A Glimpse Of My Academic Venture In Universiti Malaya - Comedy and Indie

Rabu, 20 Maret 2024

A Glimpse Of My Academic Venture In Universiti Malaya

Loetju.id - Sitting here today, being awarded with one of the most prestigious mobility awards this country has to offer – the IISMA (Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards) program – has been a rewarding experience filled with excellence qualities of the academic and non-academic aspects throughout our study. I was lucky enough to be given an opportunity of scholarship towards one of the most competitive and prestigious universities in Asia, Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As a communication science student from Universitas Diponegoro in Semarang, Indonesia, being able to study in UM has been beneficial towards my academic venture and my international relations expansion.

A little background on the IISMA program, IISMA is a brainchild of the Indonesian government (Kementerian Pendidikan, Kebudayaan, Riset, dan Teknologi), empowers undergraduate and vocational students to embark on a life-changing semester abroad. This scholarship program unlocks the doors to top universities and esteemed international institutions, propelling students towards a future brimming with global connections and personal growth.

In my opinion, the main advantages that students will receive being awarded with IISMA are the following:

• Sharpen your Skills: IISMA ignites your potential by honing your academic prowess and nurturing valuable skills like critical thinking and collaboration through diverse teaching methodologies.

• Broaden your Horizons: Transcend the familiar and embrace a global perspective. Immerse yourself in a vibrant cultural tapestry, fostering empathy and understanding for diverse communities.

• Forge Lasting Connections: Build a network of international peers and industry professionals, laying the foundation for lifelong friendships and future career opportunities.

• Investing in Your Future: IISMA meticulously selects outstanding students based on academic excellence, strong English language proficiency, and a burning desire to explore the world. This prestigious scholarship covers the entire cost of tuition, living expenses, and travel, ensuring a seamless and enriching experience.

As an IISMA awardee at Universiti Malaya, the experience holds immense value for a Communication Science student in Indonesia. Universiti Malaya boasts advanced lecturers and top-notch lecture materials, facilitating a conducive learning environment. Engaging with a diverse international community enhances cross-cultural communication skills, providing a unique perspective crucial for communication professionals. Networking with high-level
students and professors offers opportunities for future collaborations and career advancement. Active participation in volunteering activities, such as the Chowkit Volunteering Activity, River Cleanup, and others, demonstrates a commitment to social responsibility, a key attribute for professionals in the communication field. The role of mentoring future IISMA awardees showcases leadership skills, aligning with the collaborative nature of communication work.
Introducing Indonesian culture to international friends fosters global communication competence, a vital skill in today's interconnected world. Learning from high-level lecturers at Universiti Malaya ensures a quality education that goes beyond theoretical knowledge, enhancing critical thinking and research skills. Engaging with students from diverse academic backgrounds provides multidisciplinary insights, enriching the understanding of communication's intersection with other fields. Involvement in sports activities contributes to holistic personal development, preparing the student for the dynamic and multifaceted nature of the communication profession. Overall, the IISMA scholarship experience at Universiti Malaya equips the Communication Science student with a well-rounded skill set and global perspective essential for success in their future endeavors.

Students were also given the opportunity to partake with various of extracurricular activities ranging from sports such as Basketball, Football, and Tennis, to language classes etc. During the exchange period, several of my friends and myself were involved within sports activities, mainly basketball, that were involved with local basketball player-student in the University. For basketball, it was conducted everyday in various of different courts in-campus, I mostly play in Kolej Kediaman ke-12 and ke-5’s courts (dormitory) and also the varsity court. I play around 4-5 times a week, having fun while also maintain our physical and psychological condition in a contact and high IQ sports.

Regarding the living situation in Malaysia, the university's proximity to the heart of Kuala Lumpur provides easy access to various modes of transportation such as buses, LRT, MRT, and online taxis. This proves beneficial for students, enabling the use of affordable public transportation to reach desired destinations on and off-campus within the Kuala Lumpur area.

While Malaysians and Indonesians share a fundamental understanding, linguistic and cultural challenges persist between the two. The diverse linguistic landscape of Malaysia, incorporating Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Tamil, Arabic, and numerous indigenous languages, might surprise Indonesian students accustomed to a primarily Indonesian language
environment. This linguistic variety mirrors the multifaceted nature of Malaysian society, emphasizing the pivotal role of language in preserving the nation's unique cultural identities. Fortunately, we were fortunate to have Indonesian and local Malaysian friends who guided us through the living culture and any other cultural barriers, facilitating our integration into society.

What particularly impressed me is Malaysia's multicultural fusion, showcasing the harmonious blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Arabs, and indigenous cultures. The ethnic amalgamation in Malaysia offers an exciting and eye-opening experience for Indonesian exchange students, from a plethora of gourmet options to the multitude of religious customs and observed festivals. I found it particularly striking how Chinese and Indian culture prominently intertwines with Malay culture in Malaysia, manifesting in various aspects such as language, traditional rituals, and especially in the realm of culinary traditions. This fusion creates a distinct cultural identity separate from Indonesia's predominantly Malay culture. Malaysian cuisine, with its rich and diversified offerings inspired by various cultural traditions, is sure to astonish Indonesian students with its unique flavors, spices, and culinary techniques. Exploring dishes in Malaysia becomes a joyful and unexpected experience, exemplifying the convergence of numerous culinary traditions within the vibrant tapestry of Malaysian culture.

Additionally, students had opportunities to explore Malaysia and other countries. Personally, I visited Malacca, Genting Highlands, and Hat Yai in Thailand. Some of my friends explored places like Penang, Cameron Highlands, Langkawi, and other countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. IISMA is not only an opportunity to advance oneself within academic and non- academic ventures but also offers opportunities to explore tourist attractions, other cities, and even other countries.

Receiving the prestigious IISMA scholarship to study at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been a transformative and enriching experience. As a Communication Science student from Universitas Diponegoro, the opportunity to learn from advanced lecturers and engage with a diverse international community has significantly enhanced my academic and interpersonal skills. The IISMA program, a commendable initiative by the Indonesian government, not only facilitates global exposure but also offers a holistic learning experience by covering tuition, living expenses, and travel costs. Universiti Malaya's strategic location in Kuala Lumpur provides easy access to various modes of transportation, facilitating students'
mobility both on and off-campus. The multicultural fusion in Malaysia, combining Malay, Chinese, Indian, Arab, and indigenous cultures, has broadened my cultural perspective and enriched my understanding of global dynamics. I am grateful for the support and opportunities provided by the IISMA program, which has not only sharpened my academic prowess but also fostered lasting connections and personal growth. The experience will undoubtedly contribute to my future endeavors in the field of Communication Science.

Muhammad Zidan Ramadhan Putra 
Communication Science
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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