NUS BBA 23 February 2018

Student exchange at the University of British Columbia, Canada

NUS BBA Accountancy year three student Janel Ong recalls her Student Exchange Programme (SEP) at the University of British Columbia in Canada, was one full of Surprises, Experiences and People.

She shares what it was like living a semester away from home.


Being in a new environment was a little uneasy initially. There were times when I wasn’t sure what to do or where to go. Yet, it was through embracing this spontaneity that I got many wonderful surprises.

Every day on exchange was to be looked forward to; I would walk to school alongside the autumn trees while being casually greeted by squirrels. Modules here were taught with the North American background and this allowed me to uncover many new insights and apply the concepts I learnt at NUS Business School to a wider context. I also felt the  internships I did with HSBC and PwC Singapore were well worth the time, as I could really share practical solutions and contribute to classroom discussions more effectively.

Staying at a residence also meant that I had roommates from many different countries, which inspired us to have weekly events, where we would frequently invite one another over for dinner, whipping up delicacies from our place of origin. As I met people from all over the world, we would share with one another our personal experiences, making each gathering extremely fulfilling.

In addition, there were many university events that allowed me to immerse in their culture, such as match supports, going on hikes at the Grouse Grind, carving pumpkins during Halloween and visiting Christmas markets. Having more time to explore during exchange has led to a journey of self-discovery for me.

Three months may seem short, but over this period, I found myself developing as an individual and becoming more independent. The SEP has nurtured me into a more wholesome individual as I learnt more about the world beyond the textbook.

The NUS BBA and BAC curriculum includes multiple opportunities for students to have overseas exposure. For more information on the programme, please visit http://bba.nus.edu/.