Articulating overseas is one of a number of internationalisation options for Taylor’s University students. While rewarding, the transfer experience is also not without its challenges as one student who went to the UK openly discussed.
Kashmir Maichel started his studies in biomedical sciences (2014) in the School of Biosciences at Taylor’s University. He initially moved from Sabah to KL, and as he points out, "I remember my first week in TU, the ice-breaking sessions held by our senior peers from the Bioscience club were excellent, and the Dean himself was really friendly who gave us a warm welcome".
Taylor’s University has worked for many years with University of Reading in the UK, and although Taylor’s University. has some 46 agreed articulations to a variety of top UK, Australian and New Zealand universities, there was no agreed articulation pathway for biomedical science students to Reading. As their biomedical science degree is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (the professional body for biomedical scientist in the United Kingdom), this meant that the only way to enter this particular degree was to start all over again by joining their first year. He said that, "Having completed and enjoyed my first year back in Taylor's University, I did not feel like repeating my first year again". Instead he opted to enrol in their degree in microbiology. However, moving to the University of Reading and the UK proved to be a bigger challenge than he had expected.
Kashmir Maichel and his girlfriend in the UK
As he reflected, "The support and guidance I received from my personal mentor at Taylor’s University. as well as seniors made my entry into the first year of my degree much smoother than my entry into my second year transfer to the University of Reading”. As he commented the main problem was that, "everyone had their own group of friends to hang out with because they were in their second year at the university. On paper, I am a second year student just like them, but in reality I have just arrived - so you could say that I was a first year student in disguise! I had felt so comfortable around my Malaysian course mates in KL that I never really thought about how it would be in the UK”.
He experienced a period a loneliness. As he said, "I was one of the few students in the lecture hall who had nobody to talk to…This was one of the lowest moments that I have ever experienced in my life, and it was so dejecting till the point that I was on the verge of quitting the course”. But thanks to his girlfriend (who was also an articulating student from Taylor's University), she provided him with continuous support that eventually helped him to overcome this. As he said, "I made up my mind to forget about quitting the course in favour of staying”. He went onto add that, "The decision proved to be one of the turning points in my life, a decision that I did not regret because things were actually getting better for me. I started talking to some of my course mates during the 10 minute break in between lectures, and there were also laboratory sessions run in groups of 4, so this was the perfect opportunity to break the ice around my classmates and make new acquaintances while we were conducting experiments…..On top of that, I signed up for a module from the business school as I wanted to learn something new aside from science, so I also made some new friends from other schools, whom were all really warm and friendly”.
As often happens in life a positive attitude helps you to turn a corner in life, and as he noted, "The next few months were amazing for me as I continued to make new acquaintances” and "I was also steadily catching up on my studies without encountering too much problem because I had learnt so much from the syllabus taught in Bioscience school in Taylor's University". On reflection he felt that, "All in all, it has been a roller coaster ride for me, and I can say that I have gained plenty of experience during my time at Taylor's University and the University of Reading – it has developed me into a better and more mature person". Articulation pathways are just one way that students at Taylor’s University can internationalise their education. Other options include a semester exchange, short-term mobility programmes and doing an international internship. For more information on the School of Biosciences click here, for more information on Taylor’s University’s articulation partners click here.