Adris Tahir Hanif

4th year

Adris, from Scotland, studied at our Malaysia Campus for a semester on an Inter-Campus Transfer. He is studying Business Management in the School of Social Sciences.

Why did you decide to take part in a Global Student Programme at Heriot-Watt?

Not many students have the chance to take part in these international programmes during their time at university. I therefore seized this opportunity which would allow me to engage with people from different cultures and backgrounds. In addition, this would allow me to gain some international exposure as I have never before been able travel, let alone study in the far-east. By taking part in the global student programme, it would enable me to differentiate myself from all other business students (within Heriot-Watt and possibly across the UK) which will be beneficial for job prospects by the time I finish my degree.

How was studying in Malaysia different from studying in the UK?

It is very much similar to when I started my degree in the UK. The lectures, tutorials, assignments and exams are pretty much on par with the UK and Dubai campuses. The only difference that is fairly obvious in Heriot-Watt Malaysia is the number of students at each lecture or tutorial class. The lectures consists of only around 20-40 students max compared to 200-300 students in one lecture at the Edinburgh campus. By having a smaller class, there is more room for discussions and one-to-one interactions with the lecturers and tutors. It can be said that the lectures and tutorials in Malaysia have a more “high school feeling” to it. This in sense came be very advantageous as there is more of an opportunity to discuss certain topics, assignments and exams.

How did the culture differ in Malaysia?

It differs a lot as the Malaysian culture consists of Malays, Indians and Chinese.  These are the main cultural groups in Malaysia with many more minor cultures that exist as well. Whilst living out here, you are able to interact with many different people that all dress differently, dine in various cuisines and speak many foreign languages (although this was not an issue, communication-wise, as many people were able to speak good or reasonable English). Compared to the culture in the UK, the Malaysians are seen to be more calm and relaxed due to their more “easy-going” mentality (said by my Malaysian classmates and lecturers; not me). 

What were the highlights from you global student experience?

I was able to travel to other neighbouring countries whilst studying in Malaysia, including Vietnam and Thailand. My understanding of the oriental culture increased dramatically as well as making new contacts whilst being out in Malaysia. And finally, I was able to be a part of an upcoming initiative, setting up a student blog with the Heriot-Watt marketing team, to market this global experience to those who are currently or wishing to study at Heriot-Watt University.

How do you think being a global student will benefit you in your career after university?

The labour market is increasingly becoming more difficult for students as many people are now going to university. By going to university and achieving your degree is simply not enough nowadays, there is the need in differentiating yourself from other students. Employers today are looking to hire certain individuals that “stand out from the crowd”. Therefore, by being a global student, it will put me in a better position than other students as it will open new job prospects as employers are now seeking out people who have received some international exposure.