2022 – 1: Visit to SIP Partner Universities
In March of this year, MDBC SIP Manager, Jolande Jonge Poerink visited MDBC SIP Partner Universities in the Netherlands. With the reopening of borders and the resumption of international travel, it was important to re – introduce interested students to the opportunities and potential found within our program. Read more…
2021 – 3: MSCN: Building the Malaysian Student Community in NL
Founded in May 2021, the Malaysian Students’ council in the Netherlands (MSCN) is on a mission to represent and serve the current and future Malaysian students studying in the Netherlands (NL). The pro – tem committee of MSCN is led by Klarissa Loke (a final year Applied Mathematics student at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and former MDBC SIP Intern). Read more …
Check out the SIP Supplement for more internship experiences and the types of projects that SIP interns have had in the past. It includes an interview with the MDBC SIP Manager who shares her thoughts on the history of the program and her hopes for the future. Read more…
EVENTS ORGANIZED FOR SIP STUDENTS
MDBC organizes several events for all SIP Students during their stay in Malaysia, free of charge, to help you learn about Malaysia and to meet other (Dutch) students.
CULTURAL BRIEFING AND DINNER
Shortly after your arrival in Malaysia, we will invite you to the Cultural Briefing and Dinner. During this event we have three main activities for you.
1. Cultural Briefing: MDBC will inform about doing your internship in Malaysia and provide you with practical information.
2. Embassy Briefing: The Netherlands Embassy will give a presentation about the embassy their work in Malaysia.
3. Cultural Workshop: In this dynamic workshop, provided by Cultural Impact (a specialist in cross – cultural competencies), you will learn how to develop cultural competences and how to communicate in a multicultural environment.
HEINEKEN BREWERY NETWORKING & TOUR
Every six months, MDBC organizes a special ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the Heineken Brewery. SIP interns also have an opportunity to network and enjoy a beer tasting.
From time to time MDBC also organizes other events, such as site visits to MDBC members. In the past, these have included Sime Darby Plantation, Markant Office Furniture, Besi APAC, and many others. SIP interns experience unique opportunities during these excursions.
As a SIP intern, you are also entitled to attend MDBC events at a student rate (if it has been opened to SIP interns); please check the relevant event announcement to see registration conditions and fees.
SIP interns will also receive notifications from MDBC about events by different organizations (such as Nederlands Vereniging (NLV) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) a New Year’s Reception, Cabaret, and Sinterklaas.
Malaysia is located in central Southeast Asia and has approximately 30 million inhabitants, of which 8 million live in, or nearby Kuala Lumpur. The country is well known for its beaches, jungle, and multicultural environment. Living in Malaysia is extremely popular as the country has high cultural diversity, the people are accommodating, English is an active second language, and living costs are considerably lower than in the Netherlands. It is no surprise that most interns end up having the time of their life in Malaysia. Last but not least, Malaysia offers great travel opportunities, from white beaches with beautiful underwater life, to the oldest deciduous rainforest in the world (Taman Negara), estimated to be more than 130 million years old, to the vibrant city life of Kuala Lumpur.
Taman Negara Photo Source: Vladimir Yu. Arkhipov
Safety in Malaysia
Malaysia is a safe country to live in. Violent crimes are uncommon and robberies occur rarely, although it is always good to be cautious. Malaysians in general are extremely friendly and willing to help you whenever you are in need. Even in traffic, although it can be busy, people are tolerant and calm. To get around safely in Kuala Lumpur, the taxi – app Grab and public transport can be used safely. For long distance travel (to get to another state, etc.) outside of Kuala Lumpur, one can use a bus, airplane, or rent a car to get around. Kuala Lumpur is a liberal city, but when visiting rural areas women should dress modestly to prevent offending other cultures or religious beliefs.
Malaysia has an efficient system of health care divided into two sectors: (1) a government – led and funded public sector, and (2) the private sector. As a student intern we will provide you with a list of hospitals to go to in case of an emergency. The quality of healthcare is excellent and, as the costs are lower than in the Netherlands, emergency aid will most likely be covered by your Dutch health insurance.
Finding accommodation is Kuala Lumpur is relatively easy: there is an abundance of housing options available. We will help you in this search by sending you a document including several housing options and points of contact. You will most likely live in a decent high – rise apartment building with facilities such as a swimming pool and / or a gymnasium; housing facilities in Malaysia are outstanding. Apartments are available in different areas in the city and choosing a location depends on your preference and the location of your internship company. Most student interns end up sharing an apartment.
Travelling and days off
As Malaysia is located in Central Southeast Asia, it is the perfect place for you to use as a central hub as you travel around Asia. Malaysia itself is beautiful: famous for it’s idyllic islands, cultural highlights, and wide – spread tea plantations on the Peninsula, and national parks and wildlife on the island of Borneo. Its capital, Kuala Lumpur, is a dynamic and colorful city home to colonial – era landmarks, skyscrapers, and top quality street food. Malaysia is the gateway to the rest of Asia. From here, you can travel to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, or the Philippines within a couple of hours!
The amount of days off during your internship differs from company to company, but is usually one day per month. On top of that, there are approximately 20 public holidays in Malaysia to enjoy, and most companies will give you the day off (please double check with your internship company for their policy on leave days). If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the holiday will be transferred to the Monday after. Between your days off and public holidays you will have enough time to travel around Malaysia and the wider region during your internship. Do remember to check the information about public holidays in Malaysia for timing as some holidays are based on the lunar calendar and differ from year to year.
Life in Malaysia can be as cheap or expensive as one chooses. In general, everything is a little cheaper in Malaysia when compared to the cost of living in the Netherlands, with exception of imported products or alcohol. On average, students spend the most on rent and travels during the weekends and holidays. The average expenses of students are displayed below: