The Exchanger life: midterms, recess week, panic and Fun!

By Chloe Coradetti, Mechanical Engineering, The National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore

Marina Bay Sand (MBS) The most famous hotel in Singapore due to its architectural prowess.

Hellooo Manchester,

In this post I’m going to talk about the mid terms examination, my recess week holiday and life on campus in general.

Midterms – Mid September

Where to begin…
Stressful for sure, especially that we do not have them in Manchester and therefore I didn’t know what to expect.
Challenging, because as they count for only 10% to 20% of our final grade, the teachers take them as an opportunity to really test our problem solving skills by giving us impossible exercises… literally.

My mechanics of solids teacher told use: “Ok, so this is a design exercise. I know that you won’t be able to finish it so just do as much as you can and hand it in when you give up or after the 2hours, good luck everyone” Alriiiight, thanks sir! I laughed out loud in the classroom; I was the only one-Awks’
I gave up after 1hour.

To my great surprise, I ended up having some pretty decent grades for my midterms! After all, the bell curve might not be such a horrible system as it distributes the grades according to what the average student grade is.

One week of holiday: Off to the Philippines with the Gals!  😀
First we went hiking in the rice terraces in Banaue, with a great chap from the village who accepted to be our guide.
WOOAH in the middle of the rice terraces, deep in the valley was a humongous waterfall!!!
It was time for a swim!

The Team and the waterfall

Many more swimming times was awaiting us in Palawan, an island of the Philippines where 6 other friends joined us. We stayed at El Nido which is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE I’ve ever been at. The electric-blue lagoons with their high cliffs edges decorated by fierce jungle vegetation inhabited by monkeys and birds singing was a splendid breath-taking scenery … almost surreal! And So peaceful

I wish I could show you but unfortunately our Go Pro was lost during a fun jump-across-the-kayak game … Ok, not the smartest idea… Well it was fun and the memories are in our heads anyway.

Recess Week Holiday video here!

After such an amazing trip, with travel buddies that have became really good friends; it was time to go back to the National University of Singapore.
Everyone in the campus seemed to already freak out about end of the semester’s exams and the many group projects. I was starting to miss my family, non rice based dish, cheese, my home friends … It was happening, I was homesick and stressed!

The University of Manchester International Office staff is very kind. When I send them a panicked email, they answered quickly and helped me a lot! Do not worry, Manchester will always have your back! Do not hesitate to contact them (even for minor events), the worse would be to not do anything and not seek help.

I then I knew what I had to do:  Keep busy!
Oh Yes! Singapore is good at keeping you busy! It’s a true capital city with plenty of diverse events organized throughout the year. Best part about it? Everywhere is accessible by a very efficient and cheap public transport system. And when I say everywhere, I really mean it; Singapore is half the size of Greater London!

Activities 2
Art exhibition; Chilling; Boxing; Skateboarding!


Bubble Ball Game; Chili and Black Pepper Crab; one of Singapore’s delicacies; Harry Potter themed dinner; Skypping my fav Mancunians

The deadlines and exams came closer and closer but I was ready! It might be hard to focus on academics, especially if your exchanger friends are on a pass/fail mode and you aren’t. It’s sad but necessary to sometimes turn down the invitations to go out or to do an activity. But it is very rewarding when you finish your group presentation, with the locals you’ve been making friends with, and the professor tells you that was the best presentation!

Enjoying life as an exchange student is definitely one of the most freeing feeling I’ve experienced, academically and socially.

Oh Yeah forgot to tell you: I chopped my hair off … who can deal with long hair in such a hot and humid country?! … NOPE, Not Me!

My awkward friends and I! We were gathering to plan our next holiday in … Myanmar!!!


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