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Published by Afterschool.my on Jan 06, 2021, 05:36 pm
Hi! My name is Yasmin Abdullah. I’m a 37-year-old Administrative and Diplomatic Officer for the Government of Malaysia.
Any topic can be interpreted differently by various ethnic groups due to the barriers of intercultural communication – for instance, the varied styles of communicating, as well as the stereotypes and prejudices that are embedded in the Malaysian society. It was because of these issues that I became interested to pursue a postgraduate degree in this field.
After much research, I decided to enroll in the MSc. Intercultural Communication for Business and the Professions with the Centre of Applied Linguistics (CAL) at the University of Warwick.
Warwick has a comprehensive course, one that touches on sensitive topics such as culture adaptation and deradicalization in the political sphere.
Among the most interesting topics I learnt was a module on the dark side of globalization and diversity at the workplace, which I thought would generate thought-provoking discussions and exposure to new perspectives. I am happy to say that the course met my expectations!
My experience at Warwick was pleasant even though we were dealing with a global pandemic. Students were kept updated on COVID-19 news and any suspicions or rumours were quickly explained or debunked. The same went for my studies. It may have been a little confusing initially, but measures were quickly put in place that allowed me to complete my studies peacefully.
The quest in attaining my degree wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. The biggest challenge in my journey was the fact that I had left school for about 12 years. It was hard for me to re-adapt to the university environment, especially in terms of studying since the UK’s education system is a bit different from Malaysia – the grading system, for instance.
I was so upset in my first term. I started questioning why my marks were so low as I felt that I had given my best in each class. However, my lecturers and personal tutor took the time to explain how the grading system was different from what I was used to and assured me that my results were, in actuality, good. That was such a huge relief. Later, I managed to improve further with their guidance and feedback.
On the financial front, I had some help all thanks to Warwick’s Chevening Scholarships. The tuition fee was fully paid by Chevening and I also received a monthly stipend, which was sufficient for me to live comfortably (and travel)! Check out Warwick’s Chevening Scholarships right here.
The best thing about Warwick’s Centre of Applied Linguistics (CAL) is that it does not only focus on classroom teaching. The centre also hosts gatherings, picnics, and informal activities that helped me a lot in terms of studying and planning my future career.
As of right now, I’m back working as a civil servant in Malaysia, but the guidance and exposure I gained in CAL is playing a role in determining my future career path as I find myself becoming more interested in matters related to intercultural communication and gender issues – topics that I didn’t have much interest in initially.
Times are currently tough, but even a challenging experience can still be a valuable experience. If you’re planning to study abroad, my advice is to try looking at things with an open mind, and you will be surprised at how much you can actually learn while still enjoying your journey. Oh, and don’t forget to come back to Malaysia.