Yi Xuan Ng, pronounced yee shin ung, is an international student from Malaysia who began his Geneva education in the fall of 2015. If you know him, you might not recognize that name, as he goes by Josh.
“My parents named me Josh, but they didn’t put it on my birth certificate or official papers,” Ng laughed. “I have to go by Josh here or else I’ll make it very hard for people.”
Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia that is separated into two parts by the South China Sea. Josh lived about an hour from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur along the western coast of the peninsula. It is also predominately an Islamic nation, which led to an unconventional education for Ng.
Ng is majoring in history at Geneva with the desire to possibly enter the ministry or become a writer in the future. “I love stories, especially fiction as a kid. I grew up thinking I would be either a writer or filmmaker because of my love of stories. But as I studied more history I started to realize that [history provides] very exciting narratives.”
“After learning about the Doctrine of Providence where God guides the history of mankind, I realized that this is God’s script and that made me really excited about the idea of history as God revealing his general revelation.”
Josh came to America because of the incompatibility of his education with Malaysian universities. “I was homeschooled using an American curriculum. We are an Islamic country, so the government sort of kept people who came out of that homeschooling curriculum from coming to local colleges because it is a Christian curriculum. They don’t treat us as a real high school.”
Ng liked that American schools offered a choice between a specialized education and a liberal arts one, as Malaysian schools are very technical and specific. “They train you for a profession rather than focusing on learning,” said Ng.
Josh found out about Geneva through a pastor who was ministering in Malaysia. Like most American students, he finished his SATs and took to College Board to look for options. “I was searching and I found this college, and I realized this was the one that my pastor was talking about,” he said.
“I was looking for a college that [focused on] liberal arts, was Christian and, if possible, reformed. Geneva fits all of those requirements.”
Josh hopes to return to Malaysia by teaching English as a Second Language as he looks to start his long-term career after he graduates from Geneva.