As the sole representative of Singapore, it was daunting to know that my actions and behavior would reflect greatly on the other participants’ impression of Singapore. We sat in on some US classes with the UMass students; staged a mock campaign on the Presidential election and learnt about US governance, politics and history. In between, we had the chance to explore our surroundings, participate in campus life in America and also visited Washington DC and New York for some interesting cultural experiences.
Coming back from this trip, I am very thankful for the chance to study at an American university whose teaching style differs so much from NUS. It is less structured and has more lecturer-student engagement in classes. I am also very appreciative of my new friendship with my Southeast Asian friends whom I have learnt so much about their lifestyle and cultures. Additionally, I have a stronger sense of nationalism, born out of newfound respect for Singapore and our achievements. From my experience, Singapore is revered for having achieved our economic growth and stability in such a short period of time. It was also interesting to contrast our experience with that of the US’s in terms of democracy and good governance. Overall, this journey has been an eye opening experience for me to engage something beyond school learning and to open up new opportunities. Always say yes to adventures!
Group photo after Apple Picking!
A Visit to the Massachusetts State Senate in Boston:
Learning about the history of the United States:
Picture with the UMass sign: