In August 2020 a group of Japanese students from Hashimoto High School in the Kanagawa Prefecture were due to visit Australia for an international study exchange with Trinity Lutheran College through Study Gold Coast. As the year unfolded and it became increasingly clear that international travel wouldn’t be possible the program was totally rebuilt as a virtual experience.
By October the first virtual class was underway with an introduction to the program and an English language lesson for the Japanese students. Later sessions included virtual experiences with the Gold Coast Student Hub and the Home of the Arts (HOTA), as well as a tour through a homestay family’s home and a visit to the Gold Coast City Council Chambers with a presentation from the Mayor’s Office.
Bond University is launching the world’s first climate law degree for undergraduate students who want to fix the system from the inside.
The university’s Faculty of Law took its cue to develop the new Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in Climate Law from the hundreds of thousands of students who protested to demand action on climate change during 2018 and 2019.
Executive Dean of the Faculty, Professor Nick James, said COVID-19 had temporarily taken the focus off climate change but “there are still many young people out there who are passionate about doing something to help heal the planet.”
“My sense is that concern among high school students and young people hasn't gone away and that they are energised and keen to learn more about the issue and how to do something about it,” Professor James said.
In 2017 Xuanle Hao left Guilin, a small city in southern China to undertake a Bachelor of Business Degree in Sydney. Xuanle now wishes that she’d just come straight to the Gold Coast instead.
“During those three years I was in Sydney I spent virtually all my time either at university or living in my apartment. I was living and studying in the western suburbs and it would take me hours to get to the city or the beach. Sydney was too big and impersonal for me as a city, I never really felt connected with the student community or anyone else there”, she says.
“The Gold Coast appealed to me for a number of reasons. Studying at a regional destination meant I would qualify for the three-year post study work visa, but more than that I felt that there would definitely be more work opportunities in my field given the city’s strong construction industry. I majored in Property with my Business Degree, so the course at Bond was a good fit for me.”
Queensland Academy for Health Sciences Year 12 student Angie Zhou has competed against the world’s best students at the 2020 International Science Olympiad. Angie represented Australia as a member of our national team and is the first Queensland student to have been chosen in seven years.
Students selected for the Olympiad teams are recognised as some of the brightest young scientists in the world and Angie is no exception. She outperformed 1,800 other biology students from 295 schools in the qualifying exams and made the shortlist of 24 students to participate in the demanding Olympiads Summer School program, where she placed as one of Australia’s top four students.
Students from the Queensland Academy of Health Sciences (QAHS) on the Gold Coast have developed a series of scientific concepts focussed on marine biodiversity, pitching their ideas to an esteemed panel including Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist, along with scientists from Griffith University and Nigeria’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
One of the project teams looked at more efficient processes of desalination, a pertinent issue locally with the Gold Coast's desalination plant. Sarah Rao, one of the students working on that project says: “If we could create a more efficient means of purification and implement it here successfully we could then export the concept to other parts of the world.”
From humble beginnings in 2005, Cooper and Westwood has grown rapidly to become one of the Gold Coast’s leading creative agencies with a substantial roster of local, national and international clients. According to General Manager Liam O’Doherty the agency’s success is built on a thriving team culture. “For us, culture is everything. We hire first on culture and aptitude, before technical talent”, O’Doherty enthuses.
It’s that focus on putting people first, with a priority on hiring people with the right cultural fit that has seen the agency develop a substantial internship program to ensure the agency can continue to grow while investing in local talent. “Apart from investing back into our industry the program makes smart business sense. It’s a definite benefit for us having the chance to work with someone, see how they respond to challenges and then how they solve problems to provide a very clear picture of their capability”, says O’Doherty.
Merrimac State High School is nurturing the digital minds of tomorrow through its STEAM (Science, Technology, Enterprise, Arts and Maths) Academy in robotics and artificial intelligence by preparing their students for a technological world through a comprehensive technology program.
The Academy, led by former software engineer Daniel Ricardo and supported by Merrimac State High School’s leadership team, was launched 5 years ago after identifying limiting opportunities for students to engage in the fields of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. In establishing the program Daniel Ricardo eplains Merrimac’s thinking: “We looked around at what other schools were doing and made a commitment to give our students the opportunity to explore technological concepts through practical applications and develop their digital skills to better prepare them for the world beyond school.”
In August of this year students from Hashimoto High School were due to visit the Gold Coast for a study experience. Like so many planned activities of 2020, this one also had to be changed. When it became clear that our international borders would remain closed for the foreseeable future we set out to find a solution.
The Study Gold Coast Online International Exchange Program was devised with our study travel partners Tyler International to allow students from schools across the globe to engage together through a set of curated activities – all conducted virtually. The program touches on the Gold Coast student experience on a number of different levels: academically, socially and domestically, while also being able to sample local sport and culture. This concept contributes to a holistic view of what it’s like to be a student on the Gold Coast.
The Mayor’s Student Ambassador Program offers unique and exclusive opportunities to enhance the experience for international and domestic students. Last weekend the Ambassadors spent the day at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, getting up close and personal with native Australian fauna while developing a deeper connection to the local ecology.
The Sanctuary’s primary role is to educate people about Australian Wildlife, building an empathetic understanding of the need to preserve the natural environment and native habitats. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary works closely with our universities and the City of Gold Coast to undertake wildlife and conservation research, with 16 projects currently being conducted.
It’s every extrovert’s worst nightmare – two weeks locked up in isolation. But for 20 year-old student Stephanie White, the prospect of a fortnight spent completely alone wasn’t enough to keep her away from the Gold Coast – with the help of yoga, Netflix, Bond University friends and FaceTime calls from grandma. Not to mention the prospect of enjoying the sunny Gold Coast for her first meal out of lockdown since May.
Ms White, who is completing a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Psychological Science, returned to campus at Bond for its third trimester, while observing social distancing and public health restrictions after spending the past few months locked down in Melbourne.