Nuraain Amalina bt Mokhli reflects on the visit by QUT staff and students

Nuraain Amalina bt Mokhli is a Bachelor of Tourism student at the Universiti Putra Malaysia. In this blog she is reflecting on the visit by QUT students in October 2015.   

Short Term Outward Mobility Program (STOMP) is an outreach project run jointly by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). The project run from 25th September 2015 until 3rd October 2015 in Malaysia. I had joined this program as a student from UPM. I am studying Hospitality in Parks and Recreation under the guidance of my lecturer, Dr. Siti Suriawati Isa.

My STOMP experience began when I arrived at SISFEC on Sunday, 27th September 2015. This was the first face to face meeting with QUT staff and students. Previous to this I met them once through Skype.

We travelled together to Pahang by bus. Our first stop was at Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre. We got the chance to get closer with the elephants by watching them perform their trick, feeding them and also watching them taking a bath. We continued our travel to Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP). This is where we stayed for 5 days and 4 nights.

Here are some of the highlights and memorable moments I experienced during my five days as a participant in this program in Pahang.

SK Temai

I had a lot of fun assisting QUT students to teach pupils at SK Temai. I worked with QUT students Kate, Casey and Afiq to teach Year 5 students. The module was about “Deforestation”. Therefore, I helped them to translate the content and help the Year 5 students to carry out their activities.

As a result of a fire haze blanketing much of the area at SK Temai there was emergency leave for all schools, so we were unable to meet the students on the first day. On the second day at SK Temai, we started to get to know the students. After that, I had my first experience helping the students to understand the stories read by Kate and Afiq. I was glad that the students could understand what we tried to deliver to them. Some of the students impressed me with their ability to read and understand English. Furthermore, I had fun helping students to draw on paper.

The next day, I assisted the Year 5 students with story writing. My group created a story entitled “Homeless Orang Utan. The students read their story aloud in order to record their voices. After that, the students were asked to draw and make puppets using popsicles. Even though it was a bit tiring due to our limited time to finish up the activities, I still had a lot of fun because we succeeded in making drawings with the puppets. In addition, I also had learned on how to tackle the students and organise the works especially when I only have a little time to do so.

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Guiding students with story writing

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Cover page of the story book: “Homeless Orang Utan”

On the fourth day, we started to use ICT. In my opinion, this is the most challenging task because some of the students know nothing about computers. Therefore, it was somewhat hard to make some of them to be interested with the activities. In spite of that, there were some students who were actually good at computers. After I taught them how to make a video using “Openshot” software, they can understand it and started to combine the image and the audio to make a video. However, the computer froze few times and we needed to reboot and redo the video. Athough my students and I were having a hard time at first to redo the video, we finally succeeded in completing the video. I would like to especially thank one of my students in my group, Alis, who was so good with computers that was able to solve the problem we had in order to complete the video. The other students in my group also had taken interest and helped each other to complete the video.

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Teaching students on how to use computer

We had debriefing sessions each day after we finished the day with SK Temai students. I had the chance to give feedback and hopefully my comments enabled QUT students to make any improvements as well as to make them feel more motivated to continue the program at SK Temai during that time. 

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                                                 Group photo with Year 5 students

Foster family

The foster family program was held for one day from Thursday, 1st October 2015 until Friday, 2nd October 2015. On Thursday evening, we had been assigned to different foster families. I got Mrs. Roslaili Abdul Kadir as my foster mother together with Casey and Hamiza. Mrs. Roslaili has two children, Aqil who is a Year 6 student and Yuna, a 4 years old girl.

Our activity started with our visit to Pahang River. I had a lot of fun because the three of us – Casey, Hamiza and I were accompanied by my foster family as well as the other kids who live in that village.


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Casey, Mrs. Roslaili, me and Hamiza at Pahang River

Our dinner for that night was chicken rice and prawn (Udang Galah). This was really delicious. My Mama (my foster mother) is such a good cook. All of us ate well night. We were so lucky because someone was so generous to give us freshly caught prawns from the river for free. We felt very grateful for that.

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Udang Galah (prawn), Chicken Rice and Jimmy Asmara drink for the dinner!

After we had finished our meals, we went to our Mama’s mother’s house. That was when we saw Mama’s mother, siblings and also Yuna, Mama’s child (Aqil’s sister). Mama introduced her family to us. Mama’s mother is such a strong lady at her age because she painted the wall all by herself. Yuna is a dear little girl who loves watching cartoons especially Barbie and Frozen. She is a brilliant kid. Casey taught her some words in English like ‘banana’ and she learnt the word in a split second. I also had fun playing with her and chatting with the family.

It was such a great opportunity to meet my foster family who were very friendly and lovely. Even though the program was only for a day, I had great experience and, we used our time wisely by doing many fun things in that short period of time.

We spent our last two days together at UPM by having a short tour to Putrajaya. On the last day, we went to KLCC and then, we had high tea at the Picknik Restaurant before we bid farewell at the hotel.

I would like to thank our partners from QUT – Mr. Graeme, Dr. Vinesh, Dr. Richard and all QUT students for partnering with us for in the nine days of STOMP program. It was such a great opportunity to be able to meet and work with new people, build new friendships and gain new experience.These whole experience including those that I didn’t mentioned before such as a visit to Permatang Siput Village and many other wonderful moments leave me with bittersweet feelings. It was hard to depart from SK Temai students. It was hard to part from my foster family. It was hard to farewell QUT students and staff. During the entire program, we had many great moments and I will always remember and cherish those moments when all of us went through fun and tough times together.

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