A recent 3-day, 2-night field trip to Kuala Lumpur to visit financial institutions there proved a most fulfilling learning experience for 17 banking and finance students from Curtin Sarawak. Their visits to leading financial institutions such as Bursa Malaysia, Financial Sector Talent Enrichment Programme (FSTEP), Malaysia Building Society Bhd. and the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia gave the students a first-hand look into the activities of the financial institutions and helped them relate theories they have learned in the classroom to real industry situations. As part of the learning experience, the students were required to preview the institutions’ websites and review links up to at least three levels before planning step-by-step tasks for themselves to accomplish during their visits to the institutions, as well as conduct reviews following each visit.
According to Finance and Banking lecturer Charmele Ayadurai, field trips are important not only for students to better prepare themselves for careers in a competitive business environment but also for their lecturers in employing field method learning and teaching. She said fieldwork generally involves observing, describing and mapping the relationship between theoretical frameworks and industry exposure. She added that students appreciate field trips because they can acquire unique experiences, knowledge and skills on the trips and these are also powerful tools for reforming banking unit teaching in universities.