Guide to Studying Abroad in the UK, Scholarship Resources, and FAQ

Assalamualaikum wbt.

So, you’re dreaming of studying abroad like Teme Abdullah or Cupcake Aisyah. Or maybe you just read too many Hlovate novels as a teen. But you don’t know where to start.

I regularly get questions about studying abroad from fellow Malaysians, so after 2 and a half years of great demand, I have tried my best to summarize things I’m usually asked about into a single blog post.

First of all, here’s a very brief history about my tertiary education:

I’m Arifah. I did a Diploma in Media and Communication at UiTM. I got a nice CGPA and extracurriculars, and although it wasn’t easy, managed to secure a convertible scholarship to do a BA Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Newcastle University, UK. I am now doing a MSc Marketing a the University of Edinburgh, UK, also on a convertible scholarship.

What this blog post covers:

  • A) Useful resources for those wanting to study abroad
  • B) Scholarship listings / alternative ways to get funding
  • C) FAQ about university / scholarship applications
  • D) FAQ about life as a student in the UK

Disclaimer: This blog post is not really intended for post-SPM students, although some resources may be of use. My intended audience is more to students who have finished Pre-U/diploma/matriculation/STPM, OR aspiring postgraduate students. If you’re looking for post-SPM tips I suggest these resources: (1) (2)

But before that, I believe that doors will open much more easily for you to study abroad you if you have good intentions. Ask yourself, why do you want to fly overseas?

Hopefully, to:

  • pursue knowledge with a sincere heart
  • contribute to the society and the world
  • make your parents and family proud
  • if you are a Muslim, to increase your faith by seeing the world
Continue reading Guide to Studying Abroad in the UK, Scholarship Resources, and FAQ

Varsity students who join clubs have an edge when getting jobs

Apparently the New Straits Times published this on Oct 25 but I only noticed it today when I randomly decided to Google my name lol.

IN the chase for beautiful cumulative grade point average scores, students tend to forget that performing well in studies is not the only quality valued by employers.

When respondents in a recent JobStreet.com survey were asked what gave fresh graduates an advantage, 39 per cent said they would prefer those who had held leadership positions in universities, 25 per cent would choose those with high academic scores, 20 per cent would select those involved in extracurricular activities and 16 per cent would pick those who had done volunteer work.

University graduates should not be proud if they have a diploma or a degree but no self-discipline, teamwork or networking skills.

Industries do not want robots who can memorise facts working for them. They want brilliant thinkers who can implement innovation in their work and come up with creative solutions to problems.

Students have opportunities to hold positions of leadership in student council, clubs, societies and hostel committees.

In joining these activities, they learn how to deal with administration, how to fill out forms, how to make connections with students from different faculties, how to work out budgets and how to solve problems.

Universities should not function as factories, producing cookie-cutter mould graduates. Students should find productive and constructive hobbies.

They should join co-curricular activities, such as robotics, taekwondo, filmmaking and debate. They can take part in competitions, join worldwide movements, get part-time jobs, volunteer on weekends, support a good cause or open small businesses. Students can make money by volunteering to do their hostel mates’ laundry.

Employers seek workers who have exposure in the job market, as it gives them industrial knowledge and hands-on experience. It also makes them more realistic about their job expectations. Job seekers should grab the chance to get internships before they graduate.

University life should be more than just attending classes. Students must change their mindsets and see their universities as a conducive place to equip and groom themselves before venturing into the working world. Remember, Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room.

Read the article here.

UiTM Mass Comm Interview 2015

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.

So, this week I failed my first JPJ test, and I failed horribly. Do make prayers that I will make it during my retake.

Yesterday, I checked my UPU application results and Alhamdulillah I have been accepted to pursue a Diploma in Communication and Media / Mass Comm at UiTM. Guess they liked me after all even though I didn’t know the name of our Yang di-Pertuan Agong, heh (now I do, okay!!!). I didn’t even watch the newest episode of The Flash until today because I was too busy thinking about university.

It’s a rather unconventional choice, especially for an ex-MRSM student. If you randomly pick five students, I can assure you that at least three of them want to pursue medicine, engineering or accountancy. Sadly, not all of them want to do so because they truly love studying cells and building machines. Quite a few feel the need to meet the expectations of their parents and relatives and that they don’t have a choice. Well, I believe that you should follow your passions and choose not to conform to the cookie-cutter mold of society if you don’t want to. Negotiate. Fight. Prove. And make sure you have the right intentions.

So, what on earth is Mass Communication? Basically, it’s communicating to society at large, through broadcasting, journalism, social media, radio, advertising, publishing, public relations and etc. The career scope is extremely vast, you can Google ‘careers in mass communication’ if you’re feeling rajin. At UiTM you actually have eight choices to further your degree after completing your diploma (I may be inclining towards Advertising).

I am 95% sure that I will go to UiTM, and I seriously hope to excel in my studies since Insya Allah I’ll be doing something that actually interests me instead of dealing with terms like molten sodium nitrite-potassium nitrite eutectic. I am also thrilled that I will have graphic design classes. Yay!

Underneath the cut is my interview experience. Beware though, it’s very long.

Continue reading UiTM Mass Comm Interview 2015