Zheng - National University of Singapore

B. Advanced Science
Semester 2, 2018
I spent the majority of my time exploring the major tourist locations and yummy food places around the city.

Academic experience

Because I had extra credits at UQ, I only studied three courses at NUS rather than the normal four or five course workload. The majority of biology courses on offer was very similar to UQ courses. I studied RNA biology, human ageing and developmental biology where the first two courses were not offered in UQ. It was a very interesting learning experience and I really enjoyed the courses. However, NUS did not have lecture recordings for some of my courses which made it hard to catch up if I missed a class. So, I attended all lectures and had to stay focused the whole time. This was a very good experience for me and changed my way of over-reliant on lecture recordings. They also offered very little revision material and we had no access to past exam papers which made me feel a bit lost when revising for the exam. But overall, I really enjoyed my academic experiences at a different country and gave me a better view.

Personal experience

I am not much of a social person so I only made a couple of friends at NUS. However, I spent the majority of my time exploring the major tourist locations and yummy food places around the city. I also got to experience most of Singapore's cheap Michelin one star restaurants. It was so good! My time at Singapore was very relaxing whilst still staying on top of my studying. Living by myself away from my family and friends was a bit scary at first but allowed me to become more independent and responsible for my actions.

Accommodation

I lived on campus at the PGP residence which was super convenient. NUS has free buses in campus and it is almost always too hot and too far to walk to different locations on campus. PGP residence contains its own bus stop right next to it. It takes me only around 10 mins from my room to the Science faculty where I have all my classes. PGPR also offers many events throughout the semester to support the students. It also contains three canteens and a mall. How convenient!!!

Budget

Singapore's costs are lower than Australia. Rent on campus cost roughly around $140 SGD a week. SGD at that time is 1:1 to AUD. I ate mainly at the canteen for lunch and dinner. It cost around $3 to $5 SGD a meal which adds to around $6 to $10 SGD for a day. Transport is cheaper than Australia and cost around $0.7 to $1.5 SGD to take the MRT (subway) or bus around the city.

Challenge

My biggest challenge was to live independently and away from my family and friends in Australia. It was scary at first because it was very unfamiliar to me. However, keeping in contact with my family and friends and getting up to date about what is happening in Australia really helped. But also taking day trips around the city and generally just enjoying my time there allowed me to really enjoy the overall stay at Singapore.

Professional development and employability

Becoming more independent and responsible really helped me better at what I am learning to become. It helped to me to understand, to accept and admit to failure, and to overcome failure by taking responsibility of it.

Highlight

The highlight of my experience is cheap food!!!! The food at Singapore is awesome and you must explore all the small food places around town!

Top tips

  • Keep in communication with family and friends back home with face calls!
  • Eat lots and lots of cheap food and feel happy!
  • Don't forget to study though!
  • Go to every class!
  • Get to know some friends and go to lots of events!
  • Enjoy your time there!
Zheng - National University of Singapore