Guide to Studying Abroad in the UK, Scholarship Resources, and FAQ

Assalamualaikum wbt.

So, you’re dreaming of studying abroad like Teme Abdullah or Cupcake Aisyah. Or maybe you just read too many Hlovate novels as a teen. But you don’t know where to start.

I regularly get questions about studying abroad from fellow Malaysians, so after 2 and a half years of great demand, I have tried my best to summarize things I’m usually asked about into a single blog post.

First of all, here’s a very brief history about my tertiary education:

I’m Arifah. I did a Diploma in Media and Communication at UiTM. I got a nice CGPA and extracurriculars, and although it wasn’t easy, managed to secure a convertible scholarship to do a BA Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Newcastle University, UK. I am now doing a MSc Marketing a the University of Edinburgh, UK, also on a convertible scholarship.

What this blog post covers:

  • A) Useful resources for those wanting to study abroad
  • B) Scholarship listings / alternative ways to get funding
  • C) FAQ about university / scholarship applications
  • D) FAQ about life as a student in the UK

Disclaimer: This blog post is not really intended for post-SPM students, although some resources may be of use. My intended audience is more to students who have finished Pre-U/diploma/matriculation/STPM, OR aspiring postgraduate students. If you’re looking for post-SPM tips I suggest these resources: (1) (2)

But before that, I believe that doors will open much more easily for you to study abroad you if you have good intentions. Ask yourself, why do you want to fly overseas?

Hopefully, to:

  • pursue knowledge with a sincere heart
  • contribute to the society and the world
  • make your parents and family proud
  • if you are a Muslim, to increase your faith by seeing the world
Continue reading Guide to Studying Abroad in the UK, Scholarship Resources, and FAQ

My Journey to Newcastle University

So I recently started a Digital Content internship with Newcastle University, and my responsibilities include creating engaging content for prospective / current students. I’m particularly proud of this blog post where I write about my journey coming to Newcastle University!

Studying abroad at a top university had always been a dream of mine, and now I have the immense privilege of it being my reality. Upon reflection, it has been quite a journey indeed!

Pursuing Media & Communication in the UK


(My brilliant TEDx Talk at Newcastle University… okay, okay, I was just pretending)

After completing a Diploma in Communication and Media at Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia, I wanted to thrive in this field even further by pursuing an overseas education. I started by looking at universities based on QS World University rankings and course rankings.

Five universities were deemed worthy of making it into my UCAS application – Sheffield, Nottingham, Lancaster, Cardiff, and of course, Newcastle. I had a smooth journey with my UCAS application thanks to IDP Education, an overseas education consulting agency with a branch in my hometown, Subang Jaya.

The Grand Offering


(Personalised GIFs and inspiring posters from the University hyped me up about coming here!)

I managed to get unconditional offers to all five universities, but Newcastle was the earliest to give me a response – after only 4 days! Since Newcastle was my first offer, it gave me significant hope that I could truly achieve this aspiration of flying to the UK.

However, I needed to argue my case to receive a convertible loan to study abroad, so I chose Newcastle which offered me direct entry into Year 2. I officially accepted the offer to pursue a BA (Hons) in Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies! My family was over the moon, and my friends felt extremely proud.

Newcastle was honestly not my first choice among the five, and I’d heard from a friend about how terribly cold and windy it is. Luckily, the University’s You Belong Here campaign gave me the extra encouragement I needed!

Continue reading My Journey to Newcastle University