Having finished my exams at the National University of Singapore by the beginning of December this final blog post is arguably slightly overdue. However, having spent a few weeks traveling and then having to revise for an exam I had in Manchester in January, I’ve simply not had the time. I feel like the time I’ve had has given all the impressions and experiences time to settle, so hopefully this will enable me to more accurately convey my thoughts through this final blog entry. Unfortunately it’s impossible to describe every experience you’ve had through an entire semester abroad, and how they’ve changed you. Nonetheless, I will attempt to offer some final insight and advice.
What an incredible semester it has been..
With the semester having come to an end, I only have a few more weeks of travelling planned before I finally go back home. I therefore wanted to sum up some of the travelling I have done during my semester. I recognise travelling as an important part of a lot of exchange students’ semesters and I hope that some of you will find this interesting, if not even helpful for you own travelling. I have so far undertaken two longer trips, to Myanmar and Nepal, and a few shorter ones, the most noteworthy ones being to Malaysia and Thailand.
This post will be quite long so feel free to jump to any part (including the final paragraph consisting of reflections)! Continue reading “What an incredible semester it has been..”
Academic Insight NUS
National University of Singapore, Chemical Engineering
When choosing the top choices for my semester abroad, I looked a lot into how the universities ranked academically. Another deciding factor in me choosing NUS was the intrigue of living in a Southeast Asian country, with easy access to all of Asia. Unfortunately, as I have come to experience, these two aspects do not neccessarily go too well together. Continue reading “Academic Insight NUS”
Goodbye, Manchester. Hello, Singapore!
Thomas Espaas // Chemical Engineering // National University of Singapore // Singapore
Ever since I got my exchange confirmation I have been so excited. This trip has been the main thing occupying my mind over the past 6 months and it feels great to finally have arrived! I have now completed my first week of classes, and Singapore seems absolutely amazing so far. At the same time, after months of preparations and expectations, it almost feels kind of strange to actually be here.
One of the first things that struck me upon arrival was the physical state of the city. While I have heard several people talk about how modern and clean the city was, I didn’t realise to what extent that was true until I actually got the opportunity to walk around and see it for myself. Anywhere you go, you’ll see structures, buildings and a skyline which are simply astonishing, and barely any litter whatsoever (which, btw, is forbidden by law and fined harshly).
Further, I’ve found people here to be very easy to get along with. While I am a bit disappointed with how the university kind of seems to bulk all the exchange students together, which results in a separation of exchange students from local students, I guess it is kind of understandable. Exchange students often come to a location for the same reasons, have interests in common and have similar plans for their stay. All of which results in exchange students connecting easily. This have been further amplified by several orientation events organized by the university and societies.
All of these events, along with other necessary matters to sort out (buying bedding, stationary etc, opening a bank account, buying a SIM card) have made the past couple of weeks quite hectic, especially the last one, as classes have started as well. I think keeping preoccupied has been favourable though, as it has helped keep my mind of leaving home (and not returning to Manchester). Hopefully, this isn’t something that will catch up to me once everything starts to settle down as university starts properly, but for now I at least I am very much enjoying my time in Singapore, and I am extremely eager to see what the upcoming semester will entail!