My Move from Kuala Lumpur to Birmingham, by Katy Jones.
It feels like not long ago I packed up my bags and jumped on a 13 hour flight, saying goodbye to my family and friends, and headed to the University of Birmingham for my new life away from home. This is a daunting situation for most 18 year olds heading to university. I remember being so excited to finally be able to live in the UK after dreaming about it for so long.
Four years later and I’m now living in London. After making the decision to study in Birmingham, I always thought that I’d go back to Malaysia after my 3 years of education. During my first year that’s all I could think about, going home. However, as the years passed, I made so many new friends from around the world, embraced the way of life and the culture in the UK, travelled around Europe and, for now, I can’t see myself living anywhere else.
The decision for me to move away from home was very tough. I was a very shy and sheltered person. I knew that if I decided to study away from home, it would help me boost my confidence and make me a much stronger individual. And it did just that. It sounds cheesy, but it has changed my life making this decision.
My first year away from home had a lot of ups and downs. Honestly, there were more downs than ups. I struggled a lot with getting out of my comfort zone, making new friends and going out. I hung on to my friends from back in Malaysia as a comfort blanket and because of this I missed the opportunity to put myself out there more. Moreover, my homesickness got the best of me, especially during exam period when stress levels were at an all-time high. However, I do not look back at this now and think that I ‘wasted’ my first year away from home. I think it’s natural that if you decide to study internationally, you would get home sick and you might find it hard to adjust. But eventually you get over it. During my second year I made so many new friends in the first few weeks because I put myself out there a lot more and I no longer held on to what was ‘comfortable’. I knew that I needed to step outside my comfort zone in order to fully appreciate and embrace studying internationally. It definitely helped with my personal development.
One of the main benefits about studying internationally was the vast array of job opportunities you can receive. I had no idea if I wanted to stay in England after my studies or go back to Malaysia. By studying internationally this gave me the option to do both. I love my time living here so much that I decided to move to London and work here. It is one of biggest risks I have taken but after 3 years of education here I am not prepared to go home yet.
Another great thing about studying internationally is that I have made friends from around the world. I will always have my friends and family back home in Malaysia but now I can say that I have friends in England, USA, Hong Kong, China and many more places around the world. Remember, you’re not the only person moving away from home. You meet so many other international students in your time in university and this is probably one of the best things about studying abroad. Who knows, they could be great network connections along the line!
I recommend studying abroad to anyone who loves to travel or wants to travel but never finds the opportunity to do so. It is a great way to meet new people, boost your job opportunities, experience a new culture, and along the way you develop more as a person, learn new skills and increase your confidence greatly.
For more information about studying in the UK see here.