Student Exchange Program

Singapore (21 July 2015 – 25 July 2015) 

In all honesty, if I had to describe this trip in one word, it would be: torment. I wanted nothing more than to back out the second I found out the rest of the students who would be on this trip with me. Unfortunately, it was too late. Flights had been booked and everything else had been arranged.

The flight was the longest one hour of my life, being stuck next to people who’s company I didn’t enjoy. And they barely ever spoke to me. I spent the entire flight listening to music on my phone. Upon arrival, we were taken to Nanyang Girl’s Boarding School Hostel to stay. We had dinner there and went straight to bed.

I was the last person to come down for breakfast the next morning. All eyes on me as I walk to one of the long tables spread throughout the canteen. I wasn’t even hungry. Barely 24 hours since I arrived and I wanted nothing more than to leave.

The backpack I brought with me wasn’t big enough to carry all the clothes I needed for the day. I wore a Viatnamese traditional outfit for Singapore’s Racial Harmony Day. We traveled to Methodist Girls School Singapore by bus. There were a few performances by the students from India and Taiwan. A girl from my group performed the fan dance and a couple more sang a Malaysian song.

Later that day, we changed into our school uniform and was given the opportunity to attend classes with the students of those school. Although I was 17 at the time, I was put into a class with 14/15 years olds. This is because what I learnt in Malaysia at 17, the 14/15 year olds learn the same in Singapore. Sitting through biology I kept thinking “I just learned that last week.” And their mathematics consisted of what we Malaysians learn in additional mathematics.

No doubt, the people I met in class were amazing and I bonded well with them, I couldn’t spend much time with them except for when I was in class. Once school ended, we were allowed a couple of hours to explore the school before it was time to go to the Night Safari.

If you’ve ever been to a nigh safari, you’d know it’s a total waste of time because the animals are all either sleeping or it’s too dark to see them in their hiding spots. The shows there however, was a blast to watch!

After a few hours in school the next day, each student was given a buddy as they call it from MGS to take us around Singapore. My buddy might not have been the best person to hangout with but she was a lot better than the students who came here with me. Her name was Nicole. And she gave me tissues as a welcome present so you can imagine how much worse my groups was.

We went to Bugis and for the first time in my life, I saw people selling chicken skin in cups (only once I came back did I find out they had the same thing in Penang). We walked around but there wasn’t much. We took a bus to botanical garden and enjoyed the view for a bit before leaving.

The next day, we had a couple hours of sewing class in MGS before we had the rest of the day to continue exploring Singapore. My dad managed to get his friend Christine who lived in Singapore to take me out and away from my misery.

It was the highlight of my trip. Christine and I (both Scorpios) hit off immediately which made the tour a lot better. She took me to Ion Mall in Orchard Road. And later to Esplande.

I noticed an ice cream shop called Casa Italia and it was one of the best ice creams I have tasted in my life.

After dinner, she dropped me back at the hostel and I packed my bags. The next day, it was the best part of my trip: time to leave.

I don’t think I have ever been happier to leave a country. And lesson learnt; never travel with people you don’t get along with. I still hope to make a trip back to Singapore with my friends that I love to spend time with just to make up for this horrible last trip.

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