Malaysia and China

International Relations and New Economies

Develop new perspectives on global economic integration and trade while studying in Malaysia, China, Singapore, and Indonesia.

At a Glance

Credits

16

Prerequisites

Introduction to economics

Language of Study

Chinese, Bahasa Malaysia

Courses taught in

English

Dates

Feb 4 ‎– May 18

Program Countries

Malaysia

Program Excursion Countries

Indonesia, China

Program Base

Kuala Lumpur

Critical Global Issue of Study

Geopolitics & Power

Geopolitics & Power Icon

Development & Inequality

Development & Inequality Icon

Overview

Why study new economies in Malaysia & China?

Independent since 1957, Malaysia is a country of harmonious complexity as well as ethnic, religious, social, economic, and environmental diversity. Majority Muslim, with long histories of Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, and many other religious practices, Malaysia comprises a rich collection of interfaith communities coexisting within a globally dynamic economy. With its Islamic banking model, based on specific ethical standards and regulations, Malaysia plays a unique role in the global financial sector. Witness economic integration up close in historical and political contexts and meet with policymakers, entrepreneurs, and global industry leaders. Homestays with local families play the important role of bringing into focus specific experiences in the context of everyday life. Thematic seminars and the language course, along with the field methods and ethics seminar, also foster deeper connections. As part of your journey, travel to China, then to Singapore or Indonesia, as you consider the future of international relations and global banking in the growing financial centers of Southeast Asia and beyond.

Highlights

  • Examine banking, ethics, and finance in a global and cross-cultural context.
  • Understand Malaysia’s trade, politics and the inclusivity of global economies.
  • Study and live with families speaking either the Malay or Chinese languages.
  • Visit a wide range of Chinese cities with strong trade sectors.

Prerequisites

Previous college-level coursework both microeconomics and macro economics as assessed by SIT.

Excursions

Melaka and Penang

Spend two days in Melaka, Malaysia’s historic center of maritime trade. Tied to the spread of the Malay language and Islam throughout the Malay peninsula, Singapore, Indonesia—and as far as Madagascar—this city stands as a cultural, diplomatic, and economic nexus in the global network of new ideas. In Penang, the cosmopolitan island off the Malay peninsula, study the island’s dynamic past as a key trading hub linking Southeast Asia and British colonies, as well as its democratic and multicultural present.

China

Develop perspectives on international relations and economic integration while visiting the large Chinese cities of Shanghai and Xiamen, as well as regional trading centers in the coastal provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang. Beyond Xiamen, travel to two or three additional locations: Quanzhou to explore relations between Southeast mainland China and Taiwan; Wenzhou, considered one of China’s most prolific centers of family-based entrepreneurship; or Yiwu, the world’s largest center of small commodities trading.

Indonesia (Spring Semesters)

Journey through Indonesia’s capital, the mega-city of Jakarta, and spend four to five days seeing surrounding communities. Visit the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) headquarters; hear from experts in international relations, geopolitics, and economic integration. Learn about Jakarta’s long history of regional and global trade, relations with China, current trends, and the colonial histories of Indonesia and Malaysia—two closely aligned, democratic, majority Muslim nations.

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

Academics

Coursework

Access virtual library guide.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Key Topics

  • Malaysia’s Islamic banking, finance, and halal management sector
  • The Asian Financial Crisis and its longer-term legacies for Malaysia
  • ASEAN’s goals for cooperation and integration in Southeast Asia
  • Historical foundations of Malay-China trade and economic relations
  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative (aka, the New Silk Road policy)
  • The role of ethics in banking, finance, investment, and trade

Economic Integration and the New Silk Road

Economic Integration and the New Silk Road – syllabus
(ASIA3010 / 3 credits)

This course focuses on the future of trade, national economic policy, and global economic integration. Taking Malaysia’s membership in ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) and China’s New Silk Road (aka, One Belt, One Road) initiative as operative lenses through which to understand the challenges and opportunities for Malaysia in the global economy, this course engages students in questions central not only to the future of Malaysia’s economy but also to the future of global economic integration in general. An additional operative lens with particular relevance to the Malaysian context is the rapid growth of halal management practices in regional and global economic integration. Never far from this view of global integration is the role of the United States in current and future economic relations in Malaysia, China, and Southeast Asia.

Islamic Banking and the Future of Global Finance and Trade

Islamic Banking and the Future of Global Finance and Trade – syllabus
(ECON3030 / 3 credits)

This course brings into focus the critical role money and capital play in the global economy today and what new financial instruments and forms of regulation may mean for future economic and financial governance including trade, currency markets, finance policy, and the New Silk Road (aka, One Belt, One Road) policy that are transnational in nature. Starting with a global view of money and finance, including the rapid capitalization of the global economy at multiple scales, the course adds still more complexity by bringing regional and national economic systems, and new forms of capital management, into conversation. Students gain insight into key course themes from a range of experiences inside and outside of the formal classroom, including conversations with financial sector experts and practitioners in Malaysia, Singapore, and China, who help tie institutional, national, regional, and global scales of financial operations and regulation together.

Field Methods and Ethics

Field Methods and Ethics – syllabus
(ANTH3500 / 3 credits)

This research methods course is designed to prepare students for an Independent Study Project or internship. Through lectures, readings, and field activities, students study and practice basic social science field study methods. They examine the ethical issues surrounding internships and field research related to program themes and are guided through the World Learning / SIT Human Subjects Review process, which forms a core component of the course. By the end of the course, students will have chosen a research topic or internship placement, selected appropriate methods, and written a solid proposal for an Independent Study Project or internship project related to the program themes. All coursework is conducted in English. The program’s language course will help students develop linguistic capacity to engage in field study or an internship.

Bahasa Malaysia or Chinese

In addition to taking the above courses, students will also need to enroll in one of the following two courses:

Beginning Bahasa Malaysia
(MALY1003–1503 / 3 Credits)

Intermediate Bahasa Malaysia
(MALY2003–2503 / 3 Credits)

Advanced Bahasa Malaysia
(MALY3003–3503 / 3 Credits)

In this course, students hone their speaking skills through classroom and field instruction. Reading and writing skill development is also part of this course, though the development of progressively higher-order verbal expression and comprehension will be emphasized. Students learn vocabulary and practice scenarios to build capacity to discuss economics, finance, and social science–related topics, to conduct field research, and to interact in settings related to the program themes. Students are placed in small classes based on an in-country evaluation that tests both written and oral proficiency.

OR

Beginning Chinese – syllabus
(CHIN1003–1503 / 3 credits)

Intermediate Chinese – syllabus
(CHIN2003–2503 / 3 credits)

Advanced Chinese – syllabus
(CHIN3003–3503 / 3 credits)

In this course, students hone their speaking skills through classroom and field instruction. Reading and writing skill development is also part of this course, though the development of progressively higher-order verbal expression and comprehension will be emphasized. Students learn vocabulary and practice scenarios to build capacity to discuss economics, finance, and social science—related topics, to conduct field research, and to interact in settings related to the program themes. Students are placed in small classes based on an in-country evaluation that tests both written and oral proficiency. Students select either to study Bahasa Malaysia or Chinese (Mandarin). Students who study Chinese also receive a basic introduction to Bahasa Malaysia at the start of the program.

Course Options

In addition to taking the above courses, students will also need to enroll in one of the following two courses:

Independent Study Project
Independent Study Project – syllabus
(ISPR3000 / 4 credits)

Conducted in Kuala Lumpur or another approved location in Malaysia appropriate to the project, the Independent Study Project offers students the opportunity to conduct field research on a topic of their choice within the program’s thematic parameters. The project integrates learning from the various components of the program and culminates in a final presentation and formal research paper.

Sample topics:

  • Implications of economic integration on small-scale enterprises
  • Geopolitical challenges of investment and trade in Southeast Asia
  • The role of gender in trajectories of economic change
  • Migration and economic opportunity in the age of the New Silk Road
  • Role of religion (e.g., Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism) in building economic networks today

OR

Internship and Seminar
Internship and Seminar – syllabus
(ITRN3000 / 4 credits)

This seminar consists of a four-week internship with a local community organization, research organization, business, or international NGO in Malaysia. The aim of the internship is to enable the student to gain valuable work experience and to enhance their skills in an international environment. Students will complete an internship and submit a paper in which they process their learning experience, analyze an issue important to the organization, and link internship learning with the program’s critical global issue focus and overall program theme. During the internship placement, the internship course includes weekly seminar sessions designed to help students build a foundation on which to engage in the internship experience.

Sample internship sites:

  • Islamic banking and finance institution in Kuala Lumpur
  • Community economic development organization or office in rural Malaysia
  • Organization engaged in promoting investment and economic relations with China
  • Small-scale enterprise engaged in halal management practices in Southeast Asia
  • Training center developing skills in halal management for global clients

Workshop

Attend an Islamic finance and banking workshop

This weeklong workshop is composed of academic lectures and discussions, site visits, and discussions on the Malaysian model of Islamic banking and finance, with an introduction to the dynamic field of halal management in Malaysia. Halal management forms a growing field of research and training in Malaysia, both for Malaysian entrepreneurs and for international entrepreneurs seeking to engage in trade and investment in Muslim-majority economies.

You’ll get an introduction to Halal management theory, visit large- and small-scale companies, and discuss issues with students of Halal management programs from Malaysia and other parts of the world. At the end of the week, you’ll have a deeper understanding of Islamic banking, finance, and management in the context of a global finance and management practices, from a Malaysian perspective.

Homestays

Kuala Lumpur

You will live with host families for up to six weeks in the Kuala Lumpur area. You will also have opportunities for homestays during excursions into rural communities, and during the independent period of the program when you are carrying out an internship or Independent Study Project.

Faculty & Staff

Malaysia and China: International Relations and New Economies

Amirul Mukminin Mohamad
Language Instructor
Lay Shi (Liz) Ng, PhD
Language Instructor
Kartini Aboo Talib Khalid, PhD
Lecturer
Mohd Rizal Palil, PhD
Lecturer
Sity Daud, PhD
Lecturer

Discover the Possibilities

  • COST & SCHOLARSHIPS

    SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.

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