A Day in the Life: Yale-NUS Student

– My name is Jane, I
am a fourth year senior at Yale NUS College, and
I’m an anthropology major. I’m actually not
originally from Singapore. I’m was born and raised in Wisconsin, which is in the United States. And I actually kind of
chanced upon Yale NUS. I actually originally applied to Yale through the common app
and on the last question it asks you to check a box if you want to forward your application to Yale NUS. At the time I had actually never heard of the school at all. So I did a quick Google search,
read the Wikipedia page, and said this sounds interesting, but I probably won’t go there ’cause it’s halfway around the world. And then actually I did an interview, I wrote a supplement, and then I got in! And it was really exciting ’cause it was one of the first schools
that I heard back from. But at the time I was still thinking, I’m probably not going
to want to go there. It’s so far away, I didn’t
really consider it as an option. And then in April of my senior year, Yale NUS flew all accepted students out to see the campus and see Singapore and kind of experience
what life felt like. And I just remember it feeling super right and being so confused ’cause I was like, there’s no way I can go there. There’s no way I’m going
to move to Singapore, but at the same time it felt so right. And it felt like the place I needed to be. So I made the decision to come here. It was because of the people that I met. It was such a diverse
range of experiences. I think not only in the superficial way, which is like different nationalities, different ethnicities,
but also just different education systems,
different life experiences. Lots of people have taken gap years. There are a lot of people who have done two years of army before coming in. So we’re all coming from different places and bringing those perspectives in. At the time I thought
that was really cool, and I think seeing it play out over these past three years has
been even more impactful. It’s even deeper than I
originally thought it would be. Seeing it both in the classroom, realizing how American my perspective was, even as somebody who was
born and raised in America but to Chinese immigrant parents, I didn’t really think I was that American, but realizing how my perspective was shaped by where I grew up. And then seeing so many
different perspectives from other people have been really cool. This is Koi; it’s a really
good bubble tea place that every time I walk by it, I feel a pull to go buy it. I think I might get it a bit too much, but it’s really nice and refreshing. There’s like pearls
inside, I guess 70% sugar, which is probably too
much for my own health, but it’s fine. And it’s just a nice
treat after a long day. – Durian, are known as the king of fruits. They are different sizes. They are sweet, sour, bigger,
and different textures. Some are more slimy, some less slimy. But generally foreigners
don’t like the smell and the taste of it, and it
takes some getting used to. So locals enjoy it, but it will be a time before you get used to it. You should try some. Do you like it? – I actually like the smell
a lot more than the taste. I don’t like texture; it’s really weird. I think the smell is somewhat
weird, but in a good way. So right now we’re at
Clementi Food Center. It’s a hawker center
which is about 10 minutes away from Yale NUS, so it’s really easy to get here by bus, or
you can even walk here in like 15 to 20 minutes. But there’s direct buses
that come to this mall. And behind the mall
there’s this hawker center and they sell all kinds
of food, local food, and it’s really cheap. So here we have laksa,
this was three dollars. We have arogya and this
was also three dollars. And then we have chicken rice,
and this was four dollars but actually it’d be cheaper but I got two different kinds of meat. I think arogya is a good example of how Singapore is kind of
an amalgamation of cultures. So it’s like kind of Malaysian. – Malay – Indian – Yeah, Malay – Indian food
but also mixed with oyotal, which is very common in Chinese desserts. We have a set of practice
rooms so people can actually, like this one has a keyboard in it, acapella groups will
practice in here sometimes. There’s another room over there
which is the jamming room. I think that one has an
amp, a guitar, a drum set. So we have different areas that students can actually use to come practice either on their own or with groups. So this is our performance hall. I think it seats about
300, so it’s actually not a super big space but it is the largest gathering space we have on our campus. So our freshman lectures all happen here, and after freshman year
usually you don’t have any classes that are the
lecture theater style. We also have performances,
drama performances, musicals, acapella shows,
presidential speaker series. So we had the president of
Iceland speak here before. So just a lot of these kind of big, all-school events happen here. This is the Saga buttery,
also known as the shiok shack. So what butteries are, is
that we have three on campus, one for each residential college, and they are kind of
late night hubs for food, so they’ll be student
chefs who are cooking stuff to sell off a menu. And this is also a place
where people study, both at night and during the day. So right now some people
are studying inside. This one also has a TV and an Xbox in it, as well as a pool table. So actually I spend a lot
of my time in the buttery. I’ve been working as a chef in the buttery ever since first semester
of freshman year. So the buttery is really something that I’ve kept up with and
that I really enjoy doing. It’s a really great way to meet a lot of different kinds of students that I wouldn’t necessarily
meet on a normal basis. And I also really like pool. Pool is something that
I’ve gotten very into. It’s something that I enjoy coming down and just playing and
meeting people basically. So in Yale NUS all of our rooms are either in sextets or quartets inside of a suite. So what the suite has is, like
the rooms are all arranged. So in Saga, which is the
residential college I live in, they’re all arranged down a hallway. In Cendana, which is
another residential college, they’re arranged around a suite area. And that’s Germaine, Germaine come here. This is Germaine.
– What’s up? – She’s rushing out, but
so yeah this has five, four other people right now ’cause we have one empty room, and
then we live in a suite, and then we have a suite common
area, like a living room, and then a shared bathroom. So Yale NUS, the campus
is actually situated right along side the NUS campus. So we’re actually located in this place called University Town,
which is U Town for short. And there’s a bunch of
other residential colleges that are NUS residential colleges where people live for
maybe one or two years, but they don’t necessarily
study all together. So it’s really nice that we’re situated right next to the NUS main campus because one, we have the
option to take classes at NUS and NUS students
also have the option to take classes at Yale NUS. There’s a lot of two
way relationship there. It’s also possible to join their clubs. They’ve got acapella. I know people who have joined
their dance groups before, sports teams, because they’ve
got varsity sports teams whereas we don’t necessarily
have varsity sports teams. And also just sharing
facilities, so right now we’re actually next to Starbucks and also this very nice green
pasture called U Town Green. And we’ve had frisbee
practices here before. People like to just sit
here and have picnics. And then also the food
courts that are around here are nice places to go
if you want to get out of the dining halls but you don’t necessarily want to go out. (mellow pop music) Today we’re here at IFGs,
the inter-faculty games, which is when the different faculties of NUS complete against each other and Yale NUS also participates in that. So this happens once a
semester, in the Fall. And then in the Spring
it’s inter college games, which is against other
residential colleges. So this is badminton and today I’m playing floor ball and net ball. And usually every year it’s really fun because it’s not a super
high level competition. It’s not like varsity sports
which are really intense. But it’s a good opportunity for people who are interested in
trying out different sports to get an opportunity to
actually play competitively and also build like
really good relationship between the teams. So come to Yale NUS. I think it’s one of the best groups of people I have ever met. I think that it’s really a community of so many different diverse perspectives and backgrounds and
everyone here just really wants to learn and grow as people. It’s not just about academics;
it’s not just about partying. I think it’s a very good balance of having fun and also working hard, and supporting each other a lot. It’s a very supportive community. You really get to know
the people around you, what motivates them, why
they are the way they are. And it’s just a really
great school to be at. So definitely apply to
Yale NUS and come here!