"SHARE-ing Experiences”: EU Ambassador Meets Up With EU-SHARE Supported Exchange Students at Taylor’s University

Two ASEAN students funded to study at Taylor’s University through SHARE, recently got to share their student exchange experiences with the European Union Ambassador to Malaysia.

(L-R) Fernan Dito from BINUS Univ, EU Ambassador Maria Castillo Fernandez, Le Ngoc Thien from Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education, Vietnam
During a visit to Taylor’s University’ Lakeside campus, the Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Malaysia, H.E. Maria Castillo Fernandez, met with two ASEAN exchange students who have been funded through the EU supported SHARE mobility scheme.

SHARE is a EU funded programme that aims to strength regional cooperation between ASEAN countries and universities. The scholarship scheme is one part of the EU’s “Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region" (SHARE), and is not only designed to encourage mobility but also to test the application of an ASEAN-wide credit transfer systems. Partly modeled on the EU’s Erasmus scheme, SHARE is able to offer some 500 scholarships to Asian students to go on exchange within ASEAN. As Jayvien Lau, the Head of Student Exchange at TU pointed out, “Taylor’s University is one of just four Malaysian universities to participate in the scheme, and is the only private university”.   TU has been actively engaged in ASEAN regional meetings about SHARE.

In 2017, a total of 10 funded SHARE students came to study at Taylor’s University, and the Ambassador was able to catch-up with a couple of them during her recent visit. She met with Le Ngoc Thien who is studying Food Technology at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education, Vietnam and Fernan Dito who is studying BINUS University in Indonesia.    He said, “I was thinking that Malaysia will be the same as Indonesia. But my opinion has been debunked by my experience. It’s similar, but not same” adding that, “here there is also so much Chinese and Malay culture which is differentiates it with Indonesia. Malaysia also has an Indian culture that I’ve never seen before, and I must say that I love Indian food so much”. He went onto to say that, “Choosing Taylor’s to do an exchange student was the best decision I’ve ever made. Sadly, many of my friends back at home are afraid to leave Indonesia because of language, but I don’t think that’s the reason not to try. I now say to everyone don’t be scared. Just go, and you’ll figure it out”. 

Meanwhile, SHARE has helped to fund Taylor’s students, who have gone to study in University of Indonesia and University of Philippines for the areas of communication and tourism management.  The Ambassador was an exchange student herself, back in the 1980’s. As she remarked, “in those days there was no Erasmus scheme in Europe, but I was fortunate enough to be able to go on exchange to France. It was not so easy to do in those days. Luckily things have now changed, and of the big successes of the EU has been the Erasmus mobility programme” and she added that, “over the last 3-years, over 9-million EU students have benefited from the Erasmus and Erasmus+ schemes”.

Earlier in the year, the first group SHARE students shared their experiences of studying at Taylor’s University. To find out more about the exchange opportunities on offer through the Global Mobility Office at Taylor’s University, click here – (Global Matters 2017)