I arrived in Malaysia to study a Master Degree program in Help University of Malaysia, Located in Kuala Lampur,
I was happy because of the possibility of knowing a new country and culture. When I arrived at the airport it was all air conditioned, so I went out to appreciate the humidity of the country, which had been talked about so much, and I have to say it was like feeling like opening an oven door, a tremendous heat with humidity that I love! .
A service helped me to select the best university for my degree program. Both economic and well known for the quality of education. I call Study 2 Malaysia and Amin ask me for the requirements and then suggest me HELP University to study in Malaysia for my management course.
Here I am living in a condominium, near the University where I study with a girl from Iran who is doing a PhD in my same house of studies, I also live with a young woman from India who has been working here for three years. We have become super friends, and we share a lot of time talking about how different our cultures are.
I came to Malaysia to do a Master in Environmental Management at the Malaya University. The country is characterized as a multicultural society. Here live three races (Chinese, Indians and Malay) plus a large international community of people from the Middle East, from nations such as Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, Indonesia, South Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, and Libya among others.
In the Master there are ten female students, four are Malaysian (one is Malay-Chinese, two are Malay-Maley and one is Malay-Indian). The rest are international students, all from the Middle East, I am the only “western” as they say. Two Companions are from Saudi-Arabia, one from Iran and one from Iraq.
This has been the most fascinating part of this experience, having the opportunity to share with so many people from so many different cultures. I have become very good friends, since most of them are interested in knowing more about my culture and country.
Currently, I am in the stage of corrections of my Project Thesis, in which I studied the potential of the “biofuel” in the carbon bond market, so I have less and less to finish the Master.
Life here in Malaysia is 100% different than my life in Chile. First of all, the Muslim culture is very different. Although, I do not have to go to university with a cloth in my hair, I have to dress more covered than usual. In the University they have a dress code that I must respect, and that despite the 40 degrees they do here.
A second point, is the theme of Asian baths, everywhere you come across this type of toilet even in the mall. They do not use toilet paper, but there is a little hose with water.
Of course, in my house I have normal bathrooms, and in the university I have identified the places where they have “our” bathrooms.
Another interesting point is the theme of the meals. My friends laugh at me when I have a yogurt breakfast with fruits and cereals, compared to the typical Malaysian breakfast (Nasi Lemak) which is fried rice, fried peanuts and of course garlic or Noodles (noodles).
Yes, at lunch or dinner, I’m willing to try everything, I’ve been lucky that each of my friends (Chinese, Indian or Malay) suggest that is what I should ask in restaurants. My typical phrase in the restaurant is “Sin ají por favor”, because I still do not get used to that.
Many things I have liked here and if I could I would not hesitate to take me the paradisiacal beaches of this country with their corals and colorful fish. The other thing that is exported warms the seawater, tropical fruits and carrot juice that prepare here.
I came to study in Malaysia, because I wanted to live in a completely different culture, and this country offered me exactly what I was looking for. A multicultural, Asian place with a great potential for development with Chile, since the FTA talks started when I applied for the scholarship.
I decided to be in Kuala Lumpur, since as capital it was the most cosmopolitan city, and I applied for “University of Malaya”, because the Ambassador of Malaysia in Chile recommended it to me.
It is a good place to learn English, since there are very few people who can speak Spanish, so you are forced to speak the language. Being a second language, for me it is easier to understand, since it does not have so many idioms.
Being a developing country, it is seen that it is making great strides to achieve the goal of being developed by 2020. For this, it wants to be the connection between the East and the West, which I think is very good in terms of economy.
Here in Malaysia nobody has lowered the revolutions to continue buying in the mall, although if I see in the newspapers what is happening in the world, I have not seen major changes with the issue of the crisis. My Malaysian friends told me that the government had given them an economic incentive for all the masters and PhD students, in order to finish their studies and face the crisis.
They always treat me differently, because I am considered “foreign”. The Muslim society, it is not yet customary to see women dressed differently, who are more independent, or who do sports, but it is something that is more marked if one lives in sectors where most are local.
Malaysia has many tourist places too, where you can be with bikini on the beaches or with less clothes and no one is going to ask you to tapes or you will look weird. You have to know how to be flexible and understand the codes of this culture in order to adapt.
Of course, the Muslim girls are super happy using their handkerchief in their hair and clothes that cover everything, in fact they feel uncomfortable if they do not.
The experience I have gained here will help me to be able to work in international areas. I have made a lot of contacts in the environmental area and I have a more global vision of how this country deals with environmental issues.
Since I arrived here I feel completely different. Much more flexible in terms of living together and working with people from different places and cultures. I learned to respect other cultures, and to value the good that we have in Chile and had not considered before.
In the future this experience will help me to develop well in any international organization, and to have a broader vision of the environmental management policies that are taken in different countries.