BCU students smile for the camera at the A’ Famosa Fortress
By: Dinesh George Lourdes
It is often said that the very notion of travel often falls prey to the fatal fallacies of one’s preconceived prejudices, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. This internalized phobia is akin to picking up a new book and immediately hating it just because one does not like the cover design. Imagine for a moment that our planet is one giant book, waiting for anyone to boldly turn its pages to explore further. One such lucky group were the nine students visiting Malaysia and HELP University on a student exchange programme from Birmingham City University, London.
The nine students and one lecturer were recently in Malaysia on a short exchange programme or Student Mobility Programme from Birmingham City University (BCU). The students who participated in this visit were: Jezamine Hartland, Lucia Nauman, Jack Rogers, Jordan Kennedy, Robyn Hare, Faiza Ali, Mariam Farooqi, Prithy Patel and Raya Gunova. All nine students come from different social backgrounds and are also studying in different programmes such as Law, Criminology, Psychology, Accounting & Finance and Marketing.
This diverse group of students from different backgrounds and different majors made up a very interesting and unique group. Each student brought something different to the table. Lucia, the loud, funny and bubbly one; Prithy, the approachable, compassionate and lovely one; and Raya, the beautiful, quiet but wise one. These different personalities complimented each other perfectly.
These students were sent to HELP University, Kuala Lumpur for an exchange programme that changed their outlook on the world. Not only did the trip consist of visits to various companies but the trip also included talks, workshops and seminars at HELP University. Students were very pleased with the programme and most of the students agreed that this was the best trip that they had been on and said that they plan to return to Malaysia.
On their first day of their excursion, the students visited various iconic places in KL such as Merdeka Square, National Mosque, Petronas Towers and China Town. Here the students got to experience the diverse and rich Malaysian culture by trying some of the local delicacies and taking in the sights. The second day of their trip was a drive to Sekinchan, Selangor where students spent all day exploring the paddy fields, fishing village, and the birds nest farm.
The students not only got the chance to experience the communal living of a traditional home settlement sans the modern trappings of today but they also got the chance to learn and experience the how the locals live their lives on a daily basis. The third day of the excursion was a full day excursion programme where students visited Istana Negara, Batu Caves, Selangor Pewter and Central Market, and on the fourth day, they took a day trip to Malacca City.
On the fifth day, the students had to attend a full day of lectures at HELP University where well known speakers and professionals conveyed important messages to these students. Among the speakers were, Dr Eva Latham, Professorial Chair Human Dignity and Visiting Professor, HELP University; Dr Zakaria Ahmad, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), HELP University; and Dato Akhbar, Director, Institute of Crime and Criminology, HELP University.
After the talks, the students went back to their hotel for a quick break and went out later in the evening to enjoy the night life in Malaysia. On the fifth day of the programme, the students visited Bursa Malaysia and the Malay Mail Printing Plant. Later that night, HELP University held a farewell dinner for these students. All nine students flew off to Sri Lanka the day after to continue their Asian tour.
The students loved their visit to Malaysia and enjoyed every second they spent with delegates from HELP University. One of the students, Lucia Nauman said, “This is my first time in Asia, how lovely is it to have such a beautiful country like this where all the cultures are united”. She went on, “And don’t get me started about HELP University. You have the best and most friendly staff at HELP. I feel honoured and moved to be a part of this trip”.
Mariam, a third year Accounting and Finance student from BCU said, “I have learned so much from the courses in HELP University; among them are about the Asian communities, about the University is and how it functions and about the beautiful people here in Malaysia”.
Another student, Raya Gunova, said, “I am from Bulgaria and this is my first time out of Europe. Travelling is such a blessing. I now have a better understanding of Asia, thanks to HELP University.” She concluded by saying, “I also want to thank HELP University for the very informative lectures and for being so hospitable. Thank you HELP University”.
Overall the students from Birmingham City University (BCU) had a lovely time in Malaysia. As grateful as the BCU students were towards HELP for hosting their stay here, HELP University was delighted and honoured to organize and host such wonderful individuals.
For further information on the Student Mobility Programme at HELP University (HU), please log onto: http://www.help.edu.my/ or call +603-2716 2000. Be an Achiever with HELP University.
Students take a quick group picture before climbing the hundreds of stairs to get into the Batu Caves.