Students Trust Fund “Firsts”: Nazmi Nordin

Author: Jessie Foo

Credit to Christina Pantin, member of Media & Communication subcommittee for conducting this interview with Nazmi.   

Nazmi Nordin graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2020 with a PhD in imaging and radiology interventions. He is a beneficiary of the MAYCHAM Students Trust Fund, and the first recipient of the fund to receive support for a doctoral degree. He was born and raised in Perlis, the oldest of four children, and the first of his family to graduate with a PhD.

1. Tell us about your connection with MAYCHAM as a recipient of the Student Trust Fund; when did that start, and how did the fund support your PHD program at CUHK?

It all started when a staff from our consulate suggested that I visit MAYCHAM’s official website and read about the Student Trust Fund thoroughly. I got to know that it is only for undergraduate students. But it is no harm trying right? .I submitted the application immediately and was very happy and appreciative to learn that I was selected as the recipient of the fund. The financial assistance provided has been of the greatest help to me in supporting my educational expenses and allowed me to focus more on the most important aspect of school, learning.

2. Your first impression of HK as a first time arrival, and your final impression of HK as you left earlier this year (the city, culture, style of living/working)

Frankly speaking, I did not know what to expect prior to my departure to HK as I was going to be there mainly for studying. Not for leisure. But I know that HK is a great city from the stories from my friends. During my first 3 months, it was quite tough and challenging because I needed to adapt and adopt myself with the surroundings, the people, the culture, etc. I like HK and slowly fell in love with it as time went by. I love everything about HK, regardless of the challenges. When I approached my final academic year of my PhD (year 3), I decided to find a job in HK. I attended some of the job interviews but concluded that it’s not the time yet for me to gain working experience in HK.  

3. Your favorite memory of HK and what was the hardest?

Studying abroad will undoubtedly be filled with unforgettable memories. After I returned home, I was undeniably a different person than I had been 3 years before! My perspective of how I viewed the world and how I interact and network with people changed drastically. Having to make friends and adapt quickly was a skill I took back with me and still use daily. I made many new friendships that will last a lifetime. Because of my experience abroad, I now have networking skills and can form relationships much easier than I could before. Until now, I still keep in contact with my friends I met in HK. Staying in contact and keeping that bond is important not only for my future but for future relationships and friendships.

The hardest times would be during my first 3 months and the final year of my PhD. Thesis! Thesis! Thesis! And Thesis! Especially when the submission dateline was just around the corner. The struggle is real though. 

4. Advice you would give to other Malaysian students considering studying in HK.

HK is a great city, because of the culture and heritage, and it’s a unique fusion of East meets West. All of Hong Kong’s 13 universities are internationally recognised,  and five are ranked in the Top 100 worldwide (QS Rankings 2019). Don’t worry about language and scholarship opportunities. Most university programs are taught in English, and English is widely spoken in and around the city. There are a number of scholarships and awards offered by the government, post-secondary institutions and other public or private organisations to international students to help finance their studies in Hong Kong.

5. Tell us about your next move 

I’ll be working in Dubai as a lecturer at the Gulf Medical University majoring in Medical Imaging Sciences (Radiology). Both of my parents are teachers. My mom teaches mathematics, while my dad is an art teacher. Maybe that is one of the reasons why I chose the role, as I love teaching and talking about a subject that I genuinely enjoy.