Six third year MPharm students, (left to right: Craig Russell, Ellen Osborne Romi Bissland, Heather Axford, Jennifer Fox and Natalie Donald) from the University of Strathclyde spent six weeks at International Medical University, Malaysia working on short research projects under the supervision of Drs Gan Sook Yee and Erin Lim while learning about Malaysia’s culture and customs. These students are part of the Student Mobility Programme where international students from overseas universities or partner institutions visit IMU to observe or to undertake any form of academic activities such as study tours, observation, electives, research, clinical, community or any other practical attachments in any of the programmes offered by IMU. The six students also had the opportunity to visit various parts of Malaysia, such as Sabah, Penang and Melaka, and experienced the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur and its places of interest. They enjoyed their time here, and learned much about Malaysia and about working in the laboratory as researchers. The IMU Student Mobility Programme provides the opportunity to experience a different perspective on a student’s academic subjects in Malaysia. The student will also have the opportunity to enhance personal and intellectual maturity – through inculcating flexibility, resilience, cross-cultural communication skills, the ability to adapt to new circumstances, and to deal constructively with differences. The duration of participating in the mobility programme can be for any period, depending on learning objectives and goals. Participating in this experience will widen academic horizons and lead a student to reappraise their goals to include postgraduate study. The student will also be able to broaden their experience by living and studying abroad for a period of time. What the students say about their experiences “I would like to say that I have had a fantastic time during my stay in Malaysia and at IMU and would strongly recommend that other students should apply for the opportunity. What I have enjoyed most about my visit is how friendly we have been treated by the staff and students at IMU. Our supervisor has been very kind too and made us feel very welcome and secure while at the university. Also the location of IMU made visiting and exploring Malaysia during weekends and our free time very easy and allowed us to visit Penang, Singapore, Sandakan, Ipoh, Melaka and all around KL. The lab-work in the university was also a great experience and gave us the opportunity to get real experience in a research lab where we were allowed to work independently. The supervision of the project was also very well done, as we were given enough guidance to know what we were supposed to be doing, but enough freedom to make all the decisions about how to work individually”. “I enjoyed meeting other students and learning about postgraduate research at IMU. Having the opportunity to travel in Malaysia and surrounding countries and experience different cultures was very interesting and enjoyable. I also enjoyed getting to know the students from Strathclyde and learning about their experiences and knowledge of both university and life”. “I thoroughly enjoyed my trip both in terms of education and recreation. Given the opportunity I would do it again and would definitely recommend it to younger students. I am grateful for the opportunity and I hope this continues in the future for more students to benefit from. I enjoyed working in the research lab and gaining real life experience – the experiments didn’t always go to plan but I still feel I have achieved something and learned new skills. I also enjoyed experiencing the new culture and meeting the students and staff who were very welcoming and helpful”. “Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Malaysia and would highly recommend students to apply for the opportunity, particularly those wanting to pursue a research career. I have always found the idea of using natural sources in drug discovery fascinating so the research topic suited my interests well, and it was very worthwhile seeing how academic staff and masters students carry out their work in IMU. I am very thankful to have been given this amazing opportunity and have learned a lot from it; not just from the research or working in the IMU lab environment but also about Malaysian lifestyle. I particularly enjoyed learning about Malaysian culture and experiencing all the different foods, social activities and landmarks the country has to offer. I also liked getting to know the other five Strathclyde students well and feeling very much part of a team during our travels to Singapore, Borneo and Penang. It was interesting to see what research life is like at the university and I also enjoyed getting to know other IMU students; within the hostel, research lab and those coming to Strathclyde in September”. “Most of all I enjoyed meeting with all the staff and students of IMU, who were all incredibly friendly and welcoming. The students were all so eager to socialise and tell us about their culture and customs which was great. I also enjoyed working in a real research environment and getting to chat with others also carrying out research in the lab. Our lab supervisors were excellent and very supportive of us throughout our time at IMU. They made the whole experience even more enjoyable and I feel I really benefited from their teaching. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and feel so grateful I was given the opportunity. I feel the practical lab experience I gained will be really helpful when I come to doing my 4th year lab project. I would recommend the trip to anyone who is interested”.