Exchange report - Student at KI
Home university: National University of Singapore
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2017/2018
Name: Julia1 Lytchiér
Email address:


I choose to go because I have a brother in Hong Kong and my boyfriend in Japan. Going to Asia would allow me to be close to my loved ones. I also wanted to explore a more western part of Asia. I had already done research in Japan, US and Sweden and wanted something to add onto my experience.

Furthermore, I choose to go to National University of Singapore (NUS) because it is ranked as the best university in Asia. 

Unfortunately, I think that the information that I received from NUS prior departure was really complicated. It was really stressful to fill out all the different forms and a lot of deadlines - in comparison to many other universities that people went to abroad. I think that our study counselor was also struggling with understanding the information and getting in touch with NUS.

I was not required to get vaccinated, but when I arrived my lab asked me to bring a certificate showing what kinds of vaccinations I had, had. I think it might be good to check with the lab prior to going. 

Arrival and registration

I arrived around 8th of January. The university offered a welcome ceremony for all of the exchange students. 

There were no mentor programs, no introduction courses. However, NUS invited all of the exchange students to unofficial events - such as travels to Indonesia and so on. 

My lab was not prepared for my arrival, and none of the chemicals etc had arrived as I came. I had to wait several weeks for the material to arrive. 


The housing was cheap, I stayed in Utown in College of Alice and Peter Tan. I spent around 3000 kr for housing per month, this included free swimming pool, gym, breakfast and dinner. I lived in a 15 floor building on the 6th floor. The food on campus was really cheap. I would get a full big lunch for just 12 kr.

I would recomment students to live in a college at Utown. Then you get food included two times a day and if you get tired of the food you can just go out on campus and buy super cheap food.

I had to for all of the application fees, in total I probably spent around 2000SEK just APPLYING to NUS - both for housing and general application to become a student at NUS. This was before I even knew if they would accept me. Just to look at my application I had to pay NUS. Luckily, the stipend that I received from KI covered this.


Ackommodation was great, as can be read in the finance part.

The standard was really good, I lived in CAPT - College of Alice and Peter Tan. My accomodation was 15 floors and just in the center of campus. The floors were divided into Girls-only, men-only and then mixed-gender floors. It was randomized and you could not choose which floor you wanted to live on - as an exchange student. However, men and women used all floors regardless of gender principles.

I think the student should really apply to live on campus, otherwise it can get quite expensive. As I wrote in finance, I only had to pay 3000SEK per month to live on campus with free food twice a day. I had many different pools and gyms within close proximity as well. It was amazing - living condition wise.

There were also free buses that you could take to get to the MRT which could take you into town.

Studies in general

Study environment was not very good. The supervisor was really above me in hierarchy like in the rest of Asia (in my experience). I would not recommend going to Singapore for WORKING if you are not be higher up in hierarchy than "bachelor student". My supervisor promised to pay me, we wrote a contract - they did not. My supervisor threatened me on a daily basis and said she would fire me unless I worked full weekends and late days. My supervisor did not respond to emails etc. I received my grades really late, around August.

The study environment in general was interesting. At NUS they have a different grading system than in Sweden. For example, only a certain percentage of the students can get the top score.

Courses during the exchange period

Courses corresponding to semester 6 at KI
I choose to do my final semester project in Singapore at National University of Singapore. 

I did not need to transfer any credits since I didn't take any courses.

Language and Culture

It was fine, I have studied most of the things in my life in English. 

Singaporean people have a certain accent but you get used to it quite quickly. It is also interesting to be in an environment where there are 5 national languages being used at the same time! Indian and Chinese are two major languages apart from English... Or Singlish, as Singaporeans say.

Leisure time and social activities

There were plenty of activities that came with the housing. I made many local friends and they also invited me to several activities.

There were many different sports that you could go to for free at campus. There were many gyms, many swimming pools in really close proximity were you could go for free. 

Student life wise - there were many parties. Women could get drinks and go in to clubs for free every Wednesday. I am not a party-person so I did not have use for this, but many of my friends appreciated this.

By living on campus it is easy to make many friends. Also, the facebook group for foreigners arranged a lot of different activities so you were never really left alone.

My impression of Signaporeans is that they are very active people. They play sports until 2am at campus. There is always something to do, and you are welcome to join any activity.


I would never recommend anyone to WORK in Singapore as a bachelor degree student. 

I'm sure this will affect my future. I am a stronger person after all the things I went through in Singapore. I learned how to strand up to authorities and I learned how to deal with pressure on a completely new level.

Luckily I made many friends that I am still in contact with.

Going to Singapore was a great experience in the sense that I had a chance to experience working culture there. But also become friends with locals and share their experiences of how it is to live in Singapore. It opened my eyes to so many things and made me more open-minded. I made friends that go into arranged marriages, that are from Malay, that speak Indian, that are part of the cast system. And so on, and so on. All of them were lovely and it really gave me an understanding of many different cultures. I really value the time I had in Singapore. Unfortunately my working experience was horrible, and therefore I cannot recommend WORKING there. I think that taking courses and studying with the other students at NUS would be a great experience, and possibly better than working there.