Exploring the World Again
01 Dec 2023
Every year, our students embark on impactful journeys across borders to broaden their horizons and make a difference in the community.
Empowering our students to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world has always been one of NP’s priorities. With the reopening of international borders post-pandemic, NP students have seized the many opportunities to see the world and develop new skills!
Hear from four of our students about their experiences.
Thriving by adapting to change
Internship was far from home for third-year Community Development student, Eileen Koh. As part of the Global Entrepreneurial Internship Programme (GEIP), she got to intern at a start-up in Jakarta, Indonesia for six months. For Eileen, the opportunity to work abroad meant the chance to be exposed to various cultures and learning from others that share similar career interests.
How did you feel about interning abroad?
Eileen: The idea of being in a foreign country was intimidating at first. I recall getting cold feet and backing out of the online application twice. However, getting selected to be part of this programme turned out to be amazing and I have no regrets joining Petskita – which runs a pet parenting app platform – as their marketing intern. I have always wanted to find out more about the start-up ecosystem and GEIP allowed me to do it, and with a global perspective to boot!
What has been the biggest takeaway from your overseas internship experience?
Eileen: Indonesia's start-up ecosystem is currently ranked second in South-East Asia, just after Singapore, and being a part of this bustling ecosystem is no walk in the park! Petskita has multiple offices in Indonesia and my direct supervisor was working in Medan, a different Indonesian state. This meant I had to learn how to communicate effectively with colleagues both remotely and in person, even as I adjusted to a new work environment. Faced with these challenges, my mantra for my experience was: “If I can adapt to a foreign environment and do well for this internship, I can achieve anything I set my mind on”.
About the Global Entrepreneurial Internship Programme (GEIP):
GEIP is NP’s signature internship programme offering entrepreneurial students the opportunity to immerse in overseas start-up and innovation ecosystems. Learn more about GEIP here.
Developing a Sustainability Mindset
There is no better way to broaden your perspective than traveling and experiencing new things firsthand. As a student in NP’s Early Childhood Development & Education course, Denise Teng did not think emerging sustainability trends had any impact on her chosen field. However, the final-year student’s perspective quickly changed when she visited the University of Queensland as part of the two-week Overseas Merit Fellowship (OMF) programme to Brisbane.
How did your perception about the concept of sustainability shift?
Denise: We attended workshops by professors at the University of Queensland that gave us insights into the efforts put into creating a more sustainable future for the world. This opportunity taught me that creating a sustainable world involves 3 main aspects – social, economic and environmental. I hope to venture into public service in the future and this knowledge will help me to create sustainable and viable policies. This experience has inspired me to acquire skill sets to measure the impact of policy solutions to ensure that they address sustainability challenges in a holistic way!
What was the most memorable part of your trip?
Denise: Apart from the opportunity to make new international connections, I was able to foster friendships with my fellow tripmates. As all 19 of us were taking different NP diplomas, everyone brought a unique perspective towards sustainability. This made our discussions more well-rounded and fulfiling!
About the Overseas Merit Fellowship (OMF) programme:
Partnering with prestigious universities around the world, the two-week OMF programme challenges students to become critical thinkers and social-minded global citizens. Find out more about OMF here.
Eye-Opening Cross-Cultural Experiences
During her Overseas Immersion Programme (OIP) experience, second-year Nursing student Natasha was excited to visit local hospitals and experience firsthand the operations of local healthcare facilities in Thailand. Her visit to Nakhon Pathom also gave her the opportunity to immerse herself in Thai culture and traditions.
Why did you decide to join the Overseas Immersion Programme?
Natasha: I have always been intrigued by the rich heritage and history of our neighbouring countries. The Overseas Immersion Programme gave me the opportunity to explore and interact with locals and truly experience what Thailand has to offer. I was also curious about the different approaches to healthcare and education overseas, and this was the best chance to find out more! We befriended the local students from Mahidol University and got to spend time exploring Bangkok together.
What surprised you most during the trip?
Natasha: During our tour of Bangkok’s largest hospital, Sriraj Hospital, I was surprised to find an entire department dedicated to treatments using traditional herbs. Local students were also given the option to pursue either Western or Thai Traditional Medicine (TTM), with incentives for TTM! The integration of traditional and modern medicine also reflects the Thais’ high regard for traditional values.
About the Overseas Immersion Programme (OIP):
Offering student experiences in an overseas university and opportunities to interact with local communities, the OIP gives students insights into business practices, local culture and socio-economic issues in their host country Read more about OIP here.
Making A Difference Abroad
When third-year Real Estate Business student Lizanne Kaia Ng first set off on her 12-day Youth Expedition Programme (YEP) trip, she knew little about Laos. What started out as a desire to make a difference to students in a local primary school turned into a trip marked by self-reflection and the forging of deep connections.
What did you do as part of the Youth Expedition Programme in Laos?
Lizanne: Besides teaching the local Muang Kham Primary School students basic English, we also taught them simple Mathematics and helped them develop creativity and motor skills with LEGO. The children surprised us with their creativity as they built their own LEGO homes and shops. We also helped build a boundary wall around their compound to create a safer space for them to learn and play. I remember getting together with the villagers, cooking with them (we made French fries) and making Kaipen, an iconic Laotian seaweed snack!
What was an unexpected takeaway from the trip?
Lizanne: The connection and bonds we forged with the local children! Despite the short time spent with the community, our team developed a strong bond with the children. We were very sad when it was time to leave, and we all shed tears on our last day! Sharing hugs and best wishes, it was an emotional moment even for the most playful boys. Despite the language barrier, we were so touched that we could connect with the children on a personal level.
About the Youth Expedition Programme (YEP):
YEP provides students a unique opportunity to expand their worldview and become socially responsible and active citizens. As students serve an overseas community, they develop confidence, resilience and leadership skills. Read more about YEP here.