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The article is written by Paola Bianchi     Cover photo by Sacha Fernandez 

Coffee culture in Australia is a big deal and entirely different from other heavy-coffee-drinkers countries around the world like Brazil, USA or Finland. Not better or worse, but different.

Even though people buy lots of instant coffee (ugh!) from the supermarket, if we are looking for quality and real flavour, what Aussies care about a lot, we should check out the glorious cafe culture that has been arising in Australia since immigrants arrived from Italy and Greece with their coffee expertise.

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Alpha on Flickr

ESPRESSO IS (STILL) THE KING

Espresso is the main (often the only) brew method used to drink coffee in every cafe. Espresso machines are kind of the heart of the coffee shop and require a knowledgeable barista to run it, or two or three baristas during peak hours! Yeah, you hear right.

One barista will be doing the shots of coffee, this means grinding and weighing the coffee with the aim to hit the perfect extraction by balancing grams of coffee grounds and ml of water and avoiding under-extracting the coffee (resulting in a sour flavour) or over-extracting it (getting a bitter flavour).

Another barista will be steaming and frothing the milk. The milk should be silky and shiny. Each type of milk has different tolerance to the heat, and therefore soy milk will burn faster than full cream milk for example.

Market lane coffee facebook page

Pic from Market Lane Coffee Facebook page 

ART LATTE BECAME MANDATORY

In super busy cafes there may be another barista just doing the milk pouring! This person would be the ‘art latte master’ of course. The forms made with milk is absolute no requisite for a flawless coffee, but it has become a required aesthetic in the Australian coffee culture. Hearts, tulips and rosettes. This is known as ‘free pouring’ and there even are competitions!

BARISTAS CAN AGREE ON THIS

Some will say that doing the shots is the most critical part of the job, and others will state that the milk is the most delicate part. But everyone will agree that there is one thing that makes the difference: coffee beans must be ground as close as possible to the moment of the brewing process. The aroma and flavour ­of the coffee starts to degrade as soon as hits the air.

Barista

Tristan Kenney on Flickr

STARS IN THE FLOOR

It is fair to say that (good) baristas are essential to the industry, some courses provide certifications, and any café’s regulars customers will want to establish a friendly relationship with the barista. After all, they are making their coffee hit every day!

Usually, they are called gun-baristas, because of their efficiency in the espresso machine. It’s normal that they will remember almost every face, name and coffee preference of the café’s regulars. Yeap! Good memory these Hospo workers!

Note that saying ‘expresso’ is a common mistake you do not want to make in front of your barista.

Single Origin coffee

Joanne Wan on Flickr

TRENDS ON BEANS

When the coffee is sourced from various producers and countries and then mixed to take the best of each bean is called ‘blend’ and it’s by far the most sold coffee and you will find it in 99% of the coffee shops. Each cafe will use one particular blend that will be distinctive to that specific shop, and what customers will come back for! (besides their friendly service)

Each brand or coffee company has a few blends and cafes that roast their own coffee will often have seasonal blends. Speciality coffee they say! This is what distinguish top-notch trendy cafes from others. These cafes will often have ‘single origin’ coffee which means that the coffee is sourced from one single producer or region in one country, and purists will swear that is the best quality you can find.

Purists will also argue that decaffeinated coffee should be erased from a menu and that alternative kinds of milk like soy, coconut and almond are not acceptable. In reality, most cafes offer them to adapt to what customers actually want, which is their ultimate goal, right?

coffee selection

Alpha on Flickr

BLACK OR WHITE

Do you drink coffee to wake up? Or you wake up to drink coffee? Either way, here are three steps to order your coffee like a genuinely mature, well-informed coffee drinker in Australia.

1. Know your espresso options: ‘black’ or ‘white’.

Black options:

– Espresso or also known as ‘ short black’ (just one shot of espresso)

– Short macchiato (one espresso and a drop of milk)

– Long black (hot water and double espresso on top, like an Americano but the water goes first to avoid breaking the crema)

– Long mac/ long macchiato (double espresso with a drop of milk, some places serve it with a little of hot water at the bottom)

Milk-based drinks are:

– Latte (more steamed milk than foam)

– Cappucino (lots of foam, little-steamed milk, chocolate on top)

– Flat white (no milk foam at all) – This type of milk coffee was actually invented in Australia!

– Mocachino (milk foam, espresso mixed with chocolate and more choc on top)

2. Know how much actual coffee to order:
By default, a regular size of coffee (8oz) has one shot of espresso, and a large size (12oz) will have two shots unless you ask your preference:

– Strong, for two shots in regular or 3 shots in large size.

– Weak, for half shot in regular or 1 shot in large.

3. Know how to express your desired coffee:
All the adjectives of your coffee should be said before the type of coffee itself.

For example, don’t say ‘please a latte with skinny milk, with 2 shots and 3/4 full’.

Better say ‘a strong, 3/4 full, skinny latte please’. Sounds nicer, right?

Oh! When doing takeaway, if you are having sugar in your coffee (yes, you are allowed) make sure you ask for it before the barista makes your coffee. Not wasting barista’s time can be much appreciated during peak hours!

Okay, are you ready to make your order? Pay and sip!

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The article is written by Paola Bianchi

5 essential things to be on the right track

1. Feeling like toast for breakfast? Better be Sourdough!

You can find Sourdough bread (fermented dough) in any respectable bakery, cafe and supermarket. If it is wholemeal, organic, mixed with Rye or with seeds, you are closer to eat like a Melburnian. Give a try to the classic buttered bread with Vegemite and avocado. Yummy!

For Melburnians, it’s all about gut health.

Bonus: our fav spots in Melbourne are Baker D. Chirico and Tivoli Road Bakery. You won’t be disappointed!

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2.  When ordering eggs, the waitress will ask ‘how do you want your eggs’
and it is expected to be a specific answer. Most menus show an ‘eggs your way’ option. What does that mean? It means you can choose between a lot of possibilities! We definitely haven’t seen this in my hometown.

Boiled eggs (soft or hard); scramble eggs (soft and fluffy); fried eggs (sunny side up or over); poached eggs (hard or runny) and baked eggs.

Bonus: for eggs made like in heaven, head to The Kettle Black or Hardware Société. These places have been delivering awesome eggs for a long time.

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3. Have you been invited to a Christmas meal?
Fabulous! Make sure to bring wine or dessert. Any good quality red wine will be happily accepted. If you want to please sweet tooths, get a lovely dense fruit cake, plum pudding or the old fashion gingerbread.

According to a survey made by Woolworths (a big chain of supermarkets), over half a million pavlovas are usually sold on the week previous to Christmas. Get a pavlova; you can’t go wrong!

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4. Did you think that ordering a coffee is easy peasy?
Think again! The coffee culture in Melbourne is a serious thing, and the competition between cafes, roasters and coffee suppliers is a hot subject.

To cover the basics, we have the espresso coffee which can be black (think long black or double ristretto) or white (with your choice of milk, think lattes or cappuccinos).

There are also other alternatives that are becoming incredibly popular like filtered coffee (served hot and black) and cold drip/ cold brew (served cold, black or white)

If unsure of which coffee to get, we suggest to talk to the barista and ask for a recommendation. Usually, they are happy to go quickly through their options to help you determine which drink suits you better.

Bonus: our top-notch places for coffee fans are St Ali in South Melbourne (sit in one of the communal tables) and Patricia Coffee Brewers in the CBD (no sitting here, it’s a standing room!).

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5. Keep the politeness.
We know it can be exciting to try new things and you may want to do it ASAP. But always say this two magic words: ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. We found that Melburnians are so polite that even when they didn’t do anything wrong, they will say sorry first.

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Leaving family and friends behind and pursuing your dream and future in a strange country can be a pretty tough task. However, the entire process of getting the hang of your surrounding is not that difficult, especially when you’re moving to Australia where the friendly locals never fail to make you feel at home.

By further following these tips you can get an idea how to approach new people and make some amazing friends.

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1. Look out for new friends in your class
There is no need to hesitate in making an approach or fearing rejection as usually at the university level, many students sitting around you are equally nervous. In fact, you will be surprised at the enthusiastic response you will receive once you make the friendly move.
Being a loner never helps whether you’re a quiet person or a chatterbox. It’s beneficial when you have many friends around to talk to about various subjects. You can start by discussing your assignments, projects or even class lectures with the Australians students around you.

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2. Join the campus clubs
The best part about studying in Australia is that you have enormous opportunities to socialize with students studying with you and making new friends. Joining a club at your campus could be of great help as it provides you with the chance to mingle with people with common interest.
Also, with having nothing to do at your hostel than to study, these campus clubs could be a tremendous extracurricular and fun activity that you could indulge in.

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3. Spend more time outdoors
It’s easier to avoid the alienated surroundings and people and hide away in your homestay. However, that does not help you to progress any further. Although studying indoors is important, spending some time out is also beneficial to drive away the loneliness.
Hang around the Playfair Café or the famous Bourke Street Bakery for its yummy sausage rolls. These places are both cheap and a perfect pool of your potential new friends!

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4. Explore the city
If you are going to spend the next few years in Sydney, you might as well explore the city too. Whenever you have long weekends, make sure you plan your trips to the Bondi Beach with your friends or better yet, see the iconic Sydney Opera House. Places like these are always crowded and filled with opportunities to socialize to the fullest.
So if you are planning to study in Sydney, then remember these tips to make new friends and get more comfortable and accustomed to the new city.

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This article is written by Alanna Tomazin

Looking for a job over the summer? Great, because we’ve come up with a few handy tips on how and where you can find the perfect summer job while staying here in Australia that suits you!

The thought of looking for a job for the summer can put a buzz kill on your holiday vibes, but the truth is having employment means having money, plus you can meet new people and make new friends. While over here in Australia you’ll need the extra cash to enjoy your time while on a break as sometimes the fun things Australia has to offer aren’t always cheap or free.

Tip: If you’re ever wondering what events are on in Sydney or other areas, head over to Visit NSW.

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Cafes/Restaurant

Living in busy city areas you will find that there are a huge number of cafes and restaurants to choose from when you’re after a nice cup of hot coffee or dinner with friends. But have you ever thought about working in one? Working in a cafe and/or restaurant is a great experience, you can make coffees and be a waitress or a waiter taking food and drinks out to customers. These kinds of places have a busy atmosphere so if you’re up for a challenge then this is the right area of work for you.

To apply for a job at a cafe/restaurant, you should print out a few copies of your resume and walk around to your local businesses, dropping them in.

Tip 1: Be sure to walk in with a smile and say that you would like to drop your resume in and ask if they have any jobs going at the moment.

Tip 2: When working in a cafe employees are usually required to have a barista certificate, meaning that they have basic coffee making skills and know how to use an espresso machine. Not to worry if you don’t have one yet, just jump online at TAFE NSW or Barista Basics for more information.

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Pubs

Gaining bar work is another great place to get some extra cash in your pocket. All you need is your RSA and RCG to guarantee getting hired in this area of work, where you will be pouring beers, making drinks and dealing with gambling games. If you don’t have either you can head online and find a location near you.

Most places such as CBD College offer packages that are cheap and affordable for students like you.

The best bit about working in a pub is that the hours are super flexible and the money is pretty good, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy other activities with your friends.

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Retail

 With Christmas coming up over the summer break there are always more jobs available for those interested in clothes and jewelry. This is mainly because the shops can get pretty hectic with everyone wanting to buy gifts and do their Christmas shopping.

If you think you would like to work in retail you should definitely print out your resume and drop them into local shops that you are interested in. However, a more efficient way to look for a job in retail is to use job sites such as SEEK, Indeed, and Adzuna.

Tip: Job sites allow you to create a profile and add a CV which you can send through to employers when you apply for a job online. They also send you emails with jobs that suit you.

Study Anywhere_farm work 

Harvest/Fruit Picking  

Harvest and fruit picking are extremely popular for backpackers and international students who are looking for a change of scenery and love to travel. It is becoming increasingly popular and work is available all over Australia, especially in the summer. The farming industry needs tens of thousands of casual laborers to help pick fruit.

You can work and play by traveling around to different locations and often, you will be paid calculated by the amount of fruit you pick to per full bucket or cart. However, sometimes it is $10-$30 an hour depending on speed.

If you’re interested in experiencing something new and exciting then head online to Harvest Trail for more info and to find the next fruit picking location for you!

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The article is written by Candice Tan

If you’ve lived in Sydney or Melbourne for even a short amount of time, you would probably have heard about the small rivalry between the two most populous cities in Australia. In this spirit of this light-hearted competition and our earlier article about Sydney’s hot spots, here is our essential ‘To do’ list in Melbourne:

Study Anywhere_Have a coffee in the laneways

Have a coffee in the laneways!

Melbourne may not have famous icons such as the Sydney Opera House or Sydney Harbour Bridge, but it does make a great cup of coffee. Take a wander down the many vibrant laneways and admire the colourful street art as you sit and sip on an expertly-made espresso or flat white, or be like a local and grab your takeaway cup as you explore what the city has to offer.

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Soak up some culture!

Melbourne has long been considered the Australian city with the most European-feel and cultural activities. From the majestic Princess Theatre to the iconic Comedy Theatre, you will have plenty of choices to spend a night out in Melbourne. Or, just walk down Swanston Street or Bourke Street and enjoy the world-class performances by an assortment of talented buskers.

Study Anywhere_Go to a festival

Go to a festival!

It is almost impossible to be in Melbourne and not encounter a festival happening around the city. From the world famous Melbourne Comedy Festival and Melbourne Fringe to smaller festivals celebrating the multicultural nature of the world’s most liveable city, weekends in Melbourne are never dull. There will always be something to see and do (and probably eat!) at Federation Square or along the Yarra River.

Study Anywhere_Hop on a tram

Hop on a tram!

Melbourne has the largest tram network in the world and on top of that, riding on the trams within the city is free – yes, free! This is something you won’t find in pricey Sydney. There’s even a tram catering to visitors, with a guided tour of the main attractions around the city. The extensive tram system and simple grid-shaped layout of the city also make it one of the easiest cities to navigate.

Study Anywhere_Get out of the CBD

Get out of the CBD!

While the city will keep you more than occupied, if you drive just a couple of hours outside of the city, you’ll encounter some of the most breathtaking places in Australia. From the Great Ocean Road’s spectacular 12 Apostles to the magnificent Wilson’s Promontory, you’ll be amazed at what the Victorian coasts have to offer. Or, be a like a local and take the opportunity to go on a hike or walk when the sun’s out at popular Dandenong Ranges or Macedon Ranges.
So which city is better? Well, it’s a tough one. But one thing’s for sure – both cities have great things to offer and anyone visiting Australia should get a taste of both if they can!

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This article is written by Loren Howarth

Full of beautiful beaches and friendly charm, Australia is the perfect destination to study and experience the world away from home. But before you pack your bags for an adventure of a lifetime, you should consider the costs.

As the standard of living in Australia is increasing, so too is the cost of living. To help you get a bit of an insight, we’ve worked out living costs for several major cities. So get saving and start drawing up a financial plan!

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SYDNEY

Earlier this year, Sydney was ranked as the most expensive city in the world. But don’t let that deter you from studying in this great place. There are several housing options to choose from, including a shared house or unit which costs roughly $200-$300 per week, or a one-bedroom unit which can set you back $400-$550 per week. While looking for where to stay, be sure to choose an area close to where you’re studying so you can walk or easily catch public transport. Sydney also has some irresistible food on offer, as well as an energetic night life. But try not to blow your money all at once, as this could cost you over $200 a week! Plus, you’ll need to put some money aside for electricity and gas, which costs between $35-$140 per week.

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MELBOURNE

Choosing to live in Melbourne is relatively cheaper than Sydney, and overall it will save you around $200. In the city, it will cost $200-$300 per week for rent in a shared house, $40-$100 for power costs and around $80-$150 in food. One of the great characteristics of Melbourne is the city’s public transport facilities. In the central business district, you will have access to the free tram system which gives you easy access to where you need to go. By catching these free trams, you’ll save a lot of money which you can spend on more activities and adventures!

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BRISBANE

If you want to study right near the beach, then Brisbane is the perfect study location for you. But this dreamy destination does come at a cost week rent in a small yet furnished studio in a reasonably priced area is around $380, and add that with $40 a week for utilities, it certainly isn’t cheap. And as the city is quite expensive, you’ll be looking to find somewhere in the outer suburbs, which means you’ll mainly be relying on public transport. These costs certainly all add up!

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PERTH

Perth is a beautiful city that has an easygoing character, as well as plenty of nightlife. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey last year, Perth was found to be more affordable than Brisbane, Melbourne, and Adelaide. With international students also receiving a 40% discount on all public transport services. A one-bedroom apartment outside the city centre costs just over $300 a week while residing in an apartment in the heart of the city will set you back around $400.

Although all of this might sound daunting, don’t let the numbers put you off! If you have your sights set on studying in Australia, draw up a financial plan, put aside any spare change, and see if there are any scholarships you are eligible for. And if you ever need a hand, the people at Study Anywhere are always here to help you find the right course!

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The article is written by Candice Locklee

One of the first things you should be thinking about when starting your exciting new life in Australia is how to get a job. It can be a stressful time when you’re applying for a job in a foreign country, but there are things you can do to improve your chances.

You may have heard of the term RSA. If you plan on getting a job in the hospitality industry where they serve alcohol to customers, you’ll need to take a short course in RSA training and hold a certificate before you are allowed to work there.

If you’ve never heard of an RSA or just want some more info, read on to find out what exactly an RSA is and why it’s a great idea to get one.

Study Anywhere_What is RSA

WHAT IT IS

RSA stands for Responsible Service of Alcohol. If you plan on working in an environment that sells, serves or supplies alcohol in any form, it is a legal requirement in Australia that you have completed RSA training and hold an RSA certificate. Whether you’re planning on working in a restaurant or a café, a bar or a nightclub – an RSA is essential, even if you’re only cleaning up empty glasses rather than serving customers alcohol directly.

Study Anywhere_Why you need RSA 

WHY YOU NEED IT

By listing an RSA on your resume, you are giving yourself a much greater chance to secure a job in Australia by opening yourself up to a wider range of opportunities. As the majority of overseas students will find work in the hospitality industry, having an RSA will make it much easier to gain the attention of potential employers and help you get that job you have your eye on.

Aside from being a requirement, RSA training will teach you all about alcohol laws in Australia and instruct you on how to react in any number of situations that can arise in an environment that serves alcohol.

By the end of the course, you will understand important things such as the amount of alcohol in each drink that is served, the amount of alcohol that can safely be served to one individual, and what to do when dealing with someone who has had more drinks than they should. Health and safety rules are essential to know, as are laws such as the times of alcohol service (these are different for each state) and the fines you can be facing for serving alcohol to an intoxicated person.

Study Anywhere_HOW YOU GET the RSA 

HOW YOU GET IT

The process of getting an RSA is different for each state and territory in Australia, so it’s a good idea to visit the correct website to check what is required for the area that you plan on working in.

An RSA course can be taken in person or online (excluding Victoria) and can be completed in around 4-6 hours.

Update: Student Visa holders can now only get the RSA certificate at a CRICOS registered school.

Generally, the process requires you to pay a fee and read through the course materials provided to you either online or in a training center. You will then need to pass a test based on your understanding of the material that will be assessed by a registered trainer. Depending on your location, signatures and photo ID may be needed.

Once you pass the test, you can usually have your certificate of completion handed to you on the same day.

Study Anywhere_THINGS TO KNOW about RSA

THINGS TO KNOW

Update: Student Visa holders can now only get the RSA certificate at a CRICOS registered school.

It’s possible to complete the RSA course online and receive your certificate the same day in all states and territories of Australia, excluding Victoria. If you plan on working in Victoria, you’ll have to visit a training center and complete a face-to-face course to get your certificate.

Before you start, check that the service provider is an RTO (Registered Training Organisation) and the course is Nationally Accredited so that your certificate is recognized in Australia.

In NSW, you will need a Photo Competency card in order to work. Similar to a driver license, the Photo Competency card is proof that you completed your RSA training. After you have passed the RSA test, you will be given your RSA Interim Certificate (valid for 90 days) which you can use to start work right away. You must then apply for your Photo Competency card as soon as possible which can be used for up to 5 years.

Here you can request an application form for the RSA course in Sydney or in Gold Coast and Brisbane.

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The article is written by Candice Locklee

If the white sands, rolling waves and endless summers haven’t been enough to lure you here yet, the Gold Coast also boasts some of the best shopping locations in Queensland for tourists and locals alike to indulge in some serious retail therapy.

From designer handbags and high-end fashion to all you could dream at bargain prices, the Gold Coast draws visitors to its shopping centers all year round with a unique and diverse retail experience that is bound to suit any budget.

There’s nothing like buying yourself something nice to feel better and chase away the study blues – you deserve it!

For those days when you wake up with an urge to spend your hard-earned cash, we’ve got five of the best spots on the Gold Coast to keep you shopping all day long.

Study Anywhere_ROBINA TOWN CENTRE

ROBINA TOWN CENTRE

As the second biggest shopping center on the Gold Coast, Robina Town Centre is a great option for an all-day out shopping experience. With over 350 stores, including specialty stores, department stores and supermarkets, two large food courts and an outdoor dining extravaganza known as the Promenade, there’s plenty to keep you busy as you search for that perfect bargain.

Thanks to ongoing developments, Robina has also expanded to include big name international brands such as Zara and the soon-to-open H&M, along with a newly styled eating area called The Kitchens where you can feast on dishes from around the world and enjoy the frequent live cooking demonstrations performed on stage as you dine.

Robina Town Centre is going to keep getting bigger and better as new stores are opened throughout this year and next, so get on down there and pick yourself up something special!

 Study Anywhere_SURFERS PARADISE

SURFERS PARADISE

As the central heart of the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise has always been a hotspot for tourists and locals alike. Perfectly situated alongside the iconic beachside, Surfers draws millions of sand and sun loving people from all around the world to its shores each year who want to combine their love of retail with the beach culture that has become synonymous with Gold Coast living.

Pick up cheap souvenirs in one of the many tourist friendly stores throughout the district, browse through countless surf shops and fashion outlets, score a bargain at vintage and second-hand stores and don’t forget to visit the famous Cavill Avenue – the main shopping strip in the city packed full of shopping malls, eateries and fun things to do while in the city. You’re sure to pick up the perfect outfit to hit one of the many clubs you can find in the area.

Study Anywhere_JAMES ST, BURLEIGH HEADS

JAMES ST., BURLEIGH HEADS

When you’re over the crowds at the shopping centers, head on down to Burleigh Heads for a more relaxed and alternative retail experience.

James St. is a popular short one-way street jammed with beachy boutiques and hidden arcades where you can find anything from furniture and homewares, old books, vintage clothes and handbags to scrumptious cafés, health food stores, and artisan bakeries.

The fashion stores on James St. offer visitors something a little different from the popular brands you can get in shopping centers, often at very reasonable prices. Here you’ll find quirky brands and up-and-coming designers who offer designs that stick to the laid back Burleigh fashion code – think bohemian gypsies and Coachella casual – perfect for the chill vibes you’ll get in this area any time of the year.

After you’re done browsing and buying, there’s a great selection of lunch options around Burleigh, including plenty of vegan and organic meals for the health conscious. However, we suggest grabbing some fish and chips, a cold drink and heading for the beach across the road. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a long day of shopping!

 Study Anywhere_HARBOUR TOWN OUTLET SHOPPING CENTRE

HARBOUR TOWN OUTLET SHOPPING CENTRE

Harbour Town is a must for those looking to buy high-end labels at fantastic bargain prices. Situated at Biggera Waters, Harbour Town is a unique outdoor shopping experience like no other you’ll find on the Gold Coast.

Here you can find big international and local brands that are sold at a fraction of the cost – if you’re lucky you can find items up to 70% off the original retail price in a regular store. There are over 240 outlet stores currently opened at Harbour Town, including Victoria’s Secret, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss, as well as iconic Australian labels such as Oroton, Mimco, and UGG.

There’s also a great selection of dining options available, from restaurants to cafés, and a big cinema complex that offers movies at a cheap rate.

Harbour Town is easily accessed by bus and is only fifteen minutes from the heart of Surfers Paradise – so there’s no excuse for not popping in and grabbing a massive bargain.

Study Anywhere_PACIFIC FAIR SHOPPING CENTRE

PACIFIC FAIR SHOPPING CENTRE

After a huge redevelopment, Pacific Fair Shopping Centre is the largest shopping center on the Gold Coast and it’s easy to spend an entire day here. You’ll find anything from big global brands here, such as H&M, Zara, Sephora, and Uniqlo, to iconic designer labels, to homegrown brands and everything in between.

It’s also good to note that Pacific Fair is a nice looking shopping center. It’s sprawled between two large main indoor centers and an outdoor area that connects the two with plenty of comfy seating and dining areas to relax in between.

There’s a real resort vibe at this shopping center with the numerous fountains, bridges, lighting and tastefully decorated outdoor space – it will make you feel like you’re relaxing by the poolside with a fancy cocktail after a hard day’s work.

There isn’t much you can’t find here and there’s always bound to be a sale going on somewhere for those looking for a bargain. It’s official – Pacific Fair is a retail lover’s dream and your ultimate shopping experience on the Gold Coast.

Would you like to live and enjoy the lifestyle in Gold Coast as an international student? We can help you to find the right school to match the desired lifestyle. Send us a message to receive more information.

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The article is written by Pamela Choo

Making friends can be a hard task for some, especially when you’re in a foreign country. You’re focused on settling in and getting used to the new environment that socialising may not be your first priority. However, making good friends in a new place that you’ll be living in for a while can be pretty vital. It can make your experience living abroad a more positive and memorable one. So here are some tips on how to instantly make friends.

Study Anywhere_Benice

Be nice

Yes, just be nice. I’m not saying go ahead and be a pushover, but simply be a nice person when you encounter a new human being. Say hi, or compliment them on something you noticed. When you set the intention to be a nice person, you’ll naturally be a magnet to other people.

Study Anywhere_Smile

Smile. And do it often.

This, I find, is simple yet really effective. If you’re not the smiling type, I suggest trying to practice smiling more often. When you’re at a social event and you meet new people, start with a smile. You’ll find that most times people will smile back and feel more at ease around you. This could also lead to an engaging conversation—you never know! But a smile can be all it takes to make a new friend.

Study Anywhere_Be genuine

Be genuine

All these tips won’t really make a difference if you don’t appear genuine. In anything that you do, let your words and actions come from a real place. If you’re going to compliment someone, mean it. If you’re asking someone, ‘how are you?’ genuinely take the time to be interested. Make eye contact with the other person. If you’re looking to make new friends, it’s important to be open to random encounters and to be truly present in them.

Study Anywhere_Be helpful

Be helpful

If you see someone who is lost around campus or if someone appears to be ill, take the initiative to help him or her out. It doesn’t have to be a big move. The first step can be asking if he or she needs help with anything. It can be difficult for a person to ask for help, especially if it’s with someone he or she doesn’t know too well. So let them know it’s no trouble and that you’re willing to help!

Study Anywhere_Be lighthearted

Be lighthearted—don’t take yourself too seriously

In the initial stages of getting to know someone new, it can be good to keep things light and to even have some silliness or jokes in the conversation. When you appear lighthearted, it will help the other person to feel more comfortable around you. We all want to be around people who are positive and easy to be around.

Study Anywhere_Skip the small talk

Skip the small talk

At the same time, though, your conversations with someone new doesn’t necessarily have to be revolved around small talk about the weather or how your day went. If you feel comfortable enough, sometimes skipping the small talk can enable you to make new, and possibly more lasting, friends. You can ask them about their backgrounds, their interests and hobbies. You might find that the other person is willing to share simply because you asked.

Study Anywhere_Listen

Listen

With that, it brings us to the next and final tip, which is the importance of being a good listener. Most of my closest friends are amazing listeners, and I think this is a quality that you can’t find in just anyone. Everyone likes to be heard. And it’s easy to tell when someone isn’t really listening (we’re all guilty of that, am I right?). So being more conscious of listening whenever you’re speaking to a new acquaintance can attract new friendships into your life.

 

If following all these tips seems a bit daunting, just go with the flow when you meet someone new. The most important thing of all is to be yourself. The kind of person you are attracts the kind of people you become friends with, so just be you. You’ll meet the right people in due time and you might just surprise yourself with the new friendships that you make in a foreign place. They may just be your ‘home’ away from home.

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The article is written by Pamela Choo

Winter is upon us in the land down under, and if you’re the kind of person who can’t function without the sun and warmth (believe me, I feel you), here are some ways you can beat the winter blues and be productive, happy and healthy during the colder months.

Study Anywhere_Stay Active1. Stay active

This is probably my number one go-to method on keeping your energy levels up when you’re feeling a little down in the dumps. It might be the last thing you want to do, but we all know the benefits of exercise and how it leads your body to release endorphins. Trust me when I say you want to be good buddies with endorphins because they trigger positive feelings and will help you feel heaps better.

It can be the hardest thing to bring yourself to go outside when you’re not a fan of the cold. But you’ll be surprised how a quick run or walk in the mornings will lift your mood. If you don’t want to be active outdoors in the cold, hit the gym or a fitness class. That way you’ll be able to work up a sweat without feeling the chills. When you start exercising, your body will also begin to feel warmer!

 

Study Anywhere_Have hot food and warm drinks

2. Have hot food and warm drinks

Use this time to treat yourself to comforting foods such as stews, soups, and curries. The other day I got myself a cup of kale and lentil soup for lunch and it instantly warmed me up. Yes, there are healthier options out there if you feel that dishes such as curries can be a little heavy for those with sensitive tummies.

Hot beverages are amazing as well. Nothing like a hot cup of tea on a cold night, or a hot chocolate when you need to satisfy a sweet craving.

Study Anywhere_Try to maintain a healthy diet3. Try to maintain a healthy diet

It can be easy to indulge a little too much during winter. Reaching for a sweet treat or having more carbohydrate-rich foods is only natural when we need to cope with the cold.

Try to incorporate good nutrients in your diets, such as adding some greens to your stews or a side of salad with every meal. You can also opt to add more protein or good carbohydrates to your meals to fill you up, such as sweet potatoes, chicken, and fish.

Study Anywhere_warm clothing4. Wear enough warm clothing

When I moved away from home to a colder country when I was a teenager, I struggled with the cold and often felt very down. In hindsight, I realized that a big part of it could have been that I didn’t know how to dress appropriately for the winter.

Everyone copes with the cold differently; some may not be as bothered by it and for others, the cold can affect their daily lives. Your friend may be able to wear a coat and a pair of tights, but you might need more layers than that. Don’t be afraid to bundle up with a couple of extra layers and scarves so that you feel cozy and comfortable when you’re outside in the cold. Better to look a little puffy on the layers than to let the cold get you down.

Study Anywhere_social activities5. Keep up with social activities

As much as I love staying indoors, having a cup of tea and reading a book on a cold night, I have also found that it’s important to make the effort to meet your friends and family even if you don’t fancy the cold weather. Meeting up with people can lift your spirits (and maybe even distract you from feeling cold), and maintaining your social relationships will make you feel better and happier.

Study Anywhere_do what you love6. Take up a hobby or engage in something you love

When you have a job, class or activity that you absolutely love, it’ll give you something to look forward to throughout the week. If you love playing music, reading, writing or drawing, make it a point to carve out some time to be creative. Take up a new class in something that you’re interested in. It can also be fun to bring a friend along so that you’ll have good company as well.

Dealing with the winter can be a struggle, for some more so than others, but know that there are ways you can help yourself to feel better. Sometimes it’s about trying different things out and finding ways to cope with it that suits you best. Before you know it, you’ll be a pro! Now, time for a cup of hot peppermint tea…

 

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