By having good local friends when you live abroad, you can call the place another home.
It is absolutely bewildering how my year in Singapore flew by like a jet zooming into the space! So, what I would like to share with you in this blog are some notes to make the most out of your time aboard as a KAB student. (Remember, student life aboard is unique; working or touristing abroad offer radically different experiences.)
1. Hang out with various groups of friends.
Surely, you will meet people from several countries when you attend an international master’s program. In the beginning, be as open as you can to try and hang out with both international gangs and local students. An excellent characteristic of Swedish students at SSE is that they are willing to shift to English whenever there is even only one foreign student in their communication circle. You will never feel discriminated or out of the loop here, like ever. You will soon enough start to identify friends who share mutual interests and lifestyle and find it comfortable to hit them up when you need some companies.
What about at NUS in Singapore? The best way to make true Singaporean friends is to grab them on your class project team as fast as you can and show your best competencies as a team member. You will buy the heart and soul of your local buddies and score top grades like never before!
2. Learn about all the benefits the schools offer to their students.
Both SSE and NUS Business School have great services and supports for their students. Please allocate a few hours to read through student portals and program’s emails. Try to avoid the situation where you have to say to yourself “I should have known this earlier.”
Being a KAB fellow is even more privileged as you would have direct contacts to the program’s directors and staff. For me, I feel like the schools know me as me, Wasita, a KAB fellow from Thailand, and not just as a student who goes there.
3. Do not feel like it’s too much to introduce yourself as a KAB fellow doing a double-master’s between SSE and NUS.
Advertise our program! You never know if anyone in the room is looking for a connection in either Sweden or Singapore, or in Scandinavia or Southeast Asia. So, telling them that you are the one with connections they may need can bring you opportunities you might never have expected!
4. Lastly, be yourself. Be true to yourself and be true to others.
No one has set specific expectations from you. YOU set expectations from yourself and tell others those. In the end, every school and every person accept you for who you are and for your potentials. Be free to explore your interests and keep expanding your mental frames.
Remember once again, your time as a student allows you to do trials and learn from your errors. It might be a cliché that everyone says, but it is so easy to forget when you are actually on this path. Student life is also a great time to develop true friendship with fellow classmates who will eventually be your friends for a life time. No other kinds of non-family relationship are more valuable than this.