UTM International has organized a welcoming trip for UTM’s new international students and exchange students on 24th June 2022 to 25th of June 2022. The Melaka heritage visit event was held in the heritage city of Melaka. A total of 57 participants, including five Global Buddies, joined the program from as early as 9.30 am 24th June until 6.00 pm 25th of June.
The main goal of this event was to introduce the Malaysian heritage and cultures to new international and exchange students of UTM, which was reflected greatly during and after the event. It is also the first welcoming trip in 2022 organized by UTM-i in the endemic phase of COVID-19. The program started with the participants and committees voyaging to the location, i.e. the heritage city of Melaka, by two buses. The ride to Melaka was about two and a half hours from UTM Johor Bahru. As soon as they arrived, the committees set up and briefed the participants regarding the program in front of St. Paul’s Church. Then, the participants spent their time visiting the St. Paul Church and the city. Then, around 3 pm, every participant gathered at the previous point and departed to their respective accommodation place, La Boss Hotel. After arriving, everyone got their twin sharing room and requested to have some rest until 7.30 pm. The participants visited Zoo Melaka, located in Ayer Keroh, for a night safari at 7.30 pm. During the night safari, they were able to see leopards, panthers, squirrels, tigers, and lions, among others in Zoo Melaka. Then, they were entertained with a majestic animal show including leopards, cranes, pythons and rare owls organized by the zoo authority. Then they had dinner at a nearby night food market, and then returned to the hotel around 12 am midnight.
On the second and last day of the trip, it started with the buffet breakfast served at 7.30 am. Then, they packed their luggage and get into the bus again and headed to Jonker Walk. All participants walked around the street until 11 am and captured some group photos. Unfortunately, we missed the River Cruise activity due to the heavy rainfall causing high water levels in the river. Then we headed toward Mini Malaysia, located in Ayer Keroh. We arrived there at around 12 pm. They enjoyed and visited the compound and could be able to learn about the heritage and cultures of all states in Malaysia. Then they had a traditional lunch at 1 pm while being entertained by traditional singing and dancing performance at the auditorium gallery. At 3 pm, they departed back to the UTM and marked the end of the Melaka Heritage Visit trip.
The Melaka Heritage Visit trip was indeed a successful and engaging event for the international and exchange students of UTM. The main outcome of the event was that the international students could engage with the heritage and cultures of Malaysia. They learnt and knew about the genuine lifestyle of the Malaysians. The participants also had an opportunity to spend some quality time in a foreign country. Special thanks and gratitude go to the UTM International office for arranging such an amazing and nice trip where students could get to know each other, and understand Malaysian cultures, histories and heritage.