They ask peers, their networks or do research online. The truth will always out.

But what if you don’t have a strong network, are new to Australia and aren’t across the market nuances? What if you’ve been sold a lemon of a company? For men and women in digital and IT, one of the greatest challenges is that top talent is lured into roles and sold the opportunity to digitally innovate, only to be disappointed by an executive board that doesn’t understand nor respect digital as a platform for customer engagement.

For this reason, top talent looks to advisory organisations like mine who are trusted to put forward only the best employers who prioritise diversity and inclusion, and who take digital innovation seriously.

So as Beyoncé asks, “Who run the {digital} world in 2016”?


Holly Tattersall (Bachelor of Business Management ’10) is the ambitious founder and CEO of Women in Digital and Digital Talent Co., which provide mentoring, training and career opportunities to their members. Holly is passionate about empowering women globally through digital technology.

UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

The UQ School of Information Technology is a multi-disciplined school that teaches across numerous fields of study in the information and communications technology (ICT) and engineering areas, preparing graduates for a successful career in a myriad of jobs and industries.

ICT graduates are in demand with employers increasingly wanting ICT trained people possessing a combination of business problem solving and interpersonal skills. ICT skills are readily transferable across employers and industries, allowing graduates flexible employment opportunities.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

OzTREKK pre-departure events a success!

At OzTREKK, we are proud to assist our students in any way we can—including holding in-person pre-departure get-togethers. Our pre-dep prep aims to guide students through the final steps as they prepare to live and study in Australia. It is also a great opportunity to meet other students who will also be travelling to Australia to study. This year, we hit Toronto and Vancouver, and we are so pleased we had a chance to meet you!

OzTREKK pre-departure events a success!
OzTREKK staff in the “photo booth”

This year, many of our OzTREKK students and some of their family members joined us for these important seminars, and, as always, it was just as fun for OzTREKK staff as it was for the students—just check out video slideshow! What a great way to prepare for your trek to Australia and get the latest 4-1-1 on what to expect—and meet some students who will be studying with you!

So, we send out a big thank you to everyone who came out to participate!

Melbourne Law School graduate: it’s all about words

For 2015 Melbourne Law School graduate Nick Kotzman, the study and practice of law all comes down to one thing: words.

“I’ve always found it interesting that we use words as tools to convey meaning about important things such as the powers of government, and the types of conduct that we think should be met with punishment,” Nick says.

MLS graduate Nick Kotzman (Photo: University of Melbourne)
In fact, it was his fascination with words and their meanings that first drew Nick to pursue a legal education and now, a career in commercial law.

“I find the process of trying to understand the meaning that is conveyed by the words that make up our law to be a challenging and rewarding exercise that draws on a range of problem-solving skills,” he says.

Stepping into a graduate role at commercial law firm Herbert Smith Freehills this year, he has worked on matters ranging from the approval process for the Melbourne Metro Tunnel to competition advice on various infrastructure assets. Nick says he uses the interpretive skills that he learned at law school on a daily basis.

“Whether it is in the context of trying to understand precisely what a judge is saying in that tricky penalties case or attempting to figure out how one section of a statute speaks to another section, going through that process of ascertaining the meaning (or meanings) of words is something I get to do all the time in my job.”

In fact, while law graduates have always been valued for their skills in understanding recent case law, he says that legal practices value the interpretive skills of young lawyers now more than ever.

“As statutes make up more and more of the law that clients have to navigate, law firms place a premium on graduates who have an ability to think laterally and interpret statutory provisions that have not been considered by courts or tribunals. And more often than not, it’s the junior’s research on interpreting those words that goes directly in the advice to the client.”

Looking back on his time at Melbourne Law School, Nick feels the ability to interpret case law or legislation was not something he learned in any one subject, but a general skill that all his professors tried to nurture.

“Even though they might not appear directly relevant, subjects like Criminal Law and Procedure and Evidence and Proof have taught me broad-based interpretive skills that have assisted me countless times during my time in commercial law.

“Equally, special lecture series like the ‘Joining the Dots’ series delivered by former High Court Justice Kenneth Hayne have also helped me to develop a body of skills to deploy when faced with research questions involving statutory interpretation.”

While there can be no doubting his passion for the law (and words!), his advice to law students eyeing off a career in commercial law is not to forget about their other interests or ambitions.
“Get involved early. In my experience, law firms look for students who do more than just their studies. This could be practical work experience in a law firm or a community legal centre; a part-time job in retail or hospitality; or getting involved in any of the great organisations at MLS such as the Law Review, the LSS or the student newspaper, De Minimis.”

Story by Blake Connell via University of Melbourne Law School

University of Melbourne Law School Juris Doctor program

The University of Melbourne’s JD is designed specifically for graduate students. The program is highly regarded both nationally and internationally. It leads to admission to the legal profession in all Australian jurisdictions and can also be used as a basis for seeking admission in many jurisdictions overseas. The curriculum for this law program allows students to build the core skills essential to a wide range of legal and professional careers, and gives them the opportunity to tailor their studies to areas of particular interest through elective subjects.

Program: Juris Doctor
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 3 years (standard course structure); 2 or 2.5 years (accelerated course structure)
Application Deadline: Melbourne Law School has a general application deadline of November 30 each year. It is recommended that you apply as early as possible.

Entry Requirements
Melbourne JD applicants must have
  • completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline; and
  • completed the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Monash University secures highest funding of $47.9m in research grants

Monash University has been awarded $47.9 million in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) funding, the highest amount awarded to any university.

Monash achieved the highest funding for 18 ARC Future Fellowships of $13 million, and for five Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) projects for which it was awarded $3.4 million.

Monash University secures highest funding of $47.9m in ARC grants
Study science and engineering at Monash University!

In addition, Monash achieved $7.5 million for 21 Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA) and $24 million for 62 Discovery Projects.

The ARC funding will support a diverse range of research projects from enhancing a state-of-the-art microscope facility to analyse the atomic level structure of the natural world and advanced materials; understanding the role of mitochondria—the power generators of cells—in evolutionary adaptation; to developing a satellite that can measure moisture levels in soil more deeply than previously possible.

Announced by the Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Monash was awarded funding by the ARC for work on 106 Projects across eight faculties and the Monash Indigenous Centre.

Monash University Vice-Provost (Research) Professor Pauline Nestor said Monash had achieved an outstanding result in the ARC grants, and it reflected the university’s high impact research work.

“These awards reflect the extremely high calibre of our research staff who are leading the way in delivering high impact outcomes to address the challenges facing the planet and impacting people’s quality of life,” Professor Nestor said.

Professor Joanne Etheridge, Director of the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy and Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, led one of the largest Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) awards for Australia this year. Professor Etheridge’s $1.8 million grant will deliver a revolutionary microscope to analyse the structure matter at the atomic level, building upon the outstanding research capability of the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy.

Professor Jeffrey Walker from the Monash Faculty of Engineering receives the largest Discovery Projects grant given to a Monash researcher this year of $923,500. Professor Walker’s five-year project will develop a new satellite that can remotely measure soil moisture to deeper levels than previously possible, giving farmers the data needed to optimise their available water resources and maximise food production.

Dr Damian Dowling from the Monash Faculty of Science was awarded an $805,008 ARC Future Fellowship. His project aims to discover if the genetic variation in mitochondria—the power generator of cells—contributes to evolutionary adaptation, and could reveal the role of mitochondria in adaptation to climatic stress.

International audiology experts gather at world-leading symposium

There are 360 million people living with disabling hearing loss worldwide and this figure is set to increase significantly. To prepare for the expanding needs of these patients, Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), together with Macquarie University and the Australian Hearing Hub, brought together international experts from the audiology community in a world-leading symposium, held Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 in Sydney, Australia.

International audiology experts gather in a world-leading symposium
Australian Hearing Hub (Photo credit: Macquarie University)

“The symposium is not a typical conference where delegates come and listen to presentations, but a place for us to come together to identify new opportunities for collaboration, discuss the latest research and future directions, and this will ultimately support our clinical partners to enhance patient outcomes,” said Jan Janssen, Senior Vice President, Design and Development, Cochlear.

The four-day Global Research Symposium united more than 200 multidisciplinary stakeholders along the entire spectrum of care under the theme of “First Heard,” tying the transformative effect implantable hearing solutions have with the first occasion of the event. By sponsoring this unique event, Cochlear is investing in the future and uniting leading voices around the most important scientific topics facing implantable hearing solutions for the coming decade.

“Implantable hearing solutions provide extraordinary outcomes for people with severe to profound hearing loss; however, there are still many opportunities to significantly improve hearing outcomes and meet the growing needs of patients with severe to profound hearing loss,” explained Janssen.

The symposium provides a unique opportunity for researchers to share new theories and innovative study concepts with their peers and a select group of world-leading scientists, enabling open discussion and debate.

“A big focus with research nowadays is looking at what promotes healthy ageing—what can allow us to not necessarily live longer, but maybe live better,” said Dr. Frank Lin, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins University.

“Hearing is something that hadn’t really been looked at in the context of ageing until five years ago, but it’s something we’ve found can play an important role in mobility and cognitive health, both key challenges the elderly population face.”

“We are excited to welcome the international audiology community to the Australian Hearing Hub and showcase the unique facilities located here. Not only is our research and clinical community located together at Macquarie University, it is also the global centre for Cochlear implant manufacturing,” explained David McAlpine, Professor of Hearing, Language and the Brain & Director of Hearing Research at Macquarie University.

Australian Hearing Hub

The Australian Hearing Hub unites researchers, educators, clinicians and innovators with expertise in audiology, speech pathology, cognitive and language sciences, psychology, nanofabrication and engineering sciences.

Macquarie University’s Australian Hearing Hub is a global leader in speech, hearing and language research. The Australian Hearing Hub leverages the university’s extensive international expertise in language sciences and cognitive sciences research, and in clinical research and professional training teams in audiology and speech language pathology.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Former OzTREKK student featured by UQ Pharmacy

There is an exciting future for the field (of pharmacy), one that I want to be a part of.


Former OzTREKK student featured by UQ Pharmacy
UQ Pharmacy student Brian Kim
Every now and then a familiar face pops up. We especially like it when it’s a former OzTREKK student being featured on an Australian university website! UQ Pharmacy recently let us know that one of our students, Brian Kim, was one of them! Here’s what Brian has to say about the Bachelor of Pharmacy at UQ:

“UQ is well known in Canada and it recognizes previous studies which was a major deciding factor in choosing to study here. In addition, it satisfied my desire to study abroad and experience a new country.

“The lecturers and tutors are one of the best things about UQ. They are some of the highest quality educators I have experienced and they genuinely care about making sure you have a positive learning experience.

“UQ offers a great program that incorporates a good balance between practical and theoretical learning, a great learning environment, and great staff to help you through the challenging degree.

“The field of pharmacy is changing very rapidly with pharmacists taking on more responsibility when it comes to patients’ health outcomes. This, combined with the fact that pharmacists are employed in many different industries means there is an exciting future for the field, one that I want to be a part of.”

Are you interested in studying pharmacy at the University of Queensland?


Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years

Entry Requirements
Applicants to UQ Pharmacy are required to have completed their high school diploma. Applicants should have completed Grade 12 English, Chemistry and Math to meet program prerequisites.

If you have commenced or completed a university degree or any post-secondary studies, your most recent studies will be assessed in terms of your grades. If you have not completed the necessary prerequisite subjects in your post-secondary studies, your high school transcripts will then be assessed for prerequisite subjects.

Don’t forget: Credit Transfers!

Many international students with prior study (especially those with a science background) are able to enter directly into Year 2 of the Bachelor of Pharmacy. If credit is awarded, students can undertake an additional course in their first and second semester of enrollment and complete the program in just 3 years.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Introducing Cohortpay, a new way to transfer your tuition fees

Every year we see an increasing number of students learning ways to save money on their health cover and foreign exchange.

Introducing Cohortpay, a new way to transfer your tuition fees
Learn more about using Cohortpay!

Over the last few years, OzTREKK has been a proud supporter of Cohortpay, an Australian company specializing in international student services. Having met with Cohortpay CEO Mark Fletcher a number of times, we can comfortably attest to the quality of their services and their attention to students. The company is incredibly responsive and our students are treated well—as they should be!

We did a little “test” recently and compared the results to a uni’s wire transfer page. We found that on $10k it was about $200 savings. As that tuition amount increases, it can really add up!

OzTREKK isn’t any getting any referral rewards—we just really think this is one of the best solutions available for our students!

About Cohortpay

Cohortpay is a secure payment platform designed specifically for students that will save you time and money.

Offering significant savings to more than 600,000 international students enrolled in Australian universities each year, Cohortpay allows students to make tuition payments in their local currency and convert their AUD dollar tuition fees at a significantly lower foreign exchange rate while eliminating extra international money transfer fees from the equation.

Since inception, Cohort Solutions has now assisted approximately 15,000 students from more than 140 different countries, studying at almost all institutions in Australia that offer international education.

The Australian Government has recognised Cohortpay for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in both 2014 and 2015, and in 2015, took 36th place in the top 100 “Fast Starters” list published by the Business Review Weekly (BRW) as one of the youngest and fastest-growing companies in Australia.

How it works

Cohortpay converts your education expenses at foreign exchange rates usually only available to large corporations and they pass these savings on to you. You just need to make a local bank transfer and Cohortpay takes care of your payment from there.

1. Set up your payment
• Home country
• Destination country
• Fee total in Australian dollars (AUD)

2. Customize your payment
• Personal information (student ID, etc.)
• University and program details
• Upload your Letter of Offer

3. Select payment method
Least expensive way is domestic bank transfer (preferred option)

4. Complete the rest of the payment setup
• Identity verification: name, DOB, address, passport number, etc.
• Payment method: Details are provided in your offer letter
• Payer Information: You or another person (parent)

And then… confirm transaction!

5. Go to your bank
Take your payment advice to your Canadian bank and make a CAD wire transfer to Cohortpay using the instructions provided. Keep your receipt!

6. Funds Received email
Within 1–3 days, you will receive a “Funds Received” email. This means that Cohortpay now has your money and will transfer it to the university.

7. Payment confirmation email
When the money is remitted to your uni, you will receive a “Payment Confirmation” email, usually within 3 days*.

8. You’re finished!
Your payment has been made and you’ve saved money!

* Timeframes may vary on your bank, holidays, and other circumstances outside Cohortpay’s control.

What’s it like to move to Melbourne? OzTREKK student shares his tips and tricks (Part 2)

International students have a lot to do in order to prepare for study in Australia: getting a student visa, booking a flight, transferring money, finding accommodation, registering for classes, mentally preparing… the list goes on! Luckily, we are here for you every step of the way. From application to arrival, OzTREKK will be there.

Former OzTREKK students are there for you, too.

Remember OzTREKK student, Eric Leckie? We recently ran a blog (OzTREKK student gives us the inside scoop about the Melbourne physiotherapy program) about his journey as an international student. His detailed story outlining the tips and tricks of the Melbourne physiotherapy program got a ton of hits on Facebook, and now he’s back to give us the skinny on moving to Melbourne!

Take it away, Eric!

I love living in a big city such as Melbourne. There is always something to do on the weekends to keep you busy when you have some down time from uni. For example, there certainly isn’t a shortage of restaurants to go try out. Whether you’re looking for Italian, Thai, Indian, Korean, Greek… Melbourne has it all and the best part is, if you decide to live in the city, all these restaurants are all walking distance away. Another great aspect about Melbourne is that it’s extremely culturally diverse. I find the general culture and attitude of Australia to be very similar to that of Canada. Everyone is very nice and accepting here, which makes you feel like you’re at home.

Aside from Melbourne itself, I really enjoy exploring different parts of Australia. This past Easter break I went to Byron Bay (personal favourite) and Surfers Paradise with a friend of mine and it was absolutely amazing. Australia has so much to offer and domestic flights are really cheap so there’s really no excuse to not get out and explore as much as you can!

What's it like to move to Melbourne? OzTREKK student shares his tips (Part 2)
Weekend trip to the Grampians National park with friends

Accommodation options

I’ve talked to a lot of my international friends that are in the program with me and we all agree that finding housing is definitely the most stressful part about preparing to study here in Australia. To be honest, there’s not much OzTREKK can do to help us with this part of the process, apart from pointing us in the right direction and offering suggestions.

For myself and many others, we had to find accommodation ourselves, which was a little sketchy because I almost got caught in an online scam when I was searching for places to live while still in Canada. I found that there are a lot of people out there preying on international students looking to find accommodation here in Australia. In my case, this landlord tried to get me to pay first and last months’ rent up front before I even moved here to Australia, just so he could “hold” the apartment for me. This landlord ended up not even owning this property and it was, in fact, a scam. So just be very cautious when looking for apartments and places to live online before actually moving here.

I am currently living in the Student Village here on the University of Melbourne campus. Like most of you, I ended up in a stressful situation where I had to secure accommodation fast before moving here. I am currently paying $308 a week for a single bedroom inside a 4-person share room. On top of that, WiFi is in extra $40–$80 a month, depending on how much you’re going to use. I’m pretty sure $40 gets you around 30,000 MB which isn’t much at all. Laundry is $3 for washing and $5 for drying, I believe.

This is strictly my personal opinion, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone studying a post-grad degree to live here. If you’re into partying, then the Student Village is definitely the place for you, as the majority of residents are all studying undergraduate degrees.

What's it like to move to Melbourne? OzTREKK student shares his tips (Part 2)
Cliff jumping at Mt. Martha pillars with my good friend Justin

If I were to do it over again knowing what I know now, I would log onto and search for share houses that way, from Canada. The way the website works is that you create a profile and you are able to view different living accommodations in the area that you choose. You can set up Skype video calls with the landlords and residents to make sure you’re going to be a good fit. A lot of my friends ended up going this route when they got here and it’s worked out well for all of them. For the most part, the places you’ll find on Flatmate Finders are apartments or houses that have extra rooms available for rent, living with other students for a lot cheaper than what I’m currently paying. OzTREKK has a ton of accommodation suggestions on their Boarding Pass website—use it!

Getting your finances in order

I think the biggest thing to do before you move over here is to establish a really good support team back home. As you’re probably already aware or coming to find out through research, it costs a lot of money to live over here. Everything is much more expensive than it is in Canada and the United States, such as groceries, eating at restaurants, going to bars, public transportation, gym memberships, etc.

OzTREKK does pre-departure webinars and in-person seminars before you guys leave to fly over here and they will tell you to have at least $1000 in cash on hand when you arrive. Please take them seriously; they aren’t kidding. You’re going to need cash for living expenses until you’re able to set up an Australian bank account and transfer all your money over. I’m currently with Commonwealth bank and I was actually able to set up my bank account from back home in Canada before I came over, which made it really easy once I arrived here in Australia.

Make sure you have all your loans set up and ready to go, and make sure you plan out how you’re going to access that money. I’m with Scotiabank back home, so I have all my loans funneled into my Scotia account because here in Australia there’s a bank called Westpac that allows Scotiabank members to make withdrawals free of charge at any of their ATMs in the city.

The point I’m trying to get across is to make sure you have everything set up and ready to go before you arrive. If you’re a Canadian and haven’t looked into student loans yet, I highly suggest it! The more money you have at hand the better because you truly can’t predict how much you’re going to be spending once you get here and it’s better to have it available just in case.

What's it like to move to Melbourne? OzTREKK student shares his tips (Part 2)
The balconies at Grampians National Park

Join OzTREKK student groups

Furthermore, take full advantage of the student groups set up by OzTREKK for all the internationals enrolled in the same program. I say this because everyone will be arriving here in Melbourne well before classes start in order to get settled in. It gets really lonely after about the first day you arrive here when the adrenaline wears off and jet lag sets in and you realize that you don’t actually have friends here in Australia. So use the Facebook group and get everyone together for drinks or out for dinner as soon as possible before you get too homesick. For me personally, that student group really helped me out a lot. I was able to make quite a few new friends with the other international students within the first couple days of moving here. Everyone is in the same boat, so reach out right away when you get here and start enjoying Australia!

Best decision I’ve ever made

Moving here to Australia was the first time I’ve ever left home. I did my undergrad at the university in my home city, so moving here was a big change for me. With that being said, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity to move halfway around the world to study a program that I’m very passionate about. The independence is amazing and the opportunities are endless!

So in conclusion, yes, I’d highly recommend studying here in Australia! If any of you have any further questions about my personal experiences here or if you have any further questions about the school and curriculum itself, please feel free to contact OzTREKK and they will give you my e-mail and we can set up a Skype or FaceTime call. I’m happy to help!