Spending a year studying in Singapore made me feel confident about working abroad after I graduate

Dina-Leigh Simons - Biology student
Dina-Leigh Simons
Year abroad: National University of Singapore
MBiolSci Biology with a Year Abroad
Dina-Leigh chose to spend a year abroad studying in Singapore as part of her Biology degree in order to challenge and improve herself whilst making connections all around the world. The experience allowed Dina-Leigh to study organisms on tropical islands off the coast of Singapore and gave her a better understanding of important local issues such as the urbanisation effects on coral reefs and mudflats.
Dina-Leigh Simons - Biology student

“There were multiple reasons why I chose to study abroad, for both my academic and personal benefit. I wanted to challenge and improve myself, which the experience definitely allowed me to do. Additionally, I wanted to learn about different cultures and ways of life. Asia has always fascinated me with its elaborate ecosystems and diverse culture, so it was my first choice. As well as being able to visit different countries, I knew going away would open up countless opportunities for my academic and professional career. Increasing my future international job prospects is important for a career in global biological research. I wanted to make connections around the world to build on my network of potential future colleagues. Getting experience at another university was so rewarding and enabled me to study my subject from a different perspective.

“National University of Singapore (NUS) is a competitive and challenging academic institute, however my experience studying at this university was extremely rewarding. After a year of studying in the Life Sciences department, I believe I have thrived academically in this ambitious environment. The workload in comparison to Sheffield was substantially larger but enabled me to learn so much in a short space of time. NUS offered a wide range of field work and studies in tropical, marine and freshwater ecosystems, which was limited in Sheffield. Lectures were consistently stimulating, with all of my lecturers being fully engaging and enthusiastic. I can confidently say I enjoyed every lecture in all of my modules. I interacted with lecturers and professionals from all over the world who had their own specific teaching methods. This helped me gain an international and holistic view of biological science. All assignments were related to real world issues and research topics. In some cases, our work contributed directly to on-going issues in Singapore. The highlights of the year include some of the amazing field courses and extra-curricular opportunities that the university provided. For example, we travelled to numerous small, tropical islands off the coast of Singapore to study organisms such as birds and intertidal marine species e.g. Pulau Ubin, Marine Sister Islands. I was also able to complete my PADI Open Water Scuba Certificate in Malaysia on one of the most beautiful islands. The high quality of teaching and modules really inspired me to take a focus on ecology and conservation in my work.

My time away was unforgettable and now I feel a lot more confident to look for work abroad after my degree.

Dina-Leigh Simons

MBiolSci Biology with a Year Abroad

“I’ve met some great friends during my time abroad and I am still in contact with a lot of them. They live all around the world and I’ve been to visit a few since I’ve arrived back in the UK, including visits to Sweden, Lithuania and Canada! During my time abroad, I was able to travel across Southeast Asia and Australia with all the friends I made.

“My time away was unforgettable and now I feel a lot more confident to look for work abroad after my degree. Experiencing a variety of teaching styles delivered by multicultural academics at NUS, as well as living in the tremendously diverse city of Singapore, definitely expanded my global biological awareness. Learning about important issues in Singapore, such as urbanisation effects on coral reefs and mudflats, helped develop my understanding of universal conservation. Through connections I made at NUS, I was able to pursue a 4-week placement at the Conservation and Research Department at Singapore Wildlife Reserves (Singapore Zoo). This was such a great opportunity to delve more into the working world and expand my career prospects. Overall, the experience vastly improved my confidence as well as expand my knowledge within multidisciplinary sectors.”

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