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Lee Pei Xian
Diploma in Mass Media Management
Graduated 2019
School of Business Management

It Changed My Life

Both of my Youth Expedition Project (YEP) trips to Bintan and Hainan are close to my heart. They taught me lessons that I could not have learned in a regular classroom. My first YEP experience in Bintan in Mar 2016 opened my eyes to how people lived without the usual modern conveniences. While we were there, my team built water drainage systems for the villagers. It was tough work, but I enjoyed myself. I knew that would not be the only community service trip I would go on. So with a group of about 20 other NYP students, I left in Sep 2016 for Hainan, China – on another YEP trip to help change lives.

I saw how the children’s faces lit up as we played games with them. I saw how touched the elderly villagers were as we spruced up their homes.

On our final day, the Hainanese primary school students prepared a farewell song for us. Together, all of them stood up and started singing – a poignant tune sung by the most beautiful voices. It broke me. I spent just six short days with them but it didn’t matter. They had entered my life and changed it forever.

I used to take a lot of things for granted but these experiences made me look at life differently. I am now more reflective and mindful of how, and why, I’m doing things.

My YEP trips were some of the most fun and meaningful times during my three years in NYP. Even though we have all graduated from poly, my team and I are still very close and chat all the time. Our overseas ‘classrooms’ in China and Indonesia has given us a really strong lifelong bond.

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Aqil Akmal Mohd Fadil
Diploma in Architecture
School of Design

I Never Considered Interning Here!

The day before I flew off for my internship, I was asking myself: “What did I get myself into?”

You see, I’m like any other student – hardworking and *ahem* ambitious. I always wanted to go abroad to study design and see for myself how different it is from Singapore. I just never considered Taiwan. My lecturer suggested it. She said that Taiwan would the best exposure for the field that I’m interested in (architecture). That sold it for me.

So, yup, I – Aqil Akmal Mohd Fadil – a Diploma in Architecture student from Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Design, would intern in Taiwan. The more I researched about Taiwan and its architecture, the more I wanted to go. There was just a small issue – how do I communicate when I can’t speak the language?

Turned out my worries were unfounded. My lecturer placed me in a well-established architecture firm. My supervisors and colleagues were nothing but gracious, patient and professional. They took the time to explain concepts, gave me feedback and bounced ideas with me, and all in perfect English. I spent three amazing months learning from them, and even got to work on concept proposals, digital visualisation and model making for some high-profile projects.

[Oh, and my mother (who, btw, is not Chinese) also coached me in some basic Mandarin phrases to help me get by. It helped.]

All I can say is it was an experience I will never forget. Thanks to my lecturers who checked in with me regularly, I always felt safe and assured throughout my 12-week internship stint. Now, to plot where else in the world to make my next classroom…

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Choo Yik Xin pix 2
Choo Yik Xin
Diploma in Hospitality & Tourism Management
School of Business Management

I’m in Switzerland Now and It’s Awesome!

I wake up nearly every morning to snowy peaks just outside my window. The Alps are just as beautiful in real life as they are in photos. I’m so glad to be an exchange student here at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons. Yes, I’m still here right now!

It was at one of NYP’s International Fairs when I became enamoured with the idea of spending a semester in Switzerland. I knew I had to make sure my grades were good, and I was determined to put in the effort to make it. And I did. 😊

Everyone is super welcoming here. A simple “Hello!” and a friendly smile goes a long way. My Swiss classmates are easy to talk to and they are willing to share notes for the class. The lecturers are just as nice – in fact, we’re treated more like pals than students. They constantly encourage us to give our views, and no one is too shy to speak up, unlike in Singapore. 😏 This makes it easier when we have to do groupwork with our Swiss classmates, which is like, most of the time.

I’m totally enjoying the seven modules that I’m taking under the university’s Tourism programme. My favourites are Sustainable Development, which is about sustainability in the tourism sector; Innovation Management, sorta like Entrepreneurship; and Service Quality Management.

One thing to get used to though is the public transport. Buses here are a hit and miss. They are 85% on time. If they come earlier than scheduled, you’ve just got to wait for the next one. There’s no telling when they would come. 😓 Another thing I had to wrap my head around? Everyone goes hiking on weekends, or walks around with 3kg of groceries like it’s nothing. Whaaaaat.

Living abroad is fascinating. I’ve learned things about myself that I probably would not have known if I continued living in my comfort zone. I am glad my poly encourages us to do a stint overseas if we can. There are opportunities all over the world, Asia and ASEAN too. So yeah our classrooms are pretty lit 😊.

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