It is astonishing how fast time passes. I spent 23 days in the tropical paradise of Malaysia as a part of the New Colombo Plan grant with 8 other faculty of science students and enjoyed every minute of it. The first thing that struck me about Malaysia was that everything was different, the people, the streets, the atmosphere, however I felt as though the 9 of us immediately made the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia our home.
The trip was packed from end to end with things to do; from lectures on the history of Malaysia, to visiting the historical Portuguese fort in the state of Melaka, and marvelling at the spiritual world of the Batu cave shrines to name but a few. We were made to feel welcome and everyone was excited and eager to share the culture and their knowledge with us.
The highlight of the trip was the Langkawi Geoforest Park, which put us in the middle of an ancient ecosystem among prehistoric geological formations. A memory in particular which stands out as one I will never fail to revisit, was a trip to a small beach hidden among a rain forest. A storm was brewing on the horizon as we felt the soft sand beneath our feet and looked out at the sea, before jumping in and swimming in the warmest sea water I have ever encountered. The only way I can convey my feeling about it was that this was the sort of spot a prisoner in a movie would have pictured on a postcard, dreaming of the day he could escape to it. This was a point where I felt I knew I was living a memory I would have for the rest of my days.
UKM was extremely impressive and the work of both universities in creating such a trip is a testament to the excellence of both institutions. It was my privilege to be a part of it; if only for a short time. Finally, I cannot finish my ramble on the experience I had in Malaysia without thanking the people who helped make this trip so life-changing. Afiq, Kisan, Hidayah, Pearly and May first met us as student buddies, and left us as life-long friends who I’ll never forget, and will met again someday rest assured.
Connor Luckett, Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Enhanced Program for High Achievers) student, participated in “Investigating the history, culture, politics, and science and technology capability of Malaysia” in January 2017
- Read Connor’s first post here