School started finally! The day what I have been waiting for, and why I actually came to Singapore.
It’s time to start studying in totally new school (Temasek Polytechnic) in new environment, with totally new classmates and teachers.
I think first few days, even first few weeks in a new school are always weird. You might not get new friends right away, and some people might start to feel lonely. My
some kind of tutor teacher here said, that Singaporeans are shy and it takes little time to get courage to speak for a new people. And I totally understand it, as I am also little shy, so for me, being first week ”alone” is fine. I have a lot of time to get to know my new classmates, and as my tutor said, I should not feel worried about getting new friends – it just take a little while.
On Monday I had my very first lecture, it was Destination Planning & Development. We went through some basic stuff about the study field, and little bit about the course. Didn’t do much, as our real teacher (which is actually also my tutor) was not there, and we had his supply teacher.
It was nice to realize, that there is much same as I have studied, so I already know something and it might make my studying little bit easier.
And it was interesting, that even if the class was two hours, not any pause between, I didn’t get bored, what normally happens in Finland 😀
Today I had my second lecture, it was Airline Business Management. And oh well, that was very interesting class.
When I entered to lecture hall, the teacher walked up to me, told who she is and asked some standard questions about me. It was nice, and on Monday that didn’t happened.
I also realized that in that class, students were more open and they didn’t scare to ask questions about me. It was also nice, and well I think there was some same students as in Monday class.. But for me, for now, all Asians look so similar, so it is hard to remember who I have seen before.
Anyhow Airline Business subject was very interesting, and I get to know also that there will not be any bigger exam. There will be two smaller exams, which is not affecting to final number that much as all assignments etc.
Differences compared to Finland
It’s already now easy to point out some very good examples how Singaporean University of Applied Science is different when compared to Finland.
Even I have been in lectures only two times. And I know some of you might think, that everything is just so new and exciting for me so I should not compare schools yet.
But I’m going to do it anyway. So if you are not ready to hear it, then stop reading 😉
There is huge difference in teachers, even I have met just few of them and not even all my teachers yet. But I’ll tell more differences when there is more. So just telling what I have experienced until now.
Teachers here are really passionate for their job, I can see how much they are enjoying to teach.
They ask questions regularly from the class to keep students awake and aware. That’s not common in the school where I am in Finland (JAMK).
The biggest difference what I have realized is, that teachers really care of their students. Not meaning, that they are saying how important it is to study and be early in class. I mean, during the lecture teachers ask once in awhile questions like ”Is everything okay? Are you still with me? Everyone understand this? Should I tell again?”
I think it is awesome, because if there is shy students in class, it might be easier to answer for the teacher, rather than telling out loud.
My tutor teacher is simply awesome. Very often Asian people have weird accent in their English, and it might be hard to understand. It really take time to get used to it.
But my tutor teacher has very good English. I don’t know where he have been studying it, or anything, but he is speaking clear English.
I also have feeling, that my tutor is there for me. If I have anything to ask, I can ask from him. If I have some problem, I’m sure he can help me, or find someone who can.
I met him today for the first time, and I got right away feeling that I’ll get along with him. I have been sending many emails with him before I arrived, as I had to choose courses etc.
So it was nice to see him in person finally.
The good thing is, that he didn’t start right away asking questions related to school, courses etc. He asked how I have been, how is my apartment, what I have done already in Singapore etc. And he told me some good tips where to visit, and what to see. So it didn’t feel like conversation with teacher 😀 it was more flexible and more friendly.
I know everyone are eagerly waiting me to tell about the school food.
First of all, here is not actually any school food, you can’t get any discount by showing your student card.
There is not any real school lunch. But there is food courts, and food is cheap (usually 1-3€). There is also different dessert and drink options.
So there is not any school day Menu, or exact time when you can go to eat. There is food, all the time.
And you can choose from many different options, there is local food, western food (including fish and chips, pasta etc). There is also McDonald’s, and Subway and some toast place, where prices are 10-15% cheaper than normally. –> I also found ice cream kiosk 😀
Longest line is usually to the McDonald’s, and no, Asians are not fat.
I’m trying to eat local food as much as possible, as I love Asian food. But it was funny to see how almost everyone here are saying first ”oh there we have McDonald’s”. It feels like that they are thinking all Europeans would eat only hamburgers when they are traveling. 😀
When I was thinking what to wear to school, I immediately thought something smart casual. Maybe some dress, or longer pants. I didn’t have any idea what kind of clothes people are using in school. So I decided to wear my little bit better dress.
I think in Finland it would be consider as untidy to wear flip flops in school. Well here it is just normal. I was looking around me and almost every guy was wearing flip flops and also many girls.
I was also thinking that I should not wear shorts to school, that it might be not good idea. Well this thinking is coming from the idea, that Asian people are neat and they have dress, skirt or jeans everywhere. But I have found out, that it is not anything like that in school. People are wearing so normal clothes; shorts, flip flops, sandals etc.
For example when I was talking with my tutor, some ”headmaster” teacher came there also, and he was asking have I already get used to the Singapore, weather, food etc. And my tutor just said ”Well you can see, she is wearing clothes like locals. She is doing training at 6.30 am, when we are both still sleeping. She is almost like local already.”
Size of the school
In Finland I’m from the town where is approximately 5 000 people, I was thinking it is actually much because it is small town.
Now I’m studying in the school where is 15 000 students. 5 000 is already in School of Business where I am studying.
There is no another word to describe my feeling when I first read about it, I was just like ”wow”.
I have bee trying to take a photo from the School of Business, but already that part is so big that it is impossible to put it to one picture. Maybe panorama would be good choice 😀
For me it was kinda funny when on Monday lecture teacher was apologizing about the early starting time. She was so sorry, that we have to come to school at nine. I almost started to laugh, for me nine is luxury.
Earlier today when I was checking my school schedule with my tutor, he took in account that I am doing training at early morning. That’s like impossibility in Finland, where teachers are thinking more how you have to finish your school, and not think about your hobbies. Here, my tutor tried his best to choose classes which will not start at 9 am
Now my school schedule is ready, and only Monday and Thursday, I’ll start at 9 am. All other days I’ll start at 2 pm. First I had very long day on Tuesday, it was 9am-6pm, but I was thinking it might be too hard, so I decided to take one class away. I don’t to have too heavy workload, as it can be too stressful. And also because my tutor said, that locals usually have 4 courses – some might have 5, and some only 3.
So until next time 🙂 Just let me know what you want to know about Singapore, school here, country etc.