Writer: Yang Xiao
Editor: Wu Yiwei
BANGI, 14 May - With the mid-term break in full swing, many international students studying at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) are bidding farewell to campus life and embarking on their journey back home, leaving behind the bustling classrooms and bustling campus to reunite with their families, embrace their home cultures and create lasting memories during a well-deserved holiday.
UKM's vibrant international student body represents a fusion of diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences. These students come from a variety of nationalities and are an integral part of the academic fabric, enriching the cultural landscape and fostering global connections within the institution.
(UKM International students from different countries, Photo from UKM Official Website.)
As the mid-term break approaches, these students are anxiously preparing to head home, bags and plane tickets in hand, saying farewell to their local friends and lecturers with anticipation and promising to return next semester with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.
(The students on their way home are at the airport. The photo is by Yang Xiao.)
Wang Bohan, an international student from China study in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSK), UKM, expressed his excitement about going home. “I can't wait to meet my parents and friends,” he said, “We had a big celebration planned and I was eager to indulge in traditional Chinese food and celebrations. It was an important time to get back to my roots and recharge before diving back into my studies.”
Hatimah Syarif, an international student from Indonesia study in the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment (FKAB), UKM, talked about how she was looking forward to spending the holidays with his family. “This holiday is very special to me and my loved ones,” Hatimah Syarif shared, “After a long period of academic focus, I look forward to soaking up the warmth of family bonds, participating in traditional festivals, and participating in religious services.”
"I haven't been back to my country for a long time." Ma Yafei, an international student from China study in FSSK, UKM, said, “Through this mid-term holiday, I can finally go home and reunite with my family, eat delicious food from my hometown, and feel like I haven't felt in a long time. I am very happy about the culture of my motherland.”
Dora Shahila Kassim, a student from the Faculty of Economics and Management, and Wang Hongyuan, a Chinese student from FKAB, UKM, took the same flight during the mid-term break. “Because there are so many flights during this holiday and the prices are so cheap, I want to bring my friends back to my hometown to experience Chinese culture while I am going home,” Wang said. “I'm looking forward to this holiday trip,” said Dora.
In addition to family reunions, mid-term break offers opportunities for foreign students to explore their home countries and engage in activities that resonate with their cultural identities, some students plan to visit historical landmarks, while others plan to visit local museums to enhance their cultural identity.
(The returning students visited local landmarks and museums. Photo by Wang Bohan)
As the mid-term break continues, international students have been reunited with their families at airports around the world, demonstrating the power of education to bring people together across borders. For these students, coming home is not just a physical journey, but a celebration of cultural heritage, family ties and personal growth.