So, here I am, with less than 24 hours before leaving for a three week trip to Malaysia and I haven’t started packing yet. I would consider myself a fairly seasoned traveller, having spend time in North and South America, Europe, South-East Asia as well as returning from Japan less than two weeks ago, but this is still a new experience for me. I’ve never travelled for any reason other than curiosity, and while that was a factor in my decision to apply for the 2018 NCP grant funded program, I am now travelling as a representative of Flinders University. To be honest, I thought I would be more nervous than I am.
The program is titled the Sustainability of Tropical Heritage, and while I am looking forward to studying the topics and performing the fieldwork involved in this, I am more excited to simply learn how other institutions work, and to broaden my experiences as a student. While visiting a country as a tourist provides some insight into the people and culture, the best way to learn about these things is to immerse oneself into their way of life. As such it will be an amazing experience to let our guides show us the things that they are most proud of about their institution, culture and country, rather than what is simply the most written about on travel blogs.
I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t really looking forward to eating some apam balik and nasi lemak, two dishes that I developed a taste for last time I visited Penang, and I hope that our guides are able to show us their favourite eateries.
Alexander Bek, Bachelor of Engineering (Biomedical) (Honours) student, participating in “Investigating the history, culture, politics, and science and technology capability of Malaysia” funded by the New Colombo Plan in January 2018