Interning in a foreign country can provide an experience like no other. It can harness personal growth not attainable in most situations and open up a plethora of opportunities. So if you've just graduated, have the time to do something life changing, or are looking for that extra zest in life, why NOT intern in Malaysia?
Internships in Malaysia offer an adventure so unique and so diverse that one can't help but feel absorbed by the social and cultural phenomenons of the country. The rewards of interning in Malaysia will be endless, trust me. But in case you need more convincing than that, here are six of the most rewarding things about internships in Malaysia:
1. It's a land of micro-cultures.
Step inside a fusion of ethnicities and cultures that on any particular day can revel in its guise as a global powerhouse, sleepy fishing village, and jungle commune!
The capital Kuala Lumpur, referred to locally as KL, is a burgeoning mega city overshadowed by sprawling skyscrapers and million dollar projects. Flavours of India and China float inconspicuously throughout the city, adding great contrast to the conservative Muslim population.
Venture north to Penang, and more specifically its capital Georgetown for a romantic cocktail of art, architecture, and colonial influences. You'll enter one world and exit another taking with you snippets of Britain, China, and indigenous Malaysia.
The East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, located on the island of Borneo, are also unique; showcasing the heart and soul of internships in Malaysia, with the wrath of oil and gas companies that dominate the region.No matter what type of internship experience you are looking for, Malaysia is sure to capture your attention.
2. You really can make a difference.
Malaysia's presently volatile political climate makes it a perfect time to intern in Malaysia, whether you are looking for inspiration or want to help promote change. Why not sign up to intern with a local NGO focused on making a difference in a specific community? Why not conduct computer training programs to teach locals about technology and the online world of resources available to them?
You could empower communities, regardless of race, religion, and gender, to have access to a developed and enriched potential, resulting in equal opportunities to become an overall more developed society.
You'll not only learn more about yourself, but also the motivations of others by interning in Malaysia. You can promote equality as the way to attain progress, and educate those who are not aware of the discrimination they face and help them understand that everyone deserves an equal chance to thrive.
3. You can channel your inner explorer.
Ever fancied an adventure? Well Malaysia is the place for you! The list of opportunities for exploration is endless.
Take a road trip into the depths of the Malaysian jungle and immerse yourself in the lives of the indigenous population, the Orang Asli. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing the faces of a dozen smiling Orang Asli children as you visit their community centre for the first time. You could teach children English, visit a banana plantation, play football with locals, and learn how to pick Rambutans all in the same day as an intern in Malaysia.
If Malaysia's rainforest isn't for you, you can explore the maze of highways that connect rugged, rural Malaysia with iconic destinations like Ipoh, the Cameron Highlands, the Perhentian Islands, Melaka, and Kota Kinabalu.
Discovering Malaysia's natural wonders is a perfect way to add value to your learning experience and compliment your internship abroad.
4. You'll live and work alongside the locals.
The only true way to explore a country and to have a holistic learning experience is to live and work alongside locals.
If you intern with a local company in Malaysia you’ll have a number of opportunities to meet local professionals and build important networks and relationships. Creating contacts across the world will be invaluable in your future career and will allow you develop alternative business practices and strategies that you can take home with you.
While living with locals, you'll likely be able to enjoy cultural events that you would not normally witness. Whether you attend an Indian wedding or you are invited to an Orang Asli ceremony, the list of ways you will be able to interact with locals as an intern in Malaysia is as long as the benefits of doing so.
5. You'll take advantage of international diversity.
Building off that last reward, the best part about an internship in Malaysia is the people you’ll meet. And not just the locals either, you’ll be able to share your experiences with like-minded individuals from all across the world who are also interning or working in Malaysia, as you learn and live together. You can have a conversation in Arabic, sing a song in Hindi, enjoy a beer with a German, and belly dance with a Persian; anything is possible in Malaysia.
Malaysia continues to be one of the region's thriving cultural hot spots, so your breadth of international friends will increase tenfold. You’ll meet people from Romania, Slovenia, Italy, Spain, France, the USA, Timor Leste, Cambodia, England, Scotland, Germany, Egypt, Sweden, and Poland, just to name a few. There will be plenty of people in Malaysia doing the same thing as you: getting their first taste of life and work in Asia.
6. Your tastebuds will tingle!
Are you a foodie? Do you feel inspired by culinary delights from all over the world? Look no further than internships in Malaysia.
They say food has a language of its own, and in Malaysia, it certainly does. Immerse yourself in a smorgasbord of international cuisines from China, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, and of course, the native dishes of Malaysia. Whether it’s a five ringgit roti canai from the local mamak or a delicious chicken char kway teow from a Chinese hawker, it's sure to be a sensation to remember.
Ready to intern in Malaysia?
It's time to have one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Grow into an evolved, more professional version of yourself and fast track your career—
This article was contributed by SOLS 24/7, an NGO based in Asia focused on providing educational programs for underserved communities in Cambodia, Timor Leste, Malaysia, Laos, and India.