Alumnus living his NY dream
T’S New York! How many people get to say that they’ve lived in New York, not for a vacation, but to build a life in New York? The location of my university was a huge factor. The pace for everything in New York is so much faster so I get to learn and grow so much quicker.
“I’ve only lived in New York for nine months, but I feel that I’ve grown so much. Starting a whole new life in New York is not easy, but once things fall into place, it is so worth it,” said Liew Khye Borg, an A-Level alumnus of Sunway College on why he chose to further studies at the New York University (NYU).
“NYU Tisch School of the Arts is one of the top performing arts schools in America. Being a big Broadway and choir geek myself, I really wanted to be in a university swarmed with talented performers and learn humbly alongside them. These are the people who dedicate their lives to perfect their performing skills and, thus, getting the opportunity to perform with them was invaluable,” he said.
Liew is pursuing the Bachelor of Science with a Major in Chemistry at NYU under the Public Service Department (JPA) scholarship and is enjoying his experience there.
Liew, 20, said he was asked on the reason he chose to study in the United States instead of in the United Kingdom.
“I got accepted into a few UK universities, including University College London (UCL) and King’s College London, but I turned down these offers the minute I received my NYU acceptance letter. Attending NYU was a gut feeling of mine. It just felt right and I felt that I belonged there.
“However, I will always remember not to get carried away with American values that might contradict with the practices of Asian society,” he said.
Liew also made a good friend in an American named Michael Cleary, as NYU has a dorming policy of pairing up first-year students according to their geographical locations.
“It was hard talking to Michael at first because of the language barrier. We had different accents. He speaks quickly and he was way more proficient in English than I was, so it took some time for us to understand each other. Having him as my roommate accelerated my process of adjusting to New York because that was where he grew up in and he pretty much owns the town.”
At NYU, Liew is also involved in the choir. “I auditioned for the NYU choral society and got picked into a selective choir with 28 members — University Singers. I was overjoyed when I found out I got in because I did not know if I was good enough for them.”
After completing his degree, Liew plans to teach and, hopefully, get into music depending on the opportunities available.
“I want to be a chemistry or music teacher. I cannot imagine myself doing anything else other than teaching.
“I believe I will get the opportunity to influence the younger generation with my ideals, which include one must always believe in themselves, work hard to get what they want and to always be kind to one another. Seeing students grow will be rewarding,” he said.
One of the best things he took away from his studies at Sunway College to his life in NYU, he said, was good people are the ones who would criticise you in front of you so you that you would know your mistakes and improve.
“Bad people are the ones who would smile and make small talk but criticise you behind your back. I definitely appreciate the good people because they are willing to risk your friendship just so they can tell you how they feel and make you a better person.”
Liew Khye Borg