Interview with Abdul Malik Omar

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Photo courtesy of Abdul Malik Omar

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Where in the UK are you studying right now?
I am currently studying at the London School of Economics. I am pursuing an MSc in (L) Economic Development. Prior to this, I acquired a BSc in International Enterprise and Business Development at the University of Essex.

How long have you been studying in the UK?
For almost four years now.

Why did you choose to go to the UK?
I think that the UK is one of the best destinations for a world-class education. Selecting LSE for me is a good decision because it is ranked at #2 in the world and #1 in the UK for social sciences (QS World University Rankings for 2015-16). I hope to one day utilise all the skill sets, networks, and knowledge I attained there to contribute to nation-building efforts.

“You get the chance to meet new people, learn new things, and are exposed to new environments almost every single day.”

Describe a day in the life of an overseas student in the UK.
It is exciting. You get the chance to meet new people, learn new things, and are exposed to new environments almost every single day. It is through these experiences that one grows as a person.

What surprises you the most about your experience of being a student in the UK?
Being based in London gives me a front-seat to observe how vibrant, open, and diverse the city is in accommodating people from all over the world. London never ceases to amaze me because of this. It is literally the best city on the planet (second to BSB of course!). My deepest hope is that our city, BSB can emulate London somehow by perhaps becoming more open to the region (ASEAN) as a way of strengthening our economy.

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Abdul Malik Omar far right at LSESU ASEAN Society with Danny Quah

What do you like most about studying abroad?
What I like most about studying abroad is being able to work with various youth who I have met in the UK, who are passionate about what they do. For instance, I got the chance to work in the LSESU ASEAN Society with my friend Benedict Nispeors, President of the society. Throughout my time working with him, I got the chance to learn a lot from him, in terms of the importance of ASEAN and about how inclusive leadership can shape sustainable societies/communities in the future. It was truly an enriching experience.

Tell us one of the challenges you face on a day to day basis as an overseas student.
The food. I miss Brunei food!

What advice do you have for students moving to the UK for further studies?
If you are applying for a scholarship, do the best you can to score good marks. Get additional tuition if you can because competition nowadays is getting intense. In addition, enhance your CV by building up your CCA experience. For example, do voluntary work for NGOs or event activities, this could help to differentiate your CV from that of your competitors. But above all, once you do get the scholarship and are on your way to beginning your education abroad, remember to always be yourself. Never conform. Be different. Dare to be different.

This article was published in the Oct-Dec 2016 issue of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!