Expanding his study experiences

  • Education
  • Sunday, 23 Feb 2020

Kuhan (front row, third left) and other international students with a local family in Kentucky who hosted them during Thanksgiving..

THE last thing after moving overseas for studies is having to worry about food and whether you’ll cope on your own.

A vegetarian for religious reasons since he was 15, Kuhan Rajendran, is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky in the United States. He is an American Degree Transfer Programme (AUP) alumnus from INTI International College Subang.

He had similar thoughts before flying off to the US.

Kuhan has a meal plan that he followed thoroughly which allows him to have unlimited access to the canteens on campus.

“The canteens have vegetarian options, and even a vegan section with special meals for both lunch and dinner.

“Also, pizzerias and sandwich bars always have vegetarian options so accessing vegetarian food is always convenient,” he said.

His meals cost an average of US$10 (RM42) per meal, unless there are special occasions such as birthdays or club and society dinners held at restaurants, when he spends between US$20 (RM84) to US$30 (RM126).

He happens to live where Colonel Sanders was born and his famous Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) was created.

But being a vegetarian didn’t stop Kuhan from visiting Sanders Café, one of the many historical places in Kentucky. The café is located at North Corbin, the birthplace of KFC where Colonel Sanders developed his 11 secret herbs and spices that makes KFC one of the best fried chicken franchises to date.Kuhan tried the mashed potato with gravy and mac and cheese. He claimed that the mashed potato he tasted at Sanders Café, tastes similar to the ones in Malaysia.

Before the Kuala Lumpur-born student furthered his studies to the US, he researched thoroughly about the course he is currently pursuing.

“I decided that INTI would be the best choice because it simply has everything that I needed.

“INTI is the pioneer when it comes to AUP in Malaysia. “My cousin also pursued the AUP at INTI, before transferring to the University of Iowa in 2016,” he said.

Kuhan said his cousin shared his experiences with him, adding that he was taken aback by the fact that INTI has partnerships with more than 300 universities across the US.“When I first joined the college, Ms Terrie Teoh, the AUP programme manager at the Centre for American Education (CAE) and Head of University Placement Office (UPO), Mr Hasif Darwish and Mr Zulkhairil Ahmad (former advisors) from CAE were my guiding pillars,” he said.

Kuhan said they gave him an idea about the universities he could enrol in based on his personal preferences, adding that they also helped him with his US Visa application process.

He was also grateful to his lecturers at INTI who guided him through his dilemma of choosing the university he should study in.

Initially, Kuhan had difficulties paying the application fees for the University of Kentucky.

When Teoh found out that he had difficulties paying the application fees for the university, she liaised with its International Students’ Recruitment director.

“Leveraging their strong partnership with INTI, my application fee was waived!” he said.

The university’s admissions officer Lindsey Shipp worked with Kuhan directly on the documents necessary for the admission process.

“Today, I have even secured an internship in Taiwan this summer,” he said.

Kuhan hopes he can visit all 50 states in the US, saying that he has already been to four.

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