The university experiences of 29 students from the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) were enhanced as they were amongst the first batch of students to undergo a study tour of 8 Days and 7 Nights in the Maldives.
The study tour was organized to cultivate an interest in environmental & sustainability studies, exposing students towards the tourism and economic development of the Maldives archipelago.
An array of educational activities such as lecture classes, school visitations, cultural exchange sessions, beach cleaning outings and workshops took place, in line with unique tourism experiences such as coral reef snorkeling, fishing trip, dolphin tour and water sports activities.
The #APUAbroad group encompassed students and staff from various nationalities, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Egypt, China, Australia, India and Pakistan. The activity received support from the Maldives National University (MNU), Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), Bodulfolhudhoo Island Council and Lagoon View Maldives.
Mohamed Hashim, Minister of State for Higher Education, Maldives, met the visiting group during their first night at Male, Maldives. At the Welcome Dinner cum Alumni Dinner Gathering, Hashim extended a warm welcome to the group, while addressing the APU Maldivian alumni community, “It is a great pleasure for me to be here, hosting this study tour from Malaysia. I’m happy to meet our Maldivian students who are graduates from APU, and I record my gratitude to the university for nurturing our students. I look forward to hosting more study tours from APU in Maldives in future.”
Close to 100 Maldivian alumni joined Hashim in welcoming the #APUAbroad Study Tour group at the dinner. “Since I left university, I’ve always missed APU and Malaysia. It is very heartwarming to see ex-lecturers and juniors from my beloved university travelling all the way from Malaysia to my beloved country for the study tour. As a Maldivian, I feel honoured for the university to choose Maldives as the first stop of the APU Abroad programme,” said Abdulla Irfan, alumni of the BSc (Hons) Business Information Technology course, currently the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of a renowned construction company in the Maldives. Irfan was one of APU’s notable alumni who shared his experiences with the group at the dinner.
Currently, APU houses more than 250 Maldivian students amongst its international community of 12,000 students who come from over 130 countries. The Welcome Dinner cum Alumni Dinner Gathering was planned and coordinated by Maldivian staff, students and alumni who were members of the Maldivian Students Association (MSA) at APU.
The key takeaways enjoyed by the group from the trip were:
- A substantial increase in awareness and knowledge about environmental conservation, through the coral reef preservation talks, snorkelling sessions and beach cleaning activity at Lagoon View Maldives
- A better appreciation of cultural difference through local school visitations, participation in the Maldivian Night organized by the local community coordinated by the Bodulfolhudhoo Island Council and participation in the Maldivian Alumni Gathering Dinner
- Deepened understanding of challenges of marine preservation through lecture sessions conducted by the Maldives National University, and
- New discovery of hidden potentials of the Republic of Maldives through economic and tourism overview seminars at the Maldives Monetary Authority and Maldives National University
The #APUAbroad study tour to the Maldives created unforgettable memories for the 29 participating students. Wan Nurashiqin binti Nor Azmi, Malaysian student of the Diploma in Electrical & Electronic Engineering programme, recalled, “At the trip, I have learnt to be always eager in learning new cultural experiences. Activities like the sunset fishing trip have given me a truly local Maldivian experience. I feel really grateful to participate in the trip, and I will also cherish the memories of interacting with the local community.”
“#APUAbroad Maldives has given me the experience of the lifetime. The deep engagement with the locals via several talks and seminar sessions has widened my knowledge about the beautiful and wonderful island of Maldives with their unique culture and sea-life. I also learned about the devastating effect of pollution and what the impact to the Maldives islands. Lots of activities were arranged for us in order for us to have the best experience of our #APUabroad international study trip to Maldives. I look forward to join in more #APUAbroad Study Tours in future,”, said Justin Louis Halim from Indonesia, a student of the BSc (Hons) in Computer Science with a specialism in Data Analytics programme, who was among the 29 students who underwent the programme.Prof. Ron Edwards, Vice Chancellor of APU, was amongst the visiting group from APU. “The Maldives study tour was a great opportunity for our students to meet APU alumni who completed their degrees some years ago and are now in senior positions, as well as senior government, university and business leaders and gained insights into the Maldives that would not normally be available to visitors to the country. It was a wonderful opportunity and students made the most of it by engaging actively in conversations with these senior people”, expressed Prof. Ron Edwards.