Comments from Past Oxbridge Students

Comments from Past Oxbridge Students

Comments from Past Oxbridge Students

On Singapore

I thought initially that I would maybe have a problem with a language barrier, but it's been absolutely fine as pretty much everyone speaks good English. Also unlike when you visit other Asian countries, you don't feel like such an outsider, and so it's pretty easy to settle in.
Sarab Sethi
Oxford University, Mansfield College; NUS 2015/16
Before coming on exchange, my knowledge of Singapore was relatively limited... On top of it being a modern and bustling city-state, I’ve also had the chance to learn about the rich culture and diversity here. It is a very interesting country, which I have found to be multicultural and friendly. I am impressed by the infrastructure, and getting used to living on the Equator!
Grace Beckham
Girton College; NUS 2014/15

On NUS Curriculum

The NUS curriculum is divided into 2 semesters which are completely independent of each other (with the exception of the 4th Year Project which spans over both sems). Some modules are not examined at all, but from what I've experienced these are actually more challenging as they require constant assignments and project work throughout the semester. Course content wise though it is fairly similar material to what I expect I'd be learning back at Oxford.
Sarab Sethi
Oxford University, Mansfield College; NUS 2015/16
There are a few differences when compared to Cambridge. First of all, the academic year is split into two semesters with final exams at the end of each semester and often mid-term exams as well. I find this better than final exams covering the whole year, as it is easier to revise for them. Another difference is that the first two years of engineering tripos cover all major engineering disciplines while in NUS, people specialise right at the start. However, I didn’t have problems coping with the level 3 and 4 modules. The different test and lab formats also need getting used to. Lastly, there is significant difference between supervisions in Cambridge and tutorials in NUS. Tutorials are more like Example classes, where the lecturer goes through the answers to set questions in front of whole class, so it is more difficult to discuss your solutions, although most lecturers are happy to answer questions via email or arrange a meeting with you.
Ondrej Komora
Gonville & Caius College; NUS 2013/14
NUS engineering faculty offers a variety of modules, however, the learning process here is slower and workload smaller than in Cambridge. The focus is also more orientated to practical use of the knowledge preparing students for the working life with less emphasis on theoretical derivations and proofs. Students coming here after Part 1 should have no problems taking 3rd or 4th year modules.
Vainus Udra
Girton College; NUS 2013/14

Things Enjoyed Most While in Singapore

My favourite thing about Singapore is food. I do not think I would ever be able to try so much local, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian and many other cuisines in one place. It is very affordable and even though I love to cook, it is so much cheaper to eat out and enjoy what Singapore's food scene has to offer.
Mateusz Krol
Cambridge University, Queens' College; NUS 2015/16
The general experience: gaining independence, new perspectives, meeting so many different inspiring people from very different backgrounds (locals and exchanges), being a sort of 'first year' again with all opportunities open, doing something fresh. Singapore seems like an exotic, far away, different, new, small place. It is! And is still exotic, different, new, small, a definite change. Also very westernised, clean, ordered and efficient but has many hidden gems. Also, the chance to travel around (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Burma – an equal learning experience to university), eat great food, enjoy summer all year long, learn Singlish, feel Asian… Live somewhere new!
Nina Shea
Murray Edwards College; NUS 2011/12
Whilst in Singapore, I really enjoyed the project work I did with my groups. I found it was a good bonding session and my group mates were hardworking which I found motivating.
Daniel Barnard
Magdalene College, NUS 2010/11

Some Tips If You Are Considering An Exchange to NUS

One thing that I've found is that it's an ideal place to learn Chinese, with most of the locals fluent in both Chinese and English, and with China taking over the world and all that hopefully will stand me in good stead in the future.
Angus Bain
Cambridge University, Gonville and Caius College; NUS 2015/16
  1. "Stop thinking and apply! Definitely one of the best decisions I made."
  2. "Don't be afraid to pick more than 5 modules at the beginning. You will need to drop at least 2 of them, but you will get the opportunity to find out which ones you like and then you can decide."
  3. "Based your module choices on IIB requirements and talk to your DoS whether he thinks they are a good match to IIA modules."
  4. "When picking modules, don't be afraid to take level 4 ones. Those modules I enjoyed the most. In worst case, you can drop them during the add/drop period."
  5. "Bring hoodies otherwise you may freeze in some lectures because of A/C."
  6. "Bring backpack if you want to travel."
  7. "If you haven't applied yet, apply now!"
Ondrej Komora
Gonville & Caius College; NUS 2013/14
The experience was honestly life changing, changing the way I think and my future goals. This may sound a bit wishy washy, but experiences are more valuable than knowledge, especially for engineers. For those who care about their CV, an exchange shows initiative and adventure, and considering the shift towards the east an understanding of how things work here would be useful!
Jonathan Bassett
Christ's College; NUS 2010/11

Comments from Past Oxbridge Students