Last Week at the International Islamic University Malaysia

Time flies. I started my internship at the International Islamic University Malaysia just six weeks ago. It is the last week of my internship here at the International Islamic University Malaysia. It is bittersweet because I will be sad to leave all these amazing and wonderful human beings, but I am also looking forward to going home an seeing my family and friends. Being in Kuantan for a week has taught me so much about health care policy in Malaysia, and I cannot wait to do more research on it when I get back home. I did not expect everyone at the International Islamic University Malaysia to be so nice and welcoming to me. Faculty, staff, and students have been continuously generous. They show me around, buy me food, and talk to me about politics, something that most Malaysians refrain from talking about. The people here have been absolutely amazing, and I cannot believe I was nervous about culture shock or how they will perceive me. If anything, I have found more things in common with some of my friends here than some friends in Virginia. I am so glad that I applied for this opportunity and I would not change a thing about my experience (except maybe one thing but that’s a story for another time).

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Kuantan: Spending A Week At IIUM’s Medical University

This week was absolutely interesting and different from any of the other weeks. Professor Faridah sent Divya and me to Kuantan for a week to work with Dr. Ailin. To be quite honest, I was not excited to go to Kuantan because I found out last minute, and I was provided with very little information and logistics about the 3-hour trip. I was also very reluctant to go to on the trip because it is a medical university, something that I am not interested in at all. Nonetheless, I decided to go on the trip because I figured I would learn a lot about public health in Malaysia, something that I am quite interested in. Divya and I did a lot and learned a lot in Kuantan. We shadowed Dr. Ailin for five days. We were able to watch a doctor perform surgery where she removed an ovarian cyst. Outside of work, we ate so much in Kuantan. I have to say that I prefer food in Kuantan over food in Kuala Lumpur. Kuantan has so many native and unique dishes that you cannot find anywhere else. Dr. Ailin and her assistant, Ariff truly made us feel out home by taking us on excursions and treating us to dinners.

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Kuala Lumpur Week 4: Malaysian “Culture” and Politics

Just like any other week, this week has been nothing but an exciting and fun learning experience. I got the opportunity to interview three international student exchange participants from Turkey. I go to speak with them and learn more about Turkish culture, food, and educational experience. I think the most rewarding part of my job is getting to meet students my age from all over the world and getting their perspective on politics, education, and overall experience. The three Turkish women I met were so wonderful and I hope to keep in touch with them. Additionally, I got to speak with my friend and coworker, Zach, about Malaysian politics not only at the federal level but also at the state level. We talked about freedom of speech and how much content and press is censored Malaysia. We compared and contrast American law and Malaysian law. My conversation with Zach definitely got me thinking about my research project. Since political science and international relations is my passion, I would like to focus my research in that field. I would say that I still don’t have a full and comprehensive grasp on Malaysian politics, but I hope to learn more as I do more research

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Kuala Lumpur Week 3: The Eid Celebration Continues

This week hasn’t been the least eventful and exciting out of all of the weeks I’ve been in Kuala Lumpur. I did not get to explore the Kuala Lumpur did week because I have been busy studying for my LSAT. I did, however, get more comfortable with my internship and took a lot more initiative. I was able to relocate my desk from the back to the front area where I could intern with more students and meet a lot more people. This change allowed me to learn about both local and international students’ perspective on Malaysia. I also learned some of the local slangs mainstream culture that is quite different from the United States’. Speaking with these students, I also learned a lot about the politics of Malaysia; specifically, the controversial corruption of the former prime minister Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak and his wife, Seri Hajah Rosmah binti Mansor.

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Kuala Lumpur Week 2: Eid al-Fitr Celebration

This past week has been absolutely incredible. I have made a lot more friends at work, and I have come to feel more welcomed by my co-workers. I have also taken on a lot more responsibilities at work that include certifying visa documents, researching, and assisting international students. To be honest, I get quite bored at times when there isn’t much to do, but I have learned to take initiatives and ask or new task that, at times, may be outside my job description. Through working at the International Affairs office, I have met so many people from different backgrounds and heard so many amazing stories. My favorite part of working at the office is definitely connecting with students and being able to assist them with any emergencies relating to immigration and international affairs. I am very grateful for my job, and I look forward to going back to work on Monday.

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