Semester Abroad Programme with CIPE at Yale-NUSCIPE is partnered with universities all over the world, which DDP students may apply to for a Semester Study Abroad. Check out the list of options that CIPE has available.
Student Exchange Programme (SEP) with NUS LawNUS Law has partnered with numerous law schools across the world, presenting exciting opportunities for DDP students to study in a foreign jurisdiction and understand how different legal systems work. More details on the SEP offered by NUS Law can be found here.
Joel Tan (Class of 2021) shares his Study Abroad Experience at the National Taiwan University (NTU) during Semester 2 of Academic Year 2016/2017.
In Semester 2 of Academic Year 2016/2017, I attended the nine-week International Chinese Language Programme (ICLP) at National Taiwan University (NTU), thanks to the support of Centre for International & Professional Experience (CIPE) and the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation. I am not exaggerating when I describe my time in Taipei as a life-changing experience, and possibly the greatest takeaway of my time at college. How I ended up attending ICLP was because I was sick and tired of being made fun of for my terrible grasp of the Chinese language—I struggled to communicate even with the most basic phrases for ordering food from stall vendors. I also thought it was embarrassing that so many international students in Yale-NUS were not ethnically Chinese yet could speak the language more fluently than I could. I imagined that it would be nice to master the language by attending the nine-week summer programme in Taiwan plus enjoy my summer abroad in another city.
Of course, I soon realised that no one could master a language within nine weeks. But the programme truly opened my eyes to the beauty of the language and how enjoyable it was to learn it in that environment. The programme was rigorous and by no means easy, but the teachers were fantastic and there was a palpable sense of progress and achievement after each day. It is truly a tremendous feeling to grow increasingly confident in a language, and to be able access a whole new world (and communicate with so many people!) having been equipped with the language skills to do so. Taipei was also an amazing city to live in, and it was such a joy to explore the city slowly and intimately with close friends made during the programme, whom I continue to stay in touch with even three years later. Even after the programme ended, the learning did not stop there—I continued to take courses in Yale-NUS relating to Chinese Studies, including Chinese language courses, Classical Chinese, Chinese Prose and The First Opium War. In the following summer, I even went to Renmin University in Beijing to take a course on Chinese Law! ICLP really kick-started this personal journey where I began to explore Chinese language, history and culture seriously. Even though I am still far from the fluency level I aspire towards, I am pretty proud of how far I have improved from the time I matriculated till today. This is all thanks to the support of Yale-NUS, the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation, and the DDP for the opportunities and exposure to explore Chinese studies throughout my time in college, which began in 2017 with the ICLP.
I ventured to UC Berkeley over the summer to take classes on film theory using the CIPE Summer Academic Scholarship. The classes I chose were History and Theory of Ethnographic Film and Film and Media Studies. Film studies is something I’ve always loved and needless to say, is hardly related to the law. I still think there’s a lot of value in furthering my knowledge in the area although this may not fit as neatly into a career narrative, unlike an interest in international relations or economics.
Therefore, summer school presents a unique opportunity because unlike most of the Yale-NUS and law electives, you can pick summer school study as you please and choose institutions which offer more niche areas of study. Moreover, I believe the opportunity to experience learning environments (outside of Yale-NUS and NUS) should be taken at least once in anyone’s DDP career. Thus, I spent six weeks watching and discussing films with an incredibly diverse group of people; namely, a 70+ year old, Chinese internationals, fellow Southeast Asians, high schoolers, graduate students, and all types of Californians. It was really, really fun to explore subjects I am interested in with people I am otherwise unlikely to encounter in Singapore.
For my Semester Abroad, I headed to Yale for a full course load of Classics classes as I had been working towards a minor in Global Antiquity back in Yale-NUS. I chose Yale because it had a strong Classics department and also because, after my time in NUS Law and Yale-NUS and their intimate learning experiences, I was really curious about life in a large university. My time in Yale was particularly fascinating because it gave me insight into the inner workings of a university Classics department, and allowed me to cultivate relationships not only with the PhD student teaching assistants who were running the seminars; but also have riveting conversations with professors about their research outside of the classes they were leading.
Yale’s Classics department, which is located in the beautiful 19th century building at Phelps Gate on Old Campus, also had a very collegiate environment, which felt very welcoming. I attended several department-wide events over the semester, such as a series of guest lectures in celebration of the department’s Philology Day. A personal highlight from my semester abroad was definitely attending the talk given by Professor Emily Wilson, who has recently published her ground-breaking translation of The Odyssey, and who is someone I am still thrilled to have met in person.
I studied abroad at Pomona College in Spring 2019. I took liberal arts courses spanning law and literature, Japanese media, and East Asian religions. I also got to learn about my capstone interest (law and literature) while getting a lovely dose of the small liberal arts college experience. In my free time, I hiked, went on camping trips around Southern California, and took a tennis class.
(Photo Credits: Jeremy Snyder)