Jet Tan, Computer Science
SEP @ National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan, AY2022/2023
National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University is a highly respected institution that is recognised for its strong academic programmes. I was fortunate enough to participate in SEP at the university and it was an unforgettable and enriching experience.
One of the best aspects of the exchange programme was the friendly and supportive community of staff, faculty and students. The professors were knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects and made a real effort to connect with students both inside and outside the classroom.
Aside from the challenging academic programme, I was able to immerse myself in the local culture and make new friends from around the world. The campus was lively and energetic, offering many opportunities for students to participate in clubs, attend cultural events and explore the surrounding area.
My exchange programme at National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University was an outstanding experience that expanded my knowledge both academically and personally. I would highly recommend this university to anyone looking for a truly enriching study abroad experience.
Lyn Tan, Information Systems
SEP @ Korea University, Korea, AY2022/2023
Spending four and a half months on exchange in Seoul was nothing short of a dream. During my semester at Korea University, I experienced many firsts — visiting Korea, seeing snow, skiing, forming friendships with Koreans as well as students from all over the globe, and many, many more! I travelled all around Korea with fellow exchange students, from the usual hotspots like Jeju and Busan to the quieter cities like Pohang and Sokcho. My most memorable night in Korea was watching Girls’ Generation’s
15th anniversary concert live, which I only got tickets to after a completely coincidental conversation with a Chinese student. I would recommend going on exchange, for it is a life-changing experience filled with endless travel, novel experiences, lasting friendships, and a great deal of fun and laughter.
Seah Kit Han, Information Security
SEP @ University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA, AY2022/2023
Watching an NBA game, seeing the Niagara Falls up close, and exploring the streets of New York City was such a surreal experience. Being able to seeing these scenes in person is a wish fulfilled. SEP has been nothing short of amazing and will remain a highlight of my time at NUS. It gave me the unique opportunity to live life at a different pace, and to immerse myself in a different culture altogether. I got to live like a typical US college student and explore the sights of North Carolina, all without worrying too much about my grades. This encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, to try new things and meet new people. Afterall, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was initially concerned with how my SEP experience will be, but I am glad it turned out perfectly. I am grateful for the friendships made and the memories we share, which made the trip even more memorable!
H MOHAMED HUSSAIN, Information Security
SEP @ Kyushu University, Japan, AY2022/2023
I was attached with Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, and it was a truly unforgettable and transformative experience that opened my eyes to a new culture and way of life. Fukuoka is a vibrant city that combines the energy of a bustling metropolis with the charm and history of a traditional Japanese town.
One of the highlights of my stay was the opportunity to attend classes at a local university, where I was able to immerse myself in the language and culture. The professors and students were incredibly welcoming, and I was able to make many new friends who helped me navigate my way through the city. The program I was enrolled in, called the Japan in Today’s World (JTW) program also provided me with unique experiences, such as rice harvesting and wearing the traditional kimono.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this amazing experience, and I will always look back on my time in Japan with fond memories. Whether it was visiting famous landmarks, discovering hidden gems, or simply experiencing the unique cultural identity of the region, my exchange experience in Japan was truly unforgettable.
Tan Le Yang, Computer Science
SEP @ Dalhousie University, Canada, AY2021/2022
Exchange at Dalhousie was definitely an interesting and unique experience. The city of Halifax is completely different from Singapore. It’s smaller with a
much more relaxed pace of life; a great escape from the bustling city life in Singapore. There are also many beautiful natural sights and landscapes
to explore that you'll never find in Singapore. Dalhousie also hosts many exchangers from different parts of the world. It was great meeting
people from so many different places and getting to know more about their culture.
Sharlene Quek, Business Analytics
SEP @ University of Mannheim, Germany, AY2021/2022
My exchange experience at the University of Mannheim has been an eye-opener and an extremely memorable time of my life. I challenged myself by stepping out of my comfort zone without my usual support network, and learned to independently navigate through life. Not only could I fully immerse myself in the German culture and lifestyle, but I also met many other international exchange students from various countries. I believe this is the best time in life to explore the world beyond Singapore and to learn more about yourself, so I highly recommend that you go for SEP.
Ben Wong, Information Systems,
SEP @ The University of Auckland, AY18/19
Looking back at the experiences and memories of my exchange experience, I was glad that I took a step out of my comfort zone and made the decision to study in New Zealand, a country more than 8000km away from my friends, family and home. During the exchange programme, I learnt to be more independent, adaptable. At the same time, I made a lot of new friends from different countries and nationalities; went to many scenic national parks; and tried out new things which I had never had the opportunity to experience or do back in Singapore. In short, the exchange has enriched my life in different aspects. Although the exchange programme has ended, the fond memories, experiences and friendships that I had will last a lifetime.
Glenice Tan, Information Security,
SEP @ National Chiao Tung University, AY17/18
Exchange in NCTU has been a memorable experience! Meeting international students from around the world enhanced my journey in NCTU and I enjoyed conversing with them about the diversity among our cultures. Along with me are a few fellow NUS exchanges mates, and we became close friends over the course of the exchange journey. We planned many weekend trips around Taiwan and even had stayovers or homecooked meals together! One of the most fascinating experience for me was a 10-day backpacking trip around the country during summer. I managed to step out of my comfort zone and participated in many activities such as river tracing and kayaking during my 4 months stay in Taiwan. This semester has been an eye-opener. If I were to be given the choice to choose again, I would pick SEP at NCTU at the blink of an eye.
Lim Zhiming, Computer Engineering,
SEP @ Chalmers University of Technology, AY17/18
Being in Sweden where education is free for the locals, you will be surrounded by students who take modules because they are genuinely interested in studying that subject, not because it’s compulsory for them and thus they are forced to take it. This attitude is projected in the classrooms where active participation is observed, and students pay full attention to the lecturer instead of using their phones or laptops.
Living alone for a prolonged period and in a place so far away from home, really forced me to learn how to live with people from around the world, and more so importantly, how to live with myself. I find student exchange to be the most holistic education I’ve ever received, because there’s just something about meeting so many people around the world and gaining a little something from them and their culture, it can feel like I’m cheating time by learning about places I’ve never actually been to.
Overall, I would recommend student exchange for anyone who’s too comfortable in their zone, looking for memorable memories, or hoping to spread their love and craziness around the world. Bring an open mind and try to do at least one thing a day that scares you!
Tan Hui Yee, Information Systems,
SEP @ The University of Auckland, AY17/18
My exchange at the University of Auckland has been nothing short of amazing! It is a life-changing experience and a significant part of my life that I will never ever forget. I enjoyed the nature and landscapes that New Zealand had to offer and hiking or “tramping” as the Kiwis call it and it is something you would inevitably find yourself doing when in New Zealand. I also got to interact with students from all over the world who were also on exchange and even made some close friends. This exchange experience has led me out of my comfort zone and taught me so much more about myself and about the world. As the saying goes, “Time flies when you are having fun!” The four months went by in a flash. One semester just was not enough – it seemed like it was only yesterday that exchange started. I truly enjoyed myself while it lasted. It has been a memorable, fulfilling and enriching semester well spent at the University of Auckland and New Zealand.
Benjamin Loo, Business Analytics,
SEP @ King's College London, AY17/18
This SEP allowed me to slow down my pace of life and looked at the world and life in a distinct perspective, one that I would not be able to see if I stayed in Singapore. Also, I got to experience learning under a different education system. The whole journey was an eye-opener for me and I felt rejuvenated after the trip. I am thankful to all that had made this trip possible for me.
Yang Suwei, Computer Science,
SEP @ University of Edinburgh, AY17/18
Edinburgh itself is a beautiful city; it is a pleasant surprise to me when I first arrived. The people are very welcoming, and I managed to make several friends. Their pace of life is slower so it’s a different experience, most shops close at around 6pm; except supermarkets, restaurants and bars. Initially I did find it to be a bit of a hindrance, but I soon got around it when I realized that most shops provide their services online. Speaking of embracing technology, wireless payment systems are widely implemented – most shops, including normal shophouses accept various forms of wireless payments. There are lots to do in Edinburgh for everyone. Overall, it was a really good experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it as It was different than what I am used to and opened new perspectives which I appreciate.
Jeremy Jee, Computer Science,
SEP @ Tokyo Institute of Technology, AY17/18
People often go for exchanges in the Americas or in Europe, yet I chose to go somewhere that was more off the beaten track and Japan stood out to me for its eclectic mix of modern society and deep-rooted traditions. Here at Tokyo Institute of Technology, I’m attached to a research lab working on a project related to Bluetooth Technology for Real-Time Train Information as well as Augmented Reality Product Packaging. Apart from that, some of the programmes here have allowed me to take a behind the scenes look at Japanese society.
Japan has been an amazing experience so far, and what I’ve described is only a sliver of what I’ve done so far! Not to mention the amazing food here that is of awesome quality and at a much cheaper price as compared to Japanese food back in Singapore. There is just so much to do, so much to explore, so much to see here and I’m loving every moment of it!
Pankaj Bhootra, Computer Engineering,
SEP @ ETH Zurich, AY17/18
Studying abroad at ETH Zurich, Switzerland has been, to date, the most different, exciting and adventurous time of my life. Being my first visit to Europe, this experience allowed me to blend into the rich European culture, giving me a first-hand feel of its ancient history, art, architecture and natural beauty. I also got to take challenging classes at ETH, including postgraduate level courses, allowing me to connect with smart and intellectual peers in the process. This exchange was indeed a huge plus for my academic and personal development.
Phua Shu Xuan, Information Systems,
SEP @ Korea Advanced Inst of Sci & Tech, AY17/18
My experience in KAIST is an unforgettable one. In the beginning, I applied to KAIST without knowing anyone. Thankfully, I managed to befriend fellow exchange students from NUS going to KAIST. It was awkward for the group at first. However, we slowly learnt to warm up to each other and we were basically inseparable from then on. We have our meals together, plan for weekend getaway trips to other cities in South Korea and even travel to Jeju and Japan together. I find that the friends that I have made during exchange is the most valuable. We are always there to cheer each other during difficult times like when some of us are feeling stressed during to our studies. Studying in KAIST can be stressful at times as the style they use to teach is very different from NUS and their workload is also heavier. However, after a while I got used to the workload and I had an enjoyable time during my exchange.
M Thirukkumaran, Business Analytics,
SEP@ Australian National University, AY16/17
One of the most memorable moments during my student exchange was to scale a huge boulder in Freycinet National Park - barehanded. It's been in my bucket list to rock climb up a real rock and NUS always encourages you to seize your dreams, so I thought to just go for it. It was challenging yet exhilarating as I've never climbed a real boulder before and there were little good footholds, rendering a steep and almost vertical climb at some points. I managed to reach the top in the end, and bask in a glorious view of the South Pacific Ocean. This will forever be one of my favourite memories in Australia.
Yang Tse, Computer Science,
SEP @ University of Tokyo, AY16/17
As cliché as it sounds, my four months stay in the University of Tokyo has really helped me to discover myself. I had the fortunate opportunity to take up various courses in the Data Science and Computer Science departments taught by the best professors Japan has to offer, expanding my horizons beyond NUS. Most importantly to me, through living here, I have also come to learn a great deal more about myself; my interests, passions, strengths, and more importantly my weaknesses. Academics aside, Tokyo is a vibrant city full of culture, great people, and luscious food. Whether you’re looking for an Omakase Sushi Set in Tsukiji, searching for your favourite manga in Akihabara, or just doing some shopping in Shibuya, Tokyo has got you covered. In the university, the architectures are stunning and many of which has history with roots to the Edo period. Exchange students are also well taken care of, with students and staff organising activities such as field trips regularly, making sure that there is never a boring day while you are here.
Bernard Koh Zhaowei, Computer Science,
SEP @ Purdue University, AY16/17
This SEP journey allowed me to experience the typical ‘US college life’ that I have always wanted after being exposed to it from the many American movies and TV films that I watched. It did not disappoint. Apart from all the fun, weekend road-trips, independent lifestyle and the erratic bone-shattering winter of the Midwest, it was eye-opening to see the substantial difference between the cultures of the western college system and NUS, or the Asian education system in general. I had to take some time to adjust to the less examination-centric curriculum. Also, I got to meet people from all over the world who were on exchange programme too and even made some good friends. A semester there was simply not enough but I am grateful for this a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Zhu Sisi, Business Analytics,
SEP @ Aarhus University, AY16/17
I embarked on my SEP journey in February 2017, to the origin of Scandinavian fairy tales – Denmark. Feeling the cold breeze stirring in the air and enjoying the peaceful moment hanging around the empty street, I believe that was the moment I found the “hygge” lifestyle there. Being very different from Singaporeans, Danish people really showcased their elegant pace of life. Shopping malls usually close at six in the afternoon. It is also very common to see people walking a dog at 4pm and enjoying the sunlight. There are gyms everywhere but bars and clubs are also very crowded at Friday nights. Adapting into their lifestyle, you will find the genuine enjoyment: no rush and take your time.
The six months’ experience is a valuable journey in life. Strangers become friends. “Looking forward” becomes “already done”. Dreams become reality.
Chia Wei Sheng Wilson,
Business Analytics, SEP @ Lund University, AY16/17
Going on student exchange to Lund University is definitely one of the highlights of my university life! I particularly enjoyed the freedom and independence in pursuing interesting modules (one of which even sponsored my trip to Israel for 2 weeks!) Surviving the Swedish weather - where there can be hail, rain and sun on the same afternoon- was yet another memorable experience. Exchange brings about a learning experience like no other, and I highly encourage applying for it.
Ng Gin Wen, Business Analytics,
SEP @ University of British Columbia, AY16/17
Participating in the Student Exchange Programme has indeed provided me with an eye-opening experience and I have gain much insights through this trip. There were many personal incidents that have occurred and had really contributed to my development. In Singapore, never in my life would I ever be stuck in the snow, causing a one-hour journey to be extended to a four-hour journey. Neither would I experience helpless and lonely times whereby no one is there to help you when you are in trouble. It was not easy to adjust to a new city and a different school without friends and family alongside with you within a few days. School starts immediately upon my arrival and I just must keep up with the flow quickly. The programme really provided me with many challenges, for which I had to step out of my comfort zone and push myself further to overcome it. It was a great accomplishment looking back at what I have been through.