Why Did You Study Abroad? Real Stories From The Real Students

By EasyUni Staff | Last modified 11 Nov 2017
Share this page with friends




Name: Janette Ceng
Age: 23
Country of origin: Indonesia
Studied in: Malaysia


“I’ve always believed that the environment, surrounding and who you choose to spend your time with is very important. At only 14 years old, I had a long discussion with my parents about my studies and in the end, we decided that it was best to move out of my hometown Indonesia and study abroad to give me better opportunities. My pick: Malaysia. Why? I felt that Malaysia was a good choice as it’s close to home, is relatively affordable, plus it shares similarities with its food, language and culture.


Though I knew it was a decision that was best for me, the thought of me leaving home at 15 years old to study in a Han Chiang high school in Penang was very scary! I was leaving home to a new and foreign place where I had to start all over again. I still remember how afraid I was when I started my first day of school but 4 years later, I got myself accepted into one of Malaysia’s top universities, INTI International University in KL to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in International Business.


Looking back, my time in INTI were the best years of my life - I made great friends, learned to be more independent, and to make decisions while taking care of myself. Being away from home, I also learned to better appreciate the time I spend with my family. I became more open-minded to new opportunities and welcomed meeting new people as people can make you feel at home. After all these years, I believe I’ve become a better person. 


I recently graduated and now work as a Business Development Executive at one the leading IT company that does automation, data migration and web developments in Malaysia. And, I love my time here! Though it’s been a challenging journey in the beginning, I definitely have no regrets leaving home at a young age and pursuing my studies abroad. So, if you’re considering to apply to study abroad, here’s my advice: Just do it! You’ll realize how much you can learn and grow through your experiences, lessons and people you meet!”




Name: Hoang The Viet
Age: 23 
Country of origin: Vietnam
Studied in: Indonesia

“Last year, I decided to take up an exchange program to study in Indonesia for one semester. I was studying Engineering in Hanoi Water Resources University in Vietnam and to be honest, I was getting a little bit bored in my studies. A year ago, there were some Indonesian students who came for an exchange program at my university, so I have some friends in Indonesia. I thought to myself, “Hey, I’ve never been abroad, so why not try it out at Indonesia?”


Though I didn’t know much about the country or culture of Indonesia, I was excited to immerse myself in a new environment. I found out how to apply for the exchange program and immediately applied for it without hesitation. I went to study in Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), one of Indonesia’s most respected universities for Engineering. 

ITB was awesome - it had a huge campus, ample facilities, great library and a fantastic history. It’s no wonder some of Indonesia’s greatest leaders are ITB alumni. I was surprised that many students there spoke English as well, so as an outcome, I improved my ability to converse in English too!


It was eye opening to see my uni mates waking up very early in the morning to pray since they were Muslim, so that was new for me. I had a lot of fun with friends doing sports, playing music, joining student groups and associations. 


Only when I came back back home did I realize how much my time in Indonesia changed me, for the better. For 5 months in Indonesia, I lived independently and studied without supervision. I became more open-minded as I learnt about the Muslim culture and religion, which made me appreciate my Vietnamese culture, heritage and history. I also got to meet many other international students there, which made me want to visit them at their respective countries one someday. 


Though it was only for 5 months, I can say that studying abroad had a positive enormous impact on my personality and life! 




Name: Mariia Rabyk
Age: 28
Country of origin: Ukraine
Study in: UK, Germany


“While studying my PhD in Genetics in Ukraine, I won a grant from the Ukranian Ministry of Education & Science for my project: “Moenomycin biosynthesis in actinomycetes: new insights into the roles of global regulatory genes in antibiotic production". The reward: A 3-month training program (Nov 09 - Jan 10) at Harvard Medical School, Department of Microbiology & Immunobiology. I was ecstatic! 


I had a blast during my time there. I not only learned so much from this experience, but it also helped open my mind to new perspectives for my scientific undertakings, which I realize contributed to my professional growth. My stay in Harvard helped me learn new techniques which was not available in Ukraine. That learning became the basis of my PhD research and consequently, a printed publication. 


This experience in Harvard allowed me to see the great benefits of studying abroad. It made me plunge into a community of multinational research - mingling with other scientists, establishing professional contacts, as well as exploring a new world outside Ukraine. Personally, it taught me to live alone and to easily adapt to a new environment while broadening my outlook, which made me more confident. 
After defending my PhD thesis, I worked as a research assistant at the Ivan Franko Lviv National University for 2 years. But, all that time, I kept thinking of the fond memories I had at Harvard. So, I decided to apply for a job abroad. Today, I’m working as a postdoctoral fellow at Max-Planck Institute in Marburg, Germany and I couldn’t be happier. 




Name: Mirza Mushtaq Ahmed

Age: 24

Country of origin: Pakistan

Studying in: Manipal International University, Malaysia.


As any other kid in the world, I always wanted to pursue my studies and get a degree. Growing up, I realized that in order to fulfill those needs, it wasn’t going to be easy. There were many routes awaiting me but I just had to select the correct and successful pathway for me. In my case, I was a student doing ACCA and had already successfully passed six papers. That is when I realized that studying abroad will open up more new opportunities than staying back in my home country.


Firstly, I believed having an internationally-recognized degree from an international university would be more valuable for me to look for jobs. Secondly, I’d always wanted to be exposed to new environments and cultures as well as make new friends from different countries. Additionally, studying abroad will offer me an entirely new experience and new life - that was what I wanted. I wanted to learn how it was like to live independently as I felt I was what you’d call a “Mama’s boy.” I believed this would help me learn how to be a respected, responsible and successful person.


Malaysia is known as a “food paradise” which be a valid reason for a foodie like me to consider studying in Malaysia. As a Muslim as well, Malaysia offered a vast number of offerings to accommodate my religious obligations. The safety, stability and modern infrastructure of Malaysia is also well-developed compared to Pakistan. Plus, Malaysia is well-known to offer world-class education at competitive prices. So, I chose Manipal International University to fulfill my dreams of being an actuarist and create a positive impact in the world. I learned many practical and useful skills that is applied in the industry, which further increased my passion to pursue my dreams. On top of the affordable course fees, the lecturers were great as they work hard to help the students. All in all, it was a great decision for me to pursue my education in Malaysia.


Living away from my country for 6 months now, I have experienced many things. The main thing is food. Malaysia, being a multi-racial country holds Chinese, Malays and Indians. Each of them have their own kind of cuisine and it was a great and new experience to taste each one. Malaysia also have many students from all over the world, so it was good to make friends from all over the world. 


Coming to live in Malaysia on my own taught me to set priorities - something I did not do while I was back home. I also learnt the different ways of the world - exploring new cultures, people and personalities. Living abroad truly offers so much life-changing opportunities and has taught me a lot. It also helped me value where I’ve come from and what I have today so much more.

Posted on 09 Oct 2017
Study Abroad