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Yutong sitting on steps looking at the camera

Meet Yutong, an engineering student from China

UQ people
Published 16 Jan, 2023  ·  5-minute read

Hailing from Suzhou, China, Yutong Weng is an engineering student here at UQ who has wholly embraced the international student experience and flourished on both an academic and personal level.

Currently undertaking his third year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), Yutong reflects on his new life in Brisbane and where the opportunities at UQ could lead him in the future, as well as how he’s managed the emotional side of studying overseas.

Settling in Brisbane

Raised in a busy city, Yutong settled on Brisbane as the ideal location to study so he could experience the familiarity of urban life as well as the unique Australian coastline nearby. Queensland’s famously sunny weather was another attraction to Yutong, and he makes the most of it to unwind outside of study hours with trips to the beach.

“My favourite places - the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast - are both perfect spots to relax. They are not too far away from Brisbane, so someone like me who does not have a driver’s licence can go there by train from the city,” Yutong says.

“I prefer to find a beachside restaurant at dusk, enjoying fantastic food in the gentle sea breeze.”

Since moving to Brisbane, Yutong has also discovered a fondness for cooking. Whether it’s trips to the grocery store, figuring out the secret to cooking the perfect steak, or hosting dinner parties, food has been an anchor for Yutong in Brisbane.

Sharing meals has also allowed him to connect with fellow international students and local students alike, fostering a sense of community and an appreciation for other cultures.

“It is special to experience the culture of different countries, especially in a multicultural country like Australia."

Yutong cooking with 2 friends in a kitchen at UQ Res

Life on campus

Yutong resides in Kev Carmody House, ​​a brand-new purpose-built student accommodation on UQ’s St Lucia campus. The accommodation is a top pick for international students due to its world-class facilities, focus on support and wellbeing and the convenience of location.

“It’s a five-minute walk from most of my classes to home – I can wake up at 9am and still hit my first class at 10am on time. No trains, no fuss, it’s so easy,” says Yutong.

“I live with both Chinese and local students and I love having the chance to spend time with both.”

Whether it’s booking a study room or grabbing a coffee from the many cafés on campus, Yutong spends his days taking advantage of all the great study spaces and facilities on offer at UQ.

“The UQ Library is a great study place, but I find something new every day – a different space to enjoy, relax and also hit the books. St Lucia is a great campus to spend time on. The services are really great.”

Yutong standing in the library

Bachelor of Engineering at UQ

Not only is UQ number one in Queensland and number 73 in the world for engineering and technology, but it is also home to the largest number of study options for engineering in Queensland. Students can choose to undertake a flexible first year to get a taste of all six specialisations, or if they prefer, enrol directly in their chosen area of study from day one. 

The flexibility of this program appealed to Yutong, as he was eager to expose himself to as many areas of engineering as possible. He has now narrowed down his options to electrical engineering and software engineering and selects his courses based on those paths.

Yutong enjoys the practical aspects of the engineering program and values the support provided by UQ staff for the more challenging assessments, like building a PCB board.

“In ENGG2800, I needed to design and build my own PCB board but I had no experience in soldering before. The school's ETSG (Engineering and Technical Support Group) runs free 4-hour tutorials on soldering in person,” Yutong says.

“The staff in ETSG are all very kind and patient to listen to your question and help you find a way to solve it.”

Through utilising these services and always being open to communicating and exchanging ideas with peers and professors, Yutong has achieved full marks in most of his assessments so far.

Yutong standing in the Advanced Engineering lecture theatre.

After graduation

Yutong has happily settled into the Brisbane lifestyle and hopes to continue his studies at UQ with a PhD or Master of Electrical Engineering, but not before getting a taste of the workforce.

“If possible, I would like to start my career for a period before studying for a master’s degree because I have been a student and focused on grades and reading books for many years now," he says.

"Sometimes, I am really eager to experience a different lifestyle”.

Due to the quality of education and the high success rate of UQ engineering graduates, he feels confident that his experience at UQ will lead to employment and hopes to one day settle in Australia permanently.

Words of advice for international students

Being away from family and his previous support network, Yutong has learnt how to independently deal with the sometimes overwhelming emotions that coincide with studying overseas. But he also emphasises the importance of reaching out for help.

“I think no matter where you decide to study, physical and mental health both come first. It is hard for students overseas, especially for those who have a language barrier, to leave their comfort zone to study in an unfamiliar country,” Yutong says.

“Some days are better than others. It is important to seek help when you realise you have been unwell mentally or emotionally, and there are counselling services on campus which you can feel free to book.”

UQ is always working to create a supportive and inclusive culture by promoting better mental health and wellbeing, and offers a wide range of support services available both on campus and via phone.

Interested in an academic pathway like Yutong's? Explore our Bachelor of Engineering (Honours).

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