April 23, 2013


In USM I had to follow 5 courses to achieve my 30 ECTS. I chose the following subjects: Malaysian economy; Malaysian studies; Islamic thinking and social changes; Gender, ideology and power; and Bahasa Malaysia (which is the Malay language). As you may conclude out of this sum up, my exchange was focused on Malaysian culture.3 of the 5 courses I took were given in the Malay language. As a result I expanded my Malay vocabulary  rapidly and I also had the opportunity to mingle more with the natives then other exchange students. Because of the fact I could choose the courses myself from so many interesting courses available. It was a joy to go to school everyday, most regular classes were quite big with about 40-70 students. The language classes were max 20 this was better to gain the actual experience practicing dialogues. Below I will give a brief explanation about my experiences with the courses.

Malaysian economy is obviously about the economy in Malaysia. This was the only subject which I needed to buy a book for. In all other classes, the teachers provide you with copies of books, and hand outs. The course consisted out of lectures, bi-weekly student group presentations which had to be in depth about a subject from the previous lecture, individual/group assignment, this assignment I choose the subject Islamic banking,  and final exam which consisted out of multiple choice and open questions. And ironically, being an business student, economics was the course I got the lowest grade for during the minor.

Malaysian studies was about, politics, culture, criminology, social systems, and a part economy as well. This class was quite interesting and many exchange students followed this course. It was interesting to me to learn about different aspects of Malaysia, the course consisted of continuous assessment which was measured by attendance and voluntary assignments, next to that there was 1 multiple choice mid-term exam, an individual assignment and a final exam which consisted out of multiple choice and open questions.

For the Islamic thinking and social changes class I had 3 different lecturers during the semester. In this class there were only 3 girls me included. So during that class we always sat in the lecturers office and we got drinks and food during class. With only the 3  of us we had a lot of time for discussions, personal stories and opinions, this often got Very personal which sometimes even ended up in us passing the tissues around to wipe our tears of compassion. During this class everyone had to prepare a presentation and a report for every lecturer, and the final exam consisted of open questions only. Because this was a philosophy class, the answer were never really wrong as long as you can justify your answer. In this period the three of us got very close and I still have contact with those girls every week now.

Gender, ideology and power was about the behavior patterns, division, differences and similarities between men and women in society and on the work floor. This course consisted of continuous assessment measured by attendance and class participation, weekly student presentations, individual or group assignment, and a final exam which consisted of multiple choice and open questions.

Bahasa Malaysia was the course of Malay language, the grade was an average of oral examination, oral presentation, listening test, and 2 writing tests. For me this quite easy because I already had some basic knowledge but it was nice to learn some business language.

In the end these were my grades: for 3 subjects I got a 10, an other 9 and for economy Malaysia a 7. Not bad right? When you have the chance to choose your courses during your minor choose them in the field of your interest, so you enjoy going to class and actually study, which in the end will result in some nice grades! 

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