“Kuala Lumpur is a place where you can find 3 different cultures in one city”
Live and study in Kuala Lumpur, one of Asia’s most important business hubs, and explore South-East Asia just like our former student Boris did. Boris studied at Universiti Putra Malaysia during autumn 2019. Read more to find out why Kuala Lumpur is the perfect destination for an exchange semester abroad.
The campus at UPM is outstanding. Photo by Fabian
What made you decide to come and study in Malaysia?
I wanted to visit Southeast Asia and I thought Malaysia was a good option because of its location. You can fly to nearby countries like Indonesia, Thailand or South Korea for less than 80 euros per ticket, back and forth.
Malaysia, and especially Kuala Lumpur, is a place where you can find 3 different cultures in a single city. Malaysians have 3 different origins: Malay, Chinese and Indian. Thus, you can explore 3 different cultures in one country. Malaysia has beautiful ancient temples, delicious food, and interesting religions. Malaysia has also beautiful islands such as Perhentian or Tioman where you can scuba dive or snorkel. Also, the cost of living is very low. You can find local food for 1 or 2 euros a meal.
What have been the best things about your exchange experience?
The fact that we had a lot of opportunities to travel was probably the best thing about my exchange semester. I discovered many new places, met so many cool people and I had so many discussions with people of different backgrounds. This made me realize how important it is to network and communicate with others in order to get an understanding of how other cultures are.
I tried to travel as much as possible during my semester abroad and I was able to explore many parts in Malaysia. My favorite places were Penang, a city in the north full of street art, Melaka, a small city south of Kuala Lumpur and also Perhentians and Langkawi. I was able to discover other countries like Singapore and Bali during my semester break. I also managed to explore Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia during a 10-day trip after my semester had ended.
As I mentioned, it is very cheap to travel in Southeast Asia. For example, my 10-day trip cost me a few hundred euros. That includes all flights and bus transportations.
What has been the most interesting in your studies so far?
Studying Bacteriology at UPM surprised me. The course was very intense and complex, full of information and learn-by-heart names of species. I enjoyed it a lot, however. It was positively rewarding.
Did you experience any culture shock in the beginning?
I did not experience any sort of culture shock. I was happily surprised by the culture and that the people were so friendly.
What do you think about Asia Exchange?
Asia Exchange is working between the students and the staff at Universiti Putra Malaysia. My experience of Asia Exchange is that they respond quickly to questions and help you with anything for example passport and visa issues. The company also gives great advice related to traveling. You can ask them about anything and they will do their best to help you.
You might also be interested in: Kuala Lumpur – Attractions You Definitely Need to Explore!
Why is it better to go for an exchange rather than just backpacking?
Truly discovering Malaysia’s unique culture is only possible through an exchange. The deep understanding of cultural behaviors and the understanding of mutual respect… all of this an exchange semester enables.
What would you like to say to a person who is thinking about going to exchange in Asia?
Asia is a wonderful continent. It will give you the opportunity to discover ancient cultures, new delicious dishes and meet amazing people. You have to try it once, and if you haven´t been to Malaysia, go! The country will surprise you positively!
Any other comments in mind?
Just do it!
Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
This interview was conducted by our Digital Marketing Coordinator Fabian!