Northwood University

The Northwood University Study Abroad Blog


The Asian Melting Pot

When we got to stay in Malaysia for a few days, I thought I knew what to expect. We had been in Thailand for a while, so I figured Malaysia would have a few subtle differences, just nothing major. Boy was I mistaken. Malaysia is a place all its own. Described as a melting pot, it has several different ethnicities, religions, foods, and customs. In fact, when we asked our tour guide what dish was famous to Malaysia that we should try while we were there, he laughed and said there wasn’t one. He explained that the food was so diverse that there really wasn’t a type of food specific to Malaysia. Therefore, we had fun trying EVERYTHING. We ate everything from Chinese, to Vietnamese, to Thai, to semi-American.

We attended a lecture on Islamic banking while there and got to learn how religion plays a huge role in the way they bank. While there, we got to mingle with other Northwood University students. A few of them are planning on attending the Northwood University – Michigan campus in the fall, so we talked with them about America and Northwood University and tried to offer helpful advice. We spoke about the different organizations we were all a part of and just our differences and similarities in general. It was eye-opening to see the unique cultural perspectives that we all had.

One other thing that I found note-worthy was the street atmosphere around us. New York City has always been described as the city that never sleeps, but Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia definitely takes the cake on that one. The night before we had to depart Malaysia to return to Thailand, the majority of us stayed up all night simply because we had to leave for the airport at 5 and we saw no point in sleeping! We walked the streets with crowds of others, ate food from bustling vendors, and just enjoyed the night life until time to return and pack up for our flight.

Overall, I would say that Malaysia was probably my favorite country so far. I would definitely go back because there was so much to see and do there. There was no way on earth that we could fit it all in, so I already have plans to see more things some day!

-Paige Eldridge