Thursday, September 29, 2011

Return from Malaysia Summer Training

First, I have to tell you that I have itchy feet. It means I love to go somewhere, want to travel or do something different. This defines me exactly. Luckily I got a much higher than my usual average score on the imitation TOEIC test from the foreign language competition this time.

That is how I have got a chance to participate in the ‘University of Malaya Exchange Students program’ for 2 weeks this past summer.

So I am telling you I was pretty lucky though. The university paid for this great  program, and I have learned a lot, experienced totally new and different things, and also met lots of great people there. It was a very meaningful and very precious training for others and myself.

While I was in Kuala Lumpur, which is the capital of Malaysia, all the thoughts and expectations I had about Malaysia until I arrived were all wrong. The streets and buildings in Kuala Lumpur were so impressive. The city itself is just very well organized, clean and neat. There are a lot of modern designed buildings in Kuala Lumpur. There were quite many buildings that I still think of. Especially I cannot forget the ‘Petronas Twin Towers’ which are very fancy.

Since I was trying to save money, we didn’t go up for the city view. But our Iranian friend took us for the whole Kuala Lumpur ’s night view, which was very beautiful and made us go, “Wow!” Plus when you visit Kuala Lumpur, you may feel like you are in the United States or Canada somewhere because of all the malls! The malls are just like the ones in the States.

The first one I went to was ‘Midvalley Megamall’. I was stunned. Because it was completely awesome! Not only the mall, but there are so many things to buy and eat compared to Korea. Malaysian ethnic groups are various. It’s Malay, Chinese, Indigenous, and Indian. So there are different and diverse foods, cultures, languages, and religions of course. This unique feature of Malaysia could make them more attractive or not. Because honestly for me their culture was so mixed, I could not distinguish who is originally from Malaysia because Chinese and Southern Indian people (Tamil) are also part of Malaysia. But being multicultural is their special attractiveness. So it has to accept diversity.

I also didn’t know that Malaysia also produces petroleum and their main exports are palm oil. It is always good to learn something new about a place. And one more thing I felt while there is that this was my first visit to Muslim country. It was a new and different culture shock, really! Women were wearing Hijabs (a head covering) in 30 degree Celsius and above weather with long sleeves and pants. Mercifully, it was not as humid as Korean summers. 5 times per day, I could hear the Quran’s prayer. Also since it was August, (in the Islamic calendar it’s September) they were having their Ramadan, which is fasting while the sun’s up. So we usually hung out with the students in UM.

They are called as ‘Pembantu Mahasiswa’, which means student facilitator. They are volunteers. Many were not even locals. They were from all around the world like Sudan, Chad, Mauritania, Iran, Sweden, Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Russian and more! I’ve met so many good people there and made so many local friends too.I love to meet new people from everywhere and today we still facebook.

My stay there everyday was so cherished and thankful. I really appreciate Woosong University for sending us to this great place to learn and experience. I will never forget this summer!

Eun Young Hwang is currently a Woosong Student majoring in Hotel Tourism Management


Post a Comment


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites