Name of the University:
Exchange semester:
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
Spring, 2012
I GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE SCHOOL
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is one large university consisting of several faculty
divisions, like engineering, business and science. The university is quite new (1991) and
houses around 33 500 students. The campus area is 2km 2 and filled with, besides the main
school buildings, dormitories, parks, swimming pools, a large sport area, several food courts
and many other things. If you don’t want to, you wouldn’t have to leave the campus area
because everything you need is there. Because the campus is so large there are several
shuttle busses around campus. NTU is located all west in Singapore close to the Malaysian
border (you can actually see Malaysia from one of the libraries).
As mentioned earlier there are several faculty divisions. The college of engineering is the
largest in the world and Nanyang Business School (NBS) is widely seen as the best one in
Singapore and one of the best in Asia. As a result NBS is very hard to get into for local
students. Even perfect scores is no guarantee. Most of the professors have many years of
international experience and most of the professors have PhDs.
NTU has 33 500 students, 20 000 are undergraduates (Bachelor students) and 10 000 are
postgraduates (Master and PhD). About 8 000 of these are from other countries than
Singapore. NBS accepts about 900 students to its bachelor program every year and has
around 3400 in undergraduate or postgraduate studies.
The study structure is different from that of BI. There is a lot of course work; presentations,
quizzes, midterms and group work is very common. It’s expected and a part of your grade to
come to class and participate. You can fail if you don’t show up in enough seminars. The
upside to this is that the exams don’t count as much. In one class we didn’t even have exams.
The classes are also a lot smaller (from 10-25 students) so if the professor sees you not
paying attention or participating he will ask you questions.
II PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Before we left we got an information package with all the information we needed. You apply
for classes, student pass and housing on campus. There is a lot of information but it’s
important to read it all. It also states what information you need to bring when you first enter
Singapore because you won’t get your student pass (the residence permit for students in
Singapore) before it’s been a couple of weeks.
The whole student pass process is very easy for Nanyang students. You do a preliminary
application online and pay around 200-300 NOK, and you print out some documents you
need to bring. Then during matriculation you get an appointment with Singaporean
immigration which comes out to the school so you don’t have to go downtown. The
procedures are well described in the information package you get from NTU. It’s also easy to
get plane tickets to Singapore as it’s a major business destination.
Semester started in early January and classes ended in mid- April. The last exam date our
semester was May 4th. Since there has been a lot of course work and tests during classes we
were very well prepared for exams when classes ended.
You can get a buddy if you want and he/she will show you around campus and Singapore.
There is also a very active exchange club that arranges parties, tours and trips. The first day
of school there was also a gathering for all the new exchange students and they give you all
the practical information you need and the do’s and don’t’s in Singapore.
You can apply for housing before you arrive or you can find housing on your own. Housing on
campus really varies in quality. Some are old with no air-condition and some are new with aircondition. All rooms are twin sharing and you are not able to apply for a specific room or
roommate. We lived of campus in a student hostel. It was a little more expensive than on
campus, but a lot larger apartment and with our own bathroom.
Singapore can be expensive or cheap. It really depends on your spending habits. We didn’t
have a kitchen so we ate all our meals out. Lunch or dinner at a food court varies from 3-5
Singapore dollars (13-20 kroner) and there you get the genuine local cuisine. Books are
cheaper than home, but rent is about the same (unless you stay on campus). Transportation
is really cheap. Both buss, subway rides and taxi is a lot cheaper than home. From NTU to
Downtown it’s about 7 kroners using public transport (20 km).
There is an international office where you can enquire if you have any enquiries. They are
very helpful. They also send out a lot of information on activities they host.
It’s easy to come in contact with other students. The locals are very curious about exchange
students and they are easy to talk to. There are also a lot of exchange students. They are
also easy to get to know and very social. The exchange club host parties and events for
exchange students, which in turn makes it even easier to get in touch with other people. The
social aspect makes life at NTU very nice. NTU is very different from BI but we really liked it.
Singaporean culture is very different from Norwegian culture, but as long as you are open and
accepting you won’t have any problems. NTU is a very international school and so are the
professors. Even the Singaporean professors have usually spent several years abroad.
Singapore is also a mix of Asian culture. Downtown you can find China Town, Little India,
Arab Street and so on. If you want to experience Asian culture Singapore is the melting pot,
and everybody is well integrated. A lot of low-cost carries also have their hub at Singapore
airport so it’s cheap to fly (we went twice to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand).
Being in Singapore you will definitely get more respect for other cultures. They are very
accepting of different cultures and find ways to integrate them. Still Singapore is the financial
capital of Asia and one of the four Asian tigers and the opportunity to study in that
atmosphere has definitely made us more attractive to future employers.
III ACADEMIC INFORMATION
All courses are thought in English at the bachelor level at NBS. The level of study is the same
as BI but you are expected to do a lot more course-work underway. Teachers at NBS
emphasis real life usage and cases and class simulations are commonly used giving the
lectures a more practical rather than theoretical feel, because you get to use what they teach
in a real life situation. Since classes are so small professors really get to know their students
and give individual feedback underway.
Exams are based a lot on what is taught in class. The textbooks are more used to give a
detailed explanation on what the teacher is saying rather than being tested on the content of
the books itself. All the literature is in English and all books can be bought on campus.
Exams are like those at BI, but a lot shorter. To achieve and A, you really have to show
excellence on your exams in addition to all the coursework. Very few fail, but in Singapore a
low grade is just as bad.
The IT situation is like BI. You get your own email and there is high speed Wi-Fi around
campus. There are computer labs around campus and in the libraries. Also once a semester
they have e-learning week. During e-learning week all learning takes place online.
Description of Courses
Short name
Course name
BE1401
Business
BF215
BF326
AB205
Prereq
No
Exam
Written, all written aids
allowed
Difficulty
normal
Written, one A4 sheet of
written paper allowed as
aid
Written, all written aids
allowed
Hard
finance
course
No
no
No exam
normal
Operations and
Processes
Basic
Investments
Bank
Financing
and
Credit
Management
Negotiate to Get
What You Want:
normal
BE 1401 was the required course we needed to have (logistics). Bank Financing and credit
Management was definitely one of the best courses. Very interesting and the professor is an
earlier Vice President at Chase Manhattan (Now JP-Morgan Chase). Negotiation to get what
you want was also very fun. We had one class simulation every class. It can be very difficult
to get space in that course though. The professor for negotiation has also been voted as the
favourite lecturer at NBS several years.
If you are thinking about going on exchange to Singapore, the answer should be yes. It’s
definitely a great experience. Should you have any questions, or want to hear stories or see
pictures please don’t hesitate to ask the International Office for our contact information.
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Nanyang - Spring 2012 - BI Norwegian Business School