On the 10th and 11th July 2021, UiTM Global Ambassadors in collaboration with the Department of International Affairs (DIA), UiTM Global organised a program called ‘UGLAM International Language Exchange Program 2021’ via Zoom. This 2-day program was curated especially for international students to not just learn the Malay language, but to promote broad cultural knowledge, understanding and awareness of the Malay language. A total of 47 participants from multiple countries including Brunei, Indonesia, The Philippines, India as well as a few local students from Universiti Malaysia Sabah and UiTM had joined in to participate and made the program lively.
The program set off with an opening ceremony officiated by Dr. Hajah Zainab Haji Mohd Noor, Director of Department of International Affairs (DIA) UiTM Global and attended by Associate Professor, Dr-Ing Masria Mustafa, Head of International Students and Development (ISD), Dr Rozzana Mohd Said (Coordinator for Exchange Program ISD), Ts Dr. Nur Hashimah Alias, Coordinator Summer Program ISD and advisor of UiTM Global Ambassadors, (UGLAM) and staffs from DIA, UiTM Global.
This pocket-sized language class was packed with fun activities such as a Masterclass on the basics of Bahasa Melayu, Kahoot games, breakout room sessions for public speaking class and Tongue Twisters. To make the learning more effective, participants were divided into small groups guided by facilitators who were among UGLAM’s very own members. However, the main highlight of the programme was the singing competition among the international students where they were required to sing a Malay song that they learned just in a day.
They say ‘Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where the people come from and where they are going’ and UGLAM has made the quote by Rita Mae Brown come to fruition by successfully promoting our culture to the international eyes. This event provided golden opportunities for students to enhance their personal and soft skills, but most importantly, their self-confidence in speaking a new language. Lastly, this program also helped in broadening and strengthening the relationship between the international and UiTM students. Seeing the success of the event, UGLAM is planning to organize UGLAM Language Exchange Program 2.0 in the next semester with hopefully a bigger number of participants.