Tag Archives: Malaysia

Greetings from Kuala Lumpur

Time has just flied past really quickly here in Kuala Lumpur. We only have a few weeks of classes left, and after that we will have our exams. Even though this autumn has been pretty amazing, I’m actually looking forward on getting back home to Finland.Taylor’s University

The school system here is quite different than in Finland. In TAMK you will get a lot of credits from one course, but here the courses are divided to smaller units which means more exams. The local students are younger than in Finland, and you can see this for example in their behaviour, but also in the responsibility for their studies. It feels like the students are not responsible for their learning and the teachers and parents are the ones who are in charge of everything. For me this has been a challenge, because I’m used to being independent and being the only one who has the responsibility for my studies.

In Finland it feels easy to reach a teacher. They seem to be on the same “level” as you, but here In Taylor’s University you can really feel the ascendancy between students and teachers. You never call the teachers by their first name. Using Mrs. or Mr. when talking to them is almost always mandatory. It has not been once, twice or even three times during this semester when the teacher never showed up for the class, and without any notice for the students. The local students are used to this, but for me it felt kind of rude. If the teacher don’t show up in 30 minutes, the students usually give up and leave the class.

On the first orientation day we had a health check and we weren’t informed about it at all. They took blood samples, x-rays etc. but no one knew why and what they are would do with all the information of us. In total the health check with all the waiting took more than nine hours. This tells something about Malaysians way of handle things: nothing is done the easiest way. For example, I wanted to drop out from a course, and in total the process took over a month. I had to fill up several papers, run around the school and get signatures and also get an official confirmation from TAMK.

Luckily, we have a lot of free time, so we don’t have to be annoyed at school more than a few hours a week. We had to submit our passports on the first week because of the visa process, and during the five first weeks we only travelled within Malaysia: we saw the cool art street city Penang, “Asia’s little Venice” Melaka, Langkawi island and the paradise island Perhentian.The Perhentian Islands

Our campus is located around 15km from the city center, and since we are living on the campus there are not much to do on the free time. Some people spend time at a huge mall which is located close to the university and there they might do groceries or have dinner. You can’t walk ANYWHERE since there are no sideways (expect from our apartment to uni) and you have to take a Grab (Asia’s Uber.) Luckily, it’s really cheap, but sometimes this campus area feels like a prison because you just can’t walk anywhere. Of course, sometimes we take a Grab to the city center, and there you can spend a lot of time. Walking around the countless skyscrapers and trying different dishes from all over the world is really nice.

When we finally got our passports back, all the travelling started. The first destination was a weekend trip to Krabi in Thailand. After that I was travelling for almost three weeks nonstop. We didn’t really have any weeks of from school, but we made a “Leave of Absence” application for one week. There were also several public holidays which made this possible. We went to Cambodia, Malaysian Borneo, Brunei and Bali. I hope I will have time to spend a weekend in Singapore before we have to submit our passports to school again.

As said, this time in Asia has been great and I’m really happy I’ve had the possibility to travel and experience different Asian cultures. I’m glad that we still have some time left here in Kuala Lumpur, but at the same time I can’t wait to get back to Finland for Christmas.

Greetings from the sparkling city of Kuala Lumpur!

This is my first time in Asia, so there is so much to discover here! Many exchange students were able to fix their timetables so that there would not be classes on fridays, which gives us one extra day to travel around. Otherwise I have classes from oenology to revenue management and even a course for holistic health and wellness. In my perspective, it seems like a very interesting catalogue of courses.

In Finland we are more focused on restaurant business in our studies while in Malaysia we will learn more about the international hospitality industry. This exchange period is probably going to be very useful for our future careers as we get to widen our knowledge from different viewpoints as well. Also, travelling in Asia and getting to know local cultures would serve us well when communicating with tourists in Finland – or wherever in the world, too.

Spare time in Malaysia is full of activities. There are fancy rooftop bars, swimming pools and numerous destinations to travel for either a cultural trip or a holiday on the beach.

Last weekend we visited Penang – a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 2008, which is full of culture and natural scenery. For example, you can take a hike in the national park and visit monkey and turtle beaches by boat.

Penang is also known for its street food, combining Indian, Malay and Chinese cuisines. Food in Malaysia is overall very delicious and offers many options for everyone! Also, the variety of street art found all over George Town makes the destination enjoyable for any art lover.

Looking forward to the next trip, lovely warm nights outside and many new local dishes to taste.

-Laura

Selamat petang! My Malaysian exchange.

I spent four warm months on exchange in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, accompanied by one of my classmates from TAMK. While there, I studied Mechanical Engineering in Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus, “a leading private education institution” in Malaysia.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle taylor's university lakeside university
Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus

For me, the exchange in Malaysia came as a big surprise, as Malaysia wasn’t on the original list when picking the possible destinations for the exhange. I had actually already accepted the fact that I wouldn’t be going anywhere this time around, when I got the email from TAMK’s international office, saying that I could go to Malaysia.

After some issues with the student visas, we were able to fly to Malaysia in the beginning of September, and it was a very fast start when we got there.  We actually joined the modules two weeks after the beginning of the semester, so all the modules were on the way already and we had some catching up to do.  Luckily all the lecturers were very understanding and we got the hang of things very fast. We also ended up swithing two modules after the first day, since they wouldn’t really have benefitted our studies back in Finland.

At the beginning I was a little worried if I would be able to understand everything the lecturers were saying, but I soon realized that was unnecessary and the lecturers were at most parts really clear with their teaching. Altogether, at most parts the teaching in Taylor’s University was really good and the lecturers did a great job giving us clear instuctions and encouraging us to do our best. The modules were mostly interesting and we had many different individual and group projects, which were challenging and often pretty fun. For example, in our Malaysian food heritage module, we traveled to Terengganu in northeast Malaysia to prepare a traditional Terengganu dish Rojak Kateh. While there we cut away tendons from cow’s legs, to make the dish, all part of the school project.

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Rojak Kateh
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Cutting cow legs

On my spare time I tried to utilize the different sports premises at the campus area by going to the gym and using the swimming pool. I also spent time getting to know some of our local classmates and other exchange students in our school. Other than those, I also tried to travel and see as much of Malaysia and Asia as possible. One of the highlights was when we traveled to Indonesia on our semester break and rented some scooters to drive around with, and went surfing and deepwater fishing in the ocean. We also spent many days just walking around the Kuala Lumpur area and visiting different shopping malls and different attractions.

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The studies in Malaysia, or at least in Taylor’s University, were really different from what I had experienced back in Finland. The modules we had, were heavily project based, consisting of designing our own solution to some sort of engineering challenge, designing and 3D modeling a working wheelchair lift for a van, and starting our own crowdfunding campaign on our own selected idea. The way the modules were designed and the guidance from the lecturers, really taught us how to work independently on our own and in a team. That, and just the style of projects were something we hadn’t experienced in our previous studies in Finland.

Wheelchair lift we designed and modeled
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Using CNC machine to make an aluminum part for one of our projects

Like mentioned, our studies in Malaysia differed a lot from our studies in Finland. One big reason was the fact that instead of being part of a Building services Engineering programme like in Finland, we were part of a Mechanical Engineering programme. This meant that the modules we had, didn’t really involve any topics closely related to Building services engineering. Still, there is no doubt that many of the things I learned during the exchange will prove to be benefitial and useful at some point in the future.

Terima kasih! Thank you.

Hello from Malaysia!

I have spent about three months in Kuala Lumpur to complete my study exchange in Taylor’s University. Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia and its full of historic monuments, skyscrapers, huge shopping malls and street food markets. Malaysia is a multi-cultural land and there are basically three major ethnic groups, which are Malays, Chinese, Indians and the native Malaysians. Weather in Malaysia is most of the time very humid and warm, temperature is around +30°C.

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The school here is quite different compared to Finland. When I first came here, I thought that this semester would be quite easy for me, because if comparing my studies in TAMK, I usually have about 8 – 9 modules per semester, but here I have only 5 modules. Well I was wrong… 😀 When I was choosing the courses, I didn’t actually know much about the contents of the modules, so maybe I chose couple too heavy modules in this semester. The workload here is much more than in TAMK, because here we have a lot of assignments and midterms to do.

On my spare time I am mostly hanging out with my friends, going to gym, swimming, studying at the campus area or walking around in the KL city. I have also tried to travel around Malaysia and Asia as much as possible. One of the highlights was surfing in Indonesia during the semester break.

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Its been great experience this far and I am glad that I decided to come here. The school is almost done here, just couple final exams and projects needs to finish, so there’s still time to travel around, before it’s time to go back in Finland 🙂