September in Singapore comprised mainly of an assortment of essays, assignments and group projects not only for me, but for a large majority of exchange students. The module structure of NUS isn’t particulary challanging to manage, however it’s very easy for course work to accumulate rapidly when you’re given various, time consuming tasks, to complete for all 5 subjects!
Nevertheless, there was a light at the end of the educational tunnel and that was recess week! This is similar to the University of Glasgow’s reading week (which is often only available to arts/social science students), where students get a week off prior to the midterm/essay deadlines.
I had originally planned to spend my recess week in Bali, but I unfortunately couldn’t travel as I had a variety of group projects to attend to! Thinking back, I was probably the only one out of the entire exchange student community who stayed behind. Whilst I was stuck studying in the HAZE, the rest of the students dispersed themselves across Asia! They packed thier bags and headed on week long trips to various locations – from bali, to combodia, Tiwan, to Korea! Yet despite my unfortunate circumstances, I did have a great week! I even managed to go to the Formula 1 weekend!
If you’re thinking of travelling during recess week when you come to Singapore, here are some of the places that were popular the exchange students here!
The Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur his historically and culturally rich. The flights to KL from Singapore are cheap, and so is accommodation! Also, if you’re into sight seeing, the nearby Batu Caves are worth visiting.
For beaches, you can visit Langkawi off the peninsular west coast and Perhentian and Redang islands off the east coast are among the highlights. Tioman, Sibu and Rawa are also close to Singapore. Kota Kinabalu in Borneo (East Malaysia) is a stepping-stone to Mabul and Sipadan. You’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice!
Elsewhere, Penang and Malacca hit the spot for history; Taman Negara has the world’s oldest rainforest; the Cameron Highlands and tea plantations are located on the spine of the peninsula; and don’t forget the orangutans in Sabah.
The vast majority of the student’s I’ve met traveled to Indonesia! They managed to get rather cheap flights from Singapore ( between $90-120 return) by booking early! The main islands of Insonesia are Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Irian Jaya and, Java. These all beautiful places to visit if you’re wanting to escape the city! Better yet, you can head to Bali!
From Bangkok to Chiang Mai Thailand has so much to offer! From crystal clear beaches, temples and markets to the up North jungle adventures involving elephants, teak forests and numerous hill tribes; find you’re self spoilt for choice when it comes to what to do! My roomies actually travelled to and around Thailand!
The amount of jealously when I saw everyone’s travel photos and heard about all their amazing adventures was unreal! However, some of the students, when they returned after all the traveling, found themselves exhausted and under a great deal of stress due heavy work loads/ exam preparations that followed reading week. This was the only time when I was glad I stayed behind. Reading week had allowed me to sort my self out, and stay ahead of the work.
If you have any enquiries feel free to get in touch! 😁