Budaya Beat March - April 2016

Page 1


Chief Editor: Khalilah Talha


Contributing Editor: Gaya Velayutham

E-Magazine Coordinator: Zainal Iz

zuddin Saharudin

Designer: Nurhasliza Sahadi



Hungry for Knowledge in HUNGARY By Zainal Saharudin


he third AFS Academy yielded new knowledge for the AFS fraternity in many related areas but for a first time participant like me, it was truly an eye opener.

Held at the European Youth Centre in Budapest in the middle of a mild winter, the Academy was divided into two weeks of training for Board and staff of Partner Countries. An icebreaker session held the night before the Academy started was a fun way to get to know one another better and discover how things connect to each other. “Building a Successful #AFSeffect Campaign: Secret to Recruiting” was the first session I attended. We discussed the #AFSeffect and how, as employees, we should know what our business is all about. “It is important to know how to respond and start conversations when people ask about AFS,” emphasised our course trainers. Our role as marketers in AFS must always take precedence in all our touch points with the public. Sharing and brainstorming ideas was what I really found most beneficial as it gave me an insight into the challenges faced by other Partner Countries and how to overcome them.

Raquel and Sheryl from AFS International sharing best practices on the latest #AFSeffect Campaign

A common theme in the session was how to engage Generation Z as they are our target market and potential customers. Hence, understanding how they think and behave is crucial to ensure we can recruit them as participants of AFS programs in future. I found the second day’s workshop to be the toughest because it was all about the “Marketing Plan”. First of all, our trainer Raquel introduced and explained about #AFSeffect Visual Brainstorming among delegates on how to improve the Guidelines which must be understood fully when designing number of sending participants to non-traditional destination materials for AFS so that there is brand consistence and countries

Zainal (forth from left), participant from AFS Malaysia learning from others partners on best practices for producing marketing material


uniformity. The AFS Brand Centre which resides in the AFS World Cafe has all the necessary information and we learned how to use AFS World Cafe for sharing files and communicating with each other using this platform. We also learnt that knowing our target audience is key in marketing as appropriate messages can then be crafted to relate and identify with them. We went through the Seven Step AFS Marketing Communications Plan and the AFS Customer Journey. Most of us were drained by the end of the day because of the heavy topic and the many layers it has but the information and tips on how to prepare a better marketing strategy will stand us in good stead for when we return home and apply it at work.

Farah, participant from AFS Malaysia taking notes during one of the sessions

Social media too was a topic of discussion in marketing strategy as it is the best tool to draw the attention of Generation Z. AFS International revealed that it was developing strategies for social platforms such as Snapchats, Tumblr and Linkedln. By the end of the third day, we shared promotional materials and bounced ideas off each other on how to improve our outreach programs. I also attended the “Generating Demand to Non- Traditional (Diversity) Destinations” session where we discussed about less popular AFS destinations and how to improve demand. During the course, AFS Belgium shared its story on how it made improvements to the number of students hosted and sent on exchanges.

Christine Leimbruger from AFS International sharing her expertise and knowledge on how to improve recruitment from non-traditional destinations

Another interesting observation about the 2016 AFS Academy is that it was consciously a “green” initiative. Participants were not provided with bottled water but instead given thermo mugs at registration. We were to fill our own drinking water as and when needed from the taps which was at first alarming to me because it is not advisable to drink water straight from the taps in Malaysia unless you have boiled it first. However, I was assured that in Hungary and many parts of Europe that tap water was perfectly safe to consume! The use of paper was also limited in all the workshop sessions. What I found interesting however, was the single sheet of Academy Times newspaper which had all the information we would require, including updates, highlight of the day events and notifications of changes, one day in advance. It was slipped daily under our door as early as 6.30am! Not only that, the food served throughout the two weeks was very healthy. It was all grilled, mainly greens, not much oil used, no artificial sugars and of course fruits and salads were plentiful. During every coffee break, fruits were served and I dare say I lost some weight in the one week I was there although it might be difficult to prove due to my sizeable size!

Delegates getting together for the closing dinner of week one of the AFS Academy

This trip was also my first overseas experience and I found it to be truly thrilling and wondrous. I have learned a lot and hope to generate new ideas and contribute towards a more effective Marketing and Communications strategy for AFS Malaysia in the near future.






Board Games

By Zu Mian


ffective Board members must drive change, be role models of society, improve the organisation’s state of readiness and manage the complexities in the world of AFS.

Concepts were described using charts and drawings

A three-day Board Governance and Leadership course at the recent AFS Academy in Budapest emphasised the need for Boards across the AFS network to understand their role and carry out their strategic, generative and fiduciary duties instead of micromanaging. The session took a hard look at what was not working in terms of leadership at AFS today. This included complacency and non-performance among board members, unwillingness to take responsibility, no investment in developing leaders and no time to commit to AFS. Some members stay for far too long in the Board, yet have no new ideas to contribute but if all the Board members were new and have not had much experience or history of the organisation, it would also not be workable. A mix in terms of diversity, experience, age and background is therefore needed for a Board to function cohesively. Among the personal takeaways were that Board members Board members ham it up for the camera need to know when to lead and when to follow, must face conflict instead of avoiding it, be tougher at decision making, share responsibility and be more professional and committed. Boards also need to attend leadership skills development programs to up-skill themselves, be firm in evaluating nonperforming Board members and serious in addressing and enforcing compliance (Board KPIs) and ensure there is a process to counsel out non-performing Board members. The session also discussed at length on the strategic, generative and fiduciary duties of the Board. Chief among these were risk management, advocacy, financial and budgetary matters and content generation. AFS Malaysia was represented by two Board members, Zu Mian who is responsible for Administration and Staff Affairs and Zamrah Ismail, Programs Development and Saying it through pictures... Visualising their ideas Scholarships.


Advocating By Zamrah Ismail



ack of understanding, government interference, difficulty in obtaining tax exemption and the organisation’s own varied positioning tend to curb the growth of AFS and intercultural learning. Trainers, facilitators and delegates at a briefing session

Breakout sessions generated ideas and insights

To overcome this, an advocacy strategy was proposed as one of the useful tools to employ in our efforts to secure government support and recognition, especially the need to know who the real decision makers are and to format proposals accordingly. These common challenges among Partner Countries were discussed in Advocacy Training, aimed at educating and creating awareness among legislators and the general public on issues facing the community and the importance of aligning public policies to them. In the case of AFS, we strive to be the organization of choice for ICL and our exchanges to be recognized at the multinational level. To achieve this, we need to review and consider our purpose by determining what the central goals of the organization are based on policy analysis, who the direct and indirect beneficiaries are, the feasibility of achieving it at national level and knowing what the organization mandate is. The workshop discussed six steps of an Advocacy Strategy: knowing the right decision-makers, the right messaging, timing, understand our competitors and, if need be, forming a coalition with them, taking action and evaluation. A small group of participants from Latvia, Paraguay, Thailand, Iceland and Malaysia shared insights and highlighted issues peculiar to each country during the session, touching also on the link between national and international policy institutions and how international policies can be useful to advocate at the national level for AFS.

Listening intently to interpreters while taking copious notes

Advocacy should also be used for initiatives on sustainable development goals including inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. By 2030, learners should acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including through education, sustainable life styles, human rights, gender quality, cultural diversity and promoting a culture of peace and nonviolence.



AFS’ Legacy of VOLUNTEERISM now available for EDUCATORS!


FS Intercultural Programs have launched a new project to share our inspiring story and origins with the world.

Produced by the AFS Archives, “The Volunteers: Americans Join World War 1, 1914-1919” tells the story of American volunteers who got involved in the war. Volunteers distributed food, clothing, and medicine to soldiers and civilians in Belgium and France. They drove ambulances, operated field hospitals, and steered relief trucks. Some served under arms as soldiers or pilots in the French and British armies. Their act of volunteerism could be prompted by altruism, personal ambition, a search for adventure, or hope for the redemption of a devastated Europe, but they chose to engage with the world even before the United States entered the conflict. In 2014, when we celebrated AFS turning 100 years, we shared our Founder’s dream to continue to change our goals and expand our reach as much as our founders did in 1914. Nicole Milano, our Head Archivist, collaborated with a team of distinguished historians, educators and archivists to develop a “unique curriculum that honours the past – notably the important role of U.S. American volunteers in World War I – and speaks to the future by highlighting how volunteerism is a key component of intercultural competence and global citizenship education”. As our organization grows, one of our key objectives is to establish ourselves as leading experts in intercultural education and volunteerism. The AFS Effect has become increasingly available to people beyond our traditional programs and The Volunteers offer us an opportunity to do precisely that. The free curriculum is a great opportunity to bolster our position as an educational organization and to further develop relationships with students, teachers, schools and other organizations.


About The Volunteers: Americans Join World War 1, 1914-1919

Inspector G Stephen Ga

It is a free curriculum aligned with UNESCO Global Learning standards for secondary school classrooms worldwide. The curriculum helps students analyse the history of World War I through the lens of this volunteer service, both before and after the period of American neutrality. It also aims to continue the legacy of volunteerism established during World War I by encouraging students to engage in local, regional, and international service. About The Curriculum All 22 lesson plans in six broader topics in this free curriculum are aligned with both UNESCO Global Learning and U.S. Common Core educational standards, which help teachers to assess learning objectives and lesson plan goals. They help students analyze the history of World War I through the lens of volunteer service, both before and after the period of U.S. American neutrality. The curriculum contextualizes the important humanitarian work of the American Field Service within the broader scope of U.S. American volunteerism during the war, emphasizing the significant contributions made by these volunteers and placing them within the broader historical context.

Ambulance France. Sp

Usability In Classrooms Around The World Many of the lesson plans were created to be adapted to different national contexts, outside of the U.S. Importantly, the lesson plans also aim to continue the legacy of volunteerism established during World War I and encourage students to engage in local, regional, and international service. Learn more about the curriculum and lesson plans on The Volunteers: Americans Join World War 1, 19141919 here

Undated po the Lycée P

AFS enters a strategic partnership with the National World War Museum and Memorial

General A. Piatt Andrew and Assistant Inspector General alatti at the AFS headquarters in Paris, France. 1917

Photograph by H.C. Ellis.

e drivers of SSU 14 at the AFS headquarters in Paris, pring 1917 Photograph by O. King.


FS has entered into a strategic partnership with the National World War 1 Museum and Memorial and will be leading an exhibition on April 5, 2016, titled ‘The Volunteers: American Join World War 1, 1914-1919’ in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. The exhibition will showcase the importance of U.S American volunteers during the World War 1 and will trace back the littleknown history of how many independent volunteer groups such as the American Field Service that has helped pioneer models for present-day international humanitarian and global citizenship organizations. The panel exhibition will also feature unique historic photographs and documents from the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs, and will include select 3-D artifacts from the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The exhibition will be held at the National World War I Museum and Memorial from April 5 to October 2016. It will then travel to multiple venues, as coordinated by the Museum staff. This project allows the important and relevant story of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs to reach new audiences worldwide. This exhibition will not only commemorate the past, but will also promote AFS and its important mission as we move the organization into its second century. The exhibition is being launched through the generous support of The Florence Gould Foundation in New York City. AFS Malaysia invites its stakeholders to get in touch if you are interested in reproducing the exhibition locally. Because the traveling component of the exhibition will contain only panels and no original artifacts, it travels easily and can be accommodated in many types of museums and other venues. If you are interested in hosting or translating the exhibition, feel free to get in touch with Atty Sulaiman, National Director at atty.sulaiman@afs.org

ostcard depicting the American Ambulance Hospital at Pasteur in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France



TV Talk on AFS Malaysia


oard member Thiruchelvam Subramaniam was recently invited by Astro Vaanavil to speak about AFS Malaysia on its breakfast show.

Thiru shared with the show’s hosts about AFS Malaysia’s achievements over the years in sending Malaysian students abroad for intercultural immersion and hosting foreign students in the country. He spoke about the good work done by Malaysian volunteers in hosting these students and the continued support received from schools and the Ministry of Education. Asked about the criteria for selection of a host family, Thiru, whose role on the Board is Chapter and Volunteer Development, said the most important thing is to welcome the student and making him/her truly a part of the family. “Treat the new addition to the family as your own son or daughter, with love and care and firmness and everything will work out,” he said. Thiru also shared insights on how AFS candidates are selected for the programme and the various options available for interested participants.

Exchange A

group of international students are lookin learning the art of silat during their stay here

Exchange participants from Japan, Thailand, Switze Malaysia to begin their intercultural learning experie be placed in high schools and stay with host familie volunteer work in non-profit organizations such as Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Penang Cheshire Hom Penang Buddhist Association.

18+ Community Service Program participant, Fred looking forward to learning silat. “I heard that ‘silat’ i and I would like to learn it while I am here as I find th yet deceptively graceful.” He was also excited to be Service Centre Berhad in Penang.

The high school participants were also looking forw local culture and community.

Kanyanut Chantapatkul, 17 from Thailand said, ‘M Thailand but at the same time we are different in Malaysian life and culture during my stay here. I am host family too!”

All participants were greeted by AFS volunteers and to meet their host families and representatives of the

Screen grabs of Thiru in action Volunteer teaching Malay Language to the participants


Students and The Art of Silat

ng forward to exploring Malaysia and e, whether for a semester or ten months.

erland and Germany arrived recently in ence. Some of the younger students will es while the 18-plus participants will do Eden Handicap Service Centre Berhad, me, IPG Kampus Kota Bharu and Tadika

derick from Germany admitted he was is a popular martial arts here in Malaysia he moves fascinating‌they can be lethal egin volunteering at the Eden Handicap

ward to immersing themselves into the

Malaysia has a lot of similarities with many things. I hope I can learn about m really looking forward to meeting my Participants presenting their expectations towards their experiences in Malaysia

d accompanied to their respective states eir community placement organizations.

Participants pose together for a group photo



Seeking New Experiences 4

5 mini ambassadors are ready to go for a 6 months exchange to United States of America. These students who represent Malaysia under the Kennedy Lugar – Youth Exchange Study (KLYES) Scholarship program have departed to U.S yesterday via Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Previously, they have attended the 3 days and 2 nights Pre-Departure Orientation organized by Yayasan AFS Antarabudaya Malaysia (AFS Malaysia). This orientation was to support the mini ambassadors to understand and get ready for the intercultural experiences. Kai Bing, 18 years old from Negeri Sembilan shared YES Alumni sharing their school experiences with participants “I will be hosted in a small town known as Vernon. It will be super cold too. I am excited to experience the snow for the first time. The reason I join this program because I want to try exchange program and study abroad. When AFS came to my school for roadshow, I thought this will be a great opportunity to be open minded, learn another culture and share our culture as well. The volunteers and alumni has prepared us for this journey and it has helped me to boost my confidence,” he added. Auni Farha Nashua Abu Hasmadi, 18 years old from Terengganu who will be hosted in Houston, Texas said, I feel curious about another country because every country has different culture, values Bidding goodbye to their family and friends and different lifestyle. I would like to experience that on my own. I want to share my culture with my host family. I prepare a scrap book with pictures of Malaysian attractions so that I can talk to them about the uniqueness of Malaysia. Attending the Pre Departure Orientation has help Auni a lot. “The volunteers are here to help and guide us. I would like to become a volunteer too in AFS future events!” These students will learn and adapt to the culture of United States for 6 months. They look forward to immersing themselves and grow more mature and independent through the six months program. YES’16 participants gather for a group photo before pre-depature camp ends


Danish Delight A

FS Malaysia’s collaboration with Ranum Efterskole continued this year when nine Malaysian students departed for Denmark at the start of 2016. At a Pre-Departure Orientation organized by AFS Malaysia, facilitators were on hand to support and prepare the young ambassadors for their intercultural experience abroad. Maisarah Lukman from Selangor shared her expectations about the one-month programme. “I would like to try activities that are not available in Malaysia. Of course I am looking forward to experiencing snow for the first time. I also cannot wait to try skiing. I aim to make a lot of new friends and learn some Danish language”. Sam Lea Chin, also from Selangor, agreed as well, “The cold weather in Denmark is what I am looking forward to. Other than that, I would like to discover more about Denmark and share Malaysian culture with the Danes. It has been drummed into us that this journey is not a holiday tour but an intercultural learning process. I will bring chopsticks and cheong sam with me to show Chinese culture to all my Danish friends and family. When

I am at the boarding school, I would like to observe the differences in curriculum and teaching methods at Ranum Efterskole with schools in Malaysia. I am also curious to see how people my age spend their time on daily activities and their study regimes.” Another participant Fu Qi Chua from Pahang shared his excitement about travelling to the Land of Fairytales. “Denmark is my first choice for this program. I am really interested in everything about Denmark. I would like to learn basic Danish language because I am planning to continue my studies in Denmark in the future. I also want to try Danish food and learn about their culture. I will bring ‘batik sarong’ as gifts to my Danish friends and family. I am very excited to experience snow and to build a snowman. I will try to gain as many experiences as I can and share our Malaysian culture with the Danish people.” Ranum Effeskole is a boarding preparatory school in the northern part of Denmark and AFS arranges for a host family experience on weekends for a more meaningful cultural immersion for the Malaysian students.

Participants articulate their “Expectations & Goals” for the one month program

AFS staff Nadia (centre) and Ratchana (in grey t-shirt) conduct an icebreaking session with participants





Chapter Chats


Flashes in the Land of Lighting


or this edition, we sat down with Mdm. Anisah Chapter President of Kelantan Chapter.

Question 1: The AFS Kelantan Chapter was pioneered by Mrs. Wong Suat Ngai , together with other AFS Main Chapter members. Since its launch on 13th March 2009, the Chapter has been actively conducting many cultural events at the international level. Question 2: I have to say that Kelantan is the seat of culture in Malaysia and has varied sceneries, from padi fields to hilly terrain. Our Chapter activities are inspired by the very uniqueness of these elements.

Beach Cleanup

Beach clean-up is held annually, which makes it one of the staple activities here. We give this experience to secondary school students and the AFS exchange participants from all around the world. They will be educated on appreciation for nature and preserving aquatic habitats. In addition, local people will have a chance to communicate and work together with the Exchange participants. In fact, creating pleasant experiences is an art of the Kelantanese! Apart from taking part in and enjoying the activities, it is also one of the ways to publicize AFS programmes to others.

Traditional Kite (Wau) Festival

As Kelantan is rich in Malay traditional culture, a Wau Festival


is the highlight and signature of AFS Kelantan Chapter activities. Only in Kelantan is kite flying still part of the traditional practice after the rice harvesting season. AFSers also have an opportunity to see how traditional kites are made and flown by the locals. Question 3: The biggest challenge is to get volunteer involvement in Chapter activities, especially the returnees. Since many returnees have gone outside of Kelantan to further their studies, not many programmes can be held due to lack of support and voluntary workforce. Returnees can only join the activities during their semester break. Question 4: Wau Festival would be the most exciting activity to date and it’s actually proven how the Kelantanese value and preserve the arts and culture. There is also a bird singing competition which students can learn so many things from because in Kelantan, we emphasise on learning and understanding. Question 5: Kelantan Chapter hopes to be able to place 18+ students at more than 5 CPO in Kelantan and towards this end, we will organize more events on a big scale, collaborating with Tourism Malaysia, Pelayang and IPTA at international level. We have been successfully organizing international Kite Festivals for years and hope to continue this event as we want to inspire the people of the world to learn about the various Malaysian cultures here.

Kelantan Chapter Volunteers, host family and 18+ Participants saying Hi to the camera

Kelantan Chapter’s Volunteers are helping with cleaning the beach

Participant showcasing her artwork in Batik Dyeing


Family Highlights

Playing Host to the World I

n 2013, we started our short term hosting programme with Malaysia ALCoB School Network Projects. We hosted Korean students almost every year and most of the time we were faced with language barriers. But, we still found it interesting and never refused. Why? Because whenever you host a foreign child, it’s like you are having the ‘Live World Dictionary’ displayed right in front of you. You will get to know their country and it becomes very real to you. You don’t need to travel to their country at all, yet it comes alive for you. You will get to learn their culture and language as well. I can still remember the call I received in 2014. One of my friends who is an AFS Penang Chapter Volunteer Stephen Lee

called and asked us to be a host family. We were excited but we were not ready to have a ‘stranger’ live with us for a year. We discussed among ourselves many times and consulted Datin Teo too. After a year, we signed up the host family form and decided to take the challenge. In 2014, we finally met with our first host child from Perigueux, France. He was called Clement Bernazeau, a very tall and slim boy. He was very quiet and good looking too judging by the many comments on his looks that I get from facebook friends! When he first arrived in our home, the first adjustment we had to make was getting used to him calling us Mummy and Daddy. It was really awkward when a stranger called us by those endearments. We even consulted the Chapter president on this but we soon realized that we were his parents here and should treat him like our own son. That’s how the bonding came into the picture. As for the communication part, we didn’t have any problem at all as he could speak some English and google translate those words he did not know. During our free time, we talked to him in English and initiated the conversation most of the time (as he was too quiet). We also signed up English Language Classes for him and took him to see English movies. After three months, he could speak English fluently. He also picked up some Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia words along the way! During his stay, our holidays were full of activities and

Clement learning how to wear Baju Melayu

Clement spending time with his highschool friends at a birthday party


Bonding with his siblings at a family event

travelling. To let him experience the multiracial culture in Malaysia, we brought him to Chinese, Indian and Malay weddings. Other than weddings, we let him take part in SK Seksyen 13 The 3rd International Friendship and Cultural Camp to experience the Traditional Costumes Competition and show. As for Malaysian food, he was game enough to try everything and pronounced that he liked the ‘roti canai’ and ‘milo ais’ combo the best! At home, he learnt how to eat with chopsticks and learned the Chinese culture too. We brought him to mosques and Chinese/ Indian temples for some religious insight. We also exposed him to as many Chinese festivals as possible. Travel-wise, he had occasion to visit most of the states in Malaysia either with us or with his Festival Host Family. For Christmas, we treated him with a trip to Singapore as we trying to minimise any feelings of homesickness he might have during this traditional season festivity.

of programmes for the students and support services for the host family. Whenever you need help, just give them a call. In addition, this is a well-known and well-oiled international organization. Finally, we would like to thank AFS Malaysia for giving us the opportunity to be a host family. Even though the hosting journey consists of sweet and bitter memories, it is something you will cherish for a lifetime. Above all, you gain a new addition to the family and your world suddenly opens up to many new experiences. Go on, try it! When you open your door to AFS, you are just One Step away to the World.

During the course of his one-year stay with us, we had some arguments about religions especially the differences between Muslims in France and Malaysia. He also saw the differences in how the elderly are treated in western and eastern cultures. Despite the cultural differences we had, we adjusted and adapted to them. We have to learn to be openminded, tolerant and understanding in whatever matter that we differed in. Only then will the hosting programme be interesting and successful. Ever since we became a host family, we always tell our friends and relatives about AFS Malaysia. We share with them what the programme is about and how to be a host family. When we started the hosting programme, we were like all the others; worried about pocket money, communication, bonding between the child and family, the culture, the personality of the child etc etc……. But in actual fact, being a host family is easy and beneficial. Why do we say that? AFS Malaysia has prepared a series Above: Improving his chopstick skills

Left: Clement participating in a Chinese Wedding Reception


Malaysia Moments



Malaysia Moments



School Spotlight

SMK Chung Hwa Wei Sin: Shaping Education for the 21st Century


an you please introduce yourself and share with us how your affiliation with AFS Malaysia began? I am Koo Bon Chin, the Principal of SMK Chung Hwa Wei Sin, Kuala Terengganu. This school has long been associated with AFS. Thanks to the late Mrs. Wee Beng Tang and Madam Lucy Lim for their tireless effort and commitment to keep the AFS flag flying to date. I was first introduced to the world of AFS in 2006 when Mr. Long Tin Piau, the Terengganu AFS Chapter President, asked me to host an AFS student, Kohei from Japan. Thereafter, I had hosted a few YP, STE, IP AFS students and also a Spanish educator, Mr. Roger. My two daughters, Koo Wei Shern and Wei Wern, were on AFS programs to Japan. Besides organizing STE activities, I am also a panel member of the AFS State Interview Board. How do AFS programs impact your school from an intercultural learning perspective? From an intercultural perspective, AFS programs provide a platform for our students to acquire knowledge, attitude or behavior as a result of interaction with AFS students from various different cultures. The programs also provide opportunities for our students to go on the youth intercultural exchange programs, be it YES, YP, IP or VSP. AFS programs enhance intercultural learning that helps to transform the mental structures of our students as individuals and also grants him or her, the chance to walk in the shoes of the ‘other’. Thus, inculcating in them a sense of respect for culture and developing their cultural intelligence in finding common grounds and communalities rather than highlighting the differences. Sharing experiences through interactions also helps one to be more understanding, tolerant, open-minded and flexible.


Can you please share with us the challenge by having international students and what kind of activities that your school always drives related to intercultural learning? Of course there are challenges by having international students in our school. First, the language barrier as Bahasa Malaysia is the medium of instruction. Some students were reluctant to be placed in lower secondary classes for language class. Failing to master the language, they would feel bored. Second, most of the co-curriculum activities have ceased by July as the school is busy preparing the students for the public exam. Thus, not many activities for the NH batch of students. School activities that are related to intercultural learning are aplenty. International students are given the opportunities to give speeches during assemblies and also invited to classes. A bulletin corner/board is allocated for them to put up relevant information on intercultural learning. The Interact Club holds their annual camp with an International Night being highlighted. We also celebrate and hold various religious and social functions in school as well as outside to promote cultural awareness and mutual understanding. Language, religious, sports, musical and other clubs as well as the many uniformed units in school are readily accessible to the students. In your vision as an educator, can AFS play a big role in shaping education for the 21st century? Yes, to a certain extent, AFS can play a big role in shaping education for the 21st century. As an educator, it is necessary to use the world as your classroom. Incorporating local and world events in classroom allows students to be creative in the learning process. Involving AFS students in our school curriculum and co-curriculum activities helps to enhance both the AFS and our students a better understanding of global competency towards creating a just and peaceful world.

Exchange students are made to feel welcomed by students and faculty staff

Terengganu Chapter’s Madam Lucy and exchange students in their school uniform

Media coverage helps to promote AFS and creates greater awareness and curiousity among the community


Returnee Reflections



Alumni in Action



Travel Tales - Domestic



Travel Tales - Domestic



Travel Tales - International



Travel Tales - International














Life Quotes

AFSers, whether Board Members, Staff, Returnees or Volunteers, share quotes that they live by.



AFS Malaysia




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