Stephen, from Northern Ireland, studied at the Malaysia Campus for a year on an Inter-Campus Transfer. He is studying Bachelor of Business Administration in the School of Social Sciences.
Why did you decide to take part in a global student programme at Heriot-Watt?
I had wanted to study a year abroad, however it was proving difficult due to my original course (Business Law); and the fact that attending a partnership university meant learning the new rules of that university. When the campus transfer was offered, I couldn’t see a reason to say no. A year studying in a thriving Asian economy across the globe, in a campus that is second to none in terms of architecture, views and learning environment, there was no reason to turn down the opportunity. By transferring to a Heriot-Watt campus, my transition was as smooth as possible as the staff and admin are the same as Edinburgh procedures.
How was studying in Malaysia different from studying in the UK?
An identical course structure is followed so adapting my studies was actually been fairly easy. One thing to mention about Malaysia is due to the student population and class sizes being small (30 in my class here compared to near 300 in Edinburgh) there is a very ‘High School’ feel. This was actually beneficial as lectures feel much more personal, lecturers feel a lot more approachable and the class helps each other out as communication amongst a few is much easier.
I think amongst the transfer students, there was a feel that our work ethic improved. Whether that’s because the bus times mean that you’re in the library all day or just simply because we stepped up our game due to the new environment. It was felt that our work ethic, and maybe even quality of work, improved compared to our studies in Edinburgh the previous year.
What are the highlights from you global student experience?
Meeting new people and experiencing a vast array of new cultures that comes along with that. The travelling opportunities were incredible with weekend trips to Vietnam, Bali and Thailand possible.
How do you think being a global student will benefit you in your career after university?
A year abroad is like a degree and a half on your CV. I think living in a completely new unfamiliar environment is only of benefit to myself.
What advice would you give other students thinking of taking part in Heriot-Watt’s global student programme?
Consider your current academic progress before applying. We found it fairly easy to adjust and maintain our studies in the new campus. However, any student who is not in a comfortable position before transferring may find it difficult to adapt to the new surroundings.