Well, hello there. Hope you are well (or at least, better than I am) wherever you are in the world.
I originally wanted to write about my winter trip (either my short trip with my family or my almost-two weeks trip in the West Coast with my friends), but I don’t feel like I’m in the mood to write about that. I’m trying so hard to keep my eyes open at the moment (it’s 4:18am in the morning, and I have about 4 hours left in my overnight shift). I didn’t get much sleep before coming to work tonight (probably less than 2 hours of ‘nap’ time?) so my head’s hurting a tiny bit now.
But it’s all good. I don’t have Friday classes anyway so I’d be sleeping for most of the day anywayz. So life is good. For now.
I’ve just confirmed my plans for Summer 2016. I was contemplating between an unpaid internship in Japan (teaching English at Ibaraki Christian University) or a paid internship in Malaysia (at MACEE, helping out with EducationUSA and Fulbright Program). The Japan internship is super cool, and it’d be a new experience for me. I applied for it way back in September/October and got my interview done super early, so waiting the whole month of December/January for the decision was super hard. I made it passed the first round of interviews, and was supposed to submit hard copies of the application package and everything, but then I decided that it would be best for me to pursue the internship in Malaysia for a variety of different reasons.
- Financing. While getting paid for an internship is not a big issue for me (I’m super fine with volunteering and all), it’d be expensive to go to Japan on my personal budget (~$5,000 in total for the whole summer, including flight tickets, insurance, housing, transportation, food, utilities and all other expenses). And that does not include any expenses for travelling around Japan if I want to (which I would definitely want to do if I’m there).
- Fasting. It’d be summer time in Japan, and sunrise is around 4:30am. So fasting during Ramadhan in Japan might be a bit taxing (I’ve never fasted during summer before so I’m not going to start soon).
- Transportation & housing. In Japan, I’d have to find my own housing if they aren’t able to find any homestay for me. That can change my transportation costs as I go to and from the university. In Malaysia, housing would be free (well, not ‘free’, but I can stay at home) and I’ll only have to worry about transportation (I wanna try to drive to KL once, but I think for most of the time, I’ll either take the public transportation or ask my mum’s driver to send me there).
- Friends. I have friends in both countries, obviously. Lots of my friends are studying in Japan, though most of them are not in Tokyo, but at least I could drop by to visit their place if I have time (& money) to do so. But going back to Malaysia would allow me more time to meet up with my friends in Malaysia, as well as visiting teachers in INTEC/KTJ/SSP again (an annual thing that I do). But with an internship, I can only do that on weekends now.
- Future opportunities. I talked to my career adviser at the Business School here and she mentioned that some of her friends went on similar internship programs where they taught English in other countries after graduation. So there are definitely options to do something like that in the future if I want to, and most of them would be paid, so that’s something to keep in mind if I still want to do something similar to that later on in the future.
- Aiman. Balik Malaysia boleh jumpa selalu. Kat Jepun tak. Enough said.
Okay, so I don’t know why I’m writing all these things down on the blog. I think it’s just for me to remember (if I ever look back and think about why I let the cool Japan internship opportunity go). Like my adviser said, “It’s hard to let go of an opportunity like that, but life is about making good choices.” (Okay, to be honest, I can’t recall what she actually said during our meeting, but it’s something like that).
So, Syaza, note to self: if you are reading this again in the future and you’re wondering if you made the right choice: you did. The Japan internship opportunity was a cool one, but hey, who said you can’t make the internship in MACEE a great one? Interning in MACEE would definitely give me an insight to how it would be to actually be a position to advise and prepare students for their future paths. It’s definitely one of the career paths that I’m considering at the moment (i.e. adviser / counselor for students), so I would definitely learn a lot from the internship.
That’s it for my summer plans: Interning at MACEE [Malaysian-American Commission for Educational Exchange, http://www.macee.org.my/ ]. I’m not exactly sure of the dates I’ll be back home (I’m still waiting for Aiman to reconfirm the date he needs to be back in Champaign since his classes start a week earlier than mine), but hopefully I’ll get the dates in soon and would be able to buy the flight tickets sometime next week or so.
So, yeah. I’ll be seeing you again in about 3 and a half months, Malaysia. Until next time, stay awesome.