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Testimonials

 

Student Exchange Programme - Outbound


NUR AQILA BINTI MOHD HAMKA

Civil and Environmental Engineering (2nd Year 2nd Sem)
Florida International University, United States of America

1. How did Student Exchange Programme (SEP) change your current life?

Attending the Student Exchange Programme has broadened my perspective in a lot of areas towards understanding different cultural stance.

 

2. What can you gain from the SEP that you joined in last semester?

I learnt how to quickly adapt to US system of learning. I also found their way of learning very interesting, how they are very independent and do not depend solely on materials given by the Professors.

 

3. Share the opportunities / benefits that you get from this programme.

When I joined SEP, I seem to overlook the fact that I had a great opportunity to make friends from different backgrounds first-hand and are able to do discuss with them about current issues. By doing this, I could understand better on their perspective of the current issues they face such as, racism in everyday life.

 

4. What is your advice to other UTP students who have yet to experience mobility programmes?

Going for mobility programmes is a great opportunity that I highly encourage students to join. I believe many students would love to go but unfortunately have financial restrains. My advice is to apply SEP in countries that YUTP can support you most. Going for SEP at US was amazing but the flight ticket itself costed me RM4000 one way, so I would highly suggest going for SEP in countries such as Turkey.

 

5. How did UTP help you to make your dreams to be an exchange student come true?

UTP has helped me a lot financially. I am very grateful to be given funds to study abroad. My mobility coordinator also helped me a lot before, during and after my study abroad programme.

NUR AQASYA BINTI MOHD HAMKA

Mechanical Engineering (2nd Year 2nd Sem)
Florida International University, United States of America

1. How did UTP help you to make your dreams to be an exchange student come true?

During my student exchange programme, I realised that UTP, CSD and YUTP has given me an opportunity that I would never have gotten anywhere else. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it truly exceeded my expectations. I made friends from a lot of places and it was truly an amazing experience. UTP students that has yet to discover this programme should really think about applying. 

 

SITI NUR'ARINA AZWA BINTI SHEIKH SALAHUDDIN

Chemical Engineering (2nd Year 2nd Sem)
Middle East Technical University, Turkey

1. How did Student Exchange Programme (SEP) change your current life?

SEP has given me the opportunity to see and live on the other side of the world, learning a new lifestyle of a strange environment, language and food. In addition to this, being an exchange student has been an eye opener for me that there are so many things in life that are hard to achieve but possible with putting a little effort into it. Looking back at what I could not believe that I have achieved is the experience of travelling almost 17 hours alone, flying back to home country all by myself, as a girl who was only depending on the google translator to communicate and translated signs at the airport, is one of the biggest personal achievements in my life. 

 

2. What can you gain from the SEP that you joined in last semester?

I am truly grateful that I managed to be in my proposed host university which is METU, Ankara, since I am well prepared for how the surrounding that I will have to cope with is. Early preparation in my studies journey if I have returned to UTP is very important in order to make sure that I can guarantee that I will have smooth semesters in the upcoming months after returning. I had classes for the same subjects with seniors in 3rd year study there, but this has not limited me from being able to communicate and work with them since I was totally prepared to mix around with their cultures and social life. This at the same time has taught me to be an outspoken person, in order to be welcomed by them. 

 

3. Share the opportunities / benefits that you get from this programme.

As for my exchange programme, I was selected to be one of the Erasmus Students in METU Ankara, which has benefits me a lot in terms of money and connection with my advisors. They allocated a specific amount for us selected non-european and european students for our stays in METU with requirements of 30 ECTS credits minimum. It has been quite challenging for me since I had to deal with plenty of classes and maintain good results for me to not repeat the subject in my home university, but with determination and goals, I believed it is undeniably possible for everyone to pass it. This Erasmus Programme is one of a kind since not many have the opportunity to receive this huge amount of money, hence further references need to be done with both home university and host university advisors regarding this programme. It has given me a very great chance to utilize the money well especially for travelling and exploring this big country of Turkey. 

 

Other than that, being an exchange student has widened my connection with friends and lecturers. I had the chance to be close with others from every part of the world, learning their languages and trying out each other's signature dishes from our home countries was the best part of it. We have unexpectedly created a very strong bond with one another when we had each other's backs during a few of events that were held there. 

 

4. What is your advice to other UTP students who have yet to experience mobility programmes?

I strongly advised those who loved travelling and seeing new people to apply for this mobility programme and plan out your journey well, as it will be the most splendid experience you might want to cherish in the upcoming future. Study the course mapping that you have to do with the host university and choose the country that you think you are able to afford. Next, each country has their own attractions, be it a small country or even on the European coast. Dig in their hidden attractions and places and start to have goals to treasure them. 

 

5. How did UTP help you to make your dreams to be an exchange student come true?

UTP has successfully helped me achieve my dreams to be able to travel across the world by approving me to go for this exchange. With the fund YUTP provided us after being selected for the interview, it was very useful for us all in terms of flight tickets, meals, accommodation and more. The most beautiful part of all is the experience gained from being able to be called a METU Student for months, which is once in a lifetime experience. The connection that UTP and this host university have has given me the chance to be part of the classes free of charge.

 

6. Any other opinion that you would like to share / highlight.

Being an exchange student is very challenging, people might only see the beauty in it, but it will be an unforgettable one if we really prepare mentally and physically. As for my journey, the coronavirus pandemic hit us in the midst of our exchange semester that I had to return back to my home country all by myself, due to the lockdown applied in Turkey. It was a challenging one for me to face it mentally that I will be sitting for online classes for the rest of the semester and that I had to leave my regrets of not being able to enter and explore a few more places in the country just yet. These are all the things we have to set in mind that we can set our feet again in that country with hopes and efforts in the future. 

 

I would like to also highlight that if you are well-planned and smart enough to plan out your journey to go to the host country, you will get to visit other countries within the transit period too. As for our journey, we have stopped by Dubai UAE, for 23 hours of transit and got the chance to meet UTP friends who are doing their exchange in Abu Dhabi UAE. We have planned everything out earlier and we managed to spend hours on the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, tallest building and skyscraper in the world. As the saying goes, kill two birds with one stone. Be smart and plan well. 

MUHAMMAD NADZHIR BIN JALIL

Mechanical Engineering (2nd Year 2nd Sem)
Middle East Technical University, Turkey

1. How did Student Exchange Programme (SEP) change your current life?

SEP taught me that getting out of my comfort zone is not as easy as one might say. Being in new environments with different kinds of society is really challenging for me as I am used to live around my friends during academic times. Indulging myself alone in a community which is totally different from me develops an urge to adapt to new skills and behaviour so as to survive the semester. I believe adaptation skills need to be possessed by every student as the unpromising future awaits us with various types of terrains that truly test our mental and physical.

 

2. What can you gain from the SEP that you joined in last semester? 

I gained a lot though in just a short period of time. True story, there are many ups and downs during my last SEP which made me really miss Turkey. I missed my flight and ended up stranded one day at the airport crying alone, I wrongly boarded the bus to class that sent me straight to the city which then I walked for 1 kilometre to the class knowing I will enter late to the lecture. Of course, there are happy times as well, such as snowboarding on top of the mountain which have been my dream since I was young. But, these fantastic and distressful memories which made me realise that life is much more fun than just a straight path. Making mistakes made me realise that there is always a side that I still have not discovered and I am to be honest thankful to God for those kind of experiences.

 

3. Share the opportunities / benefits that you get from this programme.

Uncountable opportunities and benefits achieved just by joining this programme. Obviously, travelling to other countries, visiting their cool places, learning the native people's culture, tasting new cuisine and exploring the new weathers. 

 

4. What is your advice to other UTP students who have yet to experience mobility programmes?

Honestly, I really encourage those unfortunate students like me, but not being biased, as well as other students to join this program. One semester out of your comfort zone is really worth it for the betterment of yourself. 

 

5. How did UTP help you to make your dreams to be an exchange student come true?

UTP through YUTP allows me to go for exchange programs due to their generous grants and of course the CSD Department that systematically made the arrangements for all exchange students. 

MUHAMMAD BIN ZOLKIFLI

Mechanical Engineering (2nd Year 2nd Sem)
Bilkent University, Turkey

1. How did Student Exchange Programme (SEP) change your current life?

Student Exchange Programme (SEP) has taught me a lot about life survival. Particularly when unexpected things happened such as COVID-19. Nevertheless, our overall trip was really an eye-opener for me as I have never had the opportunity to study abroad. The pattern and the style conducted by the lecturers there was so much different back in Malaysia and you really need to adapt fast to keep up with everything around you. The challenge is always about adaptability. When you can adapt to your surrounding well, you will always has the upperhand. SEP programme has taught me to be independent and take ownership of every decision you have made abroad.

 

2. What is your advice to other UTP students who have yet to experience mobility programmes?

My advise to students who have yet to undertake any SEP programme is to try. Try to be outside of your comfort zone, and you will discover yourself better. Ultimately, you will learn about yourself and your surrounding (host country) because great things happen to those who never stop learning.

 

3. How did UTP help you to make your dreams to be an exchange student come true?

A few years ago, I had difficulties to go abroad during my diploma's time. But with UTP, I was able to go to Turkey under SEP programme, and this made me realised that UTP opened up possibilities that I have never thought of. Being a UTP student has helped me to reach my goal to go abroad through SEP programme. UTP SEP Funding also enabled me to go there with a free mind, without any worries in the back of my head.

JOANNE ERVINNA TEO

Mechanical Engineering (2nd Year 2nd Sem)
West Virginia University, United States of America

1. How did Student Exchange Programme (SEP) change your current life?

Being an exchange student changes my life. Not only that I have to meet people I have never seen before, I also have to deal with a completely different culture than my own, be it in terms of socializing or academically. The most important thing is I became more independent because no one was there asking me what needs to be done.

 

2. What can you gain from the SEP that you joined in last semester? 

If I were to tell the highlight of my Exchange Programme is no other than the road trip that I went right before I came back to Malaysia. Our spring break that was supposed to be just 1 week was prolong to 2 weeks, so we thought, why not just plan for a road trip since we are all here in the US! Being the one who loves to travel, I am proud to say that I went to 18 different states in the US! From east (West Virginia) all the way to the west (California). Words cannot describe the feelings I felt and how thankful I am to be chosen for this programme. Also, I get to meet with a Malaysian family that has been living in the states for 12 years and counting. 

 

3. Share the opportunities / benefits that you get from this programme.

This programme certainly opened my eyes to see the world differently, I have been dreaming to go to the states and this was like a dream come true to me. I get to study while traveling.

 

4. What is your advice to other UTP students who have yet to experience mobility programmes?

My advice to the juniors who might be reading this is please do try to apply this outbound student exchange programme. There is no harm in trying and trust me, you are going to have the best time in your university life! You will get to meet with people from all over the countries, get to travel everywhere that you want, and let us not forget the experiences that you will gain, IT'S PRICELESS.

 

5. How did UTP help you to make your dreams to be an exchange student come true?

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Centre for Student Development (CSD) especially Ms Syairah and Mr Muzaffar and YUTP for assisting me and sponsoring my Exchange Programme. Although my programme was cut short due to the Pandemic COVID-19, but I am really thankful to be chosen among the few others for this exchange programme. I had the best 4 months of my life studying and of course, enjoyed staying in the states that I dreamt of since I was a little kid.

MUHAMMAD SHAZWAN BIN SHABANI

Chemical Engineering (2nd Year 2nd Sem)
Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates

1. How did Student Exchange Programme (SEP) change your current life?

First of all, Khalifa University is really helpful in ensuring our well-being in UAE. Per expectation, there are some courses that we are unable to enroll as they are either full or unavailable. Some lecturers also quite disheartened with the fact that they need to receive last minutes addition of students, but when they knew that we are from Malaysia, they are very excited to let us in for the classes. 

 

I must say that we are very lucky to have a well-known and very friendly lecturer by the name of Dr. Katherine Hall. She is the one who helped us a lot during the COVID-19. Since we are doing a public speaking course, she made sure that all of the students in the class are engaged with one another. In fact, in our class, there are more than 7 nationalities students, so we call ourselves the Little United Nations class. Whenever we have some trouble of transportation to go someplace for an event, our classmates are very generous in lending us a ride. We also greeted each other when we met. It might not be necessary to say but we are actually quite famous in the university during the first month as they didn't really have many students transferring there from Malaysia, so we got quite a lot of attention during those times which is kind of fun!

 

2. Share the opportunities / benefits that you get from this programme.

We also took the time to travel around. The public transportation system is very awesome, so it is very easy to do so. Also, I must recommend that for those who are planning to come here to wear our national clothes (baju melayu, baju kurung, etc.) as that is how we met the Malaysian community there. It was during the orientation day and we wore baju melayu for fun. Then, someone approached us and ask, "Org Malaysia eh?". "Haah betulla tu. Mcm mana tau?" "Tu baju melayu tu." So, that is how we then engaged with the community there and it made the experience more fun.

 

We were invited to have a picnic in the middle of a desert with them in the evening till late at night, where the view of the stars is spectacular. We were also invited to visit their houses and have a chat with them when they have some kind of gatherings, etc. They shared a lot about their careers and how we can actually work in the UAE as well. It really helped us to make not only network contacts career-wise but also create a bond that feels like a family. When we are abroad, we all became like a family. Surprisingly, there are a lot of UTP graduates there so we shared our experiences a lot and how they are doing in their life. They also gave us some tips on how to get a job, etc which is very helpful.

 

We really enjoyed this SEP despite the country we chose is UAE, which is not the favourite destination for most students. However, the community there is very friendly, and they helped us a ton during the COVID-19. The best part of this programme is not only about the study and the location of travels, but it was the ability/opportunity to see the kindness and interaction of the people in the country (Malaysians, Arabs, etc.). We decided to bring value to everywhere we go (baju melayu, Jalur Gemilang, sajak during a class presentation) and we received the same in return from them. 

 

3. What is your advice to other UTP students who have yet to experience mobility programmes?

My advice/insight to anyone who was thinking to do SEP is to try to choose the country that's not very famous. It will make you feel uncomfortable at first yes, but if you are persistent and engage with the community there, it will surely be a lot of fun. I always kept this quote as a reminder for me to keep on exploring and it helped me a lot. "There's no fun in knowing exactly where we're headed." I didn't really remember where I got it but it held a deep meaning in me. So, I really encourage the students to take on this SEP as it will expand your perspective towards the world, in the ways that you least expect.