“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.”
– Saint Augustine
I couldn’t agree more.
Rewinding back to college years when studying was like a chore. Back then, internship was still in the making and not widely encouraged by institutions in Malaysia. In fact, a 50/50 split of assignment and exam-based type of program was highly sought after by many students.
One of the reasons was due to the versatility of courses in combining theories and practicality that could help students in expediting understanding and reasoning of a specific course in a team setting. The other reasons were the unbearable one-way lecturing method conducted at college and repetitive revisions from textbook just for the sake of scoring for exams – Dreadful that students have chosen to avoid at all cost.
It was possible to undertake flexible study programs only with sufficient financial support and above average grades mainly because programs were imported or partnered with foreign education institutions. Eventually, one would still be required to complete a year of study abroad, at least.
Honestly, I learned a lot academically from lectures and textbooks regardless if they were conducted locally or abroad. It was all up to individual’s self-discipline. Awe-inspiringly, the wholesome opportunity and experiences of travelling and living abroad, meeting new people from the other side of world, exploring different thinking, adapting, and working with people from different cultural backgrounds that were the big eye-opener. The great scores in exams were just means to an end, an end that landed me on a foreign land.
Nothing beats a real experience.
“Adapting into different cultures and new ways of doing things” is an easy-to read statement extracted from a management textbook. Easy-to memorise and regurgitate in exam. Yet, it takes one to live and breath in it to truly understand what it means.
Because of that, I’ve learned skills that have prepared me well in advanced for workforce. I am glad that I fought for that one chance abroad and made the very best out of it. You should too, if given a choice.
Photo by Juliana Kozoski