Miri – 23 February 2011 – To kick off their university careers at Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak), 43 international students enrolled for the first semester at the university attended its International Students’ Prep Session from 17 to 18 February 2011.
Attendance at the bi-annual prep session is required of all new international students as it not only introduces them to life at the university, but also gets them acquainted with local norms and customs.
The students originate from a variety of countries, including China, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Myanmar, the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Alistair Inglis, in delivering his welcoming note, encouraged the students to actively engage with not just those in the university campus but also with the local community.
“Miri has a special character to it because of its multicultural background. Therefore, I strongly encourage each and every one of you to build friendships and networks with other students from all over the world, and with the very friendly and accommodating people of this city,” he said.
He further advised the students to develop healthy interests, whether it is a particular sport they like or a volunteering activity they are keen to be involved in, and to seek help from their lecturers or friends if they faced any difficulties while at the university.
Student Council president James Chai, meanwhile, highlighted the importance of having a balanced life. He also said the Student Council welcomed inquiries and suggestions from students, and was more than willing to handle their complaints.Following the welcoming notes, the prep session continued with games, a campus tour, further briefings by representatives from the International Office, Student Council and International Students Association. The students were also given talks on medical insurance and check-ups, drug abuse, visa and driving licence applications, as well as managing bank accounts and foreign exchange.
Nithyasoma Sundaram, who is enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce programme majoring in Accounting and Finance, intimated that she chose Curtin Sarawak because it has a good reputation and its programmes are recognised worldwide.
“This recognition is of utmost importance to me,” said the Sri Lankan lass who hopes to complete her final year at Curtin’s main Bentley Campus in Perth.
Her course mates, Nyaradzo Mukwada and Lester Jay Dioso Mangalindan, from Zimbabwe and Brunei Darussalam respectively, chose to pursue their higher education here on the recommendation of their friends who are current students of the university.
“Comparatively speaking, the course fees are cheaper here than at the main campus in Perth and, after all, the programmes at Curtin Sarawak are identical to the programmes offered there,” said Nyaradzo who finds the people in Miri extremely friendly.
For Lester, who also intends to complete his final year in Perth, the campus environment was a decisive factor when considering Curtin Sarawak. “Generally, I find the university and Miri city clean and nice,” he said.
Meanwhile, just 12 hours after landing in Miri from the country that made headlines worldwide recently, Egyptian Mohamed Eman seemed excited to begin university life at Curtin Sarawak.
The Civil Engineering student said, “I searched the Internet and found out about Curtin Sarawak. A university that enjoys international recognition is vital, which is why I chose to come here. Besides, the course fees and living expenses here are very affordable.”
Curtin Sarawak currently has some 3,000 students from over 40 countries, making for a truly cross-cultural and international learning environment. For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at www.curtin.edu.my or e-mail [email protected]