Singapur

Für alle zukünftigen NUS Austauschstudenten habe ich einen Artikel verfasst: https://www.davidtanner.ch/2017/04/15/important-information-for-future-nus-exchangers/

 

Mein Austauschsemester in Singapur ist schon wieder zu Ende. Es war für mich ein grosses Abenteuer und eine riesige Bereicherung! Ich habe Studenten aus aller Welt kennengelernt, das Studentenleben in Singapur erfahren, viel neues und interessantes Allgemeinwissen angeeignet und dabei auch viel Freude und gute Momente erlebt.

Natürlich war nicht alles perfekt und es gab auch negative Momente. Die guten Erinnerungen überwiegen jedoch stark und ich bin sehr glücklich mit dem Verlauf des Austauschsemesters. Ich habe mein Englisch deutlich verbessern können, habe viele Erfahrungen gesammelt und konnte mich auch persönlich weiterentwickeln.

Seit Mittwoch, 17.Mai bin ich wieder Zuhause in der Schweiz. Es ist auch schön, wieder hier zu sein! Und mittlerweile weiss ich auch, dass ich alles bestanden habe, yay :-D


Krabi

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Bangkok

Some pictures from Bangkok

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Kuala Lumpur (KL)

Here a few impressions from Kuala Lumpur (KL).

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Cameron Highlands

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Byebye National University of Singapore

I'm sitting right now in the Orchid Haven Hostel in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. To complete the post from before about the exams. My last exam in Hormones and Health was not so good and I already know the score of the Chinese final, I had 135/200 points and I'm happy with that. It was time to leave the National University of Singapore. I said goodbye to my friends and packed my luggages. Thanks to Jay and his Aunt! His aunt lives in Singapore and she offered me to put my luggages there and to stay the night from the 15th to the 16th may, before I take off to Switzerland. The day we put the luggages to Jay's aunt, we had a very nice diner. My flight back to Zurich departs on the 16th may 11.30 p.m. and arrives in Zurich on the 17th may 06.10 a.m. I am looking forward to see you in Switzerland :)

But before I come back, I'm gonna do a 10day-trip through Malaysia and Thailand. My 4 destinations are the Cameron Highlands & Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Bangkok & Krabi in Thailand.

 

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Exams

This week started the examination phase. I took 4 modules here at the national university of Singapore. Chinese, Molecular Basis of Human Diseases, Neuronal Development and Diseases, Hormones and Health.

 

Chinese: During the semester we had 3 quizzes, 3 assignments, a short oral exam and also a 15% grade for the class performance. Thus, the final exam only counted 35% for the final grade. The chinese exam wasn't in the examination phase. It was in the last week of the semester. I wasn't very good in one quiz and also at the oral exam. But I performed well the final exam, I guess. 

Molecular Basis of Human Diseases: We had 3 Practicals during the semester. For each we had to write a report which was graded. My points were 8.5/10, 8.6/10 and 4.7/5. Additionally we had to write 2 group essays with a forum discussion. I had 12.6/15 and I don't know yet the second one. This is pretty much average and is approximately a B or a bit higher. These assignments count 55% for the final grade, so the final exam counted only 45%. I had the final exam on tuesday this week. It was open book and a fair exam. I'm pleased with my performance.

Neuronal Development and Diseases: We had a similar module at the ETH last semester. Unfortunately I failed this exam at ETH and gonna retry it next semester. I think I did better here at NUS. The midterm exam counted 30% and I got a B+. Yesterday, thursday, I took the final exam in the multi purpose sports hall (have a look at the pictures). It was huge and 500 students took different exams at the same time. As usual, It was very cold inside and a large number of A/C and fans were turned on during the exam. The exam included 7 questions with subquestions. For each question we had to use a new answer book which had about 20 pages but you only used 4 max. What a paper waste! Anyway, I'm pleased with my performance too for this exam even though I couldn't answer all the questions.

Hormones and Health: We already had 2 midterm exams for this module which count 20% each for the final grade. I got an A+ in the first one and only a C+ in the second one. On balance a 40% counting B+. The final exam of Hormones and Health (my last one!) is on the 2nd may 5 p.m. All my exams were at 5 p.m, what I don't really like that much because it's very late. And every exam takes 2 hours (except Chinese was 1.5 hours).

 

I was a bit nervous this week because of the exams and because I didn't know what to expect. It turned out that the exam questions were fair and covered the content of the lectures what is not always the case at ETH. I'm looking forward for my time in South East Asia after the exams. I already planned my 10-day-trip but more on that later.

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time with the ladies

On saturday, 15.04.2017, Lena and Mima arrived at the Changi Airport in Singapore. Mia and I picked them up and our nice weekend (+ monday) started.

Saturday: Lena and Mima had the Hostel at Little India. Hence, we enjoyed some nice indian diner there. Later we went to the Light Show Gardens by the Bay and a drink in a rooftopbar completed our first day. It was so lovely to see them again!

Sunday: On sunday, I met the ladies on the campus and showed them how I live here. Before they came to my place, they planned their trip to Malaysia. In the noon, we went to China Town and then to the Cloud Forest (picture 14 - 26). We chilled at the Gardens by the bay and suddenly it was 19.45 and the lightshow started. Again, I know. But we still relished it. Directly by MRT to Arab Street, we had some nice vietnamesian food there and spent the evening in a bar.

Monday: On monday, we striked off to the Botanic Gardens. After a 1 km walk, we reached the Orchid Garden. The entrance is only 1 SGD for students. There are so many different and amazing orchids. Before the ladies headed off to Malaysia, we went to a nice hawker centre.

 

These 3 days were super nice and much fun :) I'm looking forward to see Mima and Lena again, before they go back to Switzerland.

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important information for future NUS exchangers

Administrative things to do before Singapore:

  • Read the e-mails from the NUS and ETH regarding your exchange carefully. You will receive a bunch of e-mails with much information. Note the deadlines and check with other students who will also go to the NUS, what you have to do and when.
  • Studen's Pass Online Application & Registration (SOLAR) is for your VISA. This is from the Singapore Government and not from the NUS. It is important to do everything on time and make the payments.
  • If you decided to live on the campus (and I recommend to do so for your exchange semester), you will receive e-mails from your accomodation. You have to make payments (preferably by credit card), do a test about the rules on the campus and some other things. In the beginning you have to choose your priorities. Residential College 4, College of Alice and Peter Tan, UTown Residence and also Cinnamon College and Tembusu College are good and located at Utown. Ridge View Residential College or Prince George's Park Residence are not at Utown (5 to 10 minutes by bus). If you are not happy with your residence or your room, you have always the option to ask for a change. And the chance is high to get a new, hopefully better room / residence.
  • Beside SOLAR and your accomodation, you have to do all the things for your study. Selecting courses, upload all your details and so on. Just do what they say in the e-mails. For a nice overview about the courses at NUS, this website might help you: www.nusmods.com
  • www.nus.edu.sg/nusbulletin/search-modules/ is the official "search modules" website from the NUS
  • If you have any questions, and trust me, you will have questions, it is very well organised by the NUS. There exist one e-mail adress for all kind of questions! You can ask everything to nghelp@nus.edu.sg. Depending on your question, they forward it to the person who can help you.
  • For the ETH, you have to follow www.mobility-online.ethz.ch.
  • The ETH supports you financially. Also for your travelling costs. Check this homepage: https://www.ethz.ch/studierende/de/studium/finanzielles/reisekostenbeitraege.html
  • If you want to take a distance exam, you can do it at NUS. Just check the deadlines and calculate some time for waiting for an answer. But keep in mind, distance exams suck ;)
  • I think it is better to arrive a few days before the semester starts. It gives you time to settle down without much stress. So book your flight with considering that. Go to the information day (few days before the semester starts at NUS) and you will receive much information (I missed it because of my late arrival).
  • Join the facebook group with all the NUS exchangers

 

Useful things to pack into your luggage or to buy in Singapore:

  • dishes (plate, fork, knife, spoon, cup)
  • bedclothes (pillow with pillowcase, bedlinen, blanket, etc.)
  • perhaps a matress pad (the matress is hard and plastic covered)
  • hangers
  • table lamp
  • power adapter & powerboard
  • umbrella
  • flipflops / slippers
  • laptop with internet connection or router
  • thermometer
  • vaccination card
  • copies of important documents (passport, health insurance card, ...)
  • folder with documents (receipts etc.)
  • important logins and codes (banking, NUS E-number, NUS A-number, NUS password(s))
  • pins for the corkboard
  • singapore sim card (I had SingTel and was pleased with it)
  • badminton racket / tennis racket (if you want to play)
  • some decoration (poster or so, the room is not very cozy)
  • swiss chocolate
  • international driving license (needed in some countries, if you wanna rent a car)
  • EZ-link card for the MRT in Singapore (Can buy in any 7-eleven)
  • Your CreditCard and your DebitCard

 

Apps / websites which are useful for your stay:

 

  • The apps Uber and Grab for cheaper rides than with taxis
  • The app h!Account (for the simcard from SingTel)
  • The app NUS NextBus
  • IVLE app and www.ivle.nus.edu.sg (like moodle at ETH)
  • www.myaces.nus.edu.sg for dropping / adding modules
  • www.myisis.nus.edu.sg for payments, registration and check the grades after the semester
  • www.exchange.nus.edu.sg for establishing your NUS e-mail
  • www.nusmods.com for module information and timetable
  • www.google.ch/flights to find cheap flights for your trips
  • www.busonlineticket.com or www.easybook.com for rides to malaysia or so

and I think there are some more useful apps and homepages. Let me know in the comments if you have some more! :)

 

In Singapore:

  • At the registration, you will receive a folder. Inside are some documents with information what you have to do, therefore read it and do it.
  • Install your NUS e-mail account. You will receive as from now many information through this new NUS e-mail adress.
  • Carry your E-number and your NUS matriculation card always with you. You're gonna use it for many logins. Also remember your password. We had to change the password in the first week (it was mandatory, otherwise it didn't work at all).
  • If you have any question about housing, studying, student's pass whatever, you can always ask the people and they try to help you. Or still email to nghelp@nus.edu.sg.
  • There is an information day before the semester starts. It is a good chance to meet some other exchangers. In the first week, there is also a exchanger welcome party and likewise a good place to meet some other students.
  • Drag & Drop phase: In the first weeks (I don't remember exactly), you can drop out your modules and apply for new ones. You can do it on the myaces website. It is a bit annoying to do that because you don't know if you get into the new module.
  • Like moodle, at the NUS they use IVLE. All information about the modules, uploaded slides for the lectures etc. are on this homepage. You will use it a lot. Here is the link: www.ivle.nus.edu.sg.

 

extracurricular things to do in Singapore:

  • Gardens by the bay (Lightshow)
  • Marina Bay Sands Hotel (Skypark)
  • Mount Faber Park
  • Kent Ridge Trail
  • Sentosa
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Zoo / Night Safari
  • Arab Street
  • Little India
  • China Town
  • Mac Ritchie
  • Cycling on Pulau Ubin
  • Clark Quay / Boat Quay / Robertson Quay
  • Rooftopbar (i.e. Level 33 or 1-Altitude)
  • museums (i.e. Singapore city gallery, Art & Science museum)
  • and much more :)

 

I will ask other ETH-NUS exchangers to read this article and to add more important information I forgot. I hope you can use my tipps and that it will help you.

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Singapore ETH centre & musems

On thursday (13.04.17), I had the Chinese final exam. This exam counts 35% for the final grade. After I didn't do well in the last quiz and also in the oral exam, the final exam should be good. Therefore I am very happy about that. Chinese 1 was much effort to spend but in the end it was a nice experience. Still, I don't think I'm gonna keep on studying Chinese. For me the output is not worth the effort.

On picture 2 & 3 you see my favourite places in Utown. Picture 2 is on my floor. I often go there for a short break. Picture 3 is at the Town Green in the evening, I just love the athmosphere there. And this week two very nice birds visited the campus. I've never seen such a nice bird in freedom (picture 4).

On the day before the Chinese exam, the ETH invited us for an interesting presentation about the Singapore ETH centre. It is the only ETH centre outside of Switzerland, and it is at the National University of Singapore. The main research is about how big cities (>10 mio people) develop and what to consider such as infrastructure, public transport, etc. Afterwards we were invited to a nice aperitif with white wine, cheese and meat.

After the Chinese exam, I went to 2 museums. First to the Singapore city gallery. The entrance is for free and a visit is totally worth it. It is all about how Singapore developed. I was on the way with Thomas from Brazil. The second museum was the Art & Science museum at Marina Bay. It was like a big playground, but much fun! They had a slide, glowing balls to play with and we draw a building with wax crayons. One can scan the drawing and it appears on a big screen or create a 3D-object of it. See picture 24-26.

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Mixed feelings the last days

Many days ago, but I would like to mention and recommend it, we went to a bar called "The Library". It is a hidden bar, like in these days where alcohol was prohibited. This is why you enter first a small room and have to say the password or solve a riddle before you can enter. Via a mirror door you enter than the bar. I loved this bar, it was very nice with good music, special drinks and a cool athmosphere.

 

On monday this week, I already felt unwell but I had to go to the 3rd and last lab practical of the semester (picture no. 4). We have compulsory attendance for the labs. Do you remember from an older post, where I said "I've never been sick since I'm in Singapore"? Well, that is no longer true. After the lab until Thursday I was sick and had fever. That was absolut shit and my worst days here. I think it is very interesting how your needs change then. The only thing you want is to get well soon, nothing else. Fortunately, this is what happened after a few days and on friday I was healthy again. On that friday (07.04.17), we had the last lecture of the semester (picture no. 5). The next will be in the middle of september. That means more than 4 months no lecture!

 

The next day, Mia and I met Rebi and Joel. We study with Rebi at the ETH Zurich. It was really nice to spend some time with them talking about Singapore and also what is going on in Switzerland. Of course in swiss german (very rare but I did have sometimes problems to switch talking in english to the waiter and suddenly in swiss german to Rebi and Joel). We drunk something at Clark Quay, walked a bit through Singapore and we had diner in Little India.

 

Next week are the Chinese exams. And at the end of the next week, two very good friends from Switzerland come visiting Mia and me. I'm looking forward meeting you Mima and Lena :D See you soon!

 

 

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Platform 1094 (Harry Potter Café)

On wednesday, Mia and I went to this Harry Potter Café called Platform 1094. It is a very nice theme café. They serve drinks in "Harry-Potter-Style" and there are some properties all about Hogwarts you can use for pictures or just for fun. My Mr Lich's Flaming Brew was very cool with the fire and when you scatter some cinnamon on it, it begins to sparkle. But it was not really my taste, whatever!

After that we decided spontaneously to go to little india to the Mustafa Center. It is a very big Shopping Center where you litterally can find almost everything! And the most crazy thing about it is the price of the Ovo Crunchy Cream. It is only 1.90 SGD (= 1.40 CHF)! And in Switzerland it costs around 4.50 CHF. How is that possible?

We had a very delicious diner then in the restaurant called Amber. A friend of mine recommended this restaurant, and it was really good.

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Daily life and some negative things

I posted many articles about my trips and how much fun I'm having here in Singapore. And it's true, to do this exchange semester in Singapore was a very good decision and I'm glad that I took all the administrative stuff on me to come here. It is definitely worth it and a large enrichment for myself. I love the weather, I meet nice people, I enjoy trips and also studying is going well so far, except for 1 chinese quiz I really screwed up. In this post I want to give you the impression of a "normal week" and also talk about the negative things.

On picture 3 you see the buffet of the dining hall. I usually have breakfast and diner there, because it is included in my accomodation but the food is not always good. I take the bus to go to the Science faculty. It's only a 5 minutes bus ride. That's the good thing about living on the campus. You save much time because everything is so close such as restaurants or the lecture theatres.

Sometimes we have practicals and of course we do have lectures (pictures 6-11). The lectures are okey, not bad but also not superior. The lab lessons are good. Because Singaporeans are crazy about air condition, it is always very cold inside the rooms in my opinion. This is why I always carry a sweater with me. In Chinese 1 we are obliged to do homework and we do have compulsory attendance.

Sometimes I do some sports, hang around at the pool or go for a walk on the campus. I still like the Town Green (picture 13). This weekend I went to the Lightshow at Gardens by the Bay (picture 20). It is very nice and a thing to do here in Singapore.

I created a map with people I met or with countries I've travelled during my stay here in Singapore. I learn much about the world and the different cultures. But of course not all people I meet here are nice. There are also people I don't want to spend much time with.

I've never been sick since I'm in Singapore but sometimes a headache or sore throat occurs. And also because of the high temperature and humidity, my facial skin is not as clean as usual.

And there are a few small, negative things. My room is very small and just functional, the washing machine didn't work last time, I lost my cap or my computer had some problems. But these are really small problems and most of them are solvable. For example I moved the furniture in my room, I'll never use again washing machine no. 2, I lost my cap but that's still much better than losing the phone or wallet and after a restart my computer runned again.

I have now 3 weeks left until the end of the semester. After that we have the reading week and the examination week. Time runs fast. If you have red till here, I wish you a good day!

PS: One more good thing is the improvement of my english :D

 

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Singapore Zoo

Entrance to the zoo is with discount 26SGD. But the Singapore Zoo has plenty things to offer. It is a huge zoo with many many different animals. It took us 3 hours to go around, and we didn't dawdle (waste time). And most of the animals aren't in a cage. There are often natural obstacles which keep them in place. That gives a nice view for the visitors. On picture 2, you can see a big lizard just walking around on the path. I went to the zoo with Misaki from Japan and Olli from Finland.

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Interview a Native Chinese speaker

A project in Chinese 1. Have fun watching it!

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long weekend in Langkawi (Malaysia)

4 german speaking students (Leo from Germany, Cathy from Luxembourg and Mia and I from Switzerland) spent a long weekend in Langkawi. We stayed 3 nights, from friday until monday. On friday, we enjoyed the sunset at the beach (picture no. 4). The sand there is incredibly fine! The next day we hired a car and went by cable car to the top of a mountain. There, one has a nice view above the island. After that we checked out an other beautiful beach.

On day 3, sunday, we did the Island Hopping Tour. First stop was the lake of the pregnant woman. A bit disappointing, because we had to pay entrance and it was nothing special. After that we watched the eagle feeding. I've never seen so many eagles before and so close. I enjoyed it. Last stop of the Island Hopping Tour was the Pulau Beras Basah Beach. A very large, nice beach and there were only a few people. In the evening we had some drinks at "The cliff". The athmosphere was just amazing (pictures 23 - 26).

Last day we rented a car again to go to another beach. We drove Jetski and chilled at the beach. These were the most beautiful beaches I've ever been and it wasn't touristic at all.

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Arab Street

The first weekend after the recess week, I went to Arab Street with Jay, Srivaths and Mia. We had delicious diner and Mia and I celebrated our reunion with a pint of tiger beer. Arab Street is very nice because there are many restaurants, cafes and bars with good live music. It's a small "hipster place", but really cool.

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Recess Week Indiana Jones

In the middle of the semester at the NUS is the so-called Recess Week (=vorlesungsfreie Woche). The majority of the locals use this week to study and review the first half of the semester. But for the most exchange students means this week that it is time to travel. And South East Asia offers many beautiful destinations. I saw in the facebook group of the exchange students, that a few people are going to Indonesia during this week. I asked Haraman if we wanna join them and so we did. I didn't know these people but as it turned out it was a very good decision to join them.

I wanna quickly introduce our group. We were 8 students from 8 different countries spread over 4 different continents (England, Italy, Finland, Germany, India, USA, Brazil and Switzerland). We study 7 individual subjects (2x Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, International Relationships, Physics, Business, Industrial Engineering & Management and Health Sciences & Technology). On the first picture from the left to right, there are: Rickey, Riccardo, Arushi, Thomas, Haraman, Olli and I. Patrick reached us later in Bali.

 

Java:

Our trip started on the island Java in Indonesia. It took some time to fix our plan when we arrived, however finally it began. We had a minibus with personal driver for the next 3 days. Matter of expense per person was around 600'000 IDR (Indonesian rupiah). Very funny currency! Converted to Singapore Dollars, it is 60 SGD (=43 CHF). That is a lot of money for Indonesia proportions.

 

Ijen:

The first 3 days were packed with adventure! We drove approximately 9 hours on bumpy streets to the foot of Ijen. There we had a short time (2 hours) to rest and sleep in the minibus before hiking up to Ijen. We organised a guide and gas masks. After a long discussion with our driver and the guide about the price for the guide, we paid 250'000 IDR for the entire group. First, they wanted to charge us 150'000 IDR per person, what is way too much. It is very common in Indonesia to cheat tourists, so be careful if you'll ever go there. And honestly, in the end, the guide wasn't really necessary. But he took pictures and helped a bit during the hike.

After 2 hours of steep hiking up and down during the night, we finally arrived to the natural blue fire. There exist only 2 in the world! We gazed with our gas masks on the natural phenomenon. It was definitely impressive and the most unique spectacle I've ever seen. In the end, it was the entire adventure which was worthwhile and not only the blue fire. Afterwards, we stayed on the top of the crater to see the sunrise and then hiked all the way back down. The text now arrived at picture #25, the group picture with the sign.

 

Mount Bromo:

After the "Ijen-Adventure" we entered the bus and striked off to Cemoro Lawang. It was long overdue to sleep and so we did in the minibus. Cemoro Lawang is a very tiny village next to the volcano Mount Bromo. I liked this place! We spent our time with taking a shower, relaxing, eating and playing cards. Especially playing cards was very funny. And I teached Riccardo and Haraman some classic Ballermann german songs. Haha! After a few hours of sleeping, we got up at 3 a.m. and started the next hike to viewpoint #2. I can recommend viewpoint #2 because of no entry for cars there are a lot less tourists than at viewpoint #1. It tooks us around 1 hour to go there. We enjoyed the sunrise again, but this time with a lovely view over Mount Bromo and Batok. Later on we went with the red Jeep closer to the crater of the active volcano. The last part though, we had to walk. Only 30 minutes + 250 stairs at the top and finally we had the view from picture #49. I've never been to a volcano before and found it very nice.

Because we have been there very early in the morning, it wasn't crowded at all and we could look and listen calmly to the volcano. Back in Cemoro Lawang we had breakfast at a very lovely place (picture #54).

 

It was time to say goodbye to java and we saddled for going to the airport. Because not all of us booked the same flight, we had some exta time at the airport. I like airports. Why? I link to be at the airport with having no stress, just do something chill such as playing cards, reading, having some food or whatever and after that, you take off to another place (usually having holidays :) ). And it feels so international and timeless at the airport. Every passenger has his own circadian rhythm.

We played cards and 2 hours before departure, we realised that we are at the wrong terminal and my words with "having no stress at the airport" were gone. But of course All went well and we embarked the airplane. Next stop: Bali!

 

Bali:

I didn't take many pictures in Bali. But as much more I enjoyed these days in Canggu and Kuta. Our Hostel in Canggu was very beautiful! We stayed in a nice small wooden house with 8 beds and the hostel had a small pool. Bali is more touristic than Java, that means higher prices but also higher standard for example regarding to bathroom installations or food.

We spent our days mostly at the beach. I guess all of us were glad to rest after the exhausting days on java. First day at Canggu Beach. I tried to surf for the first time. It was very cool! In the night we went to this place with the skatepark. It seemed like there were many australian people. Afterwards we had a good night drink at the beach. Second day was similar, but this time we went to Kuta Beach. In the afternoon we decided to go to the Uluwatu temple in the south of Bali. Therefor we ordered 2 Ubers to go there. Sadly our Uber drove very reluctant and we arrived too late for visiting the temple. Very disappointing! In return, the taxi drive back to the hostel was much fun and we all were in a good mood for the last evening in Bali.

After diner, we visited a bar next to the beach for dancing, chilling and drinking a beer. It was a nice completion for our trip.

 

The next day is where we part company. 6 went to the Komodo Islands, Haraman to the Gili Islands and I back to Singapore, because I had to do a lab report till monday. I am very happy that I've been part of this international group for this amazing trip. It exceeded all my expectations :). It was one of the most interesting and amusing weeks in my life.

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quality time with my parents

My parents visited me last week. It was lovely to spend some quality time with them. I booked my return flight from Phuket exactly so, that I arrived half an hour before my parents landed in Singapore. I was very excited while I was waiting for them at the airport. Beside my obligations as a student  (for example the lab lecture), I spent all my freetime with my parents. During the week we went to Clark Quay, Little India, Gardens by the Bay, Skypark (top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel), Boat Quay and by cable car to Sentosa. And of course I showed them the NUS campus and how I live here. Thank you very much!

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45 hours in Phuket (Thailand)

My first trip out of Singapore was to Phuket. Phuket is the biggest island of Thailand. My first impression was, that there are no rules on the street. My hotel was super nice and so are the people there. I arranged to meet Sabi, a good friend from high school. She has been there for holidays. We spent the evening with her parents and drove with the scooters to a market and later on to a restaurant for diner and after that to Patong beach for a drink. We had diner in Linda's seafood. I use that moment to say hello to my friend Linda, how are you doing? :D The walking street in Patong is the party place #1. It is very crowded and the tales about trannys and ping pong shows are true. We didn't spend much time there and went to a bar near the beach (picture no. 15).

At the next day I had a traditional thai massage in the morning. It does take time getting used to it. In the afternoon we took again the scooter and drove to Surin beach. I steered the scooter and was a bit scared because of much traffic and driving on the opposite side. But everything went well and it was also fun. When you wait on the red light, there are in minimum 20 others scooters and when it turns to green it feels like a mass start in Mario Kart. The weather this day was not very good according to the pictures. On the last pictures you see some things that attracted attention to me. For example the electricity system is very underdeveloped. Sometimes you walk only 1 meter under the wires and you can hear the current flow. The fruits are super amazing and cheap and the beaches are very beautiful.

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rooftopbar and intercollege games

I went to the rooftop bar Level 33 with my flatmates Simone and Jay. The entrance is free and you can enjoy an absolutely amazing view over the skyline of Singapore. The bar brews their own beer, it was expensive, but very good! Alcohol has some high taxes in Singapore, that's why it is so expensive. A fortiori we enjoyed this good, local beer on the top of a skyscraper.

I played football for my college for the Inter College Games. A college is where the students live, so my college is Cinnamon USP. We won 2 out of 5 games. And I own now an ICG jersey from 2017. Awesome!

We have around 30 °C everyday and a very high humidity (average 80%). But it is also often cloudy and rainy. Nevertheless enough sun for a little tan.

The pictures with the NUS mascot are taken on the TOWN PLAZA on the campus in U-Town. On the TOWN PLAZA is everyday something going on. Music, stalls, competitions etc.

I miss it a bit to cook by myself here. But on tuesday we cooked some pasta with tomato sauce and zucchini. And Mia and I had a incredibly delicious frozen yoghurt at the MRT Station Kent Ridge. 3 fruits, 2 crunchy topings, frozen yoghurt and on the top 1 sauce. Woow! :D

The second last picture is on the campus. I was on my way to a supermarket. Thanks again for the t-shirt my friends :)

I have a short Chinese quiz tomorrow about lesson 1 and 2 and on friday the hormones midterm exam. After that I'll go to Phuket (Thailand) for the weekend and when I come back on sunday, I'll meet my parents in Singapore. I'm very happy to see you soon!

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study is going well, clarke quay and Mac Ritchie

Okey :), What happened the last days. I went to Clark Quay for diner. We had some mexican food, it was incredibly delicious! Clark Quay is very touristic, but also very nice. There are many restaurants serving different kind of food from all over the world. It is more expensive, but as you might know, I love having good food, so the fajitas were the money worth it.

And I went hiking through the Mac Ritchie park. Check the pictures to see, how it looks like :) Many monkeys live there and if your bag is not closed, they steal your food. Maha lost an orange on this way.

And studying is going well so far. I'm gonna have two midterm exams this week. A short quiz in Chinese 1 and an exam about hormones and health, which counts 20% for the final grade.

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already 3 weeks

The lectures are good so far. My attendance for the first 3 weeks is 100%. Really! It is quite similar to Switzerland except that laboratories and tutorials are lectured by the professors and not by assistents. That makes you feel closer to the professor and gives a good feedback to the prof what the niveau of the students is.

On the second picture you can see a GIF of me. They are looking for some models, I have no idea what it is about - haha.

I went with Mia to the Orchard Road (Shopping Street in Singapore) to buy a book. And we rided the lift to the 57 storey of the Ion Sky. For free entry, it's a very nice view above singapore. Another day we had diner in Chinatown. I tried a piece of frog meat. Except that there are big bones in it, the meat tastes good, a bit like chicken.

On thursday evening, I played some floorball. It wasn't as I expected, but ok! It was from 8 - midnight and you can come and leave whenever you want. That makes it a bit strange. After 2 hours doing different drills, I decided to leave the sports hall. Unfortunately we haven't played a "real match" until 10 p.m. I've also signed up for volleyball and football (soccer for the americans), where I can go when I want.

Yesterday, we celebrated chinese new year. So I was in Chinatown again. It was very cool with the people, but the celebration was a 2 minutes long firework and that's it. Do you see the guy in the white shirt with flowers? That's Haraman and we'll go travelling to Mount Bromo and Bali during the recess week. I'm looking forward to it.

Anyway, I had a good week and want to make this blog a bit more interactive. Therefore, I'll send a postcard to the first 10 people, who write a comment to this blog article :D

Have a good day!

 

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Singapore is more Swiss than I thought

The time difference between Switzerland and Singapore is 7 hours! A direct flight takes about 11 hours. But it doesn't matter where you are, there is still a bit Switzerland :)

You can buy Toblerone chocolate everywhere. But even better, I found Lindt chocolate. The best chocolate in the world by a mile! And also Kägi Fret, one of my favorites to snack on.

The ETH and EPFL are well known by the NUS. And Switzerland is famous for the Emmi Yogurt, Ricola and good bread. I also found Ovo Crunchy Cream, which I like for breakfast.

In Orchard Road, the shopping mile in Singapore, there were some watch shops, for example Patek Philippe or Swatch. And the sanitary installations in Cinnamon College, where i live here, are from JohnsonSuisse. I've never heard of them, but looks like the company has a connection to Switzerland.

 

I hope that wasn't to much advertising and want to make sure, that I don't earn money to name these companies in my blog. I just think it is interesting that Swiss clichés are real.

 

Greeting to Switzerland! :D

 

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Weekend

Friday: gelato at sapore italiano

Saturday: Sentosa Island with Jay from North Carolina and Srivaths from Sidney

Sunday: watching tennis and chilling at the pool

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tourist day

We had no lessons on wednesday and went to the botanic gardens and to marina bay. Because it rained 2 hours we only had a picnic under the roof and didn't explore the botanic gardens extensively. By MRT we went to the station promenade and from that point on we walked to marina bay. Finally we've been in the city! The hotel, the city with all the skyscrapers and the gardens by the bay are very impressive. Because of tired legs and enough tourist stuff for one day we finished the trip without hiking through the super trees. We'll do it another time.

Next day after Chinese 1 lessons, we went to IKEA for shopping and lunch. It felt a bit like home, cause IKEA looks everywhere the same. I bought some dishes, pillows, a lamp, a bath towel and some small things.

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little india

On tuesday (17.01.2017) we (some ETH students at the NUS) went to little India. In Singapore it's best to take the MRT. It is mostly a subway, only short distances are not. We had traditional indian food for diner, it was very tasty! I think little India is a good place to experience the indian culture and lifestyle but not as busy and traditional as the real India.

 

PS: salute to my old friend Gianky alias Old Chang Kee

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before and after my last distance examination

tutorial in the lab
tutorial in the lab
snake on the campus
snake on the campus
happy students after the exam
happy students after the exam

On monday 4 p.m. I had my second and last distance examination. Before the exam, we had a tutorial lesson in a huge lab (have a look on the left picture). The topic was about diseases and the approach how to treat them. Inclusive the economic aspect. All the Singaporeans were very shy during the tutorial. But Mia and I weren't and reported voluntarily to the questions (What nerds!). If you have ever teached a group, you know how annoying it is, if nobody reports. Furthermore the questions weren't as difficult as at the ETH.

 

After the tutorial we chilled outside to calm down before the exam. I did but right from the word on we saw the snake, Mia wasn't really relaxed. But she managed the situation well!

 

On the 3rd picture you see Mia, Judith and me. Judith studies at the NTU (Nanyang Technological University) and took the same distance exam. Therefore we met her and went to Sapore Italiano for diner and a pint of beer. It was very relaxed :)

PS: here you can go to Judiths blog.

 

This was my last distance examination. Mia has one and Judith two left. I feel much less stressed since the exams are over and wish everybody, who has still upcoming exams, GOOD LUCK!

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food in Singapore

This article is all about food in Singapore (more pictures will be updated from time to time). To eat is one of the cheapest things here. For example the Chinese noodles with dumplings costs in the canteen 2 SGD (=1.50 CHF). And it's hard to find a meal without meat. There is meat everywhere ^^. Fortunately I'm not a vegetarian.

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first week of the semester

The first week of the semester already started. Here are a few impressions. The campus is amazing, everything is very clean and nice.

 

It was tedious to make the timetable. But finally here it is. I'm doing 4 courses. Chinese 1, Neuronal Development and Diseases, Hormones and Health and Molecular Basis of Human Diseases. Chinese 1 is going to be tough, I hope I can do it. I tried to add a 5th course, but I didn't get into it. Maybe it's destiny, so I have more time for extracurricular activities.

 

Have a nice day!

 

 

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first distance examination

Mia and I before the distance examination
Mia and I before the distance examination

On monday, Mia and I wrote our first distance examination. It was very well organized of the NUS. We took our exam in a room with a large table and a supervisor, so there was no chance to cheat.

To be honest, to have exams during your first days of an exchange semester sucks! There are so many things I'd prefere to do but a quiet voice in my head permanently whispers: "You know, you should be studying?"

Anyway, I'm looking forward to next monday, where I'm gonna take my second and last distance exam.

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how do I live?

I live in a 6 bedroom apartment with 5 other guys. There are Simone from italy, Jay from the USA, Luke from the Netherlands and the so-called locals Viktor and Jonathan (from Singapore).

 

The apartment and rooms are functional, but that's it. So I tried to decorate it with a swiss flag that it feels a bit cozier. My room has a bed, a wardrobe, a table, a corpus, a bookshelf and a fan. I'm lucky that the internet works and the shower has sufficient pressure and warm water as well. The mattress is very hard and plastic-covered. Therefore I bought a mattress pad from another student who used it last semester --> much better :D.

 

You might wonder how?

There exists a facebook group with all the exchange students at the NUS and everybody can ask questions, sell things, organize trips or anything. It's very helpful!

 

The view on my pictures seems to be gorgeous, but actually when I sit at the table, I only see the front of the building next to me.

 

To make a long story short, I'm happy with my place and my housemates.

 

greeting to my friends and family :)

 

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outbound flight

At the airport in Zurich
At the airport in Zurich
Mia and I on our flight to Hong Kong
Mia and I on our flight to Hong Kong

The airplane arrived as schedulded at 22.40 in Singapore. Our travel took about 11h to Hongkong with 2h stopover there and 4h from Hong Kong to Singapore. Mia and I are jet-lagged, but fine.

 

If somebody will ever have the choice between Singapore airlines and Swiss, choose Singapore airlines. The seats are more comfortable, the food was delicious, the crew very friendly and the service very good.

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letzte Tage in der Schweiz

Dorffreunde an Silvester
Dorffreunde an Silvester
Studiumsfreunde beim letzten Abendmal (für 4.5 Monate)
Studiumsfreunde beim letzten Abendmal (für 4.5 Monate)

Ich feierte Silvester mit meinen Freunden vom Dorf. Es gab leider keine Schneebar wie vor zwei Jahren. Dafür Tischpizza gefolgt von einem grandiosen Abend :D

Am 3.Januar verabschiedeten Mia (Sie auf dem rechten Bild, am Tisch links von mir) und ich uns noch von unseren Studiumsfreunden. Dafür gings am Tag in den Zoo auf die Suche des Satays und am Abend gabs Fajitas und anschliessend das Spiel Tabu.

Heute war ich noch mit meiner Familie auswärts Mittag essen und sage am Abend meinen Dorffreunden noch Auf Wiedersehen.

Ready for take off

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Fernprüfungen

Der Antrag für zwei Fernprüfungen wurde bewilligt. Das Semester in Singapur beginnt viel früher als in der Schweiz. Deshalb werde ich zwei Prüfungen des Herbstsemesters in Singapur anstatt in Zürich schreiben. Das ganze geschieht zeitgleich (wegen der Zeitverschiebung um 16.00 und nicht um 09.00) mit der Prüfung an der ETH.

1.Prüfung: 09.01.2017 16.00 - 17.30 (GMT+8) Development of the Nervous System

2.Prüfung: 16.01.2017 16.00 - 17.30 (GMT+8) Structure, Plasticity and Repair of the Nervous System

 

Ich habe mich für diese beiden Prüfungen entschieden, weil sie in der Prüfungsphase im Sommer nicht angeboten werden. Weitere Prüfungen habe ich mich abgemeldet und kann sie im August ablegen. Da ich bereits Mitte Mai zurückkomme besteht genügend Zeit, mich dafür vorzubereiten.

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Housing

Cinnamon College (USP)
Cinnamon College (USP)

Das Austauschsemester rückt immer näher. Schon viel Administratives musste ich rechtzeitig erledigen. Dabei konnten Mia und ich uns jedoch gegenseitig helfen.

 

Mia studiert mit mir an der ETH Zürich und absolviert ebenfalls ihr 6.Semester an der NUS (National University of Singapore).

 

Mein Zimmer habe ich im Cinnamon College (siehe Bild) in einen 6-Bett-Apartment. Es ist nur 7.8 m^2 gross und kostet für 4 Monate 3'119 Singapore dollars. Das entspricht 2'220 Schweizer Franken (1 SGD = 0.712 CHF). Mit CHF 555 pro Monat lebe ich somit etwas günstiger als in Zürich. Das Frühstück und Nachtessen ist inbegriffen.

 

Das Cinnamon College liegt in University Town in der Nähe vom Town Green.

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Flüge

Die Flüge sind gebucht.

ZRH - HKG - SIN: Abflug: Donnerstag, 05.01.2017 um 22.40 (Flugnummer LX0138 und SQ0865)

SIN - ZRH: Ankunft: Mittwoch, 17.05.2017 um 06.10 (Flugnummer LX0179)

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