The fearsome foursome have been enjoying their time in Malaysia; venturing out into neighbouring Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Here in their second Blog post they provide insights into their everyday MSc life, weekend travels and life away from home!
The first few weeks were challenging as we settled into our surroundings and into the rhythm of Uni life, but now we’ve reached the halfway point of our time in Malaysia, we’re starting to wonder where the time has gone!. On reflection, it seems to have passed simultaneously so easily but with such an impact on our own personal development. In the early weeks we took advantage of our free time and weekends, visiting Langkawi, Cameron Highlands, and Krabi (Thailand) in between classes, exploring the countryside and culture of Southeast Asia. Now coming back to Kuala Lumpur is starting to feel more and more like home.
Halfway already - they did say it would fly in... Mid-semester sees a wave of coursework tasks; be it solo or group work. We have completed 3 out of 5 so far, almost there! The new experiences, cultural insights, personal and professional development has not stopped, we are learning and experiencing new things everyday. This truly is a unique masters experience.
As the course picked up towards weeks 3 & 4 we soon found ourselves buried in coursework, and travel plans were quickly put on the back burner; even finding time to visit the bar on the city centre helicopter pad seemed hard going! A typical day would see us working on essays from 0900 – 1300, class from 1400 – 1700, and after grabbing some food and exercise working into the evening. Over eight days, four of us collectively submitted 12 papers; comprising of approx 24,000 words, hundreds of references (Literally!), and a few too many late nights in the library. For a change of scenery, we’ve discovered also that the Starbucks in the local shopping centre is a great spot to work of a Sunday afternoon. The assignments themselves varied from course to course – some gave us the freedom to explore themes and research that we found most relevant and interesting, whereas others were highly structured, and in some ways much more challenging. Making the transition to postgraduate business writing was an additional challenge in terms of the quality, style, and content expected in our work.
In the last few weeks we've managed to explore some more of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia; a fitting reward for out hard work! We are now starting to apply for visas and secure our internships for our time in Dubai. Yet we still have so much more to do here in Malaysia!
After the last essay was submitted we took a few days to relax and refocus in Bali, Indonesia. On Saturday we put the last touches on our assignments before submission, attend our two 3hr classes, and hopped on the last flight out of Kuala Lumpur airport. Whilst we can’t understate the hard work aspect, taking downtime is important for us too. During term time we would go to the cinema or out for dinner (A typical meal out will cost you around 15/20 Ringgit, less than a fiver!) to help stay relaxed, but four days by the beach really hit the sweet spot!
Now we’re back, refreshed, and tackling the latest wave of group assignments head-on. It’s bizarre to think that we’ve only got 4 weeks of teaching left, and even more to think of making plans for the Dubai leg in January! But we suppose it just means we must make the most of our remaining time here. Hopefully we’ll squeeze in some more fun before heading home for the winter, and for sure we’ll make it to that Heli-pad bar one day!
You’ve really got to be on top of things to make it through the first semester. Sure the academic stuff is important, but striking a good work-life balance is critical to enjoying your time here. Oddly, after a summer coming down from a Bachelors year, it’s quite nice to be worked hard again; you get such a sense of achievement when you finally submit that essay and know you’ve made a fine job. To be honest it’s a hard feeling to find anywhere else.
After the first month in Malaysia everything became more familiar and started feeling very home-y and speaking of home the university's library became a second one for me. Studying for assignments is definitely made better with friends, an amazing view from the library and a little cinema break with classmates. The lecturers are also very welcoming and always ready to help if there are any questions or any advice is needed, so even difficult assignments feel manageable.