Just seeing orange and blue – the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) school colors – brings me some anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, deep down I’m very excited to go. I’ve been dreaming of studying abroad in Singapore since the fall of my freshman year at Northwestern. But after scouring through orange and blue PDFs and websites just to figure out basics like how to make a payment or when to book my flights, I get apprehensive whenever I see those colors on my computer screen.
The process of enrolling as an international exchange student has been far more difficult than I anticipated. Because NUS doesn’t offer formal letters of acceptance until late June, I had to leave Evanston without knowing for sure if I would be studying in Singapore come August. That in itself was nerve-wracking. But even after formally being accepted, my enrollment was conditional: I had to successfully complete a housing application, a confusing registration process, and a detailed application for a Student’s Pass – all of which were online.
In itself, none of those things sounded too bad, but once credit card rejections and name misspelling mishaps got in the way, I felt like the internet devils were trying to stop me from even getting onto my plane. After going through all the digital paperwork myself, I’m so surprised international students at Northwestern grit their teeth and jump through all the right hoops to study in the US for four whole years!
On the bright side, once I meet the local students and get a feel for the school, I’m sure my uneasy feelings toward orange and blue will transform for the better.