By Emma Tomas
Before moving to Singapore, the city-state was a bit of an enigma to me. My brief research prepared me for an extremely strict society with rules and regulations unheard of in the Western world. Since moving here it has become clear that it is due to these unique laws which Singapore stands as a developed pillar among the rest of Southeast Asia, boasting eye-catching architecture, virtually no crime, a resilient economy and a litter free atmosphere.
The advancement of Singaporean society is obvious when looking at set-up of the city; public transportation is on-time, modern and clean; there are virtually no homeless people; and a variant of people from all different cultures exist in harmony.
There are enough touristy things to keep a person bust for weeks, of which I have been to Sentosa, the Southernmost point in Southeast Asia; Marina Bay Sands; and Gardens by the Bay. One of the most impressive things about Singapore is the level of multiculturalism which exists. The city-state is a melting pot for Asian culture with people from China, Japan, India, Indonesia, and Thailand, among others, sharing their culture and embracing each others’ culture. The food court is the best example of this as on any given day I have my choice of food from all over the world. I was able to visit both Little India and Chinatown which provided an interesting contrast from downtown Singapore, both hubs acting like a microcosm for their respective countries. Both were bustling with people, noisy, and disorganised in the best way.
The university I am attending is the National University of Singapore which offers a completely different experience from Trinity. The campus is about 45 minutes from the city centre offering an oasis from the craziness of the city. The campus is massive and resembles an American college experience, various shuttles are needed to go from my student accommodation to classes. The student accommodation itself is like a little town, I have everything I need in one place; food, a grocery store, laundry room, pool, gym — also, all my friends live in the same place. The set-up has made it very easy to meet people and easy to socialise, it feels as though I am at a summer camp. Overall, my first few weeks in Singapore and attending NUS have been a whirlwind and better than I thought possible. I am very excited to continue to experience Singaporean culture as well as travel throughout Southeast Asia!
Visit www.tcd.ie/study for more information on studying at Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin