Camille – Nanyang Technological University – Singapore
Semester 1, 2023
Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Justice
My exchange semester at Nanyang Technological University presented many opportunities for personal growth and direct exposure to Singaporean culture and lifestyle. At NTU, exchange students are placed directly with local students, creating a culturally rich exchange experience. As an exchange student at NTU, I lived with local students in the campus accommodation and studied alongside both Singaporean and international students in my classes. I valued this experience greatly, as it allowed me to strengthen my cross-cultural communication and collaboration skills. I was also able to form friendships with local students, which further enriched my exploration of Singapore. The vibrant exchange student community at NTU provided excellent travel companions, and I’m grateful to now have a network that extends around the globe.
My time in Singapore was not without its challenges. Singapore can be an expensive country, and without cooking and food storage facilities on campus, I had to be creative with my meals. Additionally, the arrival of my roommate I was told to expect never eventuated, and the first few weeks of my exchange semester were lonely. I struggled to establish a routine and navigate a new way of life in what oftentimes felt like an overwhelming city. However, these perceived challenges pushed me to advocate for myself and my exchange experience. It was my new challenge to sample the kaya toast at NTU’s wide variety of hawker-style canteen facilities, as well as try every new curry at Saraca Hall’s popular Indian stall. I enjoyed late nights in the hall study room and library, meeting fellow exchange students at student-organised movie nights, and booking last-minute bus trips for a weekend away in Malaysia. When my exchange finally came to an end, it felt as if I had explored every corner of campus – and proudly wore my NTU t-shirt, the informal NTU student uniform, to prove this point.
Bringing Home Valuable Experience
Whilst Singapore challenged me personally, it also opened my eyes to a variety of lifestyles and social issues experienced by Singaporeans. I took subjects in sociology and security and was surprised by Singapore’s delicate security environment. My courses also raised my awareness to the challenges that Singaporean women face against sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace and in university. I was able to explore these interests further my joining several women’s organisations in Singapore, including United Women Singapore and Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations. These are learnings that I hope to take into my coursework when I return to study at QUT, as well as in my career.
I am grateful for the unique experience of studying abroad in Singapore. I was exposed to a melting pot of cultures, developed strong friendships with students from across the globe, and further explored my academic and career interests. I now have a deeper appreciation for the benefits of studying abroad, particularly in a culturally diverse country.
Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.