I financed the semester abroad with a foreign loan and a loan from the Kfw-Bank. But there was a problem with the student loan application, as there is basically no funding for trimesters. But if the lectures last at least 4 months and the credit range covers a full semester (30 ECTS), there are also grants for trimesters. When I was able to prove this, I was promised the grant. However, I waited 6 months for the student loan and 2 months after the application was submitted.
The James Cook University in Singapore is quite small and rather unknown to the locals. At the time, however, it was the only university that allowed Masters exchange students. At the beginning there were some complaints from the students, because the university didn’t really try to organize any introductory events, except for a joint visit to the zoo (with tuition fees of S $ 9,500). But we were promised (unfortunately too late) that this will change in the future. And as I was able to follow it afterwards, the university really pushed it through and is now organizing 2-3 additional events.
The courses were demanding and, above all, labor-intensive. Four of the 15 courses offered are taken per trimester (each corresponds to 7.5 ETCS). Each course usually requires an individual performance (e.g. working on a case study), a group paper including a presentation, and a one-hour exam at the end of the trimester.
For finding accommodation / catering
I would recommend everyone to look for an apartment locally. But you can stay reasonably inexpensive in a centrally located hostel for an average of 30S $ per day. Experience has shown that the search for an apartment takes 5-14 days. Various agents offered us run-down apartments at overpriced prices. Fortunately, we found 2 rooms in a shared apartment in a condominium (residential complexes with security, swimming pools, gyms, barbecue areas, etc.) for S $ 1,000 per person. The rental prices for your own room are between 700 – 2,500 S $. If you are willing to share a room, it will be cheaper accordingly. I cannot recommend the student residences. When looking for an apartment, various websites can be very helpful, such as B. share-accommodation.sg, propertyguru.com, singaporeexpats.com, singaporepropertyexchange.com, iproperty.com.sg, rentinsingapore.com, singaporerental.com and sg-house.com. For German interns or students in Singapore there is also a Facebook group, Year of the rabbit crew, where you can exchange information about vacancies, evening programs, excursions, etc. Is especially helpful when looking for a place to live.
The food costs are kept within limits. You can eat very well and cheaply in the food courts and hawker centers, even if it sometimes looks a bit neglected for us Europeans, you can actually always be sure that the food is hygienically harmless. Always pay attention to the evaluation on the stands. If you want to be absolutely sure, look for the stands with the A ratings. Alcohol and cigarettes are quite expensive due to the high taxation, so always buy alcohol at duty free. It is best to start with the first entry.
To the country
Singapore is the smallest country in Asia in terms of area. The city-state, only 720 km² in size, has around 5.1 million inhabitants, of which only 3.2 million are Singaporeans. In the beautiful, very clean and also very safe country, you can meet a multitude of different nationalities. Since Singapore is only 100 km from the equator, the climate is accordingly very tropical. Temperatures around 30 degrees and an average humidity of 90% take a lot of getting used to. But not only the weather in Singapore is very oppressive. One is also crushed by the many laws and regulations. There are fines for everything: chewing gum S $ 1,000, drinking or eating on the train 500 S $, spitting on the floor 500 S $, throwing rubbish on the street (also applies to candy wrappers falling out of the bag) 1,000 S $, flicking cigarettes 500 S $ etc. For more serious offenses corporal punishment can also be imposed, ie several blows with a cane on the bare buttocks! Hard to imagine in a modern country like Singapore! But there is more. Anyone caught with 500 g of cannabis will be hanged. Singapore is the country with the highest execution rate in the world in terms of population. Police officers in uniform are rarely seen. But you can count on them on every corner, but in civilian clothes. Police officers in uniform are rarely seen. But you can count on them on every corner, but in civilian clothes. Police officers in uniform are rarely seen. But you can count on them on every corner, but in civilian clothes.
- Learn more information about Singapore and Asia on behealthybytomorrow.
Since Singapore is located in the center of South-East Asia, it is an ideal starting point for other trips to Asia. Thailand, Bali, Vietnam, Cambodia etc. can be reached in a few flight hours and for little money. However, you should start planning early in order to be able to get hold of cheap promotional flights. For travel planning I recommend the Lonely Planet, Southeast Asia for little money.
All in all, it was an incredibly great semester abroad, even if I was really bothered by all the regulations and sometimes I felt very restricted. I think the small city-state is just great! And because Singapore has developed really well economically, I could imagine living and working there for a certain period of time.