- Sila Serin
- Lives in Odense, Denmark
- Studies Master of International Business Communication at University of Southern Denmark
- Will study abroad for one semester at Monash University Malaysia
Congratulations to Sila, who has been accepted to the study abroad program at Monash University Malaysia. Sila will be starting her studies in July where she will be spending one semester with Monash. We have asked Sila about her experience during the preparation for her study abroad semester, which has been pre-approved by her home institution for credit transfer. Read Sila’s answers in the interview below.
Why have you chosen to study in Malaysia?
I was sitting with my older brother and we were brainstorming about where in the world I should go. He suggested South East Asia as he had always been interested in going there himself and because we have heard more and more about this part of the world the last couple of years. Naturally, there were a lot of options, but we made a top three list, whereas Malaysia became the final choice.
What caught my attention about Malaysia, was first and foremost its cultural diversity. When I searched for information online, I realized how much Malaysia has to offer in regards to education, culture, attractions, the weather, food, night life etc. It is a growth country under constant development. That is why I decided that I wanted to experience Malaysia up close. Other great advantages are the low cost of living and the tropical climate with summer year round. As a student, it is of high priority to be able to live comfortably on financial aid, while still being able to afford entertainment.
When I saw the photos of Kuala Lumpur, I was sold. Furthermore, there are many of the surrounding countries that I wish to visit, now that I will be living in the region. Kuala Lumpur has a good geographic location if you want to travel around South East Asia.
Why did you decide to apply to Monash University Malaysia?
Monash University is ranked among the best 100 universities in the world and that was obviously a decisive factor for me when I made my choice. The high academic level is important to me as a graduate student, as I want to develop, gain competencies and be better prepared to the time that awaits after graduation. I think an international university must offer EVERYTHING. When I say everything, I mean both academic, social life, activities, student support, the facilities and location, student housing and professional administration. So far, Monash University lives up to all my expectations and criteria. It is important to me that I can live on campus and the student housing facilities look really nice on the photos I have seen. The surrounding faclities also look incredibly attractive and includes a shopping mall, beach, swimming pool, restaurants and cafés. I read that the students at Monash are very active in sports and cultural activities, student rights and much more. I see that as a big plus.
How did you find the university?
I didn’t know about the university before I got familiar with StudySEA. I contacted StudySEA, which I found through Facebook. I explained my expectations and criteria for the university I wanted to study at as well as the subjects that needed to be available. Through email correspondence with my study counselor, Mimi Tran from StudySEA, we went through my options and found Monash to be the best match.
How has StudySEA helped you through the process?
StudySEA has been extremely helpful from the beginning of the process. Actually, I don’t think I would have been able to go through this on my own without help from StudySEA! I say that because it can be really frustrating and confusing with all the information you have to deal with and the decisions you have to make. You feel that something new comes up all the time. When you, as a student, already have a lot on your plate, things can become a bit overwhelming. This is where StudySEA steps in and makes life a lot easier. They have followed the process to the letter and have been very pedagogical in explaining all the steps you need to go through when planning your study abroad. First and foremost, they help you find out where to go based on your objective. Then they help you with the actual application and preparation and also the process after you have been accepted. StudySEA has been there every time I have had questions and I have always received quick replies. Our correspondence has mainly been via email and Skype.
When I found out that the university I study at in Denmark did not offer exchange studies to Malaysia, I was pretty disappointed. However, with help from StudySEA, I have managed to realize my dream and that I am grateful for!
What do you look most forward to when going to Malaysia?
I look very much forward to experiencing student life in a country that is so different from Denmark. It has always been a dream for me to study abroad and I am excited to be experiencing a different culture up close. I am fascinated by the beauty of Asia. As I am a big food lover, especially for Indian and Chinese food, I know that I am on my way to the right place. It is going to be crazy to live on my own in a foreign country, where I don’t know anyone yet. But that is also the challenge that makes it all very exciting. I know that I will develop myself as a person, because I am going into this alone. Even though it feels scary at times, nothing holds me back, because I know that there will be many other international students in the same situation as me.
How do you finance your studies?
Primarily through government financial aid (from the Danish government), personal savings and grants. Mimi from StudySEA explained that I can live comfortably on my monthly living allowance from the Danish government. There will of course be a lot of expenses, which must be financed, especially if you want to travel around, but luckily I have saved money in advance. And then it is just awesome that I can take my government-sponsored monthly living allowance with me! In addition, there are numerous grants from private funds and organizations that you can apply for. When applying for grants, StudySEA has also been very helpful in giving advice and they happily reviewed my application before I submitted it. It is a good idea to prepare well in advance when applying for grants as it can be very time consuming.
When did you begin the preparation and application?
I started early, which I will recommend to others as there are deadlines to be kept. You should start searching for options at least 6 months prior to your studies. StudySEA has helped me from the beginning with the preparation and application to Monash University Malaysia. We went through all the steps together and it made everything easy and manageable.
You are studying at University of Southern Denmark, how did you get approval to take part of your degree at Monash University Malaysia?
It was rather painless. I completed an application form and attached the course descriptions. About a month later, I was informed that the courses had been pre-approved. As it can take more than a month to get approval, I recommend other students to apply early.
Which subjects will you study in Malaysia and why have you chosen these subjects?
I obviously chose subjects that are relevant to my education and also subjects that I found interesting. I read thoroughly about the course content and structure before I made my choice via Monash University’s website. The subjects I have applied to are equal to 30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) and are as follows:
- Cross cultural management communication
- Marketing and the international consumer
- Issues in international communication
Subjects that deal with culture and diversity have always triggered my interest. It was also a criteria that the subjects were taught in English. There was a large offer of subjects. When I read about the above subjects, I learned that the teaching format would include projects and group work, which I enjoy. The topics are also current and exciting.
What are your recommendations to other students that consider studying abroad?
My recommendation is that EVERYONE who wishes to go abroad, just need to jump into it! You should not be frightened by arranging your own study abroad program. Even though there is a lot to take care of, it will all be sorted with time. Just take it easy and don’t panic about the workload. Especially not when StudySEA offers to assist you for free! It is important that you continue to believe that everything will pay off in the end.
It is possible to realize your dream of studying abroad as long as you get a helping hand on the way. I am so happy that I contacted StudySEA, otherwise I would not have been able to go to the destination of my dreams. Even though I at times have been confused and overwhelmed with information and various procedures, then I truly believe that it is all worth it. It is an opportunity of a life time and therefore important to grab it when you can. In Denmark, students have a lot of opportunities for going abroad and you just need to exploit them. I think it will benefit us greatly to learn from others and see/experience another way of living.
StudySEA wishes Sila a safe flight to Malaysia and are excited to hear more about Sila’s experiences when she arrives and get started on her studies at Monash. If you are interested in learning more about your study options at Monash University Malaysia, you can contact StudySEA or book a consultation with one of our study counselors.