Left: Tammy Toh is a
recipient of the NUS
Global Merit Scholarship,
and is currently pursuing
a Bachelor of Science
Right: Gerald Yee is pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) under the NUS Merit Scholarship.
For more than 100 years, NUS has served as Singapore’s flagship university, known to provide a global and Asian experience that is broad, deep and rigorous, the NUS Scholarships (comprising two tiers - NUS Global Merit Scholarship and NUS Merit Scholarship) are highly coveted undergraduate scholarships awarded to high-calibre individuals who demonstrate excellence and exhibit outstanding qualities.
Tammy Toh, recipient of the NUS Global Merit Scholarship, and Gerald Yee, recipient of the NUS Merit Scholarship, share with us their experiences at NUS and their thoughts on being awarded the coveted scholarship.
How did you discover your respective scholarships?
Tammy: I had done some online research on local scholarships, and some of my teachers also mentioned the NUS Scholarship to me. I really wanted to apply for and get a scholarship in order to help my parents financially.
Gerald: The NUS Merit Scholarship was introduced to me by my tutor in Junior College. Firstly, the NUS Merit Scholarship provides undergraduates with the opportunity to go for an Overseas Exchange Programme. I do not travel abroad often, so this opportunity to be exposed to cultures all over the world is an eye-opener for me. Secondly, it also helps to reduce the financial burden on my parents as the NUS Merit Scholarship covers my tuition fee and provides me with a living allowance. Lastly, as the NUS Merit Scholarship is bond-free, it provides me with the freedom to venture into different industries or companies.
Why NUS, out of the many universities available to you?
Tammy: NUS has a reputation for having a well-developed academic curriculum with experienced and extremely qualified professors. The environment was a huge deciding factor for me as many of my friends and family who had studied at NUS previously described their experience as “very homely” and I have definitely experienced that here with the wonderful people that I have met.
Gerald: NUS offers a well-rounded education, where students can both receive a good education and grow holistically as a person. Moreover, NUS gives its students ample time to discover their interests outside of academics – be it through studying in areas of their specialisation or through taking part in sports or art. Personally, I feel that having a balanced student life is of paramount importance, which made me choose NUS.
You are both currently in your first year in NUS. How has the experience been for you so far?
Tammy: While at times overwhelming, it has also been immensely positive. At first, it was tough to get back into the “school routine” of waking early, attending tutorials, and studying. However, it has also been a very blessed first year in NUS as I have met many new, friendly faces. I also got integrated into hostel life, which has been a fantastic experience. I would say that overall, despite how busy and hectic things might be from time to time, it has been a wonderful experience so far.
Gerald: I would say that my experience so far has been a challenging but a fruitful one. Academic-wise, it has not been easy but I have enjoyed the journey so far, as the content and knowledge that I am acquiring is both interesting and relevant. My stay at Temasek Hall, one of the halls of residence in NUS, has also been amazing, where I made good friends who have been really supportive and encouraging whenever I faced difficulties.
What’s the culture at NUS, and how has studying at NUS developed you as a person?
Tammy: The student culture at NUS is very inclusive and homely. I have come to see NUS, especially my hall, as not only a home but a family, with so many people and friends that I have become accustomed to seeing daily. Studying at NUS has definitely allowed me to develop my independence, as that is the focus of this university. Hence, how well we do is really dependent on our individual efforts. I think NUS has really developed my work ethic and also my time management skills, with plenty of hall activities and training sessions to juggle on top of our academic workload.
Gerald: Studying in NUS has taught me to be more diligent, because the NUS academic system requires students to carry out a lot of tasks independently, such as self-studying. I believe this has encouraged students to practice self-discipline and diligence, as we are required to find the solutions ourselves whenever we are faced with challenges.
Apart from a good degree, what else do you hope to achieve from your time in NUS?
Tammy: I would like to contribute more to the community, so I joined the Youth Expedition Project (YEP) in my hall to raise funds and go to a less fortunate country to do community work. I am also looking forward to internships or job shadowing opportunities, especially in the healthcare sector, to learn more about the latest developments in the dynamic, fast-paced pharmaceutical industry. Lastly, I just want to enjoy my time in university, meet more people from different backgrounds and also gain more life experiences in general.
Gerald: I hope to grow more holistically as a person, improving myself as an individual. Additionally, I would like to enjoy myself during my educational journey in NUS, and be able to do well in both my academics and my co-curricular activities.
What advice do you have for those who are considering a scholarship with NUS?
Tammy: I would say just go for it, to work hard and give your 100% in anything you decide to do. Be honest with yourself, and choose your course of study not because of its prospective career but because you truly have a passion for it. Your passion will be reflected in your scholarship interview performance, which is an important factor during your interview in order to obtain a scholarship at NUS.
Gerald: I would advise them to give it a go and submit an application. Regardless of the result, at least you know that you have tried your best, and that is all that matters. More importantly, the NUS Scholarship is bond-free, which provides students with the flexibility to explore their interests and keep their future options open before deciding on which career to pursue in the future.