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53 Questions with Pat, Singapore (Yale-NUS)

Gloria Ho

Meet Pat. A current student at Yale-NUS, who is in her 4th year of Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies program. Prior to entering Yale-NUS, she graduated from Hwa Chong Junior College. And she is a local student from Singapore. 


- Specifics – 

1. What school do you study in? Yale-NUS.


2. Do you/others have a nickname for the school? We just call it Yale in short. 

3. Why did you choose this school? I wanted to have a liberal arts education and stay in Singapore at the same time so this was the only option.


- Scene - (Questions that give hints of the school culture) 

4. What is a scene that you often see in the school? In the day you see people studying, and at night we are mostly having fun. At the start and end of the semesters, we even have school-sanctioned parties. 

5. What is one thing that you wish you knew before enrollment? That the grading system here can be quite harsh. 

6. Your school is great, but if you could change one thing, what would it be? Reduce conflict between people as people here are all very opinionated. You will often see Facebook wars happening internally. 

7.  And if there’s one thing you’d never change? The community here. Administration is so much more transparent as compared to other schools, and because we’re so small, you will kind of know everyone. We’re like a close knitted family not just between students but with staff and professors as well.

8. The unofficial uniform of your school is? None. Dressing is very diverse here. We don’t pass judgement here and students can wear anything they want. I’ve seen guys wear dresses. 

9. When you meet a new friend for the first time and you have to describe your school with one word, what would it be?Loud.

10. What is one place in the school that you are proud of? Buttery. In the day, it’s an air-conditioned place with games e.g. PS4/consoles. At night it becomes a student run supper place. 

11. If you could swap programs for a day, what would it be? Mathematical, Computational and Statistical Sciences (MCS)

12. What is a common myth of your school? That we are all liberal. 

13. If you ever had to stay in school past 9pm, what would it be because? We stay on campus. 

14. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever seen in the school? This school is so strange and unique that nothing fazes me anymore. 

15. What is your one guilty pleasure you indulge in in school? Alcohol. 

16. If you were given $5 million dollars to revamp the school, what would you do with it? I would build more accessible and sheltered walkways and provide more shortcuts around school and to and fro NUS.

17. In between classes, where can we find you? In my suite.


- Tips -  (Info for future students) 

18. What is the best place to be as one with your laptop and lecture recordings? For air-conditioning, it’s the library. You will have to pay for air-conditioning in your own room.

19. In the occasion that the school has to downsize till only ONE food place remains, what will it be? Dining hall for its wider variety of food. 

20. For free electricity in the school, where would you go to? Back to my suite.


- Programs & Electives - 

21. What program are you in? Urban Studies.

22. Is this related to your dream job? No, as I don’t have a dream job. I chose to study Urban Studies as this faculty is one of the best in Yale-NUS. And I personally like geography. 

23. Do you know the actual value of your degree? $18K for tuition fees and about $8K for boarding so about $26K per year. And this number goes up every year. 

24. Do you think a degree in your course is cost efficient in terms of the quality of education you are receiving versus what you are paying? Yes, I think it’s worth it although it’s double the price of NUS’ school fees. 

25. In your opinion, how much should a degree in your program cost? Leave it as it is as I feel that the yearly increase is a valid one. Besides, the school also provides a lot of financial aid. 

26. What is the most unforgettable module you have taken? Global Women’s History. 

27. If you could be exempted from any module in your program, what would it be? Foundation of Science but it’s not being offered anymore so it’s good. 

28.What advice would you give to future students about module selection and planning? We don’t have that many courses/modules here and module selection is not via a bidding system like in NUS. Instead, classes are given out according to hierarchy e.g. a year 4 student with the relevant major would have priority and so forth. If you’re at the bottom of the hierarchy, as we all once were, just be patient. Your turn will come. Also, if you want to pull up your cap, take NUS courses.  

29. If you had to choose one, would you advise a Singapore Junior College (JC)  or Polytechnic (poly) student to join your program? No difference. 

30. In what scenarios will any student be exempted from any modules? None, and there’s no transfer as well.

31. Theory vs. Practical. In what ratio would you say your program content is? 8:2

32. On a scale of 1 – 10, how employable do you think students from your program are? 7-8, But it also depends on your major and CV.

33. Name 3 job fields/companies that people from your program go into.

Goldman Sachs

Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)

Graduate Schools.

34. Favorite Professor? There’s a lot of good professors that it’s hard to pick a favourite. 

35. What is one thing that most people don’t know about your program? That our school also offer science and math majors.

36. Ideal tutorial class size versus reality?

Ideal: 10

Current: 18-25

37. Given a chance to go on exchange, which country would you choose? I went to Barcelona as it’s one of the cheaper European countries to exchange at.

38. Common exam formats include: Essays.


- Extra-Curriculum & Other Schools Activities -  

39. Outside of the curriculum, do you have any other commitments in school? Dance club, floorball and I also work in the college office. 

40. Would you say that it is difficult to manage both studies and other school activities? At first it was difficult but eventually you’ll learn to manage your time. 

41. In your opinion, are there enough clubs & societies in school for students to choose from? Yes. 

42. How do you think a Extra-Curriculum Activity add value to a student's overall experience? Helps you to make new friends and it will also teach you time management skills. 

43. The most memorable school event that you have attended would be: The school-sanctioned parties.

44. If you had to pay to NOT attend a particular event in school, what will it be? None. 

45. Is the school doing enough to engage students? Yes.


- Accommodation -

46. Do you stay on-campus? If yes, see below: Yes, it’s compulsory for all Yale-NUS students.

47. Which part of campus do you stay at? Saga College

48. Name 5 adjectives about your hall/hostel. Chill, friendly, quiet, social, convenient. 

49. Would you sacrifice an “A” for one of your core modules to secure a spot at hall/hostel? It’s compulsory so we don’t get to choose. 

50. How would you describe hall life in a phrase? Social life is abundant. 

51. Are the amenities in the halls comprehensive? Yes, in my opinion but others might beg to differ. 

52. If you can only bring one electrical appliance to hall, what would it be? TV. For in room entertainment. Most students bring their own entertainment. 

53. Worst room mate ever? If not best? Yes, I’ve had some room mates who were so dirty I couldn’t stand it. 



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