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Friday, September 16, 2016

Be a better you, for a better Malaysia.

For a Better Malaysia

by Sanjay Madhav (Share your thought-provoking opinions with 54,000+ students in Malaysia!)

Malaysia Flag Bendera Malaysia Jalur Gemilang
"But I'm free."

The conveyor belt doesn't stop going round. Component after component gets placed by different, possibly disgruntled workers in each station.

"But I'm free."

The time doesn't stop all year round. One class takes the place of the other, often without a break, and is populated by different, and again, possibly disgruntled students.

"But I am free."

At the end of the conveyor belt, the finished products get their final inspections and are placed in their packaging, ready to be shipped out to whoever that has ordered them.

Approximately 15 years later, when the youthful joie de vivre has all but died down, these finished "products" get a roll of paper or two to signify their "passing" of final "inspections" and are shipped out to the outside world - the real world - to be employees, or if fortunate enough, employers themselves.

And then both products of the system outlive their purposes and are forgotten.

"But I'm free!"

It is imperative to know that yours truly is also a student, currently pursuing a diploma in a college not far from where I live. And to be really honest, I was not the best student ever back in secondary school, and my SPM results are not what exactly most would categorise in the "high achiever" category. Thus, most people revert to say that I've wasted my time, and I'm not a smart student.

Bring yourself to understand the first few paragraphs that I've written. Do you see the likeness between factory made products and the products of the Malaysian education system? We've mostly been products of the system for so long now, under the false pretense of freedom, financial security and whatever else that has been thrown at us just so we can complete our terms in school with a string of A's - thought to be a viable gauge to who we really are.

I say mostly in the paragraph above because I know I am not the only one who thinks this way. I am also very certain the most of you would want a more progressive nation, populated with thinkers - young and old. All of this brings me neatly to the crux of this essay - we as students of this beautiful country really have got to wake up, now more than ever.

I am going to say what you might have already know, just to drive the point home. The current education system is getting increasingly archaic, and the reliance on examinations is doing more harm than good. An exam-oriented system is never a good thing in fact. In my humble opinion, it actually contradicts the Government's Transformation plan in some ways.

To serve as an example, the present system actually encourages the "every student for themselves" mindset. This is borne due to the fact that students these days are being forced to work on their own. There's no real learning going on. It's plainly just memorising. I have firsthand accounts of this taking place. The small talk still takes place, but when it comes to academia and helping each other, they barely know each other anymore. The "weaker" students resort to copying the work of the "better" students, just so they can score better in the upcoming exams. And if this is being bred during school years, what hope do we have that these students will grow into responsible adults who can appreciate the value of teamwork, especially among other races?

Now, I cannot shoulder all the blame on the students for this taking place. You are formed from the mould you are shaped in. When everyone they know - and I mean everyone - puts emphasis on exams, exams, exams....they'll crack under the pressure. They feel obliged to do their best FOR them. "I want to prove that I can be the best in this set of prerequisites." "I am not a nobody who can't get ten A's."

Don't you think these words coincide with the notion, "I am free."?

Truth be told, the current batch of students we have nationwide are really living under a false pretense of freedom. We hear all this talk of being good students nets us good jobs which in turn, brings in the good money and supposedly results in better lives. This is what all of us has been forced fed with. These days, success is a cheap thing, get some good grades, net yourself some good money, don't complain about anything because things are all fine and dandy.

It's only fine and dandy if you're ignorant. That is what the higher uppers want us to think, but ultimately all thought control is in our hands. Everything is twisted right now. The education system, thought patterns, lack of curiosity....everything.

I keep driving this point home because it matters to me so much. I love this country, and I would do my best to see it prosper and rise amongst the best nations in the world. One that is constantly looked up on, not like the position we are in now. Unfortunately society's perception of success these days is a twisted one; top grades shouldn't be the number one thing on every student's mind.

What I mean is this - more of us need to stand up, be awake, and not just confined to being yet another mass produced graduate to be used and abused in the working world. There is more to life than that. Each and every one of us have our brains which we should be using for more than just memorising dates and chemical equations.

We should use them for thinking; for learning. It will be a waste to leave them as it is and just be "sheeple". Think more. Think about whether all you've been learning for so long have really entered your minds or otherwise. To those dipping their feet into tertiary education, do what you really love, what your heart burns for and not just what people say "can make you rich wan..."

Think about how you can enrich your lives. Looking at it only from a financial perspective is thinking small, think about how you can educate the others, how you can help our country break from its shell and be what it really is. Because as Abraham Lincoln said, it's not the years in your life that count - it's the life in your years.

That said, let's all be who we really are first. Learn about ourselves, what makes us tick, what makes us who we are. I want to end with my favourite quote from the legendary Bob Marley, "None but ourselves can free our minds."

Only you hold the key to a better you, a better nation.

Sanjay Madhav
Sanjay Madhav, is an 20 year old car enthusiast born and bred in Kuala Lumpur. He is currently pursuing a Diploma in Mass Communications. Whenever not caught up between assignments or on the computer, he passes time by collecting scale model cars.


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Sunday, September 04, 2016

Malaysia School Holiday 2017 Calendar (Kalendar Cuti Sekolah 2017)

Related Malaysia 2017 Calendars: 2016 Malaysia Calendars:

Malaysia School Holidays 2017 Dates (Tarikh Hari Cuti Sekolah Malaysia 2017)

Ministry of Education Malaysia has released the official Malaysia school holiday dates 2017 which should be very useful if you are planning your family trip next year or to book flight tickets during AirAsia Free Seats promotion 2017 which is ongoing from 5 - 11 September 2016 (travel date: 6 February - 28 October 2017).

Schools in Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya

Term 1 School Holidays 2017 (Cuti Pertengahan Penggal 1):
18 March - 26 March

Midyear School Holidays 2017 (Cuti Pertengahan Tahun):
27 May - 11 June

Term 2 School Holidays 2017 (Cuti Pertengahan Penggal 2):
26 August - 3 September

Year End School Holidays 2017 (Cuti Akhir Tahun):
25 November - 1 January 2018

Kalendar Cuti Sekolah 2017 School Holidays Calendar
Cuti Penggal Persekolahan Tahun 2017 (Sekolah Kumpulan B)

Schools in Kedah, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu

Term 1 School Holidays 2017 (Cuti Pertengahan Penggal 1):
17 March - 25 March

Midyear School Holidays 2017 (Cuti Pertengahan Tahun):
26 May - 10 June

Term 2 School Holidays 2017 (Cuti Pertengahan Penggal 2):
25 August - 2 September

Year End School Holidays 2017 (Cuti Akhir Tahun):
24 November - 31 December

School Holidays Calendar 2017 Kalendar Cuti Sekolah
Cuti Penggal Persekolahan Tahun 2017 (Sekolah Kumpulan A)

Source: Ministry of Education Malaysia


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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

College was a cinch. Let me show you how.

College was a cinch. Let me show you how.

By Hafiz Murat

First and foremost, we all have been there. Those sleepless nights, those 8 am classes on Monday where everyone looks like they’ve just stepped out of a zombie apocalypse and who can forget Maggi Mee 3 times a day at the end of the month? In short, life as a student means bad time and money management. Don’t kid yourself. We all have been there. However, do you know that there are simple life hacks that you can easily implement to make your time as a student more manageable while being fun at the same time?

1. Pareto your life


The Pareto 80/20 Principle dictates that 80% of all effects come from 20% of the work. Obviously this is extremely useful for those exam crunch times. But do you know that you can apply this to your homework as well? When you are researching for a project or an essay, the top 20 percent of the search result usually has most of the details you need. To put this into perspective, researching the top 5 best sources would ensure that you have all the data you need.

2. Don’t go to malls.. ever


Well, maybe not ever, but you could use some toning down on your shopping sessions (yes, this even apply to guys as well). Shop online is fast becoming a more viable alternative. Even though people complain that shopping online is more expensive, think about what you save: bus/train fare, car rental, eating out, time spent shopping and time wasted looking for the things you want. Best part about online shopping is, your purchases can be directly delivered to your hostel. You might also want to hit the online coupons sites such as Harga Runtuh and Durian Runtuh; where you can get coupons to make your purchases even cheaper.

Sign Up Visa Checkout to Get Free GSC Cinemas Movie Ticket 1 - 31 August 2016
Free Lazada Voucher When Top Up Hotlink, Xpax, Digi, U Mobile or Tune Talk Mobile Reload 27 July - 31 August 2016

3. Prioritise like a boss


Or even better, a US president; which is known as one of the most hectic job in the world. Take a leaf out of Eisenhower’s priority matrix (illustrated below). Most of you might have seen this before but for those of you who hasn’t, it is a box with for quadrants for you to segregate the things that you need to do. Q1 is the urgent-important area, for things that you need to do now, like deadline driven projects or assignments. Q2 would be for asking your professor about something you don’t know or paying your bills - not urgent, but still important . Q3 is a bit tricky since you don’t have underlings but this is where you put things that are not productive, but demands your time such as running errands. Finally Q4 is those things that are pure time wasters, but it is the most important one. What you put in here determines how successful you are in college. Go ahead and give the matrix a shot. Your future self will thank you for it.

Eisenhower’s priority matrix

4. Laser focus when you work


As a college student, taking time to actually do work is a small miracle in itself. So many things to do yet so little time makes school work being delegated to usually Q3 or Q4 on the Eisenhower Matrix (see above). Right? So if by chance it does get to Q1, here’s how to focus on your studies like a laser beam: Unplug, Work 52 minutes Break 17 minutes. Explanation: Nothing takes away from your focus like the ding sound of your messenger or your phone going off. Unplug all your electronic devices for an hour. Then work for 52 minutes and break for 17 minutes. Repeat. Studies have shown that this is the optimal working pattern of the human mind and you retain most of what you study by doing this. Protip: Pareto your 52 minutes for even better results.

5. Hate first, love later.


Do the things that you hate first, and do the ones you like later. This apply to all things, assignments, projects, laundry, you name it. What this does is that, your mind thinks that the things that you hate is actually harder than the ones that you love. So when you complete the task you don’t like, this gives you a psychological sense of achievement and increases your confidence to tackle other jobs. This decreases your stress as well and is a great tool to avoid procrastination. Find it is too hard to start? Confide in a friend. Vocalising your difficulties helps reduce your dislike for the job and usually results in you finding a better way to approach a problem.

There you go. These 5 tips should help you sail through college, leaving more time for you to enjoy life and becoming a more well rounded person. You’ll have more time to travel, make friends and most importantly, cultivate a more productive you that will be the envy of all your friends.

Hafiz Murat profile photo
Hafiz Murat is a Digital Marketer for Saleduck, a website that specialises in coupons and deals for online shoppers in Malaysia. Hafiz manages the online market for Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, and finds the Eisenhower matrix and Pareto principle especially useful in managing work requirements.


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Sunday, July 31, 2016

How Can You Decorate the School Library to Get the Kids Excited

How Can You Decorate the School Library to Get the Kids Excited

Guest post by Justin Goh (Share your secret tips with 50,000+ Malaysian students)

Things are changing today and the students are significantly more dependent on the ebooks, apps and the web today. In this turbulent time, it is crucial to design the library space efficiently since otherwise, you will face a really tough time to get the students visit them on a regular basis.

Though libraries were earlier associated with the dingy and quiet spaces ruled by pin drop silence, the scenario has changed a lot today and we have realized the value of creating a welcoming and warm ambiance to make the students love the visit to the library.
School Library College Bookshelves

Do you intend to design a library that gets the students excited in paying a visit to it? To design a library that interests the children, you need to understand the ways the students engage with learning socially as well as individually. School libraries occupy a significant part of learning and a proper design is central when it comes to creation of an effective learning environment. Even a small change in the library can cast an impact on the mood of the kids. Certainly, too much decoration can distract the students but just the right dose can work real wonders. Here are a few tricks you can consider when it comes to decorating your school library.

Come with a Flexible Space


You need to structure a library that comes with adequate space. The students need to learn the ways of formulating meaningful queries, appreciate different viewpoints as well as use up an array of resources in the research. Moreover, the 21st-century learners are required to demonstrate their understanding in multiple ways, like producing videos as well as multimedia presentations.

It is better to go for the open spaces that come with reconfigurable materials and furniture, shelves and furniture on wheels as well as opt for the easy setup and breakdown of room arrangements. Ensure flexibility in the structure of the building. It is better to keep the area free from the structural columns as much as possible since they are considered an impediment to sight lines. Even if they are essential structurally, get the design team to manage the spacing, arrangement and the sizing. The columns and the walls certainly can’t be moved but keep the flexibility quotient in mind while you select the shelves, furniture and the carpets.

Change Often


You know pretty well that children prefer changes. In fact, we all love changes. You can try to change the look of the library every now and then. If you change the color of the library, it certainly looks great but it may not be always possible to change the color of the library. In such a case, you can consider shifting the book racks and the other paraphernalia. Changing the layout of the library helps really a lot in altering the look thereby keeping the children engaged.

Decorate the Library


If you want the young kids use the library as well, you need to make your library as inviting as possible. There are several ways you can add beauty to your school library. Consider adding stickers, school logo or mascot, color using bright colors, include bean bags and colorful chairs, a few toys and of course, bulletin boards. This would add up to the beauty of school library substantially.

Arrange the Books Properly


You need to arrange the books properly. Arrange books in a way so that the covers are visible and not the sides. This will help the children choose a book of their choice. Placing books this way would take up significant amount of space but this would be helpful in adding a dash of color to the library.

Stock books belonging to different genre to meet the varying requirement of the students.

There is a rise of electronic collections presently and thus, it is time to think of digital resources now. The printed books are still significant, chiefly for the beginners but, you can’t shy away from the digital reading devices and the ebooks today. You can place a few computers and ebook readers in the library so that the students can browse various websites, read books and gather resources online as well.

Keep Libraries Organized


Organization occupies a significant part of everything. Libraries are not an exception either. It is crucial to keep the school library clutter-free. Install signage so that the students know where they can find their favorite books. You can also separate the different sections by using different colors. These signs can be in different colors and shapes. You can consider hanging them from the walls or place them on the stands. You can also have the shelves colored in different hues or consider using the terms that are associated with specific subjects.

With all the students today carrying global library in pocket, it is crucial to impress on the value of the physical or the traditional libraries. Make sure that you design the school library in a way that encourages exploration, creation as well as collaboration between the teachers, students as well as the broader community. Bring together the best of the physical and the digital world to promote your learning hub.

Justin Goh
Justin Goh is a former teacher and prolific writer, penning blogs to help the parents, students and the educators alike. Regularly contributing articles for MyPrivateTutor Malaysia, he prefers to write on varying aspects of education ranging from learning strategies and preparation tips to the ways to reach out to the students better.


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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Teachers and Their Secret Identities

Guest post by Md Saifullah Razali (Share your views with 50,000+ Malaysian students)
In lights of recent news about violent teachers, I would like to offer my perspective about the matter.

Did you know that the highest ranking reason for people entering the academic world is because they wanted to change something? Did you know that their main concern is very seldom about the salary nor their own position, but rather about the bright future of their students? Did you know that teachers usually have secret identities?

The gestures they use in front of their students are not always their favorite, but it is always the most necessary. Sometimes they even use phrases which are quite alien to the students, for multiple of reasons. One of these phrases is "grace marks".
Teachers & Their Secret Identities

My first encounter with this phrase was back when I was an undergraduate student. "Don't be too happy.. you only passed my subject because of grace marks", said a lecturer to me while bumping into each other. I gave him a smile and he gave me that. I didn't understand what he meant but I didn't like it.

So I asked him, "What did you mean by that sir?". In a more serious tone than before, he reverted; "You failed my subject last semester. Then I helped you. I added a few additional marks under you name; grace marks. That's how you passed my subject."

If I had an open wound and someone threw a bag of salt to that wound, I imagined that would be a better feeling than what I felt by hearing those words.

So since the add/drop period was not over yet, I registered for that same subject again (note this is a common practice undergraduate students do when they are not satisfied with the mark of a subject, the higher mark will later overwrite the lower). This time under a different lecturer. This was my protest. To make long story short, in the end I got an A for that subject.

In that moment, I can only think of one possible explanation for me acquiring that A; the second lecturer was better than the first. It was not because of myself that I actually failed the subject. It was all because of that first lecturer. He was not a good lecturer at all. I thought.

Then I went on to proceed with the other semesters. I studied the remaining subjects with a similar hope; that I will never get grace marks out of pity again. Thank God, I didn't.

Years later, it struck me; the second lecturer was not really better than the first. Their teaching ability had very little to do with my results when compared to my own will. It was that will to prove my self-worth that fueled my body to study. The will which might have never came without that lecturer's hurtful words.

I've never bumped into that lecturer again after graduating. I honestly don't even remember his name now. But if somehow by God's grace you accidentally read this article, please know that this article is actually my thanks to you.

I never found out the real intentions behind those word. But in my point of view, he changed at least one student with those words. Those marks turned out to be grace marks after all.

But had I took another kind of measure after receiving the lecturer's cold treatment that day, my life would definitely be very different. In the end, our lives are just series of consequences for the choices that we took.

Md Saifullah Razali
Md Saifullah Razali is a PhD student at UPM doing research on Sentiment Analysis. He is also a lecturer at School of Computing, University College of Technology Sarawak. His articles are combinations of his research, experience and opinion.


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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How to Launch Your Career Successfully? 5 Best Tips for Students

5 Best Tips for Students: How to Launch Your Career Successfully

Guest post by Veronica Kavanova (Share your favourite tips with 50,000+ Malaysian students)

Finishing a university course can be a daunting prospect and entering the job market can be overwhelming. Often students will battle through choosing a career and then find the fight is not over as they have to start climbing the career ladder.

In this article, we have provided the 5 best tips to launching your career.
Careers Jobs Malaysia Ambitions

You Have More Skills Than You Think


One of the biggest mistakes that students make when they start their career is to assume that they don’t have the necessary experience to make a splash in their field. While you might not have the same level of skills in certain areas as those that have been in the industry for many years, this does not mean you have no skills to offer.

Instead of looking at their level of experience, students should focus on their transferable skills. These are those abilities that you have developed throughout your time at university, whether through education or extra-curricular activities.

When launching your career you should immediately:

  • Identify all of your transferable skills,
  • Understand how these will help you to grow within your field,
  • Highlight these skills and use them to succeed.

By doing this, you will assist with your professional development.

Only Opt For Those Willing To Invest


It can be incredibly frustrating for students that are looking to rapidly invest in their career to end up in a company that does not assist their employees in achieving this goal. When launching your career you should certainly be focusing on how easily you will be able to continually improve your skills and how readily available assistance will be.

The ideal choice of an employer is one that has a track record of investing in the staff and one that includes a solid and well-documented training program. It is crucial to ask about professional growth opportunities at the interview stage so you will be able to avoid falling into a limited position in a dead-end company.
Different Career Paths Malaysia

Face Forward


It seems like something from a cheesy motivational poster but you should never give up. Starting a career is going to have setbacks, a whole lot of rejection and failures. In fact, it is the very nature of the steep learning curve that launching any career entails.

To be successful when launching a career, the student needs to be able to keep their chin up and needs to make the most of the opportunities that failures provide.

There are many examples of highly successful individuals who started out with devastating failures. While not all of us will go on to write a bestseller or found a Fortune 500 corporation, we will still have our fair share of setbacks that will feel like the end of the world. Knowing that these are coming, dealing with them appropriately and moving on is the key to starting a successful career.

Be (Temporarily) A “Yes” Man or Woman


“Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids.” – Eric Schmidt, Google Executive Chairman.

When starting a career it is never wise to underestimate the power of being open to opportunity. It can occasionally feel as if you are being taken advantage of when you are agreeing to all of the most mundane tasks but all of that extra experience and the “Brownie points” really add up.

By saying yes to opportunities you will be:

  • Able to understand more aspects of your work,
  • Gaining experience in a range of positions, one of which might suit you better than the one you currently hold,
  • Recognized more by your colleagues and management,
  • Less likely to miss out on making a good impression.

It is, of course, a temporary method to being successful and eventually you will have to learn when to accept new responsibilities and when not to. When launching a career, however, there is certainly room for the word “yes”.

Get Connected


It seems like an obvious point in today’s world of networking but it is often forgotten by students that are moving onto the career ladder. A student generally understands the importance of pooling resources, but at the end of the day, it comes down to their personal effort whether they make the cut or not.

Veronica Kavanova
While there are similarities in the workplace, networking is the lifeline to true career success. By connecting with other professionals you will not only increase your overall opportunities but you will be able to gain further transferable skills. Creating a network is important but it is crucial to act upon this afterward. Make sure you continually make connections and do your best to maintain them.

Veronica Kavanova is passionately interested in writing, social media, and marketing. All of these comprise a big part of her life. She is now a Head of Marketing and PR at freelancehouse.co.uk.


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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Part Time Jobs that Can Be Helpful for Students

Part Time Jobs that Can Be Helpful for Students' Education

Guest post by Karen Tomita (Share your ideas with 50,000+ Malaysian students)

Many students tend to fail to cover their living costs. Others face the necessity to cope with daily duties and taking care of their families.

According to the latest surveys, about two-third of all students are forced to look for part-time jobs just in order to not live from hand to mouth. The recent statistics show that almost 50% of all part-time working students spend their money to cover various expenses ranging from accommodation to household and food bills. Conducted surveys show that the amount of part-time working students is actually equal to full-time employees.
Full Time versus Part Time Employment

A part-time job appears to be the only source of income. While most of people think it can be to the detriment of the academic progress, others have already started taking benefits from positions that may be rather helpful boosting the education process as well. So, how can a part-time job be helpful for students? Can it positively affect the academic process?

Part-Time Job Benefits

A part-time job is not only a source of income for students letting them solve financial problems. It can appear to be a great source of additional experience. Students can pick up lots of essential skills that will eventually form their knowledge background in addition to other handful abilities. The main benefits include:
  1. Money – the first and foremost reason to take a part-time job is cash. On the one hand, having an income will certainly boost their individual confidence when they reach adulthood. Some may spend their income on tuition as well as student loans. Others are more eager to have fun turning students’ life into one of the most remarkable moments. In spite of your goals, having a constant cash source is certainly a plus!
     
  2. Budgeting – Whenever you start to earn on your own, you learn how to plan your spending in advance. Wise budgeting is a handy skill that teaches students to consider their daily necessities as main priorities when we are talking about paying the bills. You would rather spend a couple of extra bucks on new textbooks then buying a new pair of shoes.
     
  3. Time Management – Applying for a part-time job means a total lack of time. Most of them need to combine academic process with working duties, which is certainly a tough challenge. On the other hand, students are forced to plan their free time in advance. Meeting the toughest deadlines will no longer be a problem thanks to a wise time management and planning skills.
     
  4. Working Experience – Some part-time jobs can be closely related to your future career. It lets you gain necessary experience in the field. Having a job that is not connected to your future profession is also a plus. It provides and introductory experience that is strongly appreciated by the employers. Work results in maturity. Students obtain necessary operation practice and learn how to work in a team
Employees Working Part Time for Economic Reasons

Finding a Part-Time Job

So, you are in a need for some extra cash to cope with your daily needs. Finding a part-time job will hardly be a problem with so many offers on the labor market. Follow these easy tips to take the best bet for you in accordance with your likes and preferences. There are several sources to look into:
  • Student Part Time Jobs Malaysia – The most popular part time job board for students in Malaysia, featuring only one high quality part time job suitable for student every day. It also features tips on identifying scam jobs (such as this data entry job scam) so that students do not get cheated or work for bad employers.
     
  • University Job ShopsCheck your university website or local labor unions and communities. You will certainly find tons of information on all available vacancies. Most of such job shops are available online. You will only need to complete a simple registration to get a full access to vital information;
     
  • Talk to People – Sometimes, all you need to do is to simply step out of your room and talk to your friends and mates. There is always a person who knows something. You can easily drop to a local restaurant or a cafe;
     
  • Holiday Vacancies – You know all major holidays. It means that you can plan your time in advance. Opt for vacancies available for Christmas, Thanksgiving or any other holiday. As a rule, such vacancies are provided by hospitality industries and retail sectors. Businesses always look for extra helpers during holidays;
     
  • Market Research – The best and yet the most efficient way is to proceed with a regular labor market monitoring. Track the current situation and point out the best bids in the market considering average salary, working conditions and other key factors.

The List of the Best Part-Time Jobs for Students

Students are always free to opt for a list of the most typical part-time vacancies like babysitting or wait staff in a restaurant. These jobs have already proved to be rather handy when it comes to extra cash. However, you can establish a more entrepreneurial approach as well as develop your professional skills including writing, designing, developing and more. While hospitality and retail have always been the most attractive niches, there appeared some new directions that can also be rather beneficial.
Teen and young adults employment by industry
  1. Web Designer – those who can boast of great technical skills can be involved in web designing. This niche has always been in a great demand with plenty of well-paid offers. The job is based on the outsourcing, letting you plan your working time as well as develop professional skills.
     
  2. Freelance Essay Writer – this is a great alternative for copywriters, editors, tutors and proofreaders. You can come across dozens of writing companies that provide great job opportunities. You can work as a freelancer and write on various topics. However, you should be prepared to pass the additional tests and examination before entering a writers’ team. The average fee is about $4-5 per page;
     
  3. Personal Assistant Services – There is always someone out there calling for your assistance. Whenever a person needs to walk with a dog, wrap a gift or do shopping, you will be there to lend a hand. The average salary may vary from $6 to $10 per hour;
     
  4. Landscaper – No matter if you deal with lawn care or landscaping, you can always benefit from an opportunity to earn extra $50 per one visit! At the same time, it is a great chance to work outdoors enjoying a great weather;
In spite of motivation to find a part-time job, every vacancy can come with an essential experience and many other advantages to benefit from. It can result in obtaining a solid working experience in future.

Karen Tomita, Nisei from Georgia. She is a student and Japanese language teacher with a deep passion for blogging. Currently she is working at Eduzaurus as a contributing writer.


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Monday, July 04, 2016

Matriculation College Life: Grow Up. Grow Strong.

Matriculation College Life: Grow Up. Grow Strong.

Guest post by Winna Low (Share your education experiences with 50,000+ Malaysian students)

Time flies and it had come to the last paper in my first year of degree. Out of a sudden, I opened the browser and typed www.kml.matrik.edu.my subconsciously. Then, only I came to realise it has been the second year since I left Kolej Matrikulasi Labuan (KML). How are all juniors doing? Memories within ten months played back like flashbacks across my mind and one question doesn’t disappear from my brain: How on earth did I survive through the ten months when it seemed to be like ten years to walk through when I was there.

1. Go flexible. Adapt. Embrace


My previous post was regarding the preparation before going to the Matriculation college. After the excitements, tiredness and homesickness, time for you to really face the reality and understand you are now officially a Matriculation student, ready for the ten-month battle. Thus, the best thing you can do is wipe tears of homesick, pack up your bags as you used to do for the past 17 years, you are now ready for the study journey.
Kolej Matrikulasi Labuan (KML)

Check which class you are in, download the timetable, plan your day. Make life more meaningful and contented while counting days to go home. Those were basically how I embraced my Matriculation life and survived the days, majority did, I bet. So, be realistic and have a clear image of how your ten-month days will be.  Be flexible and adapt to everything.

2. Aim high. Set goals.


You need to know one fact: you excelled your SPM. You passed with flying colours than anyone else for you to be where you are right now. You have got the opportunity which one may have longed for just because they did not get it. You opt to accept the opportunity that God has given to you. The very next thing, continue to aim high and set your goals to achieve after the ten-month. Frankly speaking, there were only two things which I had been thinking during my matriculation days: Get a flat FOUR and GO HOME. That’s it. Your parents sent you there, and just bring them a 4.00 when you go home. That will make all their efforts and worries of valued, that is the best reward to them. Of course, it is not necessary for everyone to target for 4.00, but always aim high, go for a result that will impress everyone, including you yourself.

3. Make new friends. Learn together.


Make new friends in the college. Not just your classmates but go and meet new people. Find the right bunch of people, start off with a study group if that works for you. If you feel study group does not suit you, it is fine to study alone but always SPEAK UP and ASK. Do not go nerdy way or role play yourself as a genius in the college with 2000 and more students. Everyone has their strengths and weakness in different subjects, Speaking from experience, it is either you ask help from your lecturers or friends to solve a Mathematics problem or you cooped up in your own room whole night trying to get the solution. Burdens shared are burdens halved. Lecturers in matriculation are nice, I mean it. Make a way, make your life easier.

4. Have faith.


What I believed in and what I hold on to, until now, up to my degree life. I believe that God is there, always there. I have my faith in Him who is in control and He will walk me through ups and downs. During the matriculation days, there are times where you are really fragile, you are weak, you feel lonely, helpless, directionless, worn out, and all sorts of obstacles come into your way. It is totally understandable and do not feel you are not strong enough. You are, no matter how strong a person is, we all have weaknesses, this is where you need to have your FAITH. Have your faith and He will work everything out for you. God has the best plan for you, and all He needs is our faith and trust. Thus, at times you feel lost and giving up in your Matriculation, have faith, hold on a little more longer, and you know God is always there for you, strengthening you throughout the journey.

Last but not least, ten-month will be a blink of eyes. Just be strong, embrace life, and do not forget to countdown for homebound! Matriculation is more than growing up, it is growing strong.

Winna Low, a Malaysian student, currently doing Bachelor of Pharmacy in USM. I believe in faith, and having that means hard work always pays, be it either way. Do not lose faith in education, for it is what makes you who you are in your life. Keep going, as the tough gets going, the going gets tough.

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Top 5 Reasons Why University of Malaya Can Only Be The Best in Malaysia, But Not In The World

Top 5 Reasons Why University of Malaya Can Only Be The Best in Malaysia, But Not In The World

Guest post by Chin Yi Xuan (Share your opinions with 50,000+ Malaysian students)

University of Malaya (UM)
In year 2016, Malaysia has established 20 public universities, 34 polytechnics and 94 community colleges all around the country, which is a huge leap in the numbers compared to the 1960's. In early 2016, University of Malaya (UM), being the leading university in Malaysia, is ranked 27th in Asia by QS ranking.

But the question remains: Despite all the statistics and results in paper, are we really that good?
Universiti of Malaya (UM)

Before I proceed it is necessary to inform you on how a university is being ranked by the QS ranking:
  1. Academic Reputation - 40%
  2. Citation per faculty - 20%
  3. Student to faculty ratio - 20%
  4. Employer Reputation - 10%
  5. International faculty ratio - 5%
  6. International student ratio - 5%
(Source: http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings-articles/world-university-rankings/qs-world-university-rankings-methodology)

Disclaimer: This article is not written to cause any kind of personal insults to any students, lecturers, or the management of the university, but rather a healthy food of thought to you that are reading this article. With this in mind, lets proceed.

#5 Exposure - We Are Lack of It!


2 years in University of Malaya, involving in big and small events in the campus, I have come to realize that the students in UM have very limited exposure to the outside world.

In other word, we are way too comfortable staying in UM, and while we thought we are the best in the country but we forgot to look onto the outside world. We take pride for the way we organize activities and events, we take glory for our culture (MHS, Cheers etc etc) and we are the best breed of students because we are studying in UM.

However, the truth is, looking out from the books and our annual events, we are actually not that good. It's easy to test how well exposed a student is: just ask them something about the real world, be it a company's name or what's the new stuff happening around the country. I have come across a peer of the same faculty as me do not know who is Tan Sri Zeti (ex BNM Governor), and some peers in the business/accounting/finance faculty that do not know what a start-up is.

Events organized by respective societies have also bottle-necked, with little content value and breakthrough in terms of takeaway value for the participants and committees. With all due respect we have several societies that are really good event organizers, great multech and logistics, but we are lacking behind in terms of the content of the events held. Everything we've learnt and passed down are from the seniors and it becomes a culture as times goes by and we tend to forget to ask: Why Are We Doing This? What Is The Purpose of This Event?

While we are busy passing down 'cultures' we forget to look out there and when we realize how events out there excel not only in terms of organization but content, we are way too late.

#4 Finance - Why So Many Undergraduates Face Bankruptcy and Debts Nowadays


While our ministers claim that our education system is one of the best, if not among the finest in the world, our system has produced a society of young undergraduate full of debts. To make thing even worse, they are unable to pay off the debt, leading to serious bankruptcy issues among young people aged 18 - 35. (source: http://www.malaysiandigest.com/opinion/488936-debts-among-us-young-malaysians-are-going-bankrupt.html)

Yes, we are going up the rank in the region and world, because QS Ranking do not include the level of financial education in the ranking criteria! A very wrong perspective of UM students is to think that it is normal to have little to no knowledge about personal financial management and financial knowledge just because you are not from the economics/finance/business/accounting background. Oh my, this is the reason why Malaysia youngsters are getting into financial trouble.
Junior: "Yi Xuan, I have no idea about financial management and investment at all even I'm an economics student."

A reply from a junior when I asked about her knowledge in personal finance and investment.
From the above conversation, even an Economics student do not know about investment and personal finance management, because we are not taught about them! We are taught about the theories of economics and of course basic finance, we are taught on how to score an A in the 14 weeks of lecture, but we are not taught on how to generate income in real life using the knowledge and manage our own money even as an economics student.

As cruel as it might be, the best university in the country is producing what is considered the best slaves to money, working the heck out of our life to pay off debts due to lack of financial knowledge.

#3 Usage of Tech - We Are In Ice Age


How I wish QR Rankings set a usage of technology as one of the ranking criteria. Being the leading university in the country, UM is way behind in terms of usage of technology. One significant example is the usage of Microsoft Powerpoint during lectures and tutorials. May I ask, why is this ice age software still being used in the best university in Malaysia? In renown universities in UK such as Imperial College London, software such as Microsoft Sway has been taking over PPT as the primary presentation tool, making presentation much more interactive and lively. Why are lecture recordings being uploaded in NTU while in UM we are still struggling to use our phone to record what our lecturers say?

Not only the university is slow in bringing in the latest tech to enhance teaching and learning experience, students are pretty slow in getting update in tech as well. Very little people will know what is virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) - these are technologies that can help improve and enhance learning experience in near future.

This is worrying, because with university bringing in technologies way too slow, and students' knowledge in technology way too little, our teaching and learning process will forever stick in, well, the ice age.

Oh, did I forget to mention about WiFi in the campus?

#2 Language - English Level Is Average At Best


Initially I thought this is only an issue for the students from the arts background, but after 2 years studying in UM, I come to a conclusion: There are a lot of room of improvement for the English proficiency of UM students.

While it is acceptable that UM students come from different background and places around the country and hence differs in English proficiency, it is NOT acceptable that UM students not trying to improve themselves in English.

But sadly this is what exactly happening right now: UM students can write to near perfection, but when it comes to speaking and communicating, we are way behind competitions out there. The irony is, UM students take too little effort to brush up their communication and English presentation skills, there are too many events to be joined out there that speaks on our native tongue and we comfortably forget that if we do not speak good English, we are just a person with knowledge and ability but cannot convey ideas properly.

To make things even worse, UM's English programs are bad enough and in need of urgent refinement and restructuring. 3 hours of English class a week is a terrible arrangement and long hours of class makes it awfully boring (my important electives are only 2 hours OMG), and classes such as Presentation at Workplace and Technical Writing have outdated modules, with presentation classes that asked us to randomly pick on a topic and present on it rather than training students on effective idea pitching in workplace (which is way more relevant), and writing classes still teaching us on how to write a letter (I thought letter is a tech of the Barbarian era?) instead of focusing on teaching us how to write a proper and effective email.

In short, UM students needs to realize the importance of English, and work the heart out to improve on it, because without proper English, we can't even talk about competency at workplace (unless you work for government *pun intended*.

#1 Culture - The Bad Ones


UM has one of the best culture among the universities in Malaysia. We are allowed to dress freely as long as it is appropriate (unlike certain universities in the north), we have really good campus life with lots of different events and societies to join, you name it, we have it. We are at the center of the country, which in return offers various opportunities that other universities do not provide.

However, several unhealthy cultures are bringing us down, and it will be costly for the future. First, being the most important of all, is the interaction between races in the campus. UM has by far the most diversified races and culture that contain different ethnics of students all over Malaysia, but interracial interaction is still a challenge to be overcome in the campus. The common sight you will see is that Malays will still be sticking with Malays, Chinese with Chinese and so on. This is worrying, while we have a well balanced race diversification in UM, we do not have a strong interracial bonding in the campus, which can be reflective on the community that we will be living in the near future, which this can be easily manipulated by politicians in the future elections.

Lack of reading, albeit seems unimportant, it is the core of knowledge learning for a person, and UM students have serious issue in general knowledge. Students are too focused on their events, and are taught to finish up tutorials and assignments and before we even realize, mid-terms are around the corner. In the midst of all the madness, UM students tend to forget to equip themselves with knowledge through reading. Learn all the soft skills that you can through events, but without constant improvement in knowledge, one's growth will be stunted at a certain stage in life.

Conclusion


So there you have it, the top 5 reasons why UM can only be the best in Malaysia, but not in the world. What I've mentioned above are more on the issues that really affect the competency of UM students in their future workplace through my observation and interaction with different students from different ethnics and faculties throughout my 2 years involving in various big and small activities in UM.

While we are studying in the best university in the country, but let us not forget that there are much more better talents and institutions out there that are constantly evolving day by day, and we cannot stop improving ourselves.

To end, dear friends, please remember: the day we stop learning and improving, is the day we die.

Cheers for staying with me throughout this article! Do comment below if you have any other inputs or opinions!

Chin Yi Xuan
This post was first posted at Yi Xuan's blog.

Chin Yi Xuan is an economics student studying in University of Malaya (UM). He held the position as the President of UM Economics Society (PEKUMA) during his second year, and was a Junior Executive of AIESEC during his first year. He is a backpacker, food lover, casual photographer, Ping-Pong guy and of all, a rookie writer.


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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Going to College in Malaysia? Here Are the 10 Things You Should Know

Going to College in Malaysia? Here Are the Things You Should Know

Guest post by Raymond Stokes (Share your views with 50,000+ Malaysian students)

When it comes to preparing to study at college in Malaysia, you need to know a number of things. These include: information on top courses offered, the culture of the country, key attractions, job opportunities and even what to eat. When we think about studying in countries like the USA or Australia, we express our desire for the numerous facets of these countries, for instance, the excellent infrastructure, movies and many other trending issues and topics. Here are some of the things you should know if you are considering Malaysia as your study destination.

What to Do and What Not to Do in Malaysia

Malaysia is predominantly an Islamic country, but it is far more liberal and multi-cultural in nature. Just like any country, Malaysia has its own internal rules, likewise it is an idealistic nation with diverse communities, including Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists who carry out different traditional rites with strong enthusiasm. Here are some things you must consider when moving to Malaysia to study.
  1. Pay attention to gender issues
    Though men and women can engage in virtually all social issues in the country, that should not give you the right to get intimate with the opposite sex in the public. Physical contact is forbidden in Islam, therefore, a woman may not reciprocate a handshake.

  2. Bikini is not allowed at beaches in Malaysia
    Malaysia has beautiful sprawling beaches but don’t be tempted to wear a bikini, most tourist destinations don’t allow it, and most women often swim in full clothing.

  3. Touching the head of an individual may trigger a brawl
    Most people believe that the soul lies in the head, in Malaysian culture, and unless you are familiar with an individual, never touch his or her head.

  4. Want more opportunities? Simply wear a conservative clothing
    Exposing a little skin may be acceptable when you reside in larger cities like Kuala Lumpur, but you will have to dress moderately when visiting places like mosque and the temple. Make sure your dresses cover your legs and arms.

  5. Malaysia is not lenient with alcohol
    No alcohol in Malaysia
    Malaysian conservative Muslims do not like drunkards, however, you can find alcohol in many cities as well as tourist destinations, but moderate drinking should be your watchword.

  6. Hide your alternate sexuality in Malaysia
    Conforming to the natural norm of sexuality is very important, but if you belong to the LGBT community, you must not flaunt it in Malaysia, if you do, you may bring misery upon yourself.

  7. Malaysia is a country you can get inspired to be adventurous
    If you want to add some pleasure to your studying experience in Malaysia, then you should be prepared to visit numerous stunning places in different cities around the country. There are both school holidays and public holidays in Malaysia that can be a perfect time to travel.  You can learn about the imperial pasts through the colonial architectures, as well as the rolling tea plantations in places like Darjeeling and Assam. Malaysia’s stunning beaches will always give you the feeling of the freshness of the country, and you can learn more history from the remote tribes of the country. Visit the wild jungles of Borneo to see the wild orangutans. Malaysia is a culturally diverse country comprising of 50% Malay, 24% Chinese, and 7% Indians.

  8. Getting accommodation
    Getting Accommodation in Malaysia
    You need to plan your accommodation when moving to Malaysia to study, the on- and off-campus accommodation are the main options you have. As an international student, the on-campus residence may be the most suitable for you, as it has modern facilities, including telephone ports and the Internet. The issue with on-campus arrangement can be limited, therefore you may switch to off-campus variant at one time during your study. Other facilities at on-campus accommodation include tennis courts, cafeterias, multi-purpose hall.

    You don’t have to panic if you can’t find on-campus accommodation as there are a number of off-campus variants advertised regularly. When looking for an off-campus accommodation, you must pay attention to the price, facilities offered and distance from your college or university campus.

  9. Work opportunities in Malaysia
    Part-time jobs are becoming more popular among international students. Though, tuition and costs of living are modest in Malaysia, they are higher than in India, for example. You can work for about 20 hours a week as a student during festive holidays, semester breaks, and holidays that extend beyond 7 days. Some of the best places to work part-time as a student include hotels, petrol stations, mini-markets and kiosks, but international students are banned from working as singers, cashiers, and masseurs. Learn more about work opportunities here.

  10. Food habits
    Malaysia Variety of Food Hawker
    Sudden change in food habits may be a source of concern for most students studying in Malaysia. If you are from India, it is very easy to find Indian delicacies in Malaysia, likewise there are lots of Chinese and Thai cuisines.

Malaysia is an amazing study destination. You'll get great experience and unforgettable impressions if you are familiar with lifestyle features and traditions in this fascinating country!

Raymond Stokes is a digital marketer who worked in Malaysia in 2013 as a Head of Digital Marketing Department. Also he is a happy husband and a passionate music lover. A lot of time Raymond spends creating articles for his blog.


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