‘Singlish’ – a different world at SMU

I enrolled into 3 units -Economics, Accounting, and Strategy, with lecturers from the United States of America, China and South Korea respectively (all units are challenging, therefore I don’t recommend completing your ‘weak units’ in Singapore -unfortunately I didn’t have any electives available). All ‘courses’, as they are known, are taught in English. On the subject of language, the Singaporean language of ‘Singlish’ (Singapore English) was considerably hard to understand at times during group meeting with peers.

All courses are comprised of a heavy weightage on participation ranging from 10-25% or more. This ensures everyone does their readings and homework or, you won’t be able to ‘contribute’ competently. In Strategy for example, after every class (which was twice a week) you had to vote online for the one student who ‘contributed the most meaningfully to the class discussion’. All SMU courses are conducted in what QUT would call ‘lectorial’ style -where a lecture is given, though you are encouraged to comment and ask questions to the lecturer when needed.

There is a maximum capacity for about 40 students per class, but class sizes usually averaged in the thirties with high attendance most days. Local SMU students may tend not to team-member with exchange students as “exchange students tend to travel on the weekends and during the mid-term break and so hinder regular group meetings and projects”. Group meetings occurring at least twice a week is the norm. Regarding SMU’s software programs: some were really up to date while others were considerably dated and in need of an overhaul! Be prepared to spend extra time in the opening weeks signing up for classes. Studying at SMU made me really appreciate the useability and importance that QUT places on its’ IT systems. Good systems save so much time and labour!

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