Smartphone – Singlish – Selfistick
My semester abroad in Singapore
3 years ago I had already spent four days in Singapore. At that time I did the typical tourist program – city tour, botanical garden, museums…
Even if the island nation is very small, I hadn’t seen everything for a long time and it was clear to me that I would come back!
After my current stay, I have the feeling that I got to know Singapore from a completely different perspective. Living in a city that is characterized by superlatives, in which the cultural diversity can be felt so much and the people exude such a positive attitude towards life, really impressed me. To be able to go out at any time of the day or night in shorts and a top, to party in a club on the 62nd floor and to be able to choose between Indian, Thai and many other dishes every evening are just some of my highlights.
Since James Cook University is not a partner university of my university, I applied to the MicroEDU agency. Placement through MicroEDU is free of charge and individual support means that questions and concerns are always answered quickly and competently. At the beginning I had to submit a form with my own data, my grade point average and proof of my English skills. A copy of my high school diploma was sufficient for this, showing my English grades from the four semesters.
The only thing that took some effort was choosing the courses. To do this, I had to look at the JCUS course schedule on the Internet and then choose courses that are also offered in the trimester. I made a list of 10 courses, which I then passed on to my university with a description of the course content in order to receive feedback later on which courses can be recognized. All other documents that I needed for the application at the university as well as the visa were filled out quickly and so I held my acceptance in hand at the beginning of July. Up until that point, I had not had any direct contact with the University of Singapore. The communication ran exclusively through my contact person Sabine from MicroEDU which made the whole process a lot easier for me.
Description of the city
Singapore is a vibrant island and city-state in Southeast Asia. With an area of just over 700 square meters, it is a very small country, but its economic power should not be underestimated. The city is also considered by many to be the gateway to Asia. In contrast to other Asian metropolises, here in the city center architecturally impressive office buildings tower into the sky, expensive cars meander through the street, and especially at lunchtime you can see many well-dressed people on their way to lunch. The city center is insanely clean and modern. If you leave the heart of Singapore, it becomes a bit more ‘Asian’. Little India, China Town and Arab Street are wonderful places to get a little closer to a culture, to indulge in culinary delights in the restaurants and to be able to take part in traditional festivals (e.g. Deepavali, the festival of lights, Little India in different sounds, Colors and clothes shine). Singapore is a melting pot of diverse cultures. The interplay of all cultures is particularly evident in the language and cuisine. The official languages are Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. This is how the Singlish evolved. The English language refined with the terms and grammar of other languages.
Singapore leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to extraordinary attractions. The city’s unofficial landmark, the Marina Bay Sands, is a three-tower hotel with a ‘ship’ with the world’s longest infinity pool. Next to it is a museum that looks like a water lily. The Gardens by the Bay behind it brings huge artificial trees to life with a music and light show every evening. The architecture of the Esplanade Theater is reminiscent of the durian, a fruit that smells terrible, but is still described by many people as delicious in taste (the taste has not convinced me until today). Singapore has a lot to offer in culinary terms. In the numerous hawker centers you can eat your way through the Asian countries. And that at very reasonable prices. The most famous hawker center is the Lau Pa Sat, which also attracts many tourists every day. And wherever there is more or less interesting things to see, there are people standing in front of them with a camera. But nowhere else than in Asia are there so many people who stand in front of it with a selfie stick.
Due to its geographical location, Singapore is a wonderful starting point for weekend trips during the trimester and longer trips after your stay. For example, I took the bus to Kuala Lumpur over a weekend with nine other exchange students. Other destinations were the two Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, which can be reached quickly from Singapore by boat. Another way to escape the big city life is on a small island off Singapore, Sentosa Island. At Tanjong Beach Club you can relax on the beach, especially on Sundays.
The cleanliness, as well as safety is guaranteed by incredibly high penalties for abuse of the rules. The typical chewing gum example is likely to be familiar to some. Thanks to the well-developed bus and metro network, everything can be reached quickly and easily.
However, Singapore is not one of the most expensive cities in the world for nothing. In addition to the high cost of housing, especially leaving is very expensive. It is not uncommon to pay SGD 15 for a beer in a bar.
- Learn more information about the country of Singapore and continent of Asia on securitypology.
The weather in Singapore is hot and humid. The typical humid tropical equatorial climate. During the rainy season you will be surprised by heavy rain showers at least once a day. This is often very useful as a change from the high temperatures. Cooling down by the air conditioning can be found in all closed rooms.