For many international students, getting into an Ivy League college such as Yale is a lifelong dream. But for some, studying in the US is not an option because of life or financial circumstances.
Students can now study at a world-renowned university located in Singapore, at the Yale-NUS university. The university offers students a prestigious international education experience in one of Southeast Asia’s central cities.
Now students at Yale-NUS and other partner universities can visit the US Yale campus on the Yale Visiting International Student Program (Y-VISP).
International students who took part in the programme found it invaluable to experience a different culture and make friends with people who have different perspectives.
— Yale OIA (@Yale_OIA) April 25, 2018
“So many [people] I’ve associated with recognize an important truth, that everyone has something to learn from each other. I’ve been lucky to find a family not only in my fellow Yale-NUS colleagues here but a great deal of the larger Yale community as well,” Yejin Park a student who took part in the exchange programme said in a media release.
The exchange programme allowed students to see what university life is like in the US – and they found it to largely differ from their own experience.
“At Yale-NUS pretty much every class is a seminar class, and that can get very intense due to the tremendous amount of preparation that is required for every single class,” said Swarnima Sircar, Yale-NUS student in major in mathematical, computational and statistical sciences.
“Here at Yale you can ease off that pressure a little because students spend a lot less time in classes, and you have more lecture classes, which I think is really, really good.
“Don’t get me wrong. It’s not easier; everyone is still really on the ball when it comes to discussion sessions and interacting with the material. But here I find myself doing a lot of learning on my own, using class time as an opportunity to tap directly into professors more; to interrogate and ‘mine’ them for their deep expertise.”
The students who took part in the exchange said they gained confidence when making friends from different nationalities, and showed them the value of collaboration.
Chandler Beyer, another student from Yale-NUS, said he formed connections very quickly when arriving at Yale, despite his concerns he would not be accepted.
“Yale has such a friendly, warm environment,” he said. “My experience has been nothing but positive thanks to the intelligent students in my classes, my inspiring peers in my extracurricular organizations and the close friends I have made since my arrival.”
All the students said the experience showed them a different side to academia. Working alongside international students opened up opportunities and perspectives for students studying in Singapore – an experience that not all students get to realise.