By: Jo Yee Yap, Foster Undergraduate and GBC Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient who participated in an exchange with the National University of Singapore
This year, I had the opportunity to study abroad at the National University of Singapore and it was by far one of the best experiences of my undergraduate years.
In this post I will be addressing interesting places to visit, the best local food that you must try, and what to expect while on exchange in Singapore.
I would recommend attending all the events hosted by the exchange student commission as that is the best way to meet other exchange students and start building relationships. And, it is also a good introduction to Singapore as there are extremely fun events like the heartland tour around the city where they bring you to the most iconic spots. My favorite event was Dragon Boat, where we raced each other on traditional Chinese design boats at Marina Bay. You must register prior to attending events, so keep an eye out for those emails!
Also, be prepared to face Singapore’s registration style as it may be a bit challenging than registering on myUW. But, not to worry as there are a thousand other students who are going through the same process and have just as many questions, so never be afraid to ask around. Aside from business classes, I recommend to take on the opportunity to take 1 or 2 classes of your interests that stand out to you in the curriculum. I had the chance to take a New Media and Communications class, and I loved it. Some of my friends on exchange took Chinese, and they highly recommended it as they learned how to read and write, and had been able to apply this skill directly with their peers. Many have said that they have learned more Chinese in the course of 4 months in Singapore than she would have gained in her home university.
As an exchange student, you have the opportunity to choose to live in a residence hall or apartment style building. I would recommend choosing the apartment style building if you prefer not having a meal plan, however, residence halls usually have more events and a tighter community with intramural sports and activities to partake in. I lived in the residence halls and joined rock climbing and cooking club.
Singapore is a small country where you are able to drive from one end to another in 45 minutes, but there is much to do.
- The wonders of Singapore include the five merlion statues scattered across the country. I recommend finding each one, as they are often placed at a historical or nearby Singapore’s famous attractions.
- Marina Bay is an incredible site and I would recommend taking a picture across the bay at raffles place. Gardens by the Bay is a definite must see. Every night, Singapore hosts two light shows, one by the gardens and another by the bay.
- Singapore is also known for one of the many cat cafes. So if you are a cat lover!
- Pulau Ubin is an island off Singapore, and it is one short ferry ride away. Many go to this island are able to rent bikes and bike along this island enjoying the unique views.
The MRT, similar to the light rail will be your best friend, as it is a convenient way to get around the country. Best food to try while abroad is their infamous chili crab, Laksa Noodles, and chicken rice. There are many hokker centers where there are many vendors in an area selling food at an extremely affordable price. A plate of noodles will cost around 3-4 dollars. The closest and delicious hokker center is on Dover road, which is a 5 minute walk from campus. The closest mall to the school is at clementi and buona vista station. So if you are in need to purchase any house items, or groceries.