Jan 23, 2013

Experience Yale-NUS, again

So, when Dean V told us about the idea of a Mystery Internship - where they find out as much as they can about us to determine where we should go, and they don't let us know where that is until the day we get on the plane - there was a short pause, and then everyone clapped. And people gave comments like "It should be somewhere we haven't gone before"and "It should be a place where we can't speak their language".

 And this is why I love Yale-NUS.

Had an utterly exhausting and incredibly amazing experience at my second Experience Yale-NUS Weekend - this time, helping out as a student intern. The American students arrived on Thursday, 1.35am, and from Thursday to Monday I got between one and a half to three hours of sleep per day. Ran around. Got to pick up people from the airport. Had great conversations with people from L.A., Texas, Turkey, Senegal, Nepal, India, Japan and more. They were all so excited about being in Singapore and trying stingray and chilli crab and all the "local food".
Gardens by the Bay!

I'll post better pictures of all of us when the other students post theirs up. On Thursday at lunchtime, when the kids were all jetlagged but still excited, we took them to a comfortable cafe because we thought they'd be too tired and uncomfortable to try local food just yet. And they were all like, "What's the most local dish here?" "Can we go and get something more local on our own?" "Will we get to try local stuff later tonight?"

I love how everyone's so adventurous and curious and excited. But maybe that's why we're all here.

Here's just one of the many amazing people I met at the weekend - Julia Versel from Senegal. She's really the sweetest thing and it was so nice having her around. I really hope she takes up Yale-NUS's offer; I have a feeling we'll click fantastically in school.

And here's Tuktu from Turkey; also extremely sweet, sincere and warm, and who also happens to be a concert pianist! Had some lovely chats with her and I love her views. 

Here's Kishin from Japan, whose hobbies include doing DJ mixes even though he does prefer chatting with friends in a quiet atmosphere to the noisiness of a club, and who made this super creative awesome pair of shoes using traditional Japanese socks (tabi). Everyone can't wait for him to sell them. He'll become famous. I sent him off at the airport and we spent half an hour standing around a giant globe talking about places like Eritrea and Yemen and this interesting island called Iturup which is "occupied by Russia but claimed by Japan".

And here's Shrabya from Nepal! My dad loves Nepal, but I've never been there before, and I learnt so much from him. I'm so fascinated. Can't wait to go there one day.

Also, shoutouts to other people I had great conversations with, like Belinda Lei, Feimei Zeng and Rohan Naidu!

It was a fantastic four days. Everyone had so much personality. (Shoutout to Jolanda Nava, Kelsi Caywood, Bernard Stanford, Akash Salam, Stephen Turban, Katie Zheng, Maggie Schumann, Luke Heine and SO many more - it was so fun having all you hilarious and fun-loving people around, and I'm so glad I met you all!) It was great meeting all these enthusiastic, excited, driven and adventurous people, who shared my concerns and hopes for Yale-NUS. And SMART people, like Jungo Kasai whose English is self-taught and who picked up enough Chinese to be able to converse in the language in the short span of 2-3 weeks. I'm really thankful to have been a part of it, even though I was extremely tired and very very blur at times, causing a lot of trouble and frustration to everyone. It's amazing to see the kinds of people Round 1 brought in, and I can't wait to meet the admitted students of the next two rounds. 


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