The word ‘exchange’ has been prohibited in my household for almost 2 years. Finally, I managed to convince my family that it would be my last opportunity to stay abroad before starting my daily 9 to 5 job. To be fair, it did sound very daunting to my conservative Asian family – 4 months away from home. Living by yourself in a foreign country. No friends. No family. Starting fresh in a new country.
As I stepped out of Changi airport, I was welcomed by the humid and warm weather which made realise that I was no longer in Sydney. I was in a completely different country; a place that I would be calling home for the next 4 months: Singapore.
There’s food everywhere in Singapore! Local food is much cheaper than fast foods, so be prepared for a selection of delicious meals for the price of under $5 SDG ( an equivalent of $4.50 AUD). There are a number of canteens across NTU campus. Variety of Asian cuisines – Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian and more! Of course, there are a few familiar names such as Pizza Hut, Subway, Starbucks, McDonald’s, KFC, and the list goes on…
Bored of campus food? Just a 15 minutes bus ride to the closest shopping mall, you would be spoilt with more food options. Feeling something more authentic and local? Right outside the shopping mall, there’s also a night market and hawker centre to enjoy Singaporean cuisine at extremely affordable prices.
Being a Tourist
Besides from its great and affordable food in Singapore, there are many beautiful sights and landmarks that make Singapore beautiful.
Marina Bay Sands
One of the most impressive hotels in the world! Designed with the inspiration of card decks. The distinctive feature of the hotel is the SkyPark (designed like a ship sitting on top of the three towers). It consists of an infinity pool, where you would have the best view of Marina Bay, as well as gardens and a jogging path.
Unfortunately, I could not access the infinity pool as it is only reserved for hotel guests. Maybe if I lived off instant noodles for the rest of the exchange trip – I could potentially afford to spend my last day in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands.
As the name suggests, ‘Little India’ is an Indian community located in Singapore. Here you can find authentic Indian cuisine offered at affordable prices! I probably have tasted the best Chicken Biryani and Masala Dosa in my life…
A man-made island resort located down south of Singapore featuring a sheltered beach, the tallest Merlion statue in Singapore, hotels and the Universal Studios.
Central in Southeast Asia
Located in a central position of Southeast Asia – going on exchange in Singapore enables you to travel to neighbouring Asian countries within just a few hours. This could be by bus, ferry or plane.
Just last weekend I managed to explore Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia!
With plans to Tokyo, Kyoto and Hanoi during the mid semester break, and Penang, Bangkok, and Phuket during weekends – I know that this exchange journey to Singapore is only the beginning of exploring Asia.
Full Name: Ly Tonny Ngo
UTS Student ID: 97117345
UTS Degree: Bachelor of Information Technology
Host University Name: Nanyang Technological University
Exchange Country: Singapore