As someone who had recently entered the beginning of adulthood as a 20 year old, I’d thought it would be a great time to gain the independence that I so desperately want. And what better way to do that than to study abroad in a country that I’ve only been to once? It’s also a brand new year, so that was another great excuse for me to escape the city of Philadelphia to immerse myself in new cultures filled with new adventures.
Singapore was a choice I’d thought I’d never make since it never crossed my mind to study abroad there. As a young freshmen all I wanted to do was travel to Europe for my study abroad even though I’ve been there a number of times before. Going into my sophomore year, I felt stuck. I hated the idea of a daily routine in the same classes filled with the same peers. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my university and all that comes with it. My sorority, my business building, and the city of Philadelphia certainly have a special place in my heart. But I’m the type of individual that gets bored easily and constantly needs to be on the move. Most people study abroad their third or fourth year but I decided that was too far away and I wanted to leave as soon as I possible could. During the end of the summer of 2016 I applied to Singapore in an attempt to be spontaneous. I had applied to other places as well such as Italy and Ireland but Singapore was the one I ultimately chose. I was unfamiliar with Singapore and their culture but I remember being there once to visit some family friends when I was around the age of 12. Anyways, after the numerous hours spent on paperwork and emailing my study abroad advisor back and fourth, it was finally official that I will be studying abroad my winter quarter which starts in January. I was thrilled! It almost didn’t seem real at all but it didn’t hit me until later on that I would be spending approximately five months alone in Singapore at a well-respected university filled with talented individuals who would also be on the exchange program.
Fast forward to today and I’ve been in Singapore for about 19 days. These past few weeks have flown by so quickly but I’ve gone through it all. I’ve been homesick, I’ve met incredible people, and I’ve done things I would have never done on my own in Philadelphia. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and tried foods without judging them based off the way they look. I participated in a cooking competition where I lost miserably. I’ve danced until 3 in the morning and admired the talented friends I’ve made who have come from Sweden, Canada, and Finland. Singapore is filled with the most incredible little cafes and streets that you simply have to get lost to find. I’ve summarized the time I’ve had so far in the photos below and I think it’ll be great to refer back to this post once my study abroad experience is finished.