By Nurul Haziqah Abdul Halim, Lim Kok Wing University Industrial Student Trainee and Siti Madihah Ahmad Mahir , UiTM Industrial Student Trainee
Pix by Saliman Leman
BANGI, 12 Jan. 2011 – Having a safe, friendly and accommodating environment makes Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) to be one of the top choice universities for foreign students to pursue their post graduate studies, said one of its foreign students today.
In addition Malaysia being an Islamic country has made it easier for El Mubarak Musa Tibin, from Sudan to choose UKM to pursue his PhD studies.
“Being a Muslim, my family and I can travel anywhere in Malaysia and yet be able to do our prayers because there are suraus and mosques everywhere,” he said.
He considers UKM to be among the top universities in Malaysia and Asia and that had prompted him to choose it to do his doctorate. There were also many fellow Sudanese studying in Malaysia and even in UKM. Thus the choice was not hard for him.
El Mubarak commended the setting up of the International Student Centre Website as it will enable foreign students to share ideas, get to know other countries from the website and in so doing create a bond amongst the international students as well as the international community and with Malaysians.
He said Malaysia is rich in culture with friendly people. The fact that both Malaysia and Sudan are Muslim countries have made the transition easier for him and his family who followed him here while pursuing his studies.
El Mubarak is currently in his first year of his studies in Micro Biology at the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST). He did his first degree and Masters in Omdurman Islamic University and the University of Khartoum in Sudan respectively.
Another international student, Xu Yan Jun, said the website offers a nice and easy way to find out about Malaysia and learn it’s culture, as well as to provide a medium which will enable students to communicate with other foreign students. It will also help other students to learn more about China.
“But most important, Malaysia is very safe and friendly and the food is – to me – like Western food, but I like it,” she said. She recounted a very pleasant incident when she had asked for directions to a place only to have the person bringing her to her destination.
Speaking about being an ambassador to her country and sharing her culture with others, she said through it people can get connected and be able to understand one another better.
Xu from Yunan Province in South China is a first year student who began her studies four months ago at the Faculty of Economics and Management (FEP).
Another foreign student Shelly Mardiha Faizy from Indonesia also feels that the newly-launched ISC website will benefit foreign students as it provides important information for their reference.
The second year student of Geology from the Faculty of Science and Technology also said that there were many Indonesian students who want to continue their studies in UKM as the university has good facilities while having lower tuition fees compared with even some of the Indonesian universities.
She said a sum of RM20,000 could only cover the costs for two years of studies in some universities in Indonesia while the same amount can pay for the total tuition fees in UKM.
Shelly also said that she will only take three years to complete her study for a degree in geology at UKM against four years it would take her to do the same course in an Indonesian university.
Though there are also good universities in Indonesia but she decided to study in Malaysia to experience living in a foreign country and to get acquainted with the various races here and to get to know the country better.
She was proud of her stay in Malaysia as it gave her a chance to introduce Indonesia and its culture to Malaysians. Shelly and a number of other Indonesian students performed the tarian endang at the launch of the ISC website today.
S. M. Taohidul Islam from Bangladesh a PhD Fellow at the Faculty of Engineering and Built Enviroment (FKAB) who did his Masters at UKM hopes that the ISC website will become popular among foreign students wishing to get information about the university.
He said being in Malaysia and UKM had given him the chance to learn and understand foreign cultures which he described as priceless and necessary especially in the globalization era.
In conjunction with the official launching of the Website each of the International Students’ Clubs and Associations set up booths to disply information and cultures of their countries.