Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) funded FOS students for a Training Programme

Two Environmental and Life Sciences, FOS students attended a training programme for undergraduate students majoring in the field of science and engineering in South Korea from 6th July until 14th August 2015. The Korean Government has invited 100 students, including 20 ASEAN students to participate in the training program that is designed to provide students with an in-depth academic training in science and engineering field as well as an invaluable cultural experience in Korea. The ASEAN students were placed in five different participating Korean universities that are specialising in different science and engineering field.

Abigail Jan Khai Shing and Nuraizat Abidin, two graduating students majoring in Biological Sciences at UBD, received their lab training at the Chungnam National University (CNU), Daejeon with other participating students. CNU is one of the ten Flagship Korean National Universities that specialises Applied Biology. The 6-week training programme was fully packed with various lectures on Korean cultures and Biology. They attended intensive Korean language, cultural and history classes and the professional academic lectures covered areas from entomology, mycology, virology to bacteriology. They were also given the chance to conduct experiments in the different Biology labs and they were taught to conduct fascinating projects, such as the gene expression of Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP) in Nicotiana benthamiana plant, the diagnosis of plant disease, the isolation and identification of fungal pathogen, the collection and preservation of insects, the dissection of cockroach digestive system and the early stage of cloning an animal, such as a pig. Besides focussing on lab work, they also visited public and government research institutes to gain experiences on the research conducted at the national level. In the final week of the training programme, all 100 students gathered at Dankook University in Yongin to present their research projects in groups of 4 students.
The laboratory research has allowed both students to have hands-on experience on the different subjects in the field of Biology. It definitely gave them ideas on areas to pursue for their graduate studies. Both students graduate with an Upper Second Class Honours in BSc Biological Sciences degree from UBD in September 2015.

Students’ testimonials:

Abigail: This training program has allowed me to discover Korea the local way - experiencing the heat wave in the summer, their local delicacies, and even communicate with the Koreans using their language. I also get to form new friendships with the other ASEAN students within our field of interest and get acquainted with their cultures as well. The various laboratory experiments has allowed me to experience hands-on experiments of different subjects in the biology field. Professional lectures given and field site visits to research institutes have definitely widened my perspective in the science field by showing how advanced and forward thinking the Koreans are. Overall, I have gained an invaluable experience and I would like to thank Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Faculty of Science, the Korean government through the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) as well as Chungnam National University for this golden opportunity.

Nuraizat: The training programme was beyond my expectation! It has increased my understanding of the scientific field not only through lectures conducted by University professors but also from conducting laboratory experiments guided by the postgraduate students and field visits at the Korean research institutes as well as working in a team for the final presentation. I was also amazed with Korean cultures, such as its traditional music and taekwondo performance. My newly formed friendships with the Koreans, ASEAN students and other international students will not be forgotten as I have learned some basic and common words of their different languages as well as histories, cultures and traditions of each country. Korean Language classes have definitely helped me to communicate with the locals and it assisted me when I did my shopping, searched of Halal food and travelled in Korea. Eventhough each ASEAN representative has its own way of learning and tackling our tasks, we all have good teamwork to make this training programme successful and beneficial to each of us. Last but not least, I am grateful to Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Faculty of Science, the Korean government through the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) as well as Chungnam National University for this wonderful experience.

Orientation for participating students attending the GKS ASEAN Countries' Science and Engineering Students Training Programme at the Global Hall, Office of International Affairs Building together with National Institute for International Education (NIIED) Officers, Coordinators, Professors and Student Buddies.

Field Visit at the Rural Development Administration, one of Korea Research Institutes in Daejeon.

Students looking at TV monitor connected to a microscope to get a clear view of good quality pig's oocytes for in-vitro fertilisation.

Nuraizat and her team after pinning insects in the Entomology lab.

Abigail during a field visit at an animal farm in Chungnam National University

Abigail and Nuraizat in front of College of Agriculture and Life Science Builiding in Chungnam National University.