Program Spotlight: National University of Singapore

Posted in News Story

Studying abroad in the heart of Southeast Asia

  • Georgetown University recently approved a partnership with the National University of Singapore (NUS) that allows Georgetown undergraduate students to study there for a semester or year.
  • NUS boasts a rigorous liberal arts education with a uniquely Asian perspective, alongside a busy and supportive campus culture.
  • Program alumni highlight exposure to key career fields and an opportunity to learn about Southeast Asia as highlights of their time at NUS.

Judging from its student life video, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is an academic institution alive with energy and full of opportunities for campus involvement. The three minute clip features students skateboarding down dorm hallways, rowers pushing the NUS team to regatta victory, a mid-lecture lightsaber duel, and even a coordinated underwater dancing routine.

NUS, however, offers students far more than dance troupes and on-campus climbing gyms. As one of the most prestigious universities in the world, NUS attracts students from all corners of the globe. The world-class academics focus on liberal arts taught from a uniquely Asian perspective, as the university sits in the heart of Southeast Asia. While Singapore’s diversity fuses elements of Chinese, Indian, Arab, and Malaysian cultures, all classroom instruction is in English.

The location and academic rigor is what attracted Hoya Tara Advaney (SFS ‘19) to NUS: “I was keen to travel in South Asia due to the rich history and incredibly complicated and diverse political situations across the region…my NUS journey started because I was not willing to jeopardize the quality of my education just to explore a region.” During her semester, Tara traveled to Bali, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand.

Asia is the second most popular study abroad region for Georgetown students, and the number of students heading East for study abroad has been on the rise. As the regional advisor for Asia, Annette Russell is unsurprised by this uptick in interest: “GU’s study abroad options in Asia are incredibly diverse, as well as accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds and interests. There is something for everyone, even for those without previous language background.”

Aside from being a perfect jumping-off point for learning about Southeast Asia, NUS’ location in Singapore allows students to explore one of the safest and most multicultural cities in the world. Singapore is a global financial powerhouse, reflected in the modernity of its architecture and the buzz of its financial district. Tara took advantage of Singapore’s business scene during her semester abroad through an internship at a startup. A STIA major in the SFS, Tara used her time in Singapore to get exposure to the fintech world—something she considers “a large element of the Singapore experience.”

Tara is one in a handful of Georgetown students that have studied abroad at NUS in recent years. They cite world-class academics, South Asian travel, and extracurricular involvement as elements that attracted them to a Singapore study abroad experience. As a result of these positive experiences and the quality of the academic opportunities, Georgetown recently approved NUS as an official semester program through the Office of Global Education.

Since the program’s approval, four Hoyas already have plans to study in Singapore this fall. This comes as no surprise to Tara. “I absolutely adored NUS. It has a very strong campus feel for a non-US university, and is a wonderful oasis within the busy city buzz of Singapore. I would do it again in a heartbeat!”

For more information on studying abroad at the National University of Singapore, see more on myGUABROAD.