Have you kept in touch with them?
Gabin: Yes, I kept in touch with an Italian and a French woman.
Are there any bars in Malaysia?
Gabin: Absolutely, there are bars and many places to have a good time.
What do you think are the best places to visit in Malaysia?
Gabin: In the northwest of the country there are beautiful coasts with fine sand and turquoise water, it's beautiful. Towards the centre of the country, there is a mountainous region where it is colder (20°C) and where there are tea fields in the mist, it is also very pretty. It's also a nice break from the daily heat that you can get in the big cities and in Malaysia in general.
How far is it from Kuala Lumpur?
Gabin: The northern islands are less than an hour's flight from Kuala Lumpur, so it's a quick trip. To go to the mountainous region in the centre of the country, it took us 5-6 hours by bus.
What is your best memory there?
Gabin: We celebrated the New Year in Bali with other expats. We were about 15 people who rented a small villa. It was quite nice. The next morning at 10 o'clock, we went surfing!
What is your worst memory?
Gabin: I had a car accident. I was leaving for the airport to go to Indonesia at about 5am. My driver ran a red light and a car hit us. Luckily we were okay but the car was completely dead.
What countries have you travelled to?
Gabin: To Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia. I travelled a lot during my 4.5 month expat period.
What was the pace of the course?
Gabin: I had managed to fit all my classes at the beginning of the week into two and a half days. This left me time to travel on the side, to see people and for my hobbies.
How did you validate your semester?
Gabin: The level required to pass the semester is not excessively difficult. But you have to follow the lessons well and work in the evenings and before the exams to succeed.
Is student life in Malaysia different from that in France?
Gabin: Yes, definitely. You have to know that Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country, it's even the state religion. The vast majority of women there are veiled. It's surprising at first but you get used to it very quickly. I found it very interesting to be confronted with a religion I didn't know and to break down any prejudices one might have. The relationship with alcohol is also different, but students go out like we do in France.
Student life in Malaysia is very different from France.
Would you recommend doing this expat in Kuala Lumpur?
Gabin: Yes, it's a very interesting experience. You can travel, you meet lots of people, life is cheap and it's warm, which is not negligible!
What advice would you give to someone going abroad?
Gabin: My first piece of advice is not to stay with the French if you want to progress in English and really mix with the culture, you have to force yourself a bit at the beginning to make foreign friends.
The final word...
Gabin: Work on your course and give yourself the means to go to Kuala Lumpur to enjoy your expatriation. Give yourself the means to meet people, to open yourself to other possibilities of travelling. Don't stay in your comfort zone. Expatriation is really an opportunity to surpass yourself, take advantage of it!