Tembusu Summer program, time flew by too fast! September 04, 2018

By (Mathematics, Statistics, University of Maine - Orono) - abroad from 06/25/2018 to 07/20/2018 with

National University of Singapore: Singapore - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The coursework was focused on urban sustainability, and Singapore provided the perfect backdrop. Being immersed in a wildly different societal and governmental structure only served to enrich the experience.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Despite NUS being a large university, the program in Tembusu was very personal and had a small class size. The subject of the course, while not in my major, was urban development and sustainability. This was especially interesting to study with Singapore as a model.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was helpful and promptly responded to concerns.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We stayed in the dorm high-rises. Nothing special, just a normal single dorm room with a twin bed. It was deathly hot and humid, but you could pay for AC credits.

* Food:

Food at the canteens was relatively cheap (~$4 per meal on average) and had lots of options. In the city itself, hawker centers are even cheaper, and much more fun. The food is fantastic, and vegetarian options are not too hard to find.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There was an almost equal distribution of local and international students in this course, which helped with the local perspective. There were a few field trips that tried to showcase the real experience. The course didn't blur over some ugly truths but attempted to expose us to all facets of life in Singapore.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

n/a (no experience with healthcare)

* Safety:

Singapore is definitely very safe. As long as you have common sense, stay with a group or a buddy, and are respectful you shouldn't have any problems.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Meals could be filling and cheap from canteens and hawker centers. MRT and public travel were also affordable, averaging $2/3 per trip (but this could add up depending on how much you leave campus). What gets expensive are meals in nicer restaurants, drinks (very expensive, alcohol is heavily taxed), and "touristy" landmarks. It's possible to spend too much if you're not careful.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Stick to hawker centers, buy alcohol in the duty-free when you arrive at the airport, shop around for souvenirs (they are much more expensive on popular streets, especially in Chinatown), and limit activities in the downtown center where prices can climb quickly.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Food/culture/location
  • Coursework
  • Class Size
* What could be improved?
  • Length of stay (longer)
  • Accomodations
  • Choices of study
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Living cheaply is possible. Food can be ~$4 per meal easily. Stay away from Marina Bay and downtown if you are on a budget (obviously). Go explore other corners of the island, like hikes in Bukit Timah Nature reserve

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!