The Star Malaysia - Star2
Gaining a global perspective
AFTER completing her A-Levels, Alicia Nicholle Ng E-lyn took a gap year to figure out what she wanted to pursue for her bachelor’s degree. It was the next big step and she knew that it would play an important role in shaping her future.
“I knew that I wanted to study something that would allow me to make a difference in the world,” Ng said.
She was interested in liberal arts and social sciences, but was not sure whether to pursue it in Malaysia. However, things changed when she met Dr Helen Nesadurai in 2015.
“Hearing her explain the Global Studies programme changed everything for me. With each answer to my many questions, I was convinced that I had found my perfect match.”
Three years later, Ng is a final year student at the School of Arts and Social Sciences in Monash University Malaysia and believes it was the right choice.
Ng was interested in the subject of inequality in society and the programme helped deepen her understanding of the matter.
“Global Studies goes far deeper into understanding the nuances and reasons behind why governments enact certain policies, how ideologies and beliefs shape people, communities and the world, and the interplay of factors that can induce and bring change, and right wrongs,” she explained.
The programme allowed her to learn new things and develop interests in unexplored topics.
Through the programme, Ng learnt more on world history and the interconnection of politics and economics.
When she was required to write her research paper on a topic of her choosing, she focused on gender and poverty in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam – a topic she cares about greatly. With guidance, she produced a paper that she was proud of.
The Workplace Integrated Units called Task Force: Responding to Global Challenges and A World in Crisis: Multilevel Responses to Global Emergencies were simultaneously the highlights and biggest trials she faced.
“They are both highly dynamic units that required us to utilise our skills and capabilities, while also developing those we did not have yet.
“I had never been so challenged and found that being thrown into such situations teaches you to cope under pressure and adapt to the best of your abilities,” Ng said.
The challenges she faced have prepared her for the stresses and realities of the real world.
The programme also presented Ng with the opportunity to spend a semester abroad at Leiden University in the Netherlands.
“It was an experience that I have grown from, both in terms of personal growth and adult responsibilities, as well as academically because some of the units were particularly eye-opening,” she said.
One of the classes that made an impact on her was Race Culture and Classification, which gave her deep insight into the concepts of race and racism.
“Holding a major in Global Studies has helped me grow into the person that I want to be.
“I am assured of my strengths and aware of my weaknesses. I have greatly honed my critical thinking, analytical and debate skills. I met and was inspired by many people in the field,” she said.
After graduating, Ng plans to venture into politics or work in a non-governmental organisation, with the long-term goal of setting up a social enterprise in Malaysia that will reduce inequality.