It was a week filled with brilliant surprises and many “first times” as Monash University Malaysia welcomed its new batch of students for the 2017 February intake. With an estimated number of 900 students enrolling into the seven different faculties this time around, it was possibly one of the biggest intakes the university has had in awhile and with the help of the Monash University Orientation Buddies and the Monash University Student Association (MUSA), the orientation week kicked off successfully on the 21st of February (Monday). Students thronged the foyer at half past 8.00 a.m. and got themselves through the obligatory registration procedure before embarking on the much-anticipated journey of being a Monashian with the rest of us here – an experience like no other if I may say.
Students were all addressed with the welcome speech by the Vice President (Academic) of Monash Malaysia, Professor Andrew Walker before MUSA President, Janesh Nathan took the stage to introduce the student body to all the new freshmen. He also highlighted particular events that were to be held throughout the year in his speech. Students involved with the study abroad and student exchange programmes were then given a separate briefing on medical/health insurance, immigration matters and the Malaysian Culture. They were also given Monash Abroad T-shirts and got a taste of the campus tour before being treated to a welcome dinner in the foyer later that evening
In the upcoming days of the week, students from the different schools were briefed by their respective course management offices. They were also briefed on different aspects of being a part of Monash and this includes the services offered mainly by the Library and Learning Commons and the Information Technology Services before they were all brought out in separate groups on campus tours to visit prominent areas around the university – a tour that would hopefully allow them to adapt better and normalise their experience on campus in the upcoming weeks. Guided by buddies and school representatives, the students were shown around areas like the Library and Learning Commons, the Monash Student Lounge, science and engineering laboratories and lecture theatres among others. These tours were however not fixed and different schools had their tours organised on different days so if you missed it, fret not, you will be spending a lot of time exploring Monash in the upcoming weeks anyway -you probably would not be just as thrilled, that’s all.
Students were also instructed to get their Monash student IDs done, a session where they would have their pictures taken and their cards produced within one working day. If you are new, do note that this card is important to get you access into university, to use certain rooms on campus and to utilise printing services that would usually involve you using the credit that’s deposited into your card.
The Monash University Student Association as well as the Monash University International Student Services also had set up booths to further facilitate newcomers in adapting to the life on campus. Some of the events these booths offered include the KL tour for international students where they will be brought to places like Little India and Aquaria in KLCC and the IBP Cameron Highlands Trip. Other events such as the Mingle Night, the Orientation Bash and MUSA day were also promoted throughout the week, with MUSA Day taking place that Friday.
It was definitely a long week for most of us as the whole process of adapting, socialising and breaking down social barriers can be a scary thing to do but all in all, it was productive and we hope that the students, especially the newcomers enjoyed it and hopefully used whatever connections they made to make the best out of their experience here in Monash.
All the best for the new semester guys!
Words by Calvin Fernandez
Photos by Andrew Peter Lim, Keith, and Sashinka