Adeela is pursuing her PhD degree in Sociology and Anthropology at International Islamic University Malaysia. We asked Adeela about her experience of searching and applying to a university abroad.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your name? How old are you? Where do you come from?
I am Adeela Rehman, 32 years old. I am from Rawalpindi, Pakistan and basically originated from my beloved 'Khushab'.
Where are/were you studying and what programme? What about the degree level? How long is your programme?
I am doing PhD in Sociology & Anthropology from International Islamic University Malaysia. It is a three-years degree programme.
Why did you want to study abroad?
It was my strong desire to get my PhD degree abroad, to acquire some new and different knowledge in my field, I particularly wanted to experience the research culture in an international environment.
What were your main priorities when choosing your university and your programme?
I want an excellent professional and academic environment which provides me liberty to extend my knowledge by potential experts. The university's support and services in terms of accommodation, studies, mentioning and all the major and minor issues related to student life unable me to stay independently. The learning environment is remarkable and students have liberty to show their potential in whatever way they can excel their abilities.
Was this your first study choice? What other universities did you consider? What was the main reason of your final choice?
Yes, as it was financially bearable for me without any scholarship and it has good reputed and high ranking school as International Islamic University.
Did you know from the start that you wanted to study in that particular country and city? Why choose this particular location?
Never thought about that, but when I started searching my area of research in different universities and countries, I found the best match at IIUM, so decided to work with those who have same background of research.
Did you find your study programme on StudyPortals? How then did StudyPortals help you in your decision process?
Yes, I used StudyPortals regularly, it guided me in number of ways to find the subject, supervisor, university related to my academic background, etc. The comments and discussions with other students at StudyPortals also motivate me to pursue foreign studies.
Did you take a language test when applying for the programme? If so, which was it, why choose that test and what was your experience with it?
Yes, as English language is my second language which I learnt from academic institutions, so know its accuracy. I had to pass IELTS with minimum band of 6. I scored 7 band in it. It was neither easy nor much difficult test, but needs some attention and hard work.
What would be your advice for students from your country that consider studying abroad?
If they have potential and are confident enough to develop inter-cultural competency, they must go abroad for higher studies. The brilliant intellect can get many scholarships for their studies.
How did you finance your stay abroad? What financial advice would you give to future students?
Currently, I am bearing all expenses by myself, which can be easy in Malaysia, but if you go to any other country like the UK, or USA, it will be too costly, so better get a scholarship.
Why would you (not) recommend this particular city/university
It has a very good environment, based on Islamic principles, such as promoting peace and unity across the world.
How would you rate this experience? How was your abroad experience overall?
What is the reasoning behind the rating you gave? How was your abroad experience overall?
It gave me a lot of exposure, confidence and motivation to learn more.
Is there anything that you would do differently if you could do it over again?
I wish I may achieve my milestone at my earliest with good grades.
What was the biggest surprise in your study abroad adventure?
Food, which is unique in nature, healthy and in a variety of tastes.
Were you inspired by Adeela's story?