New Brunei Exchange Program Offers Diverse Opportunities

The UNC Study Abroad Office is now accepting applications for a newly introduced semester or year-long exchange program in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei.

Students selected for the program may enroll in academic courses within any department at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam – which include the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Business, Economics and Policy, the Faculty of Science, the Language Center, and the Institute of Health Science.

“Brunei’s fascinating history and mix of cultures, its close proximity to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, and the university’s diverse course offerings related to the region make it an ideal location for students interested in exploring and studying Southeast Asia,” said Dan Gold, Asia Programs Director for the UNC Study Abroad Office in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Gold notes that UNC is one of the University of Brunei Darussalam’s first exchange partners in the United States. Opportunities for UNC students have stemmed, in part, from UNC’s participation in iCUBE, the International Consortium of Universities for the Study of Biodiversity. iCUBE is led by the University of Brunei Darussalam and is comprised of eight global universities including two UNC strategic partners, the National University of Singapore and King’s College London.

What makes Brunei a unique destination for a study abroad program?

  • Brunei is home to a vibrant biodiversity, including Asia’s smallest frog and the world’s rarest otter. Students can explore this diversity in a rainforest field site located just a few hours away from the University of Brunei Darussalam.
  • As a constitutional sultanate and the only remaining Malay Islamic Monarchy, Brunei is politically unique, socially moderate and accessible and welcoming to outsiders.
  • With an ethnically and linguistically diverse population, students studying at the university will have opportunities to study and speak a number of Asian languages, including Malay and Mandarin Chinese.
  • Also located in the capital is “the Water Village,” a system of interconnected villages built on stilts over the Brunei River – and which is home to more than 10 percent of Brunei’s people.
  • The traditional markets which still thrive in Brunei are among the most fascinating in Asia.
  • The small size, high standard of living and the widespread use of English in Brunei make it highly accessible to our students.
  • Although nearly 90 percent of Brunei’s gross domestic product originates from crude oil and natural gas, the country maintains a protective environmental stance with one of the lowest rates of deforestation in Southeast Asia.
  • As a politically stable country, it’s fitting that the official name of Brunei is Negara Brunei Darussalam, which means "Abode of Peace.”

The Fall 2012 program application deadline is February 16, 2012. To apply or for more information about the program, visit the UNC Study Abroad website.