Time to share my experiences from Semester 1 in Singapore! When I first moved out here in September, I was greeted by the high humidity of this nation. Never had I appreciated air conditioning so much before. Surprisingly enough, Scotland had not prepared me well for the heat.
With the group of chemistry exchange students I am with, we have all been working on research projects this year at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). This is a new style of work for me as I am used to the standard system of lectures, tutorials and a few lab sessions during the working week. The research project has required being in the lab on a daily basis, so I definitely feel my lab knowledge and technique have improved… at least somewhat.
By arriving out here in September, I celebrated my 21st in Singapore! My birthday is in September just to clarify. I didn’t just say “You know what? I feel like a change to my birthday date is needed because now I’m in Singapore and it would be rude not to”. Anyhow, the night was really good, but not quite how I envisioned my 21st going. The other chemists and I first went trampolining, then to a beer market, where drink prices would change based on their popularity, and finished off the night in a karaoke bar. The less said about my rendition of “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas, the better.
One of the major highlights of first semester was going to Universal Studios on a Halloween-themed night. The theme park had horror zones, haunted houses and actors dressed up as various hellish monsters. Credit to the actors, they stayed in character the entire night. The rollercoasters and the other rides were both terrifying and exhilarating! They like to do this thing on these rides where they take a photo of you when you least expect it. Never had I seen such genuine terror across my face before until I saw these photos. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t purchase any of these embarrassing photos… because why would I do that to myself?
We also visited the MacRitchie Reservoir Park during the first semester. It is a long walk around the park, but definitely worth it as you get to see some stunning scenery. Plus, we encountered various animals, such as macaques and lizards, which were great to see up close. They probably felt less enthusiastic about us.
There is also a substantial amount of food choice here. Although, I must confess that spicy food is still not my forte. It’s not much consolation, but my friends find it hilarious watching me try to get through a spicy dish. I’m working on it though!
Perhaps a regret I have of first semester is not exploring more outside of Singapore. I plan on amending that this semester though! Most recently, I spent Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur. My friends and I explored the city and managed to see the Petronas Towers and the Batu Caves, both of which did not disappoint. I am also heading to Sydney at the beginning of March, followed by a visit to the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia. So exciting times are ahead!
All in all, this year abroad has definitely been a worthwhile experience and has been character-building for me as an individual. I will update in the near future about my travel experiences in Sydney and what else has been happening in Singapore.
Watch this space!