“…the US system provides students a conducive, participatory learning platform…”

Hey guys! We are here to introduce to you another exciting new segment in our blog! We will be introducing you to current students and alumni from US colleges and universities in this segment. Hear their insights on US Education, exciting and fun experiences in their college days and the amazing things they are doing right now.

We hope that this segment will provide you with a glimpse of what US education has to offer from various perspectives and that you enjoy learning from them.

To kick-start this wonderful segment, here’s Andrew Loh. Andrew was a facilitator for USAPPS for 3 years and this year, he was a guest speaker at our Klang Valley Half-Day Workshop. Read below for what Andrew has to say about US education.

As a graduate, how has your US education benefited you in your post-graduate endeavours, be it work, graduate studies or anything else under the sun? (if possible, specifically benefits of a US education)

First of all, I think a liberal arts education pushes one to think beyond narrow academic specializations. The exposure I received in college has allowed me to be quite versatile in what I do at work. I graduated with a major in Political Science and a minor in Islamic Studies, but I took classes in many other subjects while at Swarthmore. Most recently, my work has centered around lots of economic research and analysis (stuff about numbers). I have been asked, on multiple occasions, whether I studied law, statistics, or linguistics (but never political science, hah).

Second, I think that a US education changes the way one approaches issues / problems / work. To a certain extent (but definitely not true in all cases), US graduates are more likely to challenge received wisdom / question authority / be more outspoken. Are these statistics real? Why are we doing this project? Is it worth it? Can’t we do this a different way? What why who what how? There is something about how higher education is structured in the States that encourages original input from students: many classes emphasize and induce student participation; students can, and are encouraged, to think for themselves and critique the opinions of “experts” and “professors.””

And many US graduates bring this attitude / approach home with them. Some call it outspokenness; some call it rudeness; I call it balls. In the words of my boss: “Wah you all US graduates all got such strong opinions one!” For me, the US system provides students a conducive, participatory learning platform — comfortable and welcoming enough for students to participate honestly in, and the critical thinking with which to back their thoughts up.

Why should students choose to study in the US, especially when alternatives may cost less, take less time, and offer more familiar styles of education?

I think Malaysians should at least consider tertiary education in the United States because the rich and powerful are sending their kids there. I think this means something. *wink

Non-exhaustive proof of the global shift of power:

(1) Dato’ Sri Najib Razak (Nottingham University, UK)

  • Nor Ashman (Georgetown University, USA)
  • Nooryana Najwa (Georgetown University, USA)

(2) Lee Kuan Yew (Cambridge, UK)

  • Lee Hsien Loong (Cambridge, UK)
    • Li Hongyi (MIT, USA)
    • Li Haoyi (MIT, USA)