Wednesday, April 29, 2015

International Overseas Ombudsman

International students do you have a problem with your studies and can't get a hold of your uni? Or are you unhappy with your uni's response? Well the International student Ombudsman is here to help.

The International Student Ombudsman is there for all students. They appear at many International student orientations all year round.

Like the Victorian Ombudsman the International one also overseas complaints from students about providers. They are funded by the State Goverment to look after all International students.

They are available during office hours to assist students and they are a free service for all students.

They are based in Carlton and have been established since 2009.  They are a friendly team who are willing to work with you whatever the problem is. They can work with you at home or in the office.

Last year they dealt with many International students problems mainly in private colleges.

But they have a guide to your rights as an International student and you can read about that here.

Students set up for fail in Australia

The week before there was a report on International students which was aired by Four Corners. Four Corners is a news program in Australia which talks about issues in Australia. We explain.

On Four Corners it talked about the dodgy agents in China and other parts of the world where they help students to falsify English language tests among other things. Four Corners tried three of them. One of them was Shinyway which ANU is investigating.

The report focused on the nursing side of things where a failed graduate could kill a patient by giving them the wrong medicine. It focused on Sydney's hospitals where one Indian student who had really bad English gave somebody dish washing detergent and they died.

The lecturers are annoyed at having to pass students when they should have failed. About 50% of them are plagiarising assignments either by cut and pasting text from sources or by getting a ghost writer to write their essays. One University of Sydney casual lecturer said that the University of Sydney don't investigate it thoroughly. Another one of the lecturers from ACU argued with seven other colleagues that this student should have failed when the higher ups ask for a pass mark.

The education agents in China are dodgy and RMIT has 50% of International students. But RMIT is a good university for their students. One of the Education Agents is Skyways where they forged students IELTS grades to a 7 just to get into uni. What students don't know and is true is that the Education Agents are paid up to 50% of the commission for the universities just to get students to them.

But CISA and IEAA digress saying that they didn't like what Four corners was saying and that it only represents a small amount of students. We say that a huge part of this is true.

What do you think about this issue? Have your say here.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Entertainment book and a giveaway

This year RNIS is selling the Entertainment book membership and this time you have a chance to win a one valued at $65 for $20,000 worth of offers. We explain how you can win this.

This year RNIS is once again going to be selling Entertainment books to help them to raise money for their website and making International students lives in Melbourne a whole lot better. With this money we hope to promote lots and lots of worthwhile stuff in Melbourne for students. The money will help fund some of the events that RNIS attends.

RNIS hopes to do a lot more foodie experiments and DIY craft ideas. They might even have some meetups with International students. Who knows?

This years book promises to be worthwhile and if you do buy the book version of it you can share it with a friend. With the digital app you cannot, but if you forgot your book at home then it is convenient.

Some of the really good offers were from TGI Fridays, Sarti, Italy 1, Church st Enotecca etc. You can save heaps of money every time you dine out or travel.

The entertainment memberships go for one year. Ie from June 2015 to June 2016. The book has $20,000 worth of offers and you can save that money

Now to encourage students to travel and explore Melbourne with the book we are giving away two memberships valued at $65 each. You have to sign up to our Facebook page as well as leave a comment about what you love about Melbourne and why.

Note: The competition is only open to residents of Victoria.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The winner will be contacted via email about 2-3 days after the competition has finished.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Gunman

RNIS was invited to watch The Gunman courtesy of Weekend Notes

Starring Sean Penn, Javier Bardem and Jasmine Trinca the movie is about this guy (Terrier)'s movements between Barcelona, England and Congo. Along the way he meets agents from the Intrepol for his drug movements.

Directed by Pierre Morrel, the movie has lots of action. Jasmine Trinca's English and her portrayal of Annie was really good.

Sean Penn plays a sick guy who loves his guns and he does a good job of this. He looks a lot like Grant Bowler.

The story started eight years ago when Terrier (Penn) kills the minister in Congo. He then since started working for the mines. After eight years there was a fight in the mines and Terrier travelled back to London where he meets his friends Cox and Stanley. Cox ran his own gun business (or so we think when he is an actual Interpol agent who betrayed Terrier. He was trying to catch Terrier out).

Terrier goes to Barcelona to reunite with his girlfriend (Annie played by Jasmin) and fix things up with Felix.  Annie is married to Felix. Jasmin Trinca does a good job of playing Annie. There is sex and Annie kisses Terrier at the apartment. Terrier is invited and during the lunch there is a shootout. Felix ends up dead and the Terrier and Annie escape.

Stanley takes both of them into his flat and looks after them. That is until Stanley is shot dead and Annie is captured.

In the end all the Interpol agents are dead and Annie and Terrier reunite in Congo

The action in this movie is intense and good and the gun shots are loud so if you don't like loud gun shots and get nightmares easily then don't watch this. But if you love action then this is for you.

Many thanks to Weekend Notes for the invite.

Southgate Free Cinema

The Southgate cinema is free for all and it goes from Dec- the end of May every year. This was easy to book online, but you need to wait until 10:30am to do so. It is free to watch but the food is not free.

You'll get the headphones at the start and a little necklace in which to plug the headset into and they will explain volume dialling thing

The Edge of Tommorrow was a really good movie starring Emily Blunt, Brendon Gleeson, Kick Gurry and Tom Cruise. It is a Sci-Fi movie which is set in London. It is about robot wars and there was heaps of good fighting in there.  There was heaps of machinery and the visual effects were really good.

Page (Tom Cruise) has a lot of visions and they keep reccuring in the movie. Here he is trying to fight the machines but he keeps on getting killed. Then Rita (Emily Blunt) gives him training to fight the demons and he does so and they all go home happily ever after. He gets promoted to be a Major.

The movie changes weekly and you do need to book a ticket if you can. You can book it here every Monday after 10:30am.

What to do if you have a late fine

Students did you get your fine late? Not at all? Or forgot to pay it? Well here is our guide to paying it (the public transport fine) when it is past the due date

This is for PTV's (Public Transport Victoria)  fines which some students cannot pay by the due date due to financial hardship. Usually PTV gives students about a month to pay the $217 fine for not having a valid ticket. Sometimes students cannot afford the public transport expenses as they have to pay the rent and the exorbitant fees.

" With that fine I could not afford to eat for one month. Rent is already a huge sum taken out of bank account (direct debit). My employer only pays $10-$15 an hour cash in hand." says a Chinese student from RMIT.

In a recent meeting with CISA, they said that many students cannot afford to pay the fine and often they pay it late. We talk about ways to try and avoid having late payment fees.

Payment plan
A payment plan is a plan where you pay a little bit as you go. But you have to come to sort of an agreement as to how much to pay within a certain amount of time. You may be able to get one for university fees and other things. Its a good idea to talk to the university early and don't leave this til the last minute

Note: PTV and the Department of Transport and Infrastructure does not do this but they usually grant an extension (see below)

Negotiate a new date for when the payment is due
PTV usually grants an extension of 90 days to pay if you request it. You usually have to do this in writing though and they will email you back the new date. Again do email them early.

What are the consequence if I don't pay?
You'll be taken to court. Also your property may be seized and you may go to jail.

Luckily though for this Chinese student he did manage to get the 90 day extension to pay it.

True North Festival: our wrap

As part of Bupa's best blog competition for 2015

The True North festival is an art festival which is hosted by the City of Darebin over one weekend in mid April. It is a community event bringing everyone together. There is food and popcorn and even movies showing but you have to pay to get in (for the movies that is).

The smell of food at the Darebin arts centre greeted me. That and the bells of the boomgate.

We went to some of these.

The Wild about Melbourne Market
This was little and very kitchy. In fact I'll let the photos and the captions do the talking.
Face washer for $15



Childrens activities

Handmade Jewellery

Body scrub

Life Drawing and the Garden party
Well there really wasn't that much of a garden party and the life drawing was in the same place. I had heaps of fun being an artist for a day and sketching 8 models using charcoal. At times the charcoal was messy.

And yes you could say that there wasn't a garden party. It was wet and rainy and not many vendors wanted to come to this event. The music was good though and it worked well with the life drawing.

Many thanks to Weekend notes for the recommendation

The Plus one's events

As part of Bupa's best blog competition for 2015

This year the Plus Ones are organizing a lot of events for the wider community and RNIS was invited to these two. The plus ones are a team of bloggers who talk about the best events in Melbourne

Trivia Night
This was held at the Precinct hotel and it was free for all. More so my drink was free as someone had left behind theirs.

It was lots of fun and many teams participated. Many new friendships were formed over trivia as many people shouted out the answers and cheered when the questions were being asked.

Pop up Bugaloo
It was at the veggie patch where food and beer was free. Food and beer was supplied Little Creatures and the Little Veggie patch.
Plants and sign




This was my first time visiting that patch and that patch was fun. It was fun to taste some of the homegrown vegetables and herbs. I loved my veggie patty as it was made with lots of love and they had lots of fresh veg from the garden.

I also loved hanging out with Brenton from the Plus ones as well as Rukmal (or Ruki) as people do call him.

Do sign up to the Plus Ones site to receive information and invites to their latest events in which they will be organising more for the year

Aya Teppanyaki

RNIS purchased a $38 Groupon for their Teppanyaki meal worth $76.

Aya is a five minute walk from Armadale train station and is on vibrant High St. They are busy at night but never on a Friday lunchtime. I wonder why.

There was one lady and the teppanyaki chef. I came around 12:30pm and booked it thinking that it was busy. When I booked it on the phone I mentioned that I was pescatarian but they forgot until I reminded them.

I wondered why I needed to book when the place was dead quiet.

The miso soup was stock standard. There is waay too much seaweed and not enough tofu. There was only one cube.

The house salad was nice but there was waaay too much dressing. A lot of it was wasted and there was a huge puddle.
House salad
The oil puddle

And then the entree plate which included karrage chicken and not my requested tofu... WHAT the? I had to ask the lady and she did not offer to replace it. Luckily I didn't mind a little bit of meat and had a small nibble. The karrage was nicely fried.

But the salmon on the other hand although fresh, was not cut properly. In fact I had to chew through the fatty bits. But the edamame was nicely salted and cooked well.

Then the fun part... the teppanyaki. My teppanyaki chef was friendly and fun and loved cooking my food. He also loved making small talk. Because it was a Friday lunchtime and I was the only one there, there was hardly any smoke. And the restaurant was clean.

Everything was freshly cooked including the calamari. I liked the prawns with the hot sauce. The fish was a little bit tough. I really enjoyed the lemon sauce on everything. The mixed vegetables were good.

The tofu was very addictive with its garlic sauce

The fried rice was cooked just right but my only gripe is that it had a little bit too much sauce on there.

The vanilla ice cream was rock hard. It was sooo cold. I would have preferred the green tea one though.

Rating: 13/20- it was alright I suppose. But if I were to choose between that and Tokyo Teppanyaki I would choose to go to Toyko teppanyaki as that is much better. But I suppose for Armadale residents this is an alright choice.

I would love to see what Ming from Sweet and Sour Fork thought of this as this is right up their alleyway.
Aya Teppanyaki Restaurant on Urbanspoon

The new Nescafe Gold Coffee

As part of Bupa's best blog competition for 2015

Nescafe has a new range of instant coffee called "Barista style". This barista style which is either smooth or intense. Your choice.

I had the pleasrue of trying their coffees at Melbourne Central at the Shot tower and also taking home a sample. I had my coffee with soy milk.

This cofee is really intense. It is smooth and lovely with the soy milk.

I also tried the other intense one and it was good as a mocha. The flavours came out well.

Naked truth

Naked Truth is a sweet brand who like Happy Lab likes to take big bold risks with their flavour. You eat for pleasure is their motto. When I saw the brand label I thought sweet and sexy.
These were found in the health aisle for about $2 each so RNIS thought to buy some to try.

The nectar lollies tasted like the Passionfruit drink

The cheesecake chocolate bar is really sweet. I had a very small piece and its like whoa. The flavours exploded in my mouth. I thought wow. I was seriously addicted to this whilst at the movies.

Do try some of the lollies for your sexual pleasure. They are only available at Coles for a mere $2.

Body Image workshop

RNIS was invited to this workshop by RMIT Queer Department
As part of Bupa's best blog competition for 2015

The RMIT Queer Space is a safe space and no one is being judged here. You are beautiful just the way you are.

Self perceptions
"Our self perceptions are harsh"
This is about self love.

"What did I think about of him who is deeply ashamed about himself?" There are people who are happy to be themselves. Some of them are so deeply deeply unhappy and some who are ok. His image had suddenly changed. He was more confident

Its not like what we look like it is about the way we see ourselves from the inside. We need to change our beliefs about ourselves. My self image is a woman and it is the most peaceful and joyful thing in the world. What is inside our hearts is what matters. Sometimes you don't have to do the big things to make a difference. It is the smaller things

Your thoughts is what you perceive of the world- you decided that you have a bad day. Perception is everything. Think about the important people and the way how you feel about them. Eg your mum/dad overseas. Who you feel deeply appreciative of. What can you give them which is pure and that they will appreciate and enhance. It has to be something that you want to give them.

Being negative
People expect everything to be perfect and some people compare themsleves to others. Some people think that other people is better. Our ideas are very perfect, i.e models. Models are airbrushed to make them look pretty in the media.

Self esteem and acceptance
Do you accept yourself for who are? How would you rate yourself? Confidence comes from acceptance. I have accepted myself.

Many thanks to RUSU Queer Department for the invite

Lord of the Fries at Swanston st

As part of Bupa's best blog competition for 2015

Lord of the Fries is a chain store bringing Melbourne's number 1 chips. RNIS went to the one on Swanston st near Flinders st train station.

Their new fries range

I got the kids serve because I was not that hungry and a full size serve is about 500-600 cal. This cost me about $3.45.

My chips were not too salty nor oily. In fact potatoes are 84 cals each.  They do also have sweet potato chips but they are about $1 extra. And I had no sauce as well. Sauces are 67 cals per tablespoon.

Do go on by for your healthy fix.
Lord of the Fries on Urbanspoon


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