My name is Corey, and I am writing this from Malaysia! I am also a student at The University of Tulsa, so why am I here? I am studying abroad, at the Universiti Teknologi Petronas, an exchange program organized through TU! This once in a lifetime opportunity, to immerse myself in an entirely different country, with its unique culture, people, and experiences, has been excellent, and if you come to Tulsa, you can have this opportunity as well. It begins with you, deciding this is something you want to do, as it is challenging. Not only will you be new to the school you go to, you will be new to the country, the people, and culture, but that is the best part! If you have this mindset, do some research on where you want to go. Tulsa has a great website, where you can start looking at opportunities now, www.utulsa.edu/globaleducation/, but you must be in your second semester before you can travel abroad. It is never too early to start planning though, as it does take some time to find a program not only in the country you want to do to, but also with the classes you need to transfer into your major. To be sure, some majors have an easier time finding courses, but anyone can go, with planning. I am a Petroleum Engineering major, and I found programs that worked for me! Once you find a program, apply through the Center for Global Education, and hopefully you are accepted. Once you are, you can start planning, and there is a lot to do. Of course, you need to get a flight, but depending on where you go, you may also need immunizations to be safe. Once you are there though, it is a fantastic experience. I will share some of mine.
I have been in Malaysia for about two months now, and I am loving it. My university is in the middle of the jungle, but beautiful.
The classes I take all transfer back to TU, so I am not “losing time” by being abroad – rather, I am transferring 15 hours back! The best part about being here? The travel. I have been all over Malaysia, as well as to Singapore and Thailand. I travel by plane, train, bus, minibus, taxi, tuk tuk, bike, ferry, longtail, and foot to get all over Southeast Asia. Here’s a few pictures.
Here I am introducing some kids at a Malay wedding in Taiping to Angry Birds! Angry Birds is all the rave here – hats, shirts, you name it.
Thaipusam is celebrated by Hindus to pay vows made to Lord Muruga. There are 300 steps up into the Batu cave, up which the devout travel with a burden to bear, from a jug of milk to piercings in their back. This is a devout Hindu, bearing the burden of fish hooks, piercing his back, and weighted, to inflict pain while ascending the steps. It is a sign of their devotion. Many other Hindus pray to Muruga for a child, and when their prayers are answered, they carry the child up these steps to thank Muruga.
Here are some more pictures:
This experience has been unforgettable, and the best part? I am here another 2 months! I plan to fish for snakehead, see a Formula One race, experience Bangkok, and learn to Scuba Dive at Perhentian Islands before I leave. Who knows what else I will do? Read more at coreyhardegree.wordpress.com. Studying abroad is about creating your own experience – you dictate who you meet, where you go, and what you take away. It gives perspective to your world view, one that now sees other cultures as different, not wrong. Take the leap: study abroad, and you’ll come back better for it.