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International Mobility & Collaboration Centre   |  Main Campus

USM International Postgraduate Orientation 2023

On the 18th of December 2023, USM’s very first International Postgraduate Orientation was held, organized by IMCC with USMi for international students newly registered at USM. The event was carried out from 8.30am to 5.30pm at Dewan Pelinggam Cahaya in USM’s School of the Arts, and 77 new postgraduates from USM’s Main and Engineering campuses attended. It was a day of learning, fun, and cultural enrichment as new postgraduates from around the world were welcomed into the USM community.

The event kicked off with registration at 8.30am, and once the hall was filled, IMCC Director Dr. Muhizam Mustafa, and IMCC Deputy Directors Dr. Mohd. Hafizal Mohd. Isa and Dr. Syaheerah Lebai Lutfi were welcomed into the hall by vibrant emcees Tahsina and Yusuf. After a patriotic start with Malaysia’s national anthem ‘Negaraku’ and USM’s official anthem ‘Menara Ilmu’, the participants took their seats for a welcome speech by IMCC Director Dr. Muhizam. Dr. Muhizam, fondly known as Dr. Sam, broke the ice by inviting his audience to get to know those around them, paving the way for new connections amidst his warm and inspiring speech.

In a mesmerizing burst of colour, Dewan Budaya’s dancers took the stage to showcase Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage with traditional dances ‘Inang’ and ‘Joget’. The audience could not look away as the graceful performers swayed and twirled around the stage in perfect synchronicity. After the performance was over, the emcees decided to put the participants’ knowledge to the test with a fun online quiz called ‘How Well Do You Know USM?’ Once the participants’ curiosity about the university was sufficiently piqued, IMCC Deputy Director Dr. Syaheerah Lebai Lutfi stepped in with an informative and fun talk about USM’s customs, etiquette, and newly-appointed Liaison Officers.

Halfway through the morning activities was the interactive ‘School and Centre session’, where participants were given a mouth-watering medley of traditional Malaysian ‘kuih’ as they spoke to school and centre representatives and liaison officers at their respective booths. Through this session, participants gained vital information about their school and program, creating connections and gaining a better understanding of their academic community.

At eleven o’ clock, the participants were ushered back into the hall for a captivating singing performance by Mr. Danish Irfan, the talented Vice President of the USM Jazz Band. The crowd was wowed by heartfelt renditions of ‘Hero’ and ‘Standing in the Eyes of the World’, adding a touch of musical charm to the event and highlighting the diverse talents of USM’s student body. After the performance, a panel of USM postgraduates from Malaysia, Pakistan, Syria, Togo, China, Malawi, and Jordan were welcomed on stage for a candid sharing session on their experiences as a student in USM. Moderated by Dr. Syaheerah and organized by USMi, the dialogue saw panellists sharing their personal journeys as postgraduates of USM—offering invaluable advice and discussing relatable scenarios and ‘culture shocks’ that had the audience chuckling.

The last talk of the day was on Student Visas, and it was delivered by the knowledgeable Madam Siti Munirah, Assistant Registrar of IMCC’s Visa Office. This long-awaited talk provided crucial insights about the visa application process, student pass renewal process, the dangers of late visa renewal, and other important information. The talk inspired many questions from the audience, and once the Q&A session was over, it was time to see just how much the participants had learned throughout the day with a follow-up quiz entitled ‘How Much Do You Know Now?’ With exciting prizes on the line and a few surprises thrown in by the gamemaster, the hall was buzzing with excitement as participants competed against each other to grab those coveted top three spots.

After all that brainwork, the participants were treated to an engaging performance of the traditional Malay ‘Joget’ by the energetic Adikarma team. Finally, the highly-anticipated prize-giving ceremony commenced to reward the quiz’s top scorers, with participants from China, Egypt, and Indonesia claiming the top three places. A photography session marked the end of the morning activities, and the participants left the hall with invaluable knowledge and priceless connections.

The final event of the day was the Campus Tour at 4.30pm, with a goal to familiarise the new postgraduates with USM’s scenic campus. Since the weather was sunny, participants were taken around the campus in vans, with IMCC Buddies pointing out various schools, landmarks, and important buildings along the route. The vans also made stops at USM’s famous ‘Bukit Cinta’ and Durian Valley to let the participants experience the university’s breathtaking views and greenery up close, and once the Campus Tour was complete, the successful International Postgraduate Orientation of 2023 came to an end.