By Qudrat Khan
- Choosing to study in Brunei makes a lot of sense for a number of compelling reasons. Brunei is a gas and oil rich state which offers so much.
-Brunei is completely surrounded by Malaysia, bar its coastline with the South China Sea
-Crude oil and natural gas production account for roughly 90% of Brunei’s GDP
-Government statistics showed that women made up 57% of the civil service and 28% of senior management posts
-The average annual temperature is 26.1 degrees Celsius
-Brunei’s full name: Negara Brunei Darussalam, Darussalam means “abode of peace”
-It has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Brunei has relatively high literacy rates, long life expectancy, and low unemployment and crime rates.
-Brunei gained independence from the British in 1984 but has the world’s longest reigning monarchy
Brunei is quite a small island, with only 412,238 people calling it home in 2012. Its main university is Universiti Brunei Darussalam, and it has already acquired a number of international students, hailing from afar as Europe and Africa, as well as nearby countries such as China and Japan. Other universities include Institut Teknologi Brunei, which specialises in the niche aspects of Engineering, Business and Computing. Studying in Brunei allows one to be at the centre of all the major Asian cities, and with Brunei International Airport only ten minutes away; this means that cheap holiday breaks can be taken to cities such as Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.
With the Malays forming the biggest ethnic group in Brunei Darussalam, Malay or Bahasa Melayu is the national and official language of the country; yet at the same time, English is widely spoken and understood particularly in the business community.
Various indigenous groups such as the Dusun, Murut and Iban speak in their respective dialects while the Chinese speak Mandarin, Hokkien and Cantonese while being equally conversant in Malay.
There are many sights to view in Brunei, a lot of them spectacular mosques, including the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, located in the capital. Named after the 28th Sultan of Brunei, the Mosque is known for its Arabic-Italian infused architecture and its pure-gold dome. Another key spot is the Instana Nurul Iman, home of the Sultan of Brunei and otherwise known as the largest residential palace in the world. Its five swimming pools and 1000+ bedrooms certainly justifies the grand title it has been given! The size of Brunei should not been taken as an indicator of its significance, as its stunning Islamic architecture and Malaysian inspired culture, as seen in its food and way of life, shows of a regal country full of history and natural beauty.
Students studying in the "Abode of Peace" (the literal translation of darussalam) will find the country to be very laid-back and relaxing. Students can also explore water villages by boat and on foot, learn about local culture in several interesting museums as well as try mouthwatering Malay cuisine which can be found in outdoor markets as well as an abundance of restaurants. You can also experience the incredible biodiversity of the Bornean rain forest in Ulu Temburong National Park.
Find out more about studying in Asia