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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Updates

Posted by Chong

Hi all, just a short note to let you know that this blog will soon be heading in the new direction. Do check back later for new updates.

By the way,
  • Visit the new Taylor's Lakeside Campus Open Day from 10am till 5pm, December 11 till 13, 2009. There will be lots of interesting talks and events going on.
  • What should I do after SPM? Find out at Malaysia Students Blog for undergrad courses, advice & scholarship resources! Subscribe to our mailing list today for unlimited undergrad advice & resources!

Do leave your comment if you have any suggestion on how to improve Malaysia Students Blog.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

10 Simple Ways / Tips to Improve Your English

Posted by Josette

I’ve just thought up of some simple ways for anyone who is interested in improving their English. I myself am trying to improve in this language each day. There’s always so much to learn and it can be really fun! You just need to have the passion and enthusiasm to better yourself.
  1. This is what most people would advise: read. Read anything and everything in English. You can read story books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, comics, English textbooks, instructions and ingredients on food packages, advertisements, etc. For story books, don’t force yourself to read something too difficult or something you know you won’t enjoy. Make reading fun! Read books that you ENJOY reading. I hate to read books that bore me too.

  2. Watch English movies with subtitles. This would be my favourite way of learning English. Not only do I get to have a fun time watching the movie, I’d be learning new words at the same time and knowing how to pronounce them! Usually, you can get movies with English subtitles on DVDs.

  3. Listen to English songs. Read the lyrics as you listen to the songs. Listen to your favourite songs and sing along to them.

  4. Start a blog in English. This is one way for you to practice your writing. Blog on something that you love. If you are a fan of movies, start a blog and write about your favourite movies, your favourite characters, what you think could be improved in the movie, what new movies to expect next year, etc. Besides blogging, try joining online forums, engage in online chatting and more.

  5. If you don’t want to maintain a blog, why not write to a pen pal? It’d be even more fun to have a pen pal from a different country! I used to write to other people from the US, Germany, Mexico, and even Yugoslavia. I remember feeling excited when I see letters with foreign stamps on it in my mailbox. If you don’t want to spend too much money on stamps, then get a local pen pal.

  6. Write in your diary/journal in English. This is where you can write anything in it. But if you do write something you wouldn’t want others to read, make sure you hide it somewhere safe! Or try not to write anything offensive at all in case someone does find it. You can also write about neutral stuff like the places you went that day, what you ate, who you met, what you did, etc.

  7. Be best friends with a good English dictionary. You can use Oxford, Collins, Cambridge, etc. Buy a dictionary that you’re comfortable with and USE it at all times. Keep it next to you when you’re reading. I always put my favourite Oxford dictionary by my side when I’m reading. So when I stumble upon a word I don’t know, I don’t have to get up and look around for it. It’s right there by my side. Thus, I have no excuse for not looking the word up!

  8. Speak the language whenever you can. Speak it with friends and family. You can also sing along to English songs! Try karaoke! Don’t be shy to try speaking the language. Don’t be afraid that others will tease you. In fact, they’ll admire you for your courage and confidence.

  9. Learn a new word a day. Keep your own vocabulary notebook and write a new word and its meaning in it every day. Refer to it as often as possible so that the new words will stick in your head.

  10. You can also learn new phrases, idioms or proverbs a day. A kick in the teeth, sit on the fence, make a clean sweep, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, a man’s home is his castle, etc. When you come across a saying that you like, write it down and its meaning in your notebook!
     
  11. Bonus Tip: Invest a little for long term improvement in spoken and written English - Buy Panduan Kuasai Bahasa Inggeris Dengan Mudah @ Only RM40!
    How to Improve English (Kuasai Bahasa Inggeris)
Actually, there are many more ways for you to improve your English. If you have extra money to spend, you can even sign up for English courses, English camps and so on. But why throw away your money when you can learn the language in cheaper ways?

Learn at your own pace. There’s no need to hurry when learning something especially a language. Make learning English fun. Don’t give up too soon or get discouraged. Don’t get stressed out when it becomes a little difficult.

If you have your own wacky or unique way of learning the language, please share it with me and the other readers. The more, the merrier! Before I go, I’d like to wish you all the best in learning English!

Recommended Reading:
How to Improve Your Presentation Skills Effectively
How to Boost Your Resume Or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Experience of Studying in USM

Posted by Josette

I remember being really excited and quite nervous on registration day. I was worried that I wouldn’t make any new friends or that the others wouldn’t like me! Yeah, I do worry over stuff like that. I was comforted by the thought that at least some of my old school friends would be going there too although they’re doing different courses.

Well, all my worries were for nothing. I did make friends with wonderful people who have helped me a lot and we’re still friends now. I also met so many new faces during orientation week that I couldn’t remember all their names. But as time went by, I’m getting to know them one by one. The seniors were really friendly and helpful too. Indeed, they were so kind and nice that I grew a little bit suspicious. Why were they being so nice? Why go through so much trouble in guiding us newbies? But then, they really were genuine and sincerely wanted us to feel at home in university.

USM is known as a “university dalam taman” or a “university in a garden” (??). It does look like a huge, massive garden or park indeed. You can see tall trees along the roads in campus and there are a couple of lakes there. So it’s quite cooling there when the sun isn’t shining that much. However, it’s advisable to carry an umbrella along with you wherever you go as you don’t want to get caught in the rain or get sun burnt. If possible, invest in a sturdy umbrella that can last for a long time. Some of my friends kept buying new umbrellas because they became spoilt from frequent usage.

The campus is huge and it’d take you a while to get used to your surroundings. During orientation week, a friend and I lost our way when we were supposed to go to the DTSP (Dewan Tuanku Syed Putra)! We kept walking and referring to the map in our Buku Panduan but still we haven’t reached our destination. Luckily we met another group who were heading in the same direction so we followed them!

Anyway, some of the lecture halls are extremely cold. Brrrrr……. Remember to bring along a sweater when attending classes. You can’t pay attention when you’re busy rubbing your hands together to heat yourself up. Some lecturers are kind enough to allow 10 to 15 minutes of break for students to go to the toilet or just stretch themselves. That’s the time when I’ll immediately rush out to escape from the winter-like temperature.

The food in the campus is all right too. As of now, the cafeteria that serves the cheapest food would be the one in Indah Kembara. But then if we’re starving, we’d just head off to the nearest cafeteria. If we’re sick of the food in campus, we’d just go to the restaurants at Sungai Dua. There are fast food chains nearby too like KFC, Pizza Hut, and MacDonald’s.

As for joining clubs and other extracurricular activities, there’ll be loads to choose from. You’ll be tempted to join them all! It’s all very new and exciting. But then make sure you don’t join too many or you’ll have no time to study. You still need to make studies your No. 1 priority.

The one thing that frustrates me is that students aren’t allowed to drive in campus unless they have the car stickers. The stickers are hard to get because only those who are actively involved in clubs or organizations or who have health problems are qualified to have one for their car or motorcycle. Those without stickers would be illegal drivers. During road blocks which the Pegawai Keselamatan people diligently set, cars without stickers should avoid them. If not, you’ll be slapped with a RM30 “saman” (fine). It sucks, I know.

Well, that’s my experience in USM. I’ve only been there for three semesters and I have definitely learnt new stuff each day. It was my first choice of university as it’s close to home. I’m happy to be studying there and would not wish to be anywhere else. Anyway, if I have missed out anything, fellow USMers can add your own thoughts in the comments section!


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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Social Related Fields

Posted by Erlina

Read also: Popular Engineering Courses

Broadcasting


Ever dream of working for a radio or television one day? Then a course in broadcasting would be the right one to prepare you for work in these 2 media. Basically, the course will train you to produce, direct and present programmes for radio and television. For example, in television studies you will learn about production og ‘on the air’ programmes, location instruction, televising of meetings and plays, the covering of sports events and so on. In radio studies, you will learn how to plan and conduct radio interviews, presentation of newscasts and radio dramas, articulation, diction and microphone techniques, and the proper usage of tapes, recorders and turntables.

Besides that, you will also learn how to prepare for a programme – from planning the programme to learning how to finance the cost of preparing for the programme. Expect to acquire these skills as well: planning, research skills, communication and interpersonal skills. You may opt to do a specialised degree in broadcasting or a mass communication degree (which includes broadcasting as part of the course).

You should have good language ability if you are interested in mass communication.

Sample of subjects
Economics (Micro- and Marco-); ethical, legal and moral issues in broadcasting; marketing; mass communication; methodology of directing programmes; planning aspects of the production process; presentation skills; principles of editing programmes; project management.

Mass Communication (Also Communication studies)


Communications has evolved in leaps and bounds with technology bringing profound changes in our experience of the world, and how we conduct social, political and commercial affairs. The study of communications looks at these processes and effects of interpersonal and mass communications. This involves how we produce, receive and process verbal and non-verbal information.

Students will learn about inter-cultural communications, the changes in how we receive and give information and the way we construct our identities and the erosion of public/private boundaries.

It is a broad-based academic degree programme. It will suit you if you want a career in communications or the media but still want to keep your options open as regards to specialisation or if you are just interested in the wide and crucial role that communications play in the modern world.

Sample of subjects
Mediated communication; applied communication in training and development; human communication and language; communication in specific contexts (family, health, interpersonal, non-verbal organisational); concepts in communication arts; introduction to psychology; linguistics; persuasion skills; studying television.

Creative Multimedia (aka Multimedia technology)


Multimedia is the combined use of different types of media, such as animation, audio and film, to produce a piece of creative work. In this course, the many areas that affect the design and development of multimedia systems are brought together.

Your studies will cover technical, theoretical and design areas. You will dabble in various creative fields, such as art and design, computer graphics, computer programming, film and entertainment, sound recording and so on.

You will start off with foundation subjects that include the internet, multimedia authoring, creative drawing, narrative and communications. Specialist studies then cover areas like audio, digital drawing and electronic imaging as well as production and marketing of multimedia and edutainment.

The scope of the degree is wide and allows you to look at many different aspects. This keeps your career options open: web designers, games designer, internet programmer, IT manager, graphic artist, multimedia producer, TV production and so on.

Sample of subjects
Multimedia authoring; introduction to virtual reality; systems development; electronic imaging; audio for multimedia; multimedia production and marketing; virtual worlds and 3D modelling; computer animation technology; games interface design.

Education


This field of study in centred on the exploration of the development of learning and teaching in children and adolescents. Issue include educational systems which covers curricular design, educational policy and assessment.

You will learn to teach and counsel individuals, groups or do so in a community setting. The curriculum covers technical principles and practical skills that range from structured organisational (direct) to informal (indirect) approaches. Background studies include examining historical and social issues of education, usually in a specific country.

You will also be taught how to use print, media and web technology and how to combine them to create and interesting balance of breadth, flexibility, and interaction in teaching. A lot of emphasis is placed on interpersonal skills such as effective communication and presentation methods, negotiation techniques and persuasion skills. You will be able to specialise in veracious subjects such as languages, mathematics, science and so on.

Sample of subjects
Education technology; historical and social issues in education (possibly of a specific country); learning theories and instructional procedures; pedagogy; teaching methodology, programme/curriculum planning and course design; research and evaluation models; educational psychology.

Hotel management (aka Hotel administration/Hospitality management)


Hotels never sleep so there’s a lot that goes into the running and management of a hotel. This course is almost similar to a business management course but specialised in the management of a hotel. Hotel management study will give you the practical skills and fundamental knowledge necessary to effectively manage a hotel.

It covers a wide range of duties, front office procedures and housekeeping, property and security management, supervision of relations between staff and guests, as well as back office administration that includes accounting, legal, marketing, personnel and procurement activities.

You will study many disciplines required for modern management in the global hospitality industry. The curriculum gives equal balance between the advancement of effective communication, research, planning and event management skills.

Sample of subjects
Event management; food and beverage management; human resource management; financial management for hospitality and tourism; international marketing; introduction to culinary arts, kitchen operations and practice; meeting and conference planning.

Human Resource Management


Do you prefer to work with people rather than machines? If you do, you most probably would want to consider studying this specialised business course. This is the study that is concerned with one of the most important resource a company will have – its employees. Without people to run it, where would and organisation be? Human resource management is about the management of relationships between groups of workers in an organisation.

This course focuses on how best to deal with and manage human recourses at the work place. It covers issues such as terms of employment, training and development, staff motivation, teamwork, as well as other legal and compliance issues.

Besides the administrative function of human resources, you will also be prepared to play the role of a counsellor to both employer and employees (for example, on issues relating to improving organisational productivity for the employer and on issues relating to staff grievances for the employees).

Sample of subjects
Business information systems; company law (employee laws and practices); compensation and reward systems; employee and industrial relations; industrial psychology; organisational and human resource training and development; organisational behaviour; public relations; trade unions.

Political science


Political science examines government s and their policies, providing a broad understanding of key issues, such as democracy, globalisation, feminism and the relationship between politics and the economic performance of a nation. It studies issues such as power, systems of government and the changing nature of citizenship. This course will interest you if you want to find out more about the nature of power and global trends such as ethnic conflict and the declining power of nation states.

The scope of political science ranges from fundamental philosophical and theoretical issues, to narrowly defined questions of policies and regulations of a single nation, or a group of nations (such as the European Union). The curriculum is designed to provide the necessary knowledge and analytical skills to make sense of the changing political world from the past to the present and future.

Some universities will offer the option of studying this with the traditional disciplines of history and philosophy or with more recent ones like communication or business studies.

Sample of subjects
Campaigns and elections; comparative government and political theory; economics (micro- and macro-); Europe, the US and Japan in the global economy; globalisation and modern world politics; international relations; media studies, etc.

Psychology


If you find yourself wondering why a person acts and thinks in a particular way, and are curious to find out the reason, you might enjoy this course. The study of psychology will introduce you to the systematic and scientific study of the behaviour and mental processes of human beings and animals. It is about the mind, emotions and behaviour and how different situations have an effect on them.

The curriculum is broad and quite diverse – ranging from animal behaviour, to interactions between hormones and other biochemical processes, to social construction of gender. You will also learn to analyse psychological data statistically and logically. You will be exposed to psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. You will also learn methods psychologists use in their science and practice.

Try to search for some of the psychologists’ studies. E.g : Freud, Gould & Milgram.

Sample of subjects
Biopsychology; cognitive science; hormones, olfaction, pheromones and behaviour; human perception: applications to computer graphics, art and visual display; multivariate analysis of psychological data; neuroethology (human neuroanatom); personality and social psychology; psychology and law; the origins of thought and knowledge.

Public Relations


Public relations (PR for short) are all about communications, and establishing and maintaining good relations with different groups of people through effective communication. Its core use in the industry is the effective dissemination of messages to the media and the public.

You will learn to use various forms of media, such as print of broadcast, to communicate ideas and messages. You will be taught methods for writing, designing, pitching and managing a variety of press releases, corporate data sheets, brochures, newsletters and the likes.

A big portion of the course is based on fieldwork. A good course will include seminars by professionals from the industry who will give you valuable tips and techniques learnt through experience to ensure coverage of a client’s message by the media. Event management will also be an area of study as much of your work depends on effective planning and management of occasions for the media such as publicity events and press conferences.

Sample of subjects
Company law; human resource management; information and multimedia technology; linguistic studies; management; marketing; media studies; organisation behaviour.

Social Science (aka Sociology)


Social science is the study of the society and the relationships between people living in it. It is about human social organisation, institutions and groups, analysing the reasons people come together, how and to what effect. The curriculum covers a wide scope, which includes comparative sociology, political movements and so on.

You will link theory to issues of public concern – such as ethnic conflict, drugs, poverty, as well as gender and race segregation. All levels of society are pursued and you’ll find yourself studying samples ranging from the study of a small group, to the study of the economic and social change in a particular country.

This course seeks to impart knowledge on effective ways to understand the complexities of modern life as well as advanced research skills in quantitative and qualitative methods.

Sample of subjects
Comparative social analysis; economic sociology; evaluating statistical evidence; international development; problems in contemporary society; research methods: the logic of social inference; social demography and policies; social inequality: contemporary theories, debates and models (eg gender, etc); social movements, networks and policies.

Tourism management (aka tourism and hotel management/tourism and travel management)


This course prepares you to work in the tourism industry which is an important industry as many economies depend on the tourist dollar. In this course, you will study the business of providing services such as transportation, accommodation and entertainment for people who are on holiday.

Your studies will focus on the technical knowledge and tactical skills that are required for effective planning, preparing and conducting of tourism activities. In addition, the curriculum covers the use of information technology and many business disciplines.

There are many career opportunities in tourism and its related sectors for example, food and beverage management, hotel administration, sales and marketing and so on. Graduates will be more than adequately equipped to join the industry at all these levels.

Sample of subjects
Communication skills; consumer behaviour; economics related to tourism; information technology for tourism; principles of accounting; strategic services marketing; tourism impact studies: travel agency management; hospitality, leisure and recreation management.


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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pre-university Programme: Foundation

Posted by Erlina

Pre-university Programmes Overview: Form Six, Matriculation, A-level, AUSMAT, SAM, ICPU, IB, Foundation

Foundation


Foundation programs are developed by colleges and universities for students who wish to progress to a diploma or degree course at the same institutions.

Some programs prepare students for specific course ie a business foundation program leads to a business degree program. There also general foundation programs such as a foundation in arts or a foundation in science, which prepares students for a variety o courses at university.

Foundation programs are one of a few pre-university courses which enable students to complete degree programs in a shorter time period compare to conventional routes.

Entry Requirements
SPM / O level / UEC or equilvalent: 5 credits incluiding English, mathematics and science subjects will be needed for more technical programs such as health sciences and engineering.

Duration
9 months to a year

Intake
These vary among institutions but they are usually in January, March, May, July/ August.

Fee
RM 3,750 – RM 9.000 (private colleges and universities) and RM10,000 – RM 19,500 (foreign university with a local campus).

Subjects and Assessment
These vary according to the type of foundation course pursued.


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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Pre-university Programme: International Baccalaureate (IB)

Posted by Erlina

Pre-university Programmes Overview: Form Six, Matriculation, A-level, AUSMAT, SAM, ICPU, IB, Foundation

International Baccalaureate (IB)


The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is governed by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) in Geneva, Switzerland and administered by the International Baccalaureate Curriculum and Assessment Centre in Cardiff, Wales.

The internationally recognized 2-year program originated over 30 years ago in Europe, as an effort by international schools to assure quality educational standards for students, regardless of where they lived.

Entry Requirements
This program is quite tough so you need to have above average grades in your SPM. Some schools may require you to sit for one or more entrance tests.

Intake
August/January, depending on the institution

Fee
RM25,000 - RM51,000

Subjects
Students are required for:
  • Sit for 6 subjects, 3 of which must be at Higher Level (HL) and 3 at Standard Level (SL). Subject choices are categorized into 6 groups and students need to select 1 subject each from Groups 1 to 5, while the sixth subject may be selected from any of the 6 groups.
    • Group 1 Language
    • Group 2 Second Language
    • Group 3 Humanities
    • Group 4 Experimental Science
    • Group 5 Mathematics
    • Group 6 The arts (optional)
  • Write an extended essay based on independent research and under the guidance of a teacher.
  • Complete 150 hours of creative, action and service-oriented activities
  • Participate in a critical thinking course called theory of knowledge.

Assessment
Students are assessed through international examinations, oral language demonstrations, science laboratory notebooks, art portfolios, computer science dossiers, essays and other projects.


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