This year, Cardiff Sixth Form College took 41 students to Malaysia following the normal programme of work experience, cultural exchange and benevolence. We spent nine days in Kuching and four days in Kuala Lumpur.
The first five days are spent on work-experience in various placements. This year we used the Sarawak General Hospital, as we usually do, but also we experience new fields in two private hospitals, Normah Specialist Hospital and KPJ Specialist Hospital. Twenty nine students were involved in these three placements, experiencing each hospital on rota. These students included medicine, psychology, dentistry and laboratory. Other placements were then involved with Law, Veterinary Practice, Engineering, Economics and Finance and Architecture. Each day student were up and out very early and arrived back at the hotel very tired, having accomplished much throughout the day.
On the last day the medics went to the university UNIMAS, where they experienced hands on suturing etc. They also received a fabulous talk by Professor Balbir Singh, the leading expert on malarial disease. All students had very positive statements to make about the staff involved in their placements. In return each of placements had exceptional praise for our students for their commitment and dedication to all work set to them.
However there was no rest! In three of the evenings we visited a local Muslim Orphanage, which the college sponsors, the students taught the children some English through the medium of play and games. This was an experience that every one of the students would not forget, even the very macho boys! It was a shock to see how young some of the children were, and how long some of them had been in the orphanage. It was certainly a culture exchange for both sides.
There was time for enjoyment as well. We visited Sarawak Cultural Village, Damai Beach and Matang wildlife centre – where we saw baby orangutans, as well as the huge males. We also visited various local places, seeing the day to night life in Kuching itself.
We stayed in one of the top hotels in Kuching, the views were breath-taking, and the students and staff appreciated the hospitality given to us.
We then travel to Kuala Lumpur, a completely different experience. Mornings are spent visiting three schools, where the students and staff exchange their different experiences. Again this is thoroughly enjoyed by everyone concerned. Leisure time is spent enjoying different aspects of KL, from China Town to the Bath Caves to the Petronas Towers.
The time spent in Malaysia is an experience never to be forgotten, by students and by staff.