One of the interesting new things I’ve done after joining University of Southampton Malaysia Campus is attending education fairs across Malaysia as a student ambassador. Apart from being an exciting opportunity to promote my course and talk to potential students about it, these education fairs also serve to be a fun short weekend getaway from the usual university life in Johor.
Usually held over the weekend, the fairs are held in prominent places to attract students across Malaysia. In order to not compromise on university time, we leave for these fairs on Friday evening and return on Sunday night after the final day of the fair. Most of the fairs I’ve attended have been in Kuala Lumpur, with my favourite one being at the KLCC convention centre. A gorgeous view of the Petronas Twin Towers from the hotel on a Friday evening at sunset after a long week of lectures is just the perfect refresher one needs after a long week of assignments, lectures and labs.
Then comes the day one of the education fair, usually a Saturday. After finishing breakfast, we usually reach our University’s booth at the fair around half an hour before the fair starts to set up and prepare brochures for potential students. Then it begins, a huge crowd of students and parents influx the hall, having queries of all kinds. One of the things about the education fairs is that you witness all kinds of people, right from serious students who have done their research on every university at the fair to the people who are just there for the freebies(!). Perhaps one thing common among most of the students is the confusion, with so many career paths ahead of them and even more universities to choose, any decision at this point is a crucial one keeping the future in mind. Reminding me of the days, a good 2 years ago, when I was on the other side of the table. These education fairs really help in that case, talking to lecturers and students who are teaching/doing the course gives a clearer picture of what these courses are actually about and making it much more easier for them to make the right choice.
Perhaps the best part about these fairs is when we get to explain everyone about what we do in our course. From designing a microprocessor to building a RFID tag detector from scratch, the hands on experience Southampton delivers through it’s EEE course is something that piques the interests of students and parents alike.
After a day of work, we wrap in the evening at around 6 PM. Then is the time to go around the city. Because of the intensive EEE course we don’t get to explore around Malaysia that much hence the fairs hold this additional benefit for us! One of the best way to spend it is probably walk around the city which is something I really enjoy in Penang where you can walk across the seashore and come across some delicious local Malaysian food which Penang is best known for. The next day we repeat the same cycle of meeting students and wrap up quickly to catch our flight back home after a short but wonderful experience.