Are you on the lookout for an institution where you can pursue a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, make lasting friendships with students from countries all over the world, and attain a clear sense of purpose and spiritual fulfilment at the same time? Perhaps you should consider IIUM!
The International Islamic University Malaysia, located on the outskirts of the rapidly-developing city of Kuala Lumpur, is one of the largest institutions that attracts Muslims from all walks of life and regions of the world in the common pursuit of knowledge about the world and one’s purpose in it.
The “Garden of Knowledge and Virtue” as it is fondly known as, is a motto that truly represents what IIUM stands for. Not only do students acquire scientific and theoretical knowledge taught in most universities, but they also walk away with a more complete understanding of Islam and its relation to one’s position in society, an improved knowledge of Arabic, and ideally a more virtuous moral character and conduct.
Having studied for three years at this university which has an astoundingly diverse population of students from over 90 countries, has left me with a valuable life experience and lessons I could have learned only at IIUM.
The university offers degrees in various majors under 13 faculties, or ‘kulliyyahs’ as they are called in Arabic; including Law, Engineering, Architecture and Environmental Design, Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, Islamic Banking and Finance, Economics and Management Sciences, Information and Communication Technology, and Education - all of which are housed in the main IIUM campus in Gombak, Kuala Lumpur.
The Kuantan campus, which is a couple of hours away from the main campus, constitutes the kulliyyahs of Medicine, Allied Health Sciences, Pharmacy, Nursing, Science and Dentistry.
Along with the core courses that students are required to take for their majors, they must also register for language courses in Arabic and Malay (the national language of Malaysia), as well as choose from a set of Islamic elective courses.
The tuition and hostel fee is paid per semester (not per credit hour), and ranges from $1375 to $2182 per semester for international undergraduates at the Gombak campus. Students studying Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and Dentistry at the Kuantan Campus will pay about $ 6390 per semester for tuition and living expenses. One academic year has two long semesters and one optional short semester.
Studies are only a small part of the total experience you will have at this university. In their free time, students enjoy full use of the sports complexes (female students have their own complex with swimming pool, gym and courts), take part in various clubs and student associations handling events around campus, and socialize with members of the Muslim community coming from various countries from five continents of the world. It’s a deep dive into a colorful mix of languages, cultures, food and experiences with the international community.
On the weekend, students usually take a break to go out and explore the city’s malls and restaurants, a common leisure spot being the Suria KLCC mall within Petronas Twin Towers - the tallest twin-buildings in the world today. And on longer college breaks, students often plan trips with friends to some of Malaysia’s most beautiful islands and beaches, hilltop theme parks or other tourist attractions.
Apart from an initial feeling of homesickness, some students may feel when they first leave home, they soon find friends from their own countries who become just as close as family.
When it comes to food, students can have meals at the many cafeterias on campus which have mostly Malay cuisines; but there is also Mediterranean, Arab, Western, Indian and Pakistani food available in certain areas of campus. Cooking within dorms is discouraged, though permissible if one has valid medical reasons. Almost all restaurants and fast-food outlets on and off campus serve halal food, a delicious treat for many students who may not have that luxury abroad.
As the majority of the population at the university consists of local Malaysians, one will become familiar with the local culture and common linguistic phrases in no time. You will find most of the local students and professors to be calm and easygoing, with a humble and friendly personality and a relaxed lifestyle.
The scenic campus that stands amidst surrounding hills, where the call to prayer is heard five times a day, will leave one in a peaceful state of heart and mind; an ideal environment for a Muslim student.
IIUM aspires to be one of the top universities in the world. It has already won several international-level debating, public speaking and mooting competitions, and has obtained gold, silver and bronze medals at the regional and international levels in the field of research.
Completing my bachelor’s degree at the International Islamic University Malaysia has indeed been a rewarding experience. I have received spiritual and intellectual guidance throughout from professors, instructors and peers, have had the chance to take part in various extracurricular activities on and off campus, and met people from parts of the world I knew little about. I feel that I’ve received a comprehensive, all-round education that will be of great benefit insha’Allah.
If you would like more information about IIUM, you may visit their website at www.iium.edu.my for any inquiries.