Hello everyone! I’m Ceyda, I study Biological Sciences and completed a year abroad at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU). I must say, it has been one of the best highlights of my life so far and am very grateful to have had this opportunity through Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).
It was an incredible year full of many adventures and memories that I’ll now keep forever. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed about living abroad and being so far away, it’s completely normal and part of the process. It’s a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, be proactive and make so many new friends! Lectures at NTU showed me a different teaching style, helped me to get involved and take advantage of classes not offered at QMUL. I had field trips to tropical rainforests through my ‘Tropical Ecology’ class and explored the world of drug discovery through ‘Drug discovery development and biotechnology’. I enjoyed the interesting lectures and participated in lively seminar discussions. Taking part in a diverse range of courses has improved me academically and helped me figure out areas I am interested in which was crucial for me due to the amount of choices I have for the future! If you are in a similar situation and feeling lost, I recommend getting a few classes outside of your specific course and trying something new (such as a new language).
Singapore has so much to offer! The campus was massive, and it felt like I was living in a tropical forest. It was absolutely beautiful walking around and having lunch at Yunnan Gardens which is a part of the campus. The warm weather and sunshine all year long made me feel as if I was on a never-ending vacation. If you want to go to the pool after class and sun-bathe, I definitely recommend this tropical paradise. I can certainly say it was a dream come true.
If you’re a fan of Asian food and culture, Singapore is the place to be. The extensive choices and affordable food on campus was delicious and I suggest trying different dishes every day! Noodles, ramen, dumplings, Korean barbeque, bibimbap, you name it! The hawker centres all around Singapore also provided many food options and it was fun to try out different locations each time.
The city itself is very lively and there are many student events that you can get involved in. From weekend pool parties to weekend get-away trips to Indonesia; every week was a new adventure. Tree-top walking in the forests of Singapore accompanied by friendly monkeys was one of my favourite activities. The Botanical Garden was my ultimate picnic location and the beautiful flowers and setting truly made it peaceful.
South-east Asia is an exciting location to explore and certainly very different to Europe. This made Singapore an amazing travel hub! The month-long break between the first and second semester makes it ideal to travel and visit other countries. Indonesia was one of my favourite locations. I went to Bali with a group of friends and we went snorkelling, swimming, bike riding and enjoyed many more activities! I even hiked a volcano in Jakarta called ‘Mount Ijen’. I still don’t know how I managed to do it but felt very proud of myself for actually being brave enough to try!
Temple hopping in Thailand and having coconuts between tours are also some of my favourite moments from my trips. I really wish I could go back and do it all again! I was also fortunate enough to travel to Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Cambodia. I now have a deeper understanding of the countries’ cultures, day-to- day life, languages and cuisines. This taught me that you can learn so much more by experiencing things rather than reading about them. However, I do recommend doing prior research to find out where you would want to go and what you’d want to see.
I hope that you find this blog informative and inspiring to go out and experience new things too! Some advice that I would give for students wanting to study in Singapore would be:
- To budget beforehand so that you know around how much you want to spend for travels and other activities, because trust me, you will!
- To not be shy and go out of your way to introduce yourself to others, everyone wants to make friends
- Research what modules the university has to offer – you can truly get so much more from it if you plan in advance and apply on time
- Try as many different types of food and drinks as possible, you might be surprised at how much you enjoy these new and unfamiliar tastes
And finally, ENJOY! It’s an amazing opportunity to grow in every aspect!
Please feel free to reach out and ask any questions! I’m happy to answer 🙂
If you’d like to talk with Global Opportunities Ambassador, Ceyda, please email Study Abroad Manager, Jess Tan (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be put in touch with Ceyda!