“When you are studying overseas, the studying and teaching style is very different…”

“Back in Malaysia you just need to memorize the notes given to you by your lecturer or teacher and you will be able to get good grades! But if you come here, and rely only on the slides given, you will not be able to pass an exam!

Here, they encourage us to give our on opinion on subjects, to debate, and promote self-learning. You need to read more publication papers in order to present your evidence towards whatever you are required to write, which I find difficult at first but its very useful as I have to do more thinking than let the teacher do the thinking for us. I’m actually able to discuss more serious topics with my friends and able to learn a lot more skills. 

But at Malaysia, us students can be quite manja (spoilt/pampered) because for the exams everything is given to us, and I feel like we don’t really do a lot of thinking. I do appreciate the hardwork by my teachers and lecturers back in Malaysia to make sure we don’t fail, but some students are still manja and still ‘malas nak baca nota yang kalau baca confirm lulus exam’ (lazy to read the notes which if you do, you will pass the exams). But here we all have to rely on ourselves. Belajar sendiri itu penting so cari more information sendiri. Kalau tak memang fail. (Learning proactively is important, if not, you will fail).”

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

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(This post was first published on March 18th 2017)

“Many people see on social media that when you are a Malaysian student overseas its very “seronoknya – boleh jalan2 enjoy bila kat overseas” (its so exciting, you can go travelling)…”

“But it’s actually very challenging because we are exposed to a different culture in a foreign country – its another person’s home so you can’t actually feel at home. One challenge is language. Fortunately, most Malaysians can converse in English well enough. There is also the religious difference, sometimes there will be racism now and then, but thank God I’m in Scotland, where the majority of the people are friendly and helpful.

Most of our time are spent towards our coursework and studies. Once finished, then we go out and explore the country. We get stressed and sad and emotional sometimes and we tend to rely on each other here. If my friend is upset and homesick, it’s our responsibility to be there for them. Its really hard being thousands of miles away from our family, but we keep up a smile, not to make them worry, and a worried parent will add to more stress. 

And alhamdulilah, I am happier here, I’m also no longer in an unhealthy relationship, but I really miss home as well. 

But the main reason I decided to study abroad is because I want to prove to others back home that I can make it out here. For 5 years I was told that I’m “bodoh, bangang, takde akal, macam orang gaji”. Till the day that I flew out from Malaysia, I can only differentiate those who believe in me and those I need to cut off from my life as they all said “Betul ke you pergi? Pandai ke untuk pergi luar negara?” (Are you sure you’re going? Are you smart enough to go abroad?). So the reason that I decided to continue my studies overseas is to broaden my mind and my surroundings, as I’m very sure that there is more for me – a second chance to start all over again”. 

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

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(This post was first published on March 17th 2017)

‘I worked for 5 years in Canada. Things eventually started to feel very routine and depressing working as a Video-Visual Technician in the biggest law firm back in Canada…’

‘It was a very stressful job, I always went back home too tired to do anything else. I then started to get depressed and eventually just decided to quit and I went traveling to Colombia for 9 months, and then later I went down to South America, and then to Japan for 3 months – then here, Malaysia, for 6 months.

‘Its not impossible to travel without a lot of money. When I left for Japan I only had US$200 in my pocket and I just made do with that that, by taking odd jobs here and there. I’ve been to Malaysia twice before, so I knew it’s cheap. I knew I like the food, I knew I like the people so yeah I think that’s it. And with my job I see something new all the time.

‘So what is the biggest thing you have learned so far?’

‘The biggest thing I’ve learned is to feel happy, and my inspiration for traveling was for happiness – it keeps you happy. You don’t need to do whatever society wants you to do to ‘make it big’. You can feel fulfilled doing any thing – that’s what I learned. I am now doing different jobs and doing different things. I thought I was happy doing anything as long as I got the basic necessities to live. A lot of people are pressured from their family to be successful and you might not like that, you might not feel fulfilled doing it so don’t force yourself’. 

‘Where are you going next?

‘England.’

‘How long? 

‘I don’t know, it might be 2 weeks, or it might be a year, I don’t plan that far ahead”.

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

*(The photo was taken a while back – as far as we know he has decided to stay in KL after his trip to England!) — with Boris Panov.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

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(This post was first published on June 2nd 2016)

“I’ve traveled solo to Cambodia, Laos and now Malaysia.

What’s your advice to people out there who wants to travel alone?

“I think its not dangerous to travel alone for a single lady, you just need to be careful of the robber. If you don’t do harm to people, it will be ok. If you help people, and be friendly, they will help you back.”

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

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(This post was first published on May 31st 2016)

“I was backpacking in China for three weeks…”

“I started from Xi’an all the way up to Beijing and the number of people who speak English is very rare, and they all speak Mandarin, like China Mandarin, very different from the Malaysian Mandarin. I can speak basic Mandarin and communicating was very hard there. So on my way back I was alone and the plane that I was boarding was Air Asia right, so when I heard the conversation between the stewardesses – I teared up. They were just having a simple conversation you know, but in Malay. It was a bit of Malay and English – Manglish. I don’t know why I teared up, like it felt so nice to hear something familiar after so long. And then once I got seated inside the plane, the first thing I did was order Nasi Lemak”.

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur — with Nadia Zamri.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

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(This post was first published on September 23rd 2015)

“We’re from Japan and this is our first time traveling abroad…”

“We’re here for vacation…but no one is supposed to know that actually. You see both of us work at GAP in Japan, but the thing is I’m the Manager there and she’s a part-timer. Hence why this vacation…well, not many people can know about it. Because in Japan, professionally, even in company policy, it is not accepted for the manager and the employee to go out on a holiday like this. But we’re in love and this is the only way we can spend time together, and we’re going to enjoy this holiday! Oh, and please don’t tag us on Facebook!”

*They were heading to Redang Island the next day, and had no clue what to do in KL during their short stay here. I told them to check out KL Tower as their bus was leaving that very evening.

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

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(This post was first published on July 26th 2014)

“I’ve been so busy with work that this is the first time this year I get to travel and visit my family in Sarawak…”

“Before this I used to go almost every month and half the year’s gone already! Feels good to go back, even if its just for the weekend. All I’m thinking of right now is to go hiking there! Then back to KL on Sunday, and Monday work starts again. Its crazy. But that’s life.”

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

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(This post was first published on June 25th 2014)