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Student Diary- Experience of a transfer student

A personal experience of an Environmental engineering transfer student from the USA to Singapore

Vandana Ravi
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As soon as I finished my course, I landed a job as a professor at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Living in Singapore and being surrounded by so many Indians made me feel right at home.

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I have been given this amazing opportunity by this website to pen down my thoughts and emotions I had experienced 2 yrs back in 2010 when I had opened my mail box to see this message saying I had been admitted into the Masters programme for Environmental Engineering 2010. Was truly an overwhelming moment and I called my mother, tears rolling down my eyes (definitely out of joy) to inform my family about the good news. They were happy and sad at the same time, considering the distance I was about to travel as the course was initially at Stanford University, California, USA for the first two months and the remaining nine months of the course were at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Preparations began in full swing as I had very less time for shopping ;) or anything for that matter, as I had to leave immediately.

My flight was on June 21st 2009 at 2am and the feelings and emotions were pouring in uncontrollably. Finally I boarded the flight to Hong Kong, took a transit there and after a never ending journey of 21hrs, reached San Francisco finally. I met a few friends from the same course there and we all took a cab to the University and truly US of the A was amazing. I was awestruck looking at the beauty of the roads and the scenery around and was in for an even bigger surprise as I reached my destination. The University truly was a marvel and so magnificently huge, it covered an area of 8180acre and one among the biggest in the country. We were given our room keys and to my surprise there was none to accompany me to my room. All my friends were allocated different housings and I had to drag my 46 kg of luggage to the housing allocated to me, all by myself. I was sweating like crazy and the temperature outside was like 15 Degrees.

Finally after entering into the right building and the taking the right floor, I opened up my room and was overjoyed by the beauty of it. It was such a beautiful, typical “American” looking rooms with a couch, a bed and a kitchen. I loved the place but felt a little eerie for the first two days since my roommate was yet to arrive. I had never felt more lonely on the first two days with no internet, no phone and surrounded by unknown people, in fact no people. I just paddled my way through this situation and things got better in the forthcoming weeks as classes started and schedules started becoming hectic. The education level bar was so high that I found it very difficult to catch up with my peers. After lots of hurdles and hassles, I gave my exams and finished my first part of the course with decent grades. While leaving the US, I made up my mind that I would definitely come visit this Country again just to relive those memories and definitely to explore more, as I love travelling.

Next destination was Singapore via India. After 4 days of pampering at home in-between, I flew to Singapore to complete the rest of the course. As soon as I landed in Changi Airport, I was surrounded by so many Indians and especially Tamil speaking that it truly felt like a Home away from Home. Thankfully, I had already contacted a few friends who were studying here and thus the initial settling down part was not as difficult as I had undergone in Stanford. Since I had been to a more magnificent place earlier, it’s the natural tendency of humans compare anything and everything. The first few weeks went away in comparing how Stanford was much better in terms of people, place, culture difference and everything. Then as classes started, I started getting used to the country and the people around here and got to befriend a lot of Indian and Chinese friends. Since I had already studied in Stanford, The courses didn’t seem very difficult and was able to crack them with a little bit of hard work and smart work. Thus, I finished my Convocation in July 2010 for which my parents had come and it was really a very proud moment for them. As soon as I finished my course, fortunately I got a job at NTU under a professor for a Project officer position. Am currently working here and will be finishing the contract in this October.

 

Vandhana Ravi

Project officer

Nanyang Technological University

 

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