My experience at NTU in Singapore has definitely been a roller-coaster but overall I would recommend it to anybody. I never intended to go to Singapore, it was actually my third choice, but I was happy to go anywhere to be honest. I wanted to experience living in a different country, living alone, creating a brand new social group and especially to travel the world. Regardless whichever country you go to, you’d definitely make friends from all across the world, I literally made friends with half of the northern hemisphere. Although there are the pros of great, cheap food, casual weekends in Thailand/Malaysia/Bali and don’t get me started on the nightlife here, it also had its cons.
I advise you to choose the right friends and don’t make too many commitments. Sometimes you meet people and at first you think they’re going to be your ride or die for the next 6 months but in reality, getting to know someone usually takes more than 2 days. Find someone that reminds you of friends at home, it makes you feel less homesick and on top of that, they’d probably be more likely someone you definitely get along with.
My second advice if you’re going to NTU in particular, make sure you sort out your subjects before you arrive. Their add/drop period is extremely short and they’re serious when the deadlines are. It’s a nightmare if you don’t have your subjects sorted prior to arriving so avoid the hassle.
Thirdly, don’t be afraid to join sports and clubs! They’re extremely welcoming and although you’d think they’d be used to having exchange students around, they still get so excited meeting people from another country. It’s also so interesting listening to the local’s perspectives on what “far” actually means. You’d often hear them say something is really far (by far they mean 20 minutes).
Lastly, just have fun. There’s an amazing vibrant nightlife here (especially on Wednesday’s). Just don’t get into trouble and you’d be fine in Singapore. Honestly, I’m so glad I decided to take this big step into another world. Life on exchange goes by ten times quicker! You learn about yourself and figure out what your boundaries are, trust me, if you meet the right people they’ll definitely expand your boundaries.
Bachelor of Medical Science
Nanyang Technological University
Australian Government New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient.