Guest Post By: Jenny Chan, a Senior studying Marketing and CISB. She is a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient, and she studied abroad through Foster Exchange at the National University of Singapore in Queenstown, Singapore, during Autumn Semester 2023.
Studying abroad at the National University of Singapore was an amazing experience. At NUS I took 2 marketing classes and 1 finance class, and each class had its own unique charm that made class engaging and fun. But one warning I have for students who may want to go to NUS in the future is to really listen to the google doc that says not to take finance. Although I enjoyed the class and the professor, the teaching style and pace of things made getting high marks on quizzes and tests a hard task. Truly, unless you feel really confident in your finance skills and are really passionate about the subject. It’s best to avoid any finance class at NUS if possible.
The other classes I took at NUS though were really enjoyable and offered a new teaching style that was different from UWs. At NUS, business classes are split into lecture, sectional teaching, or tutorial class. The lecture style is very similar to UW’s as well as the tutorial class which is like our quiz sections. But sectional teaching is a much more engaging class where there’s a smaller group of students in a class and students are asked to be more engaged with the teacher and ask questions or make comments during class. In the marketing classes the professors would add in several points during their slides to engage the class in conversation and to try to get us to think about points like how to improve customer retention or what this company could’ve done better in terms of their marketing campaign. Exercises like this that I think helped get the class to talk more and get their mind a flowing.
Overall, there were several things at NUS that were similar to UW’s but the most noticeable difference between the style at UW and NUS is in their assignments and collectivist thinking. At UW most business classes have homework or assignments at least once a week and maybe 1 big project at the end of the quarter. And as well depending on the class some group presentations. But at NUS they had a very group collaborative way of doing things. In all 3 of my classes, they all had some type of group presentation. Even in finance we were required to present in our tutorial section about a problem set and asked to present how we did the question and why. In addition to group presentations, there weren’t really any “homework” assignments so to say. All of my classes either had project assignment checkpoints or just mid-terms and finals. Assignments and readings that were due weren’t strictly enforced so it’s easy to get off track and forget about something especially when it doesn’t come up as a notification on canvas. In the end the atmosphere and community at NUS is really great and there’s always something happening on campus, from student held concerts to a thrifting event where you can buy second-hand clothes.