By: Jo Yee Yap, Foster Undergraduate and GBC Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient who participated in an exchange with the National University of Singapore
To avoid the hassle on the first day, I would suggest packing a pillow, bed sheets, and a thin blanket. It was the best decision as I didn’t need to take the time to shop for these items. Also bring a foldable laundry basket you can purchase for a couple dollars at Daiso. With these items taking up a majority of luggage space, it is great as you will have this space to fit other souvenirs you will buy when returning home. Have everything ready and packed such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, school supplies, and toiletries essentials.
I would recommend keeping a journal and writing about the events that occurred each day, as it will serve as a good memory down the road, and also gives you the opportunity to reflect on your day.
I created a general excel sheet to record my expenses, to make sure I was not exceeding my amount. It helped me realize which category I was spending the most money in, such as food or entertainment, and what I needed to cut back on to help me get through the entire semester.
It is helpful to bring plenty of cash abroad and to create a local DBS bank account for purchases. It is easy and free to open. Most stores take NETS which is equivalent to a DBS debit card. A lot of vendors do require cash only so always have a couple of dollars with you wherever you go.