Exchange Year in Singapore – Is It for Everyone?
by Sofia Wigren (2nd Year student – Real Estate from Sweden)
As my first semester here in Singapore comes to an end, I can finally say that it feels a bit more like home. This isn’t my first time moving to another country, but it’s my first time moving to a completely new continent with a different culture, beliefs and values. So… what’s it like?
For the foodie
Singapore is a dream destination for anyone looking for a variety of different cuisines and flavours that’s budget friendly. The country (and city!) is famous for their so-called Hawkers Centres, which are food centres with lots of different food stalls. A dish will often cost you around £2, which generally makes it cheaper to eat out rather than to cook at home. Actually, most student accommodations at the NUS campus do not even have kitchens!
For the travel junkie
If you’re a traveller at heart this might just be the perfect exchange destination. Travelling around Asia from Singapore is a bit like traveling around Europe with Ryanair. You can easily get cheap tickets to Bali, Australia, Bangkok, Tokyo, or even Hawaii! At NUS we have two weeks off each semester: recess week and revision week. But, a lot of students don’t have classes on Fridays or Mondays, so you can easily squeeze in a weekend trip to get away from studies for a while.
For the internship seeker
Singapore is a small country with no natural resources, so they have always known the importance of investing in human capital. With that said, the cosmopolitan city offers endless career and internship opportunities. Whether you’re looking into an internship for a multinational company or just a really cool tech start-up – it can be found here. Just make sure to get your work pass before you arrive!
On a personal note, I would not want to live here permanently. Why? It’s just not for me, and that’s okay. It’s too far away from my family and it’s too different to my own values and culture. Although, I am very pleased that I chose to go here for my exchange year as it’s (however cliché it sounds) truly an experience I would not pass on!
My advice – if you have the opportunity to go abroad – do it!