Monday December 19, 2005
Chinese students glad there are Mandarin speakers at varsity
BY SIRA HABIBU
SINTOK: It was their first day and already they feel at home after enrolling at Universiti Utara Malaysia.
The students from China found out that there are local students who can speak Mandarin.
“We feel at home right away. I do not feel like an alien here,” said 19-year-old Zhan Chen through one of the local students who acted as interpreter.
Forty-four Chinese students would be pursuing various courses at UUM. Some in them could not register yesterday as the Changlun-Sintok road was closed due to floods.
UUM had set up a makeshift registration centre in Taman Siswa in Jitra for stranded students. It is the first time that UUM has students from China.
Zhan Chen, who is pursuing International Business Management, said it was heartening to note that people of various races were studying at the university.
The Muslims students in the group were also excited about staying here.
Zhao Na said she chose to study in Malaysia because it is a Muslim country.
“I hope to bring the Chinese culture to Malaysia and the Malaysian culture to China through the import-export business. That way we can strengthen our business ties,” said Zhao Na whose Muslim name is Halimah.
Sofiah Yang Peini said she could adapt easily to the surroundings as there were many fellow Muslims in the university.
Wang Xiao Shan, 18, hoped to work in Malaysia after completing her course in Communications.
“If possible, I want to learn how business in conducted here,” he said.
The university welcomed 1,079 students, including 269 foreigners. Most of the foreigners are from Indonesia, Pakistan, the United States and Yemen.
Academic Affairs Department director Baharudin Yaacob said the orientation programme would be postponed to another date when all the students had arrived.
Flash floods hit Kubang Pasu, Padang Terap, Kota Star and Langkawi districts yesterday.