Rediscover Brunei Darussalam through the eyes of the People
I paid a visit to the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre (OGDC) with my family for the first time last week. The OGDC, an initiative of Brunei Shell Petroleum, is a 'science-based educational facility meets tourist pitstop' kind of a place. It makes for a fun and family-friendly outing and the entry rates are reasonable. There's an exhibition hall, theatre, classrooms, science labs, an outdoor area for sports, a playground and a even a Traffic Games Park.
According to Brunei Tourism, the "OGDC has emerged as another popular family-oriented landmark in Brunei that serves both educational and recreational purposes" and "introduces visitors to the fascinating world of science and engineering as it applies to the petroleum industry in order to promote environmental awareness and highlight the necessity of nature conservation. It is a fun place where visitors of all ages can expand their knowledge while exploring the seven galleries that showcase over 100 interactive exhibits covering the multi-faceted science behind the oil and gas industry in Brunei."
If you have never paid the OGDC a visit, find some time, make a trip to F20 in Seria, and get the kids ready for some good old fashioned educational fun.
Admission Charges - Pre School (5 years old and below): Free of Charge, Kids (5 - 12 years old): BND$1, Teens (13 - 17 years old): BND$2, Adults (18 - 55 years old): BND$5, Senior Citizens (55 years old and above): BND$3
Announcing the UK Education Fair!
Greetings Readers! The British Universities Brunei Association (BUBA) will be hosting its second annual UK Education fair on Wednesday 21st August 2013. Twenty five Universities and Colleges from across the UK will be participating in the fair at the Member’s Grill and Lounge, The Empire Hotel and Country Club. The fair is aimed at students who are considering studying in the UK in September 2014 but also presents a final opportunity for any students still looking for a place for September 2013 entry to speak with university representatives.
BUBA held its first UK Education fair in Bandar Seri Begawan in August 2011 and met a huge number of students who went on to enrol in degree programmes across Great Britain in September 2012.
The fair will be held between 2pm – 7pm. Further details and names of participating institutions can be found here: http://www.buba.ac.uk/he-fair
Image source: BruDirect's FB page
Press Release: Brunei Team Bags Seven Gold Medals
From the Borneo Bulletin, 22nd July 2013
Hollywood, United States - Brunei Darussalam has been placed on the map thanks to the varied talents of Maria Grace Koh (Eia), Fakhrul Razi and Kevin Lo, who as a team represented the Sultanate on the world stage of the entertainment industry, and successfully clinched 14 medals (seven gold and seven silver) at the World Championships of Performing Arts held in Hollywood, United States.
The result was announced yesterday following days of intense competition.
In addition to individual honours, the Brunei team also took the 'Team Spirit Award' after receiving the most votes and beating participants from 43 other countries.
Famed local entertainer, Fakhrul Razi, received a gold medal for his grand finals performance and another gold medal in the RnB/Jazz, Original Work and Open category. His original song 'Senyuman Gelapmu' was the overall winner in the original work category.
Fakhrul, who has earned himself two scholarships in acting and dancing, also secured silver medals in the Pop and Broadway categories.
Meanwhile, Kevin Lo, a comical stage actor, bagged gold medals in the classical, comedy, dramatic and open categories, and he was also named overall champion for seniors in the classical, comedy and dramatic categories.
Kevin's achievement has earned him two scholarships: a New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts for US$10,000, and a full scholarship to Janet Alhanti's acting class in Hollywood.
Kevin was also presented with a medal for being a pleasant, easy-to-work-with performer.
Meanwhile, Maria Grace Koh, the former national swimmer turned singer, won five silver medals in the following categories: Broadway, Contemporary, Original Work ('You' which she composed), Pop and RnB/Jazz.
Read the rest of the article here.
"In the middle of Hollywood, we waved our national flag!" ~ Fakhrul Razi
Photograph from Fakhrul's timeline
What do you do?
I am a final year business student, doing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Curtin Sarawak.
Where are you from?
I am from Pakistan, though I was born in Europe and was raised in Brunei.
Describe yourself in a few words.
Driven, friendly, humble.
Tell us about Curtin Sarawak. Why did you decide to study there?
Curtin Sarawak is a very technical university, where whatever you are taught is applicable immediately in both daily life as well in your specific field of work. It differs from traditional universities, which focus on theoretical learning rather than practical application. The knowledge I am gaining here is realistically helpful to me and aids my ambitions in a very real way. I chose the Sarawak campus because it is close to home and cost effective.
I mean that what you learn isn't just theory for the sake of writing it in exams to pass - you learn things you can actually apply at a practical level in life. This is for the business school. For the engineering school, studies are literally practical in the sense that there are indeed on field attachments and placements students can undergo with companies such as Shell.
What's the ratio of students to teacher per class?
For the business school which is what I am a part of, there are roughly minimum 50 - maximum 200 students maximum per lecture (taught by one lecturer), and around 20 - 40 students per tutorial.
Do you folks get a lot of 'homework'? Is there a balance to allow for study-life balance?
The homework we get depends on the course we are doing and the specific unit; it is not an unbearable amount but it does become a heavy workload as you enter your final years. I would say that, as at any university, you have to choose between the student trinity: study, university life, or sleep. Pick two.
That's me (second from right) involved in a public debate in the main foyer outside the main lecture theatre at Curtin Sarawak
A few friends taking time out on the weekend to play DOTA
A painting my friend did on the weekend. We usually end up doing random things like this to pass the time on weekends.
What is it like as a student living in Miri?
Student life in Miri has been made easy by the university. There are bus services running daily except for Sundays to and from the university from the three different housing complexes the university owns, namely Curtin Villa, Curtin Village and Curtin Waters. There are buses that run on Fridays to help Muslim students like myself go for prayers. There are also buses that go to town at noon on Saturdays and return at 6.30pm, so that students may go relax at the malls, have something nice to eat and maybe catch a movie or do some shopping. I personally live off campus as it is better value for money for me, and I can opt to live with my friends. Living with friends helps a lot as you can support each other and life never gets dull. (Photograph: lying down in a hammock outside my friend's house to relax after a long day of classes)
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