Spreading good vibes and Vegemite toasts

24 July 2019

Apparently over the last three or so weeks, I’ve spent some nearly 70 hours volunteering at various UQ student life events and what a journey it has been! What feels like should have been a grueling and exhaustive experience (particularly for someone that had just landed from an overnight flight from the other side of the country the day prior) has instead been an unforgettable ride that I can’t wait to do all over again! For me, it started with the Jumpstart Academic Preparation Program (JSAPP), a program designed to introduce new students to UQ and allows us mentors the opportunity to help guide new students around the university and tell them all of the things that we wish we’d been told when we started. It’s a program I highly recommend and for volunteers, it is incredibly rewarding helping new students get settled and showing them the best spots around campus.

My favourite part of my O-Week volunteering experience was getting to meet all of the new international students and making them feel welcome. Since O-Week started I’ve spent most of my time in the Welcome Hub and International Arrival Lounge, spreading good vibes and vegemite toasts. I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with many events in including Coffee & Careers, a Guinness World Record and Market Day! I’d imagine for new international students it must be incredibly daunting coming to the other side of the world and having to navigate a new place as big as UQ. But I hope having some friendly faces in the hub and the lounge to introduce them to all of the support services on offer as well as the cool events happening on campus made their transition to life at UQ and in Australia a little bit easier. I also hope they enjoyed watching some of the volunteer crew dancing to an Australian school disco classic the Nutbush which is definitely one of my volunteering highlights. The other main highlight from my experience was taking students on the Best of Brisbane tour – where we got to explore Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, visit the Mt Coot-tha summit, take a ride on the Wheel of Brisbane and check out the beautiful South Bank.

For those that have always wondered what life is like on the other side of Welcome Weeks, I hope I have given you a small insight into what it is like for us UQ Volunteers. My volunteering experience has been great fun and I’ve been fortunate to have met some amazing people along the way! If you are thinking of signing up for UQ Volunteering, you won’t regret it! It is a rewarding experience and you are always well fed! I look forward to doing it all again next time!

Find out more about volunteering at UQ.