Malaysia Exchange Student’s Eyes Open to A Different Kind of Learning
The academic collaboration between Universitas Syiah Kuala (UNSYIAH), Indonesia, and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Malaysia, has been working with much success especially on Student Exchange Program, both inbound and outbound, since 2013. Recently, for the academic year 2019/2020, UNSYIAH welcomed three Malaysian students to study at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering for one semester. During their study and live in Aceh, Indonesia, they found an uncommon and new study environment and obtain some great experiences. Besides, of course, they use this chance not only to study but also to visit and enjoy several tourism destinations of Aceh and Tsunami. Following is the interview result about their story of Aceh.
Izzat Muqri bin Mohamad – “The most important experience that I got from this program is, we need to adapt to our surroundings. For example, the classes held in UNSYIAH are using Bahasa Indonesia, different from UiTM which uses English. Of course, it is not easy, but with help of my local classmates, it becomes easier to learn instead of translating using google. My local classmates also are friendly and welcoming three of us, which makes us comfortable to approach them. Then after two weeks of staying in Aceh, my classmates invited us to do hiking at Jalin Mountain, Aceh Besar. It was a very fun experience and helped me to tie a friendship knot with classmates better. Besides, my friends and I also have so much fun time visiting Ie Suum, Pasir Putih beach, Lampuuk beach, Ulee Lheue beach, and some of the historical places in Aceh. But the best experience I had so far was going to Lampuuk beach with other international students and OIA (Office of International Affairs) staff. We have so much fun swimming in the clear water of Lampuuk beach and playing “Banana boat” together”.
“For me, Aceh is a nice place to stay and the community here is friendly. Further, I hope I can spend my time wisely by doing any activity with international students and with my classmates. I am so grateful that able to join this Exchange Student Program”.
Mohd Noor Faiz Bin Ikhsan – “The Student Exchange program at UNSYIAH allows me to gain new experience and a chance to live in another country, Indonesia, within 6 months. Lots of good things happened even though I have been staying in Aceh for 1 month and 2 weeks, and I love to say that Aceh has several interesting places that we can visit and enjoy, lots of traditional cuisines of Aceh need to try and the people here are very kind and easy to approach. My classmates are also surprisingly kind and easy to approach”.
“For academics, the subjects that we taking for this semester are quite relaxing. The lecturers with their style of teaching and the most shocking thing is, there is a course that no need for me to attend the final exam. I would say the scoring system is a bit unique for me”.
“For me, Aceh is a good place where the system is based on Sharia and because of that, crime is least happen here compared to other cities in Indonesia. One of many things that awes me in Aceh is there are lots of Mosque with beautiful design and most of the design are equal with the state mosque. Of Course, all of the mosques cannot be compared with the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque which is a symbol of religion, culture, and nationalism of the Acehnese people”.
Mohammad Azhar Bin Mohd Shaperi – “Firstly, I would like to thank Universitas Syiah Kuala (UNSYIAH) for giving me this opportunity to join the student exchange program for six months (one semester). For the first month I have been here, I would like to say that I am very happy and enjoy my studies in Aceh. It is a wonderful place to live and study here because not just the people are very kind and easy to approach, but also the beauty of the city itself had mesmerized me. Moreover, I have a chance to visit Tsunami historical spots and can see directly a heartbreaking video of how Tsunami hit Aceh in 2004”.
“I think Aceh is one of the safest states in Indonesia. The crime rate is very low, thus, I do not have to worry because crimes rarely happen. Moreover, Aceh foods are very nice and affordable. For me, Nasi Uduk and Aceh’s special dishes always be my favorite here but of course, it still cannot beat Malaysia food, I guess. I hope I will enjoy my experience and new adventure here for the next months. Last but not least, I am very grateful to be one of UNSYIAH’s international students”.