Multicultural, cheap food, great night life and close to home- what more do you want?
Nanyang Technological University lies in the very west of the bustling city of Singapore. Whilst it is over an hour away from the city via public transport (20-30 minutes by Grab/Uber), the university is its own city with multiple restaurants, canteens, shops and gyms and you can get pretty much everything you need without leaving campus.
Most exchange students live on campus in one of the 20+ dormitories. Rooms can be single or double, air-con or no air-con with an ensuite or not. All dorms have a shared pantry, bathroom, study room and lounge room. Unfortunately it’s not possible to choose your room or dorm, unless you have extenuating circumstances, and all rooms are drawn by lottery (be prepared to climb a lot of stairs). Like most people, I applied for a single room and was given a double. Luckily, my roommate happened to be another exchange student from Sydney which made settling in much easier as I had someone else to do it with.
There are many activities organised by the dorm committees like gardening and cooking classes, stargazing sessions and mass fitness classes. My roommate and I partook in the free cooking class which was one of the only chances we had to cook since we didn’t have a kitchen. Food is never a problem though as most dormitories have a canteen with very cheap food ($3-$6 for a whole meal). You can also use the many food delivery apps such as FoodPanda, GrabFood or Deliveroo to get meals delivered straight to your dorm for a very cheap price.
Classes at NTU are very similar to UTS. Most subjects have 3 contact hours per week and consist of lectures, seminars, tutorials, labs or online modules. Whilst exchange students take 3-5 subjects per semester, most local students take as many as 9 (that’s double a full-time load!). Choosing subjects can be quite a stressful process, especially if you are using direct equivalents, since they fill up fast. The subject allocation system is also done via lottery so even if there is a space open in a particular class, you’ll have to wait till the next day to see if you made it in. Make sure to have plenty of options to choose from as you’ll likely be on the waiting list for many of your choices.
Visa and and other administration was very easy to do as everything is done through the university and they provide all the information that you’ll need. All exchange students receive a Student Pass which enables you to leave and enter the country as many times as you want during the semester. It also serves as an identification card for getting a post-paid sim card and enables you to use the Singapore Residents’ line at the airport.
Overall, global exchange in Singapore has been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve met many awesome new people and made the best of friends who I’m now travelling all over South East Asia with. I can easily guarantee that you’ll have a great time in Singapore and it will be a decision you’ll never regret!
Mei-Xin Maxine Koh
Bachelor of Information Technology
Nanyang Technological University
Australian Government New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient.
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au