Exchange students’ experience in Malaysia.

We are going to make exchange students’ experiences a more permanent part of the blog by writing articles and asking for contributions from exchange students past and present. Please send us articles with some pictures of your experience here in Metropolia Business School or your experience in our partner schools to info(at) or have one of our blog team interview you.

Our Metropolia Business School students Iris Kollanus and Jaakko Kotiranta have been to the Malaysia for their exchange studies last semester. Now they are sharing their experiences with us. They are IBL-08 students.

Iris Kollanus

1. Why did you chose Malaysia?

Iris: I wanted to go as far as possible. Malaysia with its hot climate and cheap price level was the perfect pick for me.

Jaakko: Out of all the exchange options Malaysia was one of the most appealing countries for me from the beginning. Although there were other interesting places to choose from I think it was the combination of hot climate, sandy beaches and relatively cheap price levels that made me choose Malaysia. I had spent some time in South-East Asia before (although not in Malaysia) and I really loved it, so I thought this was a good opportunity to see more of that part of the world.

2. How was the education system comparing with Finland?

Iris: The quality of education was rather good, not on the same level compared to Finland, but it exceeded my expectations. To my surprise the teachers let the exchange students pass the courses relatively easily, even though the course requirements were quite the same than in Finland.

Jaakko: The education was definitely better than I had expected. The campus area in Penang was huge and for the most parts the facilities were modern and in good condition. The teachers that taught me were all good lecturers and highly educated. All of them had had their education in the USA, although they were all Malaysian. The courses and teaching methods were not very different from what we have here in Finland. There were obviously some things that differed from the Finnish educational system. Most notably all the clothing regulations and other codes of conduct that had some effect on the everyday life at school.

Jaakko Kotiranta

3. What was the most interesting part for you?

Iris: Malaysia is a multicultural country, with a great variety of Malaysian, Indian and Chinese food. The island of Penang, where our campus was located, is the food capital of Malaysia. It was also interesting to observe the differences in Malaysian, Chinese and Indian ways of living.

Jaakko: Almost everything about the whole trip was fun and interesting to me. I honestly have nothing bad to say about my exchange period. In Penang we had a nice apartment and there were many friends around, so I had a very nice time on the island. I must mention the food in Penang, which was excellent and cheap and there were plenty of options to choose from. I also did a lot of travelling to other places in Malaysia and to other South-East Asian countries. Travelling around from Penang was fairly cheap and easy due to its location and some low-cost airlines. South-East Asia is also one of the best areas in the world for scuba diving and snorkelling and I did quite a lot of both. Snorkelling is something you can’t really do in Finland, especially not in winter.

4. What would be the recommendation for Metropolia students going to Malaysia for exchange?

Iris: Malaysia is a great student exchange destination if you love hot and humid climate, great and cheap food, Asian lifestyle, travelling and a different educational experience. Travelling around is made easy since Malaysia is located in the centre of South-East Asia. Distances are relatively short, and travelling cheap with a Malaysian low cost airline AirAsia. And travelling is cheap.

Jaakko: I would recommend not to plan too much ahead, but just enjoy the local life style and see what happens. I would also recommend not to take too many courses so that there is some time left for travelling around or/and doing things that are interesting to you.

Thank you very much Iris and Jaakko. Good luck for the future. 🙂