I have been studying in Singapore for over two months now. Actually that is a false statement, since I haven’t been doing much ‘studying’. I’ve mostly been travelling; and when I am not travelling, I have been planning for travelling and sleeping. Here is the day-to-day life I have been living for the past two months.
Most exchange students take courses as credit/no credit, so the marks do not translate back to our home school. This gives us a lot of time and freedom to focus less on coursework and more on whatever else we want to do, usually travelling. In addition to not needing to care about grades, all of my lectures are recorded, and attendance is not mandatory.
I am taking three courses (or modules, as they call it here), and each course does not take up as much time as a course in Waterloo. For each course, there are two lectures per week, one tutorial, and one lab every two weeks. The labs only start during the fourth week, so there are only four labs in total per course for the entire semester.
So far, during my entire two months at NTU, I’ve had only one assessment (I got a B+ on a database lab). None of my courses had any midterms, either. One of my courses had one quiz, but I skipped it to travel. It’s a bit weird not having any assessments and not getting feedback on all the material I’ve learned so far through the lectures.
I’m one of the more fortunate exchange students to be able to have a very lax schedule. Since the computer science program at Waterloo is not very strict, and I’ve taken many extra courses during my previous terms at Waterloo, I don’t actually need any of the credits from this semester on exchange. I had to take three courses since that is the minimum number of courses that Waterloo will allow for a full-time student.
Trips trips trips
Since I don’t have class on Fridays and only one on Mondays, I normally take the four day weekend for a trip out of the country. Additionally, since all my lectures are recorded, I was also able to afford missing a couple weeks of class to take longer trips.
Living the lazy life
Although I travel every weekend, I still have tons of free time on weekdays. On the days I actually have class, I only have a couple hours of it. Since I don’t have any homework outside of class, the rest of my day is free. I sometimes go swimming, rock climbing, or sometimes I just do nothing. I use the weekdays to rest up for my weekend trips, so I tend to sleep. A lot. I usually don’t need to set an alarm on weekdays, since I can just watched missed lectures later on in the day.
I probably could have taken 4 or 5 courses and still done the same amount of travelling. I would have to be much more productive with my days; but it still wouldn’t be too stressful since the courses are pass/fail.
But I like the lazy, worry-free life I am living right now. I know it won’t last forever, so I’ll take advantage while I have the chance. (: