The Diversity of Life (DoL) trip to Port Dickson on 12 January 2018 was undoubtedly one of the main highlights of my first semester studying the Medical Biotechnology programme at IMU. It was a short-lived journey as it was all but a one-day trip and it could be further improved by extending the time spent at the area, provided if it were feasible logistically. This is due to the unpredictable weather conditions by the coastline in early January and it could be said that this trip was a little uneventful due to the rainy weather which led to a difficulty in observing the wildlife due to the foggy weather and high tides. Despite that, it was a relief to experience a different approach in learning and such teaching style is highly valued amongst the current generation. The DoL trip to Port Dickson at Cape Rachado Lighthouse was an interesting experience as the bond between lecturers and students grew stronger. Furthermore, the trip provided us, the students a retreat from the stress and pressures of revision for the End of Semester Examinations. Overall, it was a well-spent time at the Cape where learning and enjoyment both coexist. It has been a long process from the time when I had to decide which tertiary education I would pursue as I ended my Cambridge A-levels. Not surprisingly, it was Prof Chin Beek Yoke who inspired me to take up Medical Biotechnology back in 2015, during the Star Education Fair. It was her enthusiasm and passion about the programme, which intrigued me to probe further about the programme.
Three years later, I had a rough idea on what I would pursue in life and that was Molecular Biotechnology for my postgraduate at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. As I wrote to the Associate Dean of the Faculty at Heidelberg, a list of universities which offered biotechnology here in Malaysia which I shortlisted was attached along with the email. One of these universities was International Medical University (IMU). After reviewing the course outline, it was recommended by the Associate Dean that IMU was the preferred choice due to its inclusion of many pharmaceutical modules which may help my transition better as I pursue my Master’s Degree. Hence, I chose IMU for undergraduate studies. Semester 1 for Medical Biotechnology programme here in IMU was not short of a hectic workload. Coming from a Cambridge A-level programme where the course was 100% examination, it was a polarising shift and it was hard learning to adapt to the new environment. However, with the help of seniors and peers, part of the stress was alleviated. It was hard trying to balance between practical reports and finding time to study or revise. Furthermore, due to Chemistry being the weakest subject since high school, it was tough having to take General Chemistry as the module with 4 credits. Overall, it was a tough journey during Semester 1, however it is understandable why such workloads are in place and as the semester ends, my time management has greatly improved. Written by: HANS LEE DE EN (MB1/17)