The JCU is a relatively small university with a family atmosphere among its students. However, this is quite a distance from the city center, so that depending on the residential area, there may be a considerable journey. However, if you can find an apartment between the center and the JCU, it’s half bad. The students at JCU consist of Singaporeans, Malays, Chinese and many other “internationals” from all over Europe. However, you have to be very clear that you meet a lot of Germans at the JCU, which is not always desirable in the semester abroad. At the beginning of the period, introductory seminars and quite lengthy registration phases had to be completed. Unfortunately, they were very badly organized, which fits into the overall picture of the JCU. There is ubiquitous organizational chaos which is actually only topped by constant miscommunication. Over time, however, a high level of tolerance developed and, for example, submitting a copy of the passport to the student office for the fifth time. In the end, however, you could book all of this as a cultural difference and concentrate on the nice things in the semester abroad!
The courses themselves were not very demanding, but above all very labor-intensive. Case studies, essays or presentations were constantly required, which could fill the week quickly. The language level of the lecturers ranged from “perfectly understandable” to “does he speak English at all?”. During the introductory week, I would get information directly from the student council (Hours Council) and, if necessary, initiate a change of subject. That’s exactly what I did and it was really super easy.
In general, living in Singapore is probably one of the biggest cost components. The little available living space is extremely expensive and some landlords charge really horrific rents. However, there are also many fair offers that just have to be found in a haystack. I would recommend you move into a hostel for the first few days and go looking for it in peace. Quite often there are shared apartments with other internationals during the introductory week, which saves you from living with the sometimes difficult landlord. I preferred to search on “easyroommate.com.sg” or on Facebook in the following groups: Germans in Singapore – Germans in Singapore // Year of the Rabbit Crew.
- Learn more information about Singapore and Asia on ask4beauty.
Living in Singapore:
The absolute highlight of your semester abroad is really waiting here! Singapore is incredibly expensive, but if you pay a little attention to the money, things are not as bad. ÖVM run every few minutes and are very cheap. Taxi rides are also affordable, so one or the other way to the university could be taken by taxi ;-).
Singapore offers so many facets that it is really very difficult to name everything. The total package of an infinite number of shopping malls, a beach, the breathtaking skyline, the weather and the non-existent crime makes the city-state unique! Singapore’s location in South-East Asia is a particular highlight. From Changi Airport you can quickly and cheaply take a direct flight and make several trips during the semester. In order to save a lot of money, it is worth booking flights early or looking for promotional flights. I especially want to mention the food in Singapore! For little money you can get all kinds of food you can imagine. Only those who feel cravings for Western food have to dig deep into their pockets.
As for the nightlife in Singapore, I would give it the highest rating. Great atmosphere in breathtaking locations! Whether it’s on the 62nd floor or right on the Marina Bay Sands. Alcohol is very expensive, but over time you learn to organize yourself and there is always someone who can bring a bottle from the duty-free shop ;-).
I was able to finance the semester or trimester abroad through the Auslandsbafög. Normally only semesters and no trimesters are funded, but 30 ECTS are usually completed at the JCU within 4 months, which fortunately makes the trimester eligible. I provided the foreign funding almost 7 months in advance, which should guarantee a smooth process. However, the Bafögamt still needs a final certificate of enrollment from the JCU, which means that I didn’t receive my first payment until the end of November. Financial reserves are also recommended here ;-).
The time in Singapore and during my trip through South East Asia was certainly one of the best of my life. With friends for life and valuable cultural experiences, I can happily look back on a time that I will never forget. Despite being an “average” university, to put it mildly, you can come to terms with this and enjoy life in the lion city of Singapore.
Finally, I would also like to positively mention MicroEDU, who were always at my side with advice and action during the application process.