Taking big leaps and doing big things.
My dad went to school here, and he got me hooked on the idea. I had always wanted to visit the U.S., so I was very excited, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little bit scary. I transferred here three months before the pandemic started. The moment I got off the plane, I was a bit overwhelmed.
The orientation really helped kick off my experience, especially the International Student Welcome. I connected with other Malaysians during this time. Some of the Malaysians that I met were in the same college as me. It was nice to know that I could relate to them, and it helped minimize my confusion.
One difficulty that I had to work through as an international student was adjusting to classes. In Malaysia, I was used to having a class of—at most—25 people. In the College of Business, it’s common to have a class of more than 300 students. I also grew up with the Cambridge system, so switching over to a U.S. system was a little bit difficult. I eventually overcame these struggles through frequent 1-to-1 visits with my professors.
I’m currently involved in the Malaysian Student Association (NUMSA). I’ve really enjoyed participating in the events—especially the Lunar New Year and Malaysia Night. I met my current friend group at the Lunar New Year celebration. There were over 600 students; the atmosphere was just really vibrating.
The thing that Malaysians care most about is our food. People who have never tried the food get excited about it. I also like sharing the culture. Malaysia is diverse in the way that it has a mixture of different cultures, people and languages. An Indian in Malaysia could be quite fluent in Mandarin as well as Malay. I think it’s cool to talk about these things with students.
I'm in the Employment Readiness Certificate (ERC) course right now. They teach international students how to be employment-ready for companies here in the States and offer many helpful resources. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’ve decided to be a volunteer. I also really enjoyed the International Business Management course—we really dive into how we can apply communication and leadership in different settings.
Being at Nebraska has also given me the drive to push myself to work on my resume, find an internship and create a photography portfolio. I took a big jump. This has been a big change, and I’ve grown a lot from this experience. I feel more empowered and independent.