These blog posts are all well and good, but if you’re interested in studying abroad I think one of the best things is to see what a week in the life is like. I know before I signed up I was on YouTube searching for exchange student vlogs – to much avail! Anyway, here goes a week in the life of an SMU Law Exchange student in mid-October (peak workload season, yipee).
My week starts off by me waking up for a productive day of admin at around 9/10pm. The class times here as extremely weird, ranging from 8am-7pm. As most of mine are later on, I usually don’t wake up until later on – yay.
After I wake up I like to take full advantage of the buildings amenities, I usually go for a swim in the pool and use the gym.
As I’m vegan, it’s easier for me to make my own food rather than eat at hawker centres as most meat eaters do. The cost isn’t actually that expensive, probably just slightly more than Sainsbury’s. I use an online delivery service because they have a lot more options than the stores here (and by that I mean western options… hello baked beans). I usually order my weekly food shop on a Sunday and they’ll arrive Monday morning, after which I’ll take a trip to my local FairPrice (basically a SG Tesco express) to pick up any items I prefer to buy myself in person, such as fruit.
Once I have all my food in, I’ll then prep my meals for the week so I can just grab them and go. As I spend long hours in the library, it’s a lot easier to have my food on hand (as well as snacks). One perk of SMU is you’re actually allowed to eat in class, and I mean eat. There be some strange smells occurring from time to time.
After a busy morning of boring stuff, I head to the university library to do more boring stuff – my assignments! And prepare for a plethora of group presentations I have coming up – such fun! I also have to prepare for my class which I have later on and do the required readings, which usually takes around 3 hours. I live right opposite an MRT station (is it a tube, is it a train..who knows but it’s amazing), so the commute is super easy. The libraries at SMU are actually really nice (sorry, Ali G) especially the law library. I usually try to get a cube however they are high demand and I usually end up revoked to the window seats. Early bird gets the worm, and I get strong UV rays in my retinas.
On Mondays my class is at 6pm so after several hours slaving away I head to my lesson. The classes here are called seminars and they are 3 hours long. No that’s not a typo. However the teachers are really relaxed, hence the eating in class. Class participation counts towards your overall grade so you are encouraged to actively contribute to the discussion. However it’s a bit different to home as practically any form of contribution counts so long as it’s not down right irrelevant. You mean.. you don’t need a case or statute authority to make a valid point? Yes. That is correct. Singapore is wild.
My morning routine is pretty much the same for most days, wake up, swim and gym. After this on Tuesdays I usually head straight to the library and do a hard day of studying at uni (it wasn’t this intense for the first few months, I promise). On Tuesdays I am sometimes able to secure a cube, and I know it is going to be a blessed day ahead.
On this Tuesday I met up with a friend and we went for lunch out together. She’s a vegetarian so we’ve tried many vegan restaurants around SG so far – there’s a ton more than Manchester, so do not be convinced it will be harder to be vegan here than back home.
After this I’ll head back to the library with my friend, this time relocating to the main library for a change of environment (and so we can sit together and procrastinate). I’ll usually continue working there, and then prepared for my class that I have at 7pm! After this class is finished, it’s 10pm so I head home and generally pass out. Then rolls around…
Today I wake up slightly early (groan) so I can make it in time for my buildings weekly yoga class. The company I rent a room from actually provide several types of activities a month for their tenants to take part in, and I really enjoy the yoga. Namaste my friends, namaste.
After I’ve done that it’s still morning time so I’ll head over to the library, secure my self a little cube (oh yeah) before I head over to the clinic (aka the doctors). I actually have a cold so I’m hoping I can get some cough medicine and paracetamol. SMU actually has a doctors clinic on campus that offers a drop by service. They also have insurance for students which means the generality of things are covered and you can get your medication for free (NHS eat your heart out). After I have my calpol I’m ready for the day.
Today my lesson is at 3:30, wow so early I hear you say! After this is finished it’s around 7pm. I usually head home and enjoy the pool as I like it even more when it’s all lit up. I then spend the rest of my time unwinding as classes are now over and my poor brain needs to just watch some Netflix and relax.
Although my classes are over, the grind doesn’t stop. As I mentioned, the workload is pretty intense as this point so I’m doing work most days. I’ll usually leisurely head to the library when I feel like it and continue with the assignments and group presentations that are due in the upcoming weeks.
After this I’ll head home, and tonight I’m going to an event that’s on at Marina Bay Gardens with some friends. The Gardens itself is actually free entry, and the event that’s on tonight is too! Singapore actually does lots of free events, they are a city who loves to please their people; tonight it’s a light festival!
The gardens is situated, you guessed it, right behind Marina bay Sands (hence the same name). So we decided to head up to the bar ce la vie afterwards for a couple of drinks at the top of the towers and enjoy the view.
Wake up and guess what… back to the library! The last push of the week. I have a debate at 3pm today, sounds scary but it’s only in front of around 15 people and each person speaks for 3 minutes. All of that for 30% of that modules grade? Okay then, I’ll take it!
After this is done I head home and pack my suitcase for I am off on holiday for the weekend to Bangkok! A well deserved break if you ask me… and I’ll be back Sunday night ready to do it all over again. Ah Singapore, gotta love ya.