“My exchange has been an amazing experience for me. I cannot deny that I faced difficulties in understanding the locals’ English accent, as I came over here with no knowledge of their culture etc. However, as time has passed, this experience gets better every day. I would cherish all experience and life-long knowledge I gained from this exchange,” said an exchange student who went to SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, India.
Universities have been suggesting that students can gain incredible experience through student exchange programs as they could experience different student life and campus activities in overseas universities, alongside learning foreign culture and language. To many students, having their life once in overseas is an experience that is never to be forgotten.
Likewise, 13 students from the Faculty of Chemical & Natural Resources Engineering (FKKSA) of Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) are currently undergoing respective student exchange programs at UMP’s partner institutions in Turkey, India and Indonesia for one undergraduate semester from January to June 2018.
Specifically, five students are currently attached at Karabuk University in Turkey. Language appears to be the barrier for the exchange students at the university as English is not the first language used. Luckily, the exchange students also meet up with friends from Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, India etc., who together learn to speak Turkish with lecturers. Besides going to classes, the exchange students also managed to visit several interesting places in Turkey. “We had a trip to Bursa recently. Being born and raised in Malaysia, which is hot, humid and rainy throughout the year, we found that playing with snow was fun at Uludag in Bursa, a snowy mountain” said one of the exchange students in Turkey happily.
Meanwhile, two other UMP students went to Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) in Indonesia. They participated in many activities organized by the ITS International Office. For an example, they had an opportunity to join ‘Campus and City Tour’ together with other international students to visit several historical places around Surabaya, Indonesia. They also joined ‘Adventurous Trip’ to Madura Island, Indonesia. “We were also invited to witness the opening ceremony performances of the Javanese community at Cak Durasim Cultural Center. It was unforgettable moment for us” said one of the exchange students in Indonesia proudly.
In short, the writer could not agree more that student exchange brings about benefits from the perspectives of education, personal growth, and language. Student exchange program are beneficial in terms of not only experiencing life in another country, but also educational ones and language skill. The best part at UMP is that joining a student exchange program does not cost the earth as you continue to pay the standard fees.