Script Market 2010 – A nuSTUDIOS event

by Student Blogger Ian Goh


Last Friday, on the 14th of May, nuSTUDIOS Film Productions held its annual Script Market + Script Writing Workshops for potential and aspiring filmmakers in NUS. nuSTUDIO members gathered at the Activity Room in the NUS Centre For the Arts (CFA) to present their movie ideas to a group of NUS students.

Kicking off this year’s event, Audrey Chua, Screenwriting Head for nuSTUDIO’s EXCO, welcomed the new writers, stating that the whole concept behind Script Market was literally that – to provide a ‘marketplace’ for NUS students to ‘pitch’ their movie ideas to directors, producers, and other crew members, with the intention of creating teams to actually work on their film-projects.

The concept of ‘pitching’ is common practice in the film industry, especially in Hollywood. In many cases, screenwriters often have five to ten minutes to present their stories to studio executives, (think Warner Brothers or 20th Century Fox) convincing them to invest in the project. With Script Market, pitchers had to do something similar. The atmosphere, however, could not be more relaxed and informal, with both the presenters and audience members frequently engaging in lively discussion with one another.


(Stills from Screenwriting Workshop with Director Wilson Yip)

 Over the next three hours, over four scripts were presented to the audience members, with the scriptwriters having to state their loglines (movies summarised into single sentences), the plot/story outlines, as well as the main characters in their stories. This was then followed by a Q&A and feedback session with the audience, where the scriptwriters were then given advice on how to improve their stories in the long run.

Vamsi Khrisna, an NUS graduate student, pitched more than one screenplay idea to the members in attendance. His story ‘The Virtuous Path’ was about a gangster trying to come to terms with falling in love with a girl who’s very much unlike himself. Among his other pitches included a story about religious extremism and tolerance, which gathered much interest from the audience. Lastly, his final pitch was a quaint story about how two ordinary Singaporeans decide one day to don super-hero costumes and fight injustice on the streets of Singapore. When questioned about its similarities with the recent Hollywood movie, ‘Kickass’, Vamsi grinned and replied, “But I came up with the idea first.”

However, the final decision of whether a script goes into production rests upon the nuSTUDIOS Executive Committee as a whole. President of the CCA, Fang Xuezheng, highlighted the importance of the screenwriting process: “It starts with the script. That’s why an event like Script Market is important. Traditionally, we would just send out a general call for screenplays. This year however, we decided to invite them down and share their stories with us. We wanted to invite NUS students to make a movie with us.”

Overall, the event was meaningful and a success, with many people expressing interest in developing the screenwriters’ ideas into more concrete plans: completing their full-length scripts, and finally attaching directors to their projects. The participants left feeling encouraged by the responses to their ideas, and looking forward to the day where they see a director barking orders into a bullhorn, to actors scrambling to their positions, all the while referring to a bunch of papers in their hands for instructions – the same bunch of papers they once wrote.


nustudios logo

nuSTUDIOS is constantly on the look-out for potential ideas for movies. Its most recent production, Durian Complex, was screened as part of the NUS Arts Festival in March this year, garnering favourable responses. Upcoming projects include collaborations with local music artistes, considerations for a ‘Singapore, I Love You’ project, as well as numerous other short film productions.

If you think that you have an idea that is original, local, and entertaining, do consider contacting the team further on their website:

New theme talks at the FASS OPen House

by Student Blogger Dorothy Tan

We are all familiar with the hit television series “The Little Nyonya”, frustrated at the erratic weather, frightened about the Red Shirt demonstrations in Bangkok and worried about the low fertility rates in Singapore. But come 22 May, be challenged to go beyond feelings and tackle current issues ranging from modern television to climate from a multi-disciplinary perspective. You are definitely in for a treat at this year’s FASS Open House, as the leading lecturers of various departments share invaluable insights and experiences from their area of expertise. Come and discover how the social sciences are relevant in tackling current issues from different perspectives, and explore the endless prospects that await you from the Departments of Sociology, Geography, Southeast Asian Studies and Theatre Studies, just to name a few. 

 Baby Not-so Boomers

Representing the Department of Sociology is A/P Paulin Straughan, who is also FASS’s vice-dean of Undergraduate Studies appointed Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP). You may find her a familiar face, as she appeared on a recent episode of “Singapore Talking”, shedding light on the topic: “Has the role of Mothers changed overtime?” It is no wonder that at FASS Open House, she will be discussing on the low fertility in Asia and the implications it has on Singapore, entitled “Stork and Cupid: Out to Lunch”. A/P Straughan is very excited to share her great interest in the modern family and deep insights as she revealed:

 As you would have noted, there has been a lot of debate raised on the number of foreigners in Singapore. As a result of our chronic low TFR (total fertility rate), we have not been able to grow our population without augmentation from immigration. But that has, as we have seen, resulted in other social problems. For a small nation-state with no resources other than manpower, low fertility and late marriage have serious implications on social stability and economic sustainability. So my talk addresses a very serious social issue facing Singapore. And the topic is of interest to youths as you are the next generation of thought leaders and parents-to-be.”

 Be sure to catch A/P Paulin Straughan, as she tackles the ever-pressing problem of low fertility from a sociological perspective on the 22nd May, Lecture Theatre 11 (LT11) at 1pm!

 Smokin’ Hot

Prof David Higgit will be representing the Geography department, delivering a talk entitled “Climate Change: How will Singapore Survive?” Together with Prof T C Chang, Prof Higgit will be addressing the threat of climate change and its implications for environments and societies around the world. Specifically, it focuses on the effects of climate change on Singapore; Singapore’s contributions to the problem; as well as how the country is coping with and combating this global threat. Prof Higgit stresses that climate change is a serious issue that cannot and should not be ignored:

 It is a hugely important topic that has generated sustained media attention and quite a lot of controversy recently. It seems that many people in Singapore feel that climate change is something that will happen to other people elsewhere. I want to take the opportunity to explore what geographers are contributing to the climate change debate both in terms of environmental science and social science research. This will help to identify some issues that should be of concern to Singapore in the near future.”

 Come and be inspired by the difference that you can make in the environment, but more importantly, discover for yourself the research strengths and teaching capabilities of the Department of Geography at NUS! Prof Higgit will be delivering his talk on 22nd May, Lecture Theatre 13 (LT13) at 11am!

 Not Just a Pretty Face

Ever wondered what would happen if Juxiang from “The Little Nyonya” encountered Emily from “Emily of Emerald Hill”? Dr Paul Rae, from the Department of Theatre Studies, is the author of Theatre & Human Rights (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), and the co-artistic director of spell#7 performance. He will be exploring what wily stage veteran Emily and upstart media darling the Little Nyonya have to say to each other about theatre and television, Peranakan fever, gender politics, and the ‘mandarinisation’ of the past. Dr Rae is looking very forward to deliver his talk entitled “Showdown! Little Nyonya vs Emily of Emerald Hill” because:

 “It is about something many students will be familiar with, while at the same time giving me an opportunity to reflect on a number of broad themes and ideas that we address in Theatre Studies, such as the politics of representation, the role of performance in the shaping of identity, and the unique qualities of different media, be they theatre or television. I think the topic is timely, because there has been so much interest in Peranakan culture recently – or, at least, a rather nostalgic and idealised version of it – and this seems to me to say something about the larger cultural dynamics of Singapore.”

Clearly, theatre studies is not simply just reading off a script, knowing when to enter and exit the stage; this field of study tackles the deeper meanings, issues and implications behind every word and direction the author or playwright pens. You surely do not want to miss this interesting talk by Dr Rae on 22nd May, Lecture Theatre 13 (LT13) at 12pm!

Double, double, Toil and Trouble

Last but not least, representing the Southeast Asian Studies Department are Dr Irving Johnson and Dr Pattana Kitiarsa, who will be presenting on an intriguing topic about the role of supernaturalism in Southeast Asian politics. Even the employment of blood in the recent spate of political riots in Bangkok has a supernatural significance. Entitled “Blood, Magic and Politics in Southeast Asia”, Dr Johnson and Dr Kitiarsa will focus on Thailand and Thai societies both historically and presently, for instance, one good example would be the mass ‘cursing’ of General Suchinda Krapayoon in Bangkok’s main public square some years back. In addition, and historically, the building of ancient capitals was sometimes popularly associated with human sacrifice so as to create ‘city spirits’. In some instances, supernaturalism can be seen as a way to contest the powerful state as well. Through such strong examples, both speakers wish to show:

“Beliefs in supernaturalism are very much a part of everyday life and cannot be divorced from politics (which is also a cultural practice) in Southeast Asia. Politics basically is about how people understand power and control in their societies. For instance, one can think of the ritual ‘cursing’ of political figures by magical practitioners or uses of astrology and divination in the choosing of auspicious days/sites for political activity.”

You definitely do not want to miss this thought provoking and intriguing talk by Dr Johnson and Dr Kitiarsa, and discover what exciting prospects the Department of Southeast Asian Studies has to offer. Be sure to join them on 22nd May, Auditorium at AS7-01-02 at 1pm!

Parlez-vous Français?

by Student Blogger Denise Lee

French aficionados, listen up. The NUS French Club may be just the club for you.  Open to students from all Faculties with or without any French background, the club seeks to promote l’amour de la France – the love of France. Calvin Yeoh, a second-year Business undergraduate and present President of the club shares “Our purpose is to bring the beauty of French culture to anyone and everyone in the NUS Community who may be interested in knowing and experiencing more about French life – through its people, language, food and arts.”

french club infusion 2010

Following a recent membership drive, the club now boasts _ members, most of whom hail from FASS.  Movie screenings and interactive French table sessions are some of the regular activities organised by the club. Well-established with an active committee and membership, the present NUS French Club is a far cry from what it used to be like when it first debuted in 2007. Then known as NUS Francophile, it started as a playful idea toyed by three European Studies majors Song Yen Mei, Luo Chun Yin and Faith Tan during their idle hours. The group of friends had often revised French together and ruminated on activities that could help them assimilate the language and culture better. After rounds of lively discussions and several consultations with their French lecturers, the NUS Francophile eventually came into fruition. However, the nascent stage wasn’t all smooth sailing. Faith, the founding Vice-President recalls the club’s trying early days, “It was a very humbling experience when we first started. Our first French Table had like… three people on the first day and seven people the next; Movie screenings, though a little more popular were difficult and expensive. I recall several times when I felt like telling Chun this is it; I don’t want to do it anymore.” During the club’s infancy, the trio ran into problems with manpower, time and money. Armed with tenacious grit, the girls ploughed on, conducting publicity talks at French lectures, sponsoring food at movie screenings and making publicity bookmarks by hand.  Their efforts paid off and the club started to see a steady attendance at their events, reaching the pinnacle of success with the formation of a full-committee. In 2009, they attained club status, leading to the name of the club as it is today.

 Fast-forward to the present and club is going on strong. With the aid of their lecturer-in-charge Ms Malwina Baranska, the club organises activities on a regular basis. The top draw of the club membership is the French table sessions where members get to interact with native French students, putting their French communication skills to good practice. Being a member of the club has other privileges too, such as the entitlement to special discounts at movie screenings.    Benjamin Fu, a second year undergraduate and member of the NUS French Club relates “I join the club for a simple reason: French is cool! I love French language and culture, and I’d like to promote them to my fellow schoolmates. As a former committee member of NYP (Nanyang Polytechnic) French Club, I gained some experience and I’d like to bring them to NUS French Club. This is where we can make friends, chat in French, watch movie in French, cook in French and have lots of fun!”

french club vday movie screening

french club vday movie screening2

Past events of the club include a Valentine’s Day Movie Screening at NUSSU’s brand new student lounge at YIH. Ticket holders were treated to some light snacks such as muffins, chips and chocolates, as they watched “La Science Des Rêves” (The Science of Sleep). Last December, the club organized a French pique-nique at the Botanic Gardens where members bonded over classic French fare such a baguettes, brie and blue cheese, accompanied with French dessert wine (le vin), bien sûr! A French song item was performed by an exco member and French board games were introduced.

french club picnic event2

french club picnic event

Looking ahead, students can expect a series of exciting events from the French Club. These include yet another round of French Table set in one of Singapore’s many established French Restaurants where students can indulge in authentic French cuisine while basking in the company of fellow Francophiles. Special set-menus will be catered at student-friendly prices. Come April, an April Fool’s Movie Screening will be held, featuring a classic French comedy titled “Le Dîner de Cons” (The Idiot Game), which will be screened on campus free-of-charge. Back by popular demand, the club will be having another French Picnic @ the Park, held at the end of the semester when students can kick up their heels and chill over cheese, wine and other French goodies. For details on these events, check out the club’s website at Alternatively, you can look up NUS French-Club on facebook. Be sure to stay updated with the latest on all things French, and as the French say, Vivre la France!

The FASS Identity Project

by Student Blogger Denise Lee
FASS knows no boundaries when it comes to creativity and student pro-activism. Topping the buzz chart is the materialisation of the first ever faculty T-shirt for FASS students. Initiated by the ever happening NUS Arts and Social Sciences club, the FASS IDentity Project aims to fortify the FASS identity with a stronger presence through the creation of a faculty-wide T-shirt.  For a formidable faculty that boasts 6,000 students, 19 majors and 15 societies, it’s baffling to think why such a brilliant idea has only taken form until recently.  So just what inspired this? “This project was inspired by the need for a faculty-wide T-shirt that can be worn by all FASS undergraduates. We wanted to provide students a material means to display their association with the Faculty. In doing so, we hope that the T-shirt will help engender a strong outward proclamation of the identity and affinity that our students have with FASS.” explains Tan Xin Yu, project director of FASS IDentity and a Year 4 Chinese Studies major.
Following the call to students to don their creative caps and contribute designs, a hearty response was received – more than 50 designs were submitted over a month-long submission period.  From the ample pool of submitted designs, the team picked out the best five which were then circulated for voting. True to the zesty FASS spirit, students reacted with great enthusiasm, effusively expressing ardor for their very own Faculty T-shirt.  Hundreds flocked to the voting booths to select their favorite design while many more casted their votes online. A rigorous round of voting and a bout of rant and raves later, the options were narrowed down to the top three designs. The final die was cast in a second round of voting, leading to the emergence of a winning design (refer to image).  Highly supportive of the project was Dorothy Tan, a Year 2 Literature major, whose vote got 2nd place. “I think having a Faculty tee is a great way to help bond FASS students together. It may be quite difficult to foster unity across the different majors, so I guess a Faculty tee would help each student to identify with one another and know that we’re all in this together!”, she enthused.


Get ready to grab your piece of FASS IDentity come early March, when online pre-ordering and physical purchases will be made available at the NUS Students’ Arts and Social Sciences Clubroom (Block ADM, Level 2). The project committee also aims to sell the T-shirts at their various events and activities like the Arts Camp and Orientation Week. Fingers crossed, the club hopes to accomplish all these by May 2010. Students, especially cash-strapped ones, will be delighted to know they can be proud owners of a Faculty Tee without incurring serious wallet damage – the  price is a friendly SGD$10 per piece.


Excited already? There’s more to expect yet. According to Daryl Boey, FASS IDentity’s Publicity Head and Vice President of the NUS Students’ Arts and Social Sciences Club, other identity merchandises in the pipeline include post-it pads, mugs, pens and perhaps even windbreakers. The Political Science and Management sophomore adds that “Much will depend on the initial receptivity and feedback received for the T-shirt project, so do spread the word far and wide to all your FASS friends!” Continuing in the vein of student centeredness, he shares the project’s intention to reach out and engage the FASS community, “The FASS IDentity Project has involved the faculty by actively seeking the best and most creative designs, as well as the continuous process of garnering their feedback and opinion, not just for the initial design phase, but also during the pre-ordering and sales process. We aim to provide the best quality T-shirts and designs at affordable prices. Students can also be assured that their feedback will be solicited and incorporated to future plans for other merchandise.”


To keep updated with future FASS IDentity happenings, students can join the mailing list by sending an email to Alternatively, check out NUS FASS IDentity on Facebook and you can be sure you’ll never miss out on the latest buzz. The launch of a first ever FASS T-shirt marks a significant milestone in FASS history. Clearly, this is a cause for celebration. So go on, flaunt your cherished FASS Identity across your chest and express your affiliation with one of the most dynamic faculties ever!


The winning design!
The winning design!

Please go to this site to see the 2nd and 3rd place designs!

If a Fortune Teller Had Told Me…

By Genevieve Duggan, PhD student, Department of Sociology

If when I was 20 a fortune teller had told me what life had in store for me, I would have asked for my money back! At that time I was studying German and French languages to become a teacher in France. I did not learn English at school and was not curious about the people living on the other side of the Channel.

The good thing in life is that we do not know what it has in store for us. My life took a different turn after marriage and became quite nomadic, moving countries every four to five years; I learned English and studied at three different universities (Bahasa Indonesia at Atma Jaya University in Jakarta, anthropology in Heidelberg and Singapore). If my experience can be of any use I would be happy to share some thoughts.

First I married a Brit working in Germany, and started to learn English in order to communicate with my mother-in-law. When moving to another country and culture, I tried not to look back at what I was leaving behind, but embraced the new opportunities my new home country offered me, saying ‘yes’ to new experiences as new chances and did not try to isolate myself which is the easy alternative.

In Indonesia, I studied the language. This knowledge allowed me to access the culture and visit places off the beaten track. Curiosity was certainly what resulted in my meeting others. The desire to know and to understand what at first sight does not make sense is the engine for an interesting life. After moving to Germany for a second time I had the possibility to study anthropology at the age of forty. This brought about questions from friends like: ‘what is wrong in your life that you go back to university?’ Or ‘What is going wrong in your marriage that you are doing this?’ I did not sense something was going wrong. I was taking the opportunities that my nomadic life offered me learning the way while walking, and did not let these well meant comments of friends bothering me.  When looking back, I realised that I did not worry when I happened to go against the flow since I saw a meaning in what I was doing. As I was not a ‘cappuccino anthropologist’, fieldwork in eastern Indonesia meant little comfort and much isolation, but also rich experiences.

Genev2-13       Genev3

Genev4       Genev1

When we moved to Singapore I had the opportunity to continue to study at NUS for my PhD. The varied nationalities of students at FASS Graduate School suited me very well. It is the most cosmopolitan university I ever studied at. After doing fieldwork, the writing phase of a thesis means months of relative isolation, but the pleasure of learning and playing Gamelan with the NUS singanglaras group every Wednesday night compensated for loneliness.

The most important thing in my life was to be curious. Critiques or lack of recognition from others did not disturb me since I saw meaning and value in what I was doing.

An Experience like No Other

By Priscilla Ann Vincent, South Asian Studies, Year 2

Uncertainty – is the word which summarises the start of my NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) internship.

On 4 June 2009, Mr Rajesh Bhat, the director of The Rural Edge (the social entrepreneurship project where I did my internship), called me from the state of Karnataka, India. He asked if I was ready for hard work and the challenge of living in rural India. He gave me only an hour to accept the internship offer. Not knowing much about the project or what rural meant, I pleaded for him to give me a day or two to decide.

The Rural Edge project, in collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), Samuha and Foundation for Life, aims to bring Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) into rural India. Firstly, villagers with little or no education are trained in basic English, Mathematics, Computing, Logical and BPO work, specific skills like invoice processing and new application processing. The second part of this rural development project is to equip these villagers with BPO jobs in the village. The project is based in a village called Kanakagiri, in a rural part of Karnataka, about 10 hours away by road from the city of Bangalore.

I was still unsure. The project website I was told to refer to did not answer all my questions. How rural is rural? Is there electricity? Was the water safe to drink? Was there any internet access? Where will I be staying? What would my job entail? Most importantly will I survive? But being presented with a fulfilling and one of a kind work experience, I decided to accept the offer. After all, I am young and should be able to face the challenges.

The first two weeks were especially hard. I had to get used to the hot and dry weather, distasteful water, spicy food, a concrete bed, little or sometimes no electricity at all and daily cold baths. I worked from 7am to 9pm daily. Furthermore, the working environment was chaotic. Meetings went on and on without an agenda. Consensus to the best approach to issues could not be achieved. There were no minutes taken at meetings thus resulting in misunderstandings between colleagues on what was to be done and by whom. I had to do something about it. Coming from organised Singapore, I could not allow the project be so inefficient. In such a chaotic environment, there was no way the project was going to reach its target of transforming the lives of 6 million villagers in 12 years. I approached Mr Rajesh Bhat to suggest ways to improve the current situation and was immediately appointed as the chief strategist of the project – an honorable but demanding position.

As the chief strategist, I had to implement a system of daily agendas and minutes of the meetings. I had to advise my colleagues and evaluate their plans before their proposed plans go to the director. As my director was critical, I learned that my plan was not always right and the best work comes out of much debate and discussion.

Together with Shihan (the other intern from NUS), I played a vital role in designing the curriculum for the villagers. The curriculum had to be tailored specifically to the criteria of the hiring BPO companies. We saw our curriculum being used to train the villagers. It was inspiring to see the villagers use the materials created. It was fulfilling to see them enjoy and learn quickly. 

The NGO (Samuha) that we were staying at and working in was surrounded by sunflowers and wheat fields. The air was fresh without a tint of pollution and cows and goats graze the dry land. Bullock carts and cow dung were a common sight. People live in small village huts and survive off the land – a humble living experience. I had to wash my clothes on a concrete slab, eat only vegetarian meals for two and a half months, walk three kilometers to the nearby village town to buy provisions and bathe and work in the dark as the electricity supply often went out at night. There was no television or shopping mall. I spent most of my free time enjoying the beauty of the countryside and building strong relationships with the locals. Language was a barrier initially as I had no knowledge of Kannada (the language of Karnataka). However after a month of being taught Kannada by my colleagues, it was easy to strike a conversation with anyone. People in rural India are very welcoming and friendly. I felt safe and secure.

Living and working in rural India was exciting. There are four things that they say you will encounter in Kanakagiri – giant toad, rat, scorpion and snake. A new born rat wriggling on my concrete bed greeted me when I arrived the first day. A month later, I had a rat run across my arm while I was sleeping, an eight-inch scorpion in my room and a giant toad in the common bathroom. Thankfully, there was no encounter with a snake. We were told repeatedly never to walk around or out of the campus at night. With encounters like these, I have become less fearful and am now able to deal with uncomfortable situations easily.

What an amazing journey it was. I was to have returned to Singapore on the 15th of August 2009 but as the project was scheduled to be inaugurated on that very day and not wanting to miss this historic moment, I postponed my return ticket to Singapore. However to my disappointment and dismay, the inauguration of the project was postponed due to the lack of funds. The agreement made by the previous bank manager to issue a loan for the project was revoked by the new bank manger. We had to come up with a contingent plan as the villagers were expecting to start formal training soon. I learned that when working in India, one has to be very flexible and ever ready to emerge from difficult situations. For a project to succeed, one has to be very determined to overcome the many barriers that one would undoubtedly face in India.

NOC’s Experience India is one of a kind. From this experience, one has clearer understanding of the Indian business environment and is able to make vital connections to break into the Indian market. It enabled me to grow mentally, physically and emotionally. It is indeed a total development that is needed for any aspiring entrepreneur of today! 

priscilla-fb pic 2

priscilla-fb pic 3

priscilla-fb pic 1

Read more about Priscilla Ann Vincent’s adventures in Straits Times.

Engaging a Growing China

By Chen Heng Hui, Economics, Year 3

While waiting for enrolment into NUS three years ago, I self-initiated a working trip to China and offered my services as a translator to a training company based in Shanghai. Having experienced and enjoyed the business adrenalin rush in China, I was keen to spend my 2009 summer holidays working in Shanghai.

Since December 2008, I started applying to many Singapore-based companies with operations in China. Although I managed to receive a few offers from multi-national companies, I accepted an offer from Hupomone Capital Partners, a Singapore private equity/venture capital firm based in the Greater China region because the company was willing to provide me with a mentorship.

Due to my bilingual abilities and prior understanding of Contemporary China, I settled in quickly and was treated like a full-time employee by my colleagues and bosses. During my 10-week stint, I was largely involved with deal origination and deal analysis work. Besides research and due diligence work, I had the opportunity to travel to five different Chinese cities-Wenzhou, Beijing, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Taiyuan to meet entrepreneurs of different industries and other private equity managers.

At the same time, I was spurred on by one of my bosses, Mr Siew Wing Keong, who told me that I was able to initiate and propose new ideas to the team even though I was an intern. As such, I initiated an unassisted trip to the capital-rich city of Wenzhou to explore alternative financing opportunities for a medical device deal. In Shanghai, I originated a deal with a rapidly-expanding Taiwanese café-bakery chain after being a frequent customer at one of those stores. I identified that the bakery chain as a winning proposition because it is a combination of Starbucks and Breadtalk, catering specifically to the growing middle-class population in China. Soon after, I managed to schedule a meeting with the Group CFO to further discuss investment opportunities.

This internship had surpassed my expectations as I was lucky to have nurturing bosses who were willing to mentor young Singaporeans to engage China. After working and travelling in China for the last decade, I am keen to return for work in the Greater China region upon graduation and would strongly encourage every Singaporean to engage China in every way possible.  In a CNBC interview with Maria Bartiromo in 2008, Jim Rogers said :  “If you were smart in 1807 you moved to London, if you were smart in 1907 you moved to New York City, and if you are smart in 2007 you move to Asia.” Asia’s rise will be primarily driven by China’s growth story and it will be an extremely exciting prospect for us to take part in this historic-changing process.

Heng Hui looks forward to working in China full time
Heng Hui looks forward to working in China full time

Read more about Heng Hui’s China trip here!

Korea Come Alive

by Prise Ho Pei Fang, Sociology, Year 2 and Lee Jia En, Geography, Year 2

Prise and the family she stayed with
The Korean family I stayed with

Annyeonghaseyo? (Hello!)

The memories of last spring are still deeply etched in our minds when we were awarded scholarships from the National Institute for International Education Development (NIIED) for an 11-day programme to Korea. There, we experienced many different aspects of the Korean culture and also forged lifelong friendships with the other participants from all around Asia.

It seems an impossible feat to pick just one favourite part of the trip as each and every part is equally precious and unforgettable. We especially enjoyed the interaction between the participants and the supervisors. Having spent every waking moment in each others’ company for 11 days, we learned a lot about each other’s quirks and truly grew close to each other.

Visiting Seorak Mountain was a breathtaking experience. At the peak of the mountain, we experienced the picturesque scenery through the peaceful calm of the Korean morning to the chilly afternoon was awe-inspiring. We spent quite a while on the mountain, simply soaking in the euphoria and taking many pictures in hope to catch the splendour and bring back part of it with us. One fond memory was eating piping Tokbukki, a rice cake snack, in the chilly weather of the high altitudes.

Homestay was yet another part of the trip that left us with timeless memories. It was raining when we arrived but the cold immediately dissipated as our host family welcomed us with open arms and warm hugs. We were enveloped in the warmth of family as we sat in the living room drinking soju, eating snacks and kimchi, and chatting with one another. Despite the short three day stay, it already felt as if we were part of their family.

There are so many parts of the trip that we fondly remember, each important in piecing together the memorable spring in Korea. The stately Cheongwadae (Presidential Palace), heart-stopping beauty of the lake we cycled past on our bicycle tour in Gyeong Ju, the heat from the steel rods at POSCO, the reverberation of the drumbeats through our bodies during the Nanta show, the rows of neatly parked cars waiting to be shipped at the Hyundai shipping yard, the mouth-watering Dakgalbi we ate for dinner at Chun Cheon on our first night there, the smell of freshly cooked Hoddeok that we had at a rest stop on our way from visiting Naksansa Temple, romantic walks beneath endless rows of pine trees in Nami Island, the lectures at the hosting universities, and the sheer smiles after eating Baskin Robbins on a hot Seoul day along Cheonggyecheon – these are all things that will continue to inspire us .

The trip gave us an opportunity to get to experience and learn more about Korea firsthand and where the Korean language which we learn in school came alive through Korean culture and traditions. The cultural aspect from this trip complemented our knowledge of Korea gained through the K-wave, thus giving us a holistic and memorable experience to dynamic Korea.

Kamsahamnida. (Thank you.)

Us with our new friends eating Baskin Robbins ice-cream along Cheonggyecheon in Seoul
Us with our new friends eating Baskin Robbins ice-cream along Cheonggyecheon in Seoul
Us at the Cheongwadae (Presidential Palace) which means The Blue House
Us at the Cheongwadae (Presidential Palace) which means The Blue House

Prise Ho and Lee Jia En are reading Korean 2 at the Centre of Language Studies, FASS and have been awarded scholarships by the National Institute for International Education (NIIED). The Korean government organisation is affiliated with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and aims to develop and foster human resources in the age of globalisation. It awards scholarships to international students to give them an opportunity to know more Korean culture and society through the programme. The scholarships will cover all expenses for the students in Korea.

They participated in the programme from 11 to 21 May 2009 and visited cultural and industrial sites, and Korean universities. They also experienced staying with a Korean family (home stay).

Proud to be part of the NUS Waterpolo Team!

by Sean Bai, Geography, Year 4

The NUS waterpolo team celebrating their win The NUS Waterpolo Team celebrating their win

Receiving the Merit Award for Team (Men) at the recent NUS Sports Awards 2009 has been a real honor and reward for the NUS Waterpolo team. This award is the gratification and fruit of all the hardwork and dedication that the team has put in over the past few years.

Every award is always accompanied with a legacy or story of toil and sweat, perseverance and resilience. Our journey thus far has especially been so, where every organising of the annual inter-varsity tournament or every adrenaline-charged training has been deeply etched in our minds. We believe that hard work pays off and it certainly has paid off in more ways than one.

Awards and accolades aside, our experience as a team has been unforgettable. Remembering the times when our mates from the local waterpolo community, alumni of the NUS family or even friends on exchange or overseas job postings joined us in a game of waterpolo, it has definitely been a fulfilling and memorable time of camaraderie and friendship. It is precisely the testing times of pulling through difficulties and complications where bonds were forged and our resilience polished. These experiences molded us and made us grow as a team, not only to face greater challenges but also as ambassadors of the sport and the university.

Winning tournaments would not have been sweet if not for the team spirit that brought us through as well as the unfaltering support from our families, friends and the school. However, it has also not been simply about winning that makes all our time spent worth it. Our pursuit stems out from our aspirations in realising our dreams, to excel and to inspire. Our common goal drives us on to continually challenge and exceed ourselves. It is precisely the assurance of a team being there for each other that gives us the confidence to always press on and do better.

Waterpolo is definitely one of our many interests jostling for our time and attention. It definitely has not been the easiest of tasks to juggle trainings, schoolwork as well as our other commitments. However, neither is it impossible. There has to be a lot of self-discipline to set our priorities right as well as willpower to make sacrifices. It takes a lot of self-belief and reassurance to handle multiple commitments simultaneously. The expectations of being a good student, dedicated sportsman as well as a contributing hall resident may seem too arduous for some but it is precisely these circumstances that challenge our limits. A matured and positive attitude is necessary to always keep our goal in mind as well as to withstand the incessant temptations to give up or slack off.

Time truly flies when you are making full use of it. Our varsity life is the last frontier before we step out into the ‘real’ world. It is the last opportunity for us to fully maximise our time here before we take that final step. Reading the news of our national waterpolo team clinching their 23rd consecutive SEA Games Gold medal, I sincerely hope that our team will continue to soar to greater heights as well. At the same time, my advice would be to find your interest in these remaining vestiges of our student life. Challenge yourself to the limits, grab hold of your aspirations and realise them, make them worthwhile, meaningful and memorable.


FASS congratulates all the winners of the NUS Sports Awards and is very proud of the 108 FASS students who have participated and won.