An Incredible Experience : Killian, Omar, and Zacharie Reflect on Their Year in Malaysia

As they get ready to return to France, we had the opportunity to speak with Killian, Omar, and Zacharie, three students from the Class of 2024 at Epitech Rennes who embarked on an extraordinary journey by choosing to spend their fourth year in Malaysia. Their decision to immerse themselves in a new cultural setting has rewarded them with an incredible and enriching experience. In this article, they graciously share the highlights and insights gained from their year-long adventure in Malaysia. Join us as we delve into their captivating story of personal growth, cultural exploration, and unforgettable memories.

Joined by two fellow students from Rennes, Killian, Omar, and Zacharie are pursuing their studies at the University of Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Institute of Information Technology (UniKL MIIT). They have the opportunity to engage in a wide array of courses, encompassing pure technical skills, design, and software architecture. Throughout their academic journey, they have not only honed their software development expertise but also enhanced their soft skills. Their experience at Epitech Rennes has provided them with a solid technical foundation, which they have further consolidated and expanded upon at UniKL MIIT.

What made you choose Malaysia and UniKL MITT University for your study abroad experience?

Omar:We chose Malaysia for its geographical location, which allows us to explore Asia, its cultural diversity, and its cost of living. The triple cultural blend of the country (Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian) is incredibly rich, not only in terms of food but also customs and traditional attire.

Killian: “UniKL is a university located in a tall tower spanning around thirty floors. The professors and university staff are very welcoming and have made every effort to ensure our smooth integration into the local culture.”

Zacharie: “I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the idea of going alone to the other side of the world for a year. I must admit, I would have preferred to be with my friends.”

What are the main differences compared to France?

Zacharie: “The cost of living is much cheaper than in France. For example, you can eat at a restaurant for less than 2€. Many Malaysians are practicing Muslims. The prices of alcohol or outings are still quite expensive compared to food, but it is still cheaper than in France. To give you an idea, 1 ringgit (which is the local currency) is equivalent to 0.20 Euro.”

Killian and Omar: “The differences compared to France are significant, but it is important to distinguish between the differences specific to Asia and those specific to Malaysia. Among the notable examples are the hot and humid climate, the food (lots of chicken, rice, and especially spicy dishes), and the mentality of the people, who are kind-hearted and very welcoming.”

What is your best memory?

Zacharie: “Since we are in Asia for the first time, we took the opportunity to do some traveling. One of our trips was to Koh Yao Noi, a small paradise island in Thailand, not far from the border with Malaysia.”

Killian: “We also had the chance to visit the islands of Tioman and Redang off the coast of Malaysia, as well as explore several cities in the country.”

Omar: “My best memories are the meals we shared or organized with both international and local friends. These were meals where everyone brought a specialty from their own country, allowing us to discover even more cultures.”

What has this international experience brought you?

Omar: “This experience has provided me with a lot of intrapersonal skills and professional growth. It has also sparked a potential passion for artificial intelligence.”

Zacharie: “Unforgettable memories and, I must admit, an improved level of English.”

Any advice for future students who would like to go to Malaysia for their fourth year abroad?

Killian and Omar: “Our advice would be to engage with the locals, integrate yourself into the culture because they are really nice. It’s through these interactions that you will discover things you never knew existed and fully immerse yourself in the experience.”

Zacharie: “Bring shorts, it’s hot.”

This transformative journey has been an incredibly enriching experience, one that will undoubtedly leave a profound and indelible mark on the hearts and minds of these students.

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