Semester Exchange in Malaysia: 1st post

Hi Guys! just quickly about me;

I’m Jasmine and I study Law and Advanced leadership in Business Management at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. I am heading to Malaysia on exchange on the 29th of August 2017. I will be there for a whole semester, so approximately 5 months.

I’d love for you to follow my travels:

I had planned on uploading as I was leaving for Malaysia: except what I originally wrote didn’t save without Wi-Fi. This is what I thought before I became “the girl that got lost”.

I’m super excited to have the opportunity to be able to immerse myself in the culture and food in Malaysia. I’ve had a few people comment, or ask why I wanted to go to Malaysia. In all honesty, I didn’t know all that much about Malaysia before I left Australia. I wanted to go to a country that I’d heard of, but didn’t know much about. My reasoning behind this was that I wanted to go somewhere without too many expectations or preconceptions and just be able to experience everything that I possibly could. I tried to google places of interest, maps of the general area – in case I ever found myself lost and without my phone – and climate and cultural expectations. I often struggled and got very conflicting advice, to the point I’d give up and try again a few days later.

I chose Malaysia because it was somewhere different, a place that is not normally thought of as a destination for study or exchange. I want to do it all!

I want to:

  • learn about how the locals live and go about their daily lives
  • experience their culture and university life having the best of both worlds, living the way a local would, and still being a tourist visiting the popular tourist destinations
  • learn some of the language and be able to at least speak a little bit of Bahasa Malay before I go back to Australia in 5 months.

The University that I’m going on exchange to is University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). I’m not sure how to actually pronounce “Kebangsaan” but I do know that it translates to “national” in English.

I don’t really know what to expect. I’m hoping that there will be someone on the other side there to pick me up and show me where my room is and all of that sort of stuff. Other than that, I’m expecting to make the most of every moment, take some crazy photos and meet some amazing people.

At the same time, I feel like I know nothing, I can’t even pronounce the name of the university – how am I going to be able to ask for help if something goes wrong?! I hope that most people will understand at least a little bit of English: enough to get myself out of a pickle that I’ll no doubt get myself into!

I’m both very stressed and very excited at the same time. I’ve literally had less than a week between getting my Visa approved and flying out! I think my exchange to Malaysia will be the trip of a lifetime. It still feels so unreal! I hope that will change once I have the boarding pass in my hand – then it will finally sink in that this trip is real and really happening!

Here’s to Adventure!! (and getting lost)

Jasmine Werneburg, Bachelor of Business (Advanced Leadership)/Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice student, Semester 2 2017 exchange at the National University of  Malaysia (UKM), Malaysia 

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