From Singapore to Cornell
Coming from a busy city like Singapore, it was difficult for me initially to adjust to the remoteness of Ithaca. However, I have come to love this small and beautiful town.
What was something surprising that you saw, learned, or experienced at Cornell?
Class discussions at Cornell are very insightful and enriching. Students are strongly encouraged to speak up and share their perspectives while the others respect these opinions and engage in healthy debates on the topic. One particular discussion section really stood out to me, when, in order to learn more about civic engagement and peaceful protests, our teaching assistant told all of us to pack our bags and head out to witness a protest happening on campus with regard to the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the DACA policy. This was the first protest I had ever witnessed, especially on a college campus, and it was a memorable and meaningful experience.
What’s one of the best things you experienced at Cornell?
The people that I met and the friendships that I formed are the best memories I have from Cornell. Being an exchange student at Cornell enabled me to meet people from very diverse backgrounds and build strong friendships with them that I will cherish forever. Traveling, eating lunch at one of the quads, going to campus events like Homecoming (which was my best weekend on campus!), and enjoying the vibrant student life together—these are some of the best and most valuable experiences from my time at Cornell.
How do you expect your Cornell experience will affect your future?
Bing an exchange student at Cornell has made me more independent, as I have learned to navigate through the challenges of living far away from home and adjusting quickly to a different academic system. Also, after attending talks at Cornell about students’ experiences working for various industries, I began to reflect more about my interests related to my academics and career. This inspired me to think more carefully about what motivates me and has given me a clearer idea of my future career path.
What advice would you give other international students who are thinking about studying at Cornell?
At Cornell, one must be prepared to work hard. With the continuous assignments and exams, the academics are intense—hence, one must have intellectual curiosity to remain motivated and excel. There is a plethora of resources that you should definitely reach out to. Also, be prepared for Ithaca and its weather!