In this blog, I will be writing about my experience in Singapore as an exchange student.
First of all, it is hot. Extremely humid and hot. I used to hate the rain back in Sydney, but I’m growing fond of it here because it will usually cool down after the rain. Also, it rains almost every day so make sure you pack your umbrella with you! I also suggest that you bring one or two long sleeve jackets because the shopping centres and classrooms are freezing!
The weather is the only bad thing I have to say about living in Singapore. The locals are a little shy but they are very friendly and welcoming. The streets are extremely clean, probably due to the massive fines imposed for breaking the laws and regulations.
Now, I want to talk about living on campus. When I arrived, I was allocated into Hall 10. I had a 30kg luggage with me which I had to carry by myself up the stairs to the 6th floor as there are no elevators in most of the halls except for the new ones. Although it was 9 in the morning, I was drenched in sweat afterwards.
My room was quite big, with a fan and an air conditioner (30cents per hour, which is affordable especially if you split it with your roommate). I was allocated to my room with another exchange student, which I liked because we could relate to a lot of stuff.
I usually eat at the canteens which range from $2.50 – $6ish depending on what you eat. This is a lot cheaper than eating outside which will cost you around $15 excluding 10% service fee and 7% tax, therefore ending up being around >$20 per meal. However, there are hawker centres around Singapore where the locals like to eat and the price of this is similar to the canteens on campus.
(Above – arguably the most famous Singaporean dishes: chilli crab and chicken rice)
To get to anywhere, you’ll have to catch a bus from uni to catch the MRT. Since NTU is so far from everything, it can be quite bothersome going out. When I arrived, I didn’t purchase a separate MRT card as the uni student ID card also let me top up and use it as a transportation card for the MRT and buses. Another alternative is to use the taxi, uber or grabcar. Uber is usually quite expensive here so most people prefer to use grabcar, depending on the time of the day. I recommend that you download both apps and compare the price before calling anything 🙂
Singapore is a fantastic place to come to if you want to travel around Asia. Most exchange students usually go out to travel during the weekends and during the mid-term break. The flights are super cheap from Singapore to travel around and I recommend that you do travel around since our grades don’t get counted anyway (*wink*). And of course, there are many attractions within Singapore too like Palau Ubin, Universal Studios, MacRitchie Reservoir etc.
Since coming in January, I feel like time has gone super fast and since I don’t have any final exams, I’ll be finishing mid-April and will be flying back home soon 😦 I would definitely recommend coming to exchange in Singapore!
Seo Yeong Yang (Brianna)
UTS Bachelor of Laws
Nanyang Technological University