Exchange report - Student at KI
Home university: National University of Singapore
Study programme: Biomedicine (Master's)
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Autumn semester 2017/2018
Email address:


In my view, life is an adventure. Living and learning knowledge in Sweden will never be my end point for studying aboard. I am really into new environment and experiencing different cultures. For me, being as an exchange student aboard is the best way to deepen my understanding of the world.

I am an international biomedicine master student from Macau, which is located at the south of China. Even though the aurora and snow in Sweden in winter are amazing and attractive, the darkness and cold weather in Sweden make me to become a “sun Lover” like other Swedes here. Therefore, I chose National University of Singapore (NUS) as one of my options for exchange studies. National University of Singapore is an autonomous research university worldwide, ranked top both in Singapore and Asia. It is a good university providing transformative education and multidisciplinary research for its students. Apart from this, Singapore is a multicultural country with Indian, Chinese and Malay influences, which make me want to further explore the variety type of cuisine and the arts here.

Before applying the exchange studies, I contacted the term 3 course coordinator for course information for exchange student. For Biomedicine master program, the course Applied communication in biomedicine 3 and 4 will be performed in distance, so you can take the course online on pingpong and submit the presentation and assignment via email or pingpong. There is a UROPS project in NUS, which is similar to the 16 ECTs research project in KI, we can accredit it after we submit the report, poster, bullet points etc. after we finished the exchange studies aboard. Besides, to get accreditation for 9 ECTs for elective tracks in KI, you will need to choose two courses in NUS.

After I was nominated by Malin Ahlén, who is the international coordinator for our program, I contacted the director of studies Rachel Fisher for our program to choose the courses. To get the student’s pass at Singapore, you will need to choose at least 3 courses, which is according to 12 modular credits at National University of Singapore. Importantly, we need to choose the course in advanced level. As we exchange to National University of Singapore via UNDERGRADUATE COURSEWORK-BASED STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAMME (SEP), the eligible courses we can choose are those courses with prefix LSM4XXX in advanced level. Unfortunately, those courses only provide limited seats and NUS is not able to guarantee any module for incoming exchange students. Therefore, during the registration you have to select up to 10 courses, then you will get 3 courses of those you chose. The UROPS course cannot be chosen online. But no worries, once you arrived in Singapore, you simply go to the Science Faculty and change the third course to your UROPS project. Everything went super smooth.

On  is the list of modules available to exchange students. The list will be updated around mid-March for Semester 1 and mid-August for Semester 2 exchange.

To find the project in NUS, UROPS projects (LSM3288) website: (

For biomedicine master program, biomedicine master students can only find the project from the departments in NUS as followings: Department of Biological Sciences, Department of Biochemistry, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Pharmacology, Department of Physiology.

Apart from the way to find the project from the UROPS projects websites, I contacted the PI of each group. If you spot a postdoc that is working on an interesting project, you are welcome to contact them as well.

Despite of that, you will also need to apply student visa, accommodation, buy air ticket before starting your trip to Singapore. Make sure you read the instructions and information provided by Malin and NUS carefully!

Arrival and registration

The most convenient way to get NUS from Changi Airport is taxi or UBER. It takes around 20 minutes to get the campus and spent around S$50. Another favorable way to go to the NUS campus is to take the metro to Kent Ridge MRT station. You can take the free NUS internal campus bus or walk to the campus by a few minutes. In Singapore, there are variety types of metro and bus card, the best one is EZ-link. You can buy it either in metro station, post office or 7-11. The information for metro and bus in Singapore can be checked on

After arriving at NUS, you will need to register yourself and get your NUS student ID card. The student visa (a PDF document) we got from NUS is not student’s pass, you will need to convert it to student’s pass upon your arrival in Singapore. You can either choose to apply it during your registration process at NUS (takes 2-3 weeks to get the student’s pass), or go to the ICA building to get the student’s pass (can get in 2-3 hours after submit all documents), detailed information can be found on .

After you settle down, it is better to send a greeting to your lovely future lab members. I discussed the project details with my supervisor after I arrived Singapore, and I have to do an intensive lab introduction and lab safety training. Singaporean are very strict with lab Bio and Chemical safety, you have to pass all the test (100%) to be able to enter the lab. I did Biological Safety, Chemical Safety, Fire Safety online and each one is around 1.5 hours.

Incoming Student Exchange Guide:


As I live in KI housing for the first year in KI, which only spent 3500 Kr each month, I found it is a bit expensive to live in Singapore when compared with Sweden. In Singapore, you will spend around S$500 for accommodation off campus (with air conditioner), and S$100-200 for on campus accommodation (with or without air conditioner).

Luckily, the food in Singapore is extremely cheap. So you can try variety types of dishes in Singapore. If you eat around or in campus, it is much cheaper than downtown, spending around S$5-$S15 for a main dish with a cup of drink or soup.

The public transport in Singapore is cheap as well. Depend on how far you go, the metro can takes from S$0.78 to S$2.25 or S$1.5 to S$2.7.

However, cooking by yourself in Singapore can be more expensive than eating outside.

Even though I have kitchen in my corridor, but I never cook myself during the exchange period. If you want to cook by yourself here, you can either go Fairprice (There is one in the 2nd floor of Kent Ridge MRT station), Giant, or Sheng Siong.

There are some scholarships you could apply. One called DUO - Singapore Exchange Fellowship (DUO) ( ) is a scholarship that offers exchange students from Singapore and European ASEM-member countries. Each selected student will be awarded €4,000 for one semester or one year of exchange. This will partially subsidise the cost of airfare, accommodation, living expenses, etc. This award carries no obligatory bond period.


Depend on where you live, the price of accommodation can be different. If you live off campus, I heard that price will be around S$500 per month with air conditioner. If you choose to live without air conditioner, price will be lower than that. I chose to live in campus because I think it is more convenient for me in case I have to stay in lab very late.

In general, there are two main types of dormitory in NUS, one is Hall, and the other one is Residence. All Halls and Residences are equipped with cafeteria, laundry (with washer and dryer, free or coin-operated), kitchen, study room, seminar room, reading room, TV room (sofa, TV, etc.), piano room (with sound insulation), gym, etc.

You can either choose single room or shared room. All rooms are all equipped with tables and chairs, wardrobes, mattresses, broadband and ceiling fans. Generally, each floor has a common kitchen, bathroom. Boys and girls are strictly separated by floor. Students who live on campus can meet all their daily needs in their dorms.


NUS has a total of six Halls, namely King Edward VII Hall, Raffles Hall, Eusoff Hall, Temasek Hall, Kent Ridge Hall and Sheares Hall, which are located in the vicinity of each college. Hall education is promoted in each hall with its own unique style. The students live in the hall need to actively participate in various activities like sports competitions, artistic performances, environmental protection, social relations, academic exchanges, etc. Sometimes these activities overnight. Students who live in Hall will have a compulsory meal plan, offering breakfast and dinner from Monday to Saturday during the semester, which is very convenient.


In contrast, Residence is a student dormitory in the Singapore HDB mode. NUS's three Residences are Prince George’s Park Residence (PGPR), Ridge View Residence (RVR) and Kuok Foundation House (KFH). In Residence, the neighborhood relationship is not such close as Hall. Although there are still plenty of activities available, residence has more private space than the lively Hall.

As I am a quite person, I chose to live in PGPR during my exchange studies. PGPR is the largest dormitory in NUS, the facilities are the most except Utown. PGPR has its own court (basketball, tennis, badminton, etc.), gym, multi-purpose classroom, and table tennis. PGPR has 2 large food courts, a Western restaurant and a famous NUS midnight snack canteen. It also has a small supermarket called Nanyang supermarket, which is quite convenient to live in PGPR.

There are three types of rooms in PGPR. Only the room type A has air-conditioning and private bathroom. Every month there will be cleaner to clean the bathroom in PGPR, and it is compulsory due to the hygiene reasons.

In here you can find how to apply the campus accommodation. You will need to pay S$26.75 for the application fee. Once you are offered the campus accommodation, you are supposed to pay the whole semester at the beginning of the term

Studies in general

General Courses

In NUS, the course level is similar to KI, but the student has more leisure time than KI. Each course is 2 days a week and around 2 hours each time, so I can spend more time to do my research project. On IVLE ( ), which is equivalent to PingPong at KI, you can find the course information, such as schedule, classroom, course slides, and etc. everything you may need for the course. 

Or you can find related course information on .

It is much easier to pass the courses in NUS than in KI. All your final grade constitutes of the grade for continuous assessment (CA), essay, mid-term examination, presentation and final examination. For many modules at NUS, CA constitutes a significant percentage of the final grade. Depend on which course you take, the CA assessment can be different, such as regular assignments, presentation and project work with other students. In some cases, CA is a quite easy test on the content of the course. For example, 10 questions taken together about the first half of the lecture series and then another test about the second half. So basically, they use the CA to take some weight off the final exam which is also quite nice.

Research Project

Singaporean are strict with lab safety rules. Some labs have separated office for people to do their general paper work, some have tea room for people to drink and eat. In contrast, some labs do not have separated office and people do paper work in the same lab rooms. In these labs, people are not allowed to eat or drink. And every labs have CCTV, once you eat or drink in the lab, you will be punished by the department or colleges.

It is quite nice in NUS that lab people have access to variety lab resources. And the equipment are pretty new and available. Pipettes and tubes are provided by department in some colleges. And I have a good experience during my research project, you can decide your schedule yourself for the experiments, and you do not have to stay in the labs all the time if you do not have any experiments. So I can do other things I would like to do and learn other things I would like to learn.

Courses during the exchange period

Courses corresponding to semester 3 at KI


I took this courses is just because I am interested in immunology. The course will start in a general overview of immunology, like microbiology (bacteriology, virology, and parasitology), immunology, vaccinology, and general principles of host-pathogen interactions, which we have already learned from FTM courses in KI. This course also cover introduction to selected diseases. But some diseases were not discussed in FTM courses in KI, like dengue. As Singapore is located in Southeast Asia, they emphasis the prevention and treatment for such types of diseases.

In this course, CA was divided into “journal club” and “problem-based study” questions. It was basically discussed some given clinical examples using the knowledge you have learned from the lectures.  I did not remember how many questions actually I had for the “problem-based study”, may be around 10 questions. And they are similar to what you had discussed with your classmates and teachers during “journal club”. The final exam is closed book, takes 70% of your final grade, so it is important to review what you learned in the class before going the examination! All the questions in the final exam will be similar to what you had for the “problem-based study”. For example, the teacher will give you a clinical manifestation of a typical disease, and ask you which disease it is and how to treat it.


I am really into biostatistics and programming, so I chose this courses during my exchange studies in NUS. The teacher is from Australia and he is very nice to answer all the questions you may have for the lectures. The lectures cover a comprehensive mathematics methods those are used to solve biological problems. Though the course content is not so relevant to Biomedicine filed, the methods and knowledge I learned from the course are still useful for Biomedicine research. You will learn differential equation, matrix etc. in the course, and practice it using R to solve biological problems in the tutorial courses. At the end of the course, I found I got some practical mathematical skills of relevance to current problems in ecology, evolution and epidemiology.

The final grade of this course is spilt up into different grades of practicals/laboratories (10%), mid-term test (20%), assignments (20%) and final exam (50%). Therefore, you will get assignments each week after the lectures. Assignments are some simple questions related to the tutorial courses, either theoretical questions or using programming to solve problems. The good things in this course is that all the exam are opened book, which means that you can bring your assignment and tutorial materials during the examination. And the exam questions are similar to the tutorial materials.

LSM3288 UROPS project

At the beginning, your supervisor will discussed the project with you. For me, the details of the project was finalized by myself. I can decide the schedule of my experiments myself. At the end of the project (around October), you will need to submit the project report (10-15 pages) to your department and present your project to your supervisor, and the other two examining teachers from other departments or college from the other research field. 

Language and Culture


If you go to Singapore, you will hear different types of languages: Malay, English, Tamil, Mandarin and Cantonese. Even though people speak “Singaporean English” and “Singaporean Mandarin” here, I did not experience any language barriers.



Despite its small size, Singapore has a diversity of religions, and cultures. Buddhism is the most widely religion in Singapore, then is Christianity, followed by Islam, Taoism and Hinduism. When you go to the food court or restaurant, you should be careful some of them are “Halal”, and you should not order any pork. If you visit Mosque or Hindu temple, you are supposed to take off your shoes.

Singaporean are very nice. Interestingly, most of them have poor sense of direction. So try to use your Google map when you are in Singapore!

Leisure time and social activities

Singapore is known as the "Lion City" from a legend. It is said that the prince of the king of the Buddha of Sumatra came to this island and saw a lion. He thought it was a good sign. He decided to build this place and named the island "Singapura" (“Singa” means the lion, while "Pura" means the city).

Singapore is a lively city. It worth to spend a good time to enjoy the clean streets, fresh air, delicious cuisines and wonderful nightlife here.

There are many tour held by NUS student. Information can be either found on Facebook or the poster in your campus dormitory.

The information for the tourism is easy to find on website. One of the most famous spots in Singapore is Sentosa Island. And the Universal Studio is also on this island.

I would suggest you to go Singapore Botanic Gardens and Singapore Night Safari. Singapore Night Safri the world first zoo opened in the night. You will find a unique experience from the normal zoo!

Despite of Singapore, you can always buy a cheap ticket to go to Malaysia, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries! In Southeast Asia, you can enjoy sunshine as much as you can!

Must Go!

Kampong Glam –enjoy Malay cuisine

Little India

Chinatown- Chinese food

Clarke Quay



Singaporean food to enjoy!

Chilli crab (suggest to go Long Beach or No Signboard to enjoy it!)


Hainanese Chicken Rice

Bak-Kut-Teh (A soup cooked with pepper, Chinese herbs, pork ribs etc., suggest to go SongFa Bak Kut Teh to enjoy it!)


The time during exchange at Singapore is unforgettable. In NUS, classmates are from different religion and cultures, the culture clash and ideas from variety of backgrounds have broaden my horizon and deepen my understanding of this typical Southeast country.

Singaporean are very hard. NUS is a quite competitive university. I have experienced much freedom for choosing the courses, plan your experiments for the project here. Relatively, I always have to obey the rules here. Singaporean are very strict with their rules, people will get a severe punishment once they violate the rules. I think that is one of the reason why Singapore become one of the richest Asian countries.

Even though Singapore is small and squeezed everywhere. People here are patient and orderly. They are friendly and welcome foreigners. And hard to see discrimination here.

I hope you enjoy your exchange to Singapore as well!