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Embassy English 16 September 2016 - by Tony Owens, English Teacher, Embassy English Brisbane

Insider’s Guide: Exploring Around Embassy Brisbane


If you love both the beauty of nature and the excitement of the city, then you will love studying English at Embassy Brisbane in Australia! Our study centre is in the city-centre, close to public transport, making it easy to explore the neighborhoods and surrounding natural spaces. This week, Tony Owens, English Teacher, gives us an Insider’s Guide to his favorite activities to experience while studying English in Brisbane.

Embassy Brisbane View from Mt Coot-tha

I grew up in Ipswich, which is a city about 40 kilometres west of here but I’ve been living in Brisbane now for about 30 years (with a couple of breaks living and teaching in London and Tokyo). I’ve been teaching at Embassy since I returned from London in 2002.

Embassy Brisbane Tony & Level 6

What are your 3 favourite things to do in the city?

I enjoy going to the Powerhouse and seeing a band, some comedy or a play. It’s a great repurposed powerhouse (oddly enough) that is now home to a number of small theatres and performance spaces. On the weekends there’s free music and comedy.

Embassy Brisbane Powerhouse

There’s a bar and you can sit and look out at the Brisbane River. Prices are reasonably cheap. Also, it’s a great place to people watch. You can see families, artistic types and young inner city professionals rubbing shoulders.

Embassy Brisbane River City Cat

It’s situated in New Farm Park next to the river and if it’s a nice day (and it usually is in Brisbane) you can go outside and picnic or kick a football around.

Embassy Brisbane New Farm Park

I enjoy going to the various markets around town –Farmers market in the city, Eat Street markets at Portside, and others around town.

Lots of great food and coffee.

Embassy Brisbane Farmers Market
I also like travelling up to Mt Coot-tha which has a lookout from which you can get a great view of how big Brisbane is, especially on sunny days. There’s a coffee shop and restaurant.

It’s about 20 minutes by bus (route 471).

EAt Street Markets

Tell us a fun fact about the history of your city.

One of the bridges that crosses the Brisbane River is called the Go-Between Bridge. It’s named after a local rock band (coincidentally the greatest band in the world ever – fact!)

Embassy Brisbane Go Between Bridge

What advice would you give a student starting their first day in your city?

Relax. If you get a chance, go and sit in the Queen St Mall and just watch all the people going past.

You’ll get a feel for how relaxed our city is and the huge variety of nationalities that live here.

Embassy Brisbane

What do you think of the local food?

Because we live in a multicultural society, the food here is great and varied. For a real Australian experience, you should have at least one barbeque and it’s also a good idea to indulge in a popular Brisbane activity on the weekends, namely having breakfast at a coffee-shop.

Embassy Brisbane Pavlova

You’ll find yourself in the thick of lycra-clad cyclists, suburban families and hipsters depending on where you go. You don’t have to get up too early as many places serve breakfast all day!

Lamingtones Embassy Brisbane

Of course, there are the more ‘traditional’ Australian foods to try – Vegemite (it’s not jam, don’t eat it straight out of the jar, just a little bit on toast with lots of butter for the best effect), lamingtons, pavlova (Australian, despite what our Kiwi cousins want you to think), meat pies, Anzac biscuits.

Embassy Brisbane Vegemite

What’s the best thing to do outside in your city? What’s the best indoor activity?

On a sunny day, which let’s face it is most days in Brisbane, get on a City Cat and take a river trip upstream . There are several great places to get off – South Bank (cheapest movies in Brisbane), West End (lots of great coffee shops, pubs, bars, shops) or the University of Queensland which has  a lovely campus.

Embassy Brisbane Oxford St Bulimba Ferry

Or you can go downstream to New Farm Park and the Powerhouse, to Oxford Street Bulimba (another cracking coffee hub with my favourite Brisbane bookstore – Riverbend).

Just get off the boat anywhere and walk and walk and walk. It’s the best way to get the feel of a new city.

What 3 words do you think sum up your city?

Vibrant, laid-back, welcoming

Embassy Brisbane Oxford St 1

What is unique about your centre?

We’ve got such a range of experience in our teaching staff. Teachers who’ve taught in Japan, China, Switzerland, England.

It’s always buzzing with ideas, teachers sharing ideas.

Embassy BrisbaneTony & Level 6 (2)

What can students expect on their first day at your centre?

A friendly greeting and an orientation session that will set them up to have a great time at school. We talk about their study, activities and things to do in their free time, we take them on a tour of the city to orientate them.

It’s relaxed but informative at the same time.

Embassy Brisbane South Bank

Can you tell us 3 things students can do within walking distance of your school?

They can walk to South Bank and go swimming at the artificial beach.

They can go to the Botanical Gardens and relax or kick a football around.

Or you can walk up to Roma Street Parklands and have a barbeque.

Embassy Brisbane 1

Do you have any tips about what to pack for life in your city?

Not really. I think it’s always good to pack lightly when you travel  but be sure to pack something warm, particularly in winter.

Brisbane is sub-tropical but students are often surprised by how cool it can get at night.

Embassy Brisbane Portside

To learn more about learning English at exciting Embassy Brisbane, contact us today! 

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