Semester Two as a Year long exchange student

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

Hellooo Manchester,

After having the time of my life travelling during 6 weeks over Christmas Break, it is time to go back to Uni!
The majority of exchangers stay only for one semester. Therefore, the National University of Singapore was expecting a whole new batch of fresh new exchange students. I was excited to meet some new people and be one of the “ancient” … basically a local Lah (singlish exclamation mark).
Additionally, the deeper bonds created during Christmas while travelling with my UK exchanger friends is going to be greatly valuable as they were almost all staying in NUS for a year as well.
Singapore never felt more like home than when you start off fresh a new semester in a familiar environment with your friend-family! What an awesome feeling to be back!!

Penang pic
Study break mid semester 2 in Penang; it’s all about the banter with friends in the tropical jungle, the arty streets and the deliiiicious food! Last trip … No more travelling money! You’ve gotta be jealous of the new exchangers with an untouched travel fortune to spend 

Unloading my filthy-6weeks moist backpack in my room, I came to realize that some of my previous semester’ roommates had moved out which means … New faces around! 😀

Let me introduce to you Semi and Chloe (yes we’ve got the same name!), a full time South Korean student and a Boston Uni exchange student from Hawaii. It’s super chilled; we get along very well and hang out with the two other roommates still here from last semester; Gerrie and Naomi.

One Saturday morning Semi was craving “tea and scones”. Thinking I was again stuck in one of my utterly British dreams I accepted.  We ended up having a little food scavenger hunt in Holland Village, gossiping all day. Then we transformed our flat in a DIY hairdresser; I dyed her hair “light marine grey color” (what even is that??), and she cut my hair, like a pro! As any perfect day, we ended up watching a movie. It was a lovely roomie day.

Tea day Semi
Tea and Scones please Darling. Perfect Roomie day!

 

IMG_4490
April Fools day! Stole Semi’s mattress with Chloe: Bantz

Semester two has been loaded with cool events so far. As an “old” exchange student and a global ambassador, I gave a little chat to the new batch of exchangers of my residence as part of a welcome party. The newbies are very cool. The only annoying part is to settle the small talk “where are you from, what do you study … blablabla” which quickly gets boring when you have already done it last semester. Therefore, I tried to ask different questions on deeper subjects of conversation and realized that I became way better at knowing quickly who I would be good friend with; it’s a time-saving valuable skill.

Speech new exchangers
Left: Speech at the Welcome tea for new exchange students. Right: Committee of Cinnamon College and friends

If you remember, last semester there was a haze problem in Singapore due to some illegal burning of Indonesian forests (shame shame).
Well, this semester it’s SUN, SUN & SUN!! Actually, the view from my window is one of my favorite: it reminds me of some neat modern Lego buildings (aka the rest of the campus). I love to sit at my window and play a bit of ukulele!
The good weather was also a great invitation to participate in more outdoorsy events. I’ve witnessed a Tamil Indian celebration called Thaipusam where men endure pain (pulling cart attached to their skin with needles kinda pain, Ouch) to provide a holy protection to their family, or for other reasons. We also celebrated Holi with the skateboarder’s crew.
From the improvised nights out that turned out to be memorable and the chilled beer+card or movie nights, many more memories have been made on top of the one from semester 1!
I understood that I finnd the most satisfaction in being involved in events, as I did for the new exchanger intro speech but also when I hold a juggling workshop at the Cinnamon (my residential college) fair or helped out the Gender collective society.

Indian fest + fun
Left to right: Holi celebration with the coolest kids around town, enjoying the sun and the view outside my window, Thaipusam preparation, Hija Lane street party

But soon enough I would have to get a bit more involved with my 3rd year dissertation and lectures which definitely got tougher.
Okay… I made it sound horrible but actually I very much enjoy my lectures and the research I have to do for my B.Eng thesis; it’s pretty academically fulfilling!
My travel budget being all gone, studying is the best way to reach new horizons.

 

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