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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! 

logo

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

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.

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

The SIM Food Guide: 5 Dishes worth Queuing for

5 dish SIM

It’s been a while friends! I’m currently on my lunch break before I head to my next class so I thought I should update my blog.

Since we’re on the topic of lunch, one of the things I absolutely love about studying at SIM is that it has a wide range of food choices on campus to satisfy different appetites and taste buds. SIM is very culturally diverse – I have classmates from different corners of the world like India, Korea, Myanmar and Indonesia just to name a few! I personally feel that the abundance of food choices can be very comforting for us foreign students in Singapore, being so far away from home.

The food courts do get super crowded during lunch hour and since I get asked all the time what’s good to eat here, this is my list of top 5 must-try dishes at SIM!

Where: Block A, Foodclique
Always dependable and great value for money, Foodclique is a crowd favourite among all students!

  1. Stall name: Indonesian Express (Halal) Nasi Ayam Penyet

Must-try: Nasi Ayam Penyet
A delicious dish of “smashed” fried chicken and rice. Served with an addictive sambal (chilli), sliced cucumbers and fried tofu on a bed of rice doused in curry. I was told that this touch of curry is unique to this stall! This dish is great for spicy food lovers like me, but if you can’t handle the heat, add in some sweet sauce to make it more manageable.

Price: S$5.50

Also recommended: Steamed Chicken Set, Ikan Dory Set

  1. Stall name: Vegetarian vegeterian salad

Must-try: Salad
This is the default choice for those on a diet, or if you simply want to eat healthier. For me, I come to enjoy a quick, guilt-free meal in between classes. I like that there’s a good variety of items like baby corn, protein balls, seaweed tofu, pasta and potato salad to choose from.

Price: From S$4.20 onwards

Also recommended: Try the Japanese Sesame Sauce salad dressing!

  1. Stall name: Noodles Yong Tau Foo

Must-try: Yong Tau Foo
Pick what you like from a salad bar-like counter stacked full of fresh vegetables, fishballs, crabmeat sticks, seaweed chicken and others. Let the cook know if you want your ingredients served dry (soup will served on the side), or in a laksa (spicy, curry-like) or clear soup. Enjoy with your choice of noodles or rice.

Price: From S$3.80 onwards for a minimum of 6 ingredients

Also recommended: Help yourself to the unique sweet sauce and chilli dip!

Where: Blk A, Kampung
Opened in 2017, this is our newest food court on the block! 

  1. Stall name: Anggen Ma La Cuisine Ma La Xiang Guo

Must-try: Ma La Xiang Guo
A tongue-numbing stir-fried dish of scrumptious goodness that’s originally from China. The concept is similar to yong tau foo, except the ingredients are priced by weight and stir-fried, not boiled in soup. You’ll also need to choose the level of spiciness you can stomach.

Price: No fixed amount as it depends on what you pick. But be warned, it can get pricey! If you’re on a budget, go easy on the meat and seafood and choose more vegetables.

Where: Blk B, Foodfest (Halal)
   An alternative for halal food in SIM! 

  1. Hainanese Chicken Rice Hainanese Chicken Rice

Must-try: Hainanese Chicken Rice
One of Singapore’s most famous local food! Whether you like your chicken steamed or roasted, you must enjoy this heavenly dish with its three accompanying dips: garlic chilli, ginger and dark soya sauces.

Price: S$2.80

Also recommended: Upgrade your dish to a more nutritional meal by adding vegetables (Kailan), braised egg and tofu!

These are my recommendations but don’t just take my words for it! Watch my friends have a go at some of the dishes above on the SIM YouTube Channel here.

I have to rush off to my next class now, catch you later!

Cheers,
Beatrice