Final year student Ethan Wong is studying for a Bachelor of Science majoring in Tropical Environment Biology and Microbiology at Monash University, Malaysia campus. He has previously been on exchange to Singapore and is currently on exchange at Warwick with Global Sustainable Development for the 2019/20 spring term.
Ethan explains how his goal is to make the most of his time at University;
“I don’t want to look back at my university life to realise the bulk of my time was spent chasing assignments and studying for finals. My goal since the beginning was to seek a fulfilling tertiary education, involving myself in all types of events, projects while networking with people from diverse cultural backgrounds coming from all walks in life.”
On hearing that the Monash Warwick Alliance had a student exchange program, Ethan jumped at the opportunity, as he had never been to Europe before.
Now having been at Warwick for just over a month, his experience so far has exceeded his expectations;
“The people are friendly and well-mannered, my flat-mates are amazing, the greeneries are beautiful, but the weather remains unforgiving! (Disclaimer: seeing some ice on the campus road one night had me squeaking in delight!)”
Joining Global Sustainable Development, within the School for Cross-faculty Studies at Warwick, has enabled Ethan to open his eyes and view the world through the lens of economists, policy makers, and indigenous people.
“This is a course I think every university student should undertake because of its relevance within today’s context. The lecturers here are renowned professors in their own field of research, and they have done an amazing job in facilitating discussions while critiquing approaches and challenges in implementing solutions to some of the largest problems on Earth. They have showed me that global issues such as food poverty, climate change, biodiversity loss and antibiotic resistance is not a matter of righting the wrong with facts, but taking a step back from a close-up look and assessing the problem through a more holistic approach involving economic, political and societal aspects as we try to reach a desired, compromised solution.”
Ethan’s advice for those considering going on exchange but are unsure if they have the courage to do so?
“I implore everyone to take a step back from the view filled with fear, doubts and hesitations and look at the bigger perspective. It is a huge world out there, go out and fill your soul with wonder, your phone with pictures and your life with memories. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zones, and to leave behind your loved ones for a short while in search of an experience which money cannot replace and time cannot buy.
You only ever get to be young once, but if you do it right, once is more than enough. When I head back to Malaysia I’ll be proud to say that I live a life with no regrets, knowing this trip to Warwick has been more than worthwhile.”