Last semester I spent 4 months in Singapore studying chemical engineering. I kept a very extensive travel blog that you can read here…
I wanted to share with you all the top 10 things about studying abroad in Singapore.
1. The food.
The food in Singapore alone is a good enough reason to want to study abroad. It’s amazing there. There was Indian, Indonesia, Singaporean, Chinese, Western, Korean, Thai, and Malaysian all in the food court next to my door. And it was all delicious.
2. Talking about current events.
The coolest thing ever is being able to talk about global current events with people who are from those countries. For example, Dusan was an exchange student from the Ukraine, and it was awesome being able to get his perspective on Putin claiming Crimea. I also had a lot of Malaysian friends who had opinions about the missing Malaysian airline flight.
3. Having to learn everything on my own.
This was both a positive and a negative. It was not always fun, but it forced me to not rely on anyone else.
4. Those mornings I woke up early to get Starbucks.
Every time I had an exam, I’d wake up at 6 am and trek to Starbucks. It’s the only time of day when it’s cool enough to be outdoors in Singapore and something about being at Starbucks made me feel at home.
5. Getting to speak French.
This has only happened a few times when I met French exchange students, but every time it’s happened, I felt like the coolest person in the world. Those four years of high school French finally got put to use!
6. Getting to go to Hong Kong with friends from Purdue.
Probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I got to travel to a country where none of us really spoke the language (Mandarin) with a bunch of people I was comfortable with. It was unlike any other traveling I did.
7. Getting climb down into volcanoes in Indonesia.
8. Visiting the killing fields in Cambodia – a part of history I didn’t even know existed.
9. Learning to use the public transit in new countries on the fly – specifically Malaysia. Very few people spoke English so we really had to use intuition.
10. Above all I am happy I studied abroad for the experience of coming home.
I got to come home after one of the hardest semesters in Chemical Engineering to a family I loved, friends I missed dearly, and a job I was ecstatic about – shout out to Kimberly Clark!
Studying abroad taught me that it’s not about where you end up or how quickly you get there, only that you appreciate everything along the way.