National University of Singapore: Student Feedback

Student Profile


Mackenzie Bishop

Highlight of my semester abroad:
The best part was learning to escape my comfort zone; in making new friends, travelling to strange places, eating amazing new foods and practicing new languages and studying new cultures.

Who I spent most of my time with abroad:
I spent most of my time with other international students. I became good friends with the other 3 students from NYU (1 American. 1 Canadian, and 1 French) as well as many other students from all over Europe, as well as a few from different parts of East Asia and South Asia. I did become friends with about 10 local students, mostly through my classes. Some of my classes required randomly-created groups, and what was a good way to become friends with locals. However, when class groups were formed by the students, local and international students tended to make separate groups. Singaporeans tend to be less outspoken and willing to speak up in class, so they often seem shy and less friendly to Westerners unless we really make an effort to get to know them. 

Something about me you might be interested to know:
I spent a year abroad; first at NYU London then IBEX Singapore. Before that, the longest I'd ever been out of the country was 10 days!

What I would say to students considering participating in IBEX:
Singapore is great place to experience Asian culture without in-your-face culture shock (you still get all that shock when traveling, though). NUS itself is an excellent school with great academics and student life.

Contact me about IBEX National University of Singapore:
Mackenzie Bishop -

Additional Student Profiles

Name: Louise Luciani

Student Profile


Louise Luciani

Highlight of my semester abroad:
Definitely the friendships I made and the cultures I got to experience. I was able to go to the Philippines after over a decade of not going and saw my grandma. Being able to see the development in the country compared to when I was younger was remarkable.

Who I spent most of my time with abroad:
Most local students are very studious or have their own things going on, so you end up hanging out with exchange students a lot, especially if you live in a building where it is all exchange/graduate students. Definitely depending on the dorm you choose will determine what types of friends you make. I did make a few very close local friends. We hung out a lot when the semester finished, or when there were lulls in work. Unfortunately, they would never come on trips with us because they couldn't afford to give up a whole weekend or so. In terms of meeting local students though it's very easy because there are so many in the classes you take. 

Something about me you might be interested to know:
In all, I have visited 9 countries in Southeast Asia if you want to know more about traveling. 

What I would say to students considering participating in IBEX:
It was a great time filled with awesome experiences in Southeast Asia. 

Contact me about IBEX National University of Singapore:
Louise Luciani -

Student Feedback


Airline ticket to/from IBEX site: $1,000 - $1,800 USD
Housing: $1,500 - $2,500 USD/semester
Food: $30 - $90 USD/week
Books: $100 - $200 USD/semester
Local Transportation: $10 USD/week
Entertainment: $10
Phone: $15 - $30 USD/month (refilled AT&T calling card)
Travel: $400 - $700 USD/month


"I had my ATM/credit card linked to my account back home, and used cash for daily expenses (food, etc.).  Singapore is extremely modern so it's easy to pay with card or withdraw money at an ATM."

"At ATMs, instead of withdrawing $400, for example, withdraw $390. Singapore ATMs distribute cash in huge bills and no one ever has change, so stock up on $10 bills."

"Using an international card at an ATM incurred an additional charge of SGD 5.00 (USD 4). If I stayed in Singapore for longer than 6 months, I probably would have opened up a Singaporean bank account; Singaporean banks offer many incentives to members and allow access to NETS cards, which can be used like cash in many areas."

"I used my debit card and cash a lot, and make sure the bank knows where you're traveling. Asia is still pretty cash-centric so be prepared to have a wallet with space for cash and coins! "

"Brought $4,000 with me and it was enough to cover all my expenses; Singapore is less expensive that New York you can also withdraw money from your checking account in the states through ATM."


"I lived in Prince George's Park Residences, in a type A room - which means I had free AC and a private bathroom. This was ideal, as the residence hall was very close to the business school and to the MRT station. The room was furnished (bed, desk, drawers, closet). I didn't have a meal plan, but eating on campus was really cheap (around 3 SGD per meal). I found my dorm thorough NUS (it was on campus).

"I lived in a "Type C" room in Prince George's Park. The room was equipped with a wardrobe, desk, and twin bed, with two opening windows. Despite a ceiling fan, being without air conditioning in such a hot and humid environment made it rather uncomfortable to be in the room when not sleeping; I spent most of my time in other air conditioned facilities. I had a single room on a floor with 14 other rooms, all female, and a shared kitchen and bathroom in the hall."

"University Town Residence was the best quality dorm at NUS with excellent amenities, but you will only be living with exchange students and graduate students. It's also not too close to the subway. If you want to make a lot of local friends or friends from Malaysia/Thailand/etc. try Tembusu. As one of the cheaper options you generally get less exchange students from Western countries. Another good option is PGP because it is really close to the subway. Meals were great all over campus and cheap. No need to get a meal plan."

"Found out about housing prior to arrival"

"On-campus residence hall, fully furnished, traditional style (reccommend Prince George's Park but there is no air conditioning)."

"Ate at campus cafeterias and restaurants."


"The grading system is very similar/comparable to Stern. The workload at NUS is definitely larger than at Stern, and most assignments for all classes don't come until the middle of the semester, which makes it hard for us to stay on top of everything at all times. Professors at NUS are all extremely knowledgeable, similarly to Stern."

"The quality of instruction was excellent in my business courses, almost equivalent to that at Stern. My non-business courses were much more relaxed with far less focus on individual success; those professors taught straight off the syllabus and did not place a focus on personal faculty-student interaction. The grading system was rather similar to Stern's curve, with most students getting B grades. It is difficult to earn an A, but it is even more difficult to fail the class. Exam scores often had an average grade between 65-80%. My workloads were often reading-heavy with little prescribed practice work, although the exam content clearly required experience with practical application of our readings."

"I thought the academic rigor and curve for business classes were pretty similar, however, I prefer the professors and academic environment of NYU. In terms of professors, I have the sense that NYU professors are more passionate, engaging and are able to explain things more concretely. NYU professors will also make time for you to see them in office hours. At NUS I had one professor for instance who spent 5/7 days in Jakarta, and the 2/7 days he was in Singapore he spent teaching at 2 different universities. He was a great professor and very smart, but he just did not have office hours." 

"Workload: About the same as Stern. (but there was no TA available for extra help)."

"Teaching Style: Lectures and group projects."

"The problems I experienced had nothing to do with social/student life but more for the lack of support for exchange students when it came to academic matters."

Course Recommendations

"My favorite class was Advertising Strategies, and my favorite professor was Bernard Law (teaching Advertising Strategies). He has a lot of experience in the advertising/communications sector and would always give us practical advice about the industry. I also really liked the structure of the class.  We had to come up with our own advertising campaign for an actual brand. Consumer Behavior with Regina Yeo was also a great class.  The professor would always make sure that we (exchange students) would understand Singaporean culture and gave us many opportunities to offer our opinions."

"Strategic Management with Professor Marleen Dieleman was fantastic! I enjoyed the management discussion, as that is my major, and the focus on ASEAN corporations and cultural values distinguished it from taking equivalent classes at home. I also enjoyed a class called Old & New Music in Southeast Asia, although I won't receive any credit for it at home, because it was very specific to the region in which I studied and a good creative outlet to contrast my management and finance courses. I also learned a few new skills!"

"Favorite class was International Financial Management with Professor Craig Brown. I enjoyed his teaching style and content. I really enjoyed the content in my Asian Business Environments class, but did not like the professor's teaching style. For such an interesting class, he definitely was not able to generate passion or enthusiasm."

"Asia Pacific Business and Society with Ishtiaq Mahmood (almost every exchange student was in it and there was a wide variety of perspectives on different topics."

Student Life

"It was very easy to meet other exchange students, so I spent most of my time with students from Stern and other international students. I was also able to meet a lot of local students - they're all very nice, and most of them really wanted to learn more about France and the US, so it was pretty easy to make friends."

"I was part of the photography club, and one of the dance clubs (d'hoppers - hip-hop)."

"I participated in two different dance clubs organized through NUS. In the first few weeks of the semester, there are several club fairs and other ways to learn about the extracurricular activities available. Nearly all of them require some sore of membership fee, ranging from USD 15 to USD 500 per semester. All residence halls have lounge areas for students to relax and interact. These lounges were a good way for exchange students to meet other exchange students and full time international students. However, since most local Singaporean students continue to live at home throughout university, it was easier to make local friends in classes or school clubs. Most of the cultural activities in which I participated came about because I was taking a class focused on traditional and pop music in southeast Asia."

Restaurants, Shopping, Must-See Sites

"The Outram Park area has a lot of nice cafes.  Bugis, Orchard and HarbourFront are great for shopping.  Arab Street is great for late night drinks.  The entire downtown area is a must-see, and so are the Chinese Gardens, Palau Ubin (an island), the Tiger Brewery Tour.  The Clarke Quay area and Club Street are great for drinks."

"Take a trip to the Chinese and Japanese Gardens on the east side of Singapore. They're highly underrated, and I enjoyed them more than the Gardens by the Bay or the Botanical Gardens. In contrast, the Night Safari is highly overrated, and a waste of money. The neighborhood around Tiong Bahru MRT station has tons of cute cafes that I wish I had discovered much sooner. Purchase all alcohol as the airport duty-free and save yourself about 85% of Singapore prices! If you prefer stick deodorant, bring it from home. Shipping anything to Singapore is very expensive, so don't plan on having your family ship the things you can't fit in your suitcase. There's an IKEA near the Clementi MRT station, which is where you should go on your first day in Singapore to buy towels, sheets, hangers, etc. Mustafa, near the Farrer Park MRT station, is also an excellent place to purchase literally everything on the planet. It's open 24 hours, so go in the early morning on a weekday to avoid massive crowds. Butter Factory is a very cool club that many people forget about! Try not to schedule any classes for Thursday mornings. Wednesday nights are the absolute best for clubbing in Singapore because that's "Ladies' Night"; club admission and drinks are often much cheaper or free, especially compared to Fridays and Saturdays. Don Dae Bak BBQ is an excellent Korean BBQ restaurant with all-you-can-eat for SGD $20."

"You usually find these things out once you're in the country through talking to others. LadyIronChef is an excellent source. If you need a hostel to stay in or have visiting friends I recommend 5footway Inn. "

Travel Tips

"I traveled a lot - it was very easy as Singapore is well connected, and flights to other countries in Southeast Asia are really cheap. AirAsia is coming up with a travel pass very soon - by paying $200/month you can travel to 10 destinations, which is amazing and can save you a ton of money!  Make sure you know when all your exams/big assignments are before making any plans."

"I would encourage other students in Southeast Asia to travel as much as possible, in groups of 2-6 people. Traveling alone for the first time can be challenging, and moving in large groups can become very inflexible very quickly."

"Changi airport is the best, so you are able to find your way across the airport seamlessly. Cabs to the airport are much faster - just try to split the costs with friends. Tigerair and Jetstar have some good deals sometimes like TigerFlash Thursdays. Follow them on Facebook."

""It was extremely easy to travel because Singapore is in such a central location. Check out all of the travel agencies in Chinatown because they offer the best deals. The absolute best airline to travel on is Air Asia, it is so cheap!!!"

"When planning your travel dates, book early! Classes start immediately after New Year's day and it is best to get there a day or two in advance so that you can adjust and get settled in. Plan on arriving in Singapore on the 30th or something like that. You won't get any information about accommodation, arrival dates, etc. until the very end so I suggest taking the initiative and start making your own plans."

Career Development

"NUS had a lot of corporate info sessions - it was a great opportunity to meet other students, professionals, and to network. It's very useful if you're planning on working in Singapore or to have an international career. It was easy to sign up through the NUS career website."

"NUS hosts many internship and full-time recruitment events with individual firms, much like NYU. These are open to all students. However, exchange students at NUS do not have access to NUS' career website, and thus do not receive the newsletter emails informing students of these upcoming events. We instead had to ask local full time students to forward these emails to us. I would recommend that future exchange students do the same. I did not need a suit during my time in Singapore, but I did need business casual clothing that I could stand outside in comfortably. Make sure you have a few shirts and skirts/pants appropriate for interviewing as well as very hot/humid weather!"

"I went to firm-wide presentations a lot towards the beginning of the semester. I think a local student told me about the list online. If you have time, want a free meal, and to meet people you can go for fun. If you are interested in the firm or job positions available you should go also to get more insight."

Culture Shock

"It's a big change from the States and it takes a lot of getting used to. In comparison to the States, the dorms were not very nice but for Singapore my hall was really good."

"Things were quite different from NY and though it was often irritating to deal with those issues I still had a great time in Singapore. The only thing I disliked about my trip was the administration at NUS. They are so unaccommodating and so strict about not breaking any rules. I found them extremely difficult to deal with. They refused to budge or concessions despite medical certification! Just a word of advice - don't back down on things that need to be done. You have to be persistent and eventually you will get your way (except when dealing with NUS)."