Urban Tropical Ecology in Singapore

We Meet the Nicest People- Thursday February 25
by -- February 27th, 2010

Meet and Greet with NUS masters students

The National University of Singapore has a similar program to the masters program the Nicolas School offers at Duke.  Today we spent the morning having tea with NUS masters students and the program director.  The students were all very different people. Some are married, or working and going to school, and they are from all over the world, from Nepal to India.  The NUS program has a bit of everything from environmental law to design and urban planning.  The students are taught by professors from all different faculties on campus and they come out with a very broad education.  Just as we are studying here for the great hands on learning experiences Singapore offers students, so are the masters students.  Many of their courses are coupled with field trips and studies all over the island.

After speaking with the students one invited us up to her country club for lunch and to go swimming.  Roki is an ex-patriot originally from India, but has moved around with her husband living in London and New York.   With each move she was pulled away from her masters education short of a diploma, but will finish her degree here at NUS in the spring.  She was a great person to speak to about living in different environments, especially about Singapore since she has spent so much time in different places.

Many of the ex-patriots living here in Singapore have created a little haven for themselves with country clubs.  Roti belongs to the British Country Club located next to the Swiss and German country clubs, and there are private schools for their ex-patriot children right next door.  The buildings leading up to the clubs are huge mansions, especially in a city where land is scarce.  Seeing such a different part of Singapore was a very cool experience.

It was a day packed full of fun experiences, as three of us went down town and for traditional Javanese massages and foot reflexology.  After hiking for five hours in Bukit Timah and MacRitchie the day before, it was a much welcomed hour of pure relaxation.

It is the people we meet who will make an impression on our lives and we must jump at every opportunity we have to continue to make those life long connections.

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