Why do students study abroad? Hear Su-Lyn’s take on it, in her interview, with correspondent Maria Church
Short and sweet bio: Su-Lyn is a 24-year-old, Singaporean born, travel superstar. She has explored many countries over the past 4 years and includes Switzerland and Canada (hurrah!) in her repertoire of schooling abroad. Lyn is the oldest child of two, living with her Grandma and brother in a condominium in Singapore. She is a recent grad with a double major in political science and law. In her second year Lyn went abroad for a three month exchange in Switzerland. After returning home for a short time she applied for another placement overseas and wound up at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. She returned to Singapore to finish her degree after more than a year abroad and now works for a law firm downtown.
Why did you choose to go abroad for school? “I Just wanted to get out of the country basically. I wanted exposure to different cultures. You can’t really learn culture in a school, you have to immerse yourself in it.”
Was your family supportive? “My parents are really open. They were totally supportive. It is pretty typical for students in Singapore to go abroad if they can afford it. Sometimes students who can’t make it into the schools in Singapore go abroad because they might have an easier time getting in.”
Why Switzerland and Canada? “I knew I always wanted to travel in Europe and do the Europe thing.” After three months of courses at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland she toured around taking week trips to France, Spain and Germany to name a few. For her Canadian trip, it was really the luck of the draw. “We had to submit a list of our choice schools for social sciences. The University of Victoria was my fourth choice. I looked mostly at the program elements, not as much at the locations, so I just happened to get the Canadian placement.”
Any travel plans for the future? “New Zealand, Australia and Canada are the top three right now, I will probably be going back to Canada soon.” When she considers a country to travel to, Lynn says she thinks about four things: “How exotic it is, cost, safety and political stability.”
My thoughts: Lyn is an inspiration. Her willingness to leave home and challenge herself with education abroad is admirable, to say the least. She says international exposure has had a huge influence in her career and life in general. Coming from a country as small as Singapore it is a little more expected for students to go abroad but with the world to chose from, no one says they have to stay close to home!