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Living as an exchange student a life in a year

  • The perks of knowing people abroad are endless;
  • There are a lot of things we take for granted in our everyday lives;
  • It forces you to understand and challenge yourself;
  • I am used to knowing daily plans in advance, but here, I am learning how to go with the flow.

Whether this is for the better or the worse, is up to you and you only. Just a little heads up: The initial shock On August 2nd, my adventure of a lifetime all started at the Brussels International Airport.

Unexpected Adjustments to Living in Finland

After having spent an hour of emotional and melodramatic goodbyes with my mother and having had to go through 5 solid dad-jokes from my father, it was time for me to get started on my 15-hour journey. However, the excitement of slowly realizing that yes, I had just landed in Singapore that yes, I am officially a Singapore exchange student and no, I had no clue how to even get out of the airport, quickly brought me back to my senses.

Fast forward to me checking into my hostel in the charming district of Little India and I was ready to conquer this city-state. In true Millennial, ever-trying-to-be-relatable-style, the first thing I did was to explore the nightlife of Singapore. Upon returning to my hostel, it first hit me that this was the beginning of an entirely new chapter, which I was beyond excited to write.

How being a Singapore exchange student changed my life

Could you repeat that please? Of course, being the model Singapore exchange student that I am, I made sure to read up on the Singaporean culture and lifestyle, in order to somewhat prepare myself for this semester abroad.

I found out that there are four major sub-communities in this city-state: Next, I found out that in Singapore, eating was a big part of the culturewhich translates to having opportunities to eat at literally each and every street-corner. Naturally, being a food-addict, this felt like I had just hit the jackpot.

  1. Salena and her host family grilling asado Sabrina and I go on lots of adventures together. I thought that Singlish could not be that far of a stretch from regular English, right?
  2. When your comfort zone is Morocco, blending in Finland is no easy task.
  3. First — a sauna for 10 to 15 minutes. An earlier version of this post was originally shared March 26, 2014.
  4. If you find yourself in a new school, amongst people who have never heard of you, you could potentially be whoever you want to be. When you move abroad, these things you never even gave the most cursory of thought to can suddenly be huge problems.

Having said that, I would like to focus on the latter part of my initial research, and how I came across some interesting surprises. I thought that Singlish could not be that far of a stretch from regular English, right? Well, was I wrong.

  • I think if you have the opportunity to go, then go;
  • In true Millennial, ever-trying-to-be-relatable-style, the first thing I did was to explore the nightlife of Singapore.

Not only can some parts of the vocabulary and the grammar vary from what I am used to, the pronunciation can make it extra tricky for me at times. Nonetheless, usually it would take me a few attempts but eventually, it always worked out. And I am, but my sweat glands are not.

In theory, such temperatures all year around sound quite pleasing, and they could be, if there would not be such a high humidity rate. Given that on average, Singapore has a humidity level of 80 percent, it is safe to say that my body has been moist since August 2nd. At the beginning, I found myself showering three times a day, attempting to cool down my body and get rid of the constant layer of sweat. After a few weeks, I learned to accept my fate and found out that everybody else is experiencing the same scenario as me, except they stopped caring about it.

Now, I have accepted the fact that occasionally, just eating a warm meal will make me sweat uncontrollably, and it is A-Okay. In the few months that I have been here, I have met incredible people that I can already call some of my closest friends, I have had the opportunity to travel and see extreme opposites from very wealthy and affluent people and districts to poverty yet unconditional happiness and joy.

  1. Introvert but fluent Finns do not always speak out, but when they do, they usually have perfect English.
  2. The idea sounded ridiculous at first, because I would have to give up so much.
  3. Government offices and businesses had the strangest hours imaginable. They teased me about going to China.

To bring it back to the introduction of this post, studying a semester abroad changes your life and your perception of it in many ways, some of which you probably did not anticipate before leaving.

Although there might be some challenges, the biggest ones being homesickness and the financial cost it represents, in the end, it is worth every single tear and penny. Would you like to find out more about topics such as preparing yourself for the big move, calculating the costs or where to go and what to do in Singapore?

Make sure to stay up to date with my adventures as a Singapore exchange student on the College Life Magazine. How being a Singapore exchange student changed my life2017-12-072018-04-09http: