Intro: University Exchange to Singapore
4 MONTHS OF SINGAPORE
So what am I doing in Singapore?
If you asked me a year ago where I would be now, I wouldn't have fathomed being halfway across the world going to school at Asia's top universities and living in a dorm. But here I am, in Asia's little dot on the equator, sweating too much and eating too often for my own good. To put it in short, I decided to change it up a bit and take a few risks this year.
For those who know me, I was in Hong Kong earlier this year for a work placement and decided to apply for my university's exchange program. I was soon accepted for my first choice to participate in a Business exchange at arguably one of the best universities on this side of the globe - the National University of Singapore. I would be in Singapore for four months and living on the Kent Ridge campus at one of the Residential Halls.
But why Singapore? Well:
- As I said before, they have the best university in Asia (also houses the best business school in Asia)
- Singapore is an international business hub. Lowkey, I could scout out my chances of working there in the future
- It's in Asia, and Asia is my jam
- Singapore is known for its great diversity of food, both ethnically and affordability
- "Location, location, location". Accessibility around the city and to other countries is A+ (I mean they're one of the biggest trading ports in the world for a reason)
- Decent CAD to SGD conversion rates
- It's "home". I was actually born in Singapore though I didn't take citizenship as I left to immigrate to Canada at a young age. I never got to know the city fully before leaving so here I am now
JUST DO IT.
To be honest, I spent a lot of time considering exchange - even before entering university. Was I responsible/independent enough? Could I financially support myself? Could I handle the course load and academic environment? Would I be able to adapt to a new country? Could I make new friends? Without a doubt, these are essential questions in considering before applying to exchange (or any international opportunity) but I have some regrets on how much time I spent taking up a risk-adverse mentality. As I enter my 5th year of undergraduate studies (6th year of undergraduate enrollment), I often beat myself up on how late I am to the party on participating in these experiences.
I strongly advise all incoming or current undergrads to consider all opportunities as early as possible, even if they feel like something that isn't your style. Keep your doors open for yourself and you will find a way to make the impossible happen :)
I'll be starting a dedicated travel section of my blog to share my experiences and hopefully inspire and inform some of you to think of the opportunities around you. Stay tuned for more!