As a third year student at Royal University of Law and Economics, major in Banking and Finance, I was selected by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore to join the TF-NTU LEaRN Exchange program. On January 17, 2011, the plane took off in Changi airport; everything was totally new as it was my first day abroad. From this time onward, I had to do everything on my own such as finding a taxi to the International Student Centre at NTU, handling my 30kg luggage, walking along the campus road to find my room which is on the fourth floor. At the first night, I sat alone in the bedroom and looked at the map to find where the nearest canteen is. The worst situation was I could not contact home, I could not find where the network access point was. It was a very terrible night for me, I felt that I want to go back home as soon as possible and missed my parent so much. Immediately, I felt that I want to discard this opportunity. After taking a nap, I woke up and told myself that I have to try my best until the end of this semester. I have to fence for myself, confident and energetic to challenge this barrier.
I found it very difficult to move from one place to another on foot because NTU campus is so large, spread across 200ha land and I did not know how to use the campus bus. I spent more than a week to learn how to use the bus system inside the campus. Luckily, I had found 13 Cambodian friends at NTU but all of them are male; I am the only female in the group. They taught me how to use the school bus , how to use MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and guided me some crucial tactics to get used for to living/be accustomed to living in Singapore. What, I was interested the most are the technologies: course registration, adding or dropping courses have to be done online. I have to request for course approval unless I can be registered into the courses that I prefer to study. In Cambodia, what I need to do is just to wait for the assigned schedule and then take the class directly, to study with my classmates for the whole year. However, in Singapore, I have to plan and prepare the class schedule by myself according to what I have registered. I have various flexible classes (seminar, lecture and tutorial), thus I meet many different classmates. This is an opportunity to enrich my communication skill as well as to learn about other cultures. Printing or copying lecturer notes is self-service; I had learnt how to print or copy using cash card.
Last but not least, what I have actually discovered are the advantages of technology, good environment and sanitation, security and mentality of Singaporeans and their attitude: time is very valuable for them, they act very fast even the way they walk. So I have to try to adapt to this new environment.
Everyone said I am a lucky girl, a perfect girl but I never think that I am perfect. Remember that no one is perfect, we all always make mistakes. Sometime you must accept that, not all of them will understand you. You are not the only one person in the world so do not be too proud of yourself, be humble and polite. What I have today because I always have dreams and set clear goals to achieve them. “Vision without actions is a daydream, actions without vision is a nightmare”. Trying step by step from day to day, we will get what we want one day. We all should have our own dreams and KEEP TRYING to make our dreams come true. Please do not give up when problems occur, think that they are just temporary setbacks, treat those problems as challenges then we will find the route to success.