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Student perspectives: One year in Singapore

2020-03-09 17:55:30
Student perspectives: One year in Singapore
Denise from Germany shares her exchange program experience to the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

 When I chose Singapore for my one year exchange, I had never been to this country before and I didn’t hear too much about it either. But that was okay and it was a thrill for me to just go to an unknown land and just see what happens. I didn’t want to have any big expectations and that was the best thing I could’ve done.

 

Uni life

When I was an exchange student in Singapore, it wasn’t all travelling and having fun but I also had to do a lot of work. Singaporean Universities are not easy and you really have to do a lot of work if you want to have a good grade at the end of the year. It was definitely not comparable to my German University back home where we mostly only had an exam at the end of the semester. During the week I only seldom went out because I had to do quite a bit of work after class. Because I was also learning Chinese, I had to practice almost every day to not forget anything (but since I got back I basically forgot almost everything).

 

You will also be having a lot of group meetings and group projects and don’t underestimate them. During my exchange year, I had to do 4 videos for courses and they all took a lot of time and effort.

 

Apart from that though the professors are really friendly (at least the ones I had, cannot say anything about other faculties) and you will probably also be working together with people from all over the world. That way you will also have the chance to get to know new learning methods and might be able to improve your grade through that.

 

If you are a sporty person and still want to work out or do some kind of sports while you are on exchange, you can become a member of one of the sports clubs and train with them every week.

 

Play

But it’s not all work. During the weeks, I’ll take some time away from homework to go out and explore Singapore and sometimes even go further.

 

Singapore has one of the best nightlife scenes I have ever experienced. There are many bars and clubs that you can go to throughout the week or weekend. Usually, on Wednesdays, there is Ladies Night which makes going out a lot cheaper for women.

 

You have probably heard of the Marina Bay Sands before, right? That big fancy hotel with the infinity pool on top?

 

Well, they also have a club and bar on top. On Wednesday is the best day to go for ladies because you can go up for free and even get one free drink. Gents have to pay to get up though (and wear long pants). But to be honest, you will never have a better view from any other club in Singapore.

 

Then you also have Clarke Quay, Holland Village or Boat Quay, where there are numerous bars and restaurants. But keep in mind, drinks in Singapore are not cheap. They are actually quite expensive. So if you want to save money, look for Happy Hours or if you are a girl, then Ladies Night is the best time to go out.

 

MRTs and buses only run until about midnight so you might want to create an Uber account or get the GrabTaxi App.

 

One of my absolute favourite things to do on weekends was to go down to Esplanade Outdoor Theatre and watch a free concert or performance at night

 

If you’re considering travelling, Singapore is a great place to start. One of the major reasons I heard from fellow exchange students on why they chose Singapore was that you can basically travel easily to anywhere in Southeast Asia since Singapore is right in the middle. SEA is pretty cheap travelling wise. You won’t have to spend a lot of money in order to get to see amazing beaches and experience some awesome culture.

 

There are airlines like AirAsia, TigerAir or Jetstar that offer cheap tickets and if you want to go to Malaysia you can even go by bus and it’s not expensive at all

 

Final thoughts

Being an exchange student in Singapore is an awesome experience. Trust me. You will meet amazing people from all over the world and you will have the best time of your life. Don’t ever hesitate to go on exchange. Even though it might be scary to think about moving to the other side of the world, it is totally worth it and you will never forget this wonderful time you had. I was extremely sad when I had to leave but I am really happy I chose Singapore as my home for a year. I couldn’t have asked for a better country.

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