An Engineer Abroad – The Beginning

Accommodation and flights are all booked and the excitement continues to mount as the airline sends me a ‘one week until your trip’ reminder. It is now only a matter of days until I make my way to the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, where I will be doing a project on Cryptography. This is an exciting prospect as I have not been able to dive into this branch of mathematics before, and I am itching to hear the full details of the project when I arrive and my supervisor, Prof Wan Ainun, will brief me on the specifics.

In true traveller style, there is still quite an amount of packing to do. What equipment will I need? What clothes should I bring? Should I pack all my summer clothes (which is not very many) and just endure it if it gets hot again before I leave? These are but some of the thoughts that spin through my head as I all too slowly migrate items into the suitcase.

While there is a lot of careful thought required for the preparations, the decision to go on this trip took unusually little thought. I had already been searching for something to do over summer when I received an email about this trip. On top of how well this fit my schedule (as I finish my 5 month placement the day before I leave), this trip looks to be an amazing opportunity to broaden my perspective on the world by living and studying among a very different culture.

Being able to integrate into a different culture in such an environment will be an invaluable skill, and necessary to be able to thrive in an increasingly multinational world. Further to this, I hope to be able to forge connections with my peers across the sea and expand my vision well beyond the little network that is Adelaide.

Let the adventure begin.

Ryan Rowston, Bachelor of Engineering (Software)/Bachelor of Computer Science student, participating in “Science, Science Policy, Technology and Innovation in Malaysia” at University of Malaya (UM), Malaysia, funded by the New Colombo Plan in January 2018

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