Making the most of our summer vacation

After a hectic first semester in SIM, relaxing all summer was definitely a welcomed break for me. At least, that was how I felt until I caught up with three of my friends, who made their vacation time more meaningful by going on exchange programmes to different parts of the world.

Hearing about how they have grown through their experiences and adventures abroad has really inspired me to apply for one with the SIM Office of Global Learning. Here are some anecdotes of their trips!

Let’s start by hearing from Daphne! 

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Name: Daphne Tan

Currently studying at: SIM-University of London, Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Banking and Finance

Destination: BI Norwegian Business School (BI) in Norway 

evening with our student helpersLast evening with our student helpers from BI! From left to right: XinLin (Singapore), Vibha (Singapore), Nicole (Norway), Fredrik (Norway), Daphne (Singapore) and Cake (Thailand) 

Why She Went for the Exchange Programme:
“I’ve always been interested to learn about other cultures and experience the benefits of studying abroad. Being a student leader myself, I felt that BI’s course on Intercultural Management would help broaden my perspectives on leadership management styles across different cultures.”

rooftop after a barbequeOne of the last nights on the rooftop after a barbeque. We usually spend our nights together here.

Highlight of the Trip:
“It has to be the first weekend of the Exchange Programme where we experienced the midnight sun! Having 24 hours of daylight, we rafted in Sjoa, played foosball and walked along the stream at the campsite. Interacting with other students pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and be more sociable. Being immersed in a different environment made me feel more confident, adventurous and most of all, it made me more aware of my capabilities!”

boat paddlingCake (left) from Thailand and myself at the helm of our boat paddling towards the rapids in Sjoa.

Key Takeaway:
“I got to meet and become friends with people from all over the world! We still keep in touch even though a year has passed! Apart from the Scandinavian way of life, I also learned about my fellow students’ cultures by sharing daily experiences from our home countries. We also talked about languages, music and of course, homecooked meals.”

Next, Rin shared with me her South Korea experience with Korea University International Winter Campus! 

Rin Yeo

Name: Rin Yeo

Currently Studying at: SIM-RMIT University, Bachelor of Business (Marketing)

Destination: Korea University International Winter Campus in South Korea 

Standing at Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Standing at Dongdaemun Design Plaza where the annual Seoul Fashion Week was held.

Why She Went for the Exchange Programme:
“As a Marketing major, I was interested in the Korean media industry. I was curious to find out more about its origins and background so I was thrilled to find out that Korea University offers a module on Mass Media and Popular Culture.”

ice hockey playersOutside the rink, we took the opportunity to capture photos with ice hockey players and exchanged contact details.

Highlight of the Trip:
“I signed up for an ice skating activity at the University and had the chance to engage with the players from Korea University Ice Hockey Team. It was my first time ice skating and it was a wonderful experience!

The players took time off to personally teach us. We were divided into groups and the players would take turns skating with us! They even allowed us to try out their mini sleds. All of us were hesitant to leave the rink when the session was over.”

Exploring Namsan TowerExploring Namsan Tower, the second highest point in Seoul, with my dorm mates and a local friend we made during the exchange.

Key Takeaway:
“The experience of being in a class where students are from different countries and backgrounds was the greatest takeaway.During classes, we debated on the moral ethics of animal cafes and if their welfare are well taken care of. The class also touched on cultural appropriation, drinking culture and media censorship issues. Although these issues have been brought up in school back home before, I’ve come to realise that the rest of the students were taught from a different perspective.”

Last but not least, Dominic also shared with me about his summer school experience at the London School of Economics (LSE) in England! 

Dominic Seah

Name: Dominic Seah

Currently Studying at: SIM-University of London, Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Accounting and Finance

Destination: London School of Economics (LSE) Summer School in England 

London School of Economics

Why He Went for the Exchange Programme:
“LSE naturally came as an ideal choice for me due to its reputable summer school programme as well as its session options- which fits right into my schedule.”

LSE Strategic ManagementLSE Strategic Management Tutorial Class Group

Project Protégé Mentor

In Cambridge with my Project Protégé Mentor, Christopher Woo (right) 

 

Highlight of the Trip:
“Touring the University of London and going onboard the Thames River Cruise! I wanted to see the university that I’m enrolled in. It was wonderful to have Mr Timothy Wade, Director of Student Services for University Of London, personally guide us around the historic Senate House. I also had the opportunity to visit my Project Protégé Mentor, Mr Christopher Woo, who was pursuing his master’s degree there.” 

Key Takeaway:
“Besides picking up useful business concepts that I’ll be able to apply. I’ve forged beautiful memories and lifetime friendships with people from around the world. Together, they’ve made my three weeks in London even more meaningful!”

LSE Strategic Management

LSE Strategic Management Tutorial Class Group

International Programmes peers outside University of London Senate House

With UOL International Programmes peers outside University of London Senate House. This was part of my UOL Tour.

If their experiences excite you, here’s where you can sign-up for an Exchange Programme for your next summer vacation!

Till the next time, friends!

Beatrice

Making the most out of our university break

sim club

I didn’t quite know what to expect when my friend Claudia invited me to watch Achroma, a musical production she had put together with her friends at InSIM Club, the international students club for Indonesians in SIM (InSIM). All I knew then was it had taken them five hardworking months to bring everything from concept to life. So I had to be there to see for myself what the show was all about.

It blew me away!

Everything – from story to music, acting, makeup and set – was done so professionally and incredibly well that it was hard to believe that students were behind it. It left me so impressed that I had to ask Claudia how the entire production was put together.

Here’s what she shared.

Claudia Tann Priscilla

Meet Claudia Tann Priscilla, the Voice Director & Scriptwriter behind InSIGHT: Achroma. Claudia is currently studying SIM Diploma in Management Studies programme.

Me: You wrote the story for Achroma. What was your inspiration?
Claudia: Achroma’s story is set 100 years in the future, where people hold seemingly ‘useless’ activities, such as singing and dancing, in contempt. Meanwhile, just outside the city, a group of beggars live a perfectly contented life that’s full of colour and music.

I was inspired by our modern-day, fast-paced lifestyle to write Achroma. So many of us are intent on pursuing a career and making a fortune that we forget to enjoy the simple things in life, like laughter and singing. That’s why Achroma’s story emphasizes the importance of family and togetherness, as well as the sacrifices that we sometimes have to make in order to achieve the greater good.

Achroma

Achroma reaching for power and success.

Me: The entire musical took 5 months to produce. What was the process like?
Claudia: We began selections of directors and recruitment of members for various departments as early as September last year. In total, we have 8 departments responsible for various aspects of the production like: Cast & Singers, Dancers, Musicians, Make up & Wardrobe, Sets, Props & Logistics, Creative & Advertising and lastly, Commerce and Ticketing. Once we have everyone onboard, we started on the preparations full-swing. There was choreography to be learned, sponsorship proposals to be sent out, and sets and props to be hammered away! Things can get really hectic a month before the performance when we have our dry and full rehearsals. This is also when you witness the production slowly coming to life with the completed sets, props and costumes. It’s really quite a feeling to see it unfolding.

heartwrenching moments

One of the heartwrenching moments in the musical.

Me: What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Claudia: Time management. I was in the middle of a particularly busy term, and there were days when I only had 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Nevertheless, I learned to divide my time between practice and studies by avoiding distractions – such as watching movies and eating out – until I had caught up with my work. Eventually, I managed to strike a balance between the two.

two lovers

Achroma also tells the tale of two lovers from both cities. 

Me: It must have been stressful! Would you do it again?
Claudia: Definitely! All my fatigue melted away the second the curtains drew open. Seeing all the performers and backstage crew working together to bring laughter and tears to the audience filled me with such a strong sense of pride and accomplishment. It’s not every day that we get a chance to express ourselves and passion in such a grand production. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. In fact, I will be involved in next year’s production of InSIGHT so stay tuned!

If you are inspired to be a part of a large community that organizes activities and events, just like InSIGHT: Achroma, check out these international student clubs on campus!

Till the next post friends,

Beatrice

How to get around Singapore like a local

singapore

It’s been almost 2 years since I moved to Singapore to further my studies at SIM. Coming from a small town, I’ve got to give myself a pat on the back for making it this far. Truth is, I was never alone. That’s because I’ve joined Breaking Boundaries@SIM (BB@SIM), a programme that helps new international students to adapt to life in Singapore. Apart from learning about Singapore’s unique culture and meeting fellow students from around the world, I learned how to get to places of interest using Singapore’s public transport system. If you’re new to Singapore and are worried about finding your way around, don’t be! Singapore’s transport system is fairly convenient and you can get to most places with ease. Here are some tips to help you with getting around.

If you’re new on the island, an EZ-Link card is one of the essentials you’ll need if you plan on taking public transport. It’s basically a contactless smart card that you can use to pay for trips on buses and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains (most locals just call it the ‘MRT’). EZ-Link cards are sold at most MRT stations and bus interchanges, and can be topped up at any time. Once you’ve gotten yourself an EZ-Link, just follow these tips and you’ll be able to find your way around Singapore in no time!

public transport singapore

By MRT
MRTs are really a convenient way to travel. It’s best to plan your route ahead though, as often, there are multiple ways to get to the same place. When our BB@SIM peer mentors first brought us around on the MRT, I was amazed that many of the attractions are located so close to the stations. There are currently five MRT lines: The Circle (yellow) line, the East-West (green) line, the North-East (purple) line, the North-South (red) line, and the Downtown (blue) line. Most places of interest, shopping malls and housing estates are along these routes. Service hours are from 530am to midnight daily and are extended during festive periods (Side note: Singapore celebrates quite a number of festivals!) Trains come daily between 2 to 3 minutes every peak hour and every 5 to 7 minutes for off-peak hours. Did I mention that there are new MRT lines coming up? Yes, travelling around Singapore will only get easier!

By Bus
Depending on traffic, the waiting time for buses can be between 5 to 15 minutes. To track bus arrival times, you can download some of these apps. Did you know that there are several bus services that take you to SIM? I really love how convenient it is to get to our campus. But if you have a morning class, be wary of heavy traffic on the roads from King Albert Park, Clementi, and Dover MRT stations. It’s no fun to be caught in the morning jam, so it’s better to leave home earlier if you don’t want to be late for your lecture! Find out more about the bus numbers which can get you to campus on SIM’s website.

By Taxi
All taxis in Singapore are metered, with fares based on a flag-down rate and the distance travelled. Don’t be caught by surprise if you may be required to pay surcharges during peak hours. If you too aren’t exactly fond of waiting by the road or standing in line for taxis, try using this app to book your ride. If all else fails, there are also ride-sharing options like Grab and Gojek.

 

The public transport system here is just one of the things that I love about Singapore. As you can see, it is fairly easy to navigate around. This really helped to ease some of my anxieties about studying abroad.

 

I hope that these tips have been useful! For more information on living and studying in Singapore, head over here.

 

Best of luck everyone!

Beatrice

Why joining the SIM Study Tour is the best thing for aspiring international students

study tour SIM

The SIM Study Tour 2019 is coming in a month’s time and I’m super excited! Not only will I be getting to meet my cousin from Malaysia who’s signed up for the tour, I’ll also be spending more time with her and all the other participants as a student volunteer!

What’s SIM Study Tour you may ask? Well, I shall let the video speak for itself before I explain more about it.

SIM Study Tour video will be embedded here

Being given the opportunity to be part of the Study Tour is a huge privilege to me as I’m responsible for ensuring that those in high school get the most out of their time here. Especially if they’re here to find out why they should study in Singapore. So I’ve decided to list down the reasons why I believe joining the study tour is probably the best thing every aspiring international student can do.

  1. You will learn so much more about yourself
    When I first came for my study tour a few years ago prior to joining SIM, the workshops we went through really helped me decide that an education in Singapore at SIM was right for me. We were fully engaged in hands-on group assignments, and had a superb time exchanging ideas with students from different countries. The experience showed me just how much I could learn and grow as an individual when given the opportunity and exposure.
  1. You will learn about cool topics like Creative Design Thinking
    That’s right. Get ready to open your eyes to the bigger world. Taught by SIM GE Teaching Faculty, Creative Design Thinking is a design methodology that offers a solution-based approach to fixing problems. There’s also a Creative Tourism workshop which will show you how such forms of tourism can impact a country’s economy!
  1. You will make new friends from all over the world
    The SIM Study Tour also attracts participants from Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea – just to name a few. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn more about their culture and bond closer while taking part in workshops and activities together. I’ve made some wonderful friends during my study tour and we still keep in touch to date.
  1. You will experience SIM GE and Singapore like no other!
    You’ll get to experience the vibrance of campus life as an SIM student with teambuilding activities organised by the SIM Student Life Department. Then, we’ll bring you to Singapore’s must-see attractions like the Merlion and Universal Studios Singapore. We’ll visit places like Chinatown where you’ll get a glimpse of Singapore’s culture and traditions too!

If you’re just as excited as I am about the upcoming SIM Study Tour, learn more here.

See you soon!

 

Beatrice

What’s next after graduation? An international student’s perspective

job search

When you first embark on your university journey, it may seem like you have an eternity to think about the next step after graduation. While it may seem that way, I personally feel that it’s important to start preparing ahead.

What I love about SIM is that it allows me to develop my professional self while completing my Bachelor’s programme through workshops and other initiatives by the SIM Career Development Office.

While the preparation towards the next big chapter of our lives may sound like a lot of work, I know that the knowledge and real-world experience gained will be valuable when it’s my turn to step out in the real world in a few years’ time.

Many have asked me to share how we can set ourselves up for opportunities while studying at SIM. Here are some quick tips:

  1. Understand yourself
    Do you know what are your strengths, values and aspirations? How about your weaknesses and areas that need more development? I found it very useful to learn about my personal traits as it enabled me to make decisions more confidently. Not sure where to start? Take the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) profiling test offered at our Career Development Office.
  1. Develop yourself
    If I haven’t mentioned it yet, SIM’s Career Development Office is a great resource for students. You can sign up for various workshops, like the Hire-Me-Series Career Preparation Workshops that I attended. You can also learn how to create social media posts with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator tools, set up your LinkedIn profile and learn how to dress and communicate in the workplace.3.Start Building Your Professional Network
    One of the ways to do this is to join Career Chapters by the SIM Career Development Office. It’s a student-centric entity that organises industry engagement and networking events with the aim to immerse students in best practices and mentorship from senior industry practitioners. There are six Sectors and over 10 Career Chapters in total, ranging from Finance Sector, Media Sector to Non-Profit Organisation Sector. You will likely be able to find one that aligns with your aspirations. Also, you never know where your newfound connections could take you! Get yourself a mentor
    Project Protégé
    is a 4-month mentorship programme which connects SIM GE students to alumni who are established in their industries. I think it’s one of the best platforms SIM has that can really help us learn from these mentors’ professional experiences, job search strategies and career advice.

I hope the above tips have been beneficial! If you’d like to find out more about how SIM’s Career Development Office is helping to prepare students for life beyond graduation, check out these initiatives.  

Till the next post friends, Beatrice.

What My Parents Thought About Sending Me Abroad

Hi friends! I’m pretty excited to share this piece of news with everyone. This month, I will officially begin my first semester of the SIM – University at Buffalo Bachelor of Arts (International Trade and Psychology) programme. I’ve been on a short break since graduating from SIM Diploma in International Business early this year but as you can tell, I’m already all geared up for the upcoming semester.

Life at SIM has been fun and I’ve been making new friends from various nationalities in SIM. One of them is meeting Su and her parents, from Myanmar! Su and I got to talking about how our parents had to send us abroad and since her parents are here in Singapore, I have decided to take this opportunity to interview them and share their stories with you!

First of all, let me introduce you to Su!

Su (in the middle) & her lovely parents

She was only 10 when she came to Singapore to study in a local primary and secondary school.

However, it was only in Secondary 3 that she knew that she wanted to continue her higher education here. How did she find out about SIM you may ask? Well, she chanced upon an SIM Open House advertisement while scrolling through her social media feed and when she headed down to SIM to learn about the variety of programmes offered and the pathways to complete her diploma and bachelors’ degree in a shorter duration as compared to studying in the UK or US, she was sold. The rest, as they say, is history.

Whenever Su and I talked about how we started our education journey here in Singapore, it all draws back to our parents. Now that I look back on those early days, it was probably hard on my parents who had to decide if they should send me to study abroad. Many of my friends and their parents have asked me how they feel about it. Now that Su’s parents are here, I thought the best way to answer them was to turn those questions to them. Here’s what they shared with me, and I hope it will help other parents understand the benefits of studying abroad!

Me: Why did you choose to send Su to study in Singapore?
Su’s parents: Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world and it’s near to Myanmar. This was one of the most important deciding factors for us as we wouldn’t need to worry about her safety, even when she is travelling alone. The country’s world renowned education system is also another important reason. We hope that an education in Singapore would open up more career opportunities and options for Su – be it here, back in Myanmar, or even other parts of the world.

Me: What other factors did you consider?
Su’s parents: Cost of course. Getting an education in Singapore can get expensive. But seeing how happy Su is here makes us happy as well. Besides being safe and convenient to get around, Singapore also has a highly affordable transport system and finding a suitable accommodation in Singapore is also very easy.

Me: What makes you think you have made the right choice?
Su’s parents: We’ve seen how independent and confident Su have become after moving here! Su now know how to manage her own time and take responsibility for the decisions she make in life. Not only is she an SIM Student Ambassador and member of the SIM Regional Marketing Agency, she is even trying out Muay Thai! We love seeing how Su step out of her comfort zone and grow into a fine, young woman who is sociable yet humble and passionate about life. As parents, we couldn’t be prouder!

Su: Any words of advice for other parents who are thinking of sending their child to study in SIM?
Su’s parents: Don’t hesitate. It’s probably the best thing you’ll be doing for their future by helping them fulfil their potential and opening doors to diverse opportunities. These are just some of the benefits of studying abroad!

For us international students and our parents, the decision to study abroad requires taking a huge leap of faith. I’m glad I am pursuing my studies in Asia’s education hub – Singapore as I don’t just get expose to new cultures and picking up new languages, but having the bonus of learning from the international community from all walks of life. If you’d like to hear from other students on what it’s like to study and live in Singapore, check out these videos on the SIM website.

Till the next post, friends!
Beatrice

Understanding issues, changing outlooks

As a student majoring in Economics and Management, it is nothing short of a dream to study at the London School of Economics and Political Science, inarguably one of the greatest Economics and Management faculties in the world. Therefore, after viewing my results in the February preliminary examinations of my second year, I applied to LSE for the General Course.

What attracted me to this programme was the wide array of subjects that LSE offers. As a General Course student, we are permitted to choose any course from any department; and while I took courses from the Management and Economics departments, many of my peers took courses from Social Policy, Philosophy, Mathematics and so on.

I have benefited so much from the General Course. It has provided me with an opportunity to connect with some of the leading minds of the academic world. Being a part of the LSE community, I was able to attend lectures and seminars by some of the most prominent thinkers, academicians, politicians, economists such as Paul Polman (the ex-CEO of Unilever) and Amartya Sen (a Nobel prize-winner in Economics). It has allowed me to understand a lot of the issues that pose a threat to the survival of our world as it is, and this has most certainly changed my outlook towards a great many such issues.

Another prominent benefit was the status of being an LSE alumnus. The motto at LSE is ‘Rerum cognoscere causas’ which means ‘understanding the causes of things’, and for many decades, LSE has encouraged its students to do just that. It enables one to think deeper into the matter at hand, beyond the surface and to question every fact and outcome, an invaluable skill that the job market respects.

As captured by the popular maxim, ‘A smooth sea never made a skilful sailor’. Life at LSE is not easy, it is accompanied by its own set of hardships and obstacles, that one must learn how to overcome. At LSE, we were required to read many articles before we attend our classes so that we are aware of the issue that is to be discussed. At the end of the year, I had to submit a written paper for my summative exam, and while this might be common for some, it was something completely new for me and I had no idea of how to do it. With the help of my friends and LSE’s faculty, I managed to successfully complete these tasks.

Something that the SIM – UOL programme structure prepared me for was the mental stress of an annual exam. As a UOL student, we have one main exam at the end of the year which we mentally prepare for. However, many other students who are not privy to this form of examinations tend to struggle. It is important to note that most Economics Courses at LSE have two exams – one in January and one in May.

In conclusion, being in the LSE General Course has been one of the most exhilarating years of my life so far, where I have learned more than I ever thought I could, and made some lifelong friends in the process.

 

Anchit Goyal
BSc Economics and Management 
Final year at LSE General Course, UK