Sunday, August 26, 2012

Nostalgia #13: My JENESYS Experiences

By Nor Aqilah,

Hi! My name is Nor Aqilah, JENESYS returnee 2010. I will start my story from the very first moment I know about AFS.

One afternoon, my 2nd sister was surfing the internet for information on student exchange programs because she wanted to apply for it. She found AFS, but unfortunately she can’t apply for the AFS program because she was already beyond the age requirement. So she asked me to apply instead. At first, I don’t want to apply because I know I am not qualified. But everybody in my family supported me. So I just applied.

A few week later, after I came back home from school, I found a letter from AFS in my mailbox; I was so happy that I was jumping around with my sisters. I read that letter and it asked me to go for an interview at JPN PERAK on 7th Jun 2010. I went there with my sisters. The best part was that I was the first person to enter the interview room. Luckily, I’m not a nervous and panicky type of person, so I went inside the room with confidence. In the room, I talked about myself and answered their questions. I did some syair since I’m not really good at dancing and singing. Then I went back home, relieved.

About 2 months later, I got the letter for the Selection Camp in Kuala Lumpur. And I got a place in JENESYS Program. This is where the real story begins.

Before departing to Japan, we had to attend a pre-departure orientation for 2 days and 1 night at Hotel Maluri Cheras Kuala Lumpur. We did games and some sessions to prepare ourselves in Japan. It was fun.
On 4 Dec 2010, at 11.50pm I boarded the Malaysia Airlines flight MH52. It took about 6-7 hours from Malaysia to Kansai Airport in Japan. We arrived in Japan at about 6.30 am. As we arrived there, we were welcomed by the JTB people. We then took a bus and travelled to Osaka, about an hour’s journey. When we arrived in Osaka, we had to attend an arrival orientation. In the hall at Otsu Prince Hotel, more than 400 JENESYS scholars from other countries were gathered. We took this opportunity to introduce ourselves and make friends. I met people from New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, and more. In that orientation I was in the group called Country Mix 9 or also known as CM 9. We stayed one night at Rhiga Royal Hotel.

The next day, we went to Kiyomizu-dera (temple) in Kyoto. The view at the temple was really nice with the variation colour of the leaves, red yellow and orange. It was a view that I’ve never seen in my life. The weather was cold; it’s about 9°C. I learned about Japanese beliefs when they come to this temple. For lunch, we went to Arayashima to eat udon. The udon was served in a very unique way. It was really delicious. I ate all of it and nothing was left behind except for the meat, because I’m a Muslim.

After lunch, we started our journey to Hiroshima by shinkansen or in English, the Bullet Train. It is a very fast train, travelling at about 300km/h. It is the fastest train in the world and is considered to be never late. It took about an hour and the half from Kyoto to Hiroshima. When we arrived in Hiroshima, they brought us to Okanomiyaki Restaurant for dinner. It is one of my favorite food in Japan. I love it so much. We stayed at Rhiga Royal Hotel and my room number is 2705. We stayed for 2 days and 1 night.

Dec 6 2010, our first study trip in Hiroshima was the Peace Memorial Park. I learned about the Bomb-Dome, Cenotaph and Children Peace Monument. We cannot make noise while we were there. We ate udon again for lunch, but this time we ate it in a traditional Japanese style. After lunch we went to the Hiroshima Reduction Centre. Here, I experienced man-made earthquake at the size of 7 magnitudes. I also learned about how to escape from smoke when a building is on fire and rode the fire truck. After that, we went to the Hiroshima Memorial Museum. I didn’t have a chance to explore the museum because it is the time for me to do my prayer. So, I have to search place to take ‘wudu’ and pray. I decided to pray at the bus parking lot, I prayed between two buses.

Dec 7- Dec 12. This was the time when all JENESYS scholar would spend our 5 days at our host community and family. My host community was in Kumamoto. My host parents live in condominium. I shared host family with one Indonesian girl named Ferralda. I’m the only Malaysian in that Kumamoto group. I tried my best to be a good ambassador of Malaysia. My school was at Kumamoto-Kita High school, we spent 2 days there. There, I explained about Malaysia culture, food, education system and our flag. I also brought a replica of the PETRONAS Twin Tower and showed it to the Japanese student. I also explain what I know about it to them. The Japanese student was really nice and friendly. Time flew really fast, I was reluctant to go back to Tokyo and I cried a lot at the last night.

We went to Tokyo from Kumamoto Airport by flight. When I arrived at the Tokyo Airport, I was so happy to meet my fellow Malaysians, you won’t know how much I miss Bahasa Malaysia. Dec 14 was our last day in Japan. That day, all 559 students from all the different countries were gathered in a big auditorium for a closing event which is the JENESYS Festival 2010 and Pre-Departure Orientation. There were a lot of dances from about 10 countries. It was a happening event. After the event, we travelled from Tokyo to Narita and stayed at Marroad International Hotel Narita.

The next day, we went to Narita Airport. Our flight was at 10.30 am. And this is the time all of us from Malaysia felt sad and happy at the same time. Sad because we had to leave Japan, happy because we are coming back to our country, a land where we belong. The conclusion of my experiences is this, I learned to be myself and confident. I appreciate my country more and wish to bring changes. I gained a lot of wonderful experiences that helped me to be matured. I made a lot of friend from many countries, which is better than chatting with them. These are the experiences that I will never forget and wish to share it with people. Thank You AFS Malaysia and Japan for giving me these unforgettable moments.


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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Making an IMPACT.


Hai hai hai! Nazu's back in town babeh! Haha, sorry for the long 'holiday', but I'm back now, so WHO MISSED ME? :P Okay, sorry, merapu sekejap. Hmm. A few weeks back, two of our admins (namely Aizan Fahri & I) went to an event organised by UKEC.

Untuk korang yang tak tahu, UKEC ni UK & Eire Student Council. Kira, macam student body for students studying in UK and Ireland. It's big, and important, and certainly powerful. Kira, kalau UKEC buat event kat UK and invite the PM to come, HE WILL COME. Nampak betapa mantapnya reputasi UKEC ni? :) Kalau anda semua berminat nak tahu lebih lanjut tentang UKEC, sila lawat laman web mereka di :

Okay, what I wanted to share here is something worth thinking, something worth wondering upon. And I hope, after reading this, I can get you guys to start taking actions, start making changes, no matter how small they are.

Would you?
Would you stand up to make the change?

One problem with the Malaysians' mentalities is that, WE WAIT TO BE SPOON-FEED with EVERYTHING. Kita nak something, but kita harapkan orang lain untuk bagi kita benda yang kita nak tu. Kita nak perubahan dalam dunia ni, tapi kita harapkan orang lain yang mulakan dulu.

Why not us?
Kenapa kita malu sangat nak mulakan sesuatu yang baru?
Kenapa kena tunggu orang lain yang buat?

I have attended a few symposiums and events by various companies, and I have heard talks by a lot of different people, who, in their own ways, made a difference in this world. And they did all of that by following their dreams, following their hearts.

Kau tak perlu nak jadi orang yang hebat yang mantap yang ada company besar-besar baru nak buat perubahan kat kehidupan. Kau tak perlu nak ada duit yang banyak untuk create a better future.

Aku tak nak menulis panjang sebab aku tahu generasi kita pemalas sikit nak baca. So aku just nak share a few quotes yang aku dapat from that event untuk korang fikir-fikirkan. :)

"Create ripples. It does not matter how big the splash that you make. What matters is how far the ripples goes." -MC Naz

"Everything you do in life is a journey. Everything that you do are just small dots in your life. You'd have to learn to connect the dots." -Yasmin, founder of Eco-Knights.

"Chill a bit. Let life create a journey for you." 

"You are not God. You are just a writer. You can't judge. You're just there to tell the stories." -Dina Zaman

"Don't live in your own little bubble. Reach out to the people around you. Empathize and engage." -Farini Daing, CEO of MyHarapan.

"You don't have the choice to pick the cards that you are dealt with. What matters is how you play them."

"Embrace your imperfections. If you don't accept yourself, how can you expect others to accept you?" -Muid Latif.

"Go and get out of your comfort zone. Just do it." -Aiman Azlan.

Think. Learn. Act.

Now is not the time to sit around and wait for things to happen.
Now is the time to stand up and make things happen.

Dream big. Aim high.
Start with small things. And venture into bigger things that could help the people around you, the public.

And share your projects and ideas with people, who knows, maybe they have similar ideas, and you guys can get together and plan a bigger one?

Start making impact guys! :)

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Study and Learning...What is the difference?

Salam semua! Nazran disini. Aku nak ucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin kepada semua reader2 ku :)

Perasan x perasan, cuti raya dah nak habis. Maka sebagai stimulus dan ignition kepada azam baru selepas cuti, aku nak share something dengan korang semua

Izinkan ku menulis dalam BI sebab aku lagi selesa menulis arguments dalam BI.


So, Raya break is ending soon, meaning we will soon be off to our respective universities, college, school to continue our journey along the path of academia. As the days are over, we shall see more and more of these:

"Crap! Aku tak siap assignment lagi weyh!"
"Study? Aku tak study pon"
"Cis, raya memang tak study la aku"

Well, that's a typical student. No matter where you stood in the class ranking, you must have done this at least once in a life time. But you see, why the worry?

In our education system, the only sure way to succeed in it is by studying. Then the question arises, what is studying?

Studying, as defined in the onlinedictionary is: application of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge, as by reading, investigation, or reflection

So basically, studying is an act where you open a book, scrutinize the details, and analyze the facts. When you study, you need a book. You need to extract information carefully and store it into your brain. It's a very important thing to do and it's what you should do a lot during your time in tertiary education.


We are forgetting the other side of the spectrum of acquiring knowledge: Learning

Now, most of you will frown and question me. "How the heck are those two are different?"

Just because 'studying' and 'learning' in BM is 'belajar' doesn't mean it has the exact same meaning.

Learning is defined as: the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill.

Now, pay attention to the word 'act' and 'process'. Learning is an act and a process, which means it is an ongoing thing. When I say ongoing, I mean it doesn't stop. You will continue on learning even if you stop studying. Learning is when you work to know something better. It applies to skills, knowledge and almost ever other thing in this universe. You don't need a book to learn. Learning is when you absorb knowledge from the world around you either subconsciously or consciously.

Learning and studying are both side of the same coin in acquiring knowledge.

No, that's an understatement. Studying is actually the subset of learning! If you draw a Venn diagram, the circle of studying is INSIDE the circle of learning!

However, we as students in Malaysia always emphasize the 'studying' part of it. You cram though sets and sets of questions. You memorize TONS and TONS of theories and what nots. You spend countless hours crouching at a desk to STUDY

But why study?
Have we ever thought of that?
Why the heck do I study? I mean, it's boring!
Some may respond with "I need to study to get scholarship" or "I need to study to get a degree"
But that is why we are lifeless when we are studying
We STUDY! That is the sole reason we are lifeless when studying.

Now, I said earlier that STUDYING is the subset of LEARNING. Being a subset, what STUDYING is, is what LEARNING is. Consequently, what LEARNING is, is not what STUDYING is.

Here is a Venn Diagram

Via MS Paint. Yes, I suck
You see, when you are a baby, did you study?
But did you learn?

Simply because LEARNING is fun. No, LEARNING is associated with FUN. In that red zone in the Venn Diagram above, there is FUN!
That's the biggest difference between LEARNING and STUDYING

If you study for the sake of mere STUDYING, when it's boring
If you study for the sake of LEARNING, then it's fun!

Now, how do I actually LEARN?
Be a baby

Be curious
Wanting to know more about the world.
See the world as an adventure.
Screw the books sometimes!
Go and do something else!

That's why, don't study but learn. If you don't study during Raya, fret not, you're not more stupid than the rest of your classmates. You LEARN something else that they don't. The question is: What did you LEARN?

Be curious
Because simply,
Studying is too mainstream
*wears Hipster glasses*

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Sunday, August 12, 2012


Nak tau satu benda tak?


Yey! Dapat baju baru, seluar baru, kasut baru, perabot baru, kucing baru, awek baru bla bla bla bla
Keseronokan yang akan tiba setiap kali hari raya

Tapi pernahkah kita terfikir

Fungsi/Agenda sebenar Aidilfitri?

Adakah ia sekadar barangan baru semata-mata?

Aidilfitri/ Hari Raya Puasa adalah untuk menyambut berakhirnya perjuangan kita berpuasa sepanjang bulan Ramadhan. Semasa Aidilfitri, kita hendaklah saling bermaafan dan merapatkan hubungan.

Aku ulang semula...

Untuk menyambut berakhirnya perjuangan kita berpuasa sepanjang bulan Ramadhan. Semasa Aidilfitri, kita hendaklah saling bermaafan dan merapatkan hubungan.

Tak masuk lagi? Okay.

Untuk menyambut berakhirnya perjuangan kita berpuasa sepanjang bulan Ramadhan. Semasa Aidilfitri, kita hendaklah saling bermaafan dan merapatkan hubungan.

Kenapa aku bold kan frasa itu?
Sebab aku rasa mesej tu sudah ditenggelami dengan nikmat-nikmat duniawi seperti barangan dan duit.

Aidilfitri sepatutnya masa untuk kita lupakan sengketa, lupakan pergaduhan, bermaaf-maafan dan merapatkan hubungan.
Tetapi perasan tak?
Time-time Aidilfitri ni la ada gaduh.

Gaduh pasal isu-isu dahulu
Gaduh pasal tanah la
Gaduh pasal duit la
Tu la, Ni la

Bukan itu saja.
Ada juga yang tidak pedulikan hubungan itu terus.
Sekurang-kurangnya bila gaduh, ada la hubungan...hubungan negatif
Tapi ada jugak mamat2 minah2 yang TERUS lupakan hubungan itu.

Tak faham?
Korang tengok drama-drama Melayu cliche kan semasa Hari Raya yang lepas?
Yang cerita mamat/minah ni lupa diri dan tak Raya
Haaa...malangnya, perkara tu tak berlaku dalam fiksyen semata-mata
Ia berlaku juga dalam realiti kita.

Tidak ke rugi?
Hari yang sepatutnya gembira, bertukar menjadi tragis?
Rugi kan?

So, apakah point aku membebel pasal benda2 ni?

Sebenarnya, aku terkilan...
Aku ni macam korang tau, Kaki lepak TwitterJaya yang agak hardcore. (Though aku x se-femes Nazu)
Aku heran tengok budak2 as in budak2 sekolah dan kolej, hilang semangat Aidilfitri ni.
Tweet macam:

"Aku x nak balik kampung, bosan."
"Baju baru. Tu je fungsi hari raya"
"Aku x nak celebrate Raya hambar"
"Buat apa balik Raya? Asyik gaduh ngan sepupu je."

Okay, mungkin tu agak hiperbola tapi aku perasan kekurangan semangat Aidilfitri disitu.
So, aku menulis blogpost ni dengan satu tujuan...

Enjoy la Hari Raya korang
Merapatkan hubungan 
Jalin semula yang jarang
Baiki semula yang rosak
Kukuhkan yang sedia ada
Tak salah nak shopping sakan
Cuma, ingat semula tujuan utama perayaan ini
Kita masih muda
Bergembiralah anda
Mana tau, Hari Raya ini ialah Hari Raya terakhir anda?
Tidakkah anda akan menyesal?

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Friday, August 3, 2012



If you are already in universities or colleges, please please please, I ask of you to go to you counselor, and ask for an NLP test. What is an NLP? It is an initialism for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Now, why did I ask you to do this test? It can help with you with your study, seriously! It doesn't take much, just questions, 60 plus if I'm not mistaken.

Ok, in short, there is four type of human being in this world.

First, the kinesthetic type. You love doing practical world? You love participating in a work that require hand-eye coordination? Are you the type of person, who can't stay still in one place without playing with your hand or a pen? Then, you are probably  this type of person. *high 5* We are this type of person, who learn through practical work. *Engineer mode, on*. Way to actually gain knowledge? DO notes! Don't just read! You need to participate in your work!

Now, the second type, visual! Owh, I am so envy guys! Most of you can remember details of a picture, with just one look! You like things with bright colour and accessories with extreme details! Why am I jealous of you guys? You just simply have to read, and boom! You remembered. Well, good luck on reading your extremely long notes, you future doctors!

Next, auditory. Well, just as it sound, you guys are the type of person which learn through hearing. But there's one disadvantage, you guys are easily bored! You do not like repeating lectures. Do not sleep in class ok! Because I know that there's a lot of lecturer out there that keep on repeating the same thing, over and over and over again!

Finally, digital. Most people will look at this type of people as, "lembab". No, they are not! In fact, they analysis everything about a topic. True, they are the last to understand certain things, but, they learn the most! They will ask and ask until they fully understand, and when they do, they will know more about the subject more than other people. It's like, they're the last to start, but the most successful.

Alright, that is all that I know. Please, as a CCC member, go to your counselor and do the test. Start seeing the world differently, and learn to balance all the 4 characteristics! It is FUN!

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