Program Highlights:

  • EUSA Internship Program in New York city, Boston and Paris
  • The Washington Center Internship (TWC)
  • A presentation on Cross-Cultural Internship Program (CCIP) by program representative from New York city, Ms Elizabeth Kay (Fusia Communications, Inc.)
  • EADS internship in new locations in Europe
  • Research attachment opportunities available at various Universities in the US, France, the UK, Australia, and Mexico


Date: 12 January 2011, Wednesday

Time: 2.30pm to 4:30pm

Venue: University Hall Auditorium, Level 2, Lee Kong Chian Wing


To attend the Info Session, please register on-line at Calendar of Events by 5pm, 11 January 2011. For enquiries or more information, please email

Visit the International Internships page or read Study Abroad at FASS!

Benjamin Freud – Graduate Studies @ FASS


Moving to Singapore gave me the opportunity to make a career change, leaving a consulting career behind to pursue my doctoral studies in hopes of finding a research-intensive job upon the completion of my studies. Before applying to NUS, I wasn’t quite sure what my dissertation topic was going to be, but I knew that I wanted to mix European and Asian histories. I spoke with several professors within the History department who provided me with useful insights and advice on how to identify and construct a thesis that would be interesting and original, but also leverage the expertise of the staff within FASS. 

My dissertation topic examines French colonial policy-making in WWII Indochina, looking at the mechanics behind how the Governor General in Hanoi utilised Pétainist doctrine (the politics of the New Order that the Vichy government tried to establish following defeat in 1940) to advance his own agenda in the region. This subject combines my knowledge of the French past, my passion for understanding how ideology plays a part in politics, and my curiosity of Indochinese culture and history. I am very fortunate that NUS has encouraged me to approach a subject that is so wide-ranging.


I have been very lucky to have three experts in three different fields on my committee, all of which relate closely to the topic I am studying and who can provide varying points of view on my work. My advisors comprise of one of academia’s foremost experts on Indochina, a specialist in European ideologies of the twentieth-century, and an authority on youth movements in Vichy Indochina. I should add the that latter professor is from the Sociology department, illustrating how FASS works closely together and shows flexibility for the benefit of its students.


During my time at NUS I have completed coursework that has been directly and indirectly useful for my topic, specifically in terms extending the breadth of my knowledge on the region. My advisor has also encouraged me to study Vietnamese as a means of better engaging the sources for my topic. Lastly, I was a Teaching Assistant for four semesters. This experience has been invaluable as the professors with which I worked gave me an ideal balance between autonomy and guidance, allowing me to craft my own plans for the tutorials while always present to answer questions and give me advice should I need anything. In addition, I made two appearances as a guest lecturer in one of the classes. I was very nervous the first time, but believe I did much better the second, proving how useful the experience was and how I will take what I learned with me after NUS.


Now that I am done with my coursework and my field work I currently reading the materials I have collected in the archives. I should complete my dissertation by the spring or summer 2012. After my studies I am hoping to enter a career in political risk analysis. I am convinced that the research skills, experience, and output that I will have gained at NUS, along with the international exposure that is so important for this field, will allow me to make the transition.

Reconnecting With Academia

Kamalini Ramdas
Teaching Assistant
Department of Geography

I have always been interested in Geography but was never sure if my interest would be sufficient to contemplate life as an academic. Since graduating from NUS with an Honours degree in Geography in 1995, I have worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and the Asia Research Institute and the Department of Geography at NUS. At each stage, my passion for the subject has played a crucial role. In 2006, ten years after completing my undergraduate degree, I decided to take the final step.

When I first graduated from NUS in 1995, I was sure that I didn’t want to be an academic. My thesis supervisor at the time, Brenda Yeoh, asked if I would consider pursuing my Masters right after graduating. I told her I was not ready, and that I needed to go out there and see if there was something other than Geography I might be interested in. However, after three years of working at the Economist Intelligence Unit, I decided it was time to return to my passion.

Even after making the decision to reconnect with academia, the path to a doctoral degree for me was never a straightforward one. I kept thinking there was more I needed to know before embarking on the journey as a full-fledged PhD candidate. After completing my Masters in 2001, I honed my critical research skills working as a research assistant for two years. In 2003, I joined the Asia Research Institute where I learnt more about other aspects of life in academia – seminars, conferences, grant funding. After my year at ARI, I returned to the Department of Geography at NUS – but this time as a Teaching Assistant. At that point, three years had passed since I had graduated with my Masters.

I signed on as a PhD student with the Department of Geography in August 2006. I still work at the department full-time as a Teaching Assistant. Working and writing a PhD concurrently has not been easy. But the choice to do so made sense for me. After all, I had myself to support and by this time a partner and two dogs to consider. A full-time programme outside Singapore was not feasible, both emotionally as well as financially. Moreover, I had formed firm friendships at the department and I liked working there. Somehow it felt like the right place to take the plunge as a doctoral candidate.

I am excited about the future and am looking forward to life as an academic. I hope to submit my thesis on singlehood and migration for examination by the end of 2011. More recently, I have been working on three research papers for publication. I have also presented my research at the Association of American Geographers conference in Washington DC in April 2010, as well as graduate student conferences in Singapore and Vancouver in Canada.

Pursuing a PhD is no mean feat. It requires a great deal of commitment and an army of supporters, from professors, administrators, the graduate student community and of course your family – whoever you consider the latter to be. My decision to stay in Singapore has been crucial in providing me this support. I am surrounded by people who are as passionate about Geography as I am, and equally committed to seeing me succeed.

Spicing up your student life!

By: Thng Wen You






School work, projects, assignments, readings, labs and exams are the norm.

Having been a student for years can make one a bit tired of the routine.
Losing your motivation for school work can be detrimental to our precious CAP scores.

Here’s what I did to spice up my student life in NUS. I had literally spiced it up by signing up for the NOC program to India.

Number of student for my intake: 8

Number of months in India: 6

Number of times I had to gulp lots of water to dampen the flavour on my tongue? Countless

Why India? The most frequent question I hear when I told people about my choice.
Parents knit their brows in worry and while some think that I have gone crazy.

I quote a friend who has aptly said that “India is a beautiful mess.”
I agree completely.

India is chaotic with its sheer number of people moving to the cities. Just try taking a train in Mumbai, what you experience on MRT is a piece of cake compared to the trains here (just check out the video at 3 mins and you’ll see what it’s like). Whilst the crowd may be daunting, India is bursting with its vibrancy and life! While many countries like Japan & Singapore are facing the problem of an aging population, India has her median age at 25 years old (The World Factbook, 2010).

This means that India has the most energetic people who are striving to make a mark in the world. Key focuses of its people are on innovation and enterprise or as the locals say “Jugaad” – meaning an innovative fix.

The people here are an inspiration. Aspirations here are not just about making big bucks here. Social entrepreneurship in India is pushing the frontiers. This should come as no surprise as the Ashoka’s First Fellow was in India in 1981 elected by Bill Drayton. Since then the social enterprise scene in India has evolved greatly to make vast and lasting impact on the social fabric of India. Even President Obama has acknowledged that “India is not simply emerging; India has emerged.”

I am not getting any modular credits for my 6 months internship here but the experience here has been worth much more than that. The friends and bonds created will last even after I leave India. There’s more to life! Live it! Come join NOC India!


To read more about what Wen You experienced in India read her blog here. Be warned, she has been told that she is a lousy blogger. She is not very regular with her updates. One good thing about her blog is the recipe for Indian Styled Potato (also known as Aloo) Wedges.

Invitation to enroll in WP2201-J “Prizes and Popular Culture”

Students in FASS are invited to enroll in a writing course, WP2201-J “Prizes and Popular Culture” offered by the University Town Writing Program (UTWP).  While considering prizes and what we can learn from them with regard to culture, social trends and individual taste, students will also be practising writing strategies.  To get a sense of the variety of ideas that emerged during the previous semester, students can visit the website

WP 2201-J is scheduled for Tues & Fri 9am-11am; Tues & Fri 11am – 1pm; and Monday and Thursday 11pm-1pm.

This course is one of a set of nine topic-specific courses offered by the UTWP (see the list below); this is the last term that all NUS students will be permitted to sign up for them, as starting in August 2011 they will be available only to University Town resident students. If students are unable to accommodate the schedule or have interest in other topic areas than gender and language, they are encouraged to choose among the full slate of UTWP courses listed below:

Models of Press Freedom (WP2201B)

Mars/Venus?: Gender & (Mis)Communication (WP2201C)

Writing in a Digital World (WP2201D)

From Human to “Posthuman” (WP2201E)

Screening Globalization (WP2201F)

Language and Migration (WP2201G)

Eating Right(s): The Politics of Food (WP2201H)

Good Intentions—Unintended Consequences (WP2201I)

Prizes and Popular Culture (WP2201J)