A group of 13 students and 3 visiting academics from the Universitas Mercu Buana (UMB), Jakarta, Indonesia participated in an exciting 15- day International Students Exchange Programme which was held from 3rd to 17th February 2020. Themed as “Exploring Cultures, Connecting Minds”, the exchange programme was officiated by Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr. Gerald Goh Guan Gan who wished the students a fruitful exchange experience in Malaysia. Representing UMB was Miss Mardhiyyah, who hoped that the exchange programme would further strengthen the collaboration between MMU and UMB in the areas of academic, research and innovation, and student mobility programme. Also present were Dr. Tan Pei Kian, Dr. Siti Zakiah Melatu Samsi, Ms Nun Shwu Huey, Heads of Department, and fellow lecturers.

During the exchange programme, the students attended a series of Digital Entrepreneurship Workshops which were conducted by Dr. Siti Zakiah Melatu Samsi, Ms Nun Shwu Huey and Ms Sharmila Rani Moganadas. The workshops aimed to train the participants in developing a viable e-business model, covering topics such as creating a Business Model Canvas (BMC), web development, social media marketing and business pitching. In addition, a career sharing by Mr Chiew Soon Aik (Chief Product Officer of Softinn Solutions) and an industrial talk by Mr. Ivan Chin (Founder and Chief Executive Officer of GoLog) were held. Furthermore, education trips were organised where the students visited the Ajinomoto (M) Bhd and Infoseum 1909. Also, they visited Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) to gain exposure to the operations of the public broadcasting industry in Malaysia.

With an aim to strengthen intercultural relations, the programme has given strong emphasis in exposing the participants with our local culture and tradition. Aside from learning traditional dances and games, a culinary class was conducted to provide hands-on experience for the delegates in cooking traditional cuisines. Furthermore, they also visited some of the popular heritage sites such as the Stadthuys, A’Famosa fortress, St. Paul Hill and church, Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum, Batu Cave and others. Moreover, a community project was conducted during the exchange programme where the students participated in the mural-painting project at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Ayer Keroh, Melaka. During the weekends, they visited Petronas Twin Tower, KLCC Suria, Melaka Botanical Garden and many other popular culinary spots.

During the exchange programme, a panel discussion entitled “Current Trends in Business and Management” was held, involving researchers from both institutions. Representing MMU were Dr. Liew Tze Wei and Datin Dr. Hasmida Jamaluddin; representing UMB were Ms Mardhiyyah and Mr. Engga Probi Endri. Such exchange of teaching and learning activities, as well as research findings open more rooms for potential collaboration between both higher learning institutions in the future.

The students from both universities presented a series of traditional and contemporary performances which mesmerised the members of the audience during the awards and certificates presentation ceremony. Representing UMB was Ms. Dewi Sad Tanti who expressed her heartfelt appreciation to MMU for hosting the exchange programme and hoped that a similar programme can be continued in the future. The ceremony was ended with the presentation of certificates to the exchange students, visiting academics, organising committee, workshop trainers and instructors who have contributed to the success of the exchange programme.