Who knew the first day could be so much fun
7/28/11 - 7/28/11
From Monday morning at 8am to Wednesday Morning at about 2am I was traveling. It took 21 hours and 25 minutes of flight time just to arrive at my destination. And with my flights in both Chicago and Hong Kong delayed it took two days to finally make it here.
But after all the airplane food and sleeping leaning against the windows, I finally touched down in Singapore!
I am attending the National University of Singapore (NUS) in an exchange program that Clarkson University offers, and will be here until December. NUS set me up with a ‘buddy’ to meet me at the airport, help me find my dorm and get me checked in. Because my flights were delayed, my buddy had to come to Changi Airport in the middle of the night. His name is Tan Jing Da, but he goes by JD. By the time we drove through the city, arrived on campus and checked in, it was about 4am local time. I crashed immediately and slept through the night.
My first real morning in Singapore I awoke to an amazing thunderstorm. The humidity in this area is absurd, and the temperatures are almost unbearable. The thunder was the loudest I’ve ever heard, and sheets of rain poured down on my dorm. It only lasted about 20 minutes, and the rest of the day was hot and sunny!
At international student registration, it took hours of lines to get through immigration matters because all international students have to apply for a Student Pass to stay in the country. This is where I met my first new friends. After standing in lines, and missing forms, and borrowing pens, and complaining about the heat, you get to know the people around you very quickly. I met several students from Canada, the UK and other European countries by the end of the 3 hours it took to finish.
My first night here, a group of about 20 international students went into the city for dinner and a night out. We went to Clementi Hawker Center for dinner, and sat around talking for hours just getting to know everyone and where they were from.
After dinner we took the MRT (Singapore Subway system, stands for Mass Rapid Transit) to Clarke Quay. Clarke Quay is a beautiful riverside located in Singapore, and is home to many restaurants and nightclubs. It is beautifully lit up at night, and offers an amazing range of places to hang out. My night ended back at NUS, and I was officially loving Singapore!