Exchange report - Student at KI
Home university: National University of Singapore
Study programme: Health Informatics (Master's)
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Autumn semester 2016/2017
Name: Charlotte Isabelle Zwart
Email address:


I decided to go to Singapore, because of its great and well-known university. The National University of Singapore (NUS) is highly recommended and has been ranked as the 12th best university worldwide! I was really excited to get the chance to study at NUS. Before I went there, I received enough information from KI and NUS, about studying abroad, housing and the courses. To live in Singapore, it is recommended to take a Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and DTP vaccination. It is necessary to take these in time, because some vaccinations needs to be repeated two or three times, over a period of several weeks.

Arrival and registration

The introduction program of NUS was supposed to start one and a half week before the semester started. However, the introduction program was cancelled this year. I arrived in Singapore exactly two weeks before the semester started. I only had to do some registrations during this period, but basically I had two weeks of holidays, which was nice and relaxing as well. There were some possibilities to join a mentor program, however, there were only a few mentors, and most people were too late signing up. Unfortunately, I did not get any mentor. My advice is to apply for a buddy program directly when you get an e-mail.

Another thing I would like to highlight, is that it might be a good idea to book a hotel for your first night. My flight was four hours delayed, and I arrived at 2AM in Singapore. I did not want to take the risk that no one could give me the keys for my dorm in the middle of the night, so I decided to stay in a hotel. However, because it was night, I could not book a hotel online (it was already the “next day”). I did not had a sim-card yet and everything was closed at the airport, so I could not make a call to a hotel. In the end, I could contact my family and they booked a hotel for me! It would have been more relaxed and time-saving if I thought of this before I left. 



The things that costed most money were the plane tickets and the accommodation. I got a travel stipend from KI, where I could cover my tickets with. My accommodation costed approximately 12.000 SEK for the whole semester. I saved a lot of money by choosing for a shared room.

Furthermore, daily life costed quite some money. I did not had a kitchen in my building, I had to eat in a food court every day. There are several food courts on the campus, where they sell meals for 30-60 SEK. You can find food courts everywhere in Singapore and these are way cheaper than restaurants. Usually, the campus accommodation has a meal plan, but for my college, this was under construction.

Going out in Singapore is quite expensive, unless you go on a Wednesday (ladies night). Also, many clubs and bars have guest lists for exchange students, which give you free entrance. Furthermore I have spent money on things during the weekend, such as museums and going to restaurants. Also, I have traveled to surrounding countries during some weekends.


It was easy to apply beforehand for accommodation. I got accepted the first time, however, I did not get my first choice. I got a shared room in Ridge View Residential College (RVRC) without air-conditioning. In the beginning I had to get used to this with temperatures of 30-35 degree Celsius! We did not had a proper kitchen, but we had a refrigerator, so you could keep some breakfast. I shared my room with another girl, from Finland. We had to share the bathroom with the whole corridor. There were three showers and five toilets. If you will live on campus, be prepared that the rooms are not clean. There are many lizards in the rooms. The good thing is that they eat the mosquitoes. The facilities on the campus or very good. There is a pool and a gym and several food courts
Campus pool

Studies in general

The teaching method at NUS was quite different from what I was used at KI. First of all, at NUS, you get grades for attention and activity during lectures. Sometimes we got quizzes after lectures, to test if we had learned something. Also, some teachers like to give surprise quizzes, so it is important to be prepared for all lectures. Grades were given with the Bell-Curve, which means that it depends on the class if you pass or not. However, I feel like I learned a lot in my courses, and that I learned to be prepared at any time.
NUS School of Computing

Courses during the exchange period

Courses corresponding to semester 1 at KI

During my exchange, I took four courses. I took three courses at the School of Computing and one language course, just for fun. Also, I had two online courses at KI at the same time. The first course that I took was named “Managing and Using New Media”. For this course, I had lectures once a week. The course had quizzes every lecture and we had some assignments, both group and individual. The second course I took was “Information Security Policies”. This one also had lectures once a week. The course had an exam, group work and individual work. The third course I took was “Quantitative Methods for Information Systems Research”. This course was on a PhD level, which I did not know beforehand. The course code was IS6002, and all the other course codes were IS5… Good to know: if the course code starts with 1, 2 or 3, it is on a Bachelor level, if it starts with 4 or 5, it is Master, and 6 is PhD. This PhD course that I took was quite difficult. However, I feel like I learned a lot, not only from the teacher, but also from my motivated fellow students. This course only had assignments. The fourth and last course that I took was a language course. I did not finish this course, because I did not had time for the exams.

My class at NUS

Language and Culture

The official language in Singapore is Malay. However, almost everyone speaks English, which is the second language in the country. Chinese and Tamil (Indian) are the other languages that are spoken in Singapore. The culture from Singapore is very different from the culture in Sweden. In school, everyone is very competitive. The food is mostly Asian (rice and noodles) and the climate is very warm.


Leisure time and social activities

Some social activities were organized by NUS, however, these had only few spots. I could join some activities, such as a biking trip and a weekend to Malaysia. In my opinion, it was easy to meet new friends in the dorms. A lot of international students were living together. We arranged our own activities every week. Also, many sports activities were organized. I joined a running group, were we trained three times a week. There were also other clubs, such as cooking, gaming, etc.

Next to this, I also travelled to the neighbour countries during my exchange. I have been away several weekends to Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. It is relatively cheap to book flights in south-east Asia. However, for some countries you might need a visa.



Overall, the exchange was a great experience. I learned a lot at NUS and about other cultures. I think it will affect my future because the exchange taught me a lot about other topics and how to work together with people from all over the world. It was amazing to meet so many ambitious students and to live abroad for a while. I would recommend everyone to go!
All students from RVRC