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Category: National University of Singapore

Back home?

It’s been a pretty consistent theme in my life that I don’t feel an intimate connection to a home, a place of belonging, nostalgia, and comfort. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve mostly settled on this feeling as an unavoidable part of me, but returning to America from 4 months of living alone abroad brings me

Bugs

Singapore lies 1.5 degrees from the equator and has a tropical rainforest climate with temperatures that constantly linger around 30 degrees Celcius. Naturally, bugs love this place. I’ve taken for granted the fact that I don’t really encounter bugs on a daily basis back in Evanston because in Singapore, bugs are everywhere. From armies of

Being sick while abroad

It’s true that when you fall ill while away from your home and family, that’s when you start feeling homesick the most. I have recently been struggling with a cold, which is ironic because I caught it from sleeping with the fan on the last few night because it was so hot in my room.

Navigating Singlish as an English-speaking foreigner

While several of my exchange student friends have noted that one of their main reasons for choosing Singapore as their study abroad destination is that they would not have to face a language barrier, they also report that the reality is far from their expectations. In their defense, it is true that English is Singapore’s

Rediscovering my identity abroad

As I mentally prepare myself for study abroad at NUS, I reflect back on my first study abroad experience – to here, America, 10 years ago. I entered America feeling both excited and nervous, and, while those feelings have now all but faded away, I still struggle to call America home. In fact, I feel

New memories with new friends

Since arriving home, tons of people have asked me about my time in Singapore, expecting lengthy answers about traveling, experiencing new cultures, and eating good food. And even though I had a great time doing all those things, they didn’t feel like the most valuable or memorable part of my time in Singapore. So when

A tropical Christmas

A tropical Christmas fast approaches and rests in my heart in a cozy way. In my last week I have visited the extensive flora shops to see rows of poinsettias in the sweltering humid heat — and I laugh to myself at the ride that has been the past few months. It’s strange to think that

Toast, eggs, coffee

I will not be shy about admitting that I have found the love of my life here in Singapore. He has arrived to me in the form of thick multigrain toast slathered with chunky peanut butter. It sounds like an incredibly familiar snack, not very foreign to the average North American resident as a breakfast

My professors actually look like me…?

Unlike the many exchange students I’ve met in Singapore, who often tell me about how conspicuous they feel in their classes, I’m happy to say I’ve experienced the exact opposite. As an aspiring teacher, I’ve done lots of reading about the positive impact teachers of color have on students of color. But as a Chinese-American,

A beautiful city built by kind people

The more I live and learn about Singapore, the more I believe that it was built by kind people. By that I am referring to the societal infrastructures and constructs that have manifested throughout history. Many countries that I have previously lived in have had corrupt, selfish leaders that marginalize the socioeconomically, physically, and racially disadvantaged.