Marco polo report. Universiti Putra Malaysia

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1 Marco polo report Universiti Putra Malaysia Jeanine Vorsterman van Oijen S Universiti Putra Malaysia Business administration First semester

2 General report 1. Host institution and exact dates of semester abroad Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Faculty of Economics and management. 7 September January Contact with home faculty, preparation and journey In the beginning of my semester abroad I had twice contact with my study coordinator in Groningen, because the course I could follow were different from the courses I initially wanted to follow. During the rest of my semester abroad I did not have any further contact with my home university in Groningen. When I was admitted to UPM, I had to send mails by myself to UPM, because they did not do anything. After a while, I got an back and I had to send a lot of information (passport copy, statement of health, admission form etc.) by . I did not arranged a visa in the Netherlands, UPM arranged for me a student visa when I already was in Malaysia. I travelled to Malaysia on the 26 th of August. When I arrived in Malaysia, I went to UPM to the international office. They gave me a checklist what I had to do before the semester started. So it is good to be on time in Malaysia to do the checklist, because it cost time and you have to go to a lot of different building, which are quite far from each other. 3. Residence abroad - VISA and vaccinations I did not arranged a visa in the Netherlands. The international office of UPM sent me a document that I could use if the immigration office at the airport had speculations of my arrival in Malaysia. After a while UPM had arranged a student visa for me. You have to pay for this. Before I went to Malaysia I had to do some vaccinations: hepatitis A and B, DTP and typhoid. You can also get a vaccination against Rabies however when you get bitten or scratched by an animal you still should go to a hospital within 24 hours to get another vaccination, so I choose to do not the vaccination for Rabies. If you want to travel around South-East Asia you need for some places malaria pills. If you already know if you need the malaria pills, the best advice is to buy the malaria pills in the Netherlands! - Arrival and departure dates I arrived in Malaysia on the 27 th of August and the semester only started in the beginning of September. It was enough time to arrange everything before I had to start my classes. Officially the semester ends at the 10 th of January in the following year, but I already finish on the 3th of January. So I travelled for a couple of weeks after my exams. My flight back was on the 26 th of January. - Accommodation I did not have any accommodation when I arrived in Malaysia. A lot of people are still looking for houses when they arrive in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and you should be able to find some people who are also looking for a house. Because UPM is 20 minutes from KL. You can choose if you want to live in the city of Kuala Lumpur or more closer by UPM. There are some sites where people rent their house: ibilik.my and iproperty.my. I choose to live in the city of KL. I lived in Suasana Sentral Condominium which is close by KL sentral (central station). It was a huge apartment which I shared with 4 others. I paid around 260 euros per month excluded gas, electricity and internet. You can find a lot cheaper places than this. - Student life, culture and leisure Kuala Lumpur is the business city and capital of Malaysia, there are a lot of different nationalities, like Chinese, Indian and Malay people. But also a lot of foreign people that are working in Kuala Lumpur. Because it is a Muslim country, the local people are not allowed to drink alcohol. That s why there are not as many bars and clubs as in the Netherlands. But if you are going out there is always somewhere a ladies night, which

3 means free drinks for ladies. Furthermore, you probably will not cook a single meal for yourself when you are in Malaysia. Food in the restaurants is cheaper than cooking it yourself. There is enough to do in and around Kuala Lumpur. Close to the city are the Cameron highlands, batu caves and Melakka. It also nice to go out for a weekend trip to one of the islands: perhentian islands, Langkawi or Penang. If you book a flight without luggage (only hand luggage) than the flight is very cheap. - Language Most of the people in Malaysia can speak English quit ok. You can understand them and they will always try to help you whatever you need! At UPM all courses at the faculty Economics and management are in English. 4. Grant - Amount I got a Marco Polo Scholarship, every university student who goes to a foreign country will receive this grant. For Malaysia the amount you get in total is 800 euros. I got 70 percent before I went to Malaysia and I will receive the last 30 percent after I hand in this report. Furthermore I got 89 euros per month for my OV-card. - Expenses I paid about 100 euros for my student visa, further I paid 600 euros for my flight (with return). You also have to pay some fees at UPM. You can eat for 1-10 euros. The most expensive part of my stay in Malaysia was travelling, the short weekend trips and the longer holiday trips. 5. Study (general) During my stay in Malaysia I had to take 6 courses which all contributed for 5 ECTS. I took the following courses: strategic management, human resource management, training development management, microeconomics, macroeconomics and promotion management. Studying in Malaysia is very different from studying in the Netherlands. First of all each course had one lecture of 2 hours and one of 1 hour without break. You also had to attend for 80% of this lectures. It is also possible to have class at 7, 8 or 9pm. Furthermore you cannot go to the university in shorts and t-shirts. You have to wear long trousers and closed shoes. You have to write several papers for every course and for most classes you also have to give a presentation. If you have a presentation, you have to wear formal clothes!! The courses are not really challenging to follow, however you have to take your time for the preparation of the presentations and exams. 6. Summary impression When you go to Malaysia you should expect to deal with a lot of inefficient people. It takes a lot longer to get something done in Malaysia than in the Netherlands. Don t be surprised if the bus comes 1 hours too late or that it takes several days only to put a stamp on something and there is only one person who is allowed to do it. But once you get used to the inefficiency it is not hard to live with it. My 5 months in Kuala Lumpur were great! It is an amazing country with a lot to offer. There are a lot of destinations close by. Malay people are very friendly people and will always help you if you ask them for help. The most important part to go abroad is to learn something about the country and culture in Malaysia, I think. It is a great experience to live in a totally different society and culture! You will learn a lot about yourself, the foreign country and your own culture.

4 Specific report Strategic management There was a two-hour lecture and an one-hour lecture in a week. There was a textbook, which I did not used. You also had to learn some articles. The teacher was going through the slides and at the end you could ask questions. This course covers a general knowledge on scientific approaches in strategic planning, the applications of several strategic decision making methods and introducing strategy implementation and evaluation concepts. You have to do a big assignment with a group about a company. You also have to present this assignment. Furthermore there is a midterm and a final exam. There are some aspects that are similar with courses that are given in the second year of the track technology management. Presentation and preparation: 20 hours Exam papers: 25 hours

5 Human resource management The teacher was going through the slides and at the end you could ask questions. In some classes she also had an exercise about a specific subject. We had to discuss in a group and present our result at the end of the class. The course covers the interface between the human resource managers and other operation managers in implementing the various human resource management activities. Emphasis is given to methods and techniques of improving organizational effectiveness through sound human resource management practices. We had to do some case analyses, an assignment (with presentation), a mid-term and a final exam. It is possible that you already followed this course in the Netherlands, then you cannot do this course in Malaysia. Presentation and preparation: 25 hours Exam papers: 15 hours

6 Principles of microeconomics The teacher was going through the slides and at the end you could ask questions. This course covers the basic economics problem, economics systems, demand and supply theory, elasticity, theory of production and costs, price and output determination in perfect competition, monopoly, monopolistic, oligopoly and theory of factors of production. We had to do an assignment, 2 quiz s, a mid-term and a final exam. It is possible that you already followed this course in the Netherlands, then you cannot do this course in Malaysia. I did not, so I could follow this course. Presentation and preparation: 10 hours Exam papers: 25 hours

7 Training and development management The teacher was going through the slides and at the end you could ask questions. Not all lectures where normal lectures. This course is very practical, so we also did a lot of practical things in the class. For example, we had to give a training in the class with a group. The course includes the structural and process consideration in designing training and development programs at the micro level and the main methods that may be adopted to train and develop employees in an organization. We had to do a small presentation about a subject that is interesting for you, a report (with presentation), a training, a mid-term and a final exam. This course was not relevant with courses that are provided by the RUG. Presentation and preparation: 30 hours Exam papers: 15 hours

8 Promotion management The teacher was going through the slides and at the end you could ask questions. We also had to do some small exercises in groups. There was a case and we had to present the next week our results. This course covers with planning development and the use of promotion management in a company as well as problem solving in promotion management. We had to do an assignment (with presentation), mid-term and final exam. There are some similar things with the course Marketing. Presentation and preparation: 20 hours Exam papers: 25 hours

9 Principles of macroeconomics The teacher was going through the slides and at the end you could ask questions. The teacher was also given some exercises about the chapter that was explained in the class. We had to make this exercises in the class and after that we had to discuss our answers. This course includes the concept of national income accounting, determination of national income, multiplier, fiscal policy, and public debts, the banking system, credit creation, monetary policy, inflation and unemployment, international trade and finance. We had to do an assignment, mid-term and final exam. It is possible that you already followed this course in the Netherlands, then you cannot do this course in Malaysia. I did not, so I could follow this course. Presentation and preparation: 15 hours Exam papers: 25 hours

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