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These Two M’sian Cadets Are Among Just 20 Global Applicants Accepted To U.S. Service Academies

These Two M’sian Cadets Are Among Just 20 Global Applicants Accepted To U.S. Service Academies

The Service Academy Cadets programme is one of many educational and cultural exchange opportunities with the US.

Maya Suraya

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Two Malaysians have been accepted to continue their studies in two United States service academies this year. Of thousands of applicants received for the Service Academy Cadets programme annually, only 10% are selected due to the highly rigorous admission process.

Nicholas Ong Yong Xen, of SMK Puchong Utama (1) before joining the Royal Military College (RMC) in 2019, has been appointed to the US Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, Maryland. Ong will be studying cyber operations and is committed to becoming a navy officer with the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Khairel Adha Mohd Khairee will attend the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Khairel attended SMK King Edward VII before joining the National Defense University (UPNM) for his foundation studies and will be studying Aeronautical Engineering at USAFA with hopes to become a Royal Malaysian Air Force’s fighter pilot upon completing his studies.

To date, a total of 34 Malaysians have graduated from four US Service academies since 1971.

Nicholas Ong Yong Xen (L) and Mohamed Khairel Adha Mohd Khairee (R)
(Credit: U.S. Embassy in Malaysia)

Other Educational & Cultural Exchange Opportunities With The U.S.

The Service Academy Cadets programme is one of many exchange opportunities arranged by the Cultural Affairs Section of the Public Affairs Office of the US Embassy in Malaysia. Here are a few you could look into for a foundation of a deeper understanding of the United States.

The Fulbright Program – Established in the United States in 1946, it aims to strengthen understanding and communication between two nations by funding a variety of education exchanges like the Fulbright Malaysian Professional Exchange Program and International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP)

Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) – Launched in 2013, it is the U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia among ASEAN youth between the ages of 18-35. It calls for innovative, creative and eager contributors of ideas to make a difference.

Community Solutions ProgramThis four-month professional development program call for the best and brightest global community leaders working in Environmental Issues, Tolerance and Conflict Resolution, Transparency and Accountability, and Women and Gender Issues.

OneBeat Program – For those more inclined to the arts, OneBeat is a musical exchange initiative by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program brings 25 musicians (ages 19-35) from around the world to the U.S. for one month each fall to write, produce, and perform original music. Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions however, the program this year will run from 20 September till 17 November and will be conducted online with a US$1,500 stipend for those selected.


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