MARCH 8, 2017

Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Today is my first day as an international road warrior. I woke up early at 4:30 even though my alarm wasn't going to off until 5:20. So, I got ready and worked on the final edits of my presentations.

Down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. Nothing exotic today. Not even my favorite, yellow watermelon. Don't want to get sick today! I met my tour crew and it was a relief to get the introductions out of the way. Most admissions counselors are very friendly so I knew it wouldn't be a problem. In fact, I am probably the most anti-social counselor in the world! I made my first Brother Shamus contact too! I introduced myself and a rep named Shannon asked if I knew Brother. She recruited with him when he was at St. John's. I always meet someone who knows Brother when I attend international education events.

Time to get on the bus for our first high school visit. Check out the bus pictures. The seats recline and have elevated leg rests! It is the small things that amuse me! The rest of my tour buddies were in Jakarta for the past 2 days so most of them are getting some sleep on the bus. We are traveling for 30 minutes to Selangor. The school is IGB International School.

There were approximately 40 students at IGB in grades 10-11. Most of the students I talked to were interested in Engineering, Computer Science, Business, and several girls were interested in Psychology. Quite a few students were interested in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. All of the students had excellent English proficiency and I couldn't tell where many of them were from because the accents were barely detected. Many of the teachers were from the U.S. and U.K. I spoke with the school counselor, Pauline and we bonded over the job. She was really nice and asked why I made the switch to the "other side". I told her that it was time for a change and money wasn't great at the private school. She told me that she makes good money as an international counselor so if I ever wanted to get back into counseling, I should consider it.

We are off to the King's Palace for a quick sightseeing stop before our next school. As we drive around KL, I am struck by the buildings and their placement. Houses right next to 40 story buildings. The King's Palace was nice- from what we can tell. Lots of gold, Gram Fatula would love it! The King is elected by the Sultans of the 13 states of Malaysia. It is an elected monarchy.

Taylor's International School in Taman Maluri, Kuala Lumpur<br> We had the opportunity to meet with the seniors first here at Taylor's. Then we gave presentations to the 10th and 11th grade students, about 150 of them. There are 14 of us on the tour so after we did our elevator pitches, the students could come to our tables to talk. The students had great questions, especially being so young. I ran out of brochures but they were young so if I come back, I’ll see them again.

Back to the hotel for a one hour break before a busy night. Relax and eat lunch- my agenda for this time. I went down to the conference room for our evening session. We had an education briefing from EducationUSA on trends in Malaysia. Then we met with individual agents to discuss contracts. Before I knew it, it was time to meet the students. The student fair was 6-9pm. It was so intense. There were so many students and they just kept coming and had tons of questions. It was good, that is why I came here but WOW! I ran out of all brochures and swag by 8:00pm. I didn't expect so much interest in SFU because it isn't a big name school but we do have some attractive options like ESL, conditional admit, and no GRE for master's. So, that was a big selling point. I was so exhausted by the time it was over but the group decided to meet for drinks since we can sleep in tomorrow. Met up in the lobby for drinks and decompression! Tomorrow is a travel day- off to Penang.