Meet Bernetta. A current student at National University of Singapore (NUS), who is in her 3rd year of Bachelor's studies in Life Science. Prior to entering NUS, she graduated from Anderson Junior College. And she is a local student from Singapore.
1. What school do you study in?
National University of Singapore (NUS)
2. Do you/others have a nickname for the school?
3. Why did you choose this school?
I applied for National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), but NTU didn’t accept me so I chose NUS. As for other universities, I didn’t consider them as I wanted to specialize in environmental biology which they do not focus on.
4. What is a scene that you often see in the school?
Towards exams periods, people will camp in school to study until super late.
5. What is one thing that you wish you knew before enrollment?
The administrative procedures on how to sign up for programs, bid for modules and how to apply for exchange programs etc.
6. Your school is great, but if you could change one thing, what would it be?
The workload. I heard from exchange students from overseas that their education structure is like that of our junior colleges where it’s 100% finals and there’s a one month study break before the finals. I feel that this will be less stressful.
7. And if there’s one thing you’d never change?
The quality of the professors, some are really good at teaching and imparting their knowledge.
8. The unofficial uniform of your school is?
In Faculty of Science it’s mostly t-shirts and shorts but it varies across faculties.
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?
10. What is one place in the school that you are proud of?
The chill room in Yusof Ishak House – There are free painting sessions there, PS4 for students to use and they even give out free ice cream.
11. If you could swap programs for a day, what would it be?
12. What is a common myth of your school?
That people will steal study notes if you leave it on study benches.
13. If you ever had to stay in school past 9 pm, what would it be because?
Project work / meetings / report submissions.
14. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever seen in the school?
15. What is your one guilty pleasure you indulge in in school?
Playing computer games in the library.
16. If you were given $5 million dollars to revamp the school, what would you do with it?
Upgrade the facilities like the lecture theaters and labs.
17. In between classes, where can we find you?
18. What is the best place to be as one with your laptop and lecture recordings?
Discussion rooms but it’s usually fully booked.
19. In the occasion that the school has to downsize till only ONE food place remains, what will it be?
Air conditioned science canteen.
20. For free electricity in the school, where would you go to?
Library / science canteen (every table has a plug)
21. What program are you in?
Life Science, specializing in Environmental Biology.
22. Is this related to your dream job?
Yes, I want to work in the field related to conservation of wildlife.
23. Do you know the actual value of your degree?
$8K per semester I think, but I’m not sure.
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 not bad compared to if I went overseas to study.
25. In your opinion, how much should a degree in your program cost?
$7-10K per semester.
26. What is the most unforgettable module you have taken?
27. If you could be exempted from any module in your program, what would it be?
General education modules. It’s good but too taxing as we have to take 12 general education modules.
28. What advice would you give to future students about module selection and planning?
Plan ahead of time, best if you can plan up till your final year as there are different prerequisites to different modules. This relieves some stress during bidding of modules.
29. If you had to choose one, would you advise a Singapore Junior College (JC) or Polytechnic (poly) student to join your program?
Polytechnic students as they have the hands-on experience, while the content that JC students study in JC cannot be applied to the Environmental Biology specialization.
30. In what scenarios will any student be exempted from any modules?
Not sure about this as I weren’t exempted for any.
31. Theory vs. Practical. In what ratio would you say your program content is?
32. On a scale of 1 – 10, how employable do you think students from your program are?
33. Name 3 job fields people from your program go into.
National Biodiversity Council
National Environment Agency
34. Favorite Professor?
35. What is one thing that most people don’t know about your program?
It’s very content heavy even though theory wise it’s not as heavy compared to other life science specializations.
36. Ideal tutorial class size versus reality?
Current: 40-100 depending on module.
37. Given a chance to go on exchange, which country would you choose?
Canada, I like the culture there and they are known to have little discrimination towards Asians.
38. Common exam formats include:
Usually Multiple Choice Questions.
39. Outside of the curriculum, do you have any other commitments in school?
I volunteer in Uncle Khoe’s K9 (Dog shelter)
40. Would you say that it is difficult to manage both studies and other school activities?
Not very difficult but you need to plan your time well, especially nearing end of semester.
41. In your opinion, are there enough clubs & societies in school for students to choose from?
42. How do you think a Extra-Curriculum Activity add value to a student's overall experience?
It teaches you a lot, in terms of networking, leadership and various other soft skills that is not knowledge based.
43. The most memorable school event that you have attended would be:
44. If you had to pay to NOT attend a particular event in school, what will it be?
I attended one event organised by the library that teaches you how to do literature citing, but it was very basic and boring so it was a waste of my 3 hours.
45. Is the school doing enough to engage students?
More can be done.