Sinagpore exchange studies

I am a biotech student studying at Uppsala University in Sweden, and will leave for an exchange year in Singapore (National University of Singapore) this fall. It's barely two months until I leave, and there have been loads of questions going through my mind about Singapore, what it's like, and what it'll be like to be there.


Why Singapore? So why did I choose Singapore? There are a couple of reasons. I've been steadily more fascinated with the Asian expansion that has been showing the last 10-20 years, and I've been wanting to explore the reasons for such a success story. What's it like culturally and socially?


Biotech. It also seemed that there's some degree of excellency in the education of biotechnology (which is my major in Uppsala), and in biotech innovation, so that was another interesting thing for me.


International atmosphere. I've been hearing rumors about a true international atmosphere, which is something one can at least get a feel for at Uppsala University (at least at the faculties). Is the whole of Singapore like the small collaborative groups of international researchers that I've met in Uppsala? Or is it very segregated? It remains to be seen!


Expectations. What expectations to I have?


Efficiency and cleanliness. I've heard from all around that Singapore is working efficiently due to discipling and expectations of hard work from the citizens. This could be one of the underlying reasons for the economic expansion.


A little bit too technocratic? On the downside, it may go too far. I recently saw someone describing why he'll never return to Singapore discussing the downsides of efficiency and hard work. There was a lack of soul and spirit in the culture according to this guy. I guess he could have experienced an especially soulless atmosphere around him for some reason, and it wouldn't necessarily apply to Singaporean society as a whole.


Food everywhere. People mention this when asked "What's special about Singapore culture". I expect a lot of Chinese, Indian and Malay food! Probably not too many meatballs there!


I will try to post about how everything turns out so posterity (future exchange studensts?) can learn from my mistakes and experiences.


Cheers for now!


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