Jarod - EWB Malaysia Humanitarian Design Summit

Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Hons)
July 2018

My experience

I chose the EWB Design Summit experience as I wanted a more practical learning and the opportunity to expand my understanding of my past teachings in a different situation. We studied a variety of interaction and design techniques, with a focus on human centred design, to allow for proper interaction with the villages and people we would meet. It was not particularly relevant to my degree as a degree is much more conceptual, but is worthwhile in the actual workforce where things are more practical. Favourite aspect of being in Malaysia was the unique culture we had in visiting the rural villages, and the really good food.

How has the experience changed you?

Personally I gained a great number of connections and friends, many of which I continue to keep in contact with. I was also able to travel for the first time without family, so that was a personal achievement for me in terms of growth. Professionally I believe the experience helped me to understand looking at something in a different light, as sometimes there are sides to a story we don't understand, which in my line of work is a very beneficial skill to avoid incidents.

Favourite memory

Favourite memory from the experience would be the day in the village where we hiked for several hours to find a waterfall. It was a good experience because my team all had to go through the same tiring walk, while talking, listening to music, telling stories etc. and it really helped us bond as a group. The waterfall was also pretty cool because it was so undisturbed and in the middle of nowhere, so it was just our group. Cold though... waterfalls are cold.

Top tips

I would definitely recommend doing it, as it's a fantastic experience even just for the village visits and the connections you make with your team. For people partaking in a design summit experience, I would recommend not going with a group of people (though one is good), as being forced to really meet new people and get out of your shell is one of the best parts of the trip. Also bring enough cash, as bank cards are annoying. And try everything food wise, as it's all amazing, but can look really funky.


I received a travel grant of $1000 from UQ that contributed to the cost of the EWB experience, reducing some of the stress from the trip.