Jacob - Nanyang Technological University

B Engineering (Hons)/Arts
Semester 2, 2019
A unique chance to learn how Engineers in Singapore overcome contemporary engineering challenges.

Academic experience

I studied a range of engineering courses at NTU - and I was very luck to do so - NTU has an amazingly refined engineering program. This presented its own challenge however, as I had to work hard to adapt to their way of teaching things and presenting course content, was was more unlike UQ than I had expected.

Personal experience

Sure, I certainly had the chance to improve my academic and professional experience in Singapore, but, being the first time I'd lived overseas for an extended period of time, what I really learnt from the experience was how to manage living in an unfamilar place.

Accommodation

I chose to live off-campus - in non-uni-specific student dorms - and got the chance to meet a bunch of people from all aroudn the world doing all sorts of university programs. Learning to live with and getting to know all these different people while balancing university was certainly a challenge, but I think it was rewarding.

Costs

There were a lot of things that were surprisingly expensive in Singapore - heck, the price of pizza there can almost be described as 'exorbitant'. But steering away from luxury items; groceries, entertainment and (certainly) transport were more than affordable. It's hard to recommend a specific budget, because so much depends on the type of stuff you want to purchase, but I will say that Singapore is more than survivable on a reduced budget.

Challenge

The biggest challenge I faced in Singapore was balancing everything when I fell sick - I was lucky to have made friends there and to have brought ample medicine to accomodate, but I would certainly recommend that, regardless of how long you're away, ensure you know what your plan is just in case you get sick.

Professional Development

Although my exchange was mostly focused on my studies, we had a number of opportunities to explore and collaborate on case studies that related to real-life engineering challenges faced by my host country of Singapore. I think a huge take-away from the experience for me was learning how engineers approach problems in other countries.

Highlight

Easily the highlight was just being able to explore Singapore - to see and learn how life there works.

Top tips

My main advice would be to find an exchange university that has more than an overabundance of courses you can take for credit. Courses and timetables can and will change a lot in the time between applying and going on exchange, so if you can find a uni with more than enough back-up courses, it'll make your exchange a lot less stressful.