Friday, July 25, 2014

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17

And the tragedy that struck.
MH news story courtesy of

About 300 people were killed on that flight when a missile crashed into that flight in the Ukraine as it left Amsterdam. About 28 Australians died including an International student from Melbourne University.

Elaine Teoh was one such Malaysian from Penang and Melbourne Uni who had died in this horrible accident. Along too was her boyfriend.

As such the University of Melbourne is offering free counselling to all affected staff and students. Swinburne is offering the same too as one of their students died.

Ms Teoh worked in IG a financial services company and so did her boyfriend. As such IG wishes to offer its condolences to the couple.

“IG Australia wishes to send its deepest sympathies and our heartfelt condolences to the families of our colleague and former colleague Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler (the boyfriend),” the company said in a statement, according to Meld.

At the airport everyone was sad on that Friday and Saturday but afterwards everyone was back to normal.

As such the fireworks had been cancelled in Melbourne and students were devastated. President Naphine expressed his sympathies and so did Tony Abbott.

What would this mean for people?

More scares might mean less flying and less international students especially from Malaysia for now. But maybe in a couple of months time there might be more of them as people may have restored their confidence.

But for now all the universities are offering free counselling services for their students who are affected by the tragedy.

If you are affected by this tragedy then do go and see your university's counselling service as they are offering it for free to all students and staff

Appealing your results

Got a grade that you didn't deserve? We explain your rights and how you can go about appealing your result.

Well students have rights to appeal their grade and its never too late. This could mean the difference between staying and going from the uni. Not many International students know this according to RMIT Student Union.  The RMIT Student Unions about 300-400 students (cases) per year. The uni policies are hard to interpret and most students have trouble understanding the rules

What are the grounds for appeal?
They are:
* Error in calculation of the grade
* Refusal of Special consideration
* Misleading advice or feedback from lecturer.

First step is to try and see your lecturer and see what they can do for you. You will need to see your failed assessment so do make an appointment to see them.  If they can't resolve the problem then it is best to see the coordinator. If they refuse, then you might need to see your student union to assist you in appealing your results.

Most of the times you will need to write a letter to the College Appeals Committee and the student union can look over it for you. You will need some hard evidence such as a doctor certificate or emails from your lecturer.

If you want to appeal your grade then do see your student union.

Good luck in appealing your asssesment and remember if you do still have trouble with the uni you can also appeal at the Ombudsman. Time limits apply.

Fisherman's Pier

Fisherman's Pier is on the Eastern beach side in Geelong. It is a fine dining place in Geelong which showcases the best of Geelong's seafood.

The French waiter and the lady were lovely people and they welcomed me with their open arms. They were very friendly to their customers.

At 12:30pm it wasn't busy but afterwards it was as more people came. I booked this place on Dimmi.

The atmosphere was intimate. It was lovely for a fine dining setting.

For drinks I had my usual lemonade ($4.50)

Hence it was my decision to try their fish and chips which includes the fish of the day which changes depending on what is in stock. It was $20 (normally $22, but as part of the Tastes of Geelong festival it was $20).

The fish and chips may look small, but it was anything but small. It was the right size. But the fish was a little too salty and the batter was too soggy.  The salad wasn't too overdressed which I liked. I could easily taste the freshness of the lettuce leaves.


Look out the window and you'll see the boats


When paying the bill they had forgot about the lunch special until I reminded them.
All in all I'd like to return again. this is one place that I'd return to in Geelong. Oh and yes they do take bookings.

Fishermen's Pier on Urbanspoon

Cafe Vue at the Airport

Cafe Vue is at the Airport at the International departures. They are said to have the best coffee and food for all passengers and guests of the airport.

It was 7:30am in the morning that I arrived. It was still dark and gloomy outside (typical Melbourne Winter mornings).

Run by Shannon Bennett of his Bistro Vue in the city this is a great place to have breakfast at the airport.

When I got there, there was only two staff on that were serving the weery travellers from overseas. Some of them were going and others were visiting. Hudsons was open too but their coffee is not as decent as this.

This however is decent true Melbourne coffee style. It is a long black ($4.90) which looked very attractive in a cute newspaper designed cup. Their coffee is by 5 senses. It was strong but not too strong and it tasted nutty.

You order and pay at the counter and then they will call your number when it is ready. Whilst there I tried a raisin scroll ($4.90- used to be $5.40) and a french big biscuit (can't remember the name- $3). They were both good, except my pastry was a little bit squashed from being in my bag.

The French biscuit tasted like shortbread and equally was as good. It had vanilla cream in the middle and was not too sweet. Its great for early birds like myself.

The raisin thing was great. It was soft and I loved the raisins in there as they were juicy.

Next time when I come and am in need of a coffee I would choose to go here rather than the Hudson's coffee or the other things that are on offer at the airport. If only City of Melbourne would include this establishment in their free lunch offers it would be great.

I'm surprised that only 43% of people liked it on Urbanspoon and the haters would give the place a slamming. I wish they would stop doing that to such a wonderful place.

Café Vue at Melbourne Airport on Urbanspoon


RNIS was invited by the City of Melbourne to try this place
This place is at Virgin side of the airport just past the check in (but not past the security). Here I was invited by the City of Melbourne to try this place.
Selection of meats and vegetables

You order and pay for your food at the counter. Like a cafeteria there is no table service, but rather you get everything yourself. earlier on they ran out of the metal knife and fork so they had to use plastic. It was the same as the last time where my friend ordered her fish and chips.

When she ordered it she didn't seem to enjoy it. In fact on the plate it looked very lacklustre.

Today one of my friends ordered lasagna. On the plate it looked like a microwave meal, but he really enjoyed it. I had the spanakopita ($7.90 with salad) which took forever to come out. Everyone else's meals came out fast mine didn't. All it included was a heating up of the spanakopita pie, something which is not hard to do. My friend reminded them after we wondered what ever happened to my pie.

My friend's lasagna

Rice salad

But when it did come out I really enjoyed it. The cheese was flavoursome and the pastry was thin which is what it is supposed to be. Not bad for a pie.

But still they need more staff on during the lunch hour as it is always busy there. PJ's however seemed to be dead quiet. I don't know if I'd visit again.

Many thanks to the City of Melbourne for the invite.

HighTide Lounge on Urbanspoon

The Lunchbox @Cinema Nova

RNIS was invited by South Melbourne Market and by Madman Entertainment

The motto of the movie is " A little pinch of happiness can change your life". Directed by Ritesh Barvesh this story brings together a man and a woman by food.

This month is Foodies month and Truffle season and hence this was the perfect time for the release of the film.

The movie is based on a true story about a lunchbox being delivered to the wrong place. The wife was supposed to deliver the lunchbox using India's lunchbox service to her husband. But instead it goes to an office worker who is a lot older and lost his wife. It is a funny and dramatic movie which talks about the life of a lonely man and about one of a lonely woman- Ila whose husband has cheated on her. Her aunt lives in the flat above and she is very close..

The husband is very distant towards Ila. Ila is always home alone

At the end of the movie we did not want to leave . It was just that good ( see the trailer above)

Before the movie we had a chance to check out the Nova Cinema bar which offers limited food during the day. NB: we paid for our meals ourselves. The meals are small but are fine and you can take them into the movie itself. The service was very friendly.

They are open from 12pm- late.

Thanks Madman for this fine movie and you can go and watch it yourself in selected cinemas. It is $19 per adult but if you go on Mondays it is $6 at Cinema Nova.
Here is the address for Cinema Nova and their bar. Cinema Nova Bar on Urbanspoon

Truffle Melbourne Festival

" Quantity is not equal to quality" Manu Fieldel.

RMIT Newintstudents was invited to take part in this and therefore did not have to pay.

This festival was a first for Melbourne. Held at Caulfield Racecourse this was a must for any foodies and bloggers alike. It was $28 to get in. With that there were some samples and some people got goody bags. There were also the Masterclasses. I guess some of that money went to paying for the rent and the masterclasses.

Here there were many samplings to be had. But there were also taste testers priced at $28 per course which only the select few had.  Many people had the wine at the champagne bar. Food was priced somewhere between $10-$15 per plate and they also had teeny tiny portions.
Truffle display

Samples of truffle oil

Rabbit at Piper st Food co

Meal plate on display

Samples of pasta

Truffle paella

The bucket

Truffles in their true form

We attended a few truffle sessions in the Scholls Theatre. Here there was one about where the truffle comes from and they are from the Funghi family. Australia has a lot of varieties of truffles growing.
Truffled eggs on toast


Brie cheese sandwich

Poached pears

The ever so gorgeous Truffle lover Sarah, show us how to make easy truffle butter, easy brie with truffle in the middle, poached eggs and pears with truffle. She said that truffle oil has no real truffle flavour. Its just there to help layer the butter and all.

At Manu Fieldel's session we were thoroughly entertained by his antics. He is a lovely and very charming French guy.  He had a great many stories to tell. And I had one question for him after seeing so many reviewers dislike Le Grand Cirque on Urbanspoon. Manu gets really angry by the bad reviews posted online.

Outside there was a dog hunt for truffles going on and lots and lots of pats and love towards the dogs which by the way are Australian Shepherd dogs.

Many thanks to the Mushroom Lovers Club and Truffle Melbourne for inviting me. I had a lovely time and I hope to see you again next year.

Good Neighbourhood month neighbourly dinners

RMIT Newintstudents was invited to a couple of these dinners

This month the Arrow community and Meld have decided to put on a few neighbourly potluck dinners on Wednesday nights. Everyone has to bring something according to a theme.

The first one that I went to was one where everyone can bring whatever they want and I decided to do banana bread and ANZAC biscuits as it was Australian and most people are International students from Asia. They have never tried the biscuits or the bread. Someone else had brought a weird Lebanese dessert which was just basically cheese done the Lebanese way. There was the traditional meat pies as well and a very yummy lasagna.
Black caviar

The second one was on black and white exotic things. It was a lovely homemade dinner. I don't normally eat meat but thus I did this time. It was homemade, clean and cooked well. I also tried cold tofu something that I wouldn't normally eat at home in HK. It was a little bit slimy. No thanks I'll stick to the hot tofu.
Black caviar on biscuit

This time there were more people and food/drinks.

But I loved the brownie though. The brownie although it was black was not burnt and was a lovely way to finish the meal.

Thanks Arrow and Meld for having me and I hope to see you soon. Students please come to the next and final dinner on the 30th of July at 6pm on Arrow on Swanston

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Late fees

Every semester some International students have a problem paying their fees. It is all fine for the local students who have HECS (student loan system vy the Government) in which they can defer the payment. International students cannot. We explain your rights and services that can assist students in paying.

Each semester students have to pay somewhere between $12000- $30000 in fees.

What happens if I don't pay my fees on time?
If you don't pay on time, the universities will charge a late fee. The fee can depend on which uni you are studying at as some charge lower fees and others not so much.

If you don't pay within a certain amount of time then your enrollment may be cancelled, your results withheld, you cannot graduate etc

I can't pay my fees on time what do I do?
Most universities have a financial service in which you can explain your situation to them and they can help do a financial plan in which you pay a certain amount every two to four weeks until it is all paid off. It is free and confidential for all students.

But of course if you don't feel comfortable explaining the situation or you can't understand their policy you can see your Student Advocacy service as they can help you out in explaining your situation.

You do need some supporting documentation eg. your bank statements detailing your income

Have you ever had trouble paying your fees? If so do tell us below.


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