Campus Alive

June 23, 2008

Life in INTEC

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 1:36 pm

International … Education… Centre… INTEC… Hrm, I had never heard about this place. The only information I had was that it was located in Shah Alam and 3 of the seniors from my school were studying there. Even though I was thankful to be granted this scholarship, skeptically, I knew that INTEC was neither a place of comfort nor glamour.

With only this piece of information, I flew across the South China Sea. For my first lunch, I innocently ate the extremely hot chillipadi, which “camouflaged” in the fried mee hoon I ordered. I blissfully thought it was just a vegetable. >.< Dear junior, watch out for chillipadi ya! As time passed, I gradually met classmates, friends and seniors.

However, a remarkable event that brought intimate friends who were close to my heart was an internal debate tournament- Battle of Minds. Well, to be precise, it was the drenching training schedule led by a senior. Imagine we had 3 rounds of brain-cracking discussions and mock debates everyday. A few of us who joined this training struggled, wobbled and dragged through it for we had to handle our academic workload simultaneously. Though it’s demanding, every single seconds of effort was rewarding. Through it, we attained trust, we gained precious friendship, and more importantly, we were brought closer to our Almighty Heavenly Father.

My life just went on smoothly after this. Until around mid August, while I supposed to be enjoying my life joyously since I had everything that I could ask for- friends, study, family and scholarship- but, for no reason, I felt LOST and EMPTY.

“ Be thankful, dear. Don’t ask for problem.” I always reminded myself.

I could say that I was quite a tough and resilient person. I seldom cried. But at that moment, I shrieked and cried all my heart out in my room when I was alone.

The scene was still vividly carved in my memory. It was in Cemara “Starbuck”, an open place with chairs and tables provided for students to gather around or study. I sat at one corner, together with a senior. I told him that I felt better and I’m fully recovered. No, he said.

“Amanda, let me pray for you.” Ok, I closed my eyes and bowed my head down near to my knees.

“ Dear Father Lord, embrace this sister, you sees her struggle, and you knows her heart’s desire. Fill up her emptiness… Jesus loves you… Jesus loves you… Jesus loves you…” Out of a sudden, I broke into heavy tears again. “ Jesus loves you,” these 3 words echoed in my ears. When I opened my eyes, I saw this senior who was sitting right in front of me, was shining so comfortably like an angel. This might be a confusing illusion caused by my teary eyes. But at that moment, he really looked like an angel that was assigned by God to send peace in my heart. This was a pivotal breakdown that embarked my journey along with God. I used to be like a wild stallion that ran without a goal, without a direction. But finally, I found my one and only rider. I would never regret falling in love with Him.

I was so blessed in this place. In my church (New Life Restoration Centre), we have great and caring pastors. My gang and me were particularly close to Pastor David and his family. Almost every weekend, we went overnight at his house. They were an authentic and wonderful family. I was so privileged to learn the way of Christian’s living directly from them. They just gave benevolently without condition and their love towards Father God were so glazing and consuming. Sometimes, I could just gasp in awe, where and how does this love come from? The answer was just very simple, they loves God.

I was given the chance to serve as a pianist in church. Frankly, I was not proficient in piano. In my first worship practice, one of my feet was pressing the pedal and the other was trembling. And on the Sunday service itself, both of my feet were trembling! So you can envisage how nervous I was. Well, I ever dreamt of one day, my fingers could just dance around the keys gracefully and I could play melodious music in front of people. Though it was still a long way to go, thank God that I was given this chance and a very supportive church.

Another community that impacted vastly in my life at INTEC was Campus Alive! This was a Christian fellowship where Christians could gather every fortnightly at New Life to worship God, learn the word of God and fellowship together. This is an indescribable heaven and sanctuary of mine. I witnessed the implicit and complete love of the people towards Him and how God’s power rained upon them in various areas. In fact, this was a place where I found my brothers and sisters that are knitted closely in the family of Christ. Come and join us and you will understand the peace and joy that you could seek from it.

So dear juniors, it was an exclusive prerogative for you to be placed here. Though the living condition here was unfamiliar and not very comfortable, people here were treasures and God’s power was magnified here. Come and devour every day of yours. Learn to adapt and be independent. Remember, God is strong when we are weak and we seniors are here to help you. Cheers~

Senior,
Amanda

June 9, 2008

Dear juniors…

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 8:05 pm

Phew! Does time fly indeed. Here I was, a freshman fumbling to find my way around in INTEC (and *ahem* gotten lost once), and, before I knew it, I’d to start bracing myself for the title “senior” already, having completed my first year and currently enjoying the semester break. The second semester here at INTEC had really been a fleeting affair for me, passing perhaps doubly as fast compared to the first, for reasons unknown to myself.

Nevertheless, the first week at INTEC had been the longest week of my life, amidst the frenzy of settling down, adapting and parting with family. There was of course the MMS (Minggu Mesra Siswa) Week, which was essentially a weeklong orientation programme for freshies, conducted by seniors. Rest assured that there will be no ragging though, as far as what the Professor had told us, that is. Juniors can expect a hectic week, what with all the activities carried out, which will be done in groups. Meals will be provided throughout the orientation week, ‘meager’ yet satisfactory. (We have to count our blessings, remember?)

Junior guys can look forward to a truly unique hostel experience at Kolej Cendana. The mere mention of the word Cendana, I believe, would spawn a deluge of complaints and negative comments from seniors who’d had the ‘privilege’ of staying there; of being stranded in the middle of nowhere, with irregular buses, limited variety of food and poor internet connectivity. (Gasp!) True as convicted, nonetheless, fret not, dear junior guys! For Cendana is actually not as bad as it seems. In fact, the internal living conditions are pretty much better off than those of Akasia or Cemara’s, owing to the fact that Cendana had just been renovated quite recently. To top it up, there had even been further repair and renovation works last month (during the period of our exams heat, literally), so there shouldn’t be much to complain of. There are two rooms in an apartment; one with 2 single beds and the other with 2 double Decker beds. That makes 6 guys to an apartment – quite a cramp, yes indeed, but we guys will just make do, won’t we? Expect the morning rush though, as you’d all be racing for the washrooms and toilets upon waking up, especially during the orientation week, making for an interesting start to hostel life … The good news is that the bathroom and toilet here are separated, unlike those in Cemara, so there can be two people doing business at any one time.

The apartment may seem a little too small for six people at first, what with the six desks arranged in the living room especially. There is hardly any space to move around! But then again, this calls for acclimatization; you’ll have to get used to it. The walls are painted with a yellowish hue and the floors, tiled. The bus stop is quite a walk away from the hostel though; there is also a Petronas station nearby with ATM machines, and of course, how could I forget, the infamous Dawood Restaurant, the only reasonable eatery within walking distance around. It is a mamak restaurant serving mostly Indian and Malay food, with rather poor service however, sadly. There is also a stall – Mat Endon further down the road, but it does not present too attractive a choice, as it is located just beside a drain. All hope for food is not lost however; venturing beyond Section 6, there are always greener pastures, most notably being perhaps Restaurant Kari Kepala Ikan serving Chinese food in Section 9 and McDonalds in Section 2. Yes, it is within walking distance for the adventurous. In fact, my friends and I had jogged there in the evenings on numeous occasions; dined and then taken the bus back (It was dark by then, anyway). Rapid KL T602. Get familiar with it, for it’ll bring you to several places such as Section 2, PKNS, SACC and so on.

Sadly, there is no wired or wireless internet connection at Cendana, being sparsely (and annoyingly) intermittent at best, if any. The alternative is to use the computer labs or walk a short distance to a cyber café nearby. There’s a laundry room with 2 washing machines — yes, guys, you’ll have to do your own laundry! No more relying on mummy. By the way, just to let you know, the management had actually placed a notice before, prohibiting the hanging of clothes and eye-catching apparels outside the windows, lest the landscape be changed. Fret not though, for there’ll be places to dry your clothes. There’s also a basketball court and gym for the physically active.

Hmm… What other ways to describe the typical Cendanian’s experience than of course the Restu Barakah bus service! UiTM buses will be plying Cemara and Akasia, leaving Restu Barakah for Cendana. Buses arrive as early as seven in the morning to pick students up to INTEC, at supposedly half hour intervals, which can hardly be depended on. During the morning rush hours, the buses will not usually leave until students are packed to a sardine can-like density in the bus. I’ve learnt much through trial and experience, having had the bus leave right in my face; buses, I learnt, have a tendency to leave 5 minutes before their scheduled time. So suppose you intend to take the 8.30 am bus, assume that it’ll leave at 8.25 am and be there by then. Then again, always make allowance in case the bus breaks down or does not arrive, by taking an earlier bus. I’d had to learn this lesson the hard way, unfortunately. It was the day of our end of semester Chemistry test scheduled at 2 in the afternoon, and my friends and I had just missed the 1 pm bus. So we banked all our hopes on the 1.30pm bus, which never arrived. Fret not, we assured ourselves, for we could call a cab. By 1.40, however, we were already a bundle of frazzled nerves, no taxi or bus in sight. It was not until shortly after 1.50 that a taxi coasted our way and picked us up. We made a dash for ALM square where our exams were held after arriving at the main gate, and were fortunate enough to make it just in time. Phew! T’was a terrifying experience I’d never forget.

So much for depressing Cendana issues. Moving onto INTEC, the most notable feature’d be none other than the newly-opened library. No WIFI access though, sadly. The collection of books is huge nonetheless, amidst conducive studying environs within the library. As it is fully air-conditioned, a sweater might be of great help. There is also a 24-hour studying room for students; restrictions apply however, for girls as they are not allowed after 11pm.

Remember to abide by the dress code of INTEC. Casual wear would do fine, jeans are allowed, but no collarless shirt though. Sandals are supposedly not allowed but students wear them anyway. And yes, dress formally on Mondays; and Fridays for girls only, i.e. long-sleeved shirt with tie for guys and Baju Kurung/ Batik for girls. Don’t forget to display your Student ID at all times; there’ll be guards hoarding at the front gates to check on your dress code. One offence and you’ll land yourself with a saman, which’ll be recorded in Student Online Services. Sigh.

Food at INTEC is satisfactory enough, the main cafeteria being AUSMAT café which serves a variety of food, as well as custom orders like Pattaya, fried rice and so on. It is air-conditioned, prices are reasonable, but food runs out fast during lunch hours, so it’ll be a good idea to pack food earlier beforehand. There’s even a wafer machine outside the café for those eager to grab a bite between classes, perhaps. There’s also the ALM and ADFP Café, but they’re less popular compared to AUSMAT.

As far as ALM is concerned, you’ll be placed in classes according to your future destination i.e., IMU, PMC or MMMC. Depending on your timetable, classes may start at 8am, which is most often the case in Semester I. Expect classes to end as late as 6 pm on at least two days a week, thanks to the CTU classes (Philosophy & Theology) and ko-PLN sessions. The schedule becomes less hectic into the second semester, though, thankfully. There’ll usually be two topic tests and quizzes now and then and, not to mention, of course, the end of semester exam. It’s not all work and no play nevertheless; there’s plenty of recreational facilities in and around the hostels, eg a park near Cendana. We even have DoTA and CS tournaments (informal ones, that is) now and then after a busy day at school, by linking laptops wirelessly together across rooms and blocks back at hostel. Yes, life over here is that fun!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to encourage fellow juniors to attend CA. In case you don’t already know, CA is a Christian fellowship gathering fortnightly on Thursdays in New Life Church, Kota Kemuning. CA has really been a blessing to me; I had immensely enjoyed the time of worship and fellowship there. Do join us!

After all that has been said and done, it has indeed been worth the experience. College and hostel life is not without its ups and downs; but then again, who says life is a bed of roses? It is important to face challenges with the right attitude, adapting and improvising along the way. For those feeling homesick, I can empathize most well; but worry not! The bus station’s located at Section 17, just a stone’s throw away from INTEC. The ultimate gateway to home. So to all dear juniors, enjoy your stay in Shah Alam! All the best.

Signing off,
Kenlee

July 2, 2007

INTEC’s Anatomy Part 5: Library

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 6:02 pm
Somehow I didn’t have enough material and inspiration to come out with a cynical, funny, or even an informative post on INTEC’s library. However, after what I experienced today, I can certainly comment a lot about INTEC’s library.

INTEC’s library is located just opposite the ADFP cafe and also beside ADFP/ALG/Music Department block. It is easily accessible but as usual, there are a lot of things that you have to look out for.

1. An anti-theft stand
Just like what you always see in big shopping complex, this anti-theft stand uses bar code as its sole means of detection. If you want to steal a book out of the library, you will have to defeat this system first. Then again, not many people actually want to steal anything from the library itself. Many many times, the system creates more troubles than benefits to students in INTEC. For instance, an innocent friend of mine just happened to carry out a book from the library. Well, you have to understand that sometimes people can just bring out a book innocently without actually having the intention to steal any book. After all, she was carrying quite a lot of other books at that time. So it wasn’t a surprise that she accidentally carry a library’s book out with her also. Unfortunately, the alarm rang and she was caught. Instead of listening to her explanation, the librarian went on to make his own deduction on how she purposely wanted to steal a book. Final verdict: The librarian found her guilty of attempting to steal a book and hence, her library membership was banned for 6 months. =/ So people, be careful with the machine, all right? XD

2. Librarians
Let’s just say that they are the second most irritating personnel in INTEC after the guards. There is one particular big-size librarian who always scolds people for nothing. He will comment on the way we dress, the way we talk, and so on. Another thing about the librarians, they are not the most competent librarians you will ever meet in your life. I went to school this morning to check out from this school (yay I have graduated!) and guess what, the computer showed that I still owed the library TWO books. Of course, it was their mistakes and finally I got cleared from any misdoing whatsoever. There was another time when I borrowed a few books from the library and still the alarm rang when I walked through that anti-theft stand. “Ah, we have to scan this book again,” the librarian said sheepishly. I was like, “duh…” *knocks head* Never mind, I forgive them. Too err is human. ^____^

3. Computer room
There is a computer room inside the library itself. There are around 23 computers in it BUT. There’s a big BUT there. Only a certain amount of computers are working properly and are connected to internet. Having said that, some of the computers only allow you to type your works or to do slideshows. One more thing, not all the computers come with Microsoft Office too. To make things worse, most of the computer have no WinZip or WinRAR. The one good thing about the computers in the library compare to the computers in the computer labs is that it has the least security control. Students can easily download applications, songs, movies, and more. Just something on a bad side, you will have to drop your student card into a box upon entering that little computer room or else, the librarians will have you out of the room almost immediately. Hehe, I often walked in without my student ID and still managed to surf net for a good few hours. Another thing, the computers are always on demand. Sometimes, students have to wait for their turn to come to use the computer because there are not enough computers around.

4. Photostate Machine
American program students will normally just use the word “Xerox”. Well, there are two Xerox machines in the library. Sometimes, both work just fine. Other times, both are jammed. To use these two machines, students will need to purchase a card (by the size of a credit card) called “Cashless” at the price of RM11.00. Every time you Xerox a copy of paper, the credit will be deducted from your card. So when the credit finishes, you have to purchase a new card. It is as simple as that.

5. Study Area
There are two areas where you can study if you are a library person. I found out that I spent more time in the library sleeping than studying. >_

Just a little warning here. Be careful to not leave anything in the library.
The librarians have very bad reputation of keeping a “founders keepers” attitude, meaning that if they find something, they’ll keep it. It is terribly difficult to redeem something back once you lost it. So be careful all the time. I experienced it before with the librarians. I accidentally left my calculator in the library. A friend of mine found it and gave it to the librarian. She text me and asked me to go to the library to claim back my calculator. The librarian refused to admit that he had the calculator with him. Finally, after I showed him message my friend sent me, he pulled out my calculator from a drawer and returned it to me. =D

Bottom line: Be careful.

Checked out of library,
Leen

June 26, 2007

INTEC’s Anatomy Part 4: Courses

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 4:40 pm
INTEC is not complete without its students. This post will inform you about the 4 biggest program in INTEC; American Credit Transfer Program/American Degree Foundation Program(ACTP/ADFP), A-Level Medicine (ALM), Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT), and A-Level German (ALG). This post is made possible through the contributions of several authors. Do read if you need to know anything about those 4 programs.

Dissecting A-Level Medicine (ALM)

Although I am one of the most passive and low-profile scholars in ALM *feigns humility*, I shall do my best to lift this heavy responsibility which my dear friend Pat has so unceremoniously dumped on me. It is hoped that through this little piece on ALM, future scholars will be more prepared to face ..er.. the sleepless nights and stress that all ALM scholars have to face. I’m exaggerating. Personally, I think the toughest course is ALG. But that piece on ALG will come later, and from a different source. Fyi, INTEC is doing the Edexcel Board, and as most ALM people are future doctors, dentists and pharmacists *ahem*, I shall be more systematic, and start from the beginning.

The duration of this course spans an astounding 24 months ( 2 years), compared to the 1.5 years in most private colleges. And trust me, before your time here is up, your relatives/ friends will begin to have the impression that you are forever in A-Levels. Plus, the external exam will only be sat for at the END of the 2 years, around May-June. Meaning that it is not broken up into AS and A2, as done by the aforesaid private colleges. But hey, I think it makes the course much lighter, and as long as you do constant revision, you should be fine. Not to mention that you get to serve in CA longer, and have superbly long holidays between each semester. (read : nearly 2 months of bliss).

There are of course a range of subjects to choose from; however, since our future has been literally mapped out for us by JPA/ whatever sponsor you’re under, most scholars are required to take Biology, Core Math, Statistics,n Chemistry. If you want, you are most welcome to take Physics as well, but will have to see the core person to discuss this matter. I would say that the lecturers are pretty decent people, most of them are willing to teach if you are willing to learn. As far as I know, juniors will have mass lectures for 3-4 hours a week for Chem and Bio, and an hour of tutorial for each. Lab is 2 hours per week, and the rest you will find out when you get your respective timetables. Class hours are not that taxing or long, if you were to compare them with the likes of ALG *bows in respect*.

The most important resources for Bio would probably be Nelsons’ textbooks which you can easily obtain from seniors or from the photostat shop nearby. Try to get Longman biology and maybe Campbell? Nelsons isn’t really enough especially when you enter 2nd sem etc.. For Chem, I would recommend Longman as well. Reference books like chemistry in context and Ramsden are superb for further reading, but not all students find them easy to understand/ useful. So don’t rush it, take your time n look through the books before buying/ reproducing illegally. Most lecturers will give handouts or notes, and the library is quite sufficient as well (at least I think so).

Oh, and how could I forget our ethics class?! Yea, every program has to take ethics each semester, and there is coursework and a final exam each semester. Thankfully, the ethics lecturers are all nice (and I mean really nice) people, who are not stingy when it comes to giving marks. During the first semester, you are also required to attend computer class; which isn’t too bad, unless of course you end up with a not-so-nice lecturer (like I did). But hey, though it does appear in your final exam slip, it is not counted in the 15 points, so chill.

ALM also has an organizing committee called ALMEC, which plans and carries out most of the activities in ALM. For those who right now are getting the impression that ALM is all work and no play, well, let’s just put it this way : we have already been accused of killing imagination and being void of all spontaneity by certain ADFP *cough* scholars. Then again, define an exciting and interesting life. =P

Till next time…

Eunice


Disintegrating A-level German (ALG)

due to some lack of information from myself, i edited and add something to this post… initially i was the one who asked others to write about their own programme respectively and they all turned out to be at least 2 pages long… leaving my own post looking so inadequate…

Achtung! Attention
Guten Tag! Good day
Danke für die
Aufmerksamkeit! Thanks for the attention.

Course : A-Level German
Subjects : Chemistry, Physics, Pure Maths, Mechanics(Edexcel), English AS(Cambridge), Ethics & Morals, last but not least German Language

Passing marks to fly : 9 out of 15 (A-5, B-4, C-3, D-2, E-1) only 3 core subjects counted, Physics, Maths and Chemistry, at least a pass in AS English(meaning at least E, but don’t aim for E, aim higher), FULL attendance of GMI, good discipline etc

A-level course of this programme are more or less the same as ALM. (so please refer to the post earlier on) The only subject difference is ALM-ers are taking bio while we are taking physics. Regarding the textbooks, I strongly recommend the lecturer’s note. They are more than sufficient for your test and exams. But if you want extra references, any published book will do, or you can get in touch with me personally and I don’t mind recommending a few favourite books of mine. But this is just from a personal perspective, like I say, any reference book will do. But do get hold of some past year paper from your seniors. Usually internal examinations tend to base on past year papers. In fact, almost identical.

And we have extra 10 hours of german classes a week. So we have a more hectic schedule compare to other programmes, about 34 hours per week. But don’t worry, we have good-looking german lecturers all the way from Germany. They should be the motivation you are staying in class for extra 2 hours everyday. Just hope that you didn’t get the very ‘experienced’ one.

ALG-ers also have to go for 12 weeks of vorpraktikum – a sort of practical training before you can go into any german university. It is usually conducted by GMI(German Malaysian Institute) in Cheras, but i heard they are moving to Bangi next year. On the first first day of your practical training, you will get a pair of really cool looking safety shoes (which most of my coursemates use to kick around steel bar to make a very good, clear, ear-splitting sound because of the material used to make the shoes to make it resilient to any heavy impact on your feet) During those time, you get to learn all sorts of interesting things eg programming, technical drawing, CAD, metrology and lots more during the first part of Phase 1.

Phase 1 will be divided into 2 part. Part one consists of 3 weeks. It is usually during the mid-year break, that is after the second semester. Part two on the other hand is during the year end break, that is after the third semester.

Phase 2 is when you really know what courses you wanted to take in Germany, you can choose the practical subjects which you think you might need when you are in Germany. That I will elaborate more when i joined it next year. It will be held after A-levels Exam in June and also after the DSH examination. For DSH, students have to go through another 3 months of intensive german language course, only then you will find time attending another 6 weeks of pratical in GMI. Warning : You MUST attend all classes in GMI as the basic requirement to enter into ANY Germany’s university of applied sciences. One day of ponteng is a big NO NO because it might affect the chance of you flying to Germany. Meaning if u get all A’s for your A-levels but didn’t manage to fulfill the hours of GMI, you are guaranteed a piece of dead meat because you can’t get into Germany’s uni. Some of your seniors didn’t manage to fly because of this problem and you wouldn’t want this to happen to you right?

The student body of ALG is called “Der Klub” (which in english literally means “The Club”) which consists of committee members chosen from students from ALG. For your information, there will be an different activities held by Der Klub annually and one of the major event is the annual German Week. During the German Week, there’s exciting activities held in INTEC, including exhibition, games, german film week, german speech contest, a hype-up concert during the closing ceremony of German Week. ALG-ers are quite good in live performing in case you don’t know, we tend to produce the best band in INTEC.

Das ist alles!!! Vielen Dank!!

Prepared by

Pat!


AUSMAT PROGRAM at INTEC


Note: The following description of the AUSMAT program is mainly focused for INTEC UiTM. This program may differ slightly in other colleges in terms of its plan of study and combination of subjects.

Let’s see, after much bugging from Pat-rified to write up ‘something’ about the AUSMAT program offered in INTEC and since I have ‘nothing’ to do, I decided then to sit down and at least write up something.

Firstly, AUSMAT stands for AUSTRALIAN MATRICULATION.In other colleges, mostly private, AUSMAT is better known as SAM which stands for SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MATRICULATION.Similar to other pre-U courses such as Cambridge ‘A’ Levels or even form 6, the subjects offered in INTEC’s AUSMAT are basically the same, that is what we normally call the ‘sciences’ and the ‘arts’. Sciences are of course, Physics, Chemistry and Biology while the arts will have Economics and Accounting. Aside from these, compulsory subjects will be Mathematics and the ESLS (English as Second Language Studies), while additional subjects are Specialist Mathematics and Malay Studies (its true…). Together with students of other programs, the AUSMAT students are also required to take compulsory Ethics and computer literacy subjects, that is C++ programming for now (subject to change).Now you have an idea of the subjects offered, let’s look at the plan of study for AUSMAT at INTEC.Basically there are two types of plan of study:1) Year 11 (6 months) + Year 12 (9 months) = approx. 15 months. If you are a JPA or a MARA scholar offered to study in Australia or New Zealand, you will most likely follow this study plan if you are placed at INTEC for your pre-U.In the year after your SPM year, you will begin your AUSMAT program in June-July until November starting with what we call ‘the bridging course’ named Year 11 for 6 months.

The main purpose of this course as suggested by its name ‘the bridging course’, is to improve language proficiency. You will have long hours of ESLS during this 6 months focusing more on general grammar, reading and writing. At the same time, you will also accomplish some of the tasks required in the ESLS subject. Simultaneously, you will also have IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – a requirement by most universities – classes. Aside from English, Year 11 also introduces you to the subjects you will be taking in accordance to your course next year in Year 12. Take engineering for example, your subject combination in Year 12 will be Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Specialist Mathematics, while a medical related course will have Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. ESLS is compulsory for all students. At the end of Year 11, you will sit for the Year 11 final examination.The following 9 months of AUSMAT is called Year 12, and during this period, you will face extensive study on the subjects related to your course. From time to time, you will face quizzes, tests, and exams (mid-term, finals and trials). Simultaneously, you are also required to accomplish many assignments for each subject.Take ESLS for example, you will be asked to search for a research topic and conduct a study as though you are asked to do a mini thesis paper with scholarly ‘protocols’, formats and citations. In the AUSMAT program, it is highly advisable that you consult your lecturer AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE because they are honestly truly sacrificial and willing to help you in anyway they can! At the end, you will face an external major exam called the SSABSA examination for the subjects of your course.(2) Accelerated Year 12 (9 months)This plan of study is adopted by many private colleges.If you are a Petronas scholar you will probably start AUSMAT right after your SPM year. The difference of this plan of study with the previous one is that there is no Year 11 and you will begin the study of your subject combinations right away (Year 12).

Some important facts about AUSMAT: Unlike ‘A’ Levels and Form 6, both internal and external assessments in AUSMAT/SAM are accumulative and counted in the final calculation of your TER (Tertiary Entrance Ranking – over 100).Therefore, it is crucial that you perform consistently throughout as your performance even in attendance, participation in class, quizzes, tests and assignments are recorded and counted in your final TER.TER is something like a ranking of your performance in the AUSMAT/SAM program for all AUSMAT/SAM students WORLDWIDE for a particular year.Although the calculation of the TER is oblivious to many, even to lecturers, its meaning stays clear. Let’s say I took the SSABSA exam in 2007 and my TER value is 95, this signifies that I am among the top 5% worldwide who did best in the AUSMAT/SAM program for year 2007. Many Australian and New Zealand universities require that your TER be higher than a cut-off-point value, usually 80+. The context in the syllabus is MUCH less compared to ‘A’ Levels and Form 6.Personally for me, the amount of knowledge such as concepts, theories, and most of all fundamental understanding on the subjects one will gain is SO much LESS. Disappointing as it may seem, this program however is packed with tones of assignments which take up loads of time and energy, sometimes to the point that we have little time to study for our exams. Therefore, you must be smart in managing your time well, and always try your best to accomplish and hand in your assignments within the time limit allowed. A good thing about these assignments is that one will learn a lot of things outside of the syllabus. This program is quite contemporary; meaning that the use of the internet and certain technologies such as the Graphic Calculator is much more extensive compared to the more conventional ‘A’ Levels. In this program, you will be sharpened to be more independent in finding information through wide ranges of sources, from journals to books, from newspapers to reports, from the internet to even books of other programs. All sorts of sources are useable as long as it is valid and not out-dated.To conclude, this program offers little in terms of knowledge but more to skills in dealing with scholarly materials, time constraints and pressure. I quote most of my seniors by saying that you will find yourself comfortable in dealing with university studies if you do well in the AUSMAT program. The skills cultivated will help you enormously in your degree programs.

Prepared by Calvin Lim, fellow ‘AUSMATian’ 2007
All the best!


Enjoying American Credit Transfer/Degree Foundation Program (ACTP/ADFP)

Since the beginning of year 2006, INTEC offers a new course to cater the needs of JPA students who will be doing a 3-year program in INTEC and 2-year program in US. It is known as ACTP program. However, these two programs are very similar in nature except that ADFP students graduate in 1 year time, while ACTP students study more and graduate later.

American students are generally noisy and happening for no reason. It is the most happening group of people in INTEC with A LOT of activities going on. Under the ATUSA committee, American program students had had their American Indulgence Week, Science and Math Carnival, Sports Week, Blue Day, Red Day, Halloween, and a lot more. They are fun, active, and fun, unlike their boring A Level Medicine counterparts.

As for the course itself, ACTP and ADFP offer similar courses. Some of the courses combination may differ according to your major and grades.

Fall Semester – Language Awareness(ADFP only), Basic Science(ACTP only), Algebra and Trigonometry, Oral Communication, TOEFL (ADFP), SAT (ADFP), Writing, Theology and Philosophy, Reading and Studying Skills

Spring Semester – Advanced Composition, Chemistry, C++, Biology, Critical Thinking, SAT(ACTP), TOEFL(ACTP), Speech Communication, Pre-Calculus, Calculus I, American Cultural Studies, Ethics, Summer Semester – Calculus I, Calculus II, Philosophy, Islamic Studies, Chemistry & Lab, Introduction to Business

Fall Semester (second year) – Calculus II, Calculus III, Finance, Advanced C++, Physics, and other courses that I don’t quite know off.

Basically, you will have a lot of different classes offering different subject combinations for you. The SECOND or the THIRD day of the orientation, INTEC will host a placement test for all the American Program students. The marks that you get in your placement test will determine the class that you will be sitting in. Students with higher proficiency of English will be placed together while the rest will follow according to the marks they score.

If the first semester is categorized according to English proficiency level, second semester is totally based on your math. If you score a GPA of 3.33 and above for PMA 111 (Algebra and Trigo.), you will be placed in a calculus class. If your math score doesn’t pass the requirement, then you will have to take Pre-Calculus. Again, different majors will also be a critical determining factor. A business-related major student (such as economics and finance) will take Chemistry. Don’t ask me why. ^____^”” A computer and technology related student (acturial science, engineering, computer science, agricultural science) will take C++. Again, I have no idea why an agricultural student is taking C++ instead of chemistry. ‘__’ “”A BioTech student will surely be taking Biology.

Summer Semester is also based on your major and your math. It is the lightest semester too! (I only had class from 8-10am every morning.) If you fail (GPA 2.00 and below) in your Calculus I, you will have to repeat Calculus I. Some students who score a GPA of more than 3.00 still opt to repeat calculus because Calculus is by far the hardest math subject in American program, if not the whole of INTEC. There are other subject combinations too according to your majors.

Apart from all the internal examinations in INTEC, American students HAVE to take SAT I and TOEFL. SAT II is optional though, so it is all on self-study. SAT I and TOEFL are two tests that the admission office in US look into so everyone has to take it. The score of SAT I is upon 2400 (800 math, 800 writing, 800 critical thinking) while TOEFL is upon 120 (30 speaking 30 writing 30 listening 30 reading). For more information regarding these two tests, you can visit their respective websites: Collegeboard (for SAT) and ETS (for TOEFL)

I’ll say that those two tests are not exactly difficult compare to what the A-Level students and AUSMAT students have to go through. For TOEFL, many students perform badly in speaking component. So, if you intend to go to US, polish up your English now. For SAT, many do well in math, but suffer in Critical Thinking. Your lecturers will explain more on techniques to tackle those critical thinking question. Just one thing you must bear in mind if you want to score well in SAT and TOEFL, EXPAND YOUR VOCABULARY. A wide range of vocabulary is your best bet for a good score in both tests. =D

You might want to get a laptop too if you are doing this program because there are a lot of assignments that require laptop. Take note of this, American program doesn’t emphasize tests. So if you do really well in your assignments, you still stand a good chance to score a B or B+. Even Attendance, Attitude, and Participation(AAP) carry 10% of your overall grade. Oh yeah, A is 93% and B is 83%. Minimun requirement for sponsors is 3.00 (B). That means all your marks must be 83 and above to pass and to FLY!! *snares jealously at those A-Level students with 80% as A*

All the best in this program! You will surely enjoy all the time you have joking and debating with your lecturer. Sleeping, eating, drinking, listening to mp3 are all ALLOWED in American classes! There is even a 15-minute late allowance for any late-comers. The lecturers are extremely open-minded, meaning that you can even ask your ALG/AUSMAT/ALM friend to join your class and the lecturers will still be glad to teach. Don’t worry too much about your CGPA. If you do what you have to do, you will score 3.00 and above. *thumbs up*

Graduated from ADFP,
Leen

June 23, 2007

INTEC’s Anatomy Part 3: Computer Lab

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 12:53 pm
Another INTEC-related post!

Computer Labs

Location:
ADFP/ Music Block (behind the library)
1 on ground floor
3 on first floor

ALM
None

AUSMAT
1 beside AUSMAT Cafe (between the gym and the AUSMAT cafe)
3 or 4 on first floor on top of the science labs

This is by far the most disappointing facility that INTEC has to offer to students. The computers in the labs are strictly controlled by some administration people behind the thick wall. The internet connection in the computer labs is undeniably fast compare to the wireless in Akasia/Cemara. However, it only comes with one browser, that is Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer lacks speed and usability compare to Mozilla Firefox, but somehow INTEC administration only allows Internet Explorer. Because the students only have minimal control over the computers, they cannot install Mozilla Firefox (or any other applications) on the computers. That ultimately means that all the favorite programs such as iTunes, MSN Messenger, Skype, WinRAR, WinZip, and others will be UNAVAILABLE.

Not only that students are restricted to a few programs only, the administrator also imposes bans on several popular websites among students. Some of the crucial websites are blatantly blocked for no concrete reasons. Victims of imbecile administrator include:

http://en.wikipedia.org (ADFP lab – first floor)
http://www.hotmail.com (ADFP lab – first floor)
http://www.gmail.com (ADFP lab – ground floor)
http://www.friendster.com(almost all computer labs)

If you think that it is bad enough, think again. Almost all the computers in INTEC is infected by worms, viruses, spyware, and every other malicious software on the net. And because students have no authority over installing any applications, students can never install any powerful Anti-Virus applications (like Nod32, Avast! and Kaspersky) on the computers to remove the unwanted virus. The consequences of these infected computers are disastrous. Every thumb drive that is plugged into the USB port is prone to infection. More often than not, students’ thumb drives are infected by viruses they get from school. Those who are ignorant toward the danger of virus will then plug the same thumb drive into their own laptop in hostel (or friend’s laptop). After a while, all the laptops in Akasia/Cemara also get infected by some annoying worms. Those who equip their laptops well with neat Anti-virus program are safe, but a lot of these worms get undetected by AVG Anti-Virus and Norton Anti-Virus – two most popular anti-virus program on students’ laptop.

Some of the most common infection that students’ laptops and thumb drive contact through the thumb drives that are plugged into the computer labs in INTEC include:

Surat untuk Edelin(a worm which can be detected easily using Norton)
Reshmon (goes undetected by Norton and AVG)
Fucker (a trojan that will display an error message of “V:/vbs.fucker.script…………”)
Pokemon (will display “Hacked by Pokemon” when you operate your browser)
Malaysian Hackers (will display “Hacked by Malaysian Hackers” when you operate your browser)
Trojans (too many of them)

In order to combat these malicious worms and viruses, I strongly recommend that every student equips his or her laptop with powerful anti virus. Always scan for virus every time a thumb drive is plugged into the USB port. Another way to reduce the possibility of contacting the virus will be to install a portable anti virus program in the thumb drive. You can find a neat portable anti-virus program here. Else, do get a U3 thumb drive and install Avast! U3 Edition into the thumb drive. As I mention before, AVG and Norton are not the best anti virus program available to combat these viruses. I strongly recommend Avast! Home Edition, Kaspersky Internet Security, Nod32, and Bit Defender. AntiVir is not my preferred choice because I once detected over 80 viruses using Avast! which go undetected using AntiVir.

One last thing about the virus, once your thumb drive get infected, please delete all the virus, then reformat the thumb drive. For instance, if your thumb drive is infected by a certain virus, it will stop you from double-clicking on the thumb drive icon. Instead, it will prompt you to choose a program to open the file. When that happens, you can only right-click and “explore” to open the files inside the thumb drive. You will also see a “AUTOPLAY” option when you right-click on your thumb drive icon. The first symptom of a thumb drive getting infected by virus is the “AUTOPLAY” option when you right-click on the thumb drive icon. Thus, the only way to solve this problem is to reformat the whole thumb drive.

The last glitch that you might have in a computer lab in INTEC is the printing process. In certain computer labs, you will have to put in special password in order to print. Saying so, you will have to face the fierce and rude technician and beg for the password. Without the password, you won’t be able to print anything. Even though printing is free, you will have to provide your own A4 papers. Normally, if the printer gets jammed, I’ll just perform a little “operation” on the printer, pull out all the papers stuck inside the printer, and continue printing. Of course, I only do so when no one is looking. Yes, it can be pretty troublesome if the papers get jammed inside the printer and the technician is not around to fix the problem.

Leen’s take on the computer labs:
Up : Free printing, fast connection, lots of computers around
Down: Too many virus, limited applications, troublesome printing process, some sites are blocked, rude technicians, Internet Explorer

In short, INTEC does provide computers with fast connections to the students. It is just that they do not put little to zero to maintain the integrity of the computers available in INTEC. Proceed with caution every time you plug in your thumb drive and you should be fine. Otherwise, just enjoy the speed and be responsible. Don’t infect any computer with virus and don’t keep the computer to yourself too long once you are done because others might need to use the computer too. ^_____^

Combating virus,
Leen


June 11, 2007

INTEC’s Anatomy Part 2: Transport

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 11:41 am
Let’s see. The transport in INTEC is mainly concentrated on those poor buses that have to make their trips to and fro from Seksyen 18 Cemara Akasia to Seksyen 17 INTEC everyday from 7am to 11pm, with one trip every 15minutes or 30minutes depending on the capacity of the bus and the amount of people on the bus. Of course, that’s what they tell you. Here’s my version of report about the transport in INTEC.

There are 2 types of buses operating from INTEC to Akasia, Cemara, and Cendana. From Cendana to INTEC and back to Cendana, it is currently run by the yellow Restu Barakah buses, while the purple INTEC buses drive students from Akasia, Cemara and also some main campus(Seksyen 2) student.

INTEC bus is fast sometimes and it can be really slow at times. The bus drivers are not exactly friendly but certainly better than Restu Barakah drivers. Usually, you will be able to get a bus at 7am to 8am without much waiting. However, from 8:30am onwards, it is especially hard for you to go to school at your desired time. Say, you have a class at 0900. My recommendation is that you take the 0730 bus instead of the 0830 bus because the 0830 buses will not be as full as the 0730 bus. When the bus is not full, the driver will not move the bus because he doesn’t want to make an extra trip or two to pick up one or two students. So sometimes it is easy to be late to class because of the bus.

Also, in the afternoon, the bus service is sparse too. You might have to wait for more than 30 minutes just to get a bus to go to INTEC from Akasia/Cemara and vice versa. The main reason for this is because again, the bus is not full. See, the drivers like to send the students if the bus is full or at least 75% full. If you are in Akasia/Cemara in the afternoon and you are waiting for a bus, I strongly suggest you bring a book to read in the bus stop. It will be a long long wait for some of you. For those in INTEC wanting to come back to Akasia/Cemara, they will be facing a different situation. Normally, in the afternoon, you will see a few INTEC buses waiting in the bus stop but only one will be going to Akasia/Cemara while the rest are there for show only. For example, there can be 4 buses in the bus stop, but you have to go on to the right bus. Even if you DO get on to the right bus, you still have to wait. In times like that, I will just take a nap in the bus because it just won’t move.

Here’s a trick. I mention that the buses are slow. They are slow but occasionally, you can try to look for the bus drivers and demand them to drive the bus right then. You see, these bus drivers always hang out in one particular resting place. The resting place is exactly opposite the bus stop and all you have to do is to walk 3 minutes to their resting place, wake them up, and ask them to drive you back to hostel. They might give you some excuses like “No, the bus will only move at 1515. We must follow the schedule …..etc..etc..” They are just giving excuses when they say that. All you have to do is to get his attention by saying that you have something urgent or that a lot of people want to go back to hostel. With some effort, they will give in eventually to your request.

Night time buses are even rarer than the rarest species of the world. So, don’t go to school at night. Also, if you are coming back from school to hostel, try to make a trip before 7pm. Usually, the “last” bus will leave at 7pm. Anything later than that will have to wait a long long long time.

Restu Barakah buses are quite similar to its counterpart. The only difference is that Restu Barakah tends to fluctuate a little bit more in terms of its frequency of trips. That is due to the fact that Restu Barakah only caters to the guys living in Cendana. There are not so many students living in Cendana Hostel, hence the bus service will normally deteriorate in its service quality. The Restu Barakah buses however, are equipped with automatic air freshener which will spray some air freshener at fixed time. So they smell slightly better than INTEC buses. Other than that, they are not much difference.

One more thing, do take note of the small A4 label on the bus’s window pane. Sometimes Restu Barakah will change destination with INTEC buses. That means, instead of driving students from Cendana, Restu Barakah will in turn drive students from Akasia Cemara, while INTEC buses will serve the people staying in Cendana. Sometimes, when students organize special trips to different places, those reserved buses will also have the label on them saying, “GMI, Parlimen, Lincoln’s Center” and so on and so forth.

Just as an alternative, if you are sick of waiting for the buses to arrive and you have some extra money with you, you can always walk out of the main gate in INTEC and take a mini bus home. Mini bus costs 70 cents for those without air conditioners while those that have air conditioner will charge 80 cents. Take the mini bus opposite the road because that is the one that will drive you to Seksyen 18 and PKNS for that matter. You can also hop on to a RapidKL(number 529) if you want to. It costs RM1.00 but the ticket can be used the whole day. For mini bus and RapidKL, they will stop in front of the Esso Petrol Station. That’s where you get down. From there, you just have to walk another 5 minutes to reach Cemara/Akasia.

For those who wants comfort and speed, taxi is always available too. Just a short notice, taxis in Shah Alam DO NOT operate according to the meter. They will have fixed price for different destination. A trip from INTEC to Cendana might just cost you RM8 easily, depending on the kindness of the taxi driver. So if it is possible, avoid using taxis if you have other alternative to choose from.

That’s about it for the transport in INTEC. One of my friends once said, “I think my best friend in INTEC is the bus driver. Even though he can be angry and fierce sometimes, at least he gets his job done.” I don’t know about you, but I agree with her to a certain degree. Librarians are irrational (they scolded a certain scholar for wearing round neck T-shirt) and guards are eye sores to everyone. (They hand out summons like they hand out free fliers) Till next time then.

Bus-sicked,
Leen

May 31, 2007

INTEC’s Anatomy Part 1: Food

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 11:24 pm
I can see a surging demand for food nowadays. Coffee shops and restaurants are booming exponentially and though the competition is extremely strong, all these stalls and restaurants still manage to survive. The same goes to INTEC. All right, I am sure that those who will be coming in to INTEC will find this fairly informative.

Food place #1
AUSMAT Cafe
It reigns as the best cafe that INTEC has to boast about. It is an indoor cafe, fully equipped with air-conditioners around it, and also around 20 tables outside the cafe.

Top 10 Best Things About AUSMAT Cafe
10. It is a stone’s away from all the AUSMAT blocks and most of the science labs.
9. It is located extremely near to a computer lab, so you can hang out in the computer lab after food.
8. It has regular workers who clean the tables in the cafe, pushing a trolley around collecting rubbish in the cafe.
7. It has it’s own “Today’s Special”. Therefore, you can still get a variety of food choice there.
6. Ala Carte ordering is available during lunch hours. It is the only cafe that takes Ala Carte ordering during lunch hours.
5. It also has a small waffle stall just outside the cafe itself. More choices of food.
4. It also has the most choices of food and drinks in a cafe compare to the other cafes in INTEC.
3. The average price of the food is the most reasonable ones compare to the other cafes.
2. It has the best fried chicken in INTEC.
1. It is AIR-CONDITIONED.

Top 5 Worst Things About AUSMAT Cafe
5. Though the tables are clean regularly, sometimes they still feel sticky.
4. Food supply run out extremely fast especially during lunch hours.
3. The workers can be quite snobbish at times, when you ask them for favors.
2. The air-conditioner in the cafe makes your shirt feels like the smell of the cafe if you stay in the cafe for too long.
1, It is hard to access by other students except from AUSMAT students. Its location is far away from ALG blocks, ADFP/ACTP blocks, Music & Education blocks, Russian Program blocks, Korean/Japan Program blocks, ALM Blocks, and ALED blocks.

Leen’s personal view on AUSMAT Cafe: Why does an egg have to cost 60cents when all other cafes only charge 50cents per egg? = (

Food Place #2
ADFP/ALG/ACTP Cafe
This has to be the second best cafe available in INTEC after AUSMAT cafe. Even though it is not as big and as lavish as AUSMAT cafe, at least this cafe still provides decent food with decent price.

Top 10 Good Points About ADFP/ALG/ACTP Cafe
10. It is widely accessible to everyone from various programs. It normally caters to the need of ADFP/ACTP students, UiTM students, Short Program students, ALG students and Middle East Program students.
9. It is located just in front of the library. Therefore, you can always enjoy food easily after doing your homework in the library.
8. You will always get to listen to some guitars once in a while because the music department students will normally gather in this cafe.
7. It sells the most local delicacies in INTEC. No other cafe sells as much local kuih-muih as this cafe sells. (3 pieces of delicacies for RM1.00)
6. It starts operating very early in the morning. I used to arrive at college at 0700 and they already have their food on the tables.
5. It is quite easy to get a 10cents or 20cents discount from the cashiers.
4. It uses only disposable materials for cutleries and plates. Hence, you don’t have to fear about the cleanliness of your spoon or fork.
3. For those who want to get to know people, this is also the cafe where people interact a lot with others. To simply put it, it is a better melting pot than AUSMAT cafe.
2. The workers speak Bahasa kelate. XD (You’ll get to learn a word or two from them.)
1. The eggs only cost 50cents per egg.

Top 10 Worst Things About ADFP/ACTP/ALG Cafe
10. It is too small.
9. It is open-air type cafe. If it rains, then you will be in some kind of inconvenience.
8. The male workers can be quite irritating sometimes.
7. The food choices are limited and same most of the time.
6. The noodles are simply too spicy (for chinese) most of the time.
5. The cashiers keep an eye on you all the time so that you don’t take extra nuts in your nasi lemak, or they will charge you more.
4. You can only take a certain amount of food(noodles and fried rice for breakfast). If you take more, they will charge you more. It isn’t the case in AUSMAT cafe.
3. There is only one water pipe for you to wash your hands before/after your meal.
2. The service is quite slow because there are not enough workers around.
1. The vegetables taste like poison.

Leen’s personal view: They can and should provide more tables and chairs. And don’t make everything so oily.

Food Place#3
ALM Cafe
It is ranks last in almost everyone’s ranking due to its pricing, mostly. Some ALM students will rather walk some distance to AUSMAT cafe to enjoy a proper meal rather than eating in ALM Cafe.

Top 10 Worst Things About ALM Cafe
10. It has limited space for people to walk around.
9. It is the only cafe that doesn’t sell ice-creams.
8. It has a roof on top of you but when it rains, it can still get a little troublesome.
7. You can’t get your own drink because the machine is not within your reach.
6. They look at you all the time when you are taking your food from the counters.
5. They are often closed during holiday season. Other cafes still operate during holiday because certain students from certain programs will still be around.
4. It does not offer much choices of food, nor do they taste exceptionally well.
3. It is not recommended by seniors. Well, they know better, don’t they?
2. You can hardly get any discount from the cashiers.
1. The price!! They are just TOO expensive.

Leen’s personal comment: I once ate a plate of fried rice that cost me RM3.20 when I can easily get the price of RM2.00 in ADFP cafe and RM2.20 in AUSMAT cafe. That’s a huge difference in pricing.

Of course, it is not THAT bad at all to eat there. It does offer something special there, like burgers and hotdogs. It looks quite nice too, with some greeneries around you, not to mention the clean look of the cafe.

All in all, all three cafes offer similar food, with AUSMAT cafe having slightly more choices than the rest. You can also get free sky juice in all three cafes. Tissue papers are also there and free of charge. In addition to the cafes, there is also a little convenience shop in INTEC selling test pads, daily products, food, and so on. I don’t have a camera with me, so it’s hard to display their pictures so excuse me for that part. =D Now you know how to make your way to the right cafe that suits your personal preferences best. If you want ice-creams, never go to ALM cafe. If you crave for waffle, you can try AUSMAT cafe. That’s about it for food in INTEC.

Craving for eggs,
Leen

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