Priya combines study with social life on exchange

Priya Agarwal
Priya Agarwal

Monash University Environmental Engineering and Commerce student Priya Agarwal began her academic year on exchange as one of approximately 7,000 students at Monash University’s largest international campus in Bandar Sunway, Malaysia.

But exchange is about more than what happens on campus: Priya found herself in a convenient starting point for sightseeing. “Sunway is only half an hour from Kuala Lumpur so we had ample opportunities to explore the city, enjoy the fantastic food, attend cultural events, and meet the lovely people.”

The city wasn’t the only place Priya got to explore; she also had the chance to visit the Cameron Highlands, and leaving the mainland of Peninsular Malaysia took her to Penang, Langkawi, Borneo, the Perhentian Islands, and Singapore.

Of her decision to participate in exchange studies Priya said, “I chose to go on exchange because it is a great way to balance studying with travelling, to experience a new culture, and to make friends with people from around the world.”

The social benefits of studying abroad were a definite highlight. “My fondest memories of exchange are the time spent with new and old friends – not only all the beautiful places we visited but also the everyday moments.”

Priya’s experience shows that exchange offers flexibility, as she decided to study three units in Malaysia and take on an extra subject once she returned to the Monash Clayton campus. “I prioritised my time in a way which allowed me to keep travelling and socialising but keep my grades up.”

Having different subjects on offer between Clayton and Sunway campuses also gave Priya the opportunity to be flexible in what she studied, expanding her engineering study to chemical and civil fields. Priya completed a Project Management unit, and electives in Sustainable Processing and Finance. “I found it very valuable to take these units in Malaysia, because there are different perceptions about Engineering in particular.”

Priya is currently in the fourth year of her Bachelor of Environmental Engineering and Commerce, with her final year and an internship on the horizon. Going on exchange has sparked a love for travel in Priya, as she plans to travel more in the future and visit her friends in other countries.