Perhentian Island as Community Liaison Leader - Kai Shen Ee (UGRAD 2012/2013)
3 months as liaison leader at Perhentian Island was a really amazing experience. I get to know the island, study the marine life, contribute my knowledge by teaching the kids and volunteers about marine issues and I really enjoyed myself kayaking, snorkeling, sun bathing and diving (the corals and marine creatures is truly beautiful. My task is to make sure the volunteers who came had a great experience when they leave the island. It is just a magical island that you will truly love it after you stay for a while and I still miss the kids and our lovely neighbor and her kids!
The Malaysian Global UGRAD alumni from 2012-13 organized a retreat for the new batch of UGRADers in Kuala Lumpur.
They joined the new batch for their Pre-Departure Orientation organized by the Malaysian American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE). With them in this photo below (third from left) is Fulbright Program Officer Ms. Kalis.
The 50th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program
June 21, 2013 marked 50 years of educational exchange between Malaysia and the United States. This was Kai Shen Ee’s (2012-13, Illinois State University) first meet up with the Global UGRAD alumni. They talked, shared experiences and updated each other on their current adventures. After returning home, Kai was offered an internship at Perhentian Island for three months working as Community Liaison Leader. He was also invited to join theJunior World Entrepreneurship Forum (JWEF) Malaysia on May 31, 2013.
Lai (Cay) Kar Yan (2012-13, American University) met Tang Khai Shing, her inspiration to study abroad. When she was 16 years old, Cay browsed through the web with the key words “American Malaysia student exchange” and a blog that Khai Shing kept during her life as a Global UGRADer showed up and inspired Cay to want to study abroad in the United States. She is so grateful to have met such a wonderful person who has inspired her and became her mentor. Upon returning home, Cay joined the Malaysian Youth Leadership Program and is working with a group of enthusiastic local university students on a project with consultants from the McKinsey & Company-Kuala Lumpur working on Social Entrepreneurship projects.
Upon her return to Malaysia, Cheong Chee Lee (2012-13, University of New Hampshire) was offered a 4-month engineering internship. Cheong is currently undergoing her final weeks as an undergraduate student and will graduate in the end of January 2014. Due to her exposure in U.S., she is also more actively involved in social and leadership events, the most recent being TEDxKL 2013.
Kalainilaa Kalaiyarasu (2012-13, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities) has been traveling and volunteering since her return to Malaysia. She was involved in a collaborative effort between students in Korea, Canada and Malaysia on an online project. To play a part in the much anticipated General Elections in Malaysia, she worked as a Polling Agent to gain first-hand experience on the election process. She is currently volunteering at a community center in her neighborhood. She looks forward to integrating her academic insights gained during the experience to her more UK-based education syllabus in her final year degree.
Extracted from: Global Gazette (January 2014)
Cayenne Lai (UGRAD 2012/2013)
After returning from the US, I have this “I want to change the world” goal. My passion toward social change has led me to join the Youth Leadership Programme. I worked with a group of enthusiastic local university students with a project we are receiving coaching from by consultants from McKinsey & Company Kuala Lumpur to work on certain Social Entrepreneur projects.
Internship programme as a Corporate Video Production at Visviva Media
As soon as I returned to Malaysia, I received an offer from a local production house. Over the past 2 months, I have been working on video projects with the Malaysia Prison Department for a training video and another project on palm estate production video. My UGRAD experiences has given me the chance to explore to more opportunities.
Before I was selected for the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program 2012-2013, my family was in a messed. My father was unemployed, mother was working outstation where me and three other siblings were raised by my paternal grandmother who works as a fish monger. At the meantime, I had to work three jobs to support my family. Anyhow, the situation changed when I was accepted to this program. I am so grateful that my life have become better and I always believe there are miracles in life as long as I do not give up!
Thank you the US state department, World Learning, MACEE and everyone that have guided me to have such a wonderful opportunity to achieve my dream as a Ugrader. This program definitely changed my life and my perception towards life. This experience is priceless and can’t think of any words to describe it, but I see it as a miracle! In the future, I hope I can help others with the skills that I have gained throughout the time so that more people would get the same exposure like what I had.
Classes - Credit transferred
Good news! All the business related classes that I have taken while studying in the States has successfully been transferred!
Kai Shen Ee (UGRAD 2012/2013)
After returning from the US, I looked for internship or volunteering opportunity for my September to December break. I was lucky enough to get an internship job at Perhentian Island for 3 months to work as a Community Liaison Leader. I will be teaching, doing construction, preserve and conserve the environment.
I was chosen and invited to the 1st and only meeting of the Junior World Entrepreneurship Form (JWEF) Malaysia on May 31 2013. The meeting introduced us to JWEF, the reason of bringing JWEF into Malaysia, and the goal of JWEF Malaysia. JWEF Malaysia 2013 was officially launched on July 2nd at INTI International University & College, Kuala Lumpur.
Awards received since returning
I was awarded the Dean List for May 2011 and Jan 2012 semesters and the Industries Partnership Award as recommended by my faculty for the September semester.
6 generations of Malaysian Global UGRADers with U.S. Ambassador Paul Jones. =)
2008-2009: Khai Sheng, Khai Shing
2009-2010: Sean, Yeong Ru, Eng Hwa
2010-2011: Choon Sian, Shi Ee, Zao Lon, Yu Fen, Yin Yee, Ryan, Kubeehran
2011-2012: Christine, Nasha, Wilson, Amirul, Kimberly, Wei Jiet
2012-2013: Kalai, Carolyn, Cayenne, Kai Shen
2013-2014: Hong Khai, Marcuz, Farah
Catch-up and non-stop photo session with the Global UGRAD peeps. This was by far the gathering with the most number of Malaysian UGRADers!
"This was my first meet up with bunch of UGRAD alumni as well as the latest batch. We talked, shared experience and update each other on what are we doing currently. It was a pleasant night." ~ Kai Shen Ee (UGRAD 2012/2013)
"Met Tang Khai Shing, the mentor of my life. When I was 16 years old, I randomly browsed through the web with the key word – American Malaysia student exchange. Khai shing’s blog that has portraits her life as an Ugrader has inspired to work harder in life. From that point onwards, to study abroad in the States has been my goals. I am so graceful to meet such a wonderful person in life which has inspired me. I would say, my life would not be like this without her guidance." ~ Cayenne Lai (UGRAD 2012/2013)
UGRAD Global Gazette (March 2013 Edition)
UAH Office of International Programs & Services Newsletter (February 2013-Page 7)
I would like to thank World Learning and UAH Office of International Programs for giving me a space to share about our Amazing Race experience. I hope that by sharing our dream-come-true stories, we'll be able to encourage more people to pursue their dreams and give it a chance to happen. No dreamer is ever too small, no dream is ever too big. =)
By: TANG KHAI SHING (UGRAD 2008-2009)
July 20-22 (Fri-Sun): UGRAD Malaysia Retreat @ Penang Island
Following our first retreat that was successfully held in Taiping last year, the recent returnees organized a weekend getaway to Penang last weekend. Malaysian UGRADers have been organizing annual gathering since the first batch in 2008 to reunite alumni and share their experiences with the new UGRAD scholars who will be embarking on their UGRAD journey to the US in August. This year, 11 UGRADers from all over Malaysia (2008/09: KhaShing; 2010/11: ChoonSian, ShiEe; 2011/12: Wilson, Nasha, YuPing, WeiJiet; 2012/13: Carolyn, Cayenne, Dylan, Kalai) traveled to Penang for this 3D2N trip. Thanks to Wilson, Nasha, YuPing, and WeiJiet for organizing this trip.
Thanks to UGRAD for bringing us together! It's pretty amazing how we bond as if we've known each other forever even though this is just the 1st or 2nd time we met!! =) Good luck and all the best to those who are leaving to the States soon...cherish this journey of a lifetime and make it worthwhile! =)
"A wonderful weekend getaway with the UGRAD family. Lotsa good foods, inspiring sharing sessions, bonding, heritage trail and jungle trekking! Good luck to juniors who are going to the US. For returned scholars - welcome back my friends, put on a show that never ends." - Wilson Beh (UGRAD 2011/12)
"Returned to lovely Penang with my awesome UGRAD family (new and old). Glad to have this chance to listen to such inspiring stories. Your determination and positivity really amazes me. Good food + heartfelt sharing sessions + upgraded friendships= a weekend well spent that can be summarized in one single word- meaningful!" - Nasha Lee (UGRAD 2011/12)
By: TANG KHAI SHING (UGRAD 2008-2009)
By: Tang Khai Shing (UGRAD 2008-2009)
What's up, people! I just won the "Show Your Moves" online hip-hop dancing competition organized by the U. S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur. (Which was CRAZY!!) I got myself RM1500 Nike gift voucher and a private lesson with Hip-Hop Master Yung Chris.
So, that morning started with a ride with Chris from Hotel Fortuna. Thanks to Mr. Chew from the Embassy for giving us a ride to the Street Nation Dance Studio at Sunway. During the ride, we talked about my Global UGRAD program, trains, Malaysia, weather, and politics. (Yea, I know. Pretty... random topics)
To the dancing part... I was really nervous and I couldn't really think straight at that time. Chris was a cool guy, he explained to me dancing is like problem solving. It's a whole body and mind motion, which translates into dancing. It was an 1-hour session and I really learned a lot from him.
I want to thank the Embassy for the opportunity and Yung Chris for the advices on Hip-hop Fundamentals. Peace!
By: Ryan Chen (UGRAD 2010-2011)
It’s was on 15th August 2009 that I embarked on my journey as a U-grader…
13th May 2010 that I returned… Life as an exchange student didn’t end there…
Life actually begins ;p
Secretary Hillary Clinton came to visit Malaysia…
And who would ever think that I’ll be invited to attend…
Received a call when I was travelling in Thailand and was asked whether I was interested in attending the event I was uber happy:)
And the opportunity only came because… I was a U-Grader…
Also met the ambassador a couple of times during US Embassy events…
It was a very nice experience and it was also awesome to know that the ambassador and his wife are both very nice and warm people:)
That’s not all…
You’ll meet awesome new friends during the exchange…
Pia a U-Grader came to visit:)
She was attending a conference in Singapore and decided to drop by…
Just cos there were 4 lovely U-Graders she met during the reentry workshop in DC…
She stayed over at my house for only 2nights…
It was a very very very short visit to Malaysia…
But she managed to meet up with all 1year u-graders 09/10:)
You make friends with people from all around the world…
The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund team came to Malaysia…
Was very fortunate to be their guide:)
Nice academics from HBSCUs all over US…
Sarah dropped by for a few weeks:)
I got to know her through The International Class when I was in Jackson:)
She dropped by for about 3 weeks…
She spent three whole weeks in Malaysia:)
Which I happen to be in Aussie for a week-_-“
Brought her to KL, PJ, Melaka and Penang:)
And realized that I didn’t take that many pictures with her:(
Then came… U Gla…
To get on the course you need more than a 2:1 degree…
As its a conversion course (cramming 3yrs of undergrad psy into 1yr)
As a U-grader it earned more points to my application and it also made me gain a scholarship…
So here I am now in ‘Hogwards’
Still thinking is it worth it to take some time off the usual route?
Experience is something that money can’t buy:)
U-Grad opened the gateway to US…
and many other doors too:)
By: Wong Yeong Ru (UGRAD 2009-2010)
The Global UGRAD program provides ample opportunities for UGRADers to bond & build lasting friendships with Americans and people from all over the world. Upon returning to Malaysia, these friendships don't end as the UGRAD program ends. In fact, UGRAD ties extend beyond your stay in the United States. Malaysian UGRADers have played their role well as youth ambassadors of Malaysia when their friends visited Malaysia. UGRADers also took the opportunity to meet up with fellow UGRADers from other countries when they visited their countries.