Settling into life in Malaysia

My name is Fiona, a QUT early childhood education student and I am very excited and humbled to be studying at Taylor’s University for one semester as a New Colombo Plan Scholar. Fiona Malaysia3

After living in Malaysia for only 5 weeks, I didn’t expect to have already been provided with such wonderful opportunities to broaden my future prospects or networks. However in just my second week at Taylor’s University, I spoke with Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement who put me in contact with an international school in Kuala Lumpur, as well as organising for me to attend a lunch with High Commissioner to Malaysia.

Fiona Malaysia5Through these connections I have also been in touch with the Head of Junior School and the Australian International School, Malaysia and I am excited to intern at AISM once I have completed my studies at Taylor’s University. Being provided with this opportunity will allow me to broaden my skills as a future educator and equip me with and deeper understanding of knowledge required to accurately educate our younger generations visa vie cultural competency.

One of the largest learning experiences I have had whilst overseas is learning about the importance of patience and open-mindedness. Unsurprisingly, there are many differences in the ways in which a number of procedures (sometimes something as simple as buying groceries) are carried out. Fiona Malaysia4I learnt of the importance of going into a new situation without any prejudice or preconceived ideas of how things ‘should’ be done. I think that too often we see something being done differently from that which we are used to and automatically label it as ‘wrong, rather than just different.  Just because something is unfamiliar doesn’t mean it’s wrong.  There can be more than one way to complete a task, from grocery shopping, to boarding a train, to running a classroom, all of which are different, but equally as correct.

I’ve also been lucky enough to have some time spare to get my PADI open waterFiona Malaysai1 diving certificate while I’ve been here! It was an amazing experience where we got to dive with beautiful fish, sharks and stingrays, as well as spend time with Monkey, a beautiful monkey who was abandoned and has been taken care of by one of the people living at the dive resort.  It was amazing to be able to go swimming with her and see her excitedly jump onto her owner’s kayak and go for a ride.

I look forward to seeing what new adventures and opportunities await over the next few months in Malaysia!

 

Fiona Malaysia2