Yayasan Khazanah Global Scholarship Programme

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First stage

It was like any other scholarship application process. You are required to fill in personal details and also write an essay about how will you contribute back to Malaysia in the future.

Second Stage

You will be informed to log on into a system and answer the questions given within the limited time frame as stated. It is very likely that you will not have enough time to recheck your answers as the time given to answer them is very short. In my opinion, these questions are similar to the questions of reading comprehension where you need to have critical thinking in analyzing the data provided in these questions.

Third Stage

I received an email from Khazanah at approximately 11.40pm (yes, Khazanah workers do work late) In the email, I was informed to attend the third stage interview at Corus hotel, Jalan Ampang. The traffic at Kuala Lumpur is very unpredictable at times so I decided to travel early! I like the view of the skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur as we do not really have such tall buildings with many storeys back in Seremban. I was a bit shocked because there were only 5 people including me when I reached Corus Hotel. After enquiring from the interviewers, they explained to us that they had separated many sessions for those that were selected where each session only consist a maximum of 6 people.

The interview consists of 3 parts, and it started with group discussion. Everyone was given 2 resumes and were required to discuss which person would be more suitable take up the position considering that the company has who to put in what position with company’s limited budget. It was less stressful as there were guidance such as data and instructions. The group discussion went on for 30 minutes with the Khazanah interviewers observing the progress of the discussion.

The next part was the case study personal presentation. We were given a case and were required to present individual presentation about launching a new phone. We need to analyse and decide the venue, time, types of advertisement and many more.  At this stage of the interview, everyone was guided as data and instructions were provided. After 30 minutes of preparation, we begun our 15 minutes presentation and ended with a question and answer session.

The last part was regarding a personal interview which I would personally advise those who will be interviewed to stay calm and be yourself. You need to be honest with everything you say or provide as it will not be surprised that these experienced interviewers will know whether or not you were lying. I would also advise to do simple preparation before coming for the interview. I prepared files containing my resume and certificates although it may not be used during the interview.

Fourth stage

I received another email a few days later, informing me to attend stage 4 interview at KLCC level 33. The relaxing room for the Khazanah workers was really very nice with yellowish lighting. Stage 4 was a personal interview with Yayasan Khazanah director Mr Kamarul Bahrein which lasted for 30 minutes. He asked me to introduce myself and some questions regarding my personal background, personal interest and also my curricular activities.

Fifth stage

After two weeks of waiting, I finally received an email from Khazanah. There are 14 of us that were fortunately selected into the final stage. I had fun chatting and getting to know them. The interview session was with the director of Khazanah and it only lasted for 5 to 10 minutes. It was considered a short and brief session.

This is the picture of me with YK director and managers during my pre-departure briefing 🙂
Khazanah

**All above are just my personal experience and it may be different for other candidates**


 

Belinda Lee

Belinda Lee Theng Lui had completed her matriculation at Kolej Matrikulasi Pulau Pinang(KMPP) last April. She is currently doing her bachelor of commerce at Australian National University under the Yayasan Khazanah Global Scholarship Programme. She loves travelling whenever she can and enjoys cooking in the kitchen. ‘Do not confuse your path with your destination, just because it’s stormy now doesn’t mean you aren’t headed to sunshine’ is a quote she believes for a lifetime.

 

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Life at Monash-Parkville as a Pharmacy Student

My name is Leong Kum Chuan and I am studying the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) in Monash University, Melbourne Parkville campus. It was a dream come true to be given an opportunity to study in the best pharmacy school in Australia, Monash University – Victorian College of Pharmacy.

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Monash focuses mainly on research hence research assignments and lab reports are essential. The curriculum of the school of pharmacy provides me great exposure allowing me to gain a vast knowledge in the field of pharmacy. Monash provides us with the latest technology in learning such as MyDispense: a pharmaceutical leading technology allowing us to virtually dispense through a computer. Besides that, Monash University helps us to overcome stage fright and improve our communication skills through the programme through our presentations each semester. Every semester, pharmacy students are expected to present topics covered in our lectures for 15 minutes providing us bountiful of opportunities to research and explore our interests. One of my previous topics was on gastroesophageal reflux disease. To counsel patients, communication skills and confidence is essential. Besides that, having a high proficiency in English is important for a pharmacist and proficiency in other languages too provides a leverage.

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Monash University has 3 campuses in Victoria (Clayton, Parkville and Peninsula). Monash Parkville is also known as the Victorian College of Pharmacy, which is the pharmaceutical campus for Monash University. The Parkville campus is located in close proximity with the University of Melbourne. As compared to other campuses, the campus is relatively small and accommodates lesser club and societies. Therefore my friends and I joined Malaysian of Melbourne University (MoMU) and we met a lot of friends there!

For me, the highlight of the campus is the library as we can have group discussion. The library is split into a quiet zone as well as the discussion zone provided for the convenience of the students to suit the purpose of the student in using the library.

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The syllabus of pharmacy involves a lot of scientific knowledge requiring a deep understanding and memorizing which proves to be quite a challenging course. In my opinion, we are on par with a doctor as we have to be competent in communication as well as a mastery in our knowledge.

Whilst a pharmacist is a mastery in the uses, interactions and its safety uses in regards to drugs and medicines, a general practitioner is good at diagnosing and providing treatment.  Besides gaining knowledge from lectures and researches we do for our presentations, we are also have to analyse a substantive amount of case studies, workshops and group tutorials. In case studies, we are given a scenario to brainstorm with our groupmates to solve it. Case studies requires one to think out of the box and encourage a good relationship and foster teamwork with your peers to solve the problem. On the other hand, workshops are held to expose us and give us a better understanding in regards to our lectured topics. It also teaches us the procedures of the experiments with the use of a computer and molecular modelling kit.

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Each year, Monash accepts 150 pharmacy students from Australia and different countries such as Malaysia, Hong Kong and China. To put it in a nutshell, personally I think studying pharmacy in Monash University, Melbourne is great! It allow me to pursue my dream. I believe I will become a successful pharmacist in no time!


Leong Kum Chuan

Kum Chuan is currently studying the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) at Monash University Parkville campus. He is an outgoing person, with a true Melburnian spirit. Food hunting around Melbourne is what he does when he is not busy with his studies.

Life at Monash University as a First Year Medical Student

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Before writing this article, I checked my student e-mail for the thousandth time (my paranoid self does not think this is an exaggeration) for an e-mail about supplementary exams. Unless I’m hopelessly blind, I think it’s safe to say that I didn’t receive any, which allows me to introduce myself correctly – Hi! I have just completed my first year of MBBS in Monash University, Australia.

I did my A-level at Taylor’s College, Subang Jaya so if you’re reading this and grumbling about A-Level, trust me, you’re not alone and yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel. During the university application period, I applied for Pharmacy and Medicine in universities in Malaysia, UK and Australia. I was fine with studying anywhere as long as I had a university to go to. However, I did hope to get into an Australian university or International Medical University (IMU) because I wanted to start studying in early February. To cut the long story short, I never thought I could do it but thankfully, Monash saw a potential doctor in me.

I remember being so fascinated by the cultural diversity in Australia when I first arrived. I’ve met Russians, Greek, Europeans, Canadians, Hong Kongers, Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Singaporeans and of course, Malaysians. I find the curriculum in Monash appealing because it’s a 5-year undergraduate programme. Some universities only offer post-graduate or 6-year programmes. We also get site visits to clinics and hospitals pretty early on, which is good to remind you that you’re treating real patients and not just textbook diseases. There’s also dissection of real cadavers in the second semester when we start Anatomy and that’s one of the advantages of studying overseas – you don’t get that in Malaysian medical schools.

I did experience a difference in the academic culture as studying in university is centred around self-learning rather than the spoonfeeding we’ve been used to. The lecture slides are never enough and I always find myself worrying about the depth I need to cover. So this is where VESPAs come in and it’s one of the huge reasons that I love studying in Monash University. I have never known what VESPA stood for (expect an update if I do find out) but it’s basically a study group where seniors from a year above guide juniors a year below them. Juniors get their questions answered and seniors present revision PowerPoint slides with the main takeaways from lecture slides that sometimes tell way too much or too little.

I’m just going to take this paragraph to shameless gush about MAMSA (Malaysian Medical Student Association). MAMSA, to me, is the reason why studying Medicine in a foreign land isn’t as daunting as I thought it would be. We’re made up of medical students from Monash and Melbourne University. We have our own VESPAs every week and two to three revision lectures per semester. We also have many social events! It’s different when you meet people who speak Manglish abroad; they became my safety net.

Truth be told, I’ve still got a lot of Melbourne left to explore as the workload is never-ending and the city is a 40-minute train ride away. However, for the little that I’ve seen, Melbourne is a lovely place. Thanks to its cultural diversity, the food in Melbourne is A++. Heads up for the massive meal portions which can feed two and free food everywhere! There are also various festivals going on all the time. I honestly think that Australia houses some of the friendliest people on the planet – any random person you meet on the street would go out of their way to direct you to your destination or give you suggestions about the events there are to enjoy. Strangely enough, I feel both abroad and at home in Melbourne. There’s just that perfect balance – or maybe it’s because there are just way too many Asians.

Come find me if you do come to Melbourne! I always seem over-excited at first but I really just love meeting new people. I’ll definitely try my best to answer your queries if you ever need help. Random note: be prepared to learn to cook if you’re looking to save $$!

Good luck! Or as the Aussies say – Chookas!


The writer, who chose to be anonymous, is now a second year Medical student at Monash University, Australia.

Life@TCSJ-SAM

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South Australian Matriculation (SAM) or presently known as SACE International is an Australian-based pre university program that heavily involves the combination of coursework and final examination, which ultimately leads you to earning an Australian Year 12 qualification. As for myself, I did SAM back in 2013, in which I joined during the July intake at Taylor’s College Subang Jaya (TCSJ) and graduated at the end of 2014. Being somewhat clueless on the things to be done and the course to pursue after getting my SPM results, I definitely had to take my own initiatives to get more insights on all the choices available, which led to countless ‘new tabs’ on my web browser and various perspectives obtained from those who were undertaking different pre-university programs. In the end, the Australian matriculation or specifically, the SAM program won me over, primarily due to the weightage of its internal assessments; SAM students are assessed based on 70% college-based assessment (coursework) and only 30% final examination, which I believe is a huge advantage for myself. For most colleges that do offer the SAM program, the entry requirements generally demand students to get a minimum of 5 credits (subject pre-requisites do apply).

After deciding the program that I was most interested in while still keeping my options open for the rest, the next step was to look out for any forms of financial aid that could help me reach my desired higher education. I was very lucky to be in the position where my results gave me the eligibility to apply to various scholarships that were provided both by the government and NGOs. Most of these sponsors require applicants to achieve straight As for their SPM examination but there are definitely other options to consider such as government loans, university scholarships and bursaries depending on your results. The application process for me involves a great deal of anxiety with tons of patience and persistence; receiving declines after declines can definitely took a toll on you but with great perseverance, I received a full scholarship offer from MARA to pursue my studies to my preferred university in Australia, where I would first have to undertake SAM program in TCSJ and pass the ATAR requirement fixed by the sponsor, which was a minimum score of 85 at that time. Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is the primary criterion for entry into most undergraduate-entry university programs in Australia. During my MARA application, students were given a choice to pick two from the numerous options available, varying to the courses and countries that it is offered in. The Australian program offered was without a doubt my very first option and I was very fortunate to be one of the few selected for the program. For MARA scholars, students were selected based on their performances during the psychometric test and the interview conducted.

In SAM, it is expected for one to be relentlessly on the go and working consistently on the assignments at hand. There is going to be a time where you might be having multiple tests for different units on the same day of your assignment’s submission, which can be pretty challenging to get used to. It took me a while to get adjusted to the fast-paced study routine and I was very lucky to have a steadfast support system around me with thoughtful peers and selfless lecturers that always kept me on my toes. Personally, I believe that good time management, continuous effort and perseverance are the three prominent traits that needs to be grasped in order for one to excel in SAM. It is important to realize that everything requires effort and perseverance, that executing actions is equally as important as believing and dreaming big. Always get a head start on the work assigned by doing prior research and discuss it with your lecturers to get constructive feedback; it will help you to improve your work further and thus enhancing the final piece. Don’t be embarrassed or anxious to consult the lecturers for any difficulties faced throughout the course, they are more than willing to guide you and improving your overall experience in SAM. Discussion among peers can be very helpful in completing your assignment, as you’ll realize that more in depth knowledge on the subject matter can be attained with all the different ideas shared. Being consistent with your internal assessments grades throughout the program can definitely help you to improve your final results, as it holds a considerably higher weightage than the external component and it also allows you to have more control on your intended outcome.

SAM arranges various motivational talks from university representatives and experienced alumni around the world, where they share valuable insights that can help you further in deciding the right course to pursue. Being rather new on the procedures in applying to different universities in Australia, Taylor’s University Placement Services were my literal backbone throughout my university application process. They were always very supportive and willing to dedicate their time to help the students in getting the intended university. Their years of experiences definitely gives an advantage to the students; they have recognized what these universities are looking for in potential students and they always made sure all the forms were filled with relevant details before any submission, leading to an excellent service in entirety.

SAM also offers various opportunities for students to discover their hidden passions and interests apart from education with a variety of clubs and societies to choose from, ranging from sports, arts and affiliations. Through SAM, I have found one of the most moving forms of excitement I could ever accomplish, which is the opportunity to inspire another person and thus making a difference in their life, no matter how small it could be. One of my most valuable SAM experiences was the chance to get involved with the MADU (Made a Difference United) society, which is a special community-based program held only under SAM in TCSJ. In MADU, we had different groups of students doing weekly visits to shelter homes around Subang and Petaling Jaya areas, where we provide mentoring sessions for the students there through our ‘Buddy System’. Basic tutoring as well as engaging and developing long-term relationship with the students to discuss their future endeavors 
were our primary roles as mentors. Our objectives are to inspire and reinvigorate the significance of school education for these students and emphasizing the importance of skill integration in real life. From MADU, I realised that when you have the chance to inspire someone, that person may then inspire others and as this chain reaction grows, an entire generation could be inspired and lives would definitely be changed.

Throughout my one and a half years in Taylor’s, Both SAM and MADU have played a huge role in shaping the person that I am today. It has taught me the need of inculcating wisdom in education to develop a more confident, successful generation. It has equipped me with the much-needed soft skills and life skills that are stressed upon throughout the course particularly with all the assignments and tasks given. I’ve also learned how to manage a team efficiently, adapt quickly to any sudden and unexpected changes and socialize well with people from different background. Another life lesson that I’ve gotten and persistently remind my mentees and myself with is that we are our own limits; nothing could stop us from achieving our goals other than ourselves. It is essential for us to believe in ourselves when nobody else would and our beliefs will then determine our actions and that actions will evidently determine our results. If we have the passion and desire to reach for our own ambition, with hard work, constant dedication and much needed self-confidence, that could be achieved effortlessly.


Razana Aqila

Razana is going into her second year of university, where she is undertaking an engineering degree in Monash University, Australia under Majilis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) Scholarship. She is a music enthusiast with a profound passion for photography and suffers severe ornithophobia.

 

Application to Australian Universities

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I am an Australian Permanent Resident and I took A Levels instead of Australian Year 12. I’m going to pursue Bachelor of Biomedicine in University of Melbourne, Australia.

It wasn’t until April this year that I found out that my university application was a completely different procedure compared to other students and the placement center in my college couldn’t assist me in my application. My reaction was like “Oh My Gosh, how I wish someone told me earlier so I wouldn’t have to go through this hassle!”

And yes, I shall tell you how to overcome this and not create a (sort of) mess like I did.

Step 1: check if your parents/you are Permanent Residents of Australia.

If you are an Australian PR, congratulations! (Please proceed to Step 3)

If you are not an Australian PR, congratulations! (Please proceed to Step 2)

Step 2: International students

International students with overseas qualifications (A Levels, CIMP, CPU, STPM, Malaysian Matriculation)

International students can apply directly to universities or through education centers like IDP or AUG. You may get your application fee waived.

  1.       Prepare your certificates and forecast results. Do bear in mind that you’ll have to certify your photocopied certificates.
  2.       Go onto university websites/education centers to get the application form.
  3.       Fill up the application form CORRECTLY.
  4.       Most of the universities will give you three choices, just fill in accordingly.
  5.       Hand in your application form!

International students with Australian qualifications (SAM, AUSMAT)

Some universities accept direct application but some requires online application. Do check your status ASAP to avoid hesitation.

Important:

Students who want to apply to Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Veterinary Medicine will have to apply earlier (January).

Students who wish to apply to Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine MUST sit for the International Students Admissions Test (ISAT) from February to October. You may choose the date and time to sit for the test. You must register 6 weeks before the date of examination, and the fee is 300 USD (as of 2014).

Step 3: Permanent Residents

Australian Year 12 students

You do not need to certify any documents. To lodge your university application, go onto the admission websites listed below

  •        www.satac.edu.au (South Australia ;eg: University of Adelaide, Flinders University)
  •        www.uac.edu.au ( New South Wales and Australia Capital Territory; eg: UNSW, University of Sydney)
  •        www.vtac.edu.au (Victoria; eg: Monash University, University of Melbourne, RMIT)
  •        www.tisc.edu.au (Western Australia; eg: Curtin University, University of Western Australia)
  •        www.qtac.edu.au (Queensland; eg: University of Queensland)
  •        www.utas.edu.au (University of Tasmania)

You may login to/register your account in August for the Fall intake (February of the following year). The closing date for on time application falls on the end of September.

Non Year 12 students

This is going to be scary and intimidating but don’t worry you’ll be fine.

  1.       Register yourself on the admission websites.
  2.       Choose your course preferences.
  3.       Certify your documents.*
  4.       Send your documents to Australia

You’ll have to provide certified true copies of your IELTS, SPM and Pre-U results.

My advice is to go to the Australian High Commission Kuala Lumpur (Jalan Yap Kwan Seng) to get it certified. There is a cost applied (AUD 30 as of 2014)

Students applying for Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Medicine will have to sit for the Undergraduate Medicine Admissions Test (UMAT) around end of July. The nearest test center is in Singapore. The website to this is www.umat.acer.edu.au

**Non Year 12 students are NOT eligible to apply for the Chancellor Scholars Program for University of Melbourne**

UMAT Experience

My advice is to register earlier and do more practice questions within the time frame. For UMAT, time is your biggest challenge. The questions are similar to the practice questions, but critical thinking is very important. Don’t get distracted and read the questions properly!

Additional

Here are some of the example questions:
Why do you want to pursue Medicine?
Tell us about your work experience/voluntary work.
Characteristics you think a doctor should have.

UNSW Medicine requires their applicants to fill up a Medical Application Form. It is similar to a personal statement but it is guided and more structured.

I was a member of the St John’s Ambulance Malaysia in SMK Seafield as well as a member of the Pre-Medicine Society in Taylor’s College Subang Jaya. This allowed me to have exposure to volunteer work. This helped me a lot in completing the application form and also in strengthening my points.


imageedit_14_6684298470Melanie Hew is a joyful girl who enjoys bringing happiness to people. She will be pursuing Bachelor of Biomedicine in the University of Melbourne. She hopes to be a paediatric cardiologist in the future.

Choosing between UK and Australia

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UK Universities vs Australian Universities? This wasn’t a very hard question for me. I made up my mind two years ago when I was choosing between scholarship offers from Petronas and KPM Bursary. I chose the UK, because I have been dreaming of studying in the UK since young. Plus, UK universities are more prestigious and reputable in my opinion, and I wish to be one of their students! So, I applied to 5 UK universities for Chemical Engineering last year for the Sept/Oct 2014 intake.

Of course, other than those mentioned above, there are other factors that you have to look into if you are not very sure if you want to go to the UK or Australia! Let’s see!

Criteria and Comparisons

Here are some factors that I considered when making my decision.

  • Application Process

UK universities use an online application system called UCAS. You can apply to up to 4 universities for Medicine/Dentistry, OR 5 choices for other courses. A personal statement is needed. The fee is GBP23.

Australian universities’ applications are paper-based for applicants doing qualifications such as A Levels and IB (students doing SAM or Ausmat use an online application system instead, if I am not mistaken). We have to apply through our college’s Placement Centre by getting the university application forms from them. In other cases, students apply through placement agents such as IDP. Just fill up the simple paper application form and submit it alongside certified true copies of your results (AS, A2, forecast, IB etc.). No personal statement is needed. You have to apply to each university separately and each costs about AUD 100 (application fee varies according to university). However you most likely can get the application fee waived if your results meet the universities’ requirement for application fee waiver. You can apply to as many universities as you like.

So, in comparison, applying to Australian universities is easier than applying to the UK. But as I made up my mind to go to the UK, this didn’t influence my decision much.

  • Interview

UK: Interviews (either face-to-face or virtual through Skype) are involved in the application process for the following courses:

  • All Oxbridge courses
  • Certain courses in Imperial (e.g. Chemical Engineering and Electrical & Electronics Engineering)
  • Medicine (with exception to University of Edinburgh)
  • Dentistry

Australia: Interviews are needed for applicants to Medicine and Dentistry courses only.

It would have been much easier for me to apply for Chemical Engineering to Australian universities. However, this did not influence my decision very much as I was not intimidated by the interview.

  • Admissions Tests

UK: Admissions test are required for application to certain courses (such as Oxbridge courses, Medicine, Dentistry, Law and Mathematics): BMAT, UKCAT, LNAT, CLT, TSA, PAT, STEP, etc. (Challenge: Google to find what they are :P)

Australia: No admissions test is required for courses other than Medicine and Dentistry. For these courses, the test is called International Student Admission Test (ISAT).

So, no admissions test is required for ChemEng application to UK universities (with exception to Oxbridge) and Australian universities. Fair enough! To be on the safe side, remember to check the universities’ websites to see if an admissions test is required.

  • English Language Tests

All UK universities accept IELTS for sure, but some also accept SPM English and English 1119/O-Level English. TOEFL is not encouraged as it has been banned by UK Border Agency for UK Visa application purposes.

Australian universities accept IELTS for sure and most accept TOEFL as well.

However, please check with your university for the exact list of English Language Tests they accept, and the minimum scores they want. To be on the safe side, just take the IELTS.

  • Courses’ Minimum Entry Requirements

Top UK universities have higher entry requirements compared to top Australian universities. Taking A Levels as an example, the minimum entry requirements for the following courses are:

Course UK Australia
Chemical Engineering Imperial College London

A* A* A

University of Queensland

B B C

Economics London School of Economics

A* A A

University of Melbourne

A B C

To know the minimum entry requirements, do check the university’s website. If you afraid that you are unable to achieve the high UK universities entry requirements, then why not apply to Australia? I love challenges, so I went for the UK!

  • Difficulty in Getting an Offer

For UK, it’s not guaranteed that you will get an offer even if you achieved the minimum entry requirements, because there are other factors such as your personal statement, admission tests, interviews performance (if applicable) and also the stiff competition from other equally well-qualified applicants!

For Australia, most applicants that meet the minimum entry requirements can get an offer, unless places for the courses are full (with exception to Medicine and Dentistry courses, which are competitive and admissions depends performances on admissions test and interview as well).

  • Rankings

Although many have said that rankings can’t be used to decide which university to attend, rankings are nevertheless the only official statistic that compares how good universities in the world are. This matters most if you are a sponsored student and your sponsor limits your choices to only certain top universities, according to those rankings. The most-used ranking by sponsors is the Times Higher Education University Rankings. However, QS Rankings can also provide you some useful insights.

(THE World University Rankings & QS University Rankings)

UK universities are generally ranked higher than Australian universities (of course, there are some exceptions in certain rankings). Feel free to Google and check out those rankings.

Imperial College London is ranked higher than any of the Australian universities for Engineering, and thus, I opted for Imperial College London (UK).

  • Reputation

On reputation, just ask yourself this: Which universities would you choose if given the following choices?

  • Oxford or Monash for Medicine?
  • Imperial or Queensland for Mechanical Engineering?
  • Cambridge or University of New South Wales (UNSW) for Law?
  • LSE or Melbourne for Economics?
  • UCL or Sydney for Psychology?

If you have chosen UK universities, that’s partly because these UK universities’ reputations are at work. And I chose Imperial (UK) which has a better reputation for ChemEng, for better career opportunities in the future. This is strictly the author’s opinion.

  • Academic Excellence, Education System and Quality

Both UK and Australian education are recognized as among the best and most innovative in the world, so it’s really up to your preferences. And I chose UK.

  • Costs (Tuition Fee and Living Fee)

Many sources have suggested that studying in Australia is more expensive than in the UK, but if you are a sponsored student you may not have to worry too much. However, it still hurts if the living fee is too high because the living allowances given by the sponsor will not be enough then.

And for this, I voted for UK!

(Average annual cost of studying abroad for international students, HSBC)

  • Living, Culture and People

Both UK and Australia are considered as good and safe countries to live in.Their cultures are diverse and food is plenty. They are full of interesting activities all-year-round and have many international students. Do your own readings on the internet and see which country you would like to live in! I opted for UK here!

  • Travel

If you are studying in the UK, you can travel within UK, or around Europe easily with efficient transport systems such as rail.

If you’re studying in the Australia, you can travel within Australia. I guess Australia is large enough to explore? And Australia has Kangaroos and Koalas!!

In this respect, I prefer Europe so I chose UK!

Conclusion/Advice

There are several pros and cons of applying to and studying in UK and Australian universities with regards to the 12 criteria above. I would say applying to Australian universities is generally easier than UK universities (except Medicine and Dentistry Courses which are equally competitive in the UK and Australia).

So follow your preferences and ability according to the 12 criteria above to make the best choice! And I’m glad that I’ve chosen UK. What about you?

Difficulties in making the decision

Generally I did not face any difficulty during my decision process. My parents are fine with me attending any UK or Australian university but not a university in United States (because they are worried that I might die in a gun shooting incident lol). I don’t have to worry about the costs as I am a sponsored student. Most importantly, it was because I had figured out what I really wanted, so I could make the decision easily.

Game Plan and Back-Up

Initially, I thought of applying to as many universities as possible, including UK, US, Australia, Hong Kong and Malaysian universities.

However, less than 2 months after I sent my UCAS application, the University of Manchester made me a conditional offer with achievable grades. Although Manchester isn’t my first-choice university, studying in the UK is my priority. So, I decided not to apply to Australian, HK and Malaysian universities since I already had an offer from a UK university (Manchester) as back-up. After that, I received offers from the University of Birmingham and University College London as well before finally getting an offer from Imperial College London.

To enhance my admissions chances, I did my best to write a good personal statement, achieve good results and prepare for the interview. To learn more about this, do read another article written by me. 😀

Right University?

I can proudly say that I have chosen the right university! Imperial College London FTW! No regrets!!


Kian Woon copy

Chen Kian Woon is a high achiever who will be pursuing his Chemical Engineering degree at Imperial College London, UK under the Public Service Department(JPA) Scholarship. He loves travelling and now he can’t wait to travel around the beautiful Europe in the next 4 years!  One of the most insane things he did in life was not taking the Petronas Scholarship offer to study in Australia, and hence, he is writing this article for you guys today!