In order to achieve the mission of becoming a Globally Renowned University (GRU) as aspired by UiTM, Academy of Language Studies, UiTM Kedah Branch continues to establish international linkages with foreign institutions. The most recent international activity was called Window to The Borderless World: Intercultural Communication via International Collaboration Project/ Student Mentoring Programme which was conducted starting 10 November 2021 until 20 January 2022 and the closing ceremony took place on 25 January 2022. This programme had involved 363 students from both institutions and more than 20 lecturers cum facilitators.
This online intercultural programme was unique because it attempted to increase students’ awareness of the importance of intercultural communication. From November 2021 until January 2021, the students were put in groups in which they had Google meetings every week to present topics related to their lifestyles such as food, weddings, music, dance and movies from their respective countries. During the Google meetings, the students presented PowerPoint slides and videos they had prepared. In a few meetings, there were even live performances done by the students. The programme also featured invited guests from Colombia and Indonesia who joined the Google meetings to share some information about their countries. Every Google meeting was moderated by one lecturer from APB, UiTM Kedah Branch and one lecturer from K.J. Somaiya College, Maharastra, India.
Other than Google meetings, the students were also required to post their daily experiences, and also any interesting readings they had done on the lifestyle and cultural topics on Facebook. A special Facebook group was created to enable the students to post their updates and so far, there are hundreds of postings on various topics done by both the students and lecturers.
This project was initiated by Pn. Syazliyati Ibrahim from APB, UiTM Kedah Branch and she was assisted by Pn. Sharina Saad, Pn. Norlizawati Md Tahir, Pn. Rafidah Amat and En. Muhamad Aiman Afiq Mohd. Noor. From K.J. Somaiya College, the coordinator of the project was Dr. Ravindra Jadhav, assisted by Madam Komal Mhaske, Dr. Sanjay Argade and Mr, Balnath More. Other than these main committee members, ten lecturers from APB, UiTM Kedah and seven from K.J. Somaiya College also joined the programme as Google Meet facilitators.
Rector, UiTM Kedah Branch, the Honourable Professor Dr. Haji Mohamad Abdullah bin Haji Hemdi said during the closing ceremony that this project was successful because it brought two cultures closer and deeper understanding of the different lifestyles would enhance the much-needed intercultural understanding in this globalised world today. The Honourable Professor Dr. Birendra Singh Yadav, the Principal of KJ Somaiyya College of Arts, Commerce & Science, Kopargaon, Maharashtra State, India also commented that he was elated with the success of this project because it had managed to bring the world to the rural students in the area and inspire them to be global players later.