Best of both the worlds

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Best of both the worlds

Some people choose a certain course because of its popularity and because of the immense career prospects available upon completion. Then, there are people who choose a course simply because they are passionate about the subject. I fall into the latter category, as Electrical Physics has been my subject of interest since I was in high school.
The beginnings

After completing my schooling from Rajhans Vidyalaya, my search for universities offering the desired course in the subject began. I came across a host of universities that offered the course but none appealed to me. 

Then I got to know that the UK’s University of Southampton had recently launched a campus in Malaysia which offered the course I was looking for — MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering. What cinched the deal for me was two factors. The first was the fact the university was a leading institution for electronics and computer science. The second was that Malaysia was near and could easily come home if I were homesick.

I also got a 25 per cent scholarship on the basis of my 12th standard results. Furthermore, there was also a 20 per cent scholarship that was being offered for Year three and four when students get to study at the UK campus after the first two years in the Malaysia campus. With a provision of an economical option for study without compromising on the quality of education, I enrolled for this course.
Feeling at homeHaving spent my entire childhood in Mumbai, I was a little apprehensive about relocating for a number of years to a different country and culture. But when I landed in Malaysia, I immediately felt at home as I could see a large number of people from my country living there. 

Our EduCity is located on the outskirts of Johor Bahru and is about 30 minutes by road from Singapore. The EduCity itself has cafes and a sports stadium for students, and there are shopping centers nearby. Also, the food is not expensive and caters to all kinds of tastes with multi cuisine offerings such as Chinese, Malaysian, Indian and Western food.

I clearly remember the Freshers’ Week that I had attended two years ago as it was packed with activities which included building a moving robot from basic materials. There were orientation sessions about the programme and the University. 

Additionally, there were also some activities in the city of Johor Bahru as part of the Iskandar Education Project and some activities in the EduCity itself to give us an insight into the student enrichment experience. The week ended on a perfect note with a barbecue night at Puteri Harbour.
Hands-on experienceThe University of Southampton’s four-year MEng degree allows me to specialise in my field of interest in the final two years with a hands-on experience of working in the electrical industry. The cherry on the cake is the fact that I will also get an opportunity to study at the UK Campus for a part of the course. 

This means that I will get a truly cosmopolitan education and gain an in-depth understanding of the Asian market coupled with an exposure to the way things work in the UK. I have already completed the first two years of study wherein my experience has been challenging yet fun. That feeling of joy after achieving the end result makes me forget the long hours of lab activity and tutorials. 

I have worked on three design projects so far. The first one involved using Digital Systems logic design and System Verilog code to implement a 4 bit multiplier. The second one was designing a Boost Converter using a self-made Inductor-Capacitor-Op-Amp circuit and then controlling using Embedded Programming through our microcontroller, Il Matto. 

I also worked on a project in Advanced Programming in Semester 2. The project was to build a white board chat environment between two Raspberry Pis and communicate between them using the GPIO pins.

At the UK campusAfter finishing the first two years of my course in Malaysia, I moved to the UK campus in September 2015. Coming here has made me realise how much effort the University has made to synchronise the infrastructure and pedagogy in both the campuses. 

Everything that was being done in Malaysia corresponded with the UK campus including assignments and exams, which are held in the evening in Malaysia so as to be at the same time as in UK. 

Faculty from the UK campus fly in from time to time to give guest lectures. The in-house faculty include those who have years of teaching experience at the Southampton UK Campus. 

The labs and equipment provided are a replica of the ones in UK which shows that there is no disparity between the two campuses, both in terms of education and facilities. 

I highly recommend anyone who has an inclination towards Electrical and Electronic Engineering to study at the University of Southampton Malaysia Campus as they not only offer a number of scholarships but also give opportunities to students to experience two different worlds and cultures.

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