Rose - Go Behind the Scenes - Cultural Gastronomy in Malaysia

Bachelors of Business Management/International Hotel and Tourism Management
July 2018

My experience

I chose to complete an exchange to challenge myself and enrich my study. This short term exchange provided a unique opportunity to travel overseas and immerse myself in a new culture while earning course credit. I chose this particular course as it was an interesting way to experience a new culture through their food and this sparked my interest. Also, it being a short term exchange made it easier for me to balance my work commitments and expenses, rather than having a whole semester overseas. This exchange gave me all the challenges and fun that a longer term experience would, without as many difficulties. My favourite aspect of overseas study was definitely the opportunity to experience a new culture in an unknown environment and I feel this not only enriched my study but developed my skills.

How has the experience changed you?

I have gained some great friendships from my course, including domestic and international students who travelled with me and people we met overseas. I now have a greater understanding of Malaysian culture, both the tensions and cultural norms. I had an exciting glimpse into different religions in the places we explored and this broadened my understanding of different cultures. This immersion in new culture also developed my skills when adapting to new norms.

Favourite memory

My favourite memory from the trip was the days we spent in the kitchen with the Malaysian chefs at the university. They were so passionate about sharing their knowledge and culture. I felt I took a lot of skills away from this experience and also enjoyed LOTS of food in our banquet after we finished cooking.

Top tips

I would tell students considering an exchange to grasp the opportunity with both hands. This unique chance to travel not only lets you learn course content, but brand new skills and appreciation for the places and cultures you interact with. I would recommend applying for all funding available to you as this really assists in supporting your time overseas and ensures this is not a worry taking away from your experience.

Funding

Yes, I was lucky enough to receive both the New Colombo Plan (NCP) funding and the OS Help Loan. The NCP covered the major costs of the program meaning I only borrowed a small amount from the OS Help loan.