Malin’s best experiences during her year of studying at Udayana University

When Malin went on vacation to Bali, she wanted to stay longer to learn more about the culture, enjoy the climate and eat the delicious food. Therefore, she decided to come back and not study one, but two semesters in Bali.

Girl sitting at the beach in Bali.
Malin Fuchs has spent two semesters abroad in Bali. Photo by Malin / CC BY

What’s your name and where do you come from?

My name is Malin Fuchs and I come from Stockholm, Sweden.

Where did you spend your exchange semester?

I spent two semesters during Autumn 2017 and Spring 2018 on the island of Bali in Indonesia.

Why did you choose to study in Asia, and your destination in particular?

I chose to study in Asia because I love the friendly culture of Asia. The people are welcoming and very helpful, which makes you smile when walking around. And people say hello to you everywhere! I chose Bali because I have been there before and have a lot of friends from all over Indonesia. I had only been in Bali for vacation before and wanted to stay longer to learn more about the culture, enjoy the climate and eat the delicious food.

Tell us a little more about your study destination, what was it like to live and study there?

Bali is a very welcoming Island and it is bigger than I thought at first, not bigger in size but bigger in the offer of exploring. There is so much to see and explore in Bali! The offer of activities is wide, and you can choose anything from learning how to surf, chasing waterfalls, hiking mountains to rafting in rivers! And of course, getting to know the different cultures is enjoyable too. In addition to Bali, there are many beautiful islands around Bali that are worth visiting, my favorite island outside of Bali so far is Lombok. In Lombok, nature is beautiful and the beaches offer really great surfing opportunities. And there are not so many tourists, so you can easily explore the real local culture!

View of beach beds, parasols and trees on the beach on a sunny day in Lombok.
Lombok is Malin’s favorite island because of the nature, beaches and surfing. Photo by Malin / CC BY

Studying in Bali was a very good opportunity to learn more about the language and culture. And you can use this knowledge while enjoying your free time and exploring the island. Asia Exchange has been very helpful during my trip and I always felt comfortable and safe knowing that I could lean back on them.

Did the experience meet your expectations?

The experience has given me more than I expected, this is an opportunity everyone should take! I have learned so much more about myself, other people and can go back to Sweden with so many new memories and experiences. The most important thing that I want to take home with me is the everyday smile and the attitude of enjoying every small thing. To have the opportunity to learn about other cultures and meet locals and students from all over the world is kind of breathtaking!

Back view of three blond girls looking over trees in Ubud.
Malin and her sisters exploring the awesome jungle of Ubud. Photo by Malin / CC BY

What were the highlights of your exchange?

My highlights during my stay here in Bali have been all the people, they have given me the best time of my life. I have got friends for rest of my life and can visit them in the future. The ocean is also something I would highlight, having an opportunity to swim and surf at so beautiful beaches is something I am really gonna miss. But I also have to mention the food, it is so cheap if you prefer local food and it tastes so delicious!

A person is holding sticks of satay on a smoking grill in Bali.
You should definitely try the delicious local food when you are in Bali. Photo by Akharis Ahmad / CC BY

How did you get the study place? What was the application procedure like?

I heard about this program from a friend that was studying in the same program a couple of years ago. So I got interested and applied through the website. The application procedure was very easy and I got a reply from Asia Exchange really quickly after applying.The staff of Asia Exchange was very friendly, helpful and could answer all my questions in an effective way.

Which were the most interesting topics in your studies?

I think that the courses Bahasa Indonesia and International relations and communication were the most interesting subjects. The language course was really fun because you could actually just cross the street and talk to the local people after learning, which I see as a good opportunity. The course called international relations and communication was really interesting because it’s a modern course and includes current discussion topics about the things that are going on in the world right now. The teachers in that course were really good as well.

What kind of accommodation did you have and how much was the monthly cost?

I shared an apartment in Denpasar with one friend. The apartment was located very close to both Kuta, Seminyak and about 30 minutes drive to the university in Jimbaran. I chose Denpasar because of the good location, most of the other students chose to live in Kerobokan, Seminyak, and Canggu which are very good places to live as well. But we wanted to live in more local areas with not so many tourists. The monthly cost for the apartment was around 230 euro for two bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and a common swimming pool.

You might be also interested in: Best Areas To Live In Bali

What were your normal days like while living in Asia?

I usually started my class pretty early in the morning so me and my friend drove to school, had our classes and after that, we usually went to the beach. There are a lot of beaches around the University, which was perfect when I ended my school days earlier. After some beach hanging, I usually went to the gym or did some yoga. Every evening could end differently, sometimes we made barbeque with some friends or went out to eat dinner somewhere. During the weekends we usually went on some small trips to discover more about Bali. We went to see some waterfalls or visit temples, new beaches and so on.

Three men pitching a tent during sunset at JImbaran Beach.
There are many places in Bali that are perfect for camping during the weekend. Photo by Malin / CC BY

Did you have a chance to travel during your stay?

I got a lot of opportunities to travel. I had classes only from Monday to Wednesday which made the days from Thursday to Sunday a perfect time to explore more of Bali. When having longer breaks from school we went outside of Bali to explore the Islands. Some of the Islands we visited were Lombok, Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Gili Islands.

What kind of things did you learn about Asia during your stay?

I learned about the kindness and got a lot of inspiration from all the people I met. I also learned more about people’s everyday life here, which is interesting if you compare it to the life in Sweden. For example, I learned how important traditions and culture are as well as family and friends. I saw both good and bad conditions, which gave me an eye-opener and more experience to embrace in my everyday life back home.

Blue sky and a view of Mount Batur during daytime in Bali.
Malin can put the Mount Batur trekking of her bucket list! Photo by Malin / CC BY

What kind of things did you learn about yourself?

I learned to be more honest with myself and not to take things too seriously. I also learned to let go of small things that used to bother me before.

In your opinion, why should people go to study in Asia?

Because you will never forget it! Asia is a beautiful part of the world with so much to give. The people are amazing and will make you feel welcome. With all the different types of cultures, traditions, and way of thinking, the Indonesian people are fascinating. One more reason is the environment with stunning views, sunsets, waterfalls, rice fields, and mountains. So much of variation and so much to explore, it makes Asia an easy choice!

Girl on a scooter in front of rice fields in Tanah Lot.
Malin taking a break from driving in front of the beautiful rice fields in Tanah Lot. Photo by Malin / CC BY

Would you recommend this study program to other students?

Yes, I would really recommend this program to anyone who wants to change their life, create good memories, meet new people and learn at the same time.

What are your greetings to Asia Exchange?

I am so happy to have been able to study in this program and with all support from Asia Exchange this journey has been unforgettable. So many greetings to the friendly and helpful staff that made this possible!

A free word for any student considering going abroad

Just do it, it will be amazing. Face your fears and go out of your comfort zone, you will learn so much about life and have friends and create memories for a lifetime!

Create everlasting memories by spending a semester abroad in Bali.

Find out more about studying in Bali

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

This text was written by our Planning Officer Sami.

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