"Biodiversity and Culture of Malaysia" Summer School Programme Attracts Australian Students

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) students joined with a group of Malaysian students to undertake a 2-week Summer School Programme to learn more about the biodiversity and culture of Malaysia.

The School of Biosciences (SBS) at Taylor's University recently hosted a group of 14 Australian students from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) who joined a 2-week Summer Programme. The QUT students had a diverse range of academic backgrounds – studying for degrees such as Bachelor of Medical Imaging, Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology), Bachelor of Justice, Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics, Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science and Bachelor of Nutrition Science. But they were here to experience the biodiversity and culture of Malaysia, with the opportunity to interact with local students and communities and to also develop an appreciation for Malaysia's distinctive culinary heritage.

The summer programme consisted of three components; in–class lectures, a series of field-trips and a range of cultural awareness. The field trips to places such as Rimba Ilmu at the University Malaya, the Botanical Gardens and Wetlands in Putrajaya, a mushroom farm, orchard farm, and a paddy factory at Sekinchan along with a visit to the historical town of Malacca were all included. They were used to introduce the richness in both biodiversity and the food culture of Malaysia.

Taylor Burns, who is studying Medical Imaging at QUT, had very positive feedback to share about his experience, saying that the two weeks definitely exceeded his expectations in every way. "I saw different cultures and biodiversity, something I don’t get an opportunity to experience in Australia" adding that it was wonderful "to be able to experience the culture and do a lot of activities every day, which is a great way to discover Malaysia". Another participant, Hannah Beighton, a Nursing and Psychology student, shared that she picked the Taylor’s Summer Programme because she wanted a genuine experience of a different culture. "I wouldn’t want to be like a typical tourist, because I wanted to see things that you wouldn’t normally see when you go travelling, such as visiting Ganofarm, a mushroom farm in Tanjung Sepat, as well as the Starfresh Agropark. Most importantly, this becomes part of my formal learning experience as a university student," she said.

Besides the field trips, the students also attended lectures on Bahasa Malaysia and "General Principles of Halal Relevant to Food Industry" as well as a "Fusion Food Creation Day" workshop - where they have the chance to show their culinary skills.

To find out more about the Summer Programmes at Taylor's University for more news about the School of Biosciences