W ith strengths in engineering, science, business, education, humanities, arts and social sciences, NTU delivers a holistic education to a cosmopolitan mix of undergraduate and postgraduate students representing about 100 nationalities. It also has a joint medical school with Imperial College London.
We speak to Anais Ang Xin Hui and So Choon Chia, both NTU students and Nanyang Scholarship holders. They share with us about their rich educational journey thus far, and the opportunities they have been given at NTU to fulfil their personal and academic aspirations.
Ang Xin Hui, Anais
Nanyang Scholarship holder
Bachelor of Arts, Double Major in Psychology and Media Analytics
A Unique Mix of Majors
For freshman Anais, NTU had always been her first choice. Unlike other local universities, NTU was the only one which allowed her to do a unique double major degree. Being fascinated by the science of how we think, learn and react for as long as she can remember, Anais chose to pursue psychology and media analytics. “I find it intriguing to learn about our cognitive thought processes during decision making, and why people act and behave differently in different situations,” she shares.
It might seem like psychology and media analytics are polar opposite disciplines, but Anais explains that this is hardly the case. “While psychology is the biological cognitive study of what motivates people, media analytics is the raw external process of how to convince people by reading data. Together these two disciplines work hand in hand to build a better understanding of our minds,” she says.
For third-year student Choon Chia, he chose NTU because it would allow him to pursue both his passions – biology and food – in a state-of-the-art facility. He tells us, “I have appreciated the study of biology in School of Biological Sciences since being introduced to it in secondary school. Our bodies are an amazing network of systems which always finds a way to fight back against stressors and viruses.”
Not driven just by his interest, he also feels that studying biology would allow him to make a difference in the food industry and, more importantly, in people’s lives. “I am strongly influenced by Singapore’s food culture and believe that food is a big part of everyone’s lives. Due to this, I see a lot of growth potential for the food science industry both locally and internationally. I see myself being a part of this and playing a tangible role in preventing and addressing global food issues in the near future,” he shares.
Resources and Opportunities Aplenty
From online libraries to learning portals, NTU aims to provide its students with adequate resources to aid in their academic journey. Anais shares, “The online library has a wide range of research papers which has been extremely helpful when working on my assignments. The sources I require are easy to find and useful in explaining complicated concepts which I find difficult to grasp.”
NTU firmly believes in providing a cohesive learning environment, where its students have opportunities to learn outside of their chosen discipline. In keeping up with this belief, the school organises many events which encourage students to expand their academic horizons. One such event is the Eminent Speaker Series, where NTU invites speakers to share their experiences and views. Some notable speakers include local ministers, National Geographic photographers and financial experts. Choon Chia elaborates, “I find these talks very interesting as they give me a sense of what the global trends are. These talks give me new perspectives and ensure I remain current with worldly affairs.”
A Vibrant Culture
The grounds of NTU are also always bustling with activities for students. Although only a freshman, Anais fills up her spare time after classes with Ultimate Frisbee, Badminton and Track and Field trainings and competitions. “I feel that participating in these sports gives me a good avenue for stress relief, helps to keep me energised and gives me opportunities to widen my social circle,” she says.
So Choon Chia
Nanyang Scholarship holder
Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a Second Major in Food Science and Technology
Choon Chia, on the other hand, is part of the Publicity and Publications committee for the Welfare Services Club and Biological Science Club. His position gives him opportunities to practise photography and pick up quintessential leadership skills. “Being a part of the Biology Science Club has allowed me to see and experience what it means to be a leader. The process of planning a policy was an eye-opener, from taking student feedback, to planning, drafting and then executing the policy. It is very rewarding to see your policy implemented and witness how it actually helps students,” he elaborates.
Looking to the Future
When asked about their plans for the future, both scholars expressed very different career views. However, there was one prominent similarity between them – they both believe in building on their aspirations and giving back to the community.
Seeing her fellow classmates and juniors in Junior College battling school stress, Anais has her eyes set on pursuing a career as a student counsellor. “I was inspired because I saw first-hand how a stressful academic environment can affect you both mentally and emotionally. I feel that being a student counsellor is a good way for me to help students better cope with the academic pressure,” she shares.
Choon Chia has been considering a range of career paths. One of his options is to create a start-up which focuses on delivering nutritious food to busy working professionals. “I want to revolutionise the traditional way we consume our food. With obesity being a pressing health issue in Singapore, I hope that my food start-up can help encourage people to adopt healthier lifestyles,” he says.
As he lays out his options, Choon Chia is enthusiastic to see where his future adventures will bring him. He concludes, “With the opportunities and comprehensive education NTU has provided me, I am confident that I have the relevant skills to succeed in whichever career path I eventually pursue.”