Short intro: I decided to participate in a program under AIC's Global Internships program with UC Berkeley and the National University of Singapore where I get to experience student life as well as an internship for two months.
I'll be making a blog series detailing my experiences here and any useful advice I can give to future participants interested in this program or just visiting Singapore for fun!
The Flight/Airport Experience
Singapore Air is a great airline with a lot of amenities provided. It also wasn't difficult at all to go through customs, grab, my luggage, and enter the taxi queue. Overall, I wouldn't worry too much about getting lost in the airport as it is very clear and the staff are incredibly friendly!
For Customs, you'll need your passport, immigration card, and MOM letter as your visa if you're using your Work Holiday Pass to enter the country. Be sure to hold on to your MOM documentation and immigration card as you'll need it to pick up your WHP card from the MOM office later.
Be sure to bring Singaporean cash before arriving for transportation.
The Dorms: Prince George Park
The very first difficulty was getting the keys to my dorm and checking in. The campus is rather large and can be confusing to navigate at first- which resulted in me wandering around for 20+ minutes trying to find my room.
The dorms themselves come with a closet, a nightstand with drawers, and a desk with shelving units. Amenities provided include toilet paper, a trash can, and bed sheets + blankets and a pillow for the bed. The best part for me was that theres an individual bathroom completely for you with a standing shower.
IMPORTANT: The room assignments for the 30 other UC Berkeley students on the trip will not be together all in one hall so be sure to communicate with each other well in the beginning!
Food is really cheap here in the food courts ($3-$5) with Chinese, Muslim, Indian, and other Asian dishes. I personally think it's pretty delicious!
However, do watch out to maintain a balanced diet here with fruit and veggies etc!!! At least for me, it's easy to get carried away and get dumplings or noodles every single meal :P
Singapore has a different kind of power outlet so you will need to buy an adaptor- you can get one at the mini-mart on campus!
Remember to bring a towel and extra blankets if needed. They do provide one- but its very thin.
Bringing a water bottle is very helpful especially in the very humid and hot Summer here.
NUS has their own buses that will take you around the campus area for free!
When first starting the program, you'll also be required to use the MRT to get to around the city. The MRT is very easy to use and similar to the BART system in the Bay Area.
Taxi's are also pretty accessible here and Grab is the app Singapore uses to call drivers to come pick you up.
I'm from SoCal so this humid weather is the death of me. There's also a lot of mosquitos here so be prepared to buy/bring some bug spray!
Bring an umbrella because it rains A LOT.
It's very hot and humid so I recommend very light and breezy clothing!
Comfortable sandals are my god-send.
You can purchase bug spray at marts on campus.
Overall, my first impression of getting settled in Singapore and this program was pretty positive. I naturally get stressed while traveling so I was grateful that it wasn't too difficult to get around. Singapore is incredibly lush, modern, and exciting so I'm looking forward to exploring the city even more! Stay tuned :)
Check out my official CIEE study abroad profile + blog on https://www.ciee.org/users/anyafang!