for all new international students

Month: March, 2013

Babu Burgers and Balls by Katherine

Babu burgers is a place in Chapel st opposite Swinburne campus.

But the area in itself is still pretty busy with students, cars and families.
Chapel st on a saturday is a nightmare, hence we chose to tram/train it there. Someone once told me that it is $15 per hour just to park there. With trains and trams it costs about $3.30 on the weekends and with MYKI pass it is virtually free.

Sally and I arrived there just after 1pm and it was not busy. But at 2pm families started coming. It was a long and leisurely lunch.

We used our Meld Student discount of $10 burger with chips and we both added drinks to our order. I had the lemon lime and bitters ($3.50- it came in a huge glass and was the nicest ever tasted) and Sally had the Ginger ale ($3).

With the Meld student discount you can order a meat, veggie or chicken burger. It would be the same with the Entertainment book (which launches in April 2013).

The meals came pretty fast. Sally and I both had vegetarian burgers. Sally got hers with the beetroot and jalepinos.

When they came to the table they looked pretty darn good and they were both open burgers which is easier to eat with a fork and knife. These were much better and much more fullfilling than the ones at Grilld across the road. Who says that vegetarian has to be boring and dry?

Babu burgers makes their own sauces and beers/cider. I tried the pink mayonaise on my chips and it tasted like plain old mayonaise. But I still enjoyed it.

I’d love to come back to Babu. If only they’d advertise as to which holidays they are closed.

Babu Bar Burger With Balls on Urbanspoon


Drugstore Espresso

Drugstore Espresso was the only coffee place besides Two Birds One stone that was opened on Easter Saturday. Originally we were going to go to Outpost but that was closed.

Drugstore Espresso is a tiny little kitchy place on busy Toorak road.

Sally herself had a big breakfast and coffee so she didn’t have anything. But I ordered some toast and coffee. Originally I was going to get cake but they ran out. It was 11.30am when we visited.

The long black smelt a little bit burnt and nutty ($3), but it was strong.

The toast was good too. The butter was homemade (I think as it had that creamy texture to it that you normally don’t get much of in a commercial butter). I think the jam too was homemade. I loved the sourdough- it had that nice texture to it.

The service itself was a bit disorganized as there were people standing around doing nothing and my coffee came after my food. Way after it- I thought that they’d forget.

I can forgive these tiny things if the food and drink is right and it was. For a South Yarra cafe this is excellent. This is what the Melburnians expect. Thank you for offering such good food and drink to the locals. I would love to come again; this time when we’re both peckish for eggs as we saw some really lovely looking egg dishes being delivered to other tables.

Drugstore Espresso on Urbanspoon

Phat Brats

Phat Brats is one of Melbourne favourite sausage places and has been for a while now.

It is on Brunswick st about ten minutes from the city. It was not hard to find as they had a very big sign.

About 20 other bloggers raved on about this place.

I got meet up with the owner ( I think his name was Daniel) and he said that photos were fine by him and they had no problem with it. They had been opened for a year.

The owner said that one of the perks of the job is to get to meet people and to do that they have many stalls in quite a few markets.

The only downside is staying back on Friday nights til about 3.30am in the morning.

A new girl served me and she was pleasant.

They have the $10 student deal where you get chips with a bartwurst. It was quite filling. Now I normally love spicy hot dogs so I got the Spicy Chorizo Bratwurst with their chips.

It was nice but it wasn’t too spicy. This is good for people that don’t like the spiciness. I wasn’t a fan of the soft bread- I thought it was bought from Coles.

I would have loved some onions to this.

But I must say that the potato fries were good…it reminded me of being in the country as I can taste the rustic potatoes in this. These were nicely seasoned.

I also had organic lemonade. At $4 a bottle it was not bad… as it was Phoenix.

Its a good place to hang out between classes as Brunswick st is not far from RMIT. And who says that meals have to be that darn expensive? If only good meals were cheap. I’d definately come back again if I’m in that area wanting hot dogs.

Phat Brats on Urbanspoon

Easy Way in Target mall

Easy way is a tea franchise and I think I have done reviews on these before.

But I have not tried the one in Target Mall. What convinced me to try there was the buy get one free promotion going on.

They had been “opened for a year” (or so they claim) but service was lacklustre today. They didn’t seem to understand what a queue is. The lady that served me and the other couple had pretty poor English. The other couple wanted to know what the “pearls” were but she didn’t explain. She did look very tired and she did not smile.

My tea was $4.30. I got a regular iced green tea but I added apple jelly (extra $0.60) to the mixture. It was nice but towards the end was a little too sweet. It was hard to eat all the jellies because they were not mixed in properly.

Now I’m happy to visit the other Easy Way tea places in the city, but just not this one.

Easy Way Bubble Tea on Urbanspoon

Where to find jobs

As part of our careers series

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

 These are some of the most common ways for students to find jobs whether it would be part time or full time.
1) Careers fairs such as the Big meet  as advertised in Weekend notes
2) Through your university’s connections
3) Through e-jobs- E-jobs is an online site via RMIT where RMIT students can look for jobs. RMIT students and graduates can register to use the site to find part time and full time jobs. At the moment there is 53 part time jobs.

4) Through Information sessions- RMIT runs a lot of Information sessions to assist people with finding jobs each semester, weekly.
Also Careerone has a Job Alerts page where you can sign up using Facebook. Did you know that most of the Jobs are actually advertised on the company’s website or Facebook?

Hardly any jobs are advertised though seek and careerone as it is too expensive. Same as with the newspaper.

For most part time jobs have a look at the shop windows next time you’re going to uni. And make sure that you have your resume ready

Good luck

Join a Union

As part of our Careers series
The poster below explains why.
There are many unions to join

Participating in Research Projects

RMIT does have some research focus groups and projects for students to participate in. Most of them are run by students for students as part of their research project. Most of them usually offer some sort of a reward at the end such as a free movie ticket.

How is it announced?
1) By email from a lecturer in your course- so it pays for you to pay attention to those emails and if you can participate.

2) On the noticeboard- there are dozens of noticeboards around campus. So next time when you are in the Caf look for the noticeboard.

3) Sometimes through MYRMIT in the noticeboards. Next time when you are in there have a look at some of the classifieds

So do check from time to time as there might be a project that you might be interested in participating in. There is usually a reward for participation.

International student seminar

 The seminar was on the 22nd of March 2013 at the Coburg Library. It started at 2pm and finished at 5:15PM. The library is right near the train station. A few students attended. I was one of them invited to attend. Here is my write up of the event
This post is in two sections.
1) Moreland City council welcomes International students and how Moreland City Council assists new International students.
“We can come together without any harm” City of Moreland
“We all need friends” City of Moreland.

Firstly I’d like to thank the City of Moreland for letting me be a part of this. I really got a lot out of it.

The library for me was really to hard to find so I was a bit late, Sorry guys. More signage would be ideal.

We started off really late at about 2pm. The first thing that was talked about was the report on International students (see point 2). The recurring themes throughout the presentations were costs of living in Melbourne and no transport concessions for International students ( hey the locals think that they don’t pay tax when they come as they are a visitor, but it might not be true), housing, racism and not much knowledge about what local council can do for these students

There was a play called “Life’s Gamble” and it aimed to illustrate all the problems that International students have when studying in Melbourne. One of the issues worth mentioning is racism and the lack of knowledge about Australian customs. Another one worth raising is the issue of the English language.

AFIS ( Australian Federation of International Students) has been working with International students in the past few years and they predict that by 2020 the number of students expected to come to Melbourne for study is 100000+. They also predict that costs of living will soar and students will struggle.

And then there was afternoon tea.

Then the council talked about what they can do for students (we will cover this in April in a seperate post).

And then another break.

After the break there was a long discussion from a range of people including the police, Fair Work Ombudsman, Housing, International Care Service and ourselves the students. Here we talked about our experiences.

The people from housing talked about a number of ways in which people can be exploited. Ie: being asked to pay for an inspection.
Tenants union does not deal with International students, but students can drop into see them. It is very difficult for students to rent houses as they would need a reference from another Australian landlord or the Uni.

Not many students knows what a scam is and they are easily being conned by people that used to be International students especially on Gumtree and Social Media.

The Fair work Ombudsman said that there is that problem of the “20 hour per week rule”, which I reckon that rule is fair during the semester. But not everyone pays the correct rate- some are known to pay about $5 per hour which for students suck. Hence some businesses exploit students and think that they can get away with this

To end the seminar a couple of things were suggested such as safe spaces for students to hang and lobbying universities to alert students to some of the issues of studying in Melbourne
2.The report on International students by Moreland City Council and RMIT University

The research carried out in the report was a survey of 104 international students living in Moreland and surrounding areas.
 The survey covered a few of the major topcis, such as housing, travel, work and community awareness.

Studies suggest that there needs to be more awareness about community activities and housing. A lot of International students can’t afford some of the travel to these activities let alone some of them. There needs to be further promotions and research on these things.

There also needs to be some involvement in some of the workplaces where they employ international students like for example RMIT and Krispy Kreme. Maybe there could be some research on other areas like Highpoint and Melbourne Central where they have local businesses.

The report also mentioned that travel is quite expensive and most students can’t afford it when not necessary.

It is also suggested that some of the students feel unsafe particularly in areas like Dandenong and Footscray. Do you agree with this?

How to write a good resume

As part of our careers series (note there is no picture for this)

Here are some of our hints to writing a good resume for any job.

 Layout and Grammar
Check the spelling of all the words. Also check the grammar. Get someone else to. Use the RMIT careers service if need be.
If you volunteer with the Student Union you can also ask them to check your resume for you.
If you join any associations to do with your course and the job that you are applying for is relevant to your degree you could ask the association to have a look at your resume. Most industry associations do have resume checking sessions from time to time to assist job seekers like yourself.
It will take about five seconds for the employer to read the resume.
The layout needs to be simple, clear and concise. You can have a look at some sample resumes on the Careers site.

You might have to go to a few careers seminars. RMIT holds them weekly via their careers service  Their careers service has got quite a few good resources on writing resumes and interviews etc. There are also other job seminars all year round.

Also seek and Careerone has some good examples of these for you to look at

End the letter with “I’d like to hear from you soon about a possible interview” and “Yours sincerely . Address it to the right person.
Your personal details go at the top of the resume. Never have an email address with sexy, naughty or something like that as that is seen as unprofessional. you want it to be professional as possible. And don’t put your blog works in there unless it is a professional writing job or marketing job.
As with your work experience only list the ones that are relevant to the job that you are applying for
Make sure that you have the relevant experience needed for the job. If you need some, volunteer with Student Union etc. Because the employer sees this as the number one top priority rather than academic grades. They want to make sure that you can do the job.

Make sure that you have at least three good referees. And don’t forget to list their contact details. What might be another good idea is to see if you can get a reference from them

Internships paid or unpaid

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Which ones would you love to have? Paid or unpaid? Overseas or local?
Most of the overseas ones are paid where as most of the local ones are not paid. But you work a normal 9am-5pm day or sometimes longer or shorter. And this goes with breaks.
For the local ones you should be be paid for those as you have to give up your part time job to work in internships. Most internships are part of your RMIT program but some people are lucky and they only have to do 3x 4 week blocks of Industry placement. I was lucky I got the latter
I guess this unpaid internships is still a necessity because experience counts when you start real work and questions will arise in a job interview about work experience. And you can also list it in your resume.

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You also learn all the skills that aren’t taught in the classroom such as working in teams and other things related to your course. You also learn what the industry does and thus it is viewed more favorably in the employers eyes.
It is agony as you might have to give up your part time job in favor of more study and you might have to live off your parents for a while.  You cannot socialize as much as you want. One of my friends who studies Accounting did internships and she didn’t like it because she was not paid and forced to give up her part time job in favour of more studies and she did not like begging for money from her parents who are already poor.
So if you can try and get a paid one or go overseas to do it.

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