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An Amazing and Invaluable Student Mobility Programme Experience at IMU Malaysia

03 Jul 2020

January – March 2020 – Six students from Shandong University, China have successfully attended a one-month course on Research Methodology and Scientific Writing and two months of research observation at the International Medical University (IMU)’s Bukit Jalil campus. The course was organised by the School of Pharmacy as a part of its inbound mobility package. The course is aimed at exposing the students to the research journey including generating research questions, testing hypothesis, conducting critical review of research articles, writing a research proposal and a research article. The course also covered research ethics and basic statistical analysis. In addition to this inbound mobility package, School of Pharmacy also offers credit transfer modules including research Methodology and Scientific Writing (3 credits) and Research Project (10 credits). These six students are currently pursuing their Master studies in either Pharmacy or Traditional Chinese Medicine at their home institution. They joined the programme with the intention of gaining scientific writing skills and research skills. For this course, the students were attached to a research team headed by Prof Mallikarjuna Rao Pichika, a professor in Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, for laboratory skills training.

What Do The Students Think About the Course?
The 3-month international programme at IMU was valuable. It enhanced our scientific research ability and we enjoyed the colorful multi-cultural environment at the University and in Malaysia. Through the substantial course on Research Methodology and Scientific Writing provided by the School of Pharmacy, we have not only gained practical basic research skills but also expanded our knowledge scope. From formulating the research question, methodology design, preparing a research proposal to writing a research article, the entire research process was illustrated. In addition, many useful experimental skills such as western blot and HPLC were demonstrated to us during the laboratory skills training. We have learned a lot from the professors and postgraduate students at IMU who have kindly shared their research experience and skills with us. Six students from Shandong University, China describe their experience at a student mobility programme away from family during Chinese New Year and a pandemic. To many of us, this was our first visit to Malaysia, we were happy to have the opportunity to visit many attractions in this country. Although we were unable to celebrate Chinese New Year at home, we appreciate the kindness of our IMU friends who invited us to their house during the festive season. Moreover, we were invited to a Chinese New Year outing sponsored by the IMU Student Services Hub. We visited Thean Hou Temple, Sen Sze Ya’s Temple and Petaling Street. We experienced how Chinese New Year was celebrated in Malaysia and had a truly wonderful experience watching lion dance and Lo Hei (Lou Sang). Thus, our homesickness during this festive period was alleviated. Even better than that, we actually had a fascinating and extraordinary CNY.

In mid-March, following the emergence of COVID-19, the Malaysian government implemented Movement Control Order (MCO), and IMU was temporarily closed. Cases of COVID-19 climbed day by day. During this MCO period, we appreciated the support of IMU staff who provided meals and face masks to all IMU students, including us, free of charge even though the mobility programme has ended. Although the return to our home country was delayed due to the pandemic, we would like to thank IMU for arranging transport to send us to KLIA on our departure date as we faced some difficulties in getting public transport. Finally, we really appreciate IMU and the lovely people we met here. It was really an amazing experience.

Related article: IMU’s Student Services Hub Takes Care of Students During MCO

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