Multicultural Wonder! January 27, 2019

By (The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 08/13/2018 to 12/13/2018 with

National University of Singapore: Singapore - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I'm very glad I got the chance to encounter a culture both different and similar to my own. I'd never been alone in a country where I knew no one, so you're really thrown into the deep end and forced to seek out what you want to experience.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The university's top academic standing certainly shows in its rigorous curriculum, but the experiences were well worth the work.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There were some attempts at exchanger welcome and integration, but not many activities after the initial first month after arrival. You'll find yourself figuring out things on your own (or seeking out information, it's not readily provided sometimes).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartments were fine, roommate matching was fine, pretty good experience overall. Amenities and dining nearby, even if a bit far from classrooms.

* Food:

Amazing! So many different cuisines to experience for the first time, or see local interpretations of world food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had the chance to get to know locals and students who were very welcoming.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare on campus was pretty accessible (before 5 pm only, however). Resources were addressed in the international orientation.

* Safety:

There was a quiz to take about dorm rules and safety before arrival. Safety was also addressed during the international orientation (despite the country being relatively safe). More attention was paid to the severity of laws.

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

If I could do it again, I'd try going abroad more (almost all the exchangers were flying off every weekend). The class structure was manageable and the local students kindly explain things if asked. It's a wonderful country to just take the subway and explore where you come up. The food was a whole new experience, the format especially. Take the time to delve into the history and culture, as well!

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)

Dining out is extremely affordable (if you don't often frequent the classy places). Groceries were relatively inexpensive. Public transportation does add up after awhile, might be useful to alternate the subway with buses (the rideshares are more expensive).

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I tried to keep a budget of SG$40-50 (Singaporean dollars) a week and remained within my limits
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Hawker centers are extremely affordable and delicious! The format was also applied to on-campus dining for the most part. Groceries are a useful supplement as well. Keep an eye on public transport costs. Alcohol is very expensive in Singapore, wouldn't recommend personally. I didn't travel outside the country much either, but I heard that flights to neighboring countries were more affordable than anticipated.

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

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • Classes
  • Transport
  • Sights and city
* What could be improved?
  • The school's registration system
  • More information for exchangers
  • More school activities/integration
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Maybe having learned a bit more about the history and customs of the country before going. Also that travelling outside the country over weekends is the overwhelming norm.

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!