Penang US University Education

79228776I had the chance to attend an overseas education fair during the past week. It was held at a hotel right here in downtown Penang. Scores of universities from the UK, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia were showcased but American universities were notably absent. The only scintilla of the mighty US education machinery was but a single table attending to enquiries about enrolling at US universities.

To be fair, the American university program pathway has never been a hit within the local university circles. This is hardly surprising, given the kind of notorieties that are so presumptuously associated with the US education pathway: ‘prohibitive’ financial costs and ‘debilitating’ SAT demands. The truth is – that’s not always the truth!

For Penangites, prudent is to know that US college tuition, fees and living expenses are high but savvy is to know about MACEE. The Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange down by Jalan Scotland in Georgetown is a must-have point of contact to make if US university education is on your horizon. Officially ratified by the US Department of State which awards billions of dollars (US$ 7.7 billion in the 2011-2012 period) in scholarships, grants and financial aids to US-bound international students annually, the good office may just guide you to your tidy share.

To dispel the other myth, Penang SAT is like SAT anywhere. With the right approach, it is easy to ‘own’. Facts:

  • Penang SAT can possibly mean no SAT. If the credit-transfer (twinning) route is taken, SAT is actually not required. US community colleges are a similar option, SAT-wise.
  • The SAT playing field is a global one now and the main key to SAT success is preparation. There are enough tuition centres and private tutors in Penang to support that although the respective sections (Math and Verbal) in SAT may have to be attended separately. Fret not, specialist Penang SAT Prep resources are set to blossom; the first one is already here – yes, the SAT Angel has arrived!

There, first to MACEE and SAT Angel, then to USA.

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