It has been two months since I have left home and it has been an incredible experience. It has been also been a tumultuous experience, meeting new people from around the world, getting used to the culture and venturing to different places.

The first couple of weeks in Penang were very busy, with getting my immigration sorted, settling into my accommodation (E-Park Condo), trying to find my way around university since the USM campus is so large. All while trying to remember the names and faces of the new people I met, and spending the next six months learning how to be culturally appropriate.

I live in an apartment with one exchange student and one full-time student. Most of the international students either live in E-Park of Sunnyville with a pool! There is no shortage of people to talk to and hang out with, there is no denying that social life is very alive. With parties almost every other weekend, or going out to town or doing other things like exploring, going to the cinema, etc. Having friendly faces to talk to and do things with is incredible. We are like one big family and with our buddies (student helpers in USM) who have helped us settle in so well and they are so friendly and never shy in helping us to find things. I honestly can say they have become some of my closest friends over here. It really helps to have locals to show you around, who are willing to take time out of their day.

The study system over here isn’t too different to Flinders, lectures and tutorials are the same, but the only difference is attendance is compulsory for all lectures and if you don’t attend more than 70% you can’t sit the final exam. But the work-load is somewhat similar to Flinders.

I have seen some of the most incredible things, been travelling not just inside Penang but around Malaysia too. I just got back from traveling Vietnam with USM friends a few days ago – it was an incredible experience. It was a good trip with some great people. I am currently planning my next trip to Ipoh and Island hopping.

I can’t believe I’m nearly halfway through my exchange and I am currently looking at extending my exchange, because I have had such an amazing time. Until next time!

Oakley Tremain, Bachelor of Business (Marketing) undertook an exchange to the Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia during S1 2020

Read Oakley’s 1st blog here!

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Student Exchange 101

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