Dai - Nanyang Technological University

B Busine\ss Management
Semester 2, 2018
Just pack up and go, the whole new horizon with wonderful experiences are waiting for you!

Academic experience

I studied 4 courses during my exchange at NTU: BH2601 – Strategic HR Management and Consulting; BH3601 – Talent Development & Management; BL9304 – Negotiation & Dispute Resolution; and BU8201 – Business Finance. Different from UQ, all of my courses at Nanyang Business School (NBS) were conducted in the seminar format which provided students with a very interactive learning environment. Although the seminar lasted 4 hours, we never got bored because professors always kept us busy with group discussions, role-play, and mini-games, … Since NBS focused more on developing students rather than assessing them, despite taking FOUR courses, I only had ONE official final exam, and most of the marks came from self-reflection on my learning experiences and group projects (making E-learning videos, critical thinking assignment, & team presentations). However, because of the interactive teaching and learning style, ATTENDANCE and CLASS PARTICIPATION were compulsory, and each of them weighted from 20%-40% of the total marks of the course. Personally, I felt the workload at NTU was a lot less intensive and less stressful compared to UQ. 

Throughout my application process, course registration was extremely challenging for me because I had to submit and re-submit my study plan 3 times in order to get sufficient courses for my exchange at NTU. Do take note that, if NTU did not approve your courses due to ‘Pre-requisites not met’, make sure you check their Pre-requisites requirements again and appeal to them if you think you have already taken equivalent courses at UQ. From my experience, I have successfully gotten 4 extra courses after I appealed. Other than that, my course registration and class sign-on after I arrived at NTU went smoothly, and I got all the courses I intended to take.

Personal experience

I was so amazed by the people, the diverse cultures and cuisines in Singapore. Since I signed up for 3 different buddy groups (One from GEM club, One from U.n.I club, and the last one from NBS), my local buddies usually took me and my group out to discover Singapore cultural heritages and tried famous Singaporean dishes like Laksa, Carrot Cake, Hokkien Me, etc. I highly recommended Food Trail by GEM Club and 2 days trip to Pulau Ubin by NTU Earth Link. Joining clubs and societies was a great way for me to make new friends, not only with Singaporean students but also other exchange students from all over the world, and the experiences and the friendship we created together was priceless. 

Since Singapore is located in the heart of South East Asia, it makes travel a lot more affordable and convenient at the same time. Since I had 4-days weekends (from Thursday afternoon until the end of Monday), I had more time to go and explore the amazingly diverse cultures that South East Asia has to offer. During my exchange semester at NTU, I traveled to Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Because there were more than 1000 exchange students at NTU, it was so easy for me to find a friend or a group of friends to travel with.

Accommodation

Like the majority of exchange students and NTU undergraduates, I lived on campus and it was a fantastic experience for me. I was randomly assigned to stay in a double room with a Singaporean student at Hall 2. Although Hall 2 was one of the oldest halls in NTU, we had our own attached bathroom and toilet rather than shared bathrooms and toilets at other recently built halls. NTU hall life was extremely vibrant, we had a welcoming party, mid-autumn festival, sports competitions and many other weekly activities organized by the hall committees. 

NTU offered 5-star facilities for students living on campus. Since the campus was so large, NTU has its own free campus bus system running from 7 am to 11 pm to transport students around the campus as well as to and from the nearest MRT station. Besides that, NTU also has more than 10 large canteens, 2 supermarkets, and many free – access gyms, swimming pool, and sports fields located around campus. 

I really recommend future students to stay on campus because it is affordable, convenient, and fun. From now on, I believe NTU will guarantee campus housing for incoming exchange students, so take this opportunity to experience the vibrant campus life.

Costs

Everything is cheaper in Singapore. Since I stay in a double room, my rent was only S$ 255/month. Depending on which hall you are assigned and which type of room you prefer, the rent varies from one hall to another. The food is super cheap on campus, 3 meals/day will only cost you between S$12 and S$15, and you have tons of choices from many different stalls within the same canteen and many different canteens around campus. Personally, I recommend canteen 1, Canteen 2, North Spine Food Court, and Koufu at South Spine. You can top up your student ID card to pay for public transport, and food on campus or anywhere in Singapore that accepts NET-pay.

Challenge

As I mentioned before, my biggest challenge came from the course selection during my application process because there were too many restrictions for exchange students at NBS. However, UQ abroad staffs and the Admin staffs at NTU provided great help to get me through this complex application process.

Professional Development

During my exchanged semester at NTU, interactive seminars helped me learned and improved my soft skills tremendously. I have learned how to build an effective team, how to work with people from different cultural backgrounds, and especially how to resolve disputes through the Negotiation & Dispute Resolution course (BL9304). Apart from it, since the class size was small, I got to know and built strong bonds with my professors and my friends which in turn helped me to expand my professional network and create life-long friendships.

Highlight

Traveling around South East Asia was the brightest highlight during my semester exchange in Singapore. Immersing myself in Asian diverse cultures and cuisines reminded me about my root and made me feel like home after years of living in the western countries. Besides that, I also enjoyed many cultural festivals and events during my exchange semester in Singapore, such as Singapore National Day, Mid-Autumn Festival, Deepavali, and Christmas, etc.

Top tips

You should plan for your exchange semester as early as possible and try to save as many as your electives for your exchange. To make the most out of your experience, I highly recommend you to stay on campus, join buddy groups, and plan extra cash to travel and explore Asia.