February 21, 2019, by payzts

First Semester Overview

Here we are, the end of first semester. Looking back, it has gone by so quickly! I am very happy it is here though; I miss the days when we had half-term holidays. 

University has definitely kept me very busy and time has flown by. It’s been a good semester with numerous lectures, activities and exams.

Prior to arriving in Malaysia, I was very apprehensive and there was a time period when it felt like the countdown to leaving dragged on; that soon changed and soon I was on a plane flying across the world. Saying goodbye to my family was surreal and even being on the plane it really didn’t sink in that I would be so far away from home. My excitement somehow outweighed my nerves; sitting next to my friend on the plane to Malaysia made the journey a lot easier and settling in wasn’t so bad.

The first few weeks in Malaysia were a breeze, there was a lot of excitement because I was in a new country. I spent time trying to get into a routine, I tried to figure out the different buildings I would have lectures in. Lucky for me, we tend to have our lectures in the same room but whenever there is a change in venue, I am s clueless as the first day. I also tried out the on- campus restaurants, got to know the people on my course; went out for countless meals. The rest of the time I focused on curing my jet lag which so far has been unsuccessful.

I also went to the Batu Caves which is a Hindu Temple in Kuala Lumpur. It was extremely colourful it was an amazing experience and it was lovely to have a first- hand experience of how Hindus practice their faith. The temple had lots of birds and monkeys; the monkeys stole everyones food; they especially liked Rich Tea biscuits. I also went to Genting Highlands, where I went on the Awana Skyway and got to see some amazing views and there was yet another shopping mall. 


It feels a little weird to not be home for Christmas. Kuala Lumpur is very festive with decorations, Pavilion Mall has an amazing Christmas tree and the constant voice of Dean Martin’s ‘Let it snow’ is a welcome irony. However, Christmas just doesn’t feel the same without snow, Christmas markets, waffles, hot chocolate and the yearly disagreements in my home about the colour scheme and decorations we plan to use for the Christmas tree. Nevertheless, Christmas will be different but exciting as I am travelling to Singapore for the festive period.

Booking the trip to Singapore has definitely been a massive motivator this semester as the course can be intense but being in Malaysia has helped me better control my nerves and  I am learning to just deal with each obstacle (exam) as it comes. It is a welcome change; not worrying in advance.

The main reason for me applying to study here was to help me to become more independent both in the course and as an individual. I didn’t think Nottingham could challenge me enough. I thought Malaysia would be a good way to push myself out of my comfort zone. Even though it has just been a semester I have been able to understand myself a little better a few funny ones being that I am not the best with directions and I cannot be trusted with travel plans! 

This semester has been great. I am so thankful for all the new friends I have made, and I am grateful for my family and friends back home who have been an amazing support system.  I am excited for next semester as a few of my friends are coming for the summer semester exchange! It will definitely be exciting to see some familiar faces and to meet new people. The best bit though are the care packages my friends will be bringing!  

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