Singapore skyline

Chloe Zhang

Major: Architecture
Program: Global Internships: Singapore
Country of Study: Singapore
Term: Summer 2019

“Meeting new people and exploring the country was always my most enjoyable time. I literally only went back home to sleep.”


What led you to study abroad? Why did you choose your country/program?

I chose Singapore because it's one of the safest countries in the world. I have also never been to any part of Asia other than China prior to the trip.

What was the most interesting cultural experience you had abroad?

I expected Singapore to be a Chinese-heavy country, but English is actually more prevalent.

What was the biggest challenge/concern of your study abroad experience? How did you respond?

I think the financial aspect was my biggest concern, but I received scholarships and grants which helped a lot.

Describe a typical day for you abroad.

My internship was far away, so I woke up 5 am every morning to get to my workplace. Because architecture takes a lot of time, I would finish my work anywhere from 8 pm to 11 pm during the weekday. When I got off early, I would meet my friends and we would go and eat local food and explore what the city has to offer. During the weekends, I would travel and explore with my friends in different parts of Singapore and experience the culture.

What coursework did you take while abroad? How did courses abroad compare with Berkeley classes?

I found the classes easy and not difficult to balance with exploring and interning. The classes I took were a cultural studies class for Singapore and a internship reflection class.

What was the most memorable/meaningful aspect of your time abroad?

Meeting new people and exploring the country was always my most enjoyable time. I literally only went back home to sleep.

What impact did studying abroad have on you personally?

It opened my eyes to an Asian community that was very different from a typical Asian community. It made me see a country with only 50 years of history and how a small country can defend itself from larger countries like the USA.

What would you recommend to students considering studying abroad, especially to your country or program?

I would say to try everything and no matter how tired you are, to explore and make connections. Don't just make friends with people on the program, but make friends with people who live in the community - they are the locals, which means they have a lot to offer.