Malaysia meets Surrey!

Keeping up with the lives of two Malaysian students currently studying at Surrey

Reading week in Prague! :D

Apa khabar? 🙂

I’m thrilled that it’s finally Friday as it’s been a looongg week: what with second semester now in full swing and the fact that this is my final semester before being released into the real world. My friend posted a picture (below) which sums up my feelings exactly.  I’m also super excited because I’ll be going to Playzone Portsmouth tonight! It’s the biggest, brightest indoor adventure play area and Friday nights are adult only entry. The university is organising this trip which includes return coach to Portsmouth + entry tickets: all for just £18! Definitely going to be a great night ahead 😀

16683949_1982571568637196_7169141449825184719_n

coiknnvweaagq6z playzone-2 play2

Back to today’s post for now though! Today’s post is about my trip to Prague, Czech Republic during the Reading week just gone. As mentioned in a previous post about tips for planning a student break, I booked the flights and accommodation about 3 weeks before the trip which amounted to £50 for return flights with SmartWings (Czech airline) and £35 per person for 4 nights with AirBnb accommodation. Something I probably should have done when booking the trip was to check the weather forecast. Imagine my surprise when the weekend before the flight (we flew out on Monday), I find out that its -6 degrees Celcius and snowing!

screenshot_2017-01-30-19-50-52

This revelation didn’t dampen my holiday mood though especially as the flights included 15kgs of free luggage.  I packed my warmest, fluffiest clothing and we set off on Monday afternoon from Gatwick airport. Another great thing about Surrey University is it’s great location: it took us only 40 minutes on a direct train from Guildford station to the entrance of Gatwick airport for a price of £7.90 return. The flight itself took roughly an hour and a half and before we knew it, we had landed in Prague 🙂

One thing I’ve noticed from the many European countries I have travelled to is that public transportation is cheap, reliable and very easy to understand. It took us no time to get a city and transportation map (for free I might add :p) and make our way to the AirBnB we had rented for the following 4 nights. Our host, Aron was very friendly and presented us with Czech beers as welcoming drinks. The stay also included free breakfast which was appreciated. Once settled, it was dinner time and with some suggestion from our host, we set off to a local Czech restaurant. As I am always very keen to enjoy the country’s local cuisine, I had pork stuffed with blue cheese in a traditional sauce and a Czech beer. It was delicious and the beer cost less than a pound after converting from Czech Koruna was an added bonus!

20170130_203720-min   20170131_131221

Our first full day was spent visiting the Old Town, Prague Zoo and the Lego Museum.  We purchased a PragueCard each, which basically includes free and reduced entry to lots of attractions as well as free transportation for the duration of the card. This included free entry to the Old Town Hall Tower which included spectacular views 😀 As previously mentioned, it was snowing during most of our time in Prague. It gave the city a very magical Harry Potter Hogswarts-like feel. Everything was covered in snow and just so very pretty!

We also waited with cameras at the ready in front of the Old Town Hall to enjoy The Prague Astronomical Clock, which at exactly on the hour every hour, mesmerizes with its procession of Apostles, moving statues and visualization of time like no other instrument in the world! After a hearty lunch of pork dumplings, we set off to Prague Zoo. This too was included in the PragueCard which meant free entry :p It was a bit disappointing as the cold weather had many of the animals hidden in the warmth, away from general viewing. Nevertheless, we did enjoy being outdoors as the zoo is enormous. As there weren’t many people around, we even had a spirited snowball fight!

16472939_10154272948171299_8792659286488576203_n   20170131_111904-min

As it’s currently the winter months, many attractions shut by 4-5pm. We decided to make the most of our day and headed to the Lego Museum which is supposedly the largest of its kind in Europe. It was quite fun actually. I especially enjoyed seeing all the different figurines from many famous movies such as Harry Potter, Pirates of the Carribean and Stars Wars, just to name a few. The Lego figurines looked so much like the movie characters. We ended our first full day with a lovely meal where I had Czech onion soup and pork knuckles together with yet another pint of beer :p

20170131_203400-min    20170131_210628

On our second day, we visited Petrin Hill, used the free 2 hour bus tour which was included in our PragueCard as well as visited the local library. Petrin is a hill in the centre of Prague. We took our time walking up the hill, enjoying the views along the way. Once there, we went up the Petrin Tower as well as the Mirror Maze. Times like this is when the child inside me really comes out J After, we decided to take the Funicular, a is cable railway which moves up and down a steep slope, back down. Feeling a bit tired, we decided to use the free 2 hour bus tour after lunch. To our surprise, part of the tour included being dropped off by the Strahov Monastery where we were lucky enough to watch the changing of the guards. The tour was also a great way to see all the different tourist spots Prague has to offer in case we had missed any. After the tour, we popped into a local café (mostly for some warmth). I had a hot chocolate and it definitely was one of the best I’ve ever had, not surprising as the café was named Cocoa. We then ventured towards the Municipal library and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere before going in search of dinner. We went across the famous Charles Bridge. The walk along the bridge was breath-taking as we were able to enjoy the view of Prague at night.

20170201_114250-min  20170201_122125-min 16472856_10158335065455268_8639369522474684721_n

20170201_191713-min (artwork made out of books)

20170131_194646-min 20170131_194130_lls-min

On our last full day, we went to Prague castle and the Narodni Museum. Prague castle is a definite must-go! You can easily spend 3-4 hours there admiring the beautiful surroundings. We attended a mid-day Classical concert held within the castle which was so exciting! We then ventured into the castle’s surroundings, visiting the famous St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basicila, Golden Lane as well as the Old Royal Palace. By far, the most amazing views of the city were from Prague Castle. We then popped into a local pub to enjoy (more!) Czech beer as well as a Chimney cake, known as Kurtoskalacs. I must admit that I was slightly obsessed with the Chimney cake and may have had 1-2 a day: that’s just how delicious they were!

20170202_122034

chimney-cakes

20170202_115414-min

We then visited the Narodni Museum, where we enjoyed exhibitions such as Retro, which was all about life before the 2000s in terms of clothing and technology to name a few. There was even an interactive section whereby we could use typewriters which was super cool! As it was our last evening in the city, we decided to spend the evening just walking around the many beautiful streets and really just taking in the local vibes.

20170202_174925  16473797_10158335062545268_3734987673481852726_n

We flew back the next day and arrived at Gatwick Airport around 3pm. I absolutely loved my time in Prague and didn’t even mind that it was below freezing temperatures. I definitely would want to go back during Spring/Summer time as I’m sure the sights of the city would have a very different yet equally beautiful views 🙂

That’s all for now!

Till next time: Selamat tinggal x

Support during revision & exam season

Hi there everyone!

Exams are over yay! I celebrated my freedom with nights out over the weekend with friends before jetting off to Prague for 4 nights over the Reading week (it’s like half-term which is meant for studying). I shall be updating you all on my trip to Prague in next week’s post.

Today, I’d like to share with you some of the many ways Surrey University provides support to its students during the revision and exam season. First and foremost, Surrey University library is open 24/7, 365 days of the year. This is amazing considering many other university libraries in the UK do close at some point during the week and over holiday periods (Christmas and Easter). Our library boasts 5 levels, each offering different study environments such as Silent Study, Group Study, Quiet Study and Individual study. Students can access the library online beforehand to see if there are computer spaces available. Mind you, the library has over 1000 computer work spaces and more on the way! On top of that, the library provides laptops for loan purposes for free of charge as long as it is returned on time, just like textbooks. It can get quite busy during exam season in the library. Thus, to help with limited work spaces, students can use other buildings across the university campus which is equipped with computers such as the labs for class purposes.

lib-1library-14

Just below the library is SimplyFresh which is the on-campus grocery and open from 7am till 11pm Monday-Friday and reduced hours over the weekend. During revision/exam season, eating can become a secondary concern: cue the junk food! But the fact that there is a grocery on campus which sells hot food, sandwiches, etc does help with maintaining a relatively healthy diet whilst enduring exam stress. Side note: Deliveroo, a food delivery service, has lots of restaurants (Wagamama, TGIF, Jamie’s Italian, etc) signed up to it, making it super accessible to get healthy take-out right to our campus accommodation!

To help deal with the stress, the university holds an event called Happiness Café every Wednesday from 1-3pm. It is located in the Front Room; a space for students to hang out which is equipped with board games, a pool table, lots of sitting space as well as a microwave. The Happiness Café aims to create a warm welcoming environment for students who are feeling stressed, homesick or would just like to speak to a student volunteer. There is free tea, coffee and cakes available as well as lots of colouring books which has been proven to relief stress 🙂

happinesscafe

Besides that, the University organised a PATS Therapy Dog Session during the second week of exams. A dog lover myself, I found it very therapeutic to just pet the many dogs that were there during the event. Research has shown that playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of stress-reducing hormone Oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol- which is exactly what I needed during my exams!  PATS stands for Pets as Therapy which is a charity which provides therapeutic visits to a variety of venues. Best of all, the event was free!

20170126_123109-minimg-20170126-wa0001

img-20170126-wa0000

The Students Union’s VP Support also had a very positive message for Surrey students to keep us motivated during the exam season. The video can be found here. All in all, I do really feel that Surrey University does cater to it’s students needs in helping us cope, especially during the exam season:)

Till next time: Selamat tinggal x

Bye UK, Hello Holidays!

Hey guys! Happy Chinese New Year! May this year of Rooster bring more love, joy, peace and prosperity for all of you that are reading this! 🙂

A MUST DO during CNY: Family portrait! Spot me 😛

This is officially my last post so I would really love to say thank you for all the readers out there for following my posts till now. 🙂 its been really an honour and pleasure to be able to come to University of Surrey, and also becoming part of the international student recruitment team as an international student ambassador. All these wonderful memories will be deeply engraved in my heart forever. 🙂 Anyways, for those of you that are still interested in following my stories please continue to support me at my personal blog- missadelinelivingherlife, or follow me on Instagram at ad3line_koo.

Personal blog!

Instagram!

Okay back to the main topic today. And so, after staying in UK for 1 year and 4 months, my study visa is expiring soon so I need to leave the country. There’s so many good memories, friends and places that I will truly miss and I was really sad when time is up and I need to go. To cheer up myself abit and to reward myself after working really hard for the past few months, I’ve decided to make a trip to Norway, Sweden and Estonia! And since I’m already on my way and is in Norway now, I’ll focus more on Trondheim, Norway in this post. If you guys are still interested to know more on my trip in Oslo, Stockholm or Estonia, remember to follow my personal blog and Instagram as stated above! 😛

Visiting Norway is like a dream come true as I wouldn’t believe I’ll be able to make it here even few months ago. Norway is the most expensive country in the world and thus I never thought I could earn enough money and afford coming for trip a here. It really feels so different and amazing when you actually spend your own money doing things you love without the need of taking money from your parents! And so for me, I do really have a great sense of achievement and feeling that I’m an official grown up when I am actually able to support myself while I’m in London, and even able to saved up enough for a trip to the Scandinavian countries and Baltic country for a total of 18 days! 🙂

And so, I started planning for the trip since November last year as I was so excited! This is the first time I’m going on a solo trip so it really feels like an adventure. The brief itinerary that I planned was to start off by flying to Trondheim from London Gatwick Airport by taking Norwegian Airlines, take a train down to Oslo, and then another train to Stockholm, and then a 40 hours return cruise to Tallinn, Estonia and spend the remaining days in Stockholm before flying back from Stockholm to London Heathrow Airport by SAS Airlines. I actually chose Trondheim, Norway as my first stop as I have a college friend (Losshenee) who is currently studying her Masters degree here in Norwegian University of Science and Technology, or Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet (NTNU) in Norwegian. I haven’t met her since we finished our A-Levels almost 7 years ago so it was really great to be able to meet up and catch up again! And I actually decided to stay for 8 days just in Trondheim to fully explore the place and also just to spend more time with her. 🙂

On the day of departure, I was still working in office for half day as there was just so much more to do in office and I really want to wrap up everything nicely before I leave. Boss was really caring and she was worried I wouldn’t have time for lunch before departing to airport and thus she bought all of us lunch! Yay! And also because it was Chinese New Year (CNY) soon, she also gave me an angpao (red packet that was given usually by people who are married to kids or young people as blessings) so I was really touched as I haven’t received one since last year as I spent Chinese New Year last year in UK as well.

16443639_10154581678793692_1129732497_n

So I left Harrow at about 2.30pm and depart to London Victoria to catch my coach to Gatwick Airport. I reached London Victoria at about 3.15pm which I have sufficient time to collect my booked Norwegian Kroners and Swedish Kroners at BestForeignExchange.com (Thomas Exchange Global). This is the best foreign exchange I can find in London and it gives very good rate especially online so you can reserve your currency via their website in the link above through the Fast Track Collection Branch Order service.

And then I headed to Gatwick Airport, got into my Norwegian Airline flight (first time having free Wi-Fi onboard, so atas (meaning high class 😛 ), and poom, after 2.5 hours of flight I’m here in Trondheim, Norway! Got in the Varnes Express Airport bus which transport me directly to Moholt Student Village where my friend is staying. 🙂 As it’s already midnight when I arrive, I just chit chat and catch up with my friend before we go to bed. 🙂 And oh, Losshenee’s flatmate- Ana was so sweet that she let me stayed in her room during my stay while she went off and stayed with her boyfriend- Henri so I got a whole room to myself! Thank you so much Ana and Henri! 🙂

Having the whole row for myself! 😛

So on the second day of arrival, it was CNY eve and it was a big thing for Chinese! And so, Losshenee introduced me to her other Malaysian friends and we went for a CNY celebration dinner organised by the Chinese Christian group in a nearby church. The people there are really friendly, food are really nice and they even have a game session which is really fun! It was really a great night out and I felt really at home which helps in easing the homesickness especially during this festive season. 🙂

look at all those foooooooood!

finally seeing alot of CHINESE! Norway is full of angmo lengzai & lenglui so when I get to see some familiar faces it just feels gooood 😛

There’s a friendly Norwegian aunty that joined us at our table and we had so much fun chatting 😛

The Malaysians gang! Meet Sharmyn, Cherrie, Losshenee and ME! 🙂

And also, I get to do Yee Sang (a Malaysian-Singaporean tradition, aka prosperity toss whereby its a CNY dish consist of strips of raw fish, mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments, among other ingredients and you toss it while speaking prosperity and blessings to welcome the new year) with my friends this year! It’s very common back home and we do that for every year but I haven’t done it since I left home. Losshenee and her friend Cherrie is so creative that they decide to make yee sang out of ingredients that we can get here, ie: bihun (rice vermicelli), carrot, coloured peppers, bean sprouts, corn and of course the famous Norwegian salmon mixed with thai chilli sauce and soy sauce and it turns out to be amazing! Losshenee also invited her international friends to join in and all of us had alot of fun doing the prosperity toss! 🙂

our version of yeesang!

Meet JT from USA, Hadrian from Spain, Losshenee, Me and Cherrie from Malaysia! 😛

Ohhhhh I was also there when they shopped for the ingredients in the local supermarket and  I was definitely SHOCKED by the prices of the stuffs here in Norway. I’ve always known that Norway is an expensive country but I never imagined it was THAT EXPENSIVE even compared to UK. So guys out there back home or in UK, don’t complaint cause everything is much affordable back home. I was also super craving for IKEA meatballs as I haven’t had that since coming to UK. Well I know there’s one near Surrey (kind of near but still far as its in South Croydon) so I’ve never been there. Since IKEA is from Sweden which is just neighbouring Norway, I wanted to try out the meatballs badly and my friend brought me to the nearby IKEA. The meatballs are definitely the YUMMMMS, and well I think its really slightly better than the ones back home 😛 , but its SOOOOO expensive as well! 🙁

Exchange rate to GBP is approximately 1 to 10, so a broccoli here cost about £1.69 🙁 I miss UK’s £0.39 broccoli! 🙂

My favourite fruit- Banana is £2.30?! seriously? it only cost £0.69 in UK. I think I’ll stop eating banana if I’m here LOL

£5 for a wrap means about RM30? 🙁

enjoying my softserve 🙂

IKEA meatballs and the cake!

🙁

And then the rest few days its all ab0ut sightseeing in Trondheim. There’s a few places that is a MUST VISIT during your stay here so I’ll slowly introduce them below followed by photos.

Nidaros Cathedral and Archbishop’s Palace Museum

The Nidaros Cathedral, or Nidarosdomen in Norwegian is the largest and northenmost medieval gothic church in Northern Europe full of history. The church was built over the burial site of St Olav, which is the King of Norway in the 11th century. The interior design of the church was really grand and beautiful and many tourists actually came to Trondheim just to see the church! The Archbishop’s Palace is just beside the church and is also worth visiting if you have the time. The Crown Regalia was on exhibition in the museum when I was visiting and being a fan of royal families, I visited the museum together and get to see the crowns that were on display (they look so stunning!) and understand a brief history of the royal family of Norway. Nidaros Cathedral is also the church where the coronation of King took place whereby the coronation of the current King and Queen of Norway, King Harald V and Queen Sonja were also held here in year 1991!

Price:

The Combined Ticket for all 3 places: The Archbishop Palace’s Museum –Nidaros Cathedral – The Crown Regalia

Adults: 180NOK, Children (6-15 years old): 80NOK, Students: 100NOK, Family (2 adult 3 children) 440NOK

Single ticket to Nidaros Cathedral OR The Archbishop Palace’s Museum OR The Crown Regalia

Adults: 90NOK, Children (6-15 years old): 40NOK, Students: 50NOK, Family (2 adult 3 children) 220NOK

Nidaros Cathedral opening times: Monday – Saturday: 09:00-14:00, Sunday: 09:00-17:00

The Archbishop Palace’s Museum & The Crown Regalia: Monday CLOSED, Tue-Fri 11:00-14:00, Sat: 11:00-15:00, Sun: 12:00-16:00

Nidaros Cathedral! So pretty! 🙂

another entrance of the Cathedral! The cathedral has some similarities like the cathedral in Lincoln as they share similar resources!

Kristiansten Fortress

Kristiansten Fortress or also known as Kristiansten Festning is located on the east side of Trondheim and was built after a fire broke out in Trondheim in 1968 as part of the plan to fortified the city and also protect the east side of Trondheim from taken down by enemy. I didn’t get to visit the interior part of the fortress as it only opens in Summer, but the fortress ground is open whole year round and its free of charge!

such a beautiful place!

the Kristiansten Fortress

canon!

look at the view it offers!

breathtaking!

The Old Town Bridge (Gamle Bybro) & Bakklandet Coloured Wooden Houses

The Old Town Bridge is also known as the bridge/portal of happiness whereby Losshenee told me that there’s a believe here that you will find your love of the life on the bridge! 😛 Anyways, besides the romantic believe, the bridge connects the city to the Bakklandet area (full of cafes and unique boutiques), which is lined with beautiful coloured wooden houses by the river. It’s one of the most photographed area in Trondheim and is definitely worth the visit!

The Old Town Bridge!

It’s like a postcard!

Losshenee and Me taking a wefie on the bridge!

I love this place… 🙂

Tyholt Tower (Tyholttårnet)

This is one of the tallest tower in Trondheim and there is a rotating restaurant (Egon Restaurant) which is located at 74meters above ground which grant you and extensive view of 360 degrees of Trondheim. They offer a pizza buffet whereby you can help yourself with unlimited pizza while enjoying the view with only 110NOK per person, which is considered really good here when the living expenses here are so so so expensive! But of course if you can afford more, they also serve proper ala carte cuisine so you can really enjoy good food, good wine and good view!

Opening hours: Monday – Thursday: 10:00-23:00, Friday – Saturday: 10:00-23:30, Sunday: 11:00-22:00

the Tyholt Tower!

Dining in a restaurant 74 meters up from the land!

Good food and good view 🙂

Look! Views of Trondheim is breathtaking! 🙂

360 view of Trondheim!

So that’s all about what I’ve done till now in Trondheim. I’ll be moving on to Oslo and the rest of my journey on Friday and I’m really excited for what is coming up and so for all of you that are still interested in my stories, just follow me on my personal blog or Instagram as I won’t be updating here anymore. Do take care and I wish all of you a very good and blessed year ahead, hope to see you guys again in some time or some part of the world! BYEEEEEEEEE!

Love from Norway! xx

Love xx

Adeline

p/s: for all my friends that are celebrating CNY: once again 新年快乐,万事如意,身体健康,合家平安!恭喜恭喜!

Student / Work Life in UK vs MYS

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!

STUDENT LIFE

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!

16244607_10154560461418692_1595622462_o

There’s also goose besides campus lake! so peaceful

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!

Surrey’s Harry Potter Society!

Surrey’s LGBT Society!

Surrey’s pole fitness society!

WORK LIFE

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 🙂

okay I know this is completely irrelevant but well I got a new year card from my friend in Bangkok and its so lovely that I need to post it! 😛

Love xx

Adeline

A Wild Heart – Part 1

Here comes to an end of the first week of exam. I had only 1 exam in the first week and then the next one in on the 27th. About 10 days in between. Hmm…So here comes the question : to travel or not to travel? (think think think…)

Revision…..? Work…..? Stay in the library for the next 10 days.
Well, of course not!

I packed and off I went, SCOTLAND! Wellllllll, to be precise, I was actually going to a debate competition. So I just kinda make it a highland trip as well.

Placement year experience at RWE Supply & Trading!

2000px-rwe-logo-2007

Hi everyone 🙂

I’m knee-depth in examinations right and had my first paper earlier this week. One down and three more to go: onwards and forwards I say! I literally can’t wait till my final paper on Friday which believe it not, is from 6.30-8.30pm. I’ll basically be going straight from the examination hall to Rubix :p (our on campus nightclub).

Anyways, back to today’s post. I thought I would blog about my placement year experience a.k.a Professional Training Year (PTY). I must say that hands down, my placement year has been the best year of university so far! I absolutely loved working within the Energy industry + the fact that I had a competitive salary was great. I worked for the UK Power team as a back office analyst within the Back Office Department for RWE Supply and Trading. Back Office is the control and support function within the company, playing a vital role in making sure the given support fits the business and responsible for the confirmation and settlement of commodity trades amongst other things.

rwe-swindon (Entrance to my office in Swindon)

My main tasks were to handle the Confirmation side of the process for all UK Power trades. I was thrilled that after a month or so of training, I was given the responsibility of being in charge. I reported to my line manager on a regular basis and had a very supportive team who really took me under their wing. Whenever in doubt, I asked because I was very aware that I was dealing with trades worth millions of pounds. I found that everyone was more than happy to guide me. My attitude definitely helped as nobody likes a know-it-all. I was there to learn as much as I could and thus had no shame in asking for help even if it was 10 times in a day.

I quickly learnt that it was up to me as to how much I wanted to gain from this experience. I could have simply done my daily tasks and got a decent grade from my placement year. But I was very aware that I had this great opportunity to really develop and challenge myself and hence spoke to my manager regarding this. As a result, we came up with a personal development plan which included rotations with other Back Office commodity teams, shadowing Gas and Power traders as well as a two-week research exchange to Essen, Germany (RWE headquarters). My line manager was very supportive and encouraged me to get involved in projects within the department. This allowed me to develop my teamwork, communication and leaderships skills which must have shown because I was put in charge of the testing phase of one of our system upgrades and ran it successfully.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

(The trading floor of RWE headquarters in Essen. Also, the largest trading floor in Europe!)

I won’t lie and say that it was all smooth sailing from the get-go. I was a complete wreck on my first day due to nerves. Thankfully, my mum had flown in to settle me into my new place (I moved to Swindon where the office is located which is 1.5 hours away from Guildford). It took me a few weeks to settle in and find my footing within my team and the wider department. My mum gave me the best piece of advice regarding this: to go in with no expectations and with an open mind. I definitely followed this to heart because this way, I didn’t have preconceived ideas or expectations as to of how my placement year would go. Instead, I just went with the flow and took every challenge as it came and grew from it.

There definitely were days when I missed the fact that I couldn’t just sleep in and stay in bed all day. I had people relying on me and responsibilities which meant I had to get myself out of bed at 7am and get on the bus to get to work. I didn’t mind much though because I genuinely loved going into the office because I really felt valuable and had a purpose. Also, I became really good friends with a few of the girls in my team which definitely helped. We’re all still really close and I definitely consider them as friends and not just work colleagues.

The benefits from completing a placement year are uncountable! I’ve learnt so much in terms of knowledge regarding the energy industry as well as polished my interpersonal skills. I can now hold my own and am not afraid to take charge and speak up when need be. The best part from this placement year is that I have grown up so much, both professionally and personally. I’ve matured in ways that haven’t yet to even materialize. Coming back to final year, I have never been more determined to do well and I would definitely contribute that to my time on placement.

This placement year gave me a taste of what the working world was really like. Being a student was the best part because I was treated as an adult and given real responsibilities. At the same time however, I had a safety net to make errors because I was a student at the end of the day and there to learn as much as I could.

My parting words on placement year: Take that chance on yourself and go on placement because for every fear you might have, there’s 10 times the benefits to be achieved 😀

Till next time: Selamat tinggal x

1 2 3 4 5 18