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Malaysians of Leeds



I have never imagined that I will be studying geology in Leeds before. Being the only Malaysian in this course is quite challenging. Despite struggling with my study, I must adapt to the new environment as I need to spend almost half of my spring and summer break with my geology mates for fieldwork. I have experienced fasting in Ramadhan for 20 hours while hiking the Scottish Highland during one of my field excursion. Thank God, I survived and now I’m already halfway through my degree.


It is essential for geology students to do fieldwork in order to study the real world and integrate all skills that have been learnt - by looking at rocks. We will travel to the geologically fascinating area that embraces the beauty of His creations. I even have the opportunity to get to know my coursemates during this fieldwork as we stayed in a self-catered accommodation and there will be some group works that need to get done by the evening. So, we will learn, eat, and enjoy our trips together.


I don’t think I will be able to be this tough without any support from my fellow Maleedsians. They do inspire me through their stories and made me realise that I need to jump out from my comfort zone. To be honest, I felt different kinds of fears for every fieldwork because each and every one of them will be held at the different places with different aims. However, in the end, I did enjoy the awesome outdoor course, although I can’t avoid from getting muddy, wet, and windswept.


My next fieldwork will be in Ireland and I will be spending 6 weeks of this summer for an independent mapping project in Coniston, Cumbria. I really hope that I can survive throughout my degree. Do pray the best for me :)



Ahamd Syahmi

Never in my life would I thought I’d be inspired by something written by Maleedsians in MOL. Reading what others wrote somehow inspires me in a way that I could have never imagined before. A lot of inspirations and advices were given, such as to "live out your life", "go out of your comfort zone" and "find your passion". Little did I know, these advices will flash in front of me every time I’m about to do anything new, thus encouraging me to do so as well.

I managed to overcome my fears to do things out of my comfort zone ever since coming here. I’ve overcome my fear of height and rode the roller coasters in Disneyland. I tried out new experiences like skiing down the steep slope in Poland. I even put myself in a position that I would have never imagined to achieve before - the president of a Malaysian society. Thank you for all those wonderful stories that have inspired me to do all these things.

I wish I can be like them who inspire people, not only through their writings but speech and actions as well. However, for now, I want to use this opportunity to inspire people through my writing. I would like to invite everyone to share their stories and aspirations so that others might feel the way that I do when they read them as well. Again, I would like to express my utmost gratitude for all the wonderful stories shared. I really love my Maleedsians family 😊

-Ahmad Syahmi-


Farah Mohamad Idris

I’m currently on my psychiatric placement which means I’ve pretty much diagnosed myself with every psychiatric disease from generalised anxiety disorder all the way to early onset dementia. It’s weird-ish but medical students (and people in general) do it from time to time. I’m relatively certain that I don’t actually have any of those conditions but I do know that I have a pathological desire to please people; it’s pretty much the only reason I’m writing up this story (wink wink).


Anyways, here’s me; a somewhat lazy medical student with an intense fear of failing currently in my 4th year of medicine - infamously referred to as the year of death and despair.


You’d think I’d know how to prioritise my studies but I really don’t know and so, I say yes to things and events and people and before you know it; I’m in bed, nursing my day old migraine, being a horrible person to my housemates (soz guys) and negating existence beyond my duvet. In the aftermath of it, I get selfish with the time that has been given to me, click pause on reality and nurse my mental health back to a functional level. Sometimes it takes 30 mins but sometimes it takes several days.


I guess what I’m trying to say is more often than not, we get so pre-occupied with deadlines and responsibilities and other people that we forget about ourselves. I get it, it is tough being so far away from the people we love in a country so foreign with miserable weather and the stressors of being a student but this is me reminding you that it’s okay to have some time off to take care of yourself!


P.S. feel free to grab me/call me if you’re having trouble coping and want someone to talk to, I’m terrible at giving advice but I give good hugs xx


-Farah Mohamad Idris-

4th year, Medicine


Rosabella Zuntivai Mobijohn

I have always wanted to travel the world and learn about the different places and cultures that I have only read about or seen on TV when I was a little girl. Studying abroad opened up a whole new world for me and gave me a lot of exposure, experience and personal development to make me a better student and a better individual. Being so far away from home, you’ll learn about the differences and uniqueness of all the other cultures and appreciate each one of them. 


Earlier this year, I was living in San Diego, California. I moved back home about 5 months later and now, I’m in the UK. This year has been a crazy rollercoaster ride for me. So far, I’m loving my university life in Leeds. Leeds is beautiful and it is a very accepting and welcoming place, which does remind me of home. I’ve met new friends of different cultures and backgrounds. Everyone will be apprehensive about leaving home and being out of their comfort zone. If we were meant to stay in one place, we would have roots instead of feet. Whenever you travel to a new place you will discover and explore new horizons. You’ll realise that the world is full of wonders and excitements. 


With Love,

Rosabella Zuntivai Mobijohn


Xi Chen Ooi

Study abroad is one of the great choices I have made. It not only broaden my horizon- get to make friends from different culture and background, but also let myself expose to a different education system and study in my second language. I am lucky enough to be given the chance to participate in many programs like the summer school and PASS mentoring scheme. They have helped me to expand my network and improve my interpersonal skills.


Apart from studying, I like to go travelling and play music. The key to happiness is to do things you are passionate about and comfortable with. Travelling enable me to learn about the world, different culture and languages and create unforgettable memories and experiences. Music is another part of my life. Playing instrument helps me to stay calm and sooth my nerves whenever I feel stressful with studies.


So, what I just want to say is enjoy your life wherever, whenever. Explore the outside world and indulge yourself in things you love- don’t worry about what other people think of you. Be yourself!

-Xi Chen Ooi-


Disclaimer: Picture has nothing to do with my story. It’s just to remind you to always be livin’ life like you want to. On to my story!


The comfort zone.


Who hasn’t been in their own personal comfort zone, right? It’s an easy, non-pressure environment that everybody has a little of in their lives. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing! Comfort - whether it be in terms of your living environment, your group of friends, or even your daily routine, can easily make your life in Leeds one of the best times you will ever experience.


But what happens when you get too deep into your comfort zone?


Sometimes, one might not even realise that they have been drowning in their own comfort zones and that can be where problems begin. You’ll start to experience less, draw little from your day-to-day experiences and derive little to no emotion from your environment. And that’s where I found myself circa 2016: drowning in my own little bubble, and not challenging myself enough, not putting myself out there enough. 





Life is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs, but through it all, I have tried to remain grateful and stay focused on the positivity along the way.


However, I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately. I’ve been thinking that it has always been taken for granted and it seems like something simple - making yourself happy. But it’s actually not. It’s complicated. Happiness is one of the first emotions we learn, and we often use the word “happy” every day to express how we are feeling. The most important is that our lives revolve around our happiness – or lack thereof – and I think that's what makes it complicated.


I believe that it is totally fine for you to take some time off and just think of how happy you are with everything around you at the moment. If you ever find yourself in the worst of time or are just feeling terrible, just think of what makes you happy and give up on the things that weigh you down. Hey, haven’t you heard that you get best of what you give out of life? And even in the darkest of times, when I had nothing to give, and often relied on the kindness of others to just get by, I still had my smile. Nope, no one can take that away and sometimes the only thing someone else really needs is a few kind words and a smile.


So, spread out positivity and surround yourself with it all the time, and InsyaAllah the negativity in your life will start to eradicate. Remember that there’s always calm after the storm, but you must first be willing to walk through the storm.

After all, life is like a roller coaster ride. It’s your choice to scream or enjoy no? 😉




Life as an 'Allstars'

I applied for AirAsia (AA) through the jobstreet website (I bet everyone knows it). To be honest, I did not expect any reply from them and I assumed that they would just ditch my CV. But of course, God knows better, one day I received an invitation email from AA stating that I am welcomed to join the internship and was offered to join MyASEAN Internship under TalentCorp as well! Basically, all works based at the main office, RedQ, in Sepang and I was part of the Quality Assurance Group Inflight Ancillary (F&B) team. I was in a very small team, yet I learnt so many things from them despite their busy-ness. All the assignments given were relevant to what I am studying right now and I am satisfied with it (I hope my supervisor would feel the same haha). However, I had to sacrifice a lot of things along the journey; especially my time with my beloved family. Nonetheless, the peaches and the pits from the internship really grow me to who I am today.



I'm given the chance to appear in this amazing slot of LUMSOC, MOL, but truth be told I honestly can't think of anything fun. Like everyone else, the most recent event in your life seems like the best part of the story so I guess I'll take this chance to talk about LMG17? Hahahah, yes it'll be boring for you - sorry about that!

I've been very indebted to LUMSOC since even before coming to Leeds and two years of family time with them have encouraged me enough to return back the favour. I knew nothing about sports and how to handle events - but I didn't want to give up just yet. Leeds Malaysian Games have always been amazing and fun, and I want it to continue to be so. Whew, who knew organising a 600-only-targeted-audience event could actually be pretty taxing! ( I honestly didn't.) But I had amazing friends along the way who were more than happy to help, a support system without whom I couldn't have made it through, and a bunch of super cool people around who're more than expert in initiating ideas and turning them into realities. This event was a fruit of everyone's efforts - and I'd like to thank everyone for giving me the chance to be a part of it.





A true friend stays true to the end. A true friend accepts who you are and helps you become who you should be. True friendship knows no boundaries.

In my life, I do appreciate the moment with my friends whenever we decide to go for outgoing. We do make memories of laughter, arguments and lots of emotional express. Those who truly treated us as their true friend will always forgive and forget on our own mistakes and teaches us when their problem and the mistake we had did. I'm thankful that I had met two true friends in LEEDS!! Whenever we need help, we are able to help each other and never count for the small things.

My advice to you guys is to enjoy your time here in Leeds. It is very important to select your friends very carefully. Remember the maxim "All that glitters are not gold, some are TIMAH".


Mustaqim Azhar


"Just imagine how kids in the United Kingdom have been introduced to programming at the age of 7 or 8!"

I swear the fourth year of Mechanical Engineering was not easy, but realising that it was just about time I would leave the land of Shakespeare and The Beatles that is so close to my heart, I knew I need to at least optimise the remaining time I had digging the gems I could earn from the people around me.

Students into Schools Programme was one of the things I took part where students were given the chance to go into schools as an assistant teacher. As you can see in the two pictures on the left, are the coding software for kids, where they were tasked for simple and exciting animations like moving a rocket to the Earth using coding. Of course, in a simpler version as an introductory level to programming, where blocks of instructions are provided and just needed to be arranged just like in the photo on the top left. Whilst the photos on the right portray the learning equipment used in learning addition and subtraction. How cool!


Assalamualaikum and hello lovely people!


Studying in Leeds have been a fulfilling learning experience, academically and personally. I guess that you guys want to know what I learn on a personal level rather than academically, right? I mean, Economics & Finance is a lot of fun but I would not bore you with it (excuse my cheekiness).


The one thing I believe and continue to learn and develop is the strength of maintaining my identity. I walk around the town of Leeds with a soaring pride in my heart for being a Muslim, Malaysian and most importantly, being the one and only Rahil Shahril. After striving to fit in during my younger years, I’ve learned to let that burden off my shoulders and I’ve never felt younger! Learning to let go off that burden is the first step but having the strength to stand in this world that’s filled with labels tagging on what’s the norm and what’s not is overwhelming.



Post MNight Q&A with Co-Director, Celina

1. How does it feel to be a female co-director? In what ways does it impact you?

Honestly, I don’t feel special or anything. I am really happy that the whole team took my opinions as equal as Brandon’s. It was definitely an amazing experience. From acting and being the producer previously, being a director has been eye-opening. I never thought I’d be able to do it. When Brandon called me and asked me, I was just ecstatic. I knew I am in my final year and I shouldn’t take up too many responsibilities. But this was a once in a lifetime thing, so i did not hesitate and just said yes. Since then, everything was just beyond amazing. 


"Where the heart is"

Leeds. Where do I start? Leaving your home to a foreign land is very much a bittersweet occasion. You look at your parents from the departure gate in KLIA, and you can clearly see their happiness. You get drowned in that happiness too. But if you look at them closely, you sometimes find a tinge of sadness in the air. You catch a tear rolling down your mom's cheek, while hearing that hearty laugh of your father's, knowing that he's only doing that to cover up his nervousness. So how do you do it? How do you leave home to a new and strange place for the next 4 years?

Let's fast forward. This year marks the 3rd year since I first left home, and so much has happened, I don't even know how to begin. How do I cram 3 years of stories into a line or two when a whole book won't do justice? I guess that's what Leeds does to you, it creates so many memories for you.

Spring break is just around the corner and we want to find out what the MaLeedsians are up to. Turns out quite a number of them are busy prepping for the annual MNight organised by Massoc (Malaysian & Singaporean Society). LUMSOC was happy to know that MaLeedsians are stepping out of their comfort zone by joining the production.

For this special edition, we are featuring the interviews that we've conducted on the MNight production team. This gives a glimpse of what our fellow MaLeedsians have beeng involved in, how they feel about what they're doing and how does it empower them.

Check out the rest of the slides for the new featured dialogue between the Editor and the MNight Producer & Director!


"Ask me 5 years ago if I could see myself pursuing a legal career for the better part of my life and I would probably look at you weird. Back then, University of Leeds wasn't even on my radar. Heck no, my ambition was to dive into the world of investments, make my first million, rule the world, build a resort island and then sit back and enjoy life by the time I turn 30. Okay, I exaggerated. But, I certainly did not foresee myself here today.

The way my life unfolded was not how I expected it to be. But for better or for worse? I don’t know. And I bet, if you were to ask me where I see myself 5 years down the road, I would come no where close to the real answer, and that’s perfectly fine - because I have come to accept the uncertainty life brings, and learnt to be content with what I am given.




3 years ago, I remember that these people were nothing more than strangers to me but now they are my best of friends. Now, as someone who is living thousands of kilometres away from home, I treat them nothing short of family. We’ve known each other for the most of our times during foundation year and our first year in UniKL, but we never really “hung out” together until we are already in Leeds where we started to grow closer day by day and would do many things together. We usually try to make time to catch up with each other by having small gatherings at our house or a short trip over the weekend whenever we are free.


I was born in Kota Kinabalu but I live in Leeds. Existing in two places is never easy. My history belongs in Sabah but presents in Leeds. When I moved I didn’t know any Malaysians here, I was lost, everything was different.

           Besides the obvious differences between this country and “home”, the hardest part of moving was knowing you left something/someone behind. Whenever I call my family I feel like I’m there, like I never left but a 30 minutes phone call can never fill the gap in my heart that leaving my country has.

           Meeting a good friend helped to fill that gap and then all of a sudden this country became a lot more inviting as I had someone to explore it with. He opened my eyes to new experiences, I learned to love this place and all the differences. He was my home away from home. Maybe a home isn’t a place, but where my heart is. With my family in Kota Kinabalu and my boyfriend in Leeds.

-Natasha Quadra


Every people has their own passion which makes them a special person. In my case, I was gifted in  figure drawing. I started to realise this when I was in primary school. When the typical question of hobby was asked, then my one and only answer was drawing. Back then, I always drew some cartoon and my cousin was the one that coloured them. When it comes to drawing something, I was the one chosen by the teacher to do it. I always volunteered myself to enter any competitions relating to drawing.


Back then, when I think of studying in England, I'd imagine walking in the cold weather while holding a cup of coffee in hands or prolly sitting at a coffee shop to blog. It all still happen after about 4 months staying here. I mean, that's kind of my me-time. But I also figure out that there's a lot more than just the fancy stuff.

Or maybe it's not all about studying overseas, but it's more about how the time was spent. I started thinking, what could be worthy of my time?


I believe that each human beings on Earth have their own uniqueness and potentials. This is why I think that the chance to meet new people and learn valuable life lessons from them is an opportunity to not be missed. It is a way to know things in a new perspectives and also to instil good characters in us. I think these were among the main reasons when I chose to join the Foster Family Programme by LUMSOC. I was chosen to be part of Abang Razak and Kak Zuraidah’s family along with Syazana as my new ‘sister’! And with that, we also have 4 younger brothers, Zahid, Zaidi, Zahin and the cheeky Zahier! I was surprised when I knew that Syazana and I were the only daughters in the family! Oh my God! ‘Mum’ is going to spoil (read: manjakan) us after this! Joking hehe!


I started playing football since I was a kid. I was inspired by my father who was almost at the same level as Ronaldo if it was not because of injuries. My talent starts to grow during standard four when I was chosen as the defender to represent my school. Here in Leeds, I joined every single Malaysian games in UK and half of them end up with medals and lots of captivating goals (most notable achievement: gold medal in 2015 Leeds Malaysian Games with Leeds Young Tigers).

In terms of my performance in the game, I still remember what my rugby coach once told me, “If you keep yourself fit then only you can give 100% effort to the team”. I believe talent alone will cause people to hit a wall but working hard is essential to surpass the wall.


I started to develop an interest in outdoor activities since high school, though I can't exactly remember when but it was in that period.  Back then, it was rather hard to go and engage in outdoor activities because I didn't have many friends who'd actually join me.


Looking back, there is no specific beginning to pinpoint as I just tried stuff out such as paintball, hiking, going for runs, diving and rock climbing. I simply found that I enjoyed doing those things and hence, continued to do them. Among them, the most challenging activity would be diving. Although one wouldn't really deem it an extreme activity but I think it is pretty extreme for as I don't know how to swim.


The unadorned Edward Boyle library or better known as “Eddie B” was not exactly my ideal place to find “love.” The walls were peeling, the air-conditioning was too hot and the air stung of dread with a mixture of loss hope and sorrow (probably exaggerating). The exam deadlines were looming upon every student in that musty cluster, including mine, and anyone passing through those corridors would go unnoticed to me. The idea of “love” for the time was obviously non-existent.


It’s the idea of trying out something different, meeting new friends to have a diverse view that leads us to join *Leeds RAG. We decided to participate in Jailbreak hitch-hike challenge because hitch-hiking is something rare in Malaysia. So we named ourselves as the Malaysian Dynamic Duo, somehow to promote Malaysia. In order to qualify for the hitch-hike, we had to raise a fund of an at least £350 (£175 per participant) to be donated to a charity body of our choice.

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