Maran Subramain, from Kulim, Malaysia, is a doctoral research associate in Western Michigan University's Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation program. A recipient of funding from the Malaysian government and the WMU Presidential Scholarship, Maran was advised by some of his instructors at the National University of Malaysia to complete his graduate studies at Western.
Maran embraced campus life when he arrived in Kalamazoo by joining the International Programs Council and other student organizations. His cheerful, helpful manner helped him earn a position as the international programming intern in the Haenicke Institute for Global Education, where he now serves as a research associate and as coordinator of the International Student Activities office.
Maran shares some thoughts about campus life, Kalamazoo, and his home
WMU has helped me intensify the knowledge I already have in the evaluation field. It is giving me a new dimension on learning, not only in the beautiful and best facilities, but also through valuable educational content. The instructors are very knowledgeable and willing to help us boost our hidden talents. The international student activities are fun, help me meet people, and are building my self confidence.
Heading up the the International Student Activities programming office is a very pleasurable experience. We plan and facilitate activities that help international students meet people and learn about American culture, including an International Festival in March and a Parade of Nations at the Homecoming game each fall. The position has helped me meet lots of domestic and international students and gives me the opportunity to work with faculty and staff to build a strong network.
Kalamazoo is a friendly place to live, with lots of interesting things to do near campus. Visiting the Barnes and Noble bookstore is something I enjoy very much, and there are movie theaters and malls nearby when you need a break from studying. Michigan, which is surrounded by freshwater lakes, is a fun place to live, particularly in summer.
My home country is a place where you can see unity in diversity—Malaysians, Chinese and Indians live together in a harmonious environment. One of my favorite things to do at home is to chat for hours with friends in small coffee shops called, mamak stalls.