“The best things were discovering Asian cultures and breathtaking landscapes”
Kuala Lumpur is a student city full of life. Imagine living in this vibrant city and experiencing a true Asian business center. Nadia 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.
What made you decide to come and study in Kuala Lumpur?
It was mandatory in my home university to study abroad so I decided to choose Malaysia, as University Putra Malaysia and my university have a partnership. Asia is a rich continent that I didn’t know anything about, so it was the perfect opportunity for me to discover its secrets and wonders.
How did you get the study place? How was the application procedure?
Asia Exchange website is very complete, and I found everything I needed to know about my university. They have a guide for each university, and they provide help for every step for the registration, from the pre-inscription to the visa cancellation at the end of the semester. Malaysian student visa might be one of the hardest to get. It is composed of so many steps, you have to be tough at this moment of the registration. Fortunately, the Asia Exchange team helped us through the whole process.
What have been the best things about your exchange experience?
I would say that the best things were discovering Asian cultures and breathtaking landscapes. Also, the food was so delicious and cheap which is surprising as food can be very expensive in European restaurants.
How do you see the balance between school and free-time activities is working?
You must not forget that you are studying and will have final exams at the end of the semester. The priority should always go to learning lectures’ content. This is how I was working, and I managed to travel across Malaysia and Southeast Asia. I think I discovered backpackers’ way of life.
Where would you like to travel during your exchange?
I wanted to explore Southeast Asia but first Malaysia as I was studying there. I managed to go to Bali, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. I feel like I can say that I explored Malaysia.
Did you experience any culture shock in the beginning?
Yes, and it was brutal in the beginning. I was out of my comfort zone which was awful at first. I was missing my friends and my parents; the weather was way too hot for me and the food was too spicy. As soon as I tried to open up to other students and made new friends, everything was much easier as they also went through the same feelings. I also managed to become so brave compared to the person I was before and I am so proud of me for that.
Why is Asia a suitable exchange destination?
Asia is a continent where you can find so many cultures. As you learn in an Asian university, you also learn the Asian way of life and get to try it. It is so different to Europe. You get the chance to get your mind open to changes.
Why is it better to go for an exchange rather than just backpacking?
When you travel as a backpacker, you visit the country you are in as a tourist whereas while doing an exchange, you live in the country for a longer period and you start getting used to habits and cultural aspects that you may never find out as a tourist.
What would you like to say to a person who is thinking about going to exchange in Asia?
Exploring Asia through an exchange program might have been the best decision of my life so far. It is a once in a lifetime experience. Visiting a continent that different from yours is incredible. I believe that doing it while studying is the best opportunity as it is possible that you will not be able to do it as an adult working. You cannot regret it as long as you are well informed before going.
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.
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