My Semester in Malaysia: Danish Exchange Student from ZIBAT Reflects on His Experience at Taylor’s University

Spending a semester abroad on exchange opened up a whole new world of cultures, friends and experiences for this student from Denmark.

(R-L) Mathias Mortensen with Malaysian friends in KL

Mathias Mortensen is an Architectural Technology and Construction Management student studying at the Zealand Institute of Business and Technology (ZIBAT) in Næstved (Denmark). Asked about his experiences during his semester on exchange at Taylor’s University, he said “One of the biggest – and maybe also the most obvious – difference between Denmark and Malaysia is the climate. In Denmark, we have four different seasons - all four of which are cold compared to Malaysia”! He added that, “The first thing that I experienced was the heat and humidity as I left the airport’s cooler and more comfortable temperature. The second thing I experienced was how accommodating and friendly the people in Malaysia were”.
Throughout the semester he made a lot of new friends, with both exchange students and Malaysians. “I did different kinds of trips around Malaysia and especially the trips with the Malaysian students gave me a better look into the Malaysian culture, which I very much enjoyed”.
In terms of what he learnt during his exchange, he pointed out that, “Through my course on construction technology I gained knowledge about distinct types of foundations, formwork, scaffolding, portal frames and precast concrete which made me able to localise which types were used on the construction sites that we visited during the semester”. He added that, “I also learned about the basic background theories, concepts and the principles of management. This class has given me a better idea of the importance of management science if you are to start up a new business, or just in general to be able to make an organisation work. I also learnt how important it is to be able to make communication between people work, so that barriers and misunderstandings can be minimized and/or maybe avoided”.
He felt that a Taylor’s students could gain a lot by spending a semester in Denmark. He pointed out that he thought they “would be able to become more independent learners by working with the Danish learning model. Problem based learning (PBL) let’s the students think more independently about the tasks given in class, and that the student must relate to the information and have a more critical approach to information given and found”.  He felt that if a Malaysian student chose to come to Denmark, that they would not only “be able learn a lot about the Danish culture”, but also have the possibility to get to meet a lot of new people and make new friends “just like I did when I did my exchange programme in Malaysia” he said.
To read the full interview click here. To find out more about the Global Mobility opportunities at Taylor’s University click here - (Global Matters 2017)