Hey peeps! Sorry for the delay in blogging again as I’ve been really busy at work. Oh yea did I mentioned my student visa is expiring this coming Sat so I’m leaving UK temporarily for a trip to Norway? So yea I’m leaving to Norway on Thursday, but this is the busiest time in office, so I felt really bad that I need to leave. 🙁 But well, like the Chinese sayings go: there’s no banquet in the world that doesn’t end, ie: there will always be an ending for everything, I guess this is just the time I’ll temporarily say goodbye to everything in UK. However, I believe this won’t be the end of my journey here in UK and I believe more wonderful things are gonna happen when I return soon! 🙂
Since it’s my second last post here, I’m gonna share with you all abit of my study and work life here in UK compared to life back in Malaysia. I think I’m at quite a good position to share as I’ve experienced both study and work life back in Malaysia and also here in UK, and its even better cause I experienced studying in somewhere out of the city but currently works in London, which is one of the greatest city on earth! It’s just like a dream came true and I won’t even believe it if you told me two years ago where I am right now and what I’m doing right now! God is sooooo good!
Campus and Study Environment
So yea, lets start. We shall start from student life first. I’ve done my bachelor degree in Accounting back home in UTAR Sg Long, which before its refurbishment of the new building is just a single block of building with 8 floors. So I’ve been always dreaming to have a campus lifestyle, with a lake with great views, grass that we can sit on and have picnic, running to lectures from your student halls (all influenced by those movies and dramas 😛 ) etc. And of course when I saw the UTAR’s back then, I was kind of disappointed cause it just doesn’t look like what I’ve always seen on TV! But well of course it still have its perks, whereby its small so all the classrooms and facilities are easily located so it’s hardly you’ll missed your lectures running late due to the big campus. And then with the new building now all ready to use, UTAR is of course an even better place to study now. BUT THEN, like I said I still dreamt of campus unis, so when I had the opportunity to come to Surrey to study, I was OVERWHELMED. It’s definitely dream come true as everything I’ve dreamt of is in reality! There’s even a bonus of good student union, and of course the four seasons that we never had back home! I still remember the joy of seeing Autumn leaves when I first came and it’s only then I realised leaves could be so pretty as well! And oh, another highlight is Surrey has it’s own sports park too which offers discounted membership for Surrey’s student which is so amazing! I still remember back in UTAR when we want to use the pool we need to book in advance to go to Sg Long Golf & Country Club’s one so this is a really good one!
Programme Structure / Teaching Team / Coursemates
In terms of teaching team and coursemates, of course all of you will anticipate more of angmos right. Well I would say it’s partially true cause yep we do get more ang moh lecturers with posh ang moh accents when they teach. And if you’re coming here for undergrad studies, you get alot of ang moh coursemates too! But too bad if you’re coming for a Masters course, especially in business studies like me, aha most of your coursemates will be Chinese or Asians. No joke seriously. I guess because business is just so popular among Asians and most ang moh don’t do masters program. Haha. So I actually practiced more Chinese than English when I mixed with my coursemates, which is kind of same back in UTAR as you all know it’s kind of a Chinese uni back in Malaysia. But well, no complaints and I still enjoyed my course here. 🙂
As for program structure, its kind of similar for courses here compared to those uni back home. 🙂 you still have lectures to attend, lots of assignments to rush and rush and rush, and of course exams and mid terms. 🙁 oh well, that’s student life right 😛
Student life / Student Union / Clubs & Societies
Well I guess the main difference of studying abroad is the experience earned through meeting people from different background, and also learning to be independent when you don’t have your family here. And also more freedom such as having on campus clubs is definitely a new experience! And of course, the student union here is more active compared to those back home and the clubs and societies offered have a very wide range too! I guess due to cultural difference whereby us Asians are more conserved back home, I noticed that ang mohs are actually really creative and Surrey is really supportive too whereby you can set up any societies you want if you can’t find the right one in the existing societies. Some special clubs that Surrey offers include the Harry Potter society (definitely a good news for all those fans out there!), LGBT community, Pole Fitness (pole dancing for fitness), Coppafeel Society (Breast cancer awareness society) and even a Game of Thrones society! Besides, Surrey also offers something that could not be offered in Malaysia due to the season and environment such as the snow sports club!
Okay lets move into work life. Since I majored in Accounting and worked in Audit and Accounting firms back home and here, I’ll talk more about working in this field specifically. So back in Malaysia, I’ve worked in a mid size Audit firm previously and like everyone know, audit is a super busy profession and you are forever busy working to meet the datelines. A good thing about that is you get to meet alot of people as well and its more fun cause you are always travelling to different places: client’s office, company secretary’s place and also stock taking at different warehouses. On the other hand, accounting jobs are more laid back if you’re working for a commercial company as you only deal with the company’s accounting. It’s kind of a 9-6 job and I would say its easier and more of a rotational job.
Back in Malaysia, I was working in the accounting department for a group of companies for 6 months before coming to UK. It was a really good experience and gave me a good entry into Accounting profession. I learnt to use UBS accounting software practically and also doing basic bookkeeping. However, as it’s a mid size company, I could only focus on the basics and also only the purchases part of the bookkeeping cycle while there are other people that handle the rest such as the sales part. The company practices a routine 9-6 working hour so its kind of a fixed schedule.
On the other hand, I am currently working in a small accounting firm in London and my boss is originally from Hong Kong. As this is a small firm, I get more opportunities to learn and I need to pick up much more quickly to get in pace into work. So my main task will be bookkeeping as well and now I can do a whole bookkeep cycle on my own. Besides, I also learn how to prepare whole set of financial accounts and rental accounts for smaller clients, prepare wages for clients, and also VAT returns. And oh as I mentioned above this is the busiest period for all accountants as the Income Tax due date is by 31/1/17, thats why everyone in office is working really hard to prepare client’s tax return in order to submit before the deadline. On a side note, I guess maybe this is still UK so work time is still quite flexible. We usually start at about 10, and leave around 7 or earlier if we have something on.
Comparing work life in KL and London, I would say it’s quite similar as well. The main difference will be different regulations I guess. Income tax rate here is actually quite high compared to Malaysia so guys back home please appreciate! 🙂 And oh, main difference for me is packing lunch to work! Food here is expensive so I tend to pack lunch box to work in contrast to eating out back home as there’s just too much nice food and its cheap as well! Besides, I guess as my boss here is Chinese as well that’s why I didnt experience much culture shock at work. 😛
Speaking about work, I almost forget I’m working as an international student ambassador as well! So yea that’s work too! 🙂 So in this team I have colleagues from all over the world. Managers are all ang mohs as well which is amazing. Work time is really flexible and I would say its definitely one of the best job I’ve done till now! 🙂
Guess that’s all for now. Gonna go work again! See you guys soooooon 🙂