Lights, camera, action: international students showcase #UQLife through film

23 March 2018

Steven Spielberg who? A group of imaginative international students from The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law gave Hollywood’s filmmakers a run for their money with their entries into BEL’s international GoPro video competition.

From August to December last year, 11 international student teams from 15 countries across Asia, Europe and Latin America donned GoPro cameras and filmed their experiences in and around UQ, Brisbane and Queensland.

Each team produced a video documenting what it’s like to be a UQ student.

The three teams with the most original, interesting and creative video entries received a BEL prize pack; the winner, Team Malaysia B, also received a set of GoPro cameras to keep.

Senior Manager of BEL International Services Brendon Lutwyche said the competition allowed international students to tell their own story in their own voice.

“We want our international students to make the most of their UQ journey, and we’re constantly looking for new ways to support and inspire them,” Mr Lutwyche said.

“These students had the time of their lives exploring Brisbane and capturing their experiences on film. Their videos will give them a unique way to look back at UQ in the years to come.”

Mr Lutwyche said the judging panel was “blown away” by the students’ creativity.

“I was amazed with the quality content and the breadth of talent in our students,” he said.

“They were all very good and it was a difficult decision for the judging panel to choose the winners.

“Their videos captured the international student experience beautifully – not only the academic side of things but the campus lifestyle, cultural activities, opportunities to travel and the Brisbane food scene.”

The three winning teams were honoured at a special celebration for all competition participants.

Winner: Team Malaysia B

Team members:

  • Ms Pei Zhen Low, Bachelor of Economics
  • Mr Jasher Shuen Teng Han, Bachelor of Economics
  • Ms Jane Ching Chong, Bachelor of Economics
  • Ms Sher Li Koh, Bachelor of Economics.

Team Malaysia B’s video followed the team during their final year at UQ, ending with a look back on what they have gained: a second home in Brisbane and the inspiration to “create change”.

It was a clear stand-out thanks to its soundtrack, an emotional original song composed and sung by team member Ms Chong (with lyric ideas provided by her teammates).

Ms Low said their video was inspired by the welcoming atmosphere at UQ.

“There is a big Malaysian community at UQ which made our transition a lot smoother,” she said.

“We were able to get all the support we needed from the staff members at BEL, be it academic or career advice. Learning at one of the best business/economics faculties in Australia, we feel empowered and confident to pursue our career goals.”

Looking back, Ms Low said her team had benefited from their participation in the competition.

“We all loved the shooting sessions we had together,” she said.

“We made new friends, explored many different places in Queensland and acquired video skills. We were also able to improve our teamwork and communication skills.”

First runner-up: Team Malaysia A

Team members:

  • Mr Jeremy Khoo Boo Yeang, Bachelor of International Hotel and Tourism Management
  • Mr Tzi Yang Lee, Bachelor of Business Management
  • Ms Carmen Yam Yi Yung, Bachelor of International Hotel and Tourism Management.

Team Malaysia A’s video showcased their journey from day one in Australia, drawing on old and new footage.

Team member Mr Yeang said the video competition gave him more of an appreciation of his international student status.

“Reflecting on all of the opportunities here and seeing how much I’ve achieved and the people I’ve met since I came to Australia was the best part,” Mr Yeang said.  

“I loved editing the footage; it was like a big video scrapbook of memories. It made me nostalgic.

“It was also really fun to work with my group members. We were already friends but the competition gave us more opportunities to go out together, plan trips and try new things.”

Second runner-up: Team Taiwan

Team members:

  • Mr Jared Chih-Yuan Lee, Master of Commerce
  • Ms Ingrid Yi Ting Chiang, Master of Business
  • Ms Tan Yang, Master of Tourism, Hotel and Event Management
  • Ms Kuan Hung Liu, Master of Business
  • Ms Chia-Hua Hsieh, Master of Business.

According to team member Mr Lee, Team Taiwan’s video painted a picture of the “emotional transition” experienced by new international students.

“For me, since I had no experience studying overseas or even being in any foreign country, I was a little bit nervous when I came to Australia,” Mr Lee said.

“Finally, I realised that life here becomes better and better as long as you enjoy it and be a part of it. That’s what I wanted to demonstrate in the video... you feel anxious at first and then gradually fall in love with this city and country.”

Mr Lee said his team picked up useful new skills in video production and editing.  

Contact: BEL Communications, Alysha Hilevuo,, 07) 3346 9349.