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Assessment 02: News or Feature Article

Part 1: Writing Folio—News and/or Features


Cooking Abroad 1001


PERTH – A unit comprising with one student in the tutorial, who herself is both the tutor and the student, there are no lectures, the tutorial endures as long as the student is alive. The grades will be based upon how much time the student did not waste.

“I cooked salted eggs porridge in the morning for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, I’m eating Japanese curry,” said the Singaporean amateur self-trained chef while she stirred her hot yellow sauce carefully to make sure the chicken, carrots and potatoes are cooked evenly. Saturday afternoon, the fragrance filled up the 35 square meter accommodation.

Ten minutes away from the University of Western Australia, the 21-year-old who has chosen to live off campus usually spends at least two hours a day in her kitchen, preparing three meals.

Hiu, a third year Linguistics major student from the National University of Singapore, is currently on a one-semester exchange at UWA. Back in her home university, it was normal for her to go shopping for some food at night when she was hungry. In Perth, she has to check the opening hours of everything to be certain that the place will be open.

“I don’t get that luxury of going to supermarket after I finish her work because the supermarket closes at 5 p.m.” Hiu said, “So yeah, it is totally wonderful, in a very sarcastic sense.”

“In the morning, I will cook my breakfast, and wash up while it’s cooking. By the time I come back, it’s cooked. After that, in the same time while I’m eating breakfast, I cook my lunch, so I can bring my food to school and microwave it later,” she said.

Compared to academic matter, the self-cooking lesson has been a bigger part of her studying abroad life. When asked on what experience she gains more from the exchange: academic lesson or cooking lesson, Hiu’s answer was immediate.

“Definitely cooking,” she said then laughed, “I guess I learn the most about cooking and about laundry.”

Hiu learnt that she must check the oven temperature before putting broccolis in unless she wants it black with charcoal taste. She learnt that potatoes couldn’t be frozen unless she wants smelly mushy bubble foam in her fridge. She learnt that aluminum foils are not supposed to be in the microwave unless she wants thunderbolts inside the electric appliance.

Though at times it is lonely, tiring, and filled with anxiety of food spoiling, Gina Hiu said that she is happy with her decision. To match the atmosphere of midterm season, self-evaluation has been made and the only student of the class graded herself a D for Distinction. Eight weeks left until the finals, Hiu is aiming to improve her skill and score a High Distinction for the Cooking Abroad 1001 unit. 

Call From Home


PERTH – Having no clue of what to do, she cried and cried to a random sad song, emotions overwhelmed. Everything was upsetting. It was the first time she experienced homesickness.

“It hits you like a truck, it’s just so random and so out of blue,” said Azrin Zaihan, a 21-year-old international student from the University of Western Australia. Only five hours away by flight from her home, Singapore. Nevertheless, homesickness did not let her escape. For the time that she had stayed here, a little longer than two months, Zaihan has never felt the feeling until the mid-semester study break.

A survey from Nightline Association shows that one third of freshmen feel yearning for home, especially at night. Being one of those students, Zaihan broke down in tears due to stress while she was studying for a test.

The first solution to calming herself down was to talk to her family. Said socializing with friends is the best way for her to decrease her distress, Zaihan joined the Singapore Students' Society of UWA to make her surrounding feel more like home, which could help her for most of the time.

More than 4,000 kilometers from Brunei, Kelvin Tan has been distant from his home for seven months. Coming to Perth was his own idea, saw that it would be a great opportunity to meet new people and focus on his engineering major in the peaceful town. Tan said it did not go well at first, but as time went by, he learnt the cure.

“I would say it’s my friends. Because everybody here is homesick, so we all just stick together to overcome the lack of parents around us, and support, we give to each other,” he said, explaining how the closeness among friends stop him for longing for the homeland.

Far away from the rest of the world, students from overseas in Australia are finding their own way of coping with the isolation. Based on the Studies in Australia website, there are four tips for learners who are new to friends, the environment, studies and the country: keep themselves busy or active, get involved with campus activities, regularly contact their family, and ask for help when it’s needed.

For those who are suffering and are in need of counseling, the University of Western Australia also provides the UWA Counseling and Psychological Services for consultation. Students are able to make an appointment for this free service from Monday to Friday in person.

Privacy or Oversea Investment?


PERTH - On campus or off campus, that is the question.

Despite the high cost of everything, Perth is one of the cities where international students chosen as their study destination. Moving from the comfort zone to an unfamiliar land, the housing option is essentially important since it affects everyday life.

According to the CollegeBound Network, about 40 percent of public universities full-time students choose to stay on campus, while another 40 percent choose the off-campus accommodation.

Living on campus or off campus is one of the debate topics among international students. Having multiple pro and con arguments within each decision itself, the experienced ones who have settled down would be able to illustrate the best whether they have made the right choice or not.

Situated at, and associated with the University of Western Australia, St Catherine’s College is one of the strongest in term of residents’ events participation and support. Having 400 members at St. Cat’s, Andrew Boyd, the Resident Admissions and Services Manager at St Catherine’s College, explained how the college brings everyone together.

“The international student and the exchange students each bring a color to the community and bounds are formed. People have positive experience because they bring their culture with them, and they will learn from each other,” said Boyd.

Azrin Zaihan, a Singaporean student who has been living in St Catherine’s for almost three months, said it was sense of belonging the college community provides her.

“Because when you come over and you have nothing, you don’t have anyone, and then you move into a dorm, and you have an identity here, you have a group to associate, which is like, not necessary, but it’s nice to have,” she said.

“You get to meet more friends, everything is so convenient, facilities are provided to you, everything already covered for what you paid. You don't have to cook when you don't feel like cooking and washing,” said Kelvin Tan, another Cat’s resident.

However, everything has its downside. The price of living on campus can be expensive and what the college provides might not always be satisfactory.

“It can get noisy and the toillets are really gross. Also, you are always surrounded by people, so sometimes when you want to be alone, it’s kind of hard,” said Zaihan.

Gina Hiu is one of those scholars who said she prefers the privacy of her own home. The advantages of living alone, according to Hiu, are that she has the chance of being free and independent.

“The freedom to be able to do anything; I can walk out of the bathroom without wearing clothes, and slowly think about what I want to wear inside my bedroom. That is very wonderful,” said Hiu.

She has grown through learning how to manage her daily life issues, such as contacting the landlord, washing clothes, interacting with neighbors and sometimes with the locals.

Promoting to all international students who wish to be a part of the community, with packed schedule of activities at St Catherine’s, Boyd is certain that the college will send oversea scholars back home with a whole wonderful experience they would never forget.

“Living on campus is not for everyone. If you are coming just to study and want to get academic experience, then you don’t need to live on a campus. If you want to access an amazing, diverse population of people who end up being friends for a long, long time, then you should try. It’s an investment for your future,” said Andrew, as a last message to those undecided students who are coming to Perth in the future.

Part 2: Analysis

The three articles are feature stories, containing soft and lighthearted content (Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith). The purpose is to entertain and give enjoyment to the readers. Narratives in chronological type of features stories have been used to tell the story in order of timeline. Color story has been used to describe to help the reader to see and smell as they are in the actual scene. Human Interest stories type is used to depict the sorrow to make the readers feel sympathy.

The target audiences are readers who have interest in study abroad life experience. ‘Call From Home’ is a human-interest story, showing how interviewees get through the hard time. ‘Privacy or Oversea Investment?’ would be for those who have interest in living off or on campus.  In general, the stories would be interesting to all readers who are considering of studying abroad.

All pieces has particular experience and interest relation to some group of readers; therefore, the target publication are university magazine, university newspaper, university website, local newspaper in Perth, and university’s colleges newspaper.

The articles are newsworthy as they have timeliness, current happening; proximity, directly related to study abroad and college students; impact, affects those who will be studying abroad on their decision-making; human interest, invokes readers feeling (Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith).

In term of process, secondary research was done, searching on statistics to support and give background to the stories. For primary research, interviews were conducted with experiencers and a staff who has knowledge in the matter. Interview questions were prepared in advance, based on the outline to achieve the purpose of the news. The interviews were conducted face-to-face to observe expression and gestures. Sound recording was conducted with permission for transcript. All data was gathered and analyze to select good content. Proof reading was done to avoid errors.

The pieces in folio are conducted with ethical standard, using both online and traditional print to gather the information. The data are gathered from research quickly with accuracy. The background of the stories and the interviewees were conducted before the interview to get the right quotes for the stories. Based on facts and research, the news stories do not comprise of any opinion or biased ideas, and are presented in two-sided. All the process for the folio is based and followed the contemporary professional media practices to get the most accurate information to deliver to the audiences.

It is important for media professionals to understand the communication forms and processes as it sets ethical standard for all the professions. By understanding and being able to conduct, the audiences would be receiving the truthful and value information. Knowing the process can enhance the message of the news to have greater impact and affect the right audience the writers want to deliver. As communication is constantly evolving, understanding the forms would help media professionals today to know the media tool to use to deliver the message to the audience effectively and efficiently (Cover).


Cover, Rob. COMM 3004 Journalism In Practice Fact Sheet 01: Media Professions. 1st ed. 2012. Web. 4 May 2016.

Cover, Rob. "COMM 3004 Lecture Researching". 2016. Presentation.

Grundy, Bruce. So You Want To Be A Journalist?. Cambridge [England]: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print.

Mitchelson, Alana. "The Crucial Issues Surrounding Contemporary Journalism". inkedhistoryofnow. N.p., 2012. Web. 4 May 2016.

Whitaker, Wayne R, Janet E Ramsey, and Ronald D Smith. Mediawriting. Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates, 2004. Print.

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