Start Ahead, Stay Ahead!

Perhaps the nagging questions on every school leavers’ minds are, What should I do now? Should I start work? Should I continue with studies? What do I want to study? What do I want to be when I grow up?

Years ago, I’ve had to answer those difficult questions for myself. I had a very short period of time and I was under lots of circumstances- being uprooted from Kuching, not knowing anyone in KL, being late for early intake so I had to start later than everyone else- but in the end, my parents and I did make the right choice for me because we enrolled at Taylor’s College Subang Jaya (TCSJ), which ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and those years at Taylor’s were the best years of my life so far! I found the ‘loves’ of my life there – my now career path and my husband!! 😉

The College exterior

TCSJ offers only Pre-U programs, along with the Sri Hartamas campus. Other tertiary programs are now being offered at the Taylor’s Lakeside Campus near Sunway

So I was delighted to be invited to visit TCSJ again for their Open Day recently. Much has changed since I went there, the Canteen we used to know has been renovated and half of the space is now taken up by a computer lab. The offices and the classrooms, well, they’ve been repainted and renovated here and there so it looks refreshed! All the shops across the street are now nicer – they now have a Pappa Rich and a Starbucks, we didn’t have Asia Cafe back then, we had ‘Pan Mee’ under a tree!!

The newly renovated Reception area

The Taylor’s Placement Centre helps students in everything to do with getting placed in a University

What was once our canteen is now this computer lab!

Anyways, knowing that I have to write a blog post about my old college, well, I didn’t want to sound biased, but I guess I can’t help because having been an ex-student, I already know that the college is top notch! Great facilities, inspiring teachers and a great social experience overall! (I made some of my best friends there and we still hang out till now!) But I tried to keep an open mind and went in as both a potential student and potential parent of a student ;P to see if I would buy what they’re selling now.

Showcase of student creativity…

….and lessons in civic mindedness can be found everywhere!

But of course, I was sold. Especially on their Canadian Pre-U (CPU) program. I personally did the American Degree Transfer Program (ADP) because I knew, going into college, that I wanted to do a Media/Communications Degree. But if you’re like most 16-17 year olds and you’re unsure of what you want to do, I’d encourage you to do a Pre-U course. You will spend a minimum of 1 year in the course and are given the flexibility to choose various subjects to see where your interests are, preparing you for the road ahead, which is University.

I would call a Pre-U program a transition period or “rehab” for your learning system from the national school system before you get thrown into a University.

You know, when you’re in a public school system, all you ever do is memorize things in the pretext of learning – memorize equations, memorize history, memorize moral values (which till this day I still think is ridiculous… how are you suppose to instill moral values into a student by asking them to memorize how ever many ‘Nilai-Nilai Murni’ there are?) You’re discouraged from asking questions – things are what they are, like you’re told, you can’t have your own opinions if they defer from that of the text book, I can go on and on…but I think this video (done by Taylor’s CPU Students) might illustrate better….

Although the video stopped a bit abruptly, you get the idea…. What got me into rooting for CPU is the innovative, interactive and flexible learning approach – it focuses on active student participation and student-centred learning, you’re encouraged to have your own opinions, you’re encouraged to ask questions and you’re also encouraged to answer the questions other students ask! You learn from each other and the teachers are just there to facilitate and point you in the right direction!

Teaching staff at the CPU program are mostly Canadian graduates

Talking to Melvin Teh, who is currently a 3rd semester CPU student. Very confident and outspoken, plans to pursue Bachelor of Business & Psychology at Monash Malaysia

And if you’re sick and tired of studying for one final exam which will make or break your entire year in school, well, CPU students are assessed through 70% coursework and 30% final examinations. Most of the coursework includes group projects and presentations which helps, not only in obtaining hands-on knowledge, but helps to build social skills – working in a team – and presentation skills, all of which you’d require in to start ahead and stay ahead in real life! Not so much your book smarts! ;P

With Chuah Ai Jou, Taylor’s MarComm Senior Communications Exec. and Mr Lim Tou Boon, President of Taylor’s College.

And what really sold me on CPU was the 10-hour compulsory community service every student is required to complete before graduating. Now that’s the way to instill good moral values and at the same time contribute to the community! To add to that equation, 80% of CPU’s teachers are from Canada, they’re young, vibrant (and if I may add – pretty good looking bunch too!! hahahaha….) and have a world of international experience, which students here can take from.

With Ms Nirmala Subramaniam, Asst. Principal at the School of Pre-U Studies – Canadian Pre-U Program, who came to meet me outside of college after her talk during the Open Day just to chit chat!

Don’t be fooled by its name though, besides Canada, the CPU Program opens doors to universities all over the world, including the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, Russia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and more!

If you need more information on Taylor’s College and the CPU Program, click here. Registration is now closed for the March intake, unfortunately, but the June 2010 intake is still open. From what I hear, the CPU program has just moved into Wisma Subang Jaya (formerly the Taylor’s Business School building) so you’ll get to have plenty of facilities (like computer labs and lecture halls) all to yourselves! So, if you’re still undecided as to what you want to study or where, say Yes! to Taylor’s CPU!!

Love, Bel

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